So you don't want to read the entire website to find the answer to your simple question?
Where can I see one of the bags in person?
I don't have any of the items in stores and we're not big fans of folks coming to our home in San Antonio because of the weirdo factor. My sister, Patricia and her husband (my Chess and Scrabble nemesis/student), send out the leather from their place near Ft. Worth, Texas, but again, because of the weirdo factor they're not set up to show either. If it helps, everyone tells me that they look better in person.
Can I be a distributor or sell your leather in my store?
Back when I was really dumb, my friend Steve and I hiked up Mt. Hood, starting at the treeline, from 2:00 a.m. 'til 8:00 a.m. in the snow with big fat inner tubes over our shoulders. We were going so fast down the super steep groomed corduroy-like icy glacier that when we finally got stopped, Steve smelled smoke because of the rubber that had melted off the back of his boots trying to slow down. Luckily there were no trees to hit. Anyhow, the half hour of pure joy flying down the mountain was well worth the lack of sleep, the icy cold fingers, the burning leg muscles the cold snow and ice down my pants and the risk of getting hurt.
I evaluate most things in life by whether the level of joy that comes outweights the cost. There isn't enough joy in the extra money made by selling wholesale to stores to make it worth the trade of time with my hot wife and my kids. And, if I were driven by money, I probably would, but I'm not. It's about my job being fun and the headache of stores and all that doesn't sound like fun.
All that to say...No. Plus, I don't want everyone in the world owning my bag. Exclusivity is almost as attractive as my wife Suzette. I do want to be a household name, but only in a few homes.
Can celebrities have free bags?
Hi Dave, I'm So and So's manager and they asked me to ask you if they could have a free bag. Can they? Please tell your owner to check the cushions of their couch for the extra money so they can do what the rest of the athletes, actors, musicians and politicians do and just buy one. No special treatment here. People are people.
How Do I Return Something I Bought?
If you are not satisfied with your leather for any reason, send it back. Just get in touch with Customer Service via phone (210-858-5210), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or live chat on our website and we’ll get you taken care of.
Stuff that can’t be refunded:
- Shipping costs
- Customs fees, import duties and taxes incurred from your government (international orders)
- Items that have been monogrammed, tattooed or altered in any way
How Do I Return a Gift?
If you need to return a gift, get in touch with Customer Service via phone (210-858-5210), email (email@example.com), or live chat on our website. We’ll take it from there. Returned gifts are refunded by store credit.
I Need To Do a Fast Exchange. Can You Help?
We sure can. All you need to do is go ahead and purchase the new item you want so we can get it out the door for you. Then send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you set up to return your original item. Return the piece at your convenience. Once we get the piece back, we'll process your refund.
Weight and Dimensions
Are your bags heavy?
Thin leather just doesn't last or age well. If you want something that ages well and lasts, you'll need to invest in something with heavier leather. Some have complained that the briefcase is too heavy for them. Normally
smaller framed women tell me this. The suitcases aren't too heavy for anyone as long as you have a wheeled carrier like I do. Even if I had luggage with wheels, I would use it every time I traveled for carrying my carry-ons from the baggage check to the airplane. There is a number of them out there to choose from. I'm currently using one from Samsonite.
Will my laptop fit?
A laptop's advertised size is defined by the diagonal width of the screen. Most 17" laptops have a 15.4" wide body. So measure your laptop from side-to-side to see how wide it is and then choose your bag accordingly. Bag dimensions can be found under the Specifics tab of every product page.
How can I see the different colors of each item?
To see different product options (color or size) on each product page, select options from ALL white drop-down menus towards the top of the page
Will the color rub off on my clothes?
Is the color in the picture the exact color I get when I order?
Usually, but not always. The leather in the pictures has been used, burned by the sun, oiled or is wet. Some are just really dirty. Expect a possible 20% lighter or darker variation from the pictures.
How can I convince my honey that I need this?
So you want it. Now comes the hard part of convincing your honey that you need it. Maybe if you throw some of these phrases into the conversation, it'll help.
Her to Him
- You know, I feel frisky just thinking about that leather piece.
- I would just feel so sexy carrying this on my body.
