We have received notifications of price increases of 4 - 8% on nearly all the materials we use to produce Ansur saddles. Therefore, as of April 1, 2011, we are reluctantly raising all of our prices by 4.5%. Current prices will apply to all orders received by midnight March 31, 2011, PST.
In Shop Talk, The Leather Retailers' and Manufacturers' Journal, there is an article discussing the rising cost of hides trend. They quoted a news item from http://www.leatherbiz.com/ "why leather suppliers simply have little recourse but to raise prices." They go on to say that the cost of Heavy Native Steer hides have increased by over 18% and the availiblity has decreased since the grains that feed the cattle have dramatically increased. The farmer's can't afford to feed them to maturity and are sending them to slaughter at a younger age....hence thinner hides.
The structual integrity of making Ansur and Northwestern treeless saddles depends on those thicker hides. Therefore the price increases of leather and other materials used in making the saddles plus the rising costs of just doing business (salaries, insurance, etc. for employees) are inevitable. We are all experiencing this trend. Everytime I go to the mailbox, there is another announcement that a service is increasing rates. At least with Ansur/Northwestern Saddles, you get the highest quality materials and finest quality craftsmanship in the construction of your saddle....made exactly the way you want it!