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Where to sell?

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by jdm61, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    So where in the heck are people selling custom kitchen knives? There isn't much action on here and the specialized forums seem to have continued their historical trend of self destructing because of butthurt, etc. Where are the really successful makers that aren't named Kramer getting their product out in the public eye? If you Google, you will come up with some pics of nice stuff, but for every one of those, you get 20 pics of Pakistani damascocrap. A couple of the guys that I have seen were doing well before they ever signed up at the latest and greatest forum or what have you. How are they doing this? They can't have that many friends and family!!;)
  2. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    homebutcher sells a lot of kitchen knives made by individuals, some forum members.
  3. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    I know about them, eating tools, epicurean edge and some others, but they naturally want 20-30% of your money for selling your knives. I am asking where do people sell their knives without having to go through a dealer?
  4. jc57

    jc57 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    You could try https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/. Seems to be a lot of makers have subforums there. I don't know anything about the cost or process. I visit there rarely and post almost never.
  5. JoeWheels

    JoeWheels Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 7, 2018
  6. scott.livesey


    Nov 10, 2011
    Etsy has quite a few knife makers selling there, kitchen knives and "regular" knives. I think they charge 4% or 5%. KKF is interesting to visit, but most members seem hung up on japanese knives only. KKF charges $150 for "Hobbyist Craftsman" that lets you sell one a month. if ordinary member, this applies "The B/S/T forum is not to be used by knifemakers, hobbyists, or vendors to sell or list items/services that are business related. They shall not offer to rework, refurb, upgrade, and/or offer warranty work to/of any items being sold in the B/S/T forum nor should they comment on or talk up products that they make and/or sell.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
  7. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    Costs a LOT and losing vendors. From what I heard, KKF was formed in the aftermath of some butthurt over at the forum that was eventually bought by Blade IIRC. That place had the 'In The Kitchen" subgroup and you have seen "forum" knives and "ITK" knives from folks in the past. Later, it would seem that Kitchen Knife FORA was formed in the aftermath of further butthurt at KKF. Some have left Forums and gone to Fora because of price, but I have also heard that of late, the biz for cusomt knives is not so great as man of the participants are primarily J knife fans.
  8. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    Familiar with them. Doesn't seem like you get a lot of traction on their as you are competing with the forum owner's products
  9. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    IIRC, annual membership for a vendor was like $600 a year 5 years ago!!!:eek:
    Justin Schmidt likes this.
  10. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    The outlets seem to be drying up. There was a site called "custom made' and some guys sold on their, but it has become primarily a selling space for the owner's custom jewelry. I haven't looked around Etsy enough, but it seems like it can be a tad downmarket when it comes to cutlery.
  11. timos-

    timos- KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 22, 2012
    i have not been having an issue yet but it is getting to be more and more work it seems..i post a knife for sale in 2 forums, then after a few days if doesnt sell i post in 2 other places as well as instagram.
    if it goes more than a couple weeks I just take it off the market and use it myself or re build it or something. I used etsy one time ...i listed a knife there and it didnt get nary a view but i sold it elsewhere so i marked the knife sold....they charged me money for the sale, lol. Now it sits there as simply a picture of a sold knife with my website just as a way to widen the web.
  12. John mc c

    John mc c

    Aug 23, 2018
    Hey,I'm only new here,this is my first post :) I've seen your work in the for sale section,very nice
    Have you tried selling in a shop local to you,like a kitchen ware or craft shop?
    It seems there's lots of competition on the above mentioned sites
  13. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    I have visited a couple of galleries, but they really don't see themselves carrying a knife in the price range that I am offering.
  14. on_the_edge

    on_the_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2006
    I am not a maker, but a buyer, so hopefully my input has some traction. Take what you want and leave the rest. It's all good.

    Kitchen knives is a very small niche market. That seems a bit odd to me because I probably use my kitchen knives more than all others combined. Still, it is what it is.

