View Full Version : Is it a bunch of knives, or "a collection" (pics)


CKDadmin
03-24-2001, 10:35 PM
Men,

I have a commentary regarding all this talk about "who's collectable?" and the reasons that are always given ... Oh, "this guy does this and that" or "these styles are the best" etc. But, I haven't seen one discussion to date about the finer points that I believe to be important in the actual net ownership of a collection. This is regarding the intrinsic nature of a collection itself. I want to highlight the position on the other side of the deal ... the actual guy doing the collecting.

Now, I'm not speaking as a salesman, trying to sell someone a knife. I'm talking about what's important to a man like myself. That is, not one of you have to tell me what knives to collect. I have an eye that is particular to my own tastes. I'm also of the mind that "until a man shows me that his portfolio of stocks has out-earned mine, then I should be making my own moves, following my own beliefs." After all, since there's all this talk and negativity about the high art of collecting as an investor, then maybe, just maybe I'm actually talking about a position that hasn't developed in the industry yet. However, that's the only reason Alex Whetsell will ever buy a knife. That is ... to me, they are "objects d'art". Every piece I buy is destined for display. None will ever be used as working knives. I'll go get a kitchen knife to scratch up, if that makes sense to anyone.

I buy customs for the "pleasure of art, collectivity and the ownership of one-of-a-kind creations." So, I'm not here to discuss the "user-ship" or other "mechanical properties" of the work. I understand that at the time of purchase, but as far as having something to chop a tree, slit a throat or whatever. I'm here to discuss "collection" and "value".

Now, along those lines, I would like to start a discussion that brings to light some of the points that guy's like me are looking for when building a collection. Two in particular ... "Item Credentials" and "Display-ability". To me, this is a "super value-added" feature. Actually, if the maker I'm considering does not address these points, then "regardless of how awesome the world thinks they are", I view their works as sub-standard", from a collection standpoint.

Now, having said that, I want to pick on one of our leaders as an example. I want to use some images of the knife of his that I have in our AV collection to demonstrate how important the credentials of the knife can be to the support of it's perceived value and display properties.

Then, what I would like for some of us to do is to discuss how we package our works, prepare them for presentation and how to improve the inherent value of the piece that we take so much time to make.

My point being ... "sell a man a knife with a cleaning rag, sheath and spec sheet, and he's bought a knife from you". But, "sell a man that same knife with precision photos, officially signed ownership certification, serial number verification and prepared for display" and you've entered an entirely different arena, in his mind!"

I would venture this ... if you don't see the value of my point: Give me the same knife ( one with, and one without the presentation materials) and I can sell the "supported knife" for twice the price as the unsupported knife ... if you can't see value in what I'm leading into, then you're not who I'm reaching out to to help bring upwards in this game of ours ...

Here's what I mean ...

http://www.customknifedirectory.com/ForumImages-Temp/DCCert.jpg

http://www.customknifedirectory.com/ForumImages-Temp/DCMark.jpg

Now ...
Let's see or hear about some examples you might use, how we can improve our collector value and the techniques we can employ to separate our work from all the standard "knife and cleaning rag" types.

Men ... this is very important to me, especially in our long range plans to bring those of you who are trying to take your markets to the next level. Whatever comes from this discussion should at least help us understand that there are differences in the thought processes involved, if you are aiming for high-performance out here. High-performance thinking requires that you view what you make in a totally different light ... even the way you package, support and document your work.

Proof ... I'll pay more for the above knife, because it represents someone's work who takes their creation seriously ... someone who feels the need to officially support and document the artwork that is ultimately destined for a collection.

Everytime someone views my collection, they know exactly how important the artist was behind it, because it's obvious in comparison!

Let's start a thread ... comments?


Alex

MIKE KOLLER
03-26-2001, 01:24 AM
Alex,
I photograph all my work and give the customer a copy as well for their records/safe keeping.99 % of my knives are working knives,and none of them have serial numbers.As I become better known I may consider doing as Don.Or do you think I need to start now for future purposes?

