There are so many options to choose from when it comes to choosing wallets. Most of the time people end up paying for the brand name but not the intrinsic value of the product.
The quality of the leather and craftsmanship makes a big difference between a wallet that falls apart after a few months, and a solidly-built wallet that stands the test of time.
Below are the 5 ways to be considered when buying a wallet.
1) High Price does not always come with High Quality
The selling price of a product is determined by various factors apart from the quality itself, including but not limited to:
a) The cost to make the product, for example, labor, material, logistic, factory's margin etc.
b) The marketing and promotion cost between customer and the brand.
c) The number of middlemen between the the brand and the final customer, the margin between distributors, wholesalers, retailers and resellers all matters!
As a result, most of the time the original cost of production only contributed a small amount of the final selling cost. This is ironic when you consider this is the main factor for affecting the quality of the product.
Many wallets selling at a $150-$250 price range cost less than $10-$15 to produce, and are made with low grade leather and mediocre craftsmanship. They are able to sell at this price point because many of us do not know the true cost and justify simply by the photos and how many "likes" on different social media platform. However, you will be surprised by what wallets you can get with the same price point with a much higher intrinsic value.
2) Look at the Leather
This one may seem obvious, but it's actually very important to closely examine the leather before your purchases. Watch out for leather that looks like the finish has been painted on. Try to pull and bend the leather, it shouldn't have any signs of breaking or tearing. Moreover, you can look for the grading of the leather. Full-grain leather is the best grade, which is the top layer of the leather and it lasts quite a long time. A step down is top grain leather, which uses slightly lower-quality hides with more imperfections and defects, it is also less durable.
3) Look at the Stitching
There are two types of stitching. Machine leather sewing and hand-made stitching. Hand-made stitching is more visible while machine leather sewing have a more straight-line stitches. Hand-made stitching is usually more durable and more time consuming while machine sewn is fast but slightly less durable. If a product is machine-sewn, make sure its bottom thread looks decent as some cheap products may have a lousy stitching in the bottom.
4) Look at the Edges
Check for the edges. Perfect edges are smooth and well-painted. To make sure the leather is durable, gently run your thumbnail across the edging. Make sure the paint isn’t lifted, balanced and smooth. This also enhance products' durability. However, do not forget there are styles that are raw edges and some people like it too!
5) Look at the Lining
Lining is the interior fabric of the leather products. It feels soft on the skin and will support to the shape of the product over time. There are many different types of lining materials from polyester, nylon to even leather lining. A good lining materials should be durable and well sewed inside the product. However again, raw lining, aka no lining is also a style and many people just love it. As it gives customers a raw edge feeling. Just like our Raw Lining Cardholder.