- I don't think I'd need to goshopping for another thing all year after buying something like this.
Him to Her
- Looking at this case just makes me want to HOLD you.
- I don't know why, but owning a hope and a dream like this, makes me want to just sit down on the couch and OPEN UP about the hopes and dreams we share.
- Think of all of the extra TIME we'd spend TOGETHER on our long walks holding hands and showing off the leather.
Me to Both of You
You'll be more popular. You'll have more friends. What's wrong, you chicken? I might invite you to my birthday party. If you don't buy this case, then next year, when you're scouring the internet again looking for your next garage sale piece because yours is already torn or broken, your mind will drift back to my words. You'll slowly shake your head and say, "Man, was that guy right or what". And then you'll slightly squint, press your lips together and give a few small nods. I tell you what, buy it now or kick yourself later.
I've made this for you to break in. It'll take a few months until it really starts to look cool, and you'll have to use it a lot. In fact, the more you use it, the better it looks (and it already looks great). It'll eventually form to the places on your body it touches regularly. The edges will soften and round some to become even more chic and classic looking than it already does.
Which color should I get?
Pick the one that fits who you are. I've observed what the bag owners tend to be like based on the color they have chosen over the years. The category below that fits you best is probably the color you'll enjoy most.
You'll be amazed at how it helps you decide. Remember, your first inclination is usually the correct one.
Tobacco Light Brown (Sanguine)
- Easy going
- Laid back and casual
- Likes old Land Cruisers
- Forgives quickly
- Creative (enjoys writing)
- Loves big dogs
- Never met a stranger
- Low maintenance
- Lots of random thoughts
- Loves the outdoors
- Only wears clothes because you have to
Carbon Black (Phlegmatic or Choleric)
- You look good in a thick black leather jacket
- Rides a cruiser type motorcycle
- Wear thick black framed glasses
- Drives a Volvo or Saab
- They know your name at the coffee shop
- Sci-Fi is your favorite genre
- Are very interested in Oriental culture
- Prefer cats over dogs
- Loves modern contemporary style square furniture
Chestnut Reddish Brown (Choleric or Melancholy)
- Highly educated
- Belongs in a Mercedes Benz or Jaguar
- Classier than most
- Has excellent taste in dressing and decorating
- Great sense of humor
- Smokes a pipe instead of a cigarette
- Appreciates the finer things
Dark Coffee Brown (Phlegmatic or Choleric or Melancholy)
- Loves the outdoors
- Is the best friend of many people
- Reads a lot of books
- Loves big dogs
- Loves adventure
If you still aren't sure, then just buy all four colors.
Shipping and Payment
How long to get it once I place my order?
We have a great shipping team and most orders are processed within 24 hours, and some will ship same day. How long it takes from there depends on which method of shipping you chose and how close you are to Texas. In Texas, it's usually next day. New York, Miami and Seattle are usually 4 - 5 days using basic UPS ground shipping. Outside the United States is usually 4 - 6 business days with hopefully no more than 2 -3 days in customs. We ship by UPS Worldwide Expedited for most international locations.
Military Addresses APO/FPO
APO (Army Post Office) and FPO (Fleet Post Office) are military designated addresses that allow mail to be delivered to overseas military locations. APO addresses are associated with US Army or Air Force installations. FPO addresses are associated with US Navy installations and ships in the United States.
When completing your Shipping Address during checkout, please make note of the following.
The City must be entered as either "APO" or "FPO"
The State must be selected as either "AA" "AE" or "AP"(AE for Armed Forces Europe, AA for Armed Forces Americas, or AP for Armed Forces Pacific).
You must enter your Zip code.
You MUST choose U.S. for country code under shipping options; otherwise shipping fees will be calculated incorrectly.
Can I change my order?
We have a great shipping team and most orders are processed within 24 hours, and in some cases same day. You can contact our Customer Service team and they can inform you on the status of your order. If your order has already been processed you may return your order if it does not meet your expectations. Please refer to our Return Policy for specific information.
Do you insure the leather pieces you ship?
Yes we insure most pieces.
IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE THE USA AND CANADA, TAKE NOTE: If you are purchasing a single wallet or other similarly sized item. Please contact customer service for a cheaper shipping rate.