CKDadmin
03-26-2001, 11:16 AM
Personally ... yes!

I think that it legitimizes the work. If it's something you see doing down the road, why not start now? The reason being, the knives that were first will become more important as your skills progress and your name grows.

Anyone else ...?

Alex

Mondt
03-26-2001, 12:04 PM
I am in the process of changing to an etched makers mark and serial numbering each new knife I make. I am currently waiting on my sales end to support this next step.

I currently provide photos and a letter with each knife invoice. The invoice has the serial # on it at present.

As Alex mentioned it is important to a buyer to have a perception that "hey this guy is a serious knife maker AND business man". What this does is simple. About 30 to 40% of all of my knife sales to date have been repeat customers or personally refered to me by a past customer.

Word of mouth is a powerful tool!!!

JerryO13
03-26-2001, 05:46 PM
Alex,
Of course it helps, every little thing helps, some things more than others and some things are more important to some people than to others.
Anything that adds "provenance" is benifical to both maker and collector. While provenance means origin or source, the way I'm using it is to mean documentation that "proves" the origin of the knife. It also adds "history" to the knife. For example I got a knife at the last NY show that had already been photographed in a french cutlery magazine. I got the mag and got the maker to autograph the magazine under the photo of the knife I bought. Will it add to the value of the knife, I think so, although it may not. It certainly can't hurt.

Dana Acker
04-02-2001, 07:35 AM
Alex, you really give a guy food for thought. I'd say about 40% of the knives I've sold to this point are used, the others get displayed. While I try to make my knives aesthetically pleasing, each of my knives will work. Even the war clubs I've made, would be suitable for service should the occasion arise. While making the blades seems to satisfy the creative side of me, I've never considered myself an "art knife" maker, but a "using" knife maker. That my knives end up display pieces sometimes mystifies me. Perhaps it's time to change my way of thinking.

But let me ask you this, while I don't have a problem with your idea regarding a serial number on a knife, that is something that I tend to identify with a "cleaner," more modern looking knife than the type I make. Take the folder that opens my new website. I'm trying to picture how it would look with a serial number on it. I'd value your thoughts on this.

Another thing, the certificate of authenticity of Don's is really classy. I tried to forge one the other night, but I had no luck. What's a blacksmith to do? Perhaps you could suggest a software package, or maybe offer some online help for those of us who are digitally challenged??? :)

But your points are good ones, and well worth pondering.

Don Cowles
04-02-2001, 09:54 AM
Dana, I'll make a couple of points here. Although my knives have serial numbers assigned to them which are documented on the certificates I provide, the numbers are not always present on the knives themselves. As you point out, they can be pretty disruptive.

Second point- I use Microsoft Word to do my certificates on pre-printed certificate stock. Within the reach of even the digitally challenged. :)

JerryO13
04-02-2001, 10:27 AM
Dana, but it wouldn't be unusual to find a makers stamp on your knives, or you could do what Darrel Ralph does and hide the number so you can only read it when looking into the opened folder (it's stamped on the inside of the backstrap).

CKDadmin
04-02-2001, 11:13 AM
Dana ... what Don and Jerry said! :)

Alex

Dana Acker
04-02-2001, 11:32 AM
Good ideas, guys--thanks!

Roger Gregory
04-02-2001, 01:15 PM
Dana

There's a whole range of pre-printed certificates, business cards and the like from a company called Geographics Inc in the USA, I think they call the range Geopaper. It's not cheap stuff but it can dress up some plain text.

Roger

Les Robertson
04-03-2001, 10:53 AM
Most knife makers don't give out certificates because they get thrown away. Turns out to be a waste of money. I tried doing it with the knives I sold and most people told me to "keep them" when I handed them the certificates.

Im not picking on Don here, but pointing things out because Alex used his certificate as an example.

A couple of the things need to be changed (just wording).

First: Date of Manufacture. This makes the knife sound like it is a factory or production knife. How about something like Completion Date or creation date, etc.

