Membership changes, was New Policy: You sell knifemaker's products, you are a dealer

Discussion in 'Tech Support, General Q&A, Site Feedback & More' started by Spark, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. Spark

    Spark HPIC - Hatas gonna Hate Staff Member Administrator Super Mod Moderator

    Oct 2, 1998
    More than anything, this thread has convinced me that there needs to be additional tiers of paid subscriptions, and a sliding scale of pricing. The KnifeMaker membership is, I agree, out of line with a full bore dealer membership, especially for smaller suppliers. I'm going to do some thinking on how to handle that and request feedback before I make final decisions.

    You guys have raised valid concerns: why should a small time lanyard or sheath maker pay more than a knifemaker? Fortunately, this doesn't apply to those people, as I've stated repeatedly. This announcement regards SUPPLIERS of materials and equipment.

    Josh, it's pretty clear to me you are a "craftsman" or "accessories provider" - you'd fall in with other guys like sheath makers, holster guys, customizers, etc. People who provide add ons that are finished products, but not wholesale parts that are used in the Work In Progress / materials aspect of accounting. This wouldn't affect you. That said, if you aren't making anything out of your lanyards, raise your prices. You aren't doing this for fun. You aren't stocking paracord and tying things because of your good nature, otherwise you'd be giving it away.

    Likewise, Go Mike is literally putting up onesy-twosie pieces. Again, not a major wholesaler. That said, if $1 is putting you in the range of jantz supply and the only thing you have going for you is that $1 price difference, get out of doing what you are doing, because you aren't doing it right. You have a rich communications & selling tool here that provides instant feedback & response. Someone who'd switch to Jantz from you over $1 or $2 isn't going to be buying from you in the first place.

    Fod, you bring up a bunch of points.

    • Changing policies - First, no where is going to have static policies forever. Just won't happen. There's always going to be a shift. Most companies out there, be it your electric bill, your internet service, or whomever you buy supplies from, won't give you the option of discussing it. That argument is a non-starter for me. Policies change based on changing situations that dictate they be modified, appended, or discarded altogether. What is convenient for you may not be convenient for another member or the continued operation of this site. That is just a reality of life you'll need to acknowledge.
    • How you have been treated - I haven't given you anything other than polite courtesy. I'm really the only person you need to worry about.
    • Intent of the forums - the intent of this site is to improve the knife community in general. It cannot be all things to all people. Many of these same arguments I heard when we initially changed to paid subscriptions, many detractors of which predicted that we'd immediately shut down. We had our 10th anniversary last year.
    You've also raised points about competition.
    • JerzeeDevil - With respect to the folks who run JD, whom I've been acquaintances with for years and have absolutely no problems with, JD is a site with 5k members and 100 people on it at a given time. We literally have an order of magnitude more activity going on at any given time. If they are charging 20 a month for a forum, I need to up my rates - I've been charging knifemakers $3.33 per month, just a commitment to a 3 year membership up front. Also, I have no problem setting up forums for the new member tiers that I create: It will cost you though. $20 a month doesn't sound like a bad price at all.... :cool: In all seriousness, it wouldn't be $240 a year. Get real.
    • Blade Magazine - If you think a thread here is the same as a postage stamp sized ad in Blade, be my guest and move on.
    • Various other sites - Don't know about them, don't care. They aren't us. They don't match our circumstances. We don't have banner ads, we're open to the public for browsing, we're bigger and we've been around longer. We don't spam you, ask you to drink kool-aid, or brain-wash you. We're BFC, and we have our own ups and downs, and our own benefits & problems

    Make no mistake, there will be a top-to-bottom change in how advertising will be done on this website in the near future, affecting the various levels of membership. Knifemaker memberships are probably going to increase in price, above platinum members. I will probably offer monthly (or bimonthly or quarterly) rates, but there will be a savings for year long or multi-year subscriptions. The Knifemaker's Specific Forums subcategory will probably be moved to a top tier and renamed to fit it's expanded definitions. Other changes will be announced, and discussed; I'm a reasonable person and open to constructive criticism & customer feedback.
     
