A challenge from Syderco?


About the Forum idea, would you be intersted in taking offers from people to moderate it for you?

I would certainly enjoy the privelege and I believe I would do an excellent job.

Please accept my apologies for doing this here, but your IP won't accept e-mail from Hotmail, where I do my e-mail....

I would phone you but I imagine I would have some problems getting through your switchboard.

One may want to keep an Eye out for my review of the Bob Kasper designed, Kevin Gentile modified AFCK and interview of Bob Kasper.

Marion David Poff fka Eye, one can msg me at mdpoff@hotmail.com

Patiently waiting for the Spyderco SpydeRench, Lum Chinese Chopper Folder, Rolling Lock, and Martial Series; Benchmade M2 Axis, M2 Axis AFCK, M2 Pinnacle; REKAT Escalator and Pat Crawford Design.

"The victorious Warrior wins first and then goes to war, while the defeated Warrior goes to war and then seeks to win" Sun-Tzu

Not meaning to quibble here, but one minute Spyderco calls InterNET dealers "fly-by-night" peddlers, and the next they are "the biggest fish!".
I could start an InterNET business as simply as investing in some inventory (as if I didn't have enough already!
), using my family's already established credit card setup, and using Netscape Composer to draw up a homepage, and then putting in many personal man-hours to build my dream. Now, if someone is willing to invest that knowledge of the InterNET and buy their own inventory while putting in some good old hard work, thereby suddenly making themselves "the biggest fish!", then I would call that "excellent business tactics" and a form of The American Dream - the little guy, with just hard work and some creativity, making something of himself.
Like I said, the market is changing, and as you stated, the InterNET is too powerful to allow the business world to stay as it is. I do not feel sorry for the storefont owners. The storefront dealers already have the stock, already have the workers, already have the credit accounts, all they have to do is pay some geek a few bucks or a couple knives to put up a webpage so that they can keep up with the market. With their pre-established business and any ingenuity at all, they should be able to take over the market, being that they have an extreme advantage over a lone person running a home business with no more inventory than what he can fit in a safe. If someone is willing to give up their storefront business because they refuse to evolve, then that, to me, is just the weeding out of the weak, and the handing over of the torch to someone who wants it enough to do the work. With all the time and inventory that storefront dealers already have put into their businesses, if they aren't willing to make the smallest of changes to keep up with the market, then they deserve to lose their business to someone who will.

It seems to me that anyone who is so creative as to sit in their living room a few hours a day and become "the biggest fish!" is not a "fly-by-night" peddler, but a business genius! And let us not forget, that these InterNET dealers are doing us all a favor with their low prices to the public and awesome service. Storefront dealers can't compete because they don't try. If InterNET dealers are the scourge of the knife industry and storefront owners are the "good guys", then how come every time I call up Northwest Cutlery, I get someone on the phone who is intimately knowledgeable on all the knives in stock and will put it in an overnight package to me at my request, but when I go to a store they can't even tell me which knife is made in America? This is all about the ELU, correct? Well, I can tell you , that as the ELU, I get much better service and satisfaction, and continue to buy more knives as a customer of an InterNET dealer.
You suggest some sort of ethical issue in allowing the InterNET market to take over the business. In my opinion, the storefront dealers are the sharks. If there is someone involved with the stores that does know anything about the product being sold, he is spending too much time on the golf course and needs to come down to the store and give personalized service to his customers like the InterNET dealers do. I see no valiant behavior in storefront dealers who charge insane prices and give no service. Therefore I see no morality in catering to them over the creative and hardworking InterNET dealer who is pulling himself up by his bootstraps with nothing but a dream and some hard work. I appreciate your moral efforts to do the right thing and support the "good guys" and be ethical, but just be sure you know who the good guys are and who really deserves the recognition.

In my opinion, the InterNET is as American as apple pie, and is finally giving some power back to the little guy, while giving the corporations a medium to communicate directly with their ELU. Look at us right here as a prime example, I am just a nobody, but my opinion is as good as anyone's and I have the attention of the creator of one of the most innovative knife companies ever born. The InterNET is forcing large companies to take notice of their ELU on an intimate level, because suddenly the ELU has a medium to voice his opinion to thousands of people. When someone on these forums is mistreated by a large company, we all hear about it in seconds whereas years ago corporations could trample all over people and there was no medium for the individual to fight back. That is power: free speech and the ability to do something with it on a brand new frontier, even for the common person. Rather than being a thorn in your side, I believe that InterNET dealers and these forums are without a doubt the best evolution to happen to the knife industry, and a beautiful picture of the American Dream at work. And, it does not just benefit us little guys, but gives you the chance to go right to your source - the ELU - and ask them exactly what they want before you waste money to make a product that no one is interested in. You don't have to spend money on market analyses and hire someone to keep track of what is hot; just come here and ask the people that are buying your product. Now is your opportunity! Here is a forum that is already established, and is willing to build you a forum. You don't even need to hire a geek to run the board or dish out a penny of money, just say the word and check in once in a while to answer some simple questions. We are not a demanding bunch, just some ELU's who want to be able to get real answers to our questions. I would kindly and humbly suggest that you embrace this opportunity and use the InterNET as a medium for you to build an intimate relationship with your ELU rather than viewing this whole thing as a nuisance.

