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Quality of this wallet I purchased?

Alozano

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I very recently bought a handmade wallet made from Shell Cordovan leather on the exterior and Buttero leather on the interior. How does the quality look in terms of craftsmanship? I can return it thankfully if it turns out to be low quality, but I wanted to ask because I paid $200 for it, so I want to make sure it's actually high quality and that it wasn't a ripoff or something. Thoughts? (Blacked out parts were me blocking out any personal stuff).

346103042_782868700013960_1930058813244102006_n.jpg


346063591_770714507773485_4501095640066341491_n.jpg


Also, is it normal to have trouble closing the wallet all the way when putting money in the inner sleeves under the card sleeves? Last wallet I had was a trifold, this is my first bifold so I'm not familiar with it.
 
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breakaway01

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Don't take this the wrong way, but TBH I never quite understand posts like this. You bought the wallet -- are you happy with it? If you don't like it, return it. Doesn't really matter what I think. I didn't buy it and I don't have to use it.

Quality is way overrated especially when your price point is at the low(er) end of the market, and it is really hard to judge from photos alone. All I can really see is the stitching. It's probably stitched by machine but what would you expect for $200?

As for the wallet not closing fully, most likely it's just because it's new. Don't overfill it and give it some time to break in.
 

rjc149

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Looks like a swanky wallet to me.

Cordovan is pretty stiff when new and requires more break-in than cow leather, but it resists creasing and lasts longer. That’s what you paid the premium for.
 

Mr Tickle

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Don't take this the wrong way, but TBH I never quite understand posts like this. You bought the wallet -- are you happy with it? If you don't like it, return it. Doesn't really matter what I think. I didn't buy it and I don't have to use it.

Quality is way overrated especially when your price point is at the low(er) end of the market, and it is really hard to judge from photos alone. All I can really see is the stitching. It's probably stitched by machine but what would you expect for $200?

As for the wallet not closing fully, most likely it's just because it's new. Don't overfill it and give it some time to break in.
$200 certainly isn't at the lower end of the market when it comes to wallets. Yes it's certainly not ultra-premium like Hermes or something but you definitely should expect a well-made, long-lasting (i.e "quality") product at that price point. In fact I would go as far as to say that anything much above that you are very much moving into declining-returns territory where you are mainly paying for the name on the label.
You should certainly be able to buy a nice-looking, built-to-last item made from good quality materials for $200.

Lower-end leather wallets cost $25 - $50 and fall apart in a year.
 

breakaway01

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$200 certainly isn't at the lower end of the market when it comes to wallets. Yes it's certainly not ultra-premium like Hermes or something but you definitely should expect a well-made, long-lasting (i.e "quality") product at that price point. In fact I would go as far as to say that anything much above that you are very much moving into declining-returns territory where you are mainly paying for the name on the label.
You should certainly be able to buy a nice-looking, built-to-last item made from good quality materials for $200.

Lower-end leather wallets cost $25 - $50 and fall apart in a year.
$200 is at the lower end when it comes to shell cordovan. Even if we’re talking about leather, you probably won’t find hand stitching at this price point due to labor costs. Whether hand stitching matters to you is another matter, but the OP was asking about “craftsmanship”. I take craftsmanship to mean quality or skill in construction, wouldn’t you?

Also very much disagree about your diminishing returns comment. See Chester Mox for example. I don’t own one, but really beautiful wallets at about 2-3x the price.

Compare this from the OP's wallet

Screenshot 2023-05-19 at 9.27.59 AM.png


to this (Chester Mox)

Screenshot 2023-05-19 at 9.29.55 AM.png


Again, my original point was that at $200, the OP got what he was paying for. I wouldn't have expected more. I don't think that people should spend $400-500 (or even $200) for a wallet, but I disagree that there is no gain in paying more.
 
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rjc149

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Lower-end leather wallets cost $25 - $50 and fall apart in a year.
I have a Herschel wallet I bought for $15 at a Century 21 department store maybe 12 years ago. Still solid and going strong. It has a really nice patina now.

You’re correct in my opinion that someone spending $200+ on a wallet is doing so for the cache, not for its longevity. A $200 wallet does not function as a wallet more effectively than a $20 one.

