Thoughts on authorized dealers raising GEC prices above the minimum sale price.

TinyDog

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Have all, Do what you wish and enjoy. I hope you make lots of money
 

Fixall

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Well, another one bites the dust. :(

The small dealer who I have purchased my last five or six GEC TCs and Waynorth knives has jumped on the price gouging train. Previous TC/Waynorth releases were sold to me at a price that was within $10 - $20 of the "Suggested Minimum Retail" price. I purchased the Sepia TC for $160 (after tax and shipping) from him. Then comes the Smooth Autumn Gold Bone TC. It's not an SFO and the minimum suggested retail price is right around $75, so I was expecting maybe $95 - $100 max. He charged me $150. It's still cheaper than I would be able to find it anywhere else at this point, and I would rather see a dealer get the extra money than a flipper, so I went for it. Honestly, I think $120 - $160 is reasonable for the knife when it has the fit and finish we have come to expect from previous releases. That's about the max I would be willing to pay when there are so many wonderful traditional knives out there right now. The Alber's Cutlery Boy's Knife and Boker Solingen Barlows come to mind.

As of now, there are only a handful of dealers holding out and only charging the Minimum Suggested Retail price. CollectorKnives, DLT Trading, and a couple of others. As far as I'm concerned, they've proved themselves. It's abundantly obvious that they are in the game not just to make a living, but for us enthusiasts. At this point, I'm starting to just feel like they are needlessly losing out on money and am starting to support the idea of them just raising prices. Selling products at the lowest price you can makes a lot of sense when there is competition... But there is no competition here. Any dealer who can get ahold of these knives is going to sell out instantly if they set the price any lower than $200.

I think I would like to see GEC raise their dealer price by about 30% - 40%... And then I would like to see the Minimum Suggested Retail price also raised by about 30% - 40%. That would put the dealer cost at around $100 - $110 and our cost at about $130 - $155. If that lead to an increase in production numbers, or better fit and finish... Great. If not, I'm cool with that too. That doesn't seem to be the route the Bill wants to take GEC though, and he can do whatever he wants with his company, lol. I can understand wanting to provide a really good knife at a really good value to their customers and his hesitance to raise the wholesale price. If that means the dealers raise their price instead, I guess I'm cool with it, as long as it stays reasonable. I'm just sick of seeing a flipper make $300 on a $75 knife while the dealer only sees $10 - $15 on that same knife. Excuse me, but that's a bag of crap.
 
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knifethetank

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If GEC quality goes down hill, which I don't think will happen or if another USA maker gets in the game which is possible nothing is going to change any time soon. When a dealer sells multiple brands like CK, DLT and our Northwood friend they are making a good business decision selling GEC at a fair price. These other dealers selling at MSRP I don't see a problem with either, at least they are notifying customers and listing the knives giving us a chance to purchase where a lot of dealers are not. The dealers selling at flipper prices are small, I don't like it but if we don't like the price don't buy it. I spend a lot of money on knives monthly on different brands, new and used and like others I'm loosing interest in trying to purchase a new GEC but will probably still try. I'm retired and can't pay flipper prices anymore but I'll still trade or buy at a fair price if I can't purchase from a dealer. Good luck to all and have a great day.
 

Jsega51

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Have all, Do what you wish and enjoy. I hope you make lots of money

Don’t take your ball and go home so easily! It’s not about making lots of money to most of the collectors. The comment you made about them “being worth retail at best” in the future was the point of argument.

As for the people in the game just to flip knives, sure, those TC barlows may not be worth the $350+ in the future that I’ve seen some sell for recently, but they’re only going to get more rare as time goes on. That’s a fact, the rest is speculation.
 

TinyDog

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Yes, As a collector I wish all my purchases to be sound. That said speculation is interesting. Not about taking my ball and going home at all. This is my opinion, sorry if you do not like it. Your opinion is yours, I respect that.
Don’t take your ball and go home so easily! It’s not about making lots of money to most of the collectors. The comment you made about them “being worth retail at best” in the future was the point of argument.

