OK, All my holsters are now base priced at $200.
(not really, it's just a joke)
A lot of holsters are out there , I look at them as i can and select what fits my needs the best . A custom craftsman quotes me a price , and a delivery date far in the future ( i am currently awaiting at least one ) The craftsman gets paid for his hours crafting the produce , i get a better than factory product tho i wait for it . I dont see where its a down side , the craftsman gets what is needed to build the holster , and i get the better holster . I for one would not pay immediate gratification price for a holster , if i want factory i will buy it , for when i want better than factory the wait is a non issue . the quality however is expected to be and has been exceptional .
I assure you, I am not a rich man.
When making this post, I was not even considering Milt Sparks in this classification. It was aimed at the part-time individual craftsman rather than a full time, multi-person business.
I currently carry in a VM2, that is until I receive my own custom, which I have been patiently waiting for.
I do not want to see these craftsmen fade away. I'd hate to see the day all holsters come from China or some machine that spits out 1000 a day.
Interesting thread.....what is funny is the average price for my holsters seems to be around 120$....because of shark skin accents....etc. At least 40% of what I do has some kind of exotic skin on it.
Shoot well and god bless...........Eric
ozshadow, I'm not trying to pick a fight with you. Honest! But your initial post was pretty generic in that it didnít differentiate as to the size of the company you were referring to. Not that it really matters. Intentionally raising prices in a purposeful intent to discourage customer interest in a product, really doesnít make a whole lot of business sense now, does it?
If you go visit this thread and scroll on down, you will see the exact same question posed as to why Milt Sparks doesn't raise their prices to reduce their backlog. This isnít exactly new stuff, though I decided not to get involved in that particular thread.
I suppose that on the other side of the coin, having a huge backlog is a good way to discourage the impatient from ordering, thus in effect limiting the backlog somewhat. I guess it depends a lot on a makers perspective. Sort of a Yin and Yang in the holstermakers universe. :urla9ub:
Don't apologize for your comments. I agree with the sentiment and the phrasing. Living in SoCal, I'm immersed in a culture that is totally controlled by movie industry insiders and an unbelievable concentration of millionaires. I am very familiar with what happens to a local society that has been put up for auction to the hightest bidders:frown:
Originally Posted by T. Kanaley
The saying "time is money" does not reflect the reality of a majority of Americans. With even high-end CCW holsters being available usually between $100-$200, they can be afforded by most. The waiting period can be accomodated more easily than can an increase in the price tag. The wait time can be a great built-in way to start a fund for paying for the holster. With what seems to be an average wait period of 16-20 weeks, that's barely $10 a week set aside for your new rig by the time it's ready.
I would hate to see these fine pieces of hand craftsmanship be priced so that only the few entitled fat-cats could afford them. I applaud the Milt Sparks company, as well as Garrity Gunleather, and HBE, and others, who are all striving their best to turn out a truly first rate product at reasonable prices.:congrats:
I am very lucky to have Garry Brommeland as a friend, and I have been discussing this topic with him for the past 4 years. Leather artisans like Gary are in a different place than folks like Milt Sparks, they are one man shops with limited time to do every job in the place. Its not that one business is better than the other, its just different.
I have, or have had, holsters from just about every production holster shop around. I have also owned gear from Gary, Josh Bulman and Matt Del Fatti and can say without a doubt that the fit and finish and functional design is better than what you can generally get from a production shop. Its not to say the other gear is bad, its not. But I believe leather gear from a custom maker is at a different level and appeals to a different buyer.
I believe the price issue and delivery times are two different issues. While it is true that raising prices may have some effect on the number of orders being placed and therefore lesson the backlog, I think Gary sells his gear too inexpensively because its just plane "better gear" than that which you can buy off a shelf.
As a business owner, I have to make a certain amount of money every day to keep my shingle up, and only a certain number of hours in which to do it. Someone like Gary is no different, he must make a living for his family in the time available. If his abilities to design and produce a superior product are desired by customers, it is my belief that they will pay for something from him that they cannot get from somewhere else. I would be willing to bet, that if Milt Sparks could double their production without sacrificing their quality they would do it. I would also bet that they are not willing to shorten their wait times by turning out questionable product.
I know that Gary throws away finished holsters that don't meet his critical approval, (holsters that I would be more than happy to own) but he has found fault in for whatever reason. That is a decision that only he can make, but does so because his name is on it, and to him, it must be at a certain level to leave his shop, and that level is very high.