Do I have to sign for it?
UPS doesn't require a signature and USPS does. If you ask us when you buy, we can require a signature. You can also call or email the carrier and give them specific instructions e.g. put it on the back porch, leave it with the neighbor etc.
Can I pay for this via check, money order or bank draft?
I don't take money orders or check payments, but you could just buy yourself a credit card gift card. They sell them at most grocery stores or other retail chains. Just remember to follow the directions on the packaging to activate it before you shop online with it. Works just like a credit card, but it's not linked to your bank accounts.
Which leather care products do you recommend?
We use Chamberlain's Leather Milk on every piece that leaves our place because we know it is all natural and excellent for the leather. We also sell it under the Wallets and Accessories page on the Saddleback Leather website. If you'd like to do your own research, here are some links of some other conditioners that I have heard are pretty darn good too.
Can I use Chamberlain Leather Milk on all types of leather?
Technically, no...but, this would be the case for all leather care products. Because leather varies so much, due to it's origin and it's processing, you do have to be mindful of certain exceptions to the general rule of practice. For example, exotic leathers (alligator, shark, komodo dragon, cat, etc.) may require unique treatment. Also, suede-type leathers require special handling.
Finally, if you purchase a 'specialty item'...say, a sofa made from special hides, from special exotic places, then by all means comply with the special instructions provided. For all practical purposes, you can use our Chamberlain's Leather Milk products on just about anything! Because our products use only natural, gentle oils and conditioners they are extremely versatile. Always test a product on a small area of your leather if you have any doubts...or, contact us for advice.
How often should I clean and condition my leather?
The first part of this question is easy... you clean your leather when it gets dirty. More specifically, it has to do with what your leather is being exposed to, and how often; for example, if you have a photography gear bag, or briefcase, that sees a lot of action (dust storms, sweaty subways, congressional hearings); or, if you spill stuff on it... then, obviously you can clean it with Chamberlain's Leather Milk. Otherwise, a formal cleaning is not something you need to do very often. Most leather items (not specialty items referred to above) can get by with a simple wipe-off , using a soft, slightly dampened cloth.
If you do use a leather cleaner, be sure that you follow up with a conditioner. This ensures that the leather's needed oils are replenished. Conditioning your leather is also an individual matter. Two general rules first: don't over-condition, and don't under-condition. Most quality leather items will be adequately 'conditioned' when you purchase them; then, depending on the way the item is used and what it is exposed to, it may need some re-conditioning. If you use a cleaner on your leather, then most likely a conditioning treatment is needed; if your leather appears dried-out, stiff and dull, and basically lacks that natural suppleness and vitality of rich leather... then, it probably needs conditioning. A word of caution: if you over-condition your leather, especially with a heavy type of conditioner, you will clog the leather fibers, diminish breathe-ability, and trap dirt and debris deep within.
The great thing about Chamberlain's Leather Milk is that these products are water based and do not use 'heavy' conditioning agents. Because of this, you can use this product more frequently, both to condition and to refresh the leather. It will accomplish a light cleaning, plus enrich the leather fibers. This is particularly useful for use on items that are used alot and looked at alot...like leather coats, briefcases and purses, sofas, and auto interiors.
Will your products darken or alter the color of my leather?
The general answer is NO...at least, not in any significant manner. There are numerous types of leather out there, and many variables; so, our answer would be..."This depends upon which of our products you use, and what type of leather you are using it on." In general, most of the leather you find on furniture, automobile interiors, luggage, and other high traffic surfaces has some amount of protective coating, or finish. Sometimes referred to as Top Coated leather, this is leather that is less absorbent that 'raw leather' or knapp styles (e.g., Aniline, Suede, Nubuck); generally speaking, Top Coated leathers do not have problems with leather conditioners...especially if it is Chamberlain's Leather Milk. However, if your leather is a 'raw leather' style...and, especially if it is light colored, some darkening could occur; often this is only a slight change in shade, and even this will typically return to normal after a brief drying time. To alleviate any fears you may have, test the product on some small, obscure area!
Is Leather Milk a Dairy product?
