Obscurity becoming a "Demand Increaser"

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
JD Spydo
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Obscurity becoming a "Demand Increaser"

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:23 am

I got something here to challenge the Great Spyder Factory; or at least get them to think a bit about what I'm here to propose.

With some of these obscure/discontinued models, or certain unique models that just never got out of the gate the first go around I want you all to please consider this>> Take time to consider how the value of these discontinued blades has skyrocketed on secondary markets.

For instance there are 2 models at this time that are having very good success now that they didn't have during their tenure on the main line up. The 2 I'm thinking of off the top of my head are the C-60 Massad Ayoob and the C-58 JD Smith.

These 2 in particular both have a lot going for them. First of all the Ayoob has ergonomics that no other Spyder had before or has had since. Second the JD Smith is I believe the most Classic knife design I've seen Spyderco come up with yet. Two models that were just simply a little slow to catch on.

Or am I completely off base?
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Postby spydutch » Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:16 am

No I think you're not JD ;)

Those are not the only 2 models though.

Just look at the price of a regular Gunting.

Also consider the many " Please bring back" threads of the Dodo or Rookie

I think it's just a pity that many models disappear before they got the time to really catch on. But then, just like I said in my Pegasus thread, I'm a real sucker for Spyderco's ancient models :D

On the other hand Sal has to bring food on the table as well so I understand he's concerned about the profits of the company.

It remains a pity though..... :(
Arend(old school Spydie lover)

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Postby araneae » Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:08 am

Not to mention the lil' temp. Those are being snatched up on ebay for $150-$200.

Of course these prices are so high because supply is so low. But it takes a lot of bidding to get a knife to $200. There is obviously a fair bit of demand for these discontinued knives.

Models like this are begging to return. Perhaps we will see some of them make a come back as Sprint runs?
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Postby enduraguy » Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:21 am

The Dodo, and the G-10 Police have to make a comeback!!

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Confusing results, needless to say

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:08 am

Well "Araneae" and "Enduraguy" I sure can't do anything but agree with the both of you 100%. That Dodo being canned has been my biggest headscratcher for about the last 2 years. One of the reasons I didn't mention Mr. Dodo is because it is such a highly specialized blade that you just about have to be "Blade-Obsessive" ( a new Psychological disorder documented by the Mao Clinic :rolleyes: ) like I am to really know what Mr. Dodo is capable of. But I do think that blade will come back someday in a bigger size or different proportion if nothing else.

The G-10 Police is probably the most puzzling of any Spyder-Disco out there. I can't figure that one for the life of myself. And I bet some Marketing Analyist would pop fuses on that one.

Now AREND my friend you've definitely struck a major chord with that ROOKIE model. That knife I think had it had better exposure to all the farmers and tradesmen throughout the land I think it would have been a flagship model and to tell you the truth that one I would have personally have bet a chunk of change on.

You have 2 components here that no one can control. The timeliness of it's introduction and it's exposure to the right target market. And the band plays on :confused:
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Postby The Deacon » Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:30 pm

What's to puzzle over? The darn things did not sell. Sal may love knives, but he's in business to make money too, if something sells, it stays in the lineup, if it just clogs the shelves, it gets the axe. Sometimes John Q Knifebuyer has different tastes than the small cadre of hard-core knifeknuts here.

Just because a small number of collectors desire a knife that is in relatively short supply enough to pay a premium price for it, does not mean the average knife user is going to run out and buy one if a bunch suddenly become available. Sure the die-hard "I've got every other variant of the <------> so I have to get this one" collectors will grab one, a couple hundred other knuts will biy one, the handful of people who think it's the greatest knife ever made for <-- whatever --> will buy a half dozen spares, perhaps a few speculators will stockpile a couple dozen more with visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads. But the rest of the run will languish on the shelves of Spyderco and its dealers, and the net effect may be that the price of the older ones decreases, since the difficulty of obtaining a specimen of the model has been reduced.

Resurecting turkeys might not be the best use of Spydercos resources.
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staying the course

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:57 pm

The Deacon wrote:What's to puzzle over? The darn things did not sell. Sal may love knives, but he's in business to make money too, if something sells, it stays in the lineup, if it just clogs the shelves, it gets the axe. Sometimes John Q Knifebuyer has different tastes than the small cadre of hard-core knifeknuts here.


Resurecting turkeys might not be the best use of Spydercos resources.
I just don't see it that way. Because the market is sure showing differently now. That was then, this is NOW. Because now many knife users in general have finally figured out just how great these knives are. The G-10 Police is just simply head and shoulder over it's stainless counterpart. That's my questions. I know they essentially failed on the sales charts the first go around. But why they failed is what I'm searching for. Because they are not failures anymore. I personally know 3 guys between this Forum and Bladeforums who have told me that they EDC a G-10 Police. I know others who EDC one or the other of the LUM models. And I know many more who constantly ask me where they can get the older ones regardless the price.

