Microtech and it's pricing policy and how it effects you!

Sep 11, 1999
I have been a member at Knife Forums and read the Microtech Collectors forum. . I do not agree with what Microtech is doing by trying to control the market price for their products. I don't even know if it is legal. If I was a dealer I would understand some of this but if I buy something from Microtech and it does not sell I should be able to sell it for whatever I want. They can't force me to sell at a certain price. I have a good collection of Microtech and I like the value of it to stay high but I also like to get a good deal and if a dealer sell me something cheap then that is their decision. Who knows, am I missing something here?

I used a different name because I do not want to loose my posting priveledges at KnifeForums I have been on both forum for a long time. I also know that this may start something but I feel it is important that you all know what goes on in the market and the secret forum on the other site.

This was just posted today by Valmet, what do you think?

Well, people have asked and asked and asked and asked etc...., so I'll venture to talk about this subject- one that's on everyone's mind.

In the past few months, we have seen a decline in MT sales across the board. One can look at all the 4SALE Forums on the NET and find that there are many Highly Desirable MTs, at very good prices, that aren't selling. Well my advice has always been, and will always be, to take advantage of the deals out there. Although these are some of the toughest times ever in the MT Market, THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT THE MARKET WILL EVENTUALLY RECOVER.

Now for some plausible explanations.

The present market decline, IMHO, is due to Whoring of Products and Too much profit taking at all levels. However, it should be noted that MT is addressing these issues.

Now for some discussion.

MT is to knives as Rolex and Philippe are to watches. IMHO, the Two things that drives us towards MTs are QUALITY and IMAGE. Now people may complain about some Flaky Coating Crap, BUT, the QUALTIY is still here. HOWEVER, the Whoring of Product has tarnished the reputation. Now some may say It's the American Way, well, that's not helping. People who ***** the knives for cost are only hurting the market. Hey, on the short term you will get a great deal, BUT, in the long term you will make nothing on your investment. People who dump for no good reason aren't interested in anything but a Quick Buck. They really don't care about you, me, MT, or the Market at all. All the Distributors and Dealers Signed a Contract with MT to the tune that they would not list the knives below MSRP. However, anyone who signed said contract can sell said product for whatever they want. This is why I always tell people to develop a good relationship with one dealer, as you will end up saving a lot of money in the long run as any good Dealer/Distributor will reward loyalty with good deals. Now as far as those individuals who don't abide by said contract, well, they won't be buying from MT or the Custom MT Distributor anymore. So if you're reading along here, you'll notice my wording in the previous sentence. Yes, those who violated the terms of said contract may still be able in the short term to get MT products through Back Doors, and they have. Additionally, they have also dumped products for less than cost, in some instances, out of spite. Now the average MT enthusiast cannot be blamed for taking advantage of the good deals, but one should not think that they have your interests in mind. You have to ask yourself why they are selling so cheap when they really don't need to??? Sure, you'll hear all the diatribe from all the First Amendment Junkies, but I urge people to think about these individuals real motives. BTW, those who are DIRE Supporters of the First Amendment, please note that the first part of the previous statement should only be interpreted as a Tongue and Cheek remark.

Now for the most controversial issue- Profit Taking.

The reason why MT prices are at the levels that we see now is due to the MARKET. When Tony and the gang started making knives, they were selling them for next to nothing. How about a CFO I for $245??? The reason why the MT prices are as high as they are now is strictly due to the AFTERMARKET PRICES FROM THE PAST. Yes, MT charges more for their Custom Stuff now, but it is due to the market. I certainly don't blame them for taking advantage of a Good Thing, as it was Tony's hard work that people were profiting off of. People were selling 1st Run Satin Nemesis for up to $1200 at one point, when Tony and the gang were seeing roughly 1/4 of that. The people who gouged and tried to get as much as they possibly could for a piece have now created a problem, as we're now finding that the market cannot sustain these elevated price levels. People selling Giant HALOs for $9500+, Dragon Slayers for $4000 (Not #001!
), etc..., created a False Sense of Value. I don't think the Desirability for MTs has ever decreased, but the higher asking prices have created problems. Now people feel violated that they are losing money on their investment, and I can't blame them, but it's because of greedy bastards on the Secondary Market that the situation ever came about in the first place.