  2. Josh K

    Josh K Pirate

    Sep 29, 2008
    That's a pretty good summery. :thumbup:
     
  3. go mike

    go mike

    Dec 5, 2008
    Spark, since you OK'ed what I was doing, I will unlock my current thread.

    And with the $1-$2, it's just that common wood isn't very expensive, and my prices on birdseye and curly maple are just over half of what Jantz is charging. That's what I meant by the $1 to $2 raise in prices -- it just would make my rates close to an average store.

    Anyways, thanks for clearing me up. Have a nice night Kevin.
     
  4. fod

    fod a la sombra

    Dec 6, 2006
    Great. Good on you for providing me with one mans opinion. Of course, I never said that the other options were particularly better, just available. Ask Ron if you need clarification on the costs on teh JD. I just know what I was quoted, and I trust him.

    To reiterate:

    The following is all I need from you, Spark;

    I need to know that the rules are stated clearly and I need to know that are are be applied fairly and consistently and are not subject to arbitrary change*.


    After I know this, I will be able to make a well informed decision.

    *I don't need lessons on the necessity of change. Arbitrary becomes a key word here.
     
  5. Spark

    Spark HPIC - Hatas gonna Hate Staff Member Administrator Super Mod Moderator

    Oct 2, 1998
    I think that you'll have to trust me that I don't act in a capricious manner. I don't fly off the handle, nor do you see me making decisions willy nilly with no eye for consequences.

    I've given you the reasoning behind my decision. I've discussed it with you guys, but in the end of the day, the responsibility lays with me.

    If you think I'm prone to rash and impulsive decisions, you aren't forced to stay here. That said, personally and just my opinion, BladeForums presents the best bang for the buck in the knife community, and everything here is a steal.

    Just me though.
     
  6. Spark

    Spark HPIC - Hatas gonna Hate Staff Member Administrator Super Mod Moderator

    Oct 2, 1998
    I think that you'll have to trust me that I don't act in a capricious manner. I don't fly off the handle, nor do you see me making decisions willy nilly with no eye for consequences.

    I've given you the reasoning behind my decision. I've discussed it with you guys, but in the end of the day, the responsibility lays with me.

    If you think I'm prone to rash and impulsive decisions, you aren't forced to stay here. That said, personally and just my opinion, BladeForums presents the best bang for the buck in the knife community, and everything here is a steal.

    Just me though.
     
  7. fod

    fod a la sombra

    Dec 6, 2006
    Once again, I need to know that the rules are stated clearly and I need to know that they are applied fairly and consistently and are not subject to arbitrary change.

    I will wait and see what you come up with and make a decision based on that.
     
  8. Spark

    Spark HPIC - Hatas gonna Hate Staff Member Administrator Super Mod Moderator

    Oct 2, 1998
    I think we have a failure in communication here. Do you think I'm acting arbitrarily right now?
     
  9. Josh K

    Josh K Pirate

    Sep 29, 2008
    I think he wants something very clear cut. For example, you have a website, you take custom orders, you do more then X amount of dollars a month / year. I'm not really sure how you would define it except as suppliers of material (which has already been said).

    I don't think he's as concerned about acting arbitrarily as he is concerned about paying for something others are getting for less.
     
  10. Spark

    Spark HPIC - Hatas gonna Hate Staff Member Administrator Super Mod Moderator

    Oct 2, 1998
    There is zero possibility that I can say "You make X dollars or less" to someone. Rest assured, however, that there will be clear cut rules.
     
  11. Josh K

    Josh K Pirate

    Sep 29, 2008
    Couldn't think of any better examples. :foot:
     
  12. fod

    fod a la sombra

    Dec 6, 2006
    Good Grief.

    A week ago a platinum membership was fine for me to conduct business here. For TWO years NO problems. Now there is, and I am trying to address it before deciding to pony up some more money.

    Now I am to be considered a "dealer"...next week a "manufacturer", or some other level you deem necessary for me to conduct business here?

    So, anyhow;

    I need to know that the rules are stated clearly and I need to know that they are applied fairly and consistently and are not subject to arbitrary change.

    I will wait and see what you come up with and make a decision based on that.

    Until then, I am done with this discussion.