Personally the best answer I've come up with and I have a few folks even agree with me. There was a GOLDEN ERA of SPYDERS. I have it pegged between 1998 to 2003. Out of that tenure/era there were so many premium models that literally became super classics and super collectibles that there were a few that either because of price or dealers passing on them or scarce availability ( i.e. C-54 big Calypso) that they in my opinion just didn't get the attention market-wise that they deserved. And maybe Spyderco learned some marketing lessons from them.

Because one thing is for certain. Those Classics out of that era sure are getting a ton of respect now. And it's not just collector appeal either. I know 3 people on this Forum that tell me they EDC the LIL Temperance. More on Bladeforums speak highly of that model too as well as others I could name.

But Deacon I'm not at all dismissing some of your conjecture on it either because some of it does make sense. But I still firmly believe that at least 4 of those GOLDEN ERA Spyders would blow out the sales charts in this current environment we're in now.

And it's not just because that was my personal favorite era. Just look at what the C-46 Lums are currently doing, the Lil Ts just keep climbing with no end in sight, getting an ayoob under $200 is no longer an easy assignment, >> all of these models plus a few others I could name are all consistently getting more than they did when they were in the line up. It's not even debatable :cool:
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Postby zenheretic » Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:45 pm

What is that wise quote in someone's sig?

"More of what doesn't work; doesn't work..."
Follow the mushin, but pay it no heed.

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Postby Michael Cook » Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:50 pm

:spyder: That's my Aikido sensei, Zen. I'm still waiting for a Yojimbo trainer :( :spyder:
More of what does not work will not work. Robin Cooper, Rokudan; Aikikai.

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Postby spoonrobot » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:11 am

JD Spydo wrote:the Lil Ts just keep climbing with no end in sight, getting an ayoob under $200 is no longer an easy assignment, >>
I bought my NIB Lil' Temp for 100$ two weeks ago on another forum. It had gone unsold at that price for almost a week.

A few days ago I saw an Ayoob go for 93$ after going unsold for almost 9 days.

Seems like the hype surrounding discontinued models is pretty hyped up itself. There is a hardcore group of hobbyists who are very vocal about what they want but by and large most of the other hobbyists don't buy into the hype. Everyone wants the return of the Dodo and such but look at the classifieds, every few weeks there will be a Dodo or Lil' Temp for sale that will not sell for several days and will eventually get withdrawn because the price was dropping too low.
Take time to consider how the value of these discontinued blades has skyrocketed on secondary markets.
The value has only skyrocketed within a certain community, following the trend of most collector items. The average buyer who owns a few Spydercos is not going to see the sense in dropping an extra 75-100$ on a model because it's older and no longer made. They may now appeal to that average buyer but he or she is still not buying them. We are.

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Postby The Deacon » Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:36 am

JD, I appreciate your passion for certain models, and I'm sure you sincerely believe that bringing them back would be profitable for Spyderco. I, on the other hand, do not think the potential risk would be worth taking and, with at least one of the models you are championing, the C54 Calypso there was a significant "issue" that contributied to its failure, and which may not be easy to guarantee would not also plague any new release. I'm talking about warped, not just off-centered but gently curved, blades. To a lesser extent every run of flat ground Calypso Jrs, up to and including the ZDP ones, shared this problem, so a change of steel would not solve it. The Lum, in addition to the poor sales of the earlier versions, would probably be impossible due to the fact Bob Lum is now affiliated with another company. Sal has made that fairly clear on several occasions.

My one suggestion to you would be, get some financing together, and have a run of you most favorite "golden oldie" produced exclusively for you. That way you will get to take the risks, and possibly reap the rewards. I'm seriously considering doing something like that after I retire. Leaf bladed Kiwis anyone? ;) :D
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Postby markg » Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:35 am

An old girlfriend gets prettier and prettier the longer you have been broken up...

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Postby Domanfp » Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:32 pm

markg wrote:An old girlfriend gets prettier and prettier the longer you have been broken up...
hahah classic

I agree I got my dodo for like 90 shipped after it had been for sale for almost two weeks. I think judging prices by ebay is a little off as well. It becomes a pissing match at the end and I think people end up buying things just to "win". I know I have won items that I knew I paid too much for, and I know I have been glad on more than one occassion that somebody else's bid outdid mine just so I wouldn't have to fork over so much cash.

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Postby JPatrick » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:22 am

Some models from "the golden age" might not have sold well then, but this is now. Situations change, and tastes change as well, and these under appreciated models just could be a success now. A couple of points to consider.