I think a lot of the Sell Offs that we are seeing now are from MT enthusiasts who are Liquidating Inventory in order to raise Capital to afford some of these new very expensive pieces. Yes, others are dumping because they think the market is doomed, but that is not the case in reality. The problem that I foresee is that we may have a Vicious Cycle of people dumping one Custom MT in order to buy the next, and unfortunately, it's happening as we speak. Back in the day, how many people were routinely seeing Brend HALO IIs (A Run of around 33 pieces) offered for sale every day???? Few if any were ever trading. Now we have these limited runs of 30 knives, yet they aren't moving like they used to, and some collectors are selling them shortly after they purchase them, due to their desires to raise money to buy the next MT. Enough said.

Well, there is a solution to the problem, and I've actually been informed that MT is also working on the situation.

1. The So Called "Market Dumpers" must be eliminated. If people want to abide by the terms of the contract, then they will continues to prosper on the long term. I've had a least 5 dealers contact me with their concerns about people selling at or below cost. Some of these dealers are Good Friends of mine who feel like they are being punished for doing the right thing. Well, the Good News, IMHO, is that this problem is being successfully addressed by MT.

2. We need to see a Price Cut on some of the Custom Pieces at the Retail Level. Excluding the Damascus and Brend M-UDTs, I haven't seen too many knives selling for less than the wholesale cost, but I have been a little alarmed when I've seen people listing MTs above[/i] the MSRP. The profit margin suggested by MT via their MSRPs is more than enough, and I don't see any reason why one should charge more than the MSRP. Now the Good News here is that we are seeing some improvements in this area, which are the following:
a. The FrogMan controls the Distribution of the "High End" fare. Tom doesn't put up with nonsense, and he has been with Tony forever!
, so he's the Best Man for The Job.

b. The Custom runs are being spread out over time to try and eliminate the need for the collector to dump the first half of his collection in order to be able to afford the next $2000 knife. The problem is that out of 30 buyers per month, a fairly significant number of the buyers cannot afford 1-2 $2000+ knives every month.

c. We need the number of dealers to remain fairly constant. I've been getting calls from dealers who are getting alarmed that all these new Fly By Night dealers are hurting their businesses. Now some of these Fly By Nighters have been in business a long time, and they continued to pump product out at Cut Rate prices up till a few weeks ago when they were shown the door.

d. We need a Price Cut On the SS Handle OTF Runs. My indications are that people will be selling some of their Dragon Slayer IIs in order to finance their Brend and Dam SS Patriots and Dam CFO II. We have a potentially Viscious Cycle here where we'd see the market flooded with High End MTs every other month or so. This isn't a "Sustainable Practice". However, it appears, check Patrick's latest post here as well, that we are seeing some much needed "Price Cuts". Ideally, I would like the SS Handle OTFs to retail for $1500 RETAIL. After months of extensive research, I've found that $1500 is about the AVERAGE MAXIMUM that a Serious MT Collector is willing to pay overall. Yes, I know plenty of MTs that wholesale and retail for a lot more than this, but I am referring to the runs of 30 here. One can see for oneself that APMs at $1200+ tend to move really fast off the boards, so if the Custom SS Handle OTFs could hit the Retail Scene for $1500, then I think a lot of the Dumping Problems would be solved.

Well, this is my take on the market as I see it today. We may be in a Depression, but the market is NOT Doomed.

Your IP number has been logged when you submitted this thread. Check the little box at the bottom right hand corner of your post. They will know who you are and it's a very small circle.
Maybe he's smart enough to use a different computer.

I think MT is making a mistake with it's weird looking new line of knives (not to mention small). It seems like they are delibrately trying to target collectors, not users. Start making using knives again, and maybe people'll start buying again.

Secondly, MT used to be well ahead of the competition. But with Benchmade and Spyderco doing much more interesting things with new locks and steel, MT's lead is vaporizing. If their marketing is geared toward the collectors, they should know collectors are looking for different and inovative designs, not weird freaky knives.

I can spend $170 on a linerlock with 154CM blade. (Like I don't have enough) Or I can save $70 and get an Axis or Military. Easy choice. MT chose to leave the main stream and make gadgets. The knives aren't selling, so the dealers are dropping the prices. Can you blame them?

