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Growing in reputation, the Leather Market returns for its now fifth outing with a new venue and with an expanded range of gear and goods. Sam Benger investigates how to get great gear at great prices and why it’s an opportunity to “slip into something new”. 

Started in the winter 2012 with an idea by a Bristolian leatherman’s e-mail to Leatherwest, the Leather Markets have rapidly gained a reputation for quality gear at good prices which appeal to an ever wider section of  the leathermen’s community. 

With that reputation spreading, the Leather Market now moves to a new venue in the Old Market Quarter: The Palace on West Street (opposite Bristol Bear Bar). A warm welcome awaits leather men from the curious and newbie to the the leatherman who thinks he has everything – until he starts to rummage about that is.

Lots of leathermen are expected, judging by the Market’s Facebook event page, not just to buy and sell but also to search amongst all the items on offer.  It’s been known for a little cruising to go on – new friends have been made over the piles of leather jeans! So, here’s a great Saturday afternoon “to do” during November.

Items already being registered.

LWM4 004LeatherWest say that a steady flow of items are being registered for sale and from further afield than just the West. “We’ve got sellers coming into Bristol from Nottingham, Brighton, Bournemouth and as far as Essex this Winter”, says LeatherWest’s Black Arrow (Tim). He adds that “there is always a constant demand for  Muir caps and tall boots from buyers, so if you have those items in a cupboard somewhere, now is the time to get them out and bring them to the market.”

Already on the sales list are jeans, biker gear, gauntlets, gloves, plenty of belts (the usual black but also a white one – perfect to finish off any uniform), gloves and gauntlets, well as some ‘play’ items such as paddles, restraints as well as Sam Browne belts, jackets, and shirts.

Sellers are encouraged pre-book in their items for sale via the on-line form to take advantage of the 10 per cent commission rate. Items booked in on the day attract a LWM4 007higher 20 per cent rate. More guidance for buyers and sellers can be found at the Leather Market page here.

Leather Skins and the Pup Nation.

Official_Puppy_Pride_Flag_Dog_Pride_Flag_of_International_Puppy“We sometimes think ‘there’s little gear left to sell out there’ and then every six months or so we hold the market and we [LeatherWest] are always surprised what ‘comes through the door’ as we approach the date”, said Bristol Uniform (Mark), adding that this market is attracting the attention of pups and masters [the Pup Nation]this time around  and an enquiry from a leather skin asking if “Fred Perry’s” are allowed for sale. We thought “Why Not?”, leather skin gear is definitely a part of the leather community!”.

More than just leather gear.

LWM4 002Earlier this year at the previous Spring event in May, the market began to expand the range of good on offer due to popular demand, by introducing the sales of book, DVDs, magazines, posters and collectibles that would be of interest to leathermen.

In particular there is, as LeatherWest report,  “…a large amount of Tom of Finland books – both new and 2nd hand. Seems there is a constant eager market out there for all things ‘Tom’. Leathermen just don’t seem to tire of the our hero master artist of leather.” 

New Exclusive Range.

There’s also a new range of artworks available too, in specially commissioned mounts to wet the appetite of many a leatherman with some images that will arouse your attention. A great selection of artworks recovered from out-of-print books, calendars and prints that “would have ended up in landfill”, says LeatherWest’s S’Berg.

The new mounted print collection ranges in price from £9.50 to £19.50 for some very large, stunning, provocative images – perfect in decorating a playroom I reckon! Because LeatherWest has embarked on a new range of prints itself, all proceeds go back into the company’s ‘community pot’ ready to be reinvested back into the Leather community and future projects.

Having looked at the collection, which was released at the last month’s Bristol Leather Weekend, they attracted a lot of attention and LeatherWest say “sales were really good”.

Eternally Popular ‘Tom’.

imageTFstamp1_34577__officeAlso available are the sought after Tom of Finland stamps released this year by Finland Post. Not resting on their laurels, LeatherWest has produced something that is not available anywhere else. You now have a choice of the plain stamp sheet or the sheet displayed in a specially cut mount.  The mounts are exclusive to LeatherWest and there is a limited supply. Each sale will raise a small amount which again will be used to reinvest in the local leather community to ensure future events are staged.



Using technology to improve the service.

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You can pay by card or via PayPal on mobile devices.

At the previous market, payment by card was introduced. LeatherWest invested in on-line payment systems via PayPal. The system has bedded-in and works very well, “The venue has a new strong wi-fi connection”, so payment via your mobile device or by card is available, safe and secure. Handy, as that eliminates the need to run down to Cabot Circus to the cashpoint. “We are always trying to find ways to makes things easier for the customer”, says Bristol Uniform (Mark).

Avoiding the eBay curse.

Black Arrow (Tim) says that there’s “…certainly a lot of interest this spring from younger and new-to-leather guys wanting to starting building their collection and getting some gear. The Market allows new entrants to try on before buying and therefore avoiding the ‘eBay curse'”.

The eBay curse?…..”You know: looks good, you bid, you win. When it arrives, it doesn’t fit!”. Now that makes sense. Avoid any uncertainty and get to the market to make sure you get a nice skin tight pair of jeans, with no sag!

The “Best Offer” hour.

Also, don’t forget that items for sale that have a “best offer” on them are available in the last hour. This means you can make an offer under the advertised price. LeatherWest contact the seller and if agreed you get the item for your offer. This happens in the last hour only and things get pretty frantic! So, go on make a cheeky offer! You never know!

Like me, you may find yourself thinking “I haven’t got anything to put into the market.” Well, this ain’t a ‘Bring & Buy”! It’s always worth going along to the market and spending a few hours in the company of like minded men – what else are you going to do a a winter Saturday afternoon?

The market is designed to be a meet-up event too. A chance to catch up during the daytime and also to make new connections and friends – as I”ve stated before: friendships have been made over piles of jeans before now!

See you there.

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  • For more details, check out the Leather Market page on LeatherWest.com
  • To register items for sale go to the on-line form. Items booked in for sale before midnight Friday 21st November attract a 10 per cent commission rate. Items booked in on the day at the market (Saturday 22nd) attract a 20 per commission rate.
  • Doors open at midday for bringing in items for sale and setting up. Sales start at 1pm until 5pm.
  • For the last hour best offers can be made and will be advised to sellers. If accepted, you get the item below the advertised price.
  • Collection of unsold items and packing-up takes place between 6pm-6.30pm.
  • Please see full terms and conditions on the Terms Page


See reports of the previous markets:

Leather Market III, November 2013 –What to find Gear at Great Prices?

Leather Market II, May 2013 –Event Proves popular Again.

Leather Market II, May 2013 – The Great Leather Rummage Returns.

Leather Market I, November 2012 – The West’s First Ever Leather Market & Social.

Have you still got your first piece of leather clothing?– September 2012