But someone who is spending $200 on a flap of skin from a dead farm animal that holds pieces of plastic has a right to be concerned with fine details like materials, stitching etc. because that’s what he/she paid for.
 

johng70

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First off - shell is stiffer so that's going to cause some issues with closing it until you break it in and it stretches & creases a bit. Secondly, shell is expensive, so you're paying a premium for the leather alone. The craftsmanship of the stitching is OK. As pointed out, it isn't top notch but it's not bad either. Here's the key with wallets though - how does it end up performing for you. After about 3 months you should know.

For example, in my case - I have gone more minimalist in the last 6-7 years. I carry a front-pocket wallet because I don't wear suits anymore and don't carry in a jacket and I don't want a large back-pocket wallet making marks on my slacks & denim. So I carry more of a moneyclip style (still a few too many cards for me to go true moneyclip. That's just me though. Everyone is different. The key is: how the wallet performs for you. Only you can determine if a wallet of that size/material works for you in function as well as how you appear when your wallet is tucked away on your clothing. Both of which are much more important than whether the stitching is top notch or not.

I would be interested to hear how it ends up working out for you after several months.
 

ValidusLA

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You absolutely can get more quality/function for spending more. Ascribing all cost increases to brand cache is sometimes (often) true when talking about fashion brands, but often does not apply to artisan makers. @breakaway01 mentions Chester Mox, who is, in my opinion, the best example of this.
1684523716454.png


Chester Mox made me the above to my spec. Cards slots are spaced out in a way so as to not double up thickness on the passport. This coat wallet is the same dimensions as an Ettinger coat wallet, but allow me to carry passport w/ cards in my interior jacket pocket without bulking too much.

I spent much more than $200 on this wallet. Chester Mox has no "cache" to speak out except for maybe on this forum (and I doubt most on the forum are even really aware of them). They are however extremely well made, by hand, in Los Angeles.
 
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NateLeather

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200 at the top end for a shell cordovan (best leather for wallets -- period). Looks handstitched (90% sure). Yes, take a bit to break in - 1 year maybe even. But, take care of it and you will be happy in 10 years still.
 

maxalex

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You absolutely can get more quality/function for spending more. Ascribing all cost increases to brand cache is sometimes (often) true when talking about fashion brands, but often does not apply to artisan makers. @breakaway01 mentions Chester Mox, who is, in my opinion, the best example of this.
View attachment 1960681

Chester Mox made me the above to my spec. Cards slots are spaced out in a way so as to not double up thickness on the passport. This coat wallet is the same dimensions as an Ettinger coat wallet, but allow me to carry passport w/ cards in my interior jacket pocket without bulking too much.

I spent much more than $200 on this wallet. Chester Mox has no "cache" to speak out except for maybe on this forum (and I doubt most on the forum are even really aware of them). They are however extremely well made, by hand, in Los Angeles.
Love Chester Mox (I have a small front pocket card holder that seems like it will outlast me) but I’ve never understood the appeal of a passport/billfold thing. You only need your passport when you’re actually traveling internationally—and then only on travel day. In most countries it’s best not to walk around with your passport (and risk getting it stolen or lost) so long as you have a scan of it on your phone.

Exception is when driving or riding trains in country, especially if you stand out from locals. (I have a Chinese American friend here in Italy who gets a passport check on every train; and as a white guy I get checked regularly in sub-Saharan Africa.)

I did have someone on Etsy make me a leather passport holder that includes my yellow card (up to date vaccines needed to enter some tropical countries), my International Driving Permit and my Italian residency permit and paperwork. Those are all large format travel docs than work well together.
 

Nebbiolo

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200 at the top end for a shell cordovan (best leather for wallets -- period). Looks handstitched (90% sure). Yes, take a bit to break in - 1 year maybe even. But, take care of it and you will be happy in 10 years still.
It's obviously not handstitched, come on...

I don't know much about cordovan made up as small leather goods like that, but I find it odd that the edges are left bare (no edge paint). That turquoise lining hardly inspires confidence either.
 

NateLeather

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It's obviously not handstitched, come on...

I don't know much about cordovan made up as small leather goods like that, but I find it odd that the edges are left bare (no edge paint). That turquoise lining hardly inspires confidence either.
Sure, no question on stitching, etc. Was just speaking generally.
 

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