[This message has been edited by tallwingedgoat (edited 11 September 1999).]
Caution - "Flamable Topic."

Any thread around here that combines a discussion of dealer pricing out in the open with a mention of the other forum is a thread where folks may get excited. Let's make sure we maintain decorum and, if we disagree, speak against the statement and not the person, and address the group and not the previous speaker. So far, so good.

And, on the topic, an "ELU" - a customer who bought a Microtech from a dealer - is generally not a dealer, and is not a party to any contract with Microtech, and so should be able to sell a used/pre-owned Microtech for as much or as little as they can get for it, depending on condition of the knife and how much of a hurry one is in to sell it.

Now if they'd just produce their basic high-end using knives - SOCOM and Mini Socom in both clip point and "tanto" all the time, so I could carry them on my web page at some price all the time! An expensive OTF auto is a collector knife and not a using knife, even in states where they're legal.

AKTI Member # SA00001
I'm debating whether to keep this thread open, or move it to the automatic forum, or delete it entirely, but I can't really say I'm suprised by the subject or the content, after all, this has been a long time coming.

CJ is correct, we do have the IP number of the poster in question, however, like tallwingedgoat mentioned, it's not a foolproof method of identification.

Keep it calm and civil, folks, I don't want another flamewar this weekend.


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com

Insert witty quip here
I'd urge you to keep this thread open, unless it gets too heated. To me, it's an absolutely fascinating look at a particularly interesting cutlery niche market. Some of the concerns -- such as "fly by night" deep-discount dealers -- I've seen expressed by companies like Spyderco and Benchmade as well, with differing reactions. The selloff-cycle theory is an interesting one, one that I'm a bit sceptical of but am interested in following now that I know about it!


I think Baphomet...er, Tallwingedgoat (gotta love that name!) is right on the money about MT's tiny, weird looking knives, and I said as much in the MT collector's forum. I collect(ed) MT, but I won't touch the mini-socom, mudt, kestrel, or vector. They're either too small or too goofy. I look for things recover when the Ultratech D/A OTF comes out.

Spy (you fink
), I don't think MT is controlling market prices so much as they are dealer's advertised prices. A dealer can sell MTs for pretty much whatever they want. They just can't advertise below suggested retail. Chris Reeve takes more control then that.
We've been here and done this.
I believe MicroTech can do what they want and dealers can sign an agreement or not.
I believe this subject will never fly n a public forum with a buyer, dealer, wholesaler,and manufacturer mix.
It is a circular conversation that will gum up the wheels of the bladeforums.

Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.... Vermont Proverb

What? Like the rest of the forums are discussing topics of vital importance?

If we had anything better to do, we'd be doing it.

Your RIGHT..... I am going to wash the DEET of my stinking body (been out this evening) and go to bed!
My two Lincolns worth...I was one of the first ones to complain loudly about the high price of special run MTs but after a lot of thought and discussion realized you can't blame MT. At one time, you could buy a limited run MT and hold it a while and make some nice profit if you wanted to sell it. MT saw that and decided they wanted the profit for themselves and their dealers instead of their customers, can't blame MT for that, they are a BUSINESS, their objective is to maximize thier profit. When ELUs make more profit on their knives than they do, they raise prices to what the market will bear. I think they raised prices of their special runs too high, too fast. Took some of the fun out of buying the limited runs and made a bunch of these collectors/profit takers mad so they started dumping. I still buy them, but stick with my favorite, the Brend Mirror Polished ones and their standard production runs. Lower prices won't make me sell, it makes me BUY! I am glad to see a dip in prices as it has allowed me to pick up some pieces I didn't have at a good price. Anyone got a cheap mirror HALO2 for sale???

I think we should be careful in this thread and take Jim's advice. You can discuss this issue but if you are a dealer please keep specific dealer issues out of this particular forum. You can of course use the dealer forum for that.

From my position I must not add to this at this time so I digress.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!

This whole situation is not that uncommon in other collectable markets. It's happened in the "beanie baby" market, it's happened in the die cast car (i.e. hot wheels) market, it's happened in the collectable figure (i.e. G I Joe)market, etc...A company sees the profits of it's product being deemed a "collectable" and hence the company starts producing numbered special editions, limited runs, etc, which cost the company slightly more in initial costs, but also cause huge profit gains...UNTIl the collectable market falls into the gutter, and that very small collector niche sells off the product. There will always be that one spike in te price of a collectable which will subside until the product is only saleable for slightly above retail/original prices...