In the leather care business, as in any business, you will find products all along the quality continuum, from very poor to very good. The truly 'good' leather care products in today's marketplace may vary somewhat in the ingredients they use (e.g., conditioning or cleaning formulas) but, they will all keep to certain high standards that have been used and tested for generations. Chamberlain's Leather Milk is part of this grand tradition; and, we'd like to think, at the head of the class!
What exactly is Chamberlain's Leather Milk?
You may also want to ask 'what is the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken?' or 'what is the date for the Second Coming of Christ?' These are the kinds of questions that deal with highly classified materials, and, understandably, require very high security clearances...some, Very High. This much we can tell you: Chamberlain's Leather Milk is the Brand name for a line of leather care products that include cleaners, conditioners, and protectants; all of which are made of entirely natural substances. For example, the best conditioners on the market today use a combination of plant and animal oils, usually in some type of water-based emulsion. There are numerous oils used: lanolin, banana oil, aloe, nut oil, whale oil, coconut oil, beeswax, and on and on! The point is, leather conditioners are designed to replace the oils the leather item has lost, and thus restore suppleness, vitality, and strength to the leather. This is not to say that all oils are of equal value for the treatment of your quality leather. If you have a piece of dried-out leather, just about any oil product will result in a softened, oiled condition; this doesn't mean that the oil product is good for your leather! Some oils permeate the leather fibers and bond and revitalize, while others may damage the fibers, weaken the stitching, and transfer oils and dyes onto your clothing! Don't use Quaker State 30W on your briefcase; and, Baby Oil is basically mineral oil (a petroleum product); and, Neatsfoot isn't Neatsfoot anymore...who knows what's in it?
So, don't be overly impressed when someone claims that their product contains the 'ultimate' leather oil; or, they reference an arcane sounding recipe that is known only to a handful of the Initiated (like peacock oil, frog liver, and water from the Ganges). The real key for developing a great leather care recipe has to do, not only with the right choice of oils and conditioning agents; but, also about how to construct and balance these substances properly. Chamberlain's Leather Milk possesses these good qualities! Our products have been tested on literally thousands of leather items, and in some cases modified to get even better results. The feedback we get, from inside and outside the industry, is consistently positive and enthusiastic.
"Well, that is a wonderful compliment...thank you! We believe that Chamberlain's Leather Milk is better than most, and as good as the best; and, secretly, we believe that we are way ahead of the competition. Nevertheless, we try to maintain a "humble posture."
How do I darken or lighten my leather?
DO NOT USE DYES OR STAINS. Use only oils. Mink oil darkens leather and so do a number of other oils you can find at a feed store or leather supply shop online. I'd recommend putting the oil on a small inconspicuous part of the leather first so that if you don't like it after it's dried, then you can try something else. Sun darkens cowhide like it does human hide it just takes a little longer. You can only get it lighter by bending or scratching it.
Will water hurt it? Saltwater?
Our leather laughs at water. The leather is tanned with oil and therefore repels water after a few hours or even a few minutes. The tobacco and black leathers are 100% waterproof like quality hiking boot leather is. Your leather will be fine if it gets rained on and there won't be spots afterwards.
If you fall in the ocean with it, then soak it in freshwater for 24 hours. Change the water about 12 hours into it. That's what I did when I took my bag shark diving with me for pictures. I now use it as my diaper bag. If you only get a little salt on it, then clean it off with water and then oil it. The rivets corrode though.
Will the color fade?
Cheap leathers fade, black to grey, red to pink etc. Our leather is not cheap. It won't fade but will usually darken a little in the sun.
How do I get scratches out of the leather?
Elbow grease is the best for scratches. Rubbing the heck out of it with a rag and conditioner or oil should do it. Personally, I like scratches. They tell stories and make people wonder.
How can I get ink off of my leather?
Well, you're pretty much screwed. One person said that hairspray worked to get their ink out, but there's something cooler you can do. Take it to a tattoo artist and have him make a sun or cross or something like that with it. It'll look cool and you'll have a good story too.
Do you do custom work?
Let me think about it for a sec........ Nope. But, you can email me your idea, because I may have already thought of it and it might be just about ready to put on the website for sale.