Also the serial number 0079. Does this mean this is Don's 79th knife over all or the 79th of this model. Also, putting 0079 in front of it tells you that perhpas Don plans to make 9999 of this knife. Lets face it 10,000 knives from any custom maker will take decades to produce. So there is probably no reason for the 0079. This just adds to the "form letter apperance. If you are going to custom make the knife, then custom make the certificate.

I do agree that documentation will add to the desirability of the knife.

One of the things I recommend to my clients is to get a hand written note from the maker as well as your picture taken with the maker and the knife. Certificates can be faked, these items can be manufactured as well, but it sure does take a lot of talent and money.

To collectors out there. As a matter of course, you should create your own documentation. Knife, maker, materials, price and delivery date should be the minimum. Add other categories that fit your collection.

For older knives, the sheath is actually equal to or in some cases more important than documentation.

It is a good idea to serial number the knives. I know George Herron has very good records on his knives because of this.

Also, knife makers do the collectors a favor and do not put the date of completion on the knife it's self. Some collectors will not want to the knife due to it's age.

dogman
04-03-2001, 12:39 PM
Tom Maringer kept great records of his knives and dated each blade with year and serial number. Serial numbering my knives does not have any appeal to me, but if a maker happened to achieve some sort of Loveless-style legendary status, serial numbers would go a long way toward certifying authenticity. Just think how many Loveless copies are going to be floating around years after he leaves us.

A certificate might make a knifemaker look a bit more professional, but I don't think it is going to add value to a knife, unless it is after the fact and the knife becomes highly collectible. A hand written note is a nice touch and makes the knife a little more persoanl. For me, from a collector perspective, a good story to accompany the knife would hold more personal value. A story gives the knife personality and life. I think the same can be said for the maker, as well. I am finding personality is selling many of my knives for me. There are many makers out there, selling knives in the same price range as me, and I know their skills are much greater than mine, yet my customer base continues to grow. I have also been turning my friends down for knives because I want them to have something special from me. I keep telling them to wait. Alex, you got lucky:)

Geno
04-03-2001, 02:52 PM
OK,I'v stayed out of this so far because I kept wondering what all this has to do with being a collection, or just a bunch of knives as the topic indicates.

Yet as I read I learn! I LOVE this place!!!!!!!

I don't want to have anyone thinking I am stepping on anyone's toes here, because there are interesting points made by all.

Les,
As ussual you have provided helpful insight to the topic.

While I do not believe that a certificate makes a certain knife worth more, I do believe that somewhere down the road it could make the knife easier to sell.
I do not believe that EVERY knife needs such documentation.
Alex looks for the package deal and has an appitite towards higher end knives and certainly has a point worth listenig to.
Any player who wants to succeed in this market should listen well to his words of wisdom.


Some people know that NO amount of paperwork or high-glossy's are able to increase the value of certain knives.
They see the knife as worth " SO MUCH" and that's that!!

There was a time when I provided documentation with every knife I made.Then I quit all together. Now I Provvide it on request or if I want to make a showpiece and don't care how long it takes to get the price I think it's worth.

I try to price my knives to sell because that is what we do.
If I want to hold on to one to show, I must raise the price or else it will be gone too quick.

It's hard to show a knife you don't have anymore.

I remember in the early years, I handed a customer the certificate that went with his new hunting knife.
He just chuckled and said it might come in handy the next time he forgets to pack the toilet paper.

I have (usually secret) an inventory number on every knife I make. My web page demands some kind of identification in order to be successful.However at a show, most customers simply remove the tag and thow it down and walk away.They simply don't care.

If all I made was expensive high-end stuff I could afford to provide all the frills, but I support a family of 7 with what I do.
I'm here to make knives.
My wife and senior partner(Jesus) has the responsibility for sales.(different dept.)
I tell them what I need and they tell me what they need, somehow it works because WE are still here.

