In recent times, most United States based leather tanning business has disappeared. This is an industry that has been scattered and moved to other countries where production is cheaper, it is easier and more efficient to run business, and the resources for tanning are more abundant.
Starting an exotic leather tannery is a big undertaking – it requires a lot of experience in sales, engineering, a keen sense of organization as well as strong working relationships with farmers in order to maintain consistent supply of raw materials.
Today, the alligator leather industry is thriving in the United States with tens of thousands of hides harvested each year. Apart from some alligator hide tanning, many of the tanning and finishing jobs are outside of the United States. While bittersweet news in the United States (better prices on skins, but a loss of a local industry), this is good news for developing countries; it is a trade that brings more money to their countries, building economies while producing valuable luxury resource to trade with intricate detail in the tanning process.
Often newcomers to the importing and exporting business do not understand the legality of exotic skins, many are perfectly legal. However, exotics are also regulated very closely, and these first time exotic skin purchasers quickly realize how much process it takes to import skins. While many exotics are perfectly legal, they are regulated by Customs and Conservation organizations.
Businesses across many specializations seek luxury skin – Crocodile, Eel, Stingray, Zebra, Lizard, Ostrich and others for luxury applications. While these owners and staff are experts in their field, they are often newcomers to the business of importing exotic skins. Getting the best pricing and service from an exotic leather tannery requires a cultural understanding, negotiation skill, and often traveling to the tanneries to meet and know who the best tanneries are. Not building relationships with the tannery can make importing time consuming and expensive in the long term.
A good exotic leather broker works with tanneries worldwide to bring the best prices and service to their customer base. They provide importing service for a fee and/or commission, which is typically offset in the cost by arrangements made with the farmers & tanneries for best pricing and access to the highest grade exotic skins. A good broker will also ensure all laws and regulations are followed during the importing process, compliance with CITES, and ensure the order arrives in good timing.
For those interested in importing exotic leather for any reason, it is advisable to source a good exotic leather broker before placing an order. It saves a newcomer valuable time and money and ensuring the legal requirements are all met.
If you require an exotic leather broker, please submit a sales inquiry VIA our Contact Form and be contacted by a broker that can provide materials you need at the best price.