Selling ‘Traditional’ Products in the ‘Cyber’ Age…First Thoughts.

As we all know, genuine leather implies the material is the actual hide of an animal. With this, come the variables of nature. This concept is nature’s law and leather is one of the most timeless and necessary, but complex products of our existence, from carrying liquids, to clothing us, to offering protection from the elements for centuries. Now, it is generally viewed as a luxury but really deserves both associations. How will such an ‘Old’ product be utilized efficiently and hold up in a cyber world? Hopefully, as well as it always has. It deserves to remain timeless. It should be offered Online in a way that preserves its qualities, while making it accessible to anyone and everyone with a Connection. On a side note, Replacements and Alternatives all have their own down-sides, including being less durable. This means more waste with production and disposal.

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A hide is measured and marked with numbers referencing that size before it leaves a reputable tannery for sale But those numbers, like the hides themselves, are not all the same. There are general sizes for each animal group being harvested but there will still always be variance in shape and size. For instance, what is referred to as a ‘Bundle’ of lamb skins (reference for a young sheep hide) will likely contain 12 (1 dozen) separate skins. The tag that accompanies them will show all different numbers for each. The total may come to 90 or so square feet, but the skins can be sized from under 6 square feet to over 8 square feet within that bundle. In addition, some skins which are smaller may be narrow and long, while other larger skins, may be wide and short. The same concept holds true for other hides as well. Yes, there are general shapes and sizes but depending on the pattern needed and cost for every inch, it counts to understand and be aware of this with every hide.

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The overall measurement is what is accounted for regardless. Most high-end leather will be sold by increments of exact measurement, not by small, medium or large, as with for example, a shirt. That shirt likely will cost the same for each and any size. Because leather, like rolls of fabric, will be paid by the Amount taken, it is critical to buy the correct type of hide and the correct amount. Different types of hides, the finish upon them and even their thickness (weight) will also effect their price. This is where the challenge begins. How do you choose the correct leather? From digital images and some provided text, how do you know Which animal, quality, thickness, finish, shape and amount you will need to purchase?

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It makes sense with leather and related hides, to have some discussion Before purchase. This can be done through email if need be. Images and details can be provided free of cost. Providing the best options for that particular use of the material can be suggested by someone who has knowledge of the materials they are representing. Everything should be taken into account. The environment and exact use should determine the choice. For instance, a horse saddle would require an entirely different finish and thickness of certain types of more durable hides than say, a skirt. Options should be offered and explained.

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Often, actual swatches should be reviewed before choices are made. By now, the point is being clearly offered to have some type of Communication Before the leather choice is made. A phone works great, always has. Email helps to refer back to ideas and images but some type of Exchange is highly encouraged. In an Age, as the title implies, where everything is a Cart and a Click away from purchase, speaking to no one and deciding based on virtual images with no guidance, can likely result in the wrong outcome. This presents the biggest challenge. The suggestion is to take the small amount of extra time to once again, communicate what the desired result and purchase are Before making it.

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Online @ Email: leatherfacts@msn.com or demitri@leatherimpact.com.