Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

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Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:19 pm

Since there has been more discussion about going to the Spyderco Seconds Sales, and also the potential of an East Coast one, and other area Seconds Sales, here is a question I have for everyone:

When it comes to your personal purchase of seconds, what basic criteria and standards do you look for? Ie, generally Seconds have cosmetic and not functional blemishes or mis-manufacturing flaws, but, what would or do you accept and what would or do you not accept, when purchasing Spyderco Seconds?

As an example: Say there was a knife model you really wanted (Say a Gayle Bradley or Military) but at the Seconds Sale you noticed the particular flaw in it, was a small hairline crack in the G10 handle. If the price was good enough, would that be an acceptable blemish for you, as long as it was not a deep crack that would ruin its functionality, and you would figure that you can always sand it out or fix it up or even leave it as is? Or say the particular blemish was a mis-spelled word like "Gloden" instead of "Golden" Colorado. Actually, something like that may, ironically, give greater value to that particular knife, just as some rare coins had blemishes or misprints when they were minted.

Basically, that's what I'm curious about: When is a blemish too much for you personally to buy the knife or when is it acceptable? Depending on the knife model, how many flaws and blemishes would you tolerate or not tolerate, depending on the price?

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Re: Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

Postby AwayFromMySpydieHole » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:30 pm

For me personally, if the price was right I'd really only be concerned about function. If the knife functions as intended, I'd be good to go.

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Re: Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

Postby jabba359 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:24 am

It varies for me. I bought a stacked wood Kopa with a hairline crack in the wood. You have to look close to see it, but it's there. At the time, the knife was discontinued and the 2nds price was super low, so that was a small flaw that I could easily overlook, as the crack blends in with the scale. I also don't mind slightly off center blades, small discolorations, dull blades, or small scratches. Those are all things that I can either fix, overlook, or will happen to the knife with use anyway.

Reasons I've passed on some of the seconds are: rough action; super sticky locks; major damage to the ornamentation of scales (such as big chunks missing out of the inlay on a Kiwi, missing sections of wood on the Sage 4, etc.); snapped off tips; seriously messed up edges (though I did get a Kahr Arms Delica that a third party sharpener had really messed up but it was crazy cheap); and cracked scales (like the glow in the dark Manix, where the crack was quite obvious).

For most of the reasons I have passed, I was able to find a second example with lesser flaws and, in the cases of quite a few of them, there were tons of that particular knife to pick and choose one that was closest to perfect. For knives that I can only find one of, or that are long discontinued and normally expensive, I may pick one up that I would normally pass on had it been a more common knife. For example, I got a flame anodized fluted Ti Military at a seconds sale and I can barely open it with my thumb because the action is so terrible. However, since they were long discontinued and it wasn't one I was planning on really carrying, I bought it anyway, even though on just about any other knife I would have passed on it for having that same flaw.

Another was a Stretch FRN that looked like someone had taken steel wool to the blade, as it was completely covered in scratches. Normally I would pass on a knife that ugly, but it was so cheap I got it anyway. I figure that the ugly blade gives me a good excuse to learn how to do a stonewash since, if I fail, it can't possibly look much uglier and if I end up ruining it then I'm out hardly any money.

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Re: Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

Postby Mushroom » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:29 am

For me, personally, I wasn't looking for anything very specific when I went in. So as I looked through the boxes full of knives, my first criteria was a quick visual inspection of the knife closed. I would check for obvious flaws in the handle or blade, and make sure it was a complete knife. I would then open/close the knife to check basic function and to see if the tip was missing. (more often than not, knives had full blades) If it was a model I thought I might end up buying I put it in the basket and continued searching. I tried to keep the initial inspection of each knife fairly short, as theres plenty of time to step aside and inspect each knife further.

Also, there are models during the sale that almost seem "hard to get away from" because it seems like there are so many of them. (Military, Yojimbo, Manix) When I was looking at these models, personally, it was hard to accept any obvious or functional flaws. I would look through enough models until I found the one that made me question why it was a second. Basically, looking for those ones with minor cosmetic blemishes.

Though, it IS a seconds sale, so you can't expect flawless.

Some examples of blemish's I found to be completely acceptable would be a CF M4 PM2 with very slight side to side blade play, but otherwise smooth as silk and sharp as a razor. A HAP40 Ladybug with a slightly wonky lamination line, and most noticeable was a Junior with some pretty bad lock stick, but it was only $60, and the amount of lock stick definitely wasn't enough to stop me from buying it.

