Just like everything else that you buy, there are various factors that can affect the price of caiman skin. Mostly, it’s about supply and demand. However, there are other considerations that you’ll need to take into account when you’re shopping for caiman skin.
Raw Material Factors
In normal market conditions, the most influential supply and demand variables affecting the price of caiman skin are grade and size. The 30+ cm (inside measure between the bones) skins with the fewest defects are the most sought after for handbags, large accessories, etc.; yet they are the hardest to come by. The larger the skin, the older the animal and thus the more it endured (scars, scratches, bites from fighting, feasting and general wear). So skins that are large in size are rarely in pristine condition. The ones that are command top dollar in the marketplace.
In the case that caiman skin needs to be made to order, the number of skins ordered per product will greatly affect the price. A lot of the work that goes into producing caiman skin is set up, like mixing chemicals or dyes, setting water temperatures, etc. Whether the tannery makes one caiman skin or 100 skins, the set up time is about the same. As a result, tanneries will typically apply substantial surcharges for smaller orders.
Quantities aside, some colors and finishes cost more to produce. For example, basic finishes like matte and glazed are typically the least expensive. On the other hand, specialty finishes that require more work, expensive chemicals or additional materials command a higher price. For example, a caiman skin with pearlized finishes requires chemicals that are very expensive and time consuming to apply versus the materials required to finish a matte skin. These types of costs are passed through to the customer, but they are relatively small compared to the other factors affecting price.