You may be wondering what it is that drives the prices behind items such as the stingray skin that we offer. Why do the prices on these skins vary from time to time, and why do some skins cost more than others at the same time?
There are actually a number of factors that affect the price of exotic leathers like stingray skins.
Supply and Demand
Like anything else, basic supply and demand plays a role in determining the price of stingray skin. Most stingray skin comes from Southeast Asia, and are a byproduct of local fishing sources. These skins are from wild animals, and as such the supply is vulnerable to weather patterns and other external forces.
On the demand side, stingray skin is a product used in fashion. When designers and fashion houses are using stingray skin on products in their seasonal collections, it can drive the price up.
However, supply and demand aren’t the only things that will affect the price you may pay for the stingray skin you buy.
Size and Quality
No matter what the market conditions are for stingray skin at the moment, both the size of the skins you buy and the grade of the skin will affect the final price of your order. In most cases, the larger the skin you order is, the more it will cost. Also, defect-free, top-grade skins will be significantly more expensive than skins that have scratches, scars, or punctures.
When you are ordering skins, you will naturally want to consider the type of product you will be making when you order so that you can get an optimal price. Large leather items such as car or motorcycle seat covers may require very large sections of pristine material, while smaller items such as wallets and watch bands will only need smaller sections of material, allowing you to work around some defects and order smaller, less expensive pieces of skin overall.
When actually making an order for stingray skin, the number of skins that you order at once will affect the total amount you pay per skin. Generally speaking, a significant portion of the cost of your order is in the actual setup for the coloring and finishing process that will generate the finish you want. This includes preparing the chemical/dye mixtures and other critical procedures. There is a minimum amount of chemicals and labor that will be used whether you order one stingray skin or one hundred skins, so very small orders tend to have surcharges attached to cover the tannery’s costs.
Other than order quantity, certain finishes and dyes may cost more because they add extra steps to the process, increasing labor and material costs. For example, the unpolished finish costs less than a polished finish, as there is less work and materials involved. However, the dyeing and polishing of a skin will typically impact the final price of your skin less than the quantity, size, and grade of the skin.
When you need to buy stingray skin, keeping these price factors in mind while you order can be helpful in making sure that you get the most out of your exotic skin order. If you would like to learn more about how we process stingray skin, or have questions about the ordering process, contact us today!