D56 wrote:Hi jabba,
Suppose what I'm saying by "wiser" is that I don't get the ethos/practice of these limited items, it seems a bit gimmicky. I am grateful to all who take the time to answer my posts and grateful to those who explained to me about the 'collectors club' .... BTW, was your reply edited by a mod?
If the previous owner of my knife said "hello" it would be kind of novel, but this was not a request by myself saying "I would like to say hello" as you imply.
First, just for clarity, the Squeak you purchased is not a Sprint, it's simply one of the first batch of a brand new regular production model. It is numbered, and came with the certificate, because somewhere under 200 knives from the first batch of every brand new Spyderco model are reserved for the members of the Spyderco Collectors Club and your knife happened to be one of those. IMHO, the Squeak is at the opposite end of the scale from a Sprint. It uses an FRN handle which is not shared with any other model. That means Spyderco had to invest somewhere between thirty and fifty thousand dollars in a mold. That, in turn, tells me they're betting it will be a high volume model.
As for the Club. Yes, you might consider it a marketing gimmick, in the sense that any manufacturer sponsored group which encourages or formalizes systematic purchasing of their product is, to some degree, a marketing ploy. On the other hand, if that's it's primary purpose, Spyderco is doing it very, very wrong. Aside from occasional threads on this forum where its existence comes up in conversation, I don't think there's a reference to it anywhere on Spyderco's main website. To me at least, that limits it's potential gimmick factor considerably.
As for limited items, the reasons are varied.
Sprint Runs of an existing model are limited to a finite number of pieces because, while Spyderco knows there is some demand for a "re-run" of a discontinued model, or for a current one in a specific steel, color, handle material, or other configuration, they don't envision the resulting knife will be of widespread interest. Making only "X" number of pieces limits the risk of them getting stuck with unsold knives and also increases the odds folks who want them will purchase them quickly. Other factors can also enter into it, steel must be purchased in increments set by the mill, so even if Spyderco felt making 1000 would be "safe", but their choice is limited to buying enough steel for 750 or for 1500, they'll probably elect to make the smaller number.
Limited Production configurations are limited by production capacity. If the maker can only produce 300 a month, and the demand is for 400 a month, there will be waiting lists and shortages. If the demand is only for 100 a month, then it will only get produced every couple months. If the demand drops below a certain point, the configuration will be retired.
Sponsored Exclusives are limited by the depth of the sponsor's pockets and/or their estimate of how many they can move. Unlike Sprints, the sponsor does have the option to re-order. It doesn't happen often, but AG Russell has been keeping the SnapIt alive that way for ten years or more and I believe it happened recently with the EDC forum Manix II.
Lastly, there are have been models which became "limited editions" by selling so poorly that only one run was ever manufactured.
And, for the record, I am not a mod, nor did I edit his post. He edited it to note that I'd posted essentially the same response while he was typing his. Same thing had happened, the other way around, a few days earlier, hence my comment in a post later in that thread.