Yup, nasty ****-tanned leather, lol. I have had a few of those really cheap imports in my hands before and was not impressed... And just TRY and re-sell them, lol. You're lucky to get $50. But, if you buy a nice used saddle, and you decide to sell it down the road, you're likely to get what you paid for it, or even more!
Now, we do have a "premium" import sitting right here in the computer room. It's an English Dressage saddle that was made for Textan by an Asian company back around 2000-2001. It's actually not half bad. I wouldn't buy it for an everyday riding saddle, but it's good for what we use it for, ground training and breaking. I'm not going to cry if a horse rolls on it and it dies, lol. The tree in it is a cheaper tree, but it's still a wood/metal traditional english tree. The leather is kind of funky, but it's not water buffalo or really thin cowhide. It wouldn't stand up to a ton of use, but like I said, it works for what we use it for, it fits most young horses pretty well (medium tree, semi-qh type), and it's actually pretty comfy
. We bought it on the last day of one of those expo shows for only $89, lol. The original retail tag on it was $350, expo "special price" of $250. The guy didn't sell very many of the brown ones, so he put those out at just over cost to get rid of them (I knew the shop owner). He sold all but a couple!
Anyway, I digress. For the price of a new import, you can usually find a quality used saddle. Especially if you go for a "vintage" saddle. Those OLD saddles are really worth their weight in gold! My husband has a circa 1920 McClellan officer saddle and it's GREAT! It fits his funky backed Anglo Arabian like a charm and it's in such good shape for a saddle nearly 100 years old... We had the rigging redone and put new English stirrups and leathers on it, but the saddle itself is in great shape. We bought it on eBay for $175!