The time since whatever we might call a golden age has seen the development of online marketing and distribution channels that allow for a greater selection that might have been the case even 10 years ago. The 'brick-n-mortar' stores made selections based on their perceptions of what the market would support, and you can see that even now. Most stick to the Delica, Endura, and a few Byrd models, so these are the ones that continue to be sold through that channel. Spyderco has many models, and those retailers rarely will experiment with newer models, preferring to stick with the dependable stock. Online retailers, however, will have lower margins and can handle more using techniques such as drop-shipping from a centralized distributer can offer a much wider selection.

In my case, for example, I live in the shadow of some major players: Benchmade, Kershaw, Gerber, Lone Wolf, William Henry, etc. are all local, and retailers here focus on them. Spyderco's are hard to find; I depend on the online retailers to get what I want and to find out what's available. It wasn't until I found first BladeForums and was led to here that I truly discovered how great Spyderco is.

There is one point raised here, and that is a lack of a central reference point for information on what the company offers, now and in the short term. This is an up to date web site. While you can find information at the online retailers (such as New Graham for example) most people will first look to Spyderco.com as the primary source of information. This is not to rehash a discussion on another thread. I've worked on major e-commerce sites, and I'm aware that a major redesign and updating is more complicated that some think, requiring time, talent, and an investment in time and money to do right. While it would benefit Spyderco in the long term, it does require a commitment to refining the business model.

A second reason that some older models might be successful on a reintroduction is that the public's tastes change. Just an example. More years ago than I care to admit, I got an Al Mar Eagle Talon, a 4-inch dressy knife. Shortly after, Al Mar dropped the model because the public was becoming fascinated with black handled tactical folders and the fancier Eagle's sat on the shelves. Time passed, and Al Mar is now re-introducing the Eagles with Cocobolo and micarta handles again. I was at the Blade West show recently, and the interest shown in these new Eagles was very good. People seemed to want the the dressier models over the tacticals.

Will reintroducing the older models that the 'affis' here like be a guarantee of success? No, not certainly, but the conditions do suggest the it might be feasible.

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Postby JD Spydo » Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:13 am

spoonrobot wrote:I bought my NIB Lil' Temp for 100$ two weeks ago on another forum. It had gone unsold at that price for almost a week.

A few days ago I saw an Ayoob go for 93$ after going unsold for almost 9 days.

Seems like the hype surrounding discontinued models is pretty hyped up itself. There is a hardcore group of hobbyists who are very vocal about what they want but by and large most of the other hobbyists don't buy into the hype. Everyone wants the return of the Dodo and such but look at the classifieds, every few weeks there will be a Dodo or Lil' Temp for sale that will not sell for several days and will eventually get withdrawn because the price was dropping too low.



The value has only skyrocketed within a certain community, following the trend of most collector items. The average buyer who owns a few Spydercos is not going to see the sense in dropping an extra 75-100$ on a model because it's older and no longer made. They may now appeal to that average buyer but he or she is still not buying them. We are.
Well brother I'm glad you got exceptionally good deals on 2 of the models in question. However I seriously doubt if you could do that on a consistent basis given what dealers that still have some of them around are getting for them, What they are currently selling for in forums, Ebay and other sources. Why heck I got a Lil Temperance Trailing point on an Ebay a couple of years ago on a "buy it now" for $57 and I also got a little Terzoula Jr model for $25 on an Ebay "buy it now". I still have the paperwork to prove it too. But in all of my wild expectations do I expect to duplicate that? I wish :rolleyes:

But average all the recent sales in and the averages will be much higher than what you snagged them for. But I am truly glad you got great deals on them. I get lucky occasionally myself and I'm always thankful when lady luck walks my way. But I don't count on it and I don't base prices on it. I can remember when you could buy Spyderhawks all day long on Ebay for under $60. I haven't seen one that cheap in many moons. Bottom line the prices on the models I talked about on the previous post are higher across the board.
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Postby CWO » Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:14 am

The economics of a knife either work - or they don't. Being a product company - (unique cases aside) Spyderco needs to take an approach where a model stands on its own and pays its own freight or its needs to be discontinued. The "enthusiast" fringe makes up on a tiny fraction of consumers and cannot perform CPR on a deisgn that for whatever reason does not enjoy mainstream popularity that support continued production.

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Sprint Runs...

Postby Hannibal Lecter » Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:24 am

My Dear Friends,

I might offer a thought or two.
CWO wrote:The "enthusiast" fringe makes up on a tiny fraction of consumers and cannot perform CPR on a design that for whatever reason does not enjoy mainstream popularity that support continued production.
It is for these very underappreciated, currently difficult to find models that I so appreciate Spyderco Sprint Runs. For a comparatively minimal investment an older model can be resurrected with different steel, different colored FRN, etc. without the initial costs associated with the development of a new model (FRN molds and the like).