Some blemishes I remember deeming unacceptable were a couple of Nirvanas. The first one had some HORRIBLE lock stick, and the second one looked like someone jacked up a regrind on it. I felt that neither one was worth the asking price. A Sage 4 with broken ironwood scale, a kiwi with a broken amber jigged bone scale, a kiwi 4 with some really gritty action and anything with a broken tip - though for some these could be desirable for regrinds and modding.
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Re: Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

Postby RLDubbya » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:48 am

Remember, too, that this could be a great opp to get a bunch of different steels to try new sharpening techniques without fearing the reaper of dead blades.

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Re: Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

Postby EDC Honeybee » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:21 am

Ive been twice, and used the same criteria each time.

I make a list of knives I want, the MSRP, the MAP, and a sort of priority list. No sense in me buying a knife I don't want (not interested in reselling).

I didnt see any knives that had "unacceptable" flaws at the sale. The problem is more that some flaws drop the value below what they are asking. A $300 (if I remember right) nirvana where the blade rubs the handle and has scratched up the blade, pass. I can get a really nice non-flawed knife for that money. On the other hand I bought up customer returns with broken blades that I thought I could salvage for $5-25.

I sought out and got most of what I wanted from my priority list. Some of the best deals are the standard pm2 and native models. There are tons of them, and they are heavily discounted. Pick out 5, find one with the least bad flaw, buy it. I have a hard time finding the problem with most of them.

I probably won't proxy again. Helped someone who couldnt be at the sale. Scored a maxamet manix (before they were even shipping from knife dealers) and an S110 Native. The next day I see him flipping them for a profit. Nothing terribly wrong with it, but it didn't feel great to do the labor of shopping and shipping to him just so he could make $50, and deprive me or another at the sale of some cool knives. I'm sure my experience is the minority, but still has turned me off from the idea.

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Re: Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

Postby The Deacon » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:27 am

No real interest in seconds, so I'd just avoid them.
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Re: Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

Postby Evil D » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:29 am

I really don't have access to them unless I buy from a third party. If I were to buy in person I would just do my best to inspect it and make sure it functions properly. I can live with aesthetic flaws since my reason to buy a second would likely be to abuse the heck out of it.

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Re: Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

Postby farnorthdan » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:17 am

Like Paul, I have no interest in seconds, I need another knife like I need another hole in head so when I see a knife I want (no more need) I grab the nicest example I can find. Also have no need for flipping for a few extra bucks.

I really would like to attend a second day sale some day though but mainly to meet other enthusiasts and forum members. Maybe even the man himself :cool: :D
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Re: Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

Postby toxophilus » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:54 am

I went looking for Steels that I wanted to try out and found them such as LC200, S110V & 204P.

Next I picked up multiples to compare actions, fit & finish; Example I had 6 Military 204P samples in my basket and picked the two that were the best as users for myself & a friend at a great discount. I don't mind scratches on the steel nor the scales but draw the line at cracked/damaged scales and missing tips on the steel.

I also had a 52100 Military where the top back part of the tang showed well above the carbon fiber scales when in the closed/folded position; ok price but with that much showing, I put it back.

I had a Sage 4 however a lot of the wood scales on one side were missing/damaged, I did't really want to spend time on fixing it = Pass.

Had a good time meeting/talking to other Spyderco enthusiasts; It would be neat if Spyderco had a sign up sheet of forum members who attend!

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Re: Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

Postby yablanowitz » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:30 pm

My criteria are pretty simple.
1) Do I want one of these?
2) Did I bring enough money to buy one?

It just killed me to see people grabbing a dozen of one model and taking them aside to go through them one by one to pick the best one. That's why I don't think an online seconds sale could work. They are all functional knives, made with premium materials and you are getting them at wholesale or less, and you're being picky? Give me a break.:

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Re: Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

Postby Archimedes » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:37 pm

The Deacon wrote:No real interest in seconds, so I'd just avoid them.
Me too.

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Re: Spyderco Seconds Purchases: Your Personal Criteria ?

Postby John E » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:52 pm

I would be very interested in an east coast sale. I did buy one of the wood handled bushcraft knives and enjoyed filling the cracks and sanding it, so that was one good experience. I think that there are knives that I would use enough that they would be likely to get scratched up, so that buying a functional second would make sense. Love to see some of the kitchen knives, too.

John E.

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