J. Thaddeus Hornbaker

Way to go bud !
Best post of the lot.
I'm proud of you.
It makes me want to say "yeah...what he just said"


Talk is cheap. Free speech is not.

[This message has been edited by Bill McWilliams (edited 02 January 1999).]
Backing up a couple of posts...

No offense, MDP, but if Spyderco does choose to have a forum on our site, I'm pretty sure that they would prefer to have one of their own people running it, so that they are correctly represented.

Having Sal, Michelle, or any of the other Spyderco staff here answering questions would be of great assistance when we need answers "straight from the horse's mouth".


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com

Insert witty quip here
Hmmm . . . Little fish? Big fish? As a low-volume, part-time and somewhat eccentric Net dealer, I may be a little fish in a rather large ocean.

And I've just been doing a whole bunch of work on my Spyderco page, among others, in dire need of updating for a number of reasons including the present discussion, and hoping the result won't be a deal-breaker.

One thought, repeated from that other loooong thread: If Internet and mail order become the primary means by which Spyderco knives are sold, Spyderco can add some employees and phone lines, and handle it all themselves, at prices to be determined by competition with other brands, and not by competition between dealers, because all us middlepersons will be out of there.


I think having Spyderco host a forum here would be great! In fact I would like to see a lot a manufacturers forums in one place. This way I don't have to go to so many different places looking for info. It would be all right here. If Mike is right and many makers can put their forum here for free I do not see why a maker would not jump at the opprotunity. Heck just get one of you customer service reps to check in on the forum from time to time and it would work out great. What a resource of info to have it all right here at one place. Man if you guys could pull that off it would be way cool.

Sal if you jump in an lead the way I bet a bunch of other makers would see your lead and this could be a good thing for the knife industry as a whole. I say go for it.

Scuba Doo
Whew! Lot of food for thought here. Need to think about it. Don't remember indicatating all Net dealers are "Fly-by-night". Don't remember refering to Net dealers as the "scourge of the earth" Apologies if that impression was given.

Don't agree that all store front dealers are bad. Many stores out there provide it all...but it does take more effort. Not too much time for Golf. Stores like Country Knives in Intercourse, PA, Brian is involved, dedicated and provides knowledge. Probably would be great to have on this discussion.

Thaddeus, you are suggesting that the local stores also become a Net dealers. Interesting notion. Should the Net dealers also open stores? The next five years will certainly be interseting in this industry.
Some great "Forum" ideas. Dave's suggestion makes a lot of sense. Run a section of BladeForum just for Factory input. Invite each factory to join. Intersting possiblities.
Sal, if you are up for it, we can create a manufacturer's forum for you almost immediately. We can make you the moderator for the time being, and discuss the actual "nut's and bolts" of how its run on Monday during our phone call.

Let us know either way, we'd like to have you on board, and we already have invitations out for other companies as well.


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com

Insert witty quip here
Sal, I feel "late" with my response, but it seems to me...

In your A, B, X, scenario; the problem really occurred when company A sold company B a lot of X - at such a low price that B could undercut the other X dealers. Right _there_ is where company A had to "protect their dealers", but resisting the urge to make the "big sale" at a "too low" price.

Rather than the policy of not allowing dealers to advertise the true price of their knives, I think you would be better served by either a true price fixing policy (an agreement before purchase that there is a minimum sale price for each knife), or by keeping the wholesale prices "consistent" enough that no one dealer can dratically undercut another.

It seems the only time your problem occurs in when you sell a bunch of knives to one of distributors a price much lower than you sell to your other distributors.


Thomas - Never too late, especially if I can learn. In the A,B,X history. "A's" prices to "B" weren't lower. "B" offered the item at reduced margins in an effort to capture the lion's share of the market. It worked. Then "B" tried to force a lower price from "A". "A" refused. "B" knocked off "X" and offered the "X copy" in place of the original. "B" had the marketing muscle to advertise over a large turf. "A" didn't have the power($) to compete. It was interesting to observe as I was not involved, except as a competitor. But what you described also occurs. "Protecting the dealers" & "how to" is the topic of this thread. I agree that "price fixing" is probably the best solution, but it is illegal and certainly disliked by marketeers that are geared to sell volume through lower margins. I also agree that inconsistant pricing to distributors is a type of "corruption" that disrupts the playing field. Thanx for the input.
Thanks Sal, when we stop learning is when we get old, I say.

And I see what you mean that even if A keeps a consistent price, if B buys a lot of them, and wants to sell them at a low profit, they can still undercut the smaller dealers.

And while I think a lot of the board members are mature (experienced) enough to buy from "high quality" dealers (even if they have fairly low prices), many good companies have lost a lot of money over-estimating the rest of the 400 million average Americans. You folks have to walk the fine line of appealing to the knowledgeable buyer, the person looking for the absolutely lowest prices, and the media blitzed, brand name consumers.

Good Luck!
I recently bought an add-on to one of my computer games. Attached to the box was a mail-in coupon for a free "action figure" from the manufacturer. Perhaps something similar could be done in the knife field; items sold through an authorized retailer could have some sort of rebate/premium/etc. attached, items sold through other channels wouldn't.