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Exclusives - Need "Thought- to- share"?

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by Sal Glesser, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. Sal Glesser

    Sal Glesser Moderator Moderator

    Dec 27, 1998
    There was bit of dissent over exclusives on Ramzar's intro thread. I think it's a valuable discussion and I'm sure I'm not the only one that thinks so. So I thought to move it here so as not to derail Ramzar's ongoing thread.

    Spyderco has been making exclusive variations for Distributors and Dealers for some time now. On the "pro" side, the Dealers and Distributors like them and are after more than we can keep up with. It permits us to make more variety in offerings without having to sit on inventory and foot the cost.

    On the "con" side we have.........................?

  2. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    I don't see any cons Sal. Keep doing what you're doing, because whatever it is, all of your exclusives are selling, which is good for business!
    DA170, mb> and JungleJim65 like this.
  3. bdmicarta

    bdmicarta Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    For you I'm not sure there is one.
    For the knife community- the exclusives offer materials and combinations whose popularity far exceeds demand. It is a shame that there isn't a mechanism to offer additional quantity for the fans that want them.
    Ben Dover, Ippon98, 353 and 5 others like this.
  4. yablanowitz


    Apr 14, 2006
    There is a mechanism - more from the dealer/distributor that commissioned them.

    The only "con" that I can see is some people that want them can't get them. If you want all of your customers to be happy all the time, you have to make and stock an infinite number of everything so you can always sell them what they want when they want it. Of course, you need infinite capital and infinite production capacity to do that.

    Edit to add: Oh, and infinite storage for all that stuff. Can't forget that.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
    oldmanwilly likes this.
  5. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    Keep on keeping on Sal.

    Spyderco is a great company and we want to
    continue to buy, use, and enjoy all the fantastic variety you folks put on the market.

    Exclusives are a way to generate buzz and they seem to do that well.
  6. Wharn

    Wharn Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    I really enjoy the idea of sprints and exclusives, since it gives us more variety with steels and scales.

    Lately I took a step back myself. I was getting too caught up with constantly reloading web pages and checking forums in hopes to land the sprint or exclusive during a “drop”. I found these activities to be “fun” at first but lately I just find them to be unneeded stress.

    Maybe I’m losing my touch, but it seems like they are getting more popular and therefore harder to get as well.

    It’s not just Spyderco. The same thing is happening with a certain brand of traditional knives as well. They are being swooped up in seconds and being flipped on the secondary market.

    I understand it is not feasible to just simply increase production and everyone will be happy. It is much more complicated than that.

    I still enjoy my Spydercos, but lately have my focus centered more on the standard production (which are still fantastic).

    There are worse problems to have for a company than to make such sought after products they sell out in seconds.

    There are also worse problems for us buyers to have than having a knife sell out before you can buy one.

    I just think we should be grateful we even have the option to participate in these special runs, if we choose to do so.

    Keep up the good work and thanks for giving us variety.
  7. Skar


    Mar 24, 2020
    I really like the exclusives and sprint runs.
    However there seems to a disconnect, I felt robbed on the last run.

    I agree it's good for business and they do sell. Yet having it in my cart at check out and then 1 minute later product is out of stock !

    There is no way I'm buying from another distributor that took away my original chance for the product.

    I feel that 2nd hand distributors took a chunk out of the last run. An hour and it sells out is one thing; but 4 mins ?
    What's the answer ... I really don't know.
    Maybe a verification 1-2 step process ?

    But I shrugged it off and as others have said: That's the game, if you don't want to lose don't play.

    Love your knives I used to hate.
  8. RamZar

    RamZar Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    Exclusives are a good way for dealers/distributors and Spyderco to make some quick money. Of course, the model and choice of steel & handle material/color as well as quantity produced determine the success of the Exclusive. No dealer wants to have these sitting on the shelves for too long so they usually under-order.

    With limited quantities the quest becomes harder because the casual user is competing against the flippers/profiteers. It’s a fact of life and really not worth the time & aggravation to compete.

    As for Sprint Runs, I’d like to see large quantities (2,000+) produced specially if it’s a decently popular model or steel.
    Ippon98, AF, oldmanwilly and 6 others like this.
  9. Rusty_shackelford


    May 3, 2013
    I think limiting each customer to one knife per household may help spread things out a bit.
    Other than that,I love sprints.
    You win some, you lose some. It should all be fun.
  10. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    The big con would be that some people miss out and then a small segment of those people get super upset and are rather vocal about it.

    There is no fix for exclusives or they wouldn't be exclusives. Just look at GEC.
    bikerector, AF and DA170 like this.
  11. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    I like the exclusives and I haven't had any issues getting one if I wanted to buy in.

    I do like the one per customer rule. Could also suggest to the dealers they hold back a certain number for a second release or strongly suggest a pre-order mechanism to both gauge demand and to prevent cart panic or a ISP outage like befell DLT.
    timbits588 likes this.
  12. BD_01


    Jun 9, 2016
    [edited to reformulate thoughts more concisely]

    Exclusives (and Sprints) are good because they help keep the lights on at Spyderco and at retailers. That’s VERY good.

