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removing prices on sold knives.

Discussion in 'Around the Grinder' started by Bailey Knives, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. Bailey Knives

    Bailey Knives KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2004
    I saw the discussion on prices for sold knives, but I was on vacation last week, and missed the opportunity to comment on it. I do not usually mark prices as sold, although I feel like I should for this reason. I have seen a thread started here for one of my knives that I had previously sold, going up for sale again from the new owner. He had a price higher than what I had originally sold it for, and someone linked to my original thread and offered slightly less than what he had paid for it. Frankly, I want people to be able to take one of my knives and sell them for a profit and I was a little disappointed that I had not taken the price down from the original post so that my customer could have benefited from it. The reason I don't usually mark them as sold is sheer procrastination. I leave the price up so that I know who paid me for what, then after they are all sent out, I forget to change them. I just think it benefits my customer to take the price down so if they want to try to have a return on their investment, I will not be standing in the way.
  2. jawilder


    Jun 27, 2006
    That is the best reason I have read so far. Thanks for sharing that.
  3. daizee

    daizee KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 30, 2009
    Matt, I love your knives, but not your logic.

    If the value of the knife goes up, then it will sell at the asking price, though only to those who appreciate the change in value (usually due to exclusivity, increased reputation, etc.). If the owner cannot convince a new buyer that the value has gone up, then it hasn't, or at least it doesn't have that value for the prospective buyer. Fiddling with the market though information arbitrage is not a good way to attract customers to the knife market, except the kind that buy merely to take advantage of less-informed patsies.

    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  4. Brian Ayres

    Brian Ayres

    Feb 4, 2011

    I'm glad you brought this up again since it got locked before there was enough feedback. I have yet to sell a knife but I am interested in this subject.

    I am trying to wrap my head around the logic of the reason for taking off the prices?
    Does it help sales when Joe customer sees the knife and they then HAVE TO make direct contact with the maker to inquire?
    I understand as a maker evolves, most likely his prices will to, so I see that point.

    It just seems there must be more to it?
  5. cbr900son


    Mar 3, 2011
    I stated last time and will restate I do it because I do a LOT of charity knives and don't want to limit or bring down the bids since most go to charity auctions. I do have a few people that wonder why the price goes up when some materials go up but are cool when I explain.
  6. MKP


    Sep 25, 2011
    Sometime people are afraid or embarrass to ask. Bailey is a perfect example. If I saw one Matt's nice sanmai knife without a price (just SOLD), I would thought that it is way out of my price range and would be too embarrass to email and ask. But if I saw a recently sale knife with price, then I realize that it is within my price range. It may go up at little, but still within my reach. I am less afraid to ask.
  7. Joe Calton

    Joe Calton KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 8, 2008
    I was about to post on the other thread right before it was locked. So im glad this one was started.

    I am also cUrious as to why prices are so secretive. As a newer seller, i am still figuring out a price guide for my knives, and it is kinda troublesome to see a knife that looks like it is on par with my skills that was sold with the price gone.

    I leave the price, and just put "sold" right under the price. To my way of thinking, that is just a way to let folks know that that particular blade was sold for that price and if they would like one like it, a similar one will be "aRound" that price. Of course materials costs, advances in performance, select materials will all come into play with an order

    I do however respect each makers choices to do business exactly how he/she wishes. That is part of the beauty of doing things your own way, and the freedom that comes with this type of venture!
  8. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Moved to ATG.
    This really isn't a shop Talk issue.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  9. Bailey Knives

    Bailey Knives KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2004
    Thanks for moving it Stacy,

    Daizee, I appreciate your comments and can see your point, but one of my customers may have lost a sale just because someone was trying to lowball him and dig up a thread that may have been a year old. I guess it is true it may not have increased for that particular customer, but the third party never bothered to contact me to see if he could still get a similar knife at a similar price (he could not have) so what he thought was an actual buying price would not have been fair for the one who bought it from me. Also he wouldn't have had to wait those pesky months for his new knife to arrive!:)
  10. Brian Ayres

    Brian Ayres

    Feb 4, 2011

    I disagree,

    I feel like the business of knifemaking is very relevant to Shoptalk??

    Keep the opinions coming fellas! I'm still on the fence here. My gut tells me removing the prices is appropriate, but I'm still trying to figure out the logic!
  11. daizee

    daizee KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 30, 2009
    I understand Matt, but it manipulates the market in favor of one customer, to the detriment of the other. Is that new buyer not also your customer? Wouldn't you hope he'd love your blade and come back and order one directly?

    See? you found the value.
    In every single area of retail, you pay for convenience.
    if you go into a brick & mortar store of any type, you pay for their shipping, stocking, staffing, and customer service costs, as well as the fact that you can have your item RIGHT NOW. Or you can order over the 'net sight-unseen, pay shipping and wait. I'd wager that few custom makers have a lead time of less than a month, and the greater demand for that maker's work, the longer the lead times. That's the most tangible value proposition right there, nevermind the collectibility aspects. In fact, the premium charged for your work on the secondary market puts an *explicit* value on your lead time and production rate, which makes it *easier* for direct buyers to mark up secondary sales accurately, so that nobody feels like they've been taken for a ride. The best business transaction is one in which both parties feel they've got good value in the exchange, even after they go home and price-compare. I'd be flattered to see that markup on my own blades (unlikely to happen! :) ).

  12. Fellhoelter


    Dec 29, 2005
    Regardless of if it's the maker, or a secondary seller that removes the price on a sale thread, it's always bugged me a little.
    I think of it the same way I think of anything for sale.
    If there's no price on there, the seller must be ashamed of the asking price.
    Now, this is probably not true in most cases, but it's the way I have always felt.

