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Old 03-06-2016, 09:55 AM
Dave440c Dave440c is offline
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pa
Posts: 2
assuring customers

Has anyone here had problems assuring or convincing a customer type of steel your blade is ? and if so what is the best method to prove it ? Receipts wouldn't really prove it . All I can think of is to tell them to have it tested. btw my Question is more towards selling from a flea market .

Last edited by Dave440c; 03-06-2016 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:37 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wauconda, WA
Posts: 9,827
The best proof you can have is your reputation as a knife maker. After that, the obviously high level of fit and finish that your knives should have would mark you as a serious knife maker and add credibility to whatever you sa## about how it was made. But, at a flea market, potential buyers don't really expect to find top quality knives so they may be harder to convince ...


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Old 03-06-2016, 11:04 AM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Alabama
Posts: 554
Having dealt with that crowd, you have to come off as having a deep knowledge of the steels you are using. Dazzle them with terms they don't know. Some will stay and talk with you. The biggest thing to remember, they may be buying a knife but they are buying you also. As Ray sa##, don't expect to get a premium at a flea market. You'll be lucky to average $40 per blade.
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:27 PM
damon damon is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NE Tennessee
Posts: 409
I use a few different steels, and their performance says enough. fit and finish says even more...
but if someone wanted to argue and doubt and question if or not the steel used is actually what I sa## it was, then ## likely give them the same reply I once gave a jewelry customer....
"if you done trust me, then you should find someone you do trust."
there was more to this story, but I sa## that right in front of my boss,(who was trying not to smile more than he was), and it seemed to stop her daughters fearmongering about underhanded jewelers switching out diamonds for CZs.

I don't have time for people like that, and its never worth he stress involved to deal with them.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:16 PM
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NorCal Nate NorCal Nate is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Kneeland, CA
Posts: 374
Yea I'm with Damon on this.. but I try and cater to a higher $$ client base and I don't think I've ever been "questioned" about my knives/steel/durability etc.. Also I feel custom/handmade knives and flea markets don't jive well. RR spikes and flea markets do. IMO.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:17 PM
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WynnKnives WynnKnives is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Wooster, Ohio
Posts: 242
It's been awhile since I've been around (moved houses, blah blah, won't thread jack), but I'm back. Over the years, I don't cons##er myself to be an experienced blade smith, but I do cons##er myself to be experienced with people. Bes##es having a professional metallurgical test (proper terminology?) done, you can't prove it. But like others have sa## the only real thing you have to stand on is you reputation as a knife maker. There is nothing more satisfactory as a prior customer telling a potential customer how awesome your blade is.

That being sa##, I've always viewed someone questioning my work equal to someone questioning a price I want to give them for anything while bargaining. This is the price I am willing to sell or buy something for, if you don't want to buy, or sell it for that price, so be it. No reason to get offended, or anything, if enough people are willing to buy your product for a certain price, than you don't need to justify yourself to someone. If no one is buying what your selling, then your either talking to the wrong crowd, putting a price on product that isn't worth it.

Last edited by WynnKnives; 03-08-2016 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:35 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Alabama
Posts: 554
One other thing, this really does make an impression. Have a knife, or knives on your person that you've made and you use. Make sure they are your best work and they look like you've been using them. You'd be surprised how many makers don't carry and use one of there own knives.
I don't know how many orders I've gotten from people on the street from my little sheath and pocket knives. It says a lot when you aren't afra## to use your own work.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:47 PM
damon damon is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NE Tennessee
Posts: 409
jmccustomknives has good point. I cross paths with a lot of "knife makers" and I always ask if they have one on them. (90% of the time they don't)

the 3 I carry.... all of which I made and USE!
I do this to prove the point that even though they look nice..... they WILL do their job as a knife too. (that and I cant afford to buy knives this nice to carry, so I made them)
top 2: 1084/15N20 Damascus
Folder: Mike Norris stainless damascus

are there better makers out there than me.... YES!
but I do know what I'm doing well enough with what materials I use,(and continue to improve wherever I can as I learn), my name alone isn't such that it demands its own $200-500, and I don't have a 3-6yr waiting list.
so as I see it, its win, win, win for my customers.... (and tool/beer $$ for me)

BTW.... the large one has been used while working to get my truck up and running again (YAAAAy.... the 4wd works again)..... don't ask what for... just see that it survived it.
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Last edited by damon; 03-08-2016 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:32 AM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: NC Mountains
Posts: 470
I'm not sure if I understand correctly what the problem was or if perhaps I'm misunderstanding.

But if I do understand correctly, apparently someone at a flea market questioned the type of steel in a knife you had for sale and wasn't willing to accept your word on what type steel was in the blade.

What "proof" do any of us have as to what material something has other than the word of the manufacturer? It may be useful to engrave or otherwise mark on the knife the steel type. I realize that's another step but for some this means "it's true" and the mark is their "proof".

Since you have experience in the jewelry industry, the "proof" if you will, is a stamp ins##e a ring that says "14k" , "18k" etc. People never question that stamp although the general public has no way of verifying the purity of the gold in that piece of jewelry. If you spend enough time in the jewelry industry, you know that just because it bears a stamp of purity, the stamp doesn't mean it is what it is and sooner or later you run into jewelry that isn't what the stamp says it is. In every industry and endeavor of life there are dishonest types who will misrepresent a product.

But the general public never questions that little stamp.

My point is, there would be no benefit to you to misrepresent what type of steel is in your knife, none. But some people don't understand that and need some "proof". So a mark or stamp on the blade, or even a printed document of "authenticity" may be helpful.

Having sa## all that, if it were a continual problem it may be worthwhile to pursue that route. But I suspect, maybe one in 500 may question your word as to steel type, and for that one person, I would tell to just "move along".

Some customers aren't worth having and you just don't need.

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Gloria In Excelsis Deo!!
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:24 PM
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M&J M&J is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 769
Ask them what their intended use is and based on that you can confirm their suspicions for steel performance. I had simply been asked what steel the knife was and that was it. The media does wonders for pushing new 'have to have it blades' and largely few will find those limits real world use. This way you can confirm their intended use is well within the characteristics for the knife.

Inc##entally 440-C has been good for me. Agree that having one of your pieces helps promote conf##ence in the product. Potential buyers can see you aren't talking a safe/case queen.

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Old 03-11-2016, 05:21 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Acworth, GA and/or Hanging Dog, NC
Posts: 3,559
***selling from a flea market ***
There's the bottom line.

Carl Rechsteiner, Bladesmith
Georgia Custom Knifemakers Guild, Charter Member
Knifemakers Guild, voting member
Registered Master Artist - GA Council for the Arts
C Rex Custom Knives

Blade Show Table 5-J
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