Will you burn my name or initials or design on it?
No, I'm afraid of fire. Actually, it's a great idea to have it done somewhere. No one will want to steal your bag as much and it will look even cooler.
Can you make minor changes to my bag?
No. It sounds really easy to have one made without d-rings or with an extra pocket, but it really is a whole lot of work. Please believe me.
Will you explain the contest?
The contest is for the coolest, most creative, unique, hardest to get or in an exotic place on Earth. If you can be the first to get a picture with one of the famous comedians Steve Martin or Chevy Chase or Jackie Chan, Joe Montana, Henry Winkler or Sting standing on your leather piece or a pic of a leather piece in the country of Irkutsk, Russia, on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro or at the North Pole, then you automatically win $500 credit on the website. It is also important that it be verifiable that it is in those places. For the rest of the pictures, there will be one winner on June 21st (my birthday, first day of summer and longest day of the year) and one winner on Dec. 7th (Pearl Harbor anniversary). The winners will get a $500 gift certificate good for any leather pieces on the Saddleback Leather website.
There are usually so many cool pics that I can hardly decide who wins, so I give out prizes to runners up too. There will also be a $100 credit for the best picture of a child with the leather and another $100 for the best picture of a pet with the leather. Even if you don't make it to the top of some cool mountain or never even leave your state, I really want to see your picture. It's just what Saddleback Family members do. One of the past winners was the person's bag next to a fireplace. It was cool.
How to Enter
Submit your photos to email@example.com with "photo contest" in the subject line. This is the only way to enter. Posting your photos on our Facebook page will not get them entered in the contest.
Any ideas for pictures?
If you work at a bank, then maybe get a picture with your bag with $1,000,000 cash or that much in your suitcase. If you live in London, maybe a picture of it being run over by a double-decker bus or with Big Ben. If you know someone famous, take a picture with them with it. If you live in the country, leave it out in the field with deer feed laying around it overnight and then in the morning with your telephoto lens, get a picture of it with deer all around it. If you're a surgeon, take a picture of you performing a surgery on it with nurses all around. Be creative. With your pet, a cool bridge, in front of a nice door, etc.
Why don't you make the bags with brass hardware?
We do use brass for a lot of the hardware depending on where it is and what its function is. Just because it is brass, doesn't mean that it's the best for every application. Which is the better metal to make a door knob out of? Iron or Bronze? Is nickel plated metal not strong enough to be a buckle? I see the hardware as bag jewelry. It accents the bag and draws attention to it instead of blending in. Imagine a woman wearing a brown dress with brown jewelry. She wouldn't look nearly as beautiful as if she had highly contrasting silver jewelry.
Can the shoulder strap be adjusted for my size?
Yes, the shoulder strap for the briefcase, messenger bag and duffel bag adjusts from 59" to 36". I've put in extra holes in the shoulder strap. You can also take the strap to a shoe repair person and have them take out the rivet that holds the clip on, cut the appropriate amount of leather off and rivet the clip on again. I make the strap long enough for anyone to wear and easy to tailored for a custom fit. They do the same with quality suits.
The cool medallion hanging on your bags, where can I get one?
Try tying on a memorable piece of something that has a story behind it like a shell necklace from a vacation or a keychain from your alma mater. That's what I do on my bags on trips etc.
If you really want one of those old 5 peso coins then catch a plane to Mexico City. Get off the plane and go to the western most bus station "Observatorio" via "El Metro" (the subway). Catch a bus to Toluca and then get on a bus headed for Ixtapan de la Sal. When you get off the bus, catch one of the green and white taxis and tell them "Tecomatepec" OR there's a guy who lives kind of behind the bus station and to the right named Pedro. He has a burro he'll let you use if you tell him you know Dave. Don't worry, his burro knows the way.
Several hours later, when you get to Tecomatepec 3 miles away, get off the burro at the corner where the drunk guy with the missing teeth is (you'll know) and walk up the alley about 3 doors past the tortilla factory and ask for Senora Lupita and tell her Dave sent you. She should have one or two left. Hope that helps.
How much do they cost you, Dave?
