Why I think we need more brick & mortar knife stores

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
DRKBC
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Why I think we need more brick & mortar knife stores

Postby DRKBC » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:05 pm

Apart from the obvious i.e. being able to actually see and handle something for yourself before you purchase it. More importantly, I think, is that if there were more regular old Bob's Knife Store's in town (except with decent pricing ... or at least close to decent) a guy could walk in and buy a knife for cash and when that guy's wife said; hey is that a new knife? He could just reply "no, you've seen it before its the black one with the silver blade" and then she would say "oh right that one". And life would be far simpler.

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Postby sharpguitarist » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:55 pm

Hey,
Amen brother!
Later,
Don
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Postby kennethsime » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:24 pm

The store I work in (dedicated local cutlery shop) is a discount store. All our pocket knives (saving Reeves, Benchmade's Gold Class, others that won't allow a discount). Kitchen cutlery is anywhere from 20-60% off, and that's before you get into closeouts. One some knives our prices are pretty competitive (Benchmades are cheaper here than most brick and mortar stores, KA-BAR, Shun as well). On others, there's just no way we're going to compete on price. The Chinese Kershaw knives we have will sell for $35, where at WAL-MART or similar they'll be $15-$20. I can order anything we carry at cost, but when it comes to Spyderco knives I always check the amazon/online price before I order; it's usually within a few bucks, and sometimes even cheaper than our wholesale cost.

I'm no businessman, but I think with numbers like these it's no surprise that we don't have more brick and mortar shops.
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Postby Clip » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:02 pm

Agree with Kenneth, with the online stores it's too hard to compete.
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Postby MtnMan » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:53 pm

Both the stores that sell knives near me have a very limited selection and charge full retail. The closest cutlery store is an hour and a half away and charges full retail. The one store in town that carries Spyderco has one Spyderco knife, a Paramilitary gen 1 and it's $189. If it weren't for on-line stores I would probably still be carrying my gen 1 Endura I bought in 1991. :D

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Postby Sithus1966 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:02 pm

There are 2 or three stores that carry a decent amount of Spyderco knives. One I have not visited in years and the other sells them at full MSRP. The other moved and before they did they had only a few. Yes I can drive to the one store in less than an hour and have it in my hand, but when I can get it for less than MSRP in a few days in the mail, you know who wins.
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Postby Evil D » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:08 pm

I'm lucky enough to live near a knife shop. He offsets the challenge of competing with online stores by simply running his own online store in addition to the shop. This not only eliminates competition, but it doubles his shopping market. His store prices are typically the same as online prices or better. He usually doesn't even charge me tax. He also takes trade ins which is extremely addictive. The few knives i've bought and lost interest in, i got almost NIB prices in trade in, which is more than i'd get if i tried to sell them myself.
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Postby OldSarSwmr » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:17 pm

I'm lucky I guess, I have a brick and mortar store about twenty minutes from my house. His prices are as close to online prices as I have seen in a brick and mortar store in my area. He knows that most of his customers are well aware of online prices and that helps him set his pricing. I don't mind paying a little extra for the piece of mind in knowing that the knife I handled is the knife i'm taking home. The owner is a "knife guy" and it is a pleasure dealing with him. I have also ordered plenty of knives online but it's nice to have a place to go and meet others that enjoy this hobby. To me, that's worth a couple extra dollars.

Funny that you mentioned "Bob's Knife Store", because that is the owner's name. The store is called "The Classic Edge", it is listed on Spyderco's dealer list in Midlothian, VA. Bob has an excellent selection of Spyderco, Benchmade, ESEE, Kershaw/ZT and many other brands. He also has a great selection of traditionals and antique and custom knives. His store is open during the week and he does gun and knife shows throughout Virginia on the weekends.
:spyder:
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Postby kbrouwer » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:20 pm

That'd be cool but they BETTER have Spyderco

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Postby DRKBC » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:28 pm

It's not easy to be in business right now and you have to be creative, I think the only way to do it is to have a strong Internet business to help back up your store front. If you can't evolve you are not going to make it that's for sure. I would definitely shop in person if I could but in my case, the retail store in my area is very close to full retail. If you get 10 percent off you are doing good so as a result I rarely buy there and I think if they keep running with this current business model that they very likely won't stay around. It's a shame really.

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Postby DeathBySnooSnoo » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:31 pm

I'm lucky enough to have a brink and mortar near me...I live about 15 minutes away from S&R Knives, and it is great to go and try them out and when I have the cash I will buy from them (I've bought probably 15 knives in about 2 years). But stores rely on selling knives, but can't compete on price with online only stores and that sucks because there are times when the difference in cost is jut too large to ignore and I can't justify spending an extra $40 on a knife.
If it is within $20 or so, I usually will buy from them, but more...it just adds up too much over 10 knives a year type thing.
On the hunt for...

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Postby DRKBC » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:40 pm

OldSarSwmr wrote:I'm lucky I guess, I have a brick and mortar store about twenty minutes from my house. His prices are as close to online prices as I have seen in a brick and mortar store in my area. He knows that most of his customers are well aware of online prices and that helps him set his pricing. I don't mind paying a little extra for the piece of mind in knowing that the knife I handled is the knife i'm taking home. The owner is a "knife guy" and it is a pleasure dealing with him. I have also ordered plenty of knives online but it's nice to have a place to go and meet others that enjoy this hobby. To me, that's worth a couple extra dollars.