I want to make ALL kinds of knives while I am alive on this earth.
I like making swords,but not much market there.Miniatures are cool,but they won't feed us either.Working knives sell great but with such stiff compitition in that market it is hard to compete there too.(speaking of profit)


Let's face it. We are all here today wanting to see something pretty and different. It's the show pieces we are really looking to see. We all want to play in that field, but few can afford to(either time or money)play in that field exclusively.

Honestly now, How many of us here today make our sole income on high-end knives,say four digits and up in price range.(what most would concider high end)

If I'm selling a 2000 dollar knife, I can afford the pic's and paper.
If I am selling a 200 dollar knife, WHY?
I am blessed to sell both.
If I am buying a 2000 dollar knife, I expect the frills.
If I am buying a 200 dollar knife, I want the knife.
Few customers even ask what the numbered tags are for.
( it is for my tracability only )

To some the paper is worth, to others it is words. Who is right? Who is wrong?
Thats why i have been quiet untill now.

Just this past weekend my wife spent several hours to provide a certificate for a customer that requested it for a replica of a knife I made that was featured in K.I. last Oct. The customer just wanted to prove that I was the one who made it.No problem, RIGHT?
We recieved nothing in return except a happy customer.
If he doesn't buy in the future, then we are out that time and effort. We believe that he,like most of my customers, will be back for more later,because,as I stated, We sent him away happy.

Which kinda brings me to my point(finally you say).

If this world we live in amounts to anything more than just pretty knives, It has to be the joy it brings us along the way. In my book that should go a long way.

My advise to the Newbees from an Oldbee is just that,
FOCUS ON HAPPY CUSTOMERS, they are ultimately are the one's who feed you.

Be blessed one and all.

JerryO13
04-03-2001, 03:48 PM
I think that tracing the history of a knife is why many makers stamp there knives. Some do the 1 of 10 thing some number sequetially some by year I've seen stuff like 0156 as 56th knife of the year 2001. the point is to know what your dealing with. For some collecting is more important whatever it is that's being collected and they will want a low number, they fell it raises the value, in some cases it probably does. Numbering the knives you make, gives you a history, "see how much better I've gotten with #200 here as opposed to #2 from way back when". Like it's been mentioned it makes sense to number for some things and not for others. Personally as long as the marks don't detract from the knife I see no reason not to, and many reasons to do it.

CKDadmin
04-03-2001, 05:39 PM
Gentlemen,

What does this debate have to do with document wordings or serial number conventions? Nothing!

Sure, anyone can critique the prose of a writing, and you can always improve upon what you say. But, all that aside ... I posed a question about documentation, as it relates to elevating intrinsic value of an item.

Let's don't confuse a knife you sold to "Bubba" at last weeks show, who refused the credentials because he's afraid it might be something he has to read ... with a buyer, like myself, who's not going outside to start chopping down trees with it. You're talking a totally different animal here.

Has anyone noticed all the nicely dressed folks at the shows over the last few years who are buying, just because it an item with artistic value in it, and they can afford it?

If people are handing your credentials back to you ... you might ask yourself if your credentials are viewed as adding value or if they're junky looking pieces of paper with specs scribbled on them ...

If you saw what Don's looked like packaged with the knife and in their current presentation state, 10 will get you 1000 that you'll look at that knife first. I know ... I watch it every day ... right in my office.

Now ... argue this ...
When a person (non-knife-freak) looks at it, turns to you and says, "wow ... I never knew knives were so valuable!"
Doesn't that tell you something about your success in producing the value state within this art form as a community?

I agree that everyone has to feed their family, but I disagree with a man who is blind to value perception.

This may sound funny and a little off color, but there's a point here to be made ...

If I hold up a Dog Turd and ask you what it's worth, you'll grimace and say $0. If I present it in a condition and document that it came out of the original "Lassie", with a certificate of authenticity ... you'll look at it ... and wish you owned it! ... and somebody will willing to stroke a check for it, eventually.

You know what the problem with the above scenario is? ... nobody took the initiative, or had the foresight to document Lassie's poop, just like you with your knives (assuming you're a serious craftsman in your own mind first). They just let it happen and figured it wasn't worth the effort.