    I think kitchen knives are generally a hard sell for a number of reasons. You don't carry them, so they cannot be "pocket jewelry" and you don't really get to impress your friends unless you also happen to be cooking in your home for a bunch of knife enthusiasts who know something good when they see it. Storage is more problematic given their generally larger size. Also, again very generally speaking, I think a lot of folks are ignorant about the best uses of different specialized kitchen knives and frankly may lack the practice and skills to use them effectively. Folks are also very willing to substitute a general use non-kitchen knife for kitchen duty. Why spend the $ on a new kitchen knife when I have my ____________ that I love right here clipped to my pocket and I can therefore save the money...or better yet, spend it on the exact same model knife I already own three of, but with a different handle/steel combination. Price differences between customs and fairly decent mid-range performance, but low cost production knives also slows custom kitchen knife sales. I think you get the point. It is not just selling a kitchen knife in the right place, but also overcoming all the reasons kitchen knives are not flying off the shelves anywhere in the first place.

    All that said, if you have a kitchen knife to sell, post it here. Yes, I know that that forum does not see a lot of action, but you get exposure for free given your membership. Who knows? You may even sell a knife or two by accident. IMHO, a few very good makers of kitchen knives who used to post items FS here on BFC, but whom no longer do so because of lack of interest, have made a big mistake. If you are going to post the knives elsewhere (i.e. you have pics and a description available), what is the cost to add a post here on BFC? 5 minutes? That's my .02 anyway.
    Seesteel likes this.
  15. Justin Schmidt

    Justin Schmidt Schmidt Forge Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 18, 2016
    Seems it's the case with fixed blades as well. From my very limited experience it seems that the knife world want bushcraft "hard use" knives or folders.
  16. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    Kitchen knives have the potential to be different in that everybody uses them. My brother is convinced that the people who spend ridiculous money in kitchen appliances and don't really even cook would buy some for no other reason than they equate expensive with quality and they must have it.
    GABaus and Justin Schmidt like this.
  17. daizee

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

    Dec 30, 2009
    I've probably made more paring knives than any other type of knife except kiridashi/birudashi.
    The nice thing is that the market for them is not so... chauvinistic.
    A big chef knife and its price is intimidating to the non-kitchen-sophisticated non-knife-enthusiast. Most people use a (crappy) paring knife when they should be using something else, so they can more easily appreciate a nice one. It helps to put it in their hands, though. It's kind of a gateway kitchen knife.
    skillgannon likes this.
  18. scott.livesey


    Nov 10, 2011
    part of the problem is you can get a basic functional kitchen knife for <$15 that will work ok. yes people are amazed the first time they use a good 'kitchen laser' until they hear the price. but they will spend $$$ on a knife set that has same painted design as their plates, pots, and pans. very discouraging. again, largest spot i have found is here https://www.etsy.com/search?q=kitchen knives handmade&ref=auto3&as_prefix=kitchen kni for $10 or so you could list a handful of blades and see what happens.
  19. skillgannon


    Apr 27, 2009
    I agree. Besides the fact that I am a hobbyist cook I think it is the biggest market. Take what I say with a grain of salt because I'm not selling any knives yet other than the friends and family thing. I think what on_the_edge said has some truth. At first I was going to say that he was totally wrong and there are knives in every kitchen but he made a point. I have a feeling that most knives sold on this forum are sold to men. So if you are marketing to men then you are marketing to men who like to cook and like knives. I think that maybe marketing twards women is probably going to be pretty effective. My thought is that the knives are going to have to be sub $200 and stainless to catch the broadest market. The knives should be light weight and maybe a tad smaller and attractive. My goal is to hit those points at least. I have found that with the rise of cooking shows there are a lot of housewives who are very serious about cooking and their best knives are a bragging point. I also feel like if you can market locally the availability of sharpening could help sales also any local cooking classes etc to introduce them to the market and its prices. My hope is that some of the sales will lead to buying higher end pieces. I guess I can plan on grinding a lot of AEB-L while I find out if I'm right.

    I always enjoy looking at your pieces. I'm sure if you find the right market they should move fast.
  20. Sidehill Gouger

    Sidehill Gouger

    Dec 29, 2007
    My problem with most of the American custom kitchen knives i see at shows is the makers put most of their effort into a fancy handle. You don't cut anything with a handle. The classic Japanese smith puts all his talents into forging the best blade he can and then buys very plain handles in bulk from a handle maker. But if this is only about having fancy things on your counter to impress guests you won't be selling me much.
    scott.livesey likes this.

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