It takes a fair bit of consideration to purchase python skins, and there are tons of factors on both sides of purchase to deal with. We'd like to let you know about a few of them so that you can make the best purchase you can.
Pricing and Cost Factors
Currently, there are three major factors affecting the price of python skin.
Size of the skin. Python skin is priced per meter length and the price per meter is higher for wider skins. The reason larger skins are more expensive has both supply and demand reasons. On the supply side, larger skins come from larger animals that take longer to grow on the farms so they cost more to house and feed. At the tannery, larger skins require more labor, time in process, chemicals and other materials. On the demand side, the larger skins are used for handbags and garments, which are in very high demand and command a very high price. The sizes available vary widely. As a result, so do the prices.
Size of the order. If the python skin you need isn't available off the rack, you'll need to have us make them to order—something we're willing to do. However, be aware that smaller orders have nearly the same set-up costs as bigger ones, so the price per unit ends up being higher. A small order can cost as much as double a large order of the same product.
Product-related differences. Each product costs a little different to make. For example, a bleached python skin costs a little more than an unbleached skin because of the time and materials required for the additional process of bleaching out the natural markings. Lighter colors also cost more because they require a little more TLC. Iridescent, pearlized finishes; garment finishes and other specialties cost more than basic glazed and matte products. However, these differences are minimal: typically in the 10-20% range.
Other factors. From time to time, other factors arise that can move the price. For example, according to CITES regulations, all python skin traded internationally needs to come from animals grown on farms. This has proven very difficult to enforce and studies show that wild skins have been mixed in with farmed skins. However, recently, fashion houses have taken a stronger position in monitoring the integrity of the skins they are using as it contributes largely to the integrity of their brand. In the short to medium term, this could drive the price of python skins up since there may not be as many legal skins available.
Another recent development that could affect python skin prices is the exploding population of Burmese python in Florida. If the State can organize a way to commercialize this, it could help bring python skin prices down.
These factors are all things you need to be aware of while you're purchasing the skins. If you have any questions or would like to place an order, contact us today for more information!