Alex

Roger Gregory
04-03-2001, 06:29 PM
This is a good thread, an interesting discussion. I'm glad it's here and not in some other places :)

I like Les's straight-talking but I don't necessarily agree with every statement. Likewise Alex's 'Sharp as Art' view.

Alex, your last post made me smile, the Lassie poop business reminded me of the Young British Artists - they even market themselves as 'YBA'. Tracy Emin managed to display and sell her unmade bed to Charles Saatchi after it had been displayed in a gallery. Physical cost, say ?200, artistic price say ?20,000. Not something I'd pay ?20 for but then it's not my sort of art. Same goes for Lassie's poop.

But the documentation in both cases is the key. Anyone can wave some dog poop around or point at a messed up bed. Neither is worth a bean, but with the documentation they are 'worth' money.

Personally I keep something of the shipping labels from all the foreign knives I buy, usually that means I have the signature of the maker and also a date....

Roger

CKDadmin
04-04-2001, 06:08 AM
Hey Roger ...

A guy can overcome a lot of personal stupidity if he can make people laugh, right? :lol:

You're right, I intentionally took the extreme position in this debate to be the advocate for documentation. However, I see Les' point and actually knew it was the majority view of the experienced seller in this business.

I would say, leaving myself open again for attack, that the custom knife business, over it's history, has chiefly focused it's marketing efforts on the sportsman market.

However, that's not the reason the " art collector" market, in my opinion, has not developed in this industry. I don't want this debate to go off in a direction where we're arguing over the target audience that helps the maker pay his bills, but I would like to bring up a point that needs to be discussed sometime.

"As long as the custom knife is presented exclusively as a 'tool', it'll never breach the collector conscience. Also, as long as it's sale is housed in the same show as a 'gun show', you'll never see it elevate it's status, for the majority audience."

A while back a friend of ours, Rade Hawkins, made the point during a firetalk meeting that the custom knife market needs to penetrate the "wall street" audience somehow. Well, as a generalization, wall street types (professionals) won't be found at gun shows and don't make a habit of buying 'hand tools' to collect.

Before I run on past my time limit, let me make a point that needs to be addressed. In fact, I advocate that the man who can best address this point, will take a portion of the custom knife business to an all new level one day ...

"Take the 'tool' connotation away from the work desciptions, add the word 'collectors piece' in it's marketing and separate it, as much as possible, from the 'gun show' arena and you'll attract a brand new market audience to this game."

Now, before you go off on me with all the "it won't survive in this form" talk, remember, I'm not saying that you have to shut down the one for the other to exist. I'm saying that the one I propose is literally untapped territory in this industry right now ... and, together, we can overcome it with the right sequence of moves."

There "is" a "fine art collector" market available to this industry ... but, no one has ever worked it, for the most part. The next time I see a custom knifemaker at a show presenting his work in blue jeans and a t-shirt, I'll snap a picture and show you why!

Alex

JerryO13
04-04-2001, 10:33 AM
I agree that the "art" collector is out there. The problem lies in getting these people to buy your knives. You will sell more knives at $200 than at $2000. Of course the expectations are less for the $200 piece. So when you stop making $200 knives how do you survive until your $2000 knives catch on? You don't, you have to produce both.

CKDadmin
04-04-2001, 03:48 PM
Who said a piece had to be $2000 to be presented as "Art", or more importantly "a collectable item"?

Now we're getting to where I wanted to take this discussion ...

Wait till I start up on the Tactical Movement next ... you all are going to love that thread ...

Alex

JerryO13
04-04-2001, 03:56 PM
I never said a $2000 dollar knife had to be an art knife. I said you will sell more $200 knives than $2000. What I implied, (but never actually said) is that it is the art knife collector who will be buying the $2000 piece and you have to find this person, until then you still have to put food on the table.

