Why Are Leather Bags So Expensive?

If you’re new to the world of leather, you may be wondering why leather bags are expensive. After all, you can get a “genuine leather” bag on major shopping sites for $150, right? Well, there’s a lot to unpack with that assertion. First, you have to understand what that $150 bag really is. You have to understand grades and tanning methods of leather. I’ve written extensively about that on this site. Once you’re aware of those differences, it’s apples and oranges.

So let’s assume you’ve read the articles linked above and you still want to know why quality leather bags aren’t a cheap purchase. Here goes.

Scrap pieces of low grade leather to make a bag can cost as little as $20. Granted, that would be a low-end leather that we would never consider using. But it is quite common in the bag industry. In contrast, a whole, premium, full grain, vegetable tanned leather hide like the ones we use can cost hundreds of dollars a hide. And that’s when you buy them in bulk. We often use the majority of a hide to make a single bag. So we’re already into it for more than that cheap leather bag costs to buy. And we haven’t even talked about labor and other costs.

The cool thing about our business model, selling direct-to-consumer, is it allows your dollar to go as far as possible toward paying for premium materials and skilled labor – and not for inflationary retail markup. Once you’re familiar with leather grades and quality, you’ll be asking a different question:

Why don’t you charge more like your competitors?

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