I think Dano's hit the nail on the head.

Microtech stepped out of knives and into collectables. The designs make less and less sense, the prices go higher and higher, and suddenly the bottom drops out. Big surprise. Users don't want them anymore because their shapes are made for looks, not function. Collectors don't want them because they're getting too high in price and losing their resale value. When you get into this kind of money, most collectors are part investor, too - that means for value to be retained, the market must be there, not just the product itself.

Don't believe me? Compare a Kestrel to an Umfaan. Both are lovely, both are well-fit, and both command a high price. But at the end of the day, one's about the finest folding cutting tool you can buy and the other's an expensive plaything. Playthings are fine, too - they're fun and they can hold great value. But only as long as they're in vogue.

Microtech can try whatever they like. I don't think it'll work unless what they try is getting back into making knives, not wall-hangers. Don't talk to me about Rolex - they don't have to compete with a serious custom market that offers a comparably beautiful, well-made product at similar prices. If you want art as well as a fine mechanism in a knife, you can buy custom. That's not an option with watches.

I know this thread is about price-fixing, but I think more deeply it's about investments and it's about greed. The collector market for Microtechs has taken some nice autos and snowballed them into expensive beanie-babies. Now everyone (Microtech most of all) is trying to keep the snowball rolling. But that can't happen - at some point the hill ends and the snowball starts to melt. I hope when it's over there will still be a nice little company making some fine autos... but there may be just mud and fond memories.

Damn Drew, that was beautiful man!

That's probably one of the best written posts I've seen on these forums.


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com

Insert witty quip here
MT make some nice knives. I have bought a couple.
Traded both off.
No complaints.....just wasn't impressed enough to want to keep them. I am not lusting after any more......too bloody expensive alongside the competition.

There is a marketing ploy which involves pricing an item so that it appears to be of a very high quality.....after all, is a Rolex so much better at keeping time than a Timex ? Or an Omega (my personal weakness).

But, then, I traded off my Genesis and Sebenza, also. So..what would I know ?

Brian W E
ICQ #21525343
Money : spend it before it's all gone

The scepticism I expressed earlier about the "selloff cycle" theory was based a lot on what other people have zeroed in on. I do agree that it's better explained as analagous to a market bubble, where prices rise well beyond reason, partially because of frenzied investors are partially speculators looking to score quickly. At some point confidence drops out and prices return to a more sane level.

This explanation that people are selling off the knife they just bought in order to get the next knife, I've never seen this in any kind of market, collectibles, stocks, or anything else. If the market is based on a sound foundation, there's always someone else looking to buy what's being sold off. If it was a bubble market based on unrealistic expectations and overenthusiasm, things don't sell and prices drop.

It's natural that those who invested heavily in the bubble want to protect their investment, and might even invent bizarre explanations in order to suck more people in. From outside the bubble, it's usually pretty easy to see what's happened, though.

Thanks also to Drew-very well put insightful post. It's very ironic that it was the appearance of MT products a couple of years ago that gave me the great interest I now have in knives-before that I just used a Buck skinner in deer season and a Rapala in the tackle box. I would never have developed the interest and fascination that I have with knives had it not been for this company.

I have owned many MTs, sold most of them and I have two left, both SOCOMs, which, for me are not only their best product, but really the only practical (current) one.

I don't intend to purchase any more, not because I'm mad at the company and not because they don't make a quality product, they just don't make anything real anymore- both the Vector and Kestral are answering questions that the Civilian answered a long time ago-if I want to get a Tactical Tanto Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Knife, I will get one from Toys 'R Us or one of the Smoking Hole designs.
Commence firing, Cappy
i own 0 microtechs.....i think they are nice, and i wouldnt mind carrying one cause like most knifemakers i cant afford one of my own and everytime i make one for myself i trade it for cash shortly thereafter...but one thing is for sure.....the golden rule. he who owns the gold makes the rules...is the bottom line in all business.....money is the deciding factor...the companies that do good have a good product at a reasonable price, reasonable-that doesnt mean cheap. like any company, microtech will have their ups and downs...if they keep their quality up and the prices reasonable...there should be no problem