It could happen to anyone of you… You are on holiday to a warm and welcoming holiday destination and ofcourse you would like to take something with you home to remember all those amazing memories. What would be more perfect than those amazing looking leather products, handmade by true foreign crafts(wo)men? You will wear those boots probably daily in the fall or your colleagues will be jealous when you arrive at work with a chic looking laptop bag. Once home… those boots stay in the closet for the rest of the year… and the laptop bag does not look that chic after all… How to judge your holiday leather souvenirs which don’t break the bank and will be amazing once you’re back?
Cultural leather holiday souvenirs
Let’s take Greece as an example… I’ve been there for quite some times now and it is a real leather Walhalla. Everywhere you look you can buy the most gorgeous leather products. While surrounded by all those leather products, the summer heat and the kind salesmen you could take all the products from the store home if it was up to you ;).Though… your judgment will be a little bit influenced by all the other factors. If you want to know if it is something you would truly use once you get home, you will have to ask yourself the following questions:
Is it a fake product?
First of all, let’s start with the most classic vacation souvenir fail… When it is too good to be true, it probably is. Tourists are the perfect subject for fake bag sellers to persuade to buy fake designer bags. You are relaxed, looking for something to take home… and that lovely Kelly bag isn’t that expensive. Why not take one with us? Well, first of all, you could get in trouble with the border control and by then, your not so expensive bag might become really expensive. Second, the quality of original bags if often why you have to pay that much… The hours of the crafts(wo)men are the most expensive since creating good and sturdy products just takes time.
Where do you want to use it for?
If you don’t know the answer to the first question, then you probably don’t need it. When you do know what it is for, let’s say for grocery shopping, do you need another grocery shopping bag? Don’t buy it, if the answer is no. If the answer is no but it is a beautiful bag you will treasure for years, continue to the next question to find out if you should buy this holiday souvenir. If the answer is just yes, continue to the next question as well.
How are the quality, the finish and the details of this product?
Let’s say you want a bag for grocery shopping… The finishes and the details are poorly done… don’t buy it. You want a sturdy bag which will hold all your fruits and vegetables. Imagine while shopping the bag falls apart… If the bag is made with good care, continue to the next question.
What do you want to pay for it, and what are they asking for it?
Ofcourse, I know you would ideally want it for free… but only the sun shines for free. So, let’s say… do you want a 100% leather shopping bag for 10 euros… you might need to reconsider your price. If they offer it for 10 euros… don’t buy it either. As you might know by now, proper leather bags can’t be made for 10 euros. The complete opposite would be if they would charge you a 1000 euros for a simple cow leather bag. In some countries, it is the culture to bargain a bit but think about a fair price for both parties. If you’ve got one in mind, continue to the next question.
And most important: would you buy this if it was sold back home?
If you walked into your hometown, and you would see this bag. Would you buy it? Would it look as great on the sunny greek days as it would in the grey rainy days back home? Or, is it just a little bit too foreign to actually use back home?
If you’ve answered all the questions positive, sure! Try to bargain a bit, find the right product and prize and enjoy your holiday souvenirs. If one of these questions is answered negatively… or you don’t know the answer. It probably isn’t the souvenir for you. If there is an overload of leather bags you can try your luck at a different shop or play it safe and take something you will always use back home with you. Have a great holiday period :).