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Saddleback v. M&W Traveler - Page 8

post #106 of 176
Okay, so Jonathan mentioned to me that he opened up a can here on Style Forum and I thought, "Gee, i haven't been on that site since they kicked me off for shilling a couple of years ago". It's good to be back. Actually, I didn't know what the word shilling meant until Jonathan asked me if I had ever "shilled" on SF. So, I told him what I did and that they kicked me off and he told me that that was called shilling. So, yes, I shilled. I am guilty of that and I was wrong to do it. I suppose that would be a low point for me in my marketing. I'll explain more about why I shilled, about a half mile down this post. The low point in my customer service was back in early 2005 when a lady bought a bag on eBay and then later emailed me asking if she could return it. I told her no. I had already sent the money back down to Mexico to get a couple more bags made and so I didn't have it. I still feel bad about that one. I've since learned that that is another TERRIBLE business practice. Honestly, I think about it often. It would be cool if she were to ever get ahold of me because someone here knew her. That to say, I am learning about how to do business as I go, and I've learned a lot, but have a whole lot more to learn. As for the shilling, here's what happened. I hadn't even been married for a year yet, and my wife's dad needed work. He was living off of social security and was 72 years old and in horrible health and he needed money and needed to be needed. He was a really really nice and likable guy who was unhireable. Well, I had been planning on coming out with this small pouch for some time, but just hadn't gotten around to it. That's when the idea came up to come out with it and give that responsibility to my father-in-law. I figured that he would be responsible to list the eBay auctions, reply to customers, send out invoices and make a trip to the post office every few days to send them out. So, that's what I did. I got the pouches going and that brought joy to his life and to mine (my wife loved it that her dad had purpose, was needed and was helping out). And, he did a really good job at it too. So, things were going pretty slowly with it since no one was talking about it. A giant percentage of our sales come from folks who own some of our leather things and then tell their friends about it. Since no one owned them, no one was talking about them. That's when I got an email from someone who had bought one and said, "Man, if only people knew about these things, you'd sell the heck out of them" (that isn't an exact quote, but pretty close). That got me to thinking, "Hmmm... if only people started talking about these things". I looked up and to the left while rubbing my goatee and that's when the lightbulb came on. I got the bright idea of going onto a style type forum to get people talking about them and checking them out. It didn't seem like it was an evil thing to do like plucking live kittens or shoplifting from Goodwill or calling someone who used to be in the Marines, an ex-Marine (I've since learned that they're called Former Marines). Please keep in mind that I'm just a regular guy with zero training in marketing or business or sales. I just wanted to get people talking about them and this seemed like an innocent way of doing that. Otherwise, do you think I would have disclosed who I was in my profile so that they could give me the boot for shilling? If I thought it were wrong and didn't mind, I would have easily lied about all my info, right? Well, upon being kicked off of Style Forum, I got to thinking about it and came to the realization that I was being deceptive and so never did that again. I know I don't need to be deceptive and shady to be successful. There's something wrong in one's head if they think for a second that God needs them to be deceptive to help Him grow their business. So, that's the story of my shilling experience on Style Forum. I'm not excusing it, but rather just explaining that I made a mistake and was wrong. Hope to hear your thoughts. Even you AB. By the way AB, I love that you share your true thoughts on your posts. If you're ever in San Antonio, let's smoke a cigar. I like true thought people. In fact, so much so that I married one, which has its benefits and its drawbacks. BTW, I know this is off the subject, but my brother Jonathan is a really cool guy. He's not one to toot his own horn, so let me. He lived with me selling real estate around a golf course near Mexico City when he was 18 years old, was meritoriously promoted in Japan for being the best U.S. soldier in Japan, made Sargeant before 2 years, was flown around the world to guard U.S. Heads of State in South America and Europe, regularly made presentations to Ambassadors and high ranking officers, speaks spanish, plays guitar better than me and is an all around honest and transparent guy with wisdom beyond his years. Did I mention that the whole family would love him and completely accept him even if he were (he's not) an irritating drug addict loser in prison for beating up little girls at bus stops? He's a great guy.
post #107 of 176
Ok, thats great and all and thanks for coming clean but are you going to comment on quality of your bags that have come into question, especially the quality of the interior "pigskin"? Take a look at the pics of my bag, is that what the pigskin is supposed to look like? I dont know if it was you or your brother who suggested I speak to your customer service about my bag, but I already spoke to somebody when I bought the bag a year ago. They refused to acknowledge that the bag you advertised was not what I recieved. They went on to say the bag "beautiful" and that it was indeed sued lining the interior, but it was now "pigskin suede." This is completely deceptive. I would rather speak with you, if you would rather speak about this privately you can PM me.
post #108 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddleback Leather View Post
Hi there, this is Dave, Jonathan's brother. I"ll reply to the other stuff in a later post, but just wanted to tell you that I started selling bags on eBay and am now slowly getting off of it. I have bags listed up there that are firsts and the seconds are on Dave's Deals on the website. We sold a heck of a lot of seconds on eBay though. So, if you bought off of eBay recently and it didn't say "Second", then it was a first. Okay, on to more posts.