Well, I lived for three years in a $100 a month apartment in Mexico with no hot water, because of these bags. My dog, Blue, and I drove for thousands of hours all over the North American continent because of these bags. I had a crooked Federale sent to kill me because of these bags (I convinced him that Seaor Alarcon would never pay him and we became friends). I've shed gallons of blood and tears and sweat and at least a quart of other people's, because of these bags. I've slept in my car or on the rack of my old Land Cruiser at least 150 times because of these bags. I've lost weeks of sleep and have gone hungry for days because of these bags. I was broke for years and even had to trade two of Blue's little puppies for a month's worth of tacos in order to eat because of these bags. I've been detained by who knows how many Mexican police because of these bags. I've thrown away thousands of dollars and made hundreds of mistakes because of these bags. I've been stolen from, taken advantage of and robbed because of these bags (they even stole Blue once, but I got him back). All of these things and more have happened to me because of these bags. They cost me a lot.
Can you help me justify spending this much on a piece of leather?
Buy the best, cry once. It's all about the cost per year. In college, I bought a pair of very expensive shoes for my job as a waiter. I couldn't afford them, but I bought them anyhow. They were really light and comfortable and took me through two years of waiting tables and one year as a limo driver and another year of occasional use. And then they still looked good for a month of Sundays. Cost per year was about $25. Most of the other waiters bought a new pair of $55 heavy and uncomfortable shoes every 6 months because theirs wore out and looked ratty by then. One of the principles the successful in the world understand is this: If one buys quality from the start they save money. Don't be penny wise and dollar foolish. This will be one of the most savvy investments and inexpensive leather pieces you'll ever have. And remember, you must truly love yourself before you can love others. A couple of other things to think about you'll be more popular. Everybody isn't buying one. I'll invite you to my birthday party. What's wrong, you chicken?
Is the briefcase comfortable as a backpack?
I once used it for about 6 weeks as my daily backpack. It's not as comfortable as a true backpack. You'll be the coolest cat on the bus for sure.
How do I change the bag into a backpack?
Disconnect the shoulder strap completely. Attach the end of the shoulder strap that is closest to the buckle of the shoulder strap to a rear bottom d-ring. Run the shoulder strap through the d-ring beneath the handle along with one shoulder pad and then attach the other end of the shoulder strap to the opposing rear bottom d-ring.
The bag I purchased has some markings on the exterior...is that a defect ?
NO, absolutely not ! Unless you are talking about a damaged bag (knife cut, etc.) you are probably seeing the evidence of a scarring event somewhere in this animals history. Actually, scarring is a common feature, and for some of our customers the more scars the better...the scars give the bag more character.
Are some scars more valuable, or sought after than others ?
YES, Absolutely ! For example, some of our products have pigskin interiors which generally have a smooth, higher finished quality however, sometimes one of these pieces will have a scrape or scar-type marking on it these are, in fact, scars associated with the sex life of the pig. More than most other animals, the pig is known for its violent mating behaviors it is aggressive, selfish, and, generally demeaning to its female partner the male pig bites, scratches, gouges, and anything else he can think of to have his way (in some rare cases pigs have been known to use other strategies, like cleaning the pigpen, bringing flowers, showing kindness to her relatives, etc,) thus, many female pigs, at least the desireable ones, are pretty scarred-up. In the pig culture, this is a sign of status, and in pig libraries you can find alot about this under 'pigskin erotica'. Now, back to the point of your question : the best hides for our purposes (i.e. creating the best leather bag possible) are the female pig hides (girls just have better skin) and, so, our pigskin products will sometimes have various scarring patterns. We refer to these as 'love scars'.
Is it possible to order a bag with special scarring ?
You can request one, but they are not easy to come by, and there is no way to know, in advance, what type of scarring will show up these bags are sought after and are usually sold at a higher premium.
Does the same type of scarring occur with the cowhide products ?
No, except in cases of what we call "Bad Cow Disease"...most of the time cows are docile, polite, and caring in their mating behaviors.
Are the animals tortured before they are slaughtered?
Absolutely not ! With some pigs we do use waterboarding and sensory deprivation techniques previous to slaughtering them, but the cows do not require any special handling.
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