If you're interested in starting your own alligator leather projects, you may be wondering where to go to buy their skins. Of course, we sell them, but we want to make sure you're aware of all your options and what they can offer. So in this post, we'll lay out the alligator skin supply landscape for you.
Distributors are exactly what they sound like. They buy skins from tanneries, warehouse them and then distribute them to buyers like you. Distributors keep a large stock on hand which is convenient for a time-sensitive buyer. However, for them to make money, they have to mark it up and charge you higher prices.
Also, their selection is limited. If you’re looking for a specific alligator skin that they don’t have, you’re out of luck — or you’ll need to go with a skin you didn’t truly want. Even if the distributor can find what you want, it’ll typically be at a premium price with long deliveries and often doesn’t come out exactly how you want.
When you buy directly from us, you cut out the middleman which eliminates the distributor mark-up and allows the product flexibility and direct communication that you need.
We’re not the only tannery in the market for alligator skin. However, we are one of the only remaining independent alligator skin tanneries worldwide – meaning we are not owned by one of the major fashion houses. Being under a fashion house creates a huge conflict of interest for these tanneries as they market their alligator skin to brands outside of their corporate family. These tanneries typically charge very high prices and gain insight into their competition — you! We, however, have no conflict of interest.
Another major issue with the tanneries is that they’re mostly outside the US. As alligator skin is classified as a wildlife product, it’s subject to both US Customs and the Fish and Wildlife review which can take time. As a result, deliveries from foreign alligator skin tanneries take several months.
On the other hand, we tan and finish our skins here in the U.S., which means that we can ship domestically with less delay while still fully complying with all US Fish and Wildlife requirements, including full documentation and proper tagging.
That means much faster deliveries without cutting corners. Communication is easy and clear as there are less time zone complications and no language barrier. In addition, we can provide better service. For example, we can work with customers in person to develop product lines and make product adjustments in a matter of days.
Your manufacturer will sometimes offer to source the alligator skin for you. This is a good option because they know exactly what they need to make what your products. Just make sure that they don’t overbuy so they can be less diligent about the cutting. Otherwise, you'll end up paying for more skin than you actually needed.
With that said, we respect our competitors very much. They are good at what they do and have been a positive force in our industry for a long time. We simply want YOU to know why we believe we can serve you better.
If you’re interested in any of the benefits of working with Pan American Leathers, please feel free to contact us here or call us at 978-741-4150.