Than you for elleviating my concerns. I didn't think that would be the case with all the positive feedback you've recieved on Ebay. I'm excited!

Thank you,

Jack
post #109 of 176
this thread gets awesomer and awesomer.
post #110 of 176
What's hilarious is that a moderator can easily, within a span of a few minutes, verify every IP address and such in this thread and see who is posting from within the same office/from the same computer connection. That's what they do on most normal forums where multiple identities aren't legal.
post #111 of 176
Ok, I just got off the phone with Susan at saddleback, I explained to her the situation about the website saying the bags were lined with suede but I got one lined with pigskin (I got my bag about a year ago, the website NOW says the bags come with pigskin). I told her about the pigskin starting to pull away and starting to wrinkle. She said they would replace the bag at no cost. I also asked about getting sued interior this time instead of pigskin, she said that would be fine but it would take 4-6 weeks because it is special order. I have to say, they really came through and are going out of their way to make this right. I will be shipping the bag back today and when I get the new bag I will make sure to write up a review.
post #112 of 176
Hey - this is Douglas's brother. Fuck you guys.
post #113 of 176
Okay, so this is Dave from Saddleback again. I'd like to help folks understand the pigskin lining. I was surprised to hear somebody accuse Saddleback of falsely advertising that we use pigskin, but that it's truly synthetic. This is the first time I've heard somebody suggest that. Saddleback uses 100% pigskin for lining unless someone requests suede. Here's how you can tell. We don't paint the edges of the cut leather and pigskin on the bags and so the layers of skin are clearly seen. Some companies paint the edges of the leather to conceal the cheap partially tanned leather and the synthetic materials. Pigskin is fiberous and uneven on the edges and synthetic is either solid or very consistent. Fake skins are perfect and have a very even pattern on them from the hot metal plate that stamps that pattern into them. Pigskin is usually full of imperfections. We buy female skins because they're so much larger than the males and therefore more scarred up. The males are very aggressive when mating and mounting and they scrape up the skin of the female with their hooves. On a lot of our bags, since we use such large pieces of pigskin, you can see the scars. A fake emerald or a factory made rug or a number of other replicated antiques are easy to detect because they're perfect. Imperfect means that it is made by man because man isn't perfect or else that it's made by nature. A real emerald has specks in it and handmade rugs are uneven and have flaws. They go for a much higher premium. If you think you're getting a great deal on a perfect emerald or a flawless handmade rug, then the saying, "A fool and his money are soon parted" applies to you. Personally, I like the saying, "A fool and his money is fun to be with" but it doesn't apply here. I just like it. Imagine someone builds a home sparing no expense with the architecture and German plumbing fixtures and imported tile from Italy and only the most exotic hardwood for the crown molding. Then, the contractor lays cheap synthetic laminate flooring in the entryway and hallways for everyone to laugh at? That would make as much sense as Saddleback using synthetic materials to line the bags. Plus, it wouldn't be worth it to be sued for false advertising and have tons of returns. The kind of people who are dishonest and unethical and who don't use best practices are the ones who go out of business and then wonder what went wrong. Just doesn't seem like a wise business decision. Anyways, hope that helps with some of the questions in your mind. Warm regards, Dave Presidente Saddleback Leather Co. Most shoe makers use pigskin because of it's high tensile strength. It isn't pretty, but it's the best. If you want a bag that has an adventurous world map in it on some type of nylon lining, then my bags aren't for you. They're built for longevity and not for aesthetics. Suede is far tougher and better looking than any synthetic lining you can buy (in my opinion). I used suede for a long time, but I learned that some suede bleeds when it gets soaked. Even though that rarely happens, I don't want that. Pigskin isn't pretty, but it's tough and VERY elastic. It's the second toughest skin in the world, second to kangaroo.
post #114 of 176
I hate to redirect this thread back to the bags, but......

