FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Here are Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

ABOUT LEATHER

Why should I consider leather over synthetic materials?

Unlike synthetic materials, leather is a natural organic material derived from renewable source and is far more aesthetically beautiful, long lasting, and versatile. The appearance of good leather doesn’t deteriorate as it ages, instead it acquires character- thanks to the fine patina that develops over time. Although the initial investment of quality leather may be more than synthetic materials, leather is actually your best value in the long run as it outlasts other materials 4 to 1. Learn more about leather.

How do I differentiate between genuine leather and synthetic one?
There are three basic tests that you can perform to confirm the material is indeed leather.

Smell Test: First, most leather has a characteristic odor of fat-liquor (oils used to lubricate the leather). If the material doesn’t have this “regular smell of leather”, chances are it is not genuine leather. Please note that many of the newer “washable” or water resistant leather do not have the same fat-liquors and often do not have much of a characteristic leather odor.

Look Test: Looking at the back side of the leather will also reveal its genuine character. The back of the leather should look like suede. If you see threads, that is a bad sign. If you see the ends of the collagen fibers, like you would on a suede pair of shoes, that is good.

If possible, you can also inspect the cut edge – the leather has a very distinctive layered appearance from the edge. The grain and finish are very tight and compact. Often you can see the hair follicles in this layer if you cut just right. Then the inner layer is coarser and a random tangle of heavier fibers. If you can see any criss-cross pattern or symmetry, that is a sure sign of synthetic materials.

Fire Test: When exposed to mild temperatures (say match flame), the genuine leather will not catch fire, while other synthetic materials are inflammable and will burn quickly. Leather sort of melts into a lump that will harden like glass when cool. Will also shatter like glass if crushed after it has been burned.

Where can I learn more about leather?
We want you to learn about the leather as much as possible and therefore have put together a leather knowledge base – all about leather.

ABOUT INDIAN LEATHER INDUSTRY

What do I need to know about Indian leather industry?
Leather industry occupies a place of prominence in the Indian economy in view of its massive potential for employment, growth and exports. There has been increasing emphasis on its planned development, aimed at optimum utilization of available raw materials for maximizing the returns, particularly from exports. The key facts that make India an attractive destination for leather goods outsourcing are:

  • The world’s largest technically trained manpower in leather craft is accessible at the world’s most competitive costs.
  • India boasts of 10% of the world’s raw material production. India is the largest livestock holding country 21% large animals and 11% small animals.
  • The current industrial policy is very conducive to the promotion of the Indian leather industry both in terms of domestic trade as well as exports. Integrated tannery for conversion of raw hides and skins into finished leather is de-licensed. Except for a few items, many sectors are de-reserved.
  • Decent Infrastructure: International airports, well equipped sea ports, and well placed communication network.
  • Increasing tannery activities and modernization of manufacturing facilities.
  • Exports from India are likely to grow as international brands have started outsourcing products from India.
  • Government paying considerable attention to this sector. Export revenues of over $2 billion.

What are the major production centers for leather and leather products in India?
The major production centers in India are – Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore in South; Kanpur, Agra, Delhi, and Jallandhar in North; Kolkata in East; and Mumbai in the West.

ABOUT COMPANY

Who is GNN International?
GNN International is Premium Leather Goods Manufacturer and provide full-service contract manufacturing services to Private Label Leather Goods brands around the world. Learn about our story, our philosophy, and our people.

Where are you located?

Our plants/workshops are located in India. Our Sales Office is located closer to our customers in Colorado in the United States. This allows us to have an easy and hassle-free communication with our customers and easily look after their needs. Call us with your questions and suggestions.

How many employees do you have?

Our Kanpur and Kolkata workshops jointly employ a total of 38 full-time sample-men, fabricators, cutters, craftsmen, and other personnel at this time.

How long have you been in the business?

GNN International has been in business since 1998. Our Colorado (USA) office was started in May 2002.

Do you have a catalog?

We’re primarily a custom leather solutions provider and therefore do not carry a print catalog. However, we do have a large selection of readymade products to choose from. Learn more and inquire about wholesale leather goods opportunities.

Why should I choose GNN as our manufacturing partner?

The cost savings associated with strategic outsourcing not only give a business an edge over its competition, but has become crucial for the survival of many businesses. From the more obvious benefits of cost reduction and quality improvement, outsourcing delivers a client a number of advantages all the way up to value generation and innovation capability in core competencies.