I believe this level of perfection has an intrinsic value that is worth more to some clients than he charges. As a client, I for one would be willing to pay $80.00 to $100.00 more for his work, not because I could get it faster but because what he has too offer is worth it to me.
As a friend, I would like to see his abilities as one of the finest holster designers and artisans of our time finally make the kind of money he deserves so as to be able to spend more time with his family, and less time worrying about getting my holster out his door.
I hope Gary doesn't get upset with me for using him as in example, and this is less to do with him than the system.
I tend to agree with the idea that prices may be somewhat too low in some cases, given the wait times. When the wait hits 6 months or more for fairly standard items (Del Fatti is working on orders from 2005 according to the website), I think the prices aren't what they need to be. Also, when one considers the costs of purchasing a self defense handgun, the ammunition required to be proficient and stay proficient with it, range time, gun safe, any custom work on the handgun (sights, action work) -- custom leather for the self defense gun is still a bargain at this time imho.
What I can't figure out is how custom holster makers, make a living.
When I look at the craftsmanship in some of these holsters, and they are being sold for less than $200.00... I can't see how they could possibly be making any money on them.
I don't know exactly how many hours it takes to make a custom holster, but I'd guess if you include phone calls, billing, packaging etc, it's at least 10 hours???
That's only $20.00 per hour if the material were free.
Somehow you all must have figured a way to make it work, and for that I :congrats:
If interest far exceeds availability, I think it does. I can't remember seeing complaints about the cost of custom leather, just the wait. If I were making holsters at the level of quality and demand we are talking about, I would adjust prices to keep the backlog to a MAX of 6 months, aiming for about 2.
Originally Posted by T. Kanaley
I think the answer is here.
At least that's what they taught us at the Fisher College of Business.
When you think about what designer leather gear goes for (Coach, Louis Vitton, Hermes, Ghurka, Gucci, etc.) I'm amazed at what we can get hand made holsters for.
Having said that, AJ Concealco and UBG are way underpriced & GREAT holsters.
Milt Sparks' products are WICKED great and definitely underpriced, or is it great value? I tell you what - the Versa Max II makes my steel Springfield Champion feel like a Kel-Tec P3at. The BN55 is amazing in what it does to the P7M8. I kiss their belts they're so nice.
I can only afford Mitch Rosen on the used market - another great leather maker.
We are fortunate to have so many great holster makers to choose from!
I'm certain my opinion won't be popular. I'll freely admit I have never seen nor worn one of these reverent holsters.
The holster is part of the tool set. It is not a status symbol and is certainly not something that one flashes to the masses as a Gucci this or a Ghurki that. A holster is not something you show off or use to define your social strata.
For me, there are only two criteria. Is it comfortable and does it perform its function. I don't care if a hidden holster is made of alligator or elephant or a used football. I don't care if the stitching is flawless by a skilled artisan or it is irregular and ragged.
I could never imagine waiting six months, no less two years, for one of these touted custom holsters no matter the cost nor whatever famous name manufactures it.
Let's face it. A holster is two pieces of leather molded to a particular gun, sewn together, with clips attached. Its main goal in life is never to be used.
What's the big deal? Enlighten me!
I've always wondered why shops like Sparks, and some of the one man shops or smaller shops who employ one or two people don't hire more people and increase their business and reduce wait times if they have a constant backlog.
I don't mind paying for a well made holster, but it is really aggravating to buy a new gun, and have to wait six months to carry the damned thing. I don't want to buy a gun and have it sit that long to get a holster to use for it.
Thats the biggest gripe I see in the wait times we are experiencing. New gun, no holster, it sits for 10-24 weeks, why buy the gun to begin with, you can't carry it unless you want to compromise on a hoslter thats commercially made.
If I wanted to go that route, I'd be less inclined to carry something as the holster isn't just about carrying the gun, it's about how it carries and releases it when I want it which none of the commercial holsters satisfy in that regard.
Speak for yourself. I carry openly all the time and I like fancy holsters with exotic skins for the same reason I like fancy boots with exotic skins...I like to show off and I take pleasure in owning good looking stuff. The same could be said for guys who put fancy wheels on their cars, wear fancy watches, on and on.
Originally Posted by SelfDefense
That's true, function is the primary factor, but if you haven't tried the best stuff then you can't compare it to the regular stuff you've been using. If all you've ever driven is a Geo Metro and you're satisfied with how it gets you to work, you may believe a bigger, faster, more comfortable car is unnecessary, but brother you're wrong!
Originally Posted by SelfDefense
Thank you Catalina. As Jack Web once said "just the facts man just the facts". Now Back to the emotion.