Knife nut on a budget

Bob & Yek, I appreciate your support. Contrary to popular belief, I plan on staying around awhile. Check out the site. Don't pay attention to the shipping charges since they are set up for ammo orders. Most knives are shipped with a $5.97 shipping charge. Thanks again Bob and I'm sorry for the disturbance in the force.
I placed an order with Cliff of ultimate outdoors on Saturday for a Spyderco Military. On Sunday night, I thought I would e-mail him just to confirm my order. I'm glad to report that I just checked my e-mail and I got a response from Cliff saying that everything looked good. Let me tell you, that kind of customer service makes all the difference in the world. To top that off, the price was unbeatable. Keep up the good work Cliff.

That's my kind of force disturbance...Keep it up....



"No, it's a Vaquero Grande in my pocket, but I am happy to see you!"
MegaFolderians Unite!!

Fred (Knife Outlet): Re your comment "In the meantime, it's a good thing for consumers. I would encourage readers of the forums to take advantage of it for as long as it is destined to last."...

I'd like to present a counter-argument...

Routing all your knife buying through the "suicidal low-price king of the week" means that much business that isn't going to places like KnifeCenter or Chai Cutlery, who provide a lot of nice services to a) their customers, and b) the "cutlery enthusiast" community at large. The kind of dealers who you'll presumably take your business back to once the latest suicidal knife dealer burns itself out. Presuming they're still there. Now I'm not saying that either KCI or Chai is in any immediate danger of disappearing, but if you think about it, that's an eventual possibility, if we get a steady enough stream of suicidal knife dealers...

It's the same thing as how a WalMart or a Barnes and Noble moving into the neighborhood tends to kill off the cool and quirky independant local stores, by selling the top ten (or hundred) most common items at unmatchable prices. Eventually, the personal service and added extras die off, replaced by hourly wage employees who can tell you only a) whether or not "it's listed in the computer" and b) whether or not "we've sold a lot of those". If you think about it, "You get what you pay for" is not only a truism, but also a curse.

I think that that is what Spyderco and Benchmade are trying to take action against. I'm not saying that I wholeheartedly agree with their tactics, but I can see their point.

I still throw some business in the direction of the local mall cutlery store, which charges full retail -- because they let me come in and fondle a case-full of knifes, which gives me a whole lot more information than any online picture or writeup ever could. Now, could I go fondle all their knives, buy nothing, and then order online from this week's suicidal pricelist-only dealer? Theoretically, yes. Would doing so make me feel rather more squeamish than I care to feel? Yes. Is the local mall store raking in the dough because they're charging full retail? No, because they're paying mall storefront rent, and salaries, so that I can go look at their knives whenever I want. They're also the only alternative if I were to decide that I absolutely have to possess, say, a new Axis Lock right now (unless I could talk Mr. Mattis into driving 120mi down from L.A. to deliver one

Hmm, reading over this, I need to mention that I'm not trying to cast aspersions at UltOut in particular; I know nothing of them, other than seeing the one web page cited; rather, I'm concerned about the possible outcomes if everyone takes on the mentality of trying to squeeze every last cent out of the online prices, at the expense of service, online catalogs, and other "intangibles".

Okay, much too much verbiage in this rant;
hope I've made at least some sense,
and thanks for reading this far

-- Carl
I apologize for the length of this post. I must be a bitter little man . . . .

Carl, I couldn't agree more about personal service and small stores.

My father worked for the Pillsbury plant in Springfield, IL for 20 years. When it was shut down in 1991, he decided that he'd always wanted to run his own outdoors store. He knows everything there is to know about guns, knives, and especially tackle, and my mom had her job, so we gave it a shot.

Dad provided personal service to every customer who came in the door. He opened up in the evenings for jokers we didn't know, he offered extended layaway even though we could barely afford to do business even without it, and he was willing to stand in that shop and talk to customers for hours on end as the sun set and dinner grew cold. I can think of about 5 customers who truly appreciated this and spent money in the shop because of it. The rest would come in, pick dad's brain for half an hour at a time, handle every gun in the place--and then go to Wally World to get the gun for $10 less. The shop never made a profit because Dad lost his patience and closed the doors after 2 years of putting in 15 hour days and great effort for those ingrates. He was convinced that people would come for good service and to deal with a pro who knew how to help them. They came, but when it came time to shell out the cash they were gone.

There was NO way for us to match Wally World or K's Merchandise in pricing. Wal-Mart, for those who don't know, carries only certain versions of any model of gun (I assume knives are the same) For instance, if you want an 11-87 pump, you can get it--in ONE barrel length, ONE choke, and with ribs, take it or leave it. That's because they buy entire trainloads of guns that are near overproduction. A Wal-Mart buyer once told my dad that a shotgun (a Mossberg, I think) was $180 retail at Wal-Mart and that they'd paid $105 for it. In contrast, we had to pay $180 wholesale and ended up selling the gun for $195. See the problem? You CANNOT make a profit at that price difference unless your customers understand that personal, quality service has a price too. Most sheeple don't.
That is so true. The bicycle industry, mom&pop shops especially, are undergoing the same problem. People pinching pennies test ride `em at the store and order through huge mailorder firms. And they often save hundreds$$. But when they go in to mom&pops with their tail between their legs for a service--it's full-price time. You don't get free tune-ups mailorder. Knives don't (really) need 'service'. And if they do, you send `em to the manufacturer. The internet is where it's at, and as one big bike company says, "INNOVATE, OR DIE!"

[This message has been edited by MCK (edited 09 February 1999).]