Author Topic: Leather or Sewing Business, can't compete against cheap goods?  (Read 607 times)

iwanttobelive2

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A few years ago I picked up a sewing machine to hem my pants, jeans, fix clothes, tailor dress shirts, ect. Watched a bunch of youtube videos, I was able to hem pants and not have it look like a total disaster.

I started watching leather videos and decided that looked fun. I like a minimalist wallet and that was next on the list.

Anyway I tried thinking about a way I could make stuff to sell on Amazon, I really don't want to deal with shipping/customer service stuff I'd rather just make the product, amazon would do that rest. But I checked amazon and I'm seeing stuff as low a $5 for similar wallets I could make, which wouldn't even cover the cost of my materials. Economies of scales in play here, but, I can't compete.

Tried thinking about what I could make with the sewing machine and every idea comes up short or someone else is doing it or I am not sure there is a market for it.

But I thought sewing and leather work seem pretty easy.

I looked into some of the smaller leather makers online, that make bags/cases ect. I was suprised to find out that a lot of those small/medium guys even outsource their leather work to Mexico.


The hardest part for me is coming up with a product that has a demand that doesn't have someone else selling it all ready for less than I can make it.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Leather or Sewing Business, can't compete against cheap goods?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2018, 12:39:33 PM »
You'd have to deal with shipping, but Etsy is a better place for you.

Or, start making youtube videos with tutorials about how to make them. Link to a shop with patterns (for those who want to make them), and wallets (for those who want your work).  With youtube, a lot of content is very important, so include all small variations as separate videos.

craiglepaige

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Re: Leather or Sewing Business, can't compete against cheap goods?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2018, 12:41:54 PM »
I would go the youtube route also and post all steps needed to complete each item. The more time/effort/dedication, the more you can potentially charge once you find a niche market.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 12:56:17 PM by craiglepaige »

Smokystache

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Re: Leather or Sewing Business, can't compete against cheap goods?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2018, 12:46:40 PM »
I suspect this is a situation where you want to find a specific niche where you could charge a premium for something that is too small for others to deal with:

- I see Harley patches on leather clothing all the time. Can you specialize in something like that? It would make marketing a lot easier too.
- specialize in antique or historical leather items for re-enacters or cosplay?  Research something like American Revolutionary items and make them historically accurate. Or leather gear like they would have worn in medieval times.

I'm not sure the specifics, but finding a niche where people will pay for quality instead of competing against a huge international machine that can pay someone <$1/hour to crank out thousands of the same piece of junk.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Leather or Sewing Business, can't compete against cheap goods?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 05:50:08 PM »
You'd have to deal with shipping, but Etsy is a better place for you.

I agree that Etsy is a better place for the OP but there are ways to outsource the shipping/customer service piece. OP, google around for Etsy 3PL companies. There is not a whole industry built specifically around Etsy like there is with Ebay and Amazon but many of the principles are similar.