The five key considerations are:

Cost: The cost benefits of outsourcing are obvious in terms of cheaper labor and material costs. In case of variable sourcing contracts, the costs can be reduced further in the form of higher productivity of employees.

Quality: Most outsourcing vendors have a better process maturity in their core areas as compared to the client. As a result, such vendors can deliver high quality products.

Time to Market: One of the major benefits of outsourcing is to reduce the time to market for any products or services of the client.

Focus on Core Competencies: The whole objective of outsourcing is to enable the client company to enable the client company to concentrate on its core competence. By outsourcing your products to a company that specializes in that area, the client company significantly reduces its management involvement in production issues, thereby freeing such resources for core business activities.

Value Generation: In order to extract more value from its products, the company can measure the return on its investment. By doing so, it becomes clear to both the vendor and the client as to what are the key value parameters for the project and for the outsourcing relationship. This in turn helps both parties to monitor and plan for maximum value in the engagement.

ABOUT OUR PLANTS

Where are the goods produced?

Our workshops are located in India – one in Kanpur (Utter Pradesh) and the other in Kolkata (West Bengal). Our Kolkata plant produces small leather goods like leather wallets, handbags & totes, laptop & messenger bags, custom corporate & business leather gifts etc., and our Kanpur plant, in addition to the leather bags such as leather handbags, professional bags, and luggage bags also produces fine leather pet products and world-class equestrian leather goods and riding equipment.

What is your plant production capacity?

We have a regular production capacity of 75,000 combined product units a month and have both human and financial resources at our disposal to scale up our production capacity at short notice.

What type of machinery and equipments does your plant use?

We use imported cutting, skiving, ironing, sewing (flat, vertical post, and cylinder bed) machines.

What quality control measures do you have in place?

The survival of our business rests on quality of our products and therefore we’re extremely serious about quality and workmanship of our products. We have a tiered Quality Control System in place that ensures process integrity at three different levels and assures finished product conformance with product specifications.

Does your plant employ child labor?

We neither employ nor condone child labor. All of our craftsmen and other personnel are seasoned veterans of the industry with an average of 15 years of experience.

ABOUT PRODUCTION MATERIALS

Can I order sample leather and lining swatches?

We would be happy to send you leather swatches matching your leather preferences. We can also send you the lining material samples subject to availability. There is no charge for swatches, however, we do require your FedEx/UPS/DHL/TNT account number to cover the shipping cost.

What leather selections are available? 
We are able to provide our products made of leather from multiple origins allowing our customers the freedom to choose the best products to meet their specific needs. The most frequently used leathers are:

  • Cow Vegetable Tanned: leather produced using environmentally friendly technology of applying vegetable extracts instead of chrome powder similar to used in most Italian leather.
  • Cow Napa/Nappa: Napa/Nappa refers to Soft and as the name suggests, this leather is soft and smooth to touch.
  • Cow Natural Dry Milled (NDM): full grain leather milled to provide smooth, tight grain, and suppleness of hand. The leather has natural markings and reveals its natural characteristics.
  • Cow Printed Dry Milled (PDM): a chrome leather with dry milled impressions on it.
  • Cow Glazed: glazed is based on protein finish to give the leather natural look.
  • Cow Softy: semi-aniline and drum dyed leather that is cheaper alternative to more expensive softer leather like Napa/Nappa.
  • Cow Antique: naked and drum dyed leather with aged looks.
  • Cow Saliba: a semi-chrome leather with a natural break and smooth to touch.
  • Buff Aniline: the Indian Buffalo hide retains its color only from dyestuffs rather than from pigment resulting in more natural look.
  • Buff Glazed: the Indian Buffalo hide, with a fine surface and smooth natural appearance.
    Buff Resin: the Indian Buffalo hide, with a glossy surface.
  • Sheep Napa/Nappa: soft and supple lambskin widely used in leather apparel manufacturing.

In addition, we have well established relationships with the tanneries in India and abroad for the prompt and efficient sourcing of wide variety leathers.

What color and print options are available?

We can produce virtually any color matching to your color swatch specification including metallic colors.

Can I order my signature lining material?

Yes, we can have your signature textile lining materials produced subject to minimum order quantity. The typical minimum order quantity for signature lining material is 1000 meters.

Can you arrange for my custom hardware?