There are admittedly a number of older Spyderco knives that I missed the first time around. Sprint Runs give me the best of both worlds - the knife I so covet, and the usual advantage of more modern blade steels.

Everybody wins.

This is not to say that every knife I so desire will make it so far as to become a Sprint Run, but there have been enough of them thus far to keep my hopes alive. :D

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Hannibal
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"I have followed with enthusiasm the course of your disgrace and public shaming. My own never bothered me except for the inconvenience of being incarcerated, but you may lack perspective."

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Postby scolby » Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:19 pm

JD Spydo wrote:Well brother I'm glad you got exceptionally good deals on 2 of the models in question. However I seriously doubt if you could do that on a consistent basis given what dealers that still have some of them around are getting for them, What they are currently selling for in forums, Ebay and other sources. Why heck I got a Lil Temperance Trailing point on an Ebay a couple of years ago on a "buy it now" for $57 and I also got a little Terzoula Jr model for $25 on an Ebay "buy it now". I still have the paperwork to prove it too. But in all of my wild expectations do I expect to duplicate that? I wish :rolleyes:

But average all the recent sales in and the averages will be much higher than what you snagged them for. But I am truly glad you got great deals on them. I get lucky occasionally myself and I'm always thankful when lady luck walks my way. But I don't count on it and I don't base prices on it. I can remember when you could buy Spyderhawks all day long on Ebay for under $60. I haven't seen one that cheap in many moons. Bottom line the prices on the models I talked about on the previous post are higher across the board.

JD - this is a topic you bring up again and again. Ebay pricing cannot be used as an indicator of "popularity". Ebay buyers have many motivations. Sometimes, someone is desperate to grab one more of their favorite folder and are willing to buy a knife at an outrageous price to secure it for future use. The total number of users is not expanded. Others speculate on future price increases due to continued scarcity. Others are trying to collect one of each and are desperate to "fill a hole" in their collections. In none of these cases are the number of orignal buyers increasing.


There are always going to be designs that get pruned for lots of reasons. Sometimes, it comes down to the vendor (in Japan) not wanting to continue production or not being able to make quota or not meeting quality control. Sypderco uses several Japanese vendors, and business isn't always smooth.

The current and future line-up is pretty golden from my point of view. Also, Spyderco has shown a willingness to re-hash the past, when it serves a purpose (Sprint Spurs, Chinese (although MIA), Goddard, etc).

I am still looking for a titanium scale, ball lock Worker with polished Cowry blade. Break out the SKU!
"Chance favors the prepared mind" - Louis Pasteur

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Postby JD Spydo » Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:01 pm

scolby wrote:. In none of these cases are the number of orignal buyers increasing.

I am still looking for a titanium scale, ball lock Worker with polished Cowry blade. Break out the SKU!

What are you basing that on :confused: ? I'm personally seeing more and more people not only flocking to Ebay but I'm also seeing higher prices on the aforementioned models fetched at Gun & knife shows and stores that sell Spyders. Not to mention what a couple of dealer friends have conveyed to me. Supply and demand and prices don't lie. And if they're all losers like you and a couple of others here on the thread are more or less claiming, then why are they being so coveted as they currently are? Along with more and more people are now admiring them as haven't been in the past :confused: . If what you are saying is true then all of the aforementioned models would be getting somewhere in the $20 to $40 range instead of the handsome prices they are indeed getting. I personally just recently sold a USED Massad Ayoob model to a fellow forum member for over $100. Unpopular models generally don't do that well.

Things are getting a bit strange here of late and I'm truly a bit confused. A person it seems has the right to free speech on this Forum as long as it's what you want to hear :rolleyes: . Just because a person's observation is not in line with your agreement it doesn't constititute a reason for condescending comments in a negative manner :( If you find the content of my threads repulsive and offensive I suggest you just simply quit reading them.

But on a friendlier note I can say that I do indeed agree with you about a C-01 Worker with either Cowry X or ZDP-189. I've mentioned a revamped Worker model before with newer/super blade steel with not much fanfare unfortunately. :confused:
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Postby fellyjr » Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:18 pm

scolby wrote:JD - this is a topic you bring up again and again. Ebay pricing cannot be used as an indicator of "popularity". Ebay buyers have many motivations. Sometimes, someone is desperate to grab one more of their favorite folder and are willing to buy a knife at an outrageous price to secure it for future use. The total number of users is not expanded. Others speculate on future price increases due to continued scarcity. Others are trying to collect one of each and are desperate to "fill a hole" in their collections. In none of these cases are the number of orignal buyers increasing.
All I'm going to say about the three comments you made that are in bold is:
Your wrong
Your wrong
And.......your wrong! ;) ;)

Sorry to disagree! :) :)


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