Turkey is probably the best place to buy high quality leather and prices are lower than in other countries. You can buy jackets, coats, bags, shoes, gloves, wallets in every part of Turkey, each city has a store or market with leather but the best city for leather shopping is Istanbul. Avoid touristic places because the prices there are higher plus you must bargain and if you don’t, you risk to pay up to 70-80% more. Also, the prices are higher in touristic summer resorts and be aware of fakes and scams there. Stick to firm stores to get the best and fair prices.
The best area in Istanbul for buying leather goods is Zeytinburnu. Take T1 tram towards Bagcilar and get off at Zeytinburnu station. There are a lot of factories that specializes and produce only leather goods and there are over 600 stores. Bargain is accepted there. So the average price for a normal-sized handbag is 250 Turkish liras and for the leather jacket is about 250-500 USD.
Most of the sellers in a period of March – October start sales so don’t lose a chance to buy goods at 30-50% discount. It may sound strange to buy a coat or a jacket when its +30 degrees outside, but it will help you to save a lot of money. From October, when new collections appear, prices will be much higher.
When buying leather goods, try to check at least 3 different shops, it helps to see the difference and find the best match of quality and price. Remember, if you are visiting a store as a part of a tour (sightseeing or shopping tour, doesn’t matter) the prices will be higher than if you would have come by yourself because the travel company will take a commission from the shopkeepers in order to subsidy their expenses for the tour. Also, if you meet a local who offers you to visit a store together, be sure that he will get a commission of 10-25% from your purchase as well.
Don’t rely on the owner’s words when he offers to ship your jacket or bag for you, it might be a trick and you will get a different product from what you have bought eventually.