As for the people in the game just to flip knives, sure, those TC barlows may not be worth the $350+ in the future that I’ve seen some sell for recently, but they’re only going to get more rare as time goes on. That’s a fact, the rest is speculation.
 

rcs86

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I'm not saying whether this is terrible, I just found it funny. I already have secured two cocobolo boys knives (one for me and one for my son- both from great dealers who price things fairly as mentioned above), so I'm not looking for another. I still like to watch the rush, I'm weird like that. Got an e-mail that I'm sure some of you did as well, stating that the cocobolo knife was being released at 11:00 central, for $110.95, which is about $35 more than I paid. Regardless, that's whatever. What I found comical was that price was listed in the e-mail, already higher than most, and then on their site they were listed for $116.95 when they dropped. There was about three hours between the e-mail in the drop. Just found it interesting that the price went up during that time.
 
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We're trying to protect you from flippers.. by doing the exact same thing they are.. (excuse my glibness but I think that's ridiculous, if the market deems something more valuable than msrp it's our right to buy and sell amongst ourselves at any price point imo, and retailers they have every right to charge what they want if the market bears it.. but don't piss on my boots and tell me it's raining)
 

mrknife

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I'm not saying whether this is terrible, I just found it funny....d then on their site they were listed for $116.95 when they dropped. There was about three hours between the e-mail in the drop. Just found it interesting that the price went up during that time.

I saw that, i only recently signed up for other dealers since my regulars sold out of the knives I wanted. Having secured some knives from this run, it is certainly an eye opener to see what some dealers would do. I personally didnt sign up when another dealer was doing a lottery after seeing the upcharge they tacked on. Now if that means I dont get a knife or a chance at that knife, so be it. What gets me, is the number people who grabbed these knives that didnt even want it. Theyre either flipping them or using them as trade bait to get other nice pieces. Ive seen the prices both on here and ebay so the "it wasnt for me" or "bought it to try" is nonsense. Unfortunately if this is the way its gonna go for these knives and GEC, Im ok with not buying any more. I didn't buy much last year cause they didnt make many I cared for but if its such a headache to go after the patterns I like, I wont bother.
 
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The easy way to deal with flippers is to not buy what they're selling. There will always be another cool GEC.

The shop that I ordered my last one from in Ohio has a page of knives up still.
 

Pàdruig

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The easy way to deal with flippers is to not buy what they're selling. There will always be another cool GEC.

The shop that I ordered my last one from in Ohio has a page of knives up still.

Agreed.

I'm already noting that the craze is abating. A banned flipper here has been sitting on an Autumn Bone listed for 375 - no takers. The few that have been listed on the Exchange here in the last couple of days have either sat or been sitting for a bit too - one guy even had to lower his price. This tells me that folks have either had enough or the realization that these aren't worth the price that they are being peddled at is starting to sink in.
 

bigfish64

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Agreed.

I'm already noting that the craze is abating. A banned flipper here has been sitting on an Autumn Bone listed for 375 - no takers. The few that have been listed on the Exchange here in the last couple of days have either sat or been sitting for a bit too - one guy even had to lower his price. This tells me that folks have either had enough or the realization that these aren't worth the price that they are being peddled at is starting to sink in.
I’ve noticed the same thing. There are a bunch listed on the bay and the prices are coming down. Maybe there is hope!
 

Angry Angus

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I may slow down on my collection a bit due to increased pricing. I think that's why their doing it. Leaves more available for others' that are having a hard time acquiring one. Slows down the flippers a bit. I'm ok with that. I would like to see GEC up their price to the dealers so they can profit a bit more, the dealer can profit a bit more, and we can still feed our addiction. A win for everyone. I know, who wants to pay more? No one really. But if GEC were to struggle, quality could suffer, then of course the dealer could suffer, then, well, no fun for us. Make sense?
 

knifeswapper

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I may slow down on my collection a bit due to increased pricing. I think that's why their doing it. Leaves more available for others' that are having a hard time acquiring one. Slows down the flippers a bit. I'm ok with that. I would like to see GEC up their price to the dealers so they can profit a bit more, the dealer can profit a bit more, and we can still feed our addiction. A win for everyone. I know, who wants to pay more? No one really. But if GEC were to struggle, quality could suffer, then of course the dealer could suffer, then, well, no fun for us. Make sense?

So a factory pricing strategy solely reliant on the market conditions at the time of production.... Knife A was $75 three years ago when last produced. Today the only difference is more demand so it will be $120. In two years when things have calmed down a bit, it should be $85. That seems a bit problematic.