I have the Saddleback bag in Black and I love it.

The quality is great.
post #115 of 176
Hi there, Dave again. I apologize for the response that you got a year ago. It surprises me, but maybe they were just trying to give one of those positive "your glass is half full" answers (Hey, the answer I just gave was one of those too). They shouldn't have. If you would like to trade it out for a suede lined one, no problem. Just refer to this post and they'll take care of you even though it's a year later. Sorry about that. So, the reason you got a pigskin lined bag instead of a suede lined bag is because I had just made the switch around that time and still had the suede in stock. I was thinking, "How do I do this since I have some of both. It was tough and so I started listing that they were lined with either pigskin or suede. Then, to make it even worse, I would run out of one size and color of briefcase that had suede in it so we would make new ones with pigskin, but then I would have 5 or 6 of another color or size with suede. It boggled my mind trying to think about it. Then, if I posted that they were lined with pigskin and someone got a suede one, now and then someone would get upset about it too. Then, to make it even worse, I had the lining listed in multiple places on each of the sites Amazon and eBay and on the website. It was really tricky finding all of the places I had it listed. Here's the deal though. Suede is way better than almost any material I could line a bag with. My own briefcase is one of the old ones and it's lined with suede, and I don't trade it out for a pigskin one because a crocodile in Australia bit down on it and left some cool marks. I only switched everything to pigskin because it's even better than suede. It weighs less and has a stronger tensile strength rating. It's far more elastic and also, in the case that a suede bag were to get totally soaked, the color would run all over the place. Not so on pigskin. It's tougher, lighter weight and all around a better material. We still sell suede upon request and usually sell those to folks who are Jewish or Muslim and can't be in contact with anything form of pig for religious reasons. From what everyone else says, it's even a better bag now. So, you got an upgraded bag. Prices of pigskin and suede are pretty much the same, so the only reason I switched this, or ever switch anything for that matter, is because it's an improvement. I really can't imagine switching again unless I were to switch to kangaroo, but then I would have to really raise the prices and it would be like killing a fly with a shotgun. I really appreciate your patience with our unprofessionalism. Glad to have you on the inside with the rest of us. It's cold out there. Warm regards, Dave Munson Presidente Saddleback Leather Co.
post #116 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
Ok, I just got off the phone with Susan at saddleback, I explained to her the situation about the website saying the bags were lined with suede but I got one lined with pigskin (I got my bag about a year ago, the website NOW says the bags come with pigskin). I told her about the pigskin starting to pull away and starting to wrinkle. She said they would replace the bag at no cost. I also asked about getting sued interior this time instead of pigskin, she said that would be fine but it would take 4-6 weeks because it is special order. I have to say, they really came through and are going out of their way to make this right. I will be shipping the bag back today and when I get the new bag I will make sure to write up a review.

Now that is excellent service. I am glad to hear that saddleback did the right thing and stood bytheir product.
post #117 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
Ok, I just got off the phone with Susan at saddleback, I explained to her the situation about the website saying the bags were lined with suede but I got one lined with pigskin (I got my bag about a year ago, the website NOW says the bags come with pigskin). I told her about the pigskin starting to pull away and starting to wrinkle. She said they would replace the bag at no cost. I also asked about getting sued interior this time instead of pigskin, she said that would be fine but it would take 4-6 weeks because it is special order. I have to say, they really came through and are going out of their way to make this right. I will be shipping the bag back today and when I get the new bag I will make sure to write up a review.

Time for an IP check. Mods?
post #118 of 176
BTW, the glue in there is not to keep the bag together, but only to keep it from slipping and stretching out of place while sewing it. Thick leather tends to get pulled by the machine two different directions. They do it when sewing pretty much anything of thick leather. You'll be hard pressed to find glue like that in mass produced bags because they have very expensive machines that either eliminate the stretching or that spray a fine fine fine amount of glue on those edges to be sewn. In making Saddleback Leather bags, people actually dip their fingers into the glue bowl and smear it on the edges and sometimes too much. That's one of the difference between hand made and computer automated. Warm regards, Dave Munson Presidente Saddleback Leather Co.
post #119 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddleback Leather View Post

I really appreciate your patience with our unprofessionalism. Glad to have you on the inside with the rest of us. It's cold out there.

Warm regards,
Dave Munson
Presidente
Saddleback Leather Co.

Dave, thanks for participating here after my PM. It is good to know that you stand by your bags no matter what.
post #120 of 176
That's pretty cool.
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