    The last few years, unit numbers never seem to be high enough on USA-made models. IMO there’s room to increase unit numbers in Exclusive and Sprint runs without jeopardizing sell-outs.

    Seki models seem to stick around longer.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  13. yablanowitz


    Apr 14, 2006
    Yes, it certainly does take capital. And you have to have that capital when the product is ready, whenever that happens. No matter what happens with the production schedule. I don't know about you, but I can't even guess how much money I'll have available a year or so from now. If you have to borrow the money to pay for the product, you can't afford to have it sit on the shelf for months. Bigger runs can easily lead to that. All your profit goes to paying interest on the money you borrowed to pay for your product.

    I'd like Spyderco to stay in business, too. Larger runs mean more capital tied up in inventory if they don't sell, which means less capital available for minor things like covering payroll.

    Aside from the obvious (how could you possibly enforce it) what about those who want one to use and one to collect, or as a back up for the one they plan to thrash hard?
    StuntDouble likes this.
  14. RamZar

    RamZar Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    Spyderco is increasing the quantity on popular Sprint Runs. For instance, Sal mentioned a 2,000-3,000 run for the upcoming Shaman Z-Wear PM Brown Canvas Micarta C229MPZW Sprint Run (USA). Some of the Rex-45 Sprints would've benefited from a larger run since they sold out so quickly. That kind of quantity may be risky for most dealers as Exclusives.
  15. StuntDouble


    Apr 26, 2004
    I've wondered if Spyderco selling the sprints exclusively from their site would work to combat the quick sellouts and scalpers. Selling them at MSRP would likely make quantity buying less attractive, but it might also mean they have stock sitting around longer. I don't know how much more work that would entail for the staff that work on the retail side, or whether that would increase operating costs for Spyderco to do that. I also don't know what kind of effect that would have on Spyderco's relationships with dealers. I imagine the sprints bring a lot of eyes to their sites, and there's a good chance a person might purchase something else if they can't get their hands on a sprint.
  16. beattheheat


    Jan 13, 2018
    i do like the 1 exclusive/sprint run per customer too,this way at least more people have a chance to get one!
    jstn and Yakkiebush like this.
  17. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Spyderco selling exclusives would completely eliminate the dealer, no? Not sure that is any sort of solution here.
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  18. Oloung1


    May 21, 2020
    I believe StuntDouble mentioned selling sprints exclusively direct, not exclusives direct. And I agree, yes, selling exclusives direct would defeat the dealer relation.
  19. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Well, since the thread is about exclusives perhaps we should all just stick to that, or, in a general sense, treat them as very similar. I mean, a sprint is just an exclusive put out by Spyderco for dealers to sell as they like rather than a single dealer commissioning the build. At the end of the day, dealers selling things of limited quantity that lots of people want seems to be the issue, whether it be sprint or exclusive. Eliminating the dealer here isn't really an option I would think. Kershaw just started selling sprints (or whatever they are called) direct only I believe. That doesn't really seem like the best model to get the most amount of knives into the most amount of hands that want them either.

    And does spyderco not sell Sprints direct already?

    I guess my point in responding to this thread is that we have an unsolvable problem here. Might be a good idea for those who get upset about such things to change their mindset and not think of it as a problem, but rather think of it as how things are and accept it. There are no less than one billion threads on this subject discussing how GEC handles these things and guess what, things haven't really changed.

    Edit: I think there are little tweaks that can be done to improve the process but most of those fall on the dealers. Should Spyderco implement dealer selling process requirements for their exclusives? Sort of a MAP on how to conduct business so it is fair for the customer? :eek:
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  20. spoonrobot


    May 1, 2004
    Customers end up mad at Spyderco and not at Dealer X.

    Customers who are users must also reconcile that other customers, who are collectors/speculators/flippers and NOT users, have the same power and are afforded the same courtesy in the market.

    If a model flops and a dealer is left holding excess inventory, no one is going to come buy the knives to be charitable. The foliage JD Smith was a flop and ended up being closed out with a heavy discount, it would not surprise me if Spyderco lost money on that model. Smaller dealer buy in allows more dealers to order and offers greater variety to the customer. I would suspect having an unpopular exclusive, one time, is all that most dealers could afford - the difference between a sold out 600 run with posters complaining online, and a run that sells 610 with zero complaints but leaves 590 on the shelf. IMO, exclusives seem to have a specific market and when that market is satisfied, those models are a very hard sell to the general customer base.

    Some customers will leave the market for exclusives and sometimes Spydercos in general. The massive balloon values in the early/mid 2010s sprints drove me out of the exclusives market as I realized I was a user and not a collector. Having a knife never sharpened that is able to sustain macro photography to sell for collector value was too much, for me. I am much happier with regular production models, although I did participate in the BHQ Dodo exclusive.

    Regardless, I think Spyderco is doing a good job managing the exclusives program and I'm always excited (even if I generally do not participate) to see what is coming next.
    Neil3 and craytab like this.

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