If the flipper price is $250; how much will it slow the flippers that the factory increased their price 60% and now the flipper margin is 200% instead of 300% ? Or does it just hurt those that still could have bought it for $75 ?

Most dealers have drastically increased their prices. Do you feel it has alleviated the market conditions significantly, for the better, over the last few months?

Maybe I am not seeing the same results from market actions that others seem to be seeing. It appears to me that dealers have become flippers and are making windfall profits while closing the door to their customers that could have picked up the knife for $75. Watching eBay activity it seems a very large percentage of flipping is now done by dealers. So are the ethics of the dealers superior to the prior flippers that were able to score one or two knives as opposed to a dozen+ from the dealer?

GEC's plan is to decrease the number of variants and increase production of the existing variants. Hopefully enough to stock dealer shelves for a couple months. This will lower factory overhead, thus increasing their profit. It will also eliminate the ability to sell a knife on eBay for $200 that is currently on dealer shelves for $75. Then everyone can go back to buying from the dealers that jumped at the opportunity to fleece their customers.
 

Angry Angus

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So a factory pricing strategy solely reliant on the market conditions at the time of production.... Knife A was $75 three years ago when last produced. Today the only difference is more demand so it will be $120. In two years when things have calmed down a bit, it should be $85. That seems a bit problematic.

If the flipper price is $250; how much will it slow the flippers that the factory increased their price 60% and now the flipper margin is 200% instead of 300% ? Or does it just hurt those that still could have bought it for $75 ?

Most dealers have drastically increased their prices. Do you feel it has alleviated the market conditions significantly, for the better, over the last few months?

Maybe I am not seeing the same results from market actions that others seem to be seeing. It appears to me that dealers have become flippers and are making windfall profits while closing the door to their customers that could have picked up the knife for $75. Watching eBay activity it seems a very large percentage of flipping is now done by dealers. So are the ethics of the dealers superior to the prior flippers that were able to score one or two knives as opposed to a dozen+ from the dealer?

GEC's plan is to decrease the number of variants and increase production of the existing variants. Hopefully enough to stock dealer shelves for a couple months. This will lower factory overhead, thus increasing their profit. It will also eliminate the ability to sell a knife on eBay for $200 that is currently on dealer shelves for $75. Then everyone can go back to buying from the dealers that jumped at the opportunity to fleece their customers.
Obviously I'm not as well versed in business mumbo jumbo as you. I'll admit it. Just expressing an opinion. I would rather get want I want as cheap as possible, but I may be willing to ride out the storm to see that GEC survives in the future. I'm not at all saying that they are in any kind of trouble of course. If they are profitable, going to stick around, and quality doesn't suffer, awesome. Moving onto to flippers, I guess it's a free market, annoying yes, maybe those buying the over priced knives should just stop. Probably not going to happen though, but who knows. The supply and demand thing is over my head. As far as dealers (gouging)? Maybe GEC needs to set some limits on them as far as pricing. You become a dealer by choice, different than a free market in my eyes. It should be a privilege to be a dealer and rules should be set and followed. If not, pull the dealership status from them and work with someone that is willing to work with you. I said in another thread why I'm drawn to GEC. American made, you can stop in and nose around, I love the old patterns and materials used, and the fact they run low production numbers is a plus in my opinion. Not certain, never asked Mr. Howard myself, but someone I talked to said he loves what he is doing. Keep doing it. If they cut back to say 4 to 6 variations annually and drive production numbers up, they may lose some customer base. Profit may go up as they still sell what they produce. More people may get buy their knives. But ultimately, is that what Mr. Howard wants to do? I'm guessing he loves to look at and fondle his knives as much as many of us do. If I want a knife that 10,000 of the same pattern, material, color, so on, were made, Case makes a "decent" knife at a cheaper price. I have quite a few. Carrying one as I speak. Again, I'm a newbie on here, not trying to stir anything. Just an opinion from someone that at least appreciates traditional knives. I hope things settle down, whatever that might mean. We'll see.
 

Pàdruig

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So a factory pricing strategy solely reliant on the market conditions at the time of production.... Knife A was $75 three years ago when last produced. Today the only difference is more demand so it will be $120. In two years when things have calmed down a bit, it should be $85. That seems a bit problematic.

