The Price We Pay for Brand Name Leather Goods.

We all know some of the biggest brands in luxury leather goods… at one point or another, we have all dreamed of owning a Louis Vuitton, a Gucci, or a Michel Kors leather bag. Some of us may have even bought a knockoff or a small item so that we could enjoy a little piece of the prestige associated with the brand. For most of us, the allure of a brand-name leather good is undeniable. Whether you’re looking at a wallet, a handbag, or a pair of shoes the brand associated with these luxury goods gives us a little boost of serotonin which makes them so desirable. But how much of that price tag is due to the quality and craftsmanship and how much is just for the brand? When you buy from a big brand, you’re buying into a promised lifestyle and image, and unfortunately, the power of that brand can sometimes make us pay far more than they are intrinsically worth.

Luxury brands invest heavily in building their image, using celebrity endorsements, high-end advertising, and extravagant flagship stores. This is not to say that the quality is lacking, simply that the cost of said quality can often be found for much less in a smaller lesser known brand. Artisanally made luxury goods usually have some of the highest quality in both craftsmanship and materials for a fraction of the cost of the bigger luxury brands. This is because they do not have an extravagant budget for marketing. While we can’t put a fixed percentage on the “premium” you pay when investing in a big brand luxury goods, it is important to realize that you are essentially footing the bill of the brand’s marketing effort.

Those big luxury brands often advertise that they use the finest craftsman and materials and while we can verify the materials used are usually of excellent quality, the fact stands that there is no way of knowing if the “finest craftsman” actually made your leather good. You can, however, be sure that no matter who made it, it did have to go through their rigorous quality control before you got it; As they do need to upkeep the image and prestige of a luxury goods brand. The difference with a smaller brand particularly an artisanal brand is that you can literally speak with the person who created your good. In most cases when you purchase from a small artisanal brand you can be assured that you are supporting a family, a neighbor, or a member of your community.

Keeping in mind that a smaller artisanal brand will most likely be using the best quality materials and is made by a person with whom you can speak to, or have maybe even met in a grocery store before. Usually, the price of a leather good at a small brand is significantly less than the same item at a big, established luxury brand. Unfortunately, most people are unwilling to invest in a luxury leather good from a small brand, because they “can find it for cheaper” at a big box store, and yet that same person is willing to pay twice the price or more at an established luxury brand. If you are shopping for a luxury good, I urge you to check out your local artisanal shops. money spent in your community remains mostly in your community, whereas money spent at a big luxury brand goes to their marketing budget.

There is no denying the allure of Brand-Name leather goods. They come with a certain prestige and exclusivity, however, it’s important to understand the premium price you pay is not solely based on the product’s quality or craftsmanship. But is rather based on the experience of owning a renowned brand. There is nothing wrong with owning such a good, but it is important to realize and consider whether the price we pay is justified by the product’s intrinsic value or if we are paying for and contributing to the brand’s “story”. At the end of the day, you decide where and how you will spend your hard-earned cash. Understanding the true cost of a good can help you decide how and where you want to spend it. Most artisinal shops/small businesses can and will do custom goods, consider getting a quote for a similar product to help understand the true value of what you are looking at buying.