Funny that you mentioned "Bob's Knife Store", because that is the owner's name. The store is called "The Classic Edge", it is listed on Spyderco's dealer list in Midlothian, VA. Bob has an excellent selection of Spyderco, Benchmade, ESEE, Kershaw/ZT and many other brands. He also has a great selection of traditionals and antique and custom knives. His store is open during the week and he does gun and knife shows throughout Virginia on the weekends.
That sounds like the perfect situation, I love dealing with people, even when buying on the Internet its much nicer to talk to the person over the phone it gives you a sense of who you are dealing with. You are lucky to have someone with a passion for the business in your area and your right paying a little extra to get the service is well worth it. My case is a little different the store in our area sells a military for $260 bucks and I probably know more about the knife than they do, which isn't saying a lot, believe me :-).

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Postby bh49 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:58 pm

DRKBC wrote:Apart from the obvious i.e. being able to actually see and handle something for yourself before you purchase it. More importantly, I think, is that if there were more regular old Bob's Knife Store's in town (except with decent pricing ... or at least close to decent) a guy could walk in and buy a knife for cash and when that guy's wife said; hey is that a new knife? He could just reply "no, you've seen it before its the black one with the silver blade" and then she would say "oh right that one". And life would be far simpler.
Agree. I can only wish ti life within driving distance from NGK, KW or GP knives. Unfortunately the only knife store used to be about 40 miles away and was selling knives at MSRP until few month ago it went out of business.
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Postby gbelleh » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:33 pm

I don't know of any knife store anywhere near me. The knife booths at the local gun shows have lots of Cold Steel, Gerber, CRKT, etc. (and the dragon and wizard swords). But if I want to handle a Techno, Southard or Chaparral, Gayle Bradley, etc., I have to order it online first.
:D :spyder:

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Postby Minibear453 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:58 pm

Try surplus stores. We have quite a few here, and they have some Spydercos, but pretty basic ones. Another store sells knives, flashlights, and cheesy fantasy swords/guns. However, they have pretty much ever Spyderco that is released. Not always in stock, but when I went there during Thanksgiving break, they had the Szabo and the Dodo already. Their prices are around MSRP though, but the owner will lower prices for you, although they do honestly tell you that it's not online and they can't sell that cheap.
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Postby DRKBC » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:04 pm

gbelleh wrote:I don't know of any knife store anywhere near me. The knife booths at the local gun shows have lots of Cold Steel, Gerber, CRKT, etc. (and the dragon and wizard swords). But if I want to handle a Techno, Southard or Chaparral, Gayle Bradley, etc., I have to order it online first.
Come on! You can get wizard swords locally. I have to wait to order those till I run out of pointed hats and festive capes so I can save on the shipping.

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Postby INFRNL » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:05 pm

I don't see why local b&m's have to be so expensive. Look at Howes and cutlery shoppe; I think they have actual shops and do just fine. They also have some of the lowest prices.
I think a lot of it is greed. We have 1 local cutlery shop that I know of and they sell at full retail. They may give 10% but that's not enough for me to justify over Howes, etc.. For retail, I'd rather drive an hour or so and go to Golden, but yet again I'd rather save as much as I can. As mentioned there are ways b&m's can have lower costs and easily survive.

for now ill just stick with the ones we all know.
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Postby Bladekeeper » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:17 pm

It's something in the uk we don't have hardly any of its either a few sak,s or cheap junk the only exception being a big store which is also our best Internet store .
If you guys lost them all tommorow I bet you'd be willing to pay the few extra bucks to get a hands on its a 6hour round trip to the nearest spyderco stockist so that has to be added to the cost.
Plus supporting the local business is a good thing too right otherwise more local jobs go out the door I wish I had a local store even if I was paying an extra $5 per knife I'd shop there rather than amazon although HH is the exception as the owner employs local folk plus donates a lot to charitable causes too.

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Postby DRKBC » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:29 pm

INFRNL wrote:I don't see why local b&m's have to be so expensive. Look at Howes and cutlery shoppe; I think they have actual shops and do just fine. They also have some of the lowest prices.
I think a lot of it is greed. We have 1 local cutlery shop that I know of and they sell at full retail. They may give 10% but that's not enough for me to justify over Howes, etc.. For retail, I'd rather drive an hour or so and go to Golden, but yet again I'd rather save as much as I can. As mentioned there are ways b&m's can have lower costs and easily survive.

for now ill just stick with the ones we all know.
I think the problem in our current economy is to do with the business owners philosophy on cash flow. Sometimes a business just needs to sell product to get cash coming in the doors, even if sometimes they may not make as much as they would like or even occasionally lose money on some items. That encourages loyalty and expands the customer base. Its often hard to get a persons brain around that concept but if theyy don't (at least when you are talking about products that aren't unique to one supplier) in most cases the customer will just go to the next guy and not think twice about it, particularly if the service is also just OK which is sadly the case more oftem than not.

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Postby Bladekeeper » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:42 pm

That there is the difference too I agree the service getting to know staff having them ask how you are etc makes all the difference I referred to a company HH in my above post any one who has used them say the same thing "amazing service" really helpful etc.
That reason alone has made me order from them over a few pounds here and there plus their comms are great a local small retailer who deals with cash , rather than PayPal or credit cards has extra overheads for that alone plus insurance wise thief cost is higher.
The age of online shopping has put the small guy on the losing end in being able to price competitively against a store like knife works .
The op obviously wants to see more business in local shops so do I but the fact is it is down to the shopper to change too maybe if the local store coupled there business with a website , that frequent customers got free postage eg would help for the tines you needed to shop online.
In the instance of collecting spyderco though I think the range and keeping enough stock to meet supply is another issue maybe spyderco could have a system of approved local stores.
They could get the latest releases at an offer buy having spyderco as their top marque I don't know the answer but if I was asked would I pay an extra to buy locally I'd be happy too the problem comes when they can't get what you want/need .


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