We have reliable local vendors on hand who can custom produce your hardware. If we’re unable to produce that hardware locally, we have well established relationships with hardware vendors in Taiwan and Hong Kong for such supplies.

Do you work with exotic skins?

Exotic skins like Croc, Lizard, Ostrich, and others are prohibited by law in India and therefore can not be used in production.

ABOUT ORDERING

Do you sell retail?

No. We only offer business-to business services and work with new and established businesses with valid business registration and Sales Tax/VAT numbers.

Can I order from the leather products displayed on your website? 

Most of the products displayed on our website are all our own designs and therefore can be ordered by anyone. These products can be brand personalized with your own brand logo stamped. Even though we typically do not display products that we produce for our customers based on their proprietary specifications, there may be some products on the website and those are for illustration purposes only. These products can not be reproduced and therefore can not be ordered.

What is your minimum order quantity?

While MOQs serve a very critical role in ensuring production quality consistency, we do understand that it is not always possible for our customers to meet those production MOQs. This is especially true if you’re a new brand and don’t know exactly how the market is going to receive your product(s). We, therefore, try our best to be as accommodating as possible on our minimum order quantities. Apart from production MOQ limitations, another consideration is freight. The larger your order quantity and volume, the cheaper it is per unit to ship internationally and therefore it might be in your best interest to order the largest possible quantity to make it cheaper on landed cost basis. Please let us know about the order quantity you will be comfortable with and we will collaborate with you to make it work for both of us.

How do I place an order?

Please call or contact us and let us know the leather products of your interest. We’ll send you a Pro-forma Invoice quoting you our best prices based on the ordered quantity and your preferred shipping method. You can sign this Pro-forma Invoice and fax or email it back to us. You can also fax or email your Purchase Order based on this Proforma Invoice.

What is the required lead-time for delivery once an order is placed?

The production lead time depends on the ordered quantity. However, most of the orders are shipped within 6-8 weeks of order confirmation. For larger and repeat orders a shipment schedule can be negotiated in advance.

ABOUT PRICING

How do I get a prices for the products displayed on your website? 

We would be happy to send you the prices for individual products. Please contact us and let us know the leather products you would like us to quote you for.

What is Ex-Factory (India) pricing?

Ex-Factory (India) pricing doesn’t include shipping, handling, and insurance charges to the destination. A buyer is responsible for these charges. You can either make your own arrangements for the shipping or we would be happy to send you a separate quote from one of our local shipping agents.

What is CIF/CIP Destination pricing?

CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight)/CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid) pricing means that the quoted price is the “delivered” price. You may still be responsible for Customs Duty and Customs Clearance charges, if any.

How can I request pricing that includes shipping charges.

We would be happy to quote you CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid) or CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) pricing subject to a minimum order quantity. Call us to discuss your order.

ABOUT PAYMENTS

What are your payment terms?

Our Terms of Sale require payments be made using one of the following three options:

  • For orders with ex-factory value under $10,000: 100% deposit at the time of placing order. US business checks and Wire Transfers accepted. Customer is responsible for Wire fees incurred at origin.

  • For orders with ex-factory value between $10,000-$25,000: 50% deposit at the time of placing order and balance payment before/at ship date. All payments need to be cleared before goods are shipped out. At our discretion, we may extend flexible terms to our long-time customers based on their payment history and credit worthiness. Only Wire Transfers accepted. Customer is responsible for Wire fees incurred at origin.

  • For orders over $25,000: 30% deposit at the time of placing order and balance payment before/at ship date. All payments need to be cleared before goods are shipped out. We will also accept a confirmed Irrevocable Letter of Credit at Sight issued by a reputed US/international bank. All bank charges incurred will be to buyer’s account.

What payment methods do you accept? Can I pay by credit card?

We accept Business Checks, Cashiers’ Checks, and Wire/TT Transfer methods of payment. For larger transactions, we accept Escrow, and Letter of Credits brokered by a reputed bank or institution. Personal checks and Credit Cards are not accepted.

ABOUT SAMPLING & PROTOTYPING

How can I submit specifications for my custom product?

You can send your specifications or instructions and drawings/images using our Get A Quote page.

Is my proprietary information protected? Do you sign non-disclosure/non-compete agreements?

We respect your right to your proprietary information and ensure its confidentiality. We are glad to sign any non-disclosure and/or non-compete Agreement before you reveal any confidential information to us.