Geno
04-04-2001, 07:15 PM
Alex.
the figures came from my post in a hypathetical situation.
the same point could be made from a 10 dollar knife and a 10,000 dollar knife.
My experience told me that 200 dollars was a fair price for a good selling working knife.It could be more or less depending on who you ask.
2000 was a figure between 1000 and 10,000 that most people could grasp as "art only" as most people woudn't use a knife they pald a couple grand or more for.
How was that for a common sense cop out?

CKDadmin
04-05-2001, 12:35 AM
Ok ...

First of all ...

Everyone knows that this thread (like all my threads in here ;) ) is not intended to open a argument point about what we already know to be true, attacking what is already working or is assumed to be the system approach. But, the contrary ... that is, what it is that we don't see all the time, yet it still exists that we (CKD makers) might gain a strategic advantage from ... nothing more!

(By the way, this topic lay dead for a week or more, before anyone was really willing to enter the debate I had planned from the beginning ...)

Now ... notice in the reactions from the previous posts how quickly everyone was willing to say things like "Oh ... why I can't do that on a $250 dollar working knife. It would drive my cost over what my buyers would pay!" (Rule number one - never do that :) )

However, if I could make the argument that I could show you how to do it, equally well, for under a buck per knife, would anyone be willing to argue that it doesn't add immediate value perception ... considering that you already made my point by assuming it would blow your cost through the roof?

I mean, if you yourself see that kind of value in it from general inspection that it scares you into cost prohibition talk, what does someone else who's looking to invest money in it see? Think on that ... because therein lies my point. This is perception men ... nothing more!

Of course, the general sportsman will buy the knife without papers ...! Always has! But, "Dr. Sportsman / Collector" coming down the isle looking at table after table is sizing all the makers up in his subconscious, is a different sale altogether. When he passes 10 tables, knives, knives, knives, then lands at a table with a proper display, he's adding additional value in his mind ... right then! And, any real knife salesman must know that you can not sell a man who's walking .. he has to stop, look and touch, before you can incite him to buy.

But remember one thing ... this refers to anyone reading this that understands that we're trying to break new ground with the CKD and on all possible future issues that we discuss of this nature ... I want to hear what everyone thinks ... how we can improve our condition at every point in the road we travel, and every single opinion counts ... as long as it's all taking us to where we want to arrive one day.

I mean, who's going to improve "us", least it be ourselves? But, we have to be careful about the way we view things around us. Given the slightest opportunity, the world will pose a standard for you to easily accept that is far less that what you can obtain on your own creative prowess.

I try to question that type of programming at all costs ... the results are amazing, too. In fact, look where we are now! Look at what we have done so far ... together!

Alex

Dana Acker
04-05-2001, 09:43 AM
I believe there are different types of collectors and they each have their own methods of buying. Last Blade show, my son and I were asked by Daniel Winkler and Karen Shook to man their table, as they had a family conflict which prohibited them from being there. We opened for them on Friday AM, staying all day, and then again on Saturday AM up until about noon, when they came and took over.

The Blade show has a VIP opening about an hour or two prior to opening to the general public. The VIP passes are provided to individuals via the knifemakers who are showing, and I assume Blade Magazine and other show sponsers. What was interesting was that the (who I'll call) "real collectors" (those to whom money was no object) knew whose tables they were going to, went directly there, hardly examined anything, picked up several pieces, plopped down their money, and were either hurriedly off to another maker's table or out the door. There was no friendly banter with these folks. They were there to buy a particular maker's work, apparently had a quick eye as to what they thought was the most collectible pieces and like the wind they were outta there.

Then came the (who I'll call) the next level of collector. They had an idea of who and what they were looking for, but would keep an eye out for new makers and knives. They picked over what the "real collectors" left behind. Usually they bought only one piece, after examing several. They would ask questions and talk a little, then move on.

Next came everybody else, who looked and moved on, or looked, talked, mentally counted their money and pre-made excuses for the wife, and sometimes bought and sometimes didn't.

However, I'd say Daniel Winkler made the majority of his money, and, we were the busiest (selling knives and filling out the purchase certificates) during the first two hours of the show. He still sold knives after that, but only sporadically. We sat around and just talked with passersby a lot.