    Later
     
  13. Josh K

    Josh K Pirate

    Sep 29, 2008
    You're upset that they are now changing "arbitrarily" and feel the need for some sort of guarantee they won't change in the future?
     
  14. IH8U

    IH8U

    779
    Mar 6, 2007
    I dunno, but I wouldn't stick FOD in a dealer category. He makes the stuff, therefore he should be a maker.
     
  15. Cougar Allen

    Cougar Allen Buccaneer (ret.) Gold Member

    Oct 9, 1998
    What's so hard to understand? Spark made a general statement that unspecified changes are going to be made; fod says he's going to wait to find out the specifics before he invests his money. I doubt you're going to have much luck arguing him out of that decision.

    Fod, you seem to have taken a general statement I made about moustachioed villians personally. All I can say to that is if the shoe doesn't fit you, don't wear it.

    Anyway I am only a deranged cowboy in the peanut gallery and nobody has to listen to me unless they think I'm making sense.
     
  16. Don Hanson III

    Don Hanson III KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 3, 2002
    Spark, I sell W2 tool steel in the Knife Maker's For Sale Area and BF has been very good to me.

    Do I send $200 now, or wait for the new rules, to see where I fit in?

    Thanks!
     
  17. Don Hanson III

    Don Hanson III KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 3, 2002
    And while I'm here.

    Burl Source, Mark, thanks for the knife makers directory, that's cool. I would also like to ask, if you continue to sell in the supplies section, would you please consider starting one thread and adding to it, instead of the many multiple threads. The dozens of threads you start bump the rest of us off the front page pretty quick. I'm asking publicly, so others will consider this before opening multiple threads.

    Thanks!
     
  18. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    Dave at Great Lakes Waterjet makes parts but he is a manufacturer so I have a bit of trouble with that. I like FOD, I like him a lot and I have some of his materials but looking at what is currently offered for memberships what I see is "knifemakers" accounts not a "makers" account per say meaning non knife maker but maker of other things related to it. FOD makes laminates so his category is one of those that needs further thought and discussion. If he makes and sells parts or what not I don't know how at this time to distinquish between him and Dave except for maybe volume or income difference perhaps. (sorry for using your account as an example Dave, its just the first one that came to mind)

    The problem I see and again, no offense or tone implied here but what I see happening if Spark sets up a 'small time' or "part time" dealer, a "non primary income" dealer forum or accounts for members is perhaps disputes over where to draw the line between big time full blown dealers accounts or full blown manufacturers vs the small time or part time ones. Obviously some stand out as being dealers. I mean no one would put FOD in the same league as say New Graham Pharmacy yet both have to pay the same so I agree something should be done to help the guys like FOD or Josh and others in that category such as Don but I the question is what and thats where cool heads and not getting all pissy with each other as we try to be fair about this will prevail.

    No one likes change. You can never make changes in anything without causing waves for some but what I'd ask is that everyone stop with the attitudes of being put out by it and just try to remain neutral while Kevin very fairly figures out something for you guys. He is not hard to get along with and if nothing else having a place like this where you can speak your mind and not get immediately kicked on your can out of here is something to be thankful about so lets calm down some and just deal. :thumbup:

    STR
     
  19. Burl Source

    Burl Source

    Dec 7, 2008
    Not a problem on the single thread. That makes it easier for me to keep track as well. I had asked the moderator, some of the buyers and a couple other sellers and got mixed messages. Being the new guy around here I didn't want to annoy people. Don's suggestion makes sense to me. That is what I will do in the future.

    If I could ask a question.
    Can I continue to sell wood with my Platinum Membership until a definite decision is made?


    I am ok with waiting, or continuing as usual until a definite decision is made. I am happy to do what I am told. This is a great forum and it is looking like Spark is getting a lot of un-needed grief from this. I apologize for what I may have caused. I just don't want to do things wrong, or worse yet get banned. I will find a way to make whatever changes are necessary. I will wait patiently until I am told what I can do.

    Thanks, Mark
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  20. Don Hanson III

    Don Hanson III KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 3, 2002
    Mark, thanks for your understanding, it's much appreciated!
     

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