What is the turn around time for prototyping?

The turn around time essentially depends on the availability of the requested materials and therefore the typical turn around time on prototyping is 3-4 weeks.

How much do you charge for prototyping?

We do not charge prototype development charges. The cost of prototyping is typically the cost of the product and the shipping charges involved. The shipping can also be charged directly to your FedEx/UPS/DHL/TNT account, subject to your account verification.

Do you guarantee prototyping results?

While we guarantee our best efforts in producing a prototype, due to the unpredictable nature of the process, we cannot guarantee the outcome. Be rest assured, however, that we use our years of experience and all of the resources to deliver your leather solution just the way you meant it to be.

Is there anything else I need to know about prototyping process?

Prototyping is a time consuming and highly unpredictable process. Sometimes the outcome is not as expected and we have to refine the process to achieve the desired results. Your patience during this process is greatly appreciated.

ABOUT QC & INSPECTIONS

What is pre-shipment inspection?

Pre-shipment inspection of goods is carried out during or upon the completion of production of the goods. Even though all our products are back by our 100% guarantee for quality or adherence to the specifications, a buyer may still want to make sure that everything is absolutely perfect before shipment leaves our factory. In that case, the buyer has an option of Pre-shipment inspection by a third party.

Who carries out the inspection and who pays?

Pre-shipment inspections are performed by contracted private organizations. One such internationally reputed agency is SGS (India). A buyer has an option of engaging them for a pre-shipment inspection. The expenses incurred in such inspection will be borne by the buyer.

What is post-shipment inspection?

Since we guarantee all the products we sell, you also have an option of carrying out post-shipment inspection of goods upon receiving the goods. We allow you seven days after the goods have been delivered to inspect the goods carefully and inform us of any defects or discrepancy. We replace or compensate you for the defected goods in your next order. This costs you nothing yet gives you the same peace of mind as pre-shipment inspection.

ABOUT FREIGHT & OTHER CHARGES

What is my shipping cost?
Shipping cost depends on the Gross Weight, Volume of the shipment, and port of destination. Shipping cost from India typically ranges between 5% – 18% of the merchandize cost.

Where are the goods shipped from?

All the orders are shipped directly from our factory in Kolkata (India).

What shipping methods are available?

There are three shipping methods available from India:

Ocean Freight: This is the most economical way of shipping goods but takes about 45-60 days for US/Canadian destinations and 30-45 days for European destinations. This option is ideal for large shipments that are not time sensitive .

Air Freight: This option is the most widely used option ensuring low shipping costs with faster deliveries. This method costs more than Ocean Freight but substantially less than Air Express. The lead time is typically 7-12 days depending on the carrier.

Air Express: This is the fastest shipping method with high shipping costs. The advantages of this option include door-to-door delivery with inexpensive and hassle-free Customs clearance. This is a good option for time sensitive and relatively smaller shipments. The deliveries take about 3-5 days.

Can I have shipping billed directly to my FedEx/UPS/DHL account?

Yes. However, this will cost you more in shipping costs because FedEx/UPS/DHL charges higher US Dollar rates to your account as compared to cheaper Indian Rupee rates they charge us locally. On top we receive several volume discounts because of our ongoing relationship with them. Also, we do not recommend this option for time sensitive shipments.

Besides shipping and insurance charges what other charges should I take into consideration?

Besides Freight and insurance, you’re also responsible for paying the US Customs Duties (typically in the range of 8-10%). In addition, if your shipment is arriving via Ocean or Air Freight, you will also incur the Customs Clearance charges. These charges are about $300 per shipment if you hire a Clearing Agent. In most cases, you can clear the shipments yourself with the Customs and save this expense. For Air Express shipments, the carrier clears your shipment for you and charge a nominal clearance charge in addition to the Customs Duty, if any.

Where can I find more information on the US Customs tariff?

Please visit US Customs website at https://www.cbp.gov/trade for more information.

What are the US Customs Duty rates on your products?

For this information please visit https://www.usitc.gov/

ABOUT OUR GUARANTEE

What will you do to make sure I’m satisfied with my purchase?

We take pride in the quality of our products and stand behind the quality and workmanship of each one. To ensure your satisfaction, all shipments are carefully inspected before leaving our warehouse. If you are not satisfied with your purchase upon arrival, please notify us immediately and we will attempt to correct the situation.