    There's a lot of vehicles for sale in my town, and I want a Jeep.
    I stop to look at everyone I see with a for sale sign on it.
    Easily 75% of them have no price on them, just contact information.
    Those people never hear from me, ever.
    There's obviously something wrong with the price if it can''t even be written on the for sale sign, and you feel the need to talk to me in person to explain it.
    The guy with the decency to post his asking price on the sign will hear from me, even if he is asking double what I am willing to pay.

    Same principle here in my eyes, even though we are dealing with prices being visible after a sale.

    He likely didn't lose a sale because of this.
    More likely is that the potential customer was going to make a lowball offer regardless.
    I see this on occasion, when someone finds a 6 year old sale of one of my folders for $300 and wants one today at the same price.
    Sorry, they are almost double that now, and often more on the secondary market.
    Either that potential customer will pay the current price, or he is in the market for a $300 knife, in which case I am not the maker for him regardless of if prices are in old threads or not.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  13. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    It is right in the headers on each forum:
    Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers

    The art of knife making- advice on methods, supplies, and materials

    Around the Grinder

    KnifeMaker's Chit Chat Area. For off topic posting, humor, bs'ing, etc for our hard working Knifemakers.
  14. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket Moderator

    Apr 15, 2010
    It's good topic for ATG. My comments will surely ruffle some feathers. That's fine, my opinion is only that.

    This may sound cold, so please read with a "grain of salt"... This is my job. I price my work at a level that reflects the materials and my labor - to an extent, demand plays a role in any economic transaction, but it's not a huge deal in my case so far.

    I'm not terribly concerned about the financial benefit to people who buy individual knives simply to flip them at a profit. I'm far more concerned about getting new orders on my books. If folks want to retail knives, they're definitely welcome to negotiate a volume order at a discount. That's fair to the maker, the dealer, and the final customer.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2012
  15. Bailey Knives

    Bailey Knives KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2004
    I appreciate all the comments. the funny thing is that I want to remove prices, but I usually forget. I can see both sides of the argument and will probably not worry too much about taking off the original price. I will most likely continue as I have been, because for the most part it works for me. Can't make everyone happy, right?
  16. sunshadow


    Oct 2, 2006
    My opinion of people who buy knives just to flip them is that they are the same kind of parasite that buys up all of the tickets to a show then scalps them for a substantial markup since they have eliminated people's opportunities to buy at the original price. These people are making a substantial profit on reselling an artist's hard work. Imagine my surprise when the $10.00 ticket that I and my bandmates were each getting 50 cents of was being scalped for $25.00 by an unscrupulous parasite who purchased all 300 tickets and made $4500 on our show that the actual musicians were only getting paid $150 for before costs.

    Retailers who have a wholesale relationship with the maker are a different thing. I have wholesale and consignment relationships with several retailers who I make specific items for them to sell, we have a joint interest in selling my work and have collaborated on designing product that would sell in their stores.

  17. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket Moderator

    Apr 15, 2010
    Well said, Page.
  18. Brian Ayres

    Brian Ayres

    Feb 4, 2011
    I still respectfully disagree. :) The recent thread on whether to use a company name vs your name, Trypper's thread on what knives influence his like for making daggers were left up in shop talk. :confused: A discussion about the business side of knifemaking IS part of making knives. To me it's part of the METHOD.
    Please understand I'm not being bitchy. I just disagree. :

    I'm a new maker and this topic is of interest to me. Obviously unlike most posts in Around the Grinder, this one is still getting feedback.

    If someone can scalp 300 tickets and raise the cost over 100% is it their fault the promoter undervalued the market and the band undervalued their talent?

    Likewise, if a knifemaker sells a blade, say a well made Loveless inspired chute knife, for $200 then a dealer sees an undervalued sale, buys it, and re-sells it for $400 at his next show is it the dealers fault the maker undervalued his own work?

    At this point, if I sell a knife in the For Sale forum, I'd leave my price up unless I was convinced it was the correct thing to remove the price.
  19. sunshadow


    Oct 2, 2006
    I disagree, I see scalpers as unscrupulous parasites exploiting the public and the artists. They provide no positive benefit to anyone but themselves and get rich on other people's work. I have little respect for flippers, as they are also basically getting rich on the backs of the people actually doing the work.

    I may still be an idealist in that I actually see criminality in the actions of scalpers, sadly, New York State legalized ticket scalping last year. Flippers are like leeches, unavoidable, and rarely benefitting anyone.

  20. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    I'm not trying to be argumentative, but the threads you cited are not relevant to your objection.
    This topic was started in Shop Talk, and got out of hand quickly. It was closed by the OP but would have been locked by the mods if he hadn't. Then Matthew Bailey re-started it again. It was moved because - 1) It was closed just prior to being re-started.... and... 2) It isn't related to making a knife....it is about selling a knife, and any thread about sales and prices is strictly verboten in Shop Talk.
    A thread about why you mark your knives this or that way is a knife making related topic. A thread about what influences the knives you make and the grinds, hardware, etc you use is a knife making topic.

    Some threads are a bit off topic for Shop Talk ,but are left up because they stay friendly, are of interest to enough folks. Sometimes they are left up because they are started by folks who can't post in ATG. Many are moved to the right forum, where the posted can get the info he needs. Some are moved from other forums into Shop Talk because they are more likely to be answered by a maker with good info here.

    The mods try hard to let things slide by as long as they don't get too off topic or unfriendly. This thread was both, and that is why it was moved.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012

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