If the flipper price is $250; how much will it slow the flippers that the factory increased their price 60% and now the flipper margin is 200% instead of 300% ? Or does it just hurt those that still could have bought it for $75 ?

Most dealers have drastically increased their prices. Do you feel it has alleviated the market conditions significantly, for the better, over the last few months?

Maybe I am not seeing the same results from market actions that others seem to be seeing. It appears to me that dealers have become flippers and are making windfall profits while closing the door to their customers that could have picked up the knife for $75. Watching eBay activity it seems a very large percentage of flipping is now done by dealers. So are the ethics of the dealers superior to the prior flippers that were able to score one or two knives as opposed to a dozen+ from the dealer?

GEC's plan is to decrease the number of variants and increase production of the existing variants. Hopefully enough to stock dealer shelves for a couple months. This will lower factory overhead, thus increasing their profit. It will also eliminate the ability to sell a knife on eBay for $200 that is currently on dealer shelves for $75. Then everyone can go back to buying from the dealers that jumped at the opportunity to fleece their customers.

Mike, from your perspective, is it problematic for a factory to set limits or institute rules on its dealer network? Admittedly, I am not well versed in MAP pricing and I know you have explained GEC's version of it but it still seems to leave things fairly open ended for dealers. If everything is "suggested" and nothing concrete, then dealers can pick up the ball and run with it how they see fit.
 

Pàdruig

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unbelievable, even at an upcharge, the drop was undoable. Probably time to stop bothering with GEC knives for awhile.

In my opinion, it's a good time to take a break. I am eager to see what else GEC has in the pipeline but for now, I am content with riding these current releases out and allowing myself the opportunity to pursue other cutlery related interests. Not easier on the wallet, mind you, but it adds some variety and broadens the experience.
 

mrknife

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In my opinion, it's a good time to take a break. I am eager to see what else GEC has in the pipeline but for now, I am content with riding these current releases out and allowing myself the opportunity to pursue other cutlery related interests. Not easier on the wallet, mind you, but it adds some variety and broadens the experience.

Yeah, for the most part, they didnt make much I cared for last year but I have a fondness for the 15 pattern. But after seeing the urban jack, I can close the sites.
 

knifeswapper

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Obviously I'm not as well versed in business mumbo jumbo as you. I'll admit it. Just expressing an opinion.

Your opinion on the fact that GEC should raise prices in order to curb flipping was something I was trying to flesh out a bit. You did end it with "Make sense?" so I thought you were open to a conversation about the implications. My apologies for laying out all the "mumbo jumbo".

Mike, from your perspective, is it problematic for a factory to set limits or institute rules on its dealer network? Admittedly, I am not well versed in MAP pricing and I know you have explained GEC's version of it but it still seems to leave things fairly open ended for dealers. If everything is "suggested" and nothing concrete, then dealers can pick up the ball and run with it how they see fit.

I don't even like the "floor" pricing they implement. Let the market find the price. So, I would be a hypocrite if I said I thought there should be a "ceiling" price. We are seeing these types of things everywhere. The premium on silver a week ago was in the $1 - $2 range; this week with silver back to the same commodity price, the premium is now $4 - $10. Why, because the bullion dealers are maximizing profits on an in-demand item. But, I do feel as if an authorized dealer that was perfectly fine with the margins during the skinny times ( admittedly most of the current volume is from dealers that were not involved until recently ); has no reason to not be happy with them now. But, since the demand is so high the dealers are blinded by $$$$. I have watched this go on in the local gun shows years ago. One Case knife dealer in particular would setup his booth and then walk the show seeing what competitors had on their tables. If nobody had the new pattern he had, he would bump the price 25% or so. People would buy it and then in a couple weeks go back to the show to see everyone else had the same knife for significantly less. You know what the customers finally did? They started walking right past his table.

I think GEC has an interest in supplying the market to the point that it doesn't introduce new unforeseen issues. In doing this it will not only stop flippers, dealers or otherwise, from gouging the market - but hopefully all the customers will remember the dealers that gouged the market during the frenzied times.

But, to answer your specific question. I think GEC should have one minimum price and then find the production number that generally works for the market. Having GEC dictate top end prices is just trying to solve a symptom instead of the problem.
 
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