For real collectors, industry endorsement, name recognition and proven investment potential were all they were after. For the next level and everyone else, most of what we're discussing here would apply. The next level would buy one or two, maybe three knives in all. Everybody else might buy one knife at a price they could afford.

But that is, as they say, show business. Without name and industry recognition, an unknown or virtually unknown maker is placed so far back in the hall, that they never get to see the real collectors, and by the time the next level and everybody else get's to them it really doesn't matter, all the money's spent, and a maker is lucky to make even a portion of his table fee, travel expenses or hotel bill. I'll admit, I am no knifeshow expert and I do not mean to stereotype everybody into the three catagories I mentioned. But this was the first time I was exposed to a knifeshow from a well known maker's point of view. Like they say, unless you're the lead dog, the scenery never changes. Being a virtually unknown maker, my scenery hasn't changed much.

What Alex is promoting is a different animal altogether from the show scene. I don't know that the internet will ever replace a show, but it certainly levels the playing field a bit between makers. It gives real collectors, the next level and everybody else a relaxed atmosphere in which to browse, and it provides exposure to those not at the top of the food chain in what we call in the south, a "good ole boy" network, that the shows have become (and maybe understandably so, I know there's such a thing as paying one's dues). How what Alex is doing will effect the nature of collecting perhaps is yet to be seen, but I'm encouraged by a lot of the ideas I've heard him espouse--enough so, I put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, in having AV design my website. It was a cost outlay that I really didn't need at the moment, but a heck of a lot cheaper over all than attending just one of the big knife shows, where I might luck out and do all right, or I might lose my shirt and have nothing but credit card bills to show for a depressing weekend. And, like I said, this way puts me on a much more level playing field. At least going this direction will allow collectors at every level to view my work in a respectable display, and, they won't be able to tell whether I'm wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt or not. :)

Sorry I went off on a tangent from the main discussion, but I felt like my rambling applies. I believe not so much what one collects will change much in the future, but just how one goes about collecting it might. If it does, I'd like to be ready.

Don Cowles
04-05-2001, 09:58 AM
I'm with you, Dana. I think your insight is very valuable, too. I am hedging my bets by having a professional web site *and* participating in shows, but my experience thus far has been that the internet is, indeed, the wave of the future.

One of the things that has been most gratifying to me is the number of repeat customers I have had develop from my web site. I grant that a prospective customer can't look you in the eye, and he can't pick up a knife that he might be interested in and study it in the digital world - BUT, if he buys a knife because he thinks he'll like it, and then he comes back for more, it is reasonable to conclude that the same knives would do well where folks do have an opportunity to handle them.

Although I have been to the Blade Show many times as a spectator, I am exhibiting this year for the first time. Whatever experience I have there will be used to help me determine where my efforts are directed in the future.

primos
04-05-2001, 09:59 AM
Well said Dana. Makes sense. Please "ramble" more often! :)

MIKE KOLLER
04-05-2001, 10:04 PM
O.K. My $0.01. In this area of the country we have many 'gun and knife 'shows with lots of junk knives and maybe 3 true makers tables if that many.If there was more 'knife shows' with genuine(sp) makers there would be more interest stirred.
I am a humble man of humble means and if I walk into a 'gun and knife' show and I am looking for a good deal on a good knife,and I see the junk that sells for nothing and then come across a makers table,well now that makers price seems inflated. As a newbie/un known maker I go to these shows in hopes of finding makers and normally I am disappointed.
We had 'one' show recently that was knives only and there was little or no junk.And from just looking at the crowd I could tell that these were serious buyers.Here you looked at one table at a $200 knife and at the next you looked at a $200 knife and so on.......Apples to apples ,much like the internet had to be better for sales .Now if you have an ART Knife put it out there and let the next guy do the same.Worried about cost 'cause you dont have a buyer now,Start it to tomorrow and have it ready for next years show and take the pressure off of yourselves and be artistic.THIS IS ONE ADVANTAGE of being new and having no back log,I guess <img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/ohwell.gif ALT=":\">