Here's a tip I learned from my late uncle in Tennessee. Say you go to a flea market and see two pairs of leather shoes. One looks great, relatively clean, but dry and cracked leather sitting next to a totally gross pair covered in dark green mold ... which do you buy?
He said, "Garret, never buy the good looking stuff. The cracked leather is dry, has lost all its moisture. You'll buy it, it'll fail. But the gross moldy stuff, take it home, clean it off. Mold can only grow on moist leather, and you'll have a slightly used-looking but perfectly serviceable pair of shoes for a very long time, if you keep 'em saddle soaped."
Thought some others might appreciate that bit of advice. It has prevented me from wasting many a $5 bill at flea markets. Came up in a discussion with my barber today.