Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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TazKristi
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Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby TazKristi » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:35 am

“Integrity is being good even if no one is watching”….

We wanted to make everyone aware we are implementing a change for 2016 that you should hear directly from us. Spyderco will be implementing a Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) Policy with our retailers that will go into effect January 1, 2016. This means that there can be no advertisements on-line or in print at a price lower than 40% off of MSRP. We are also not raising prices on nearly all of our product line. Our policy is slightly unconventional and is designed with everyone in mind.

We are consumers too, we understand buying products based on important factors like product quality, price, business reputation, customer service, and other factors, and we understand the value of finding that great deal and knowing that you are purchasing a great product from a reliable source. We also understand that over the last 40 years, we have cultivated unique partnerships to include consumers, retailers, wholesalers, and suppliers that have all contributed to our success in one way or another.

Our number one priority is to continue to bring you Reliable High-Performance products. We plan to continue growing our innovative product line, finding creative ways to fight counterfeit products in the marketplace and continue strengthening our relationships with those who are committed to the same goals.

Many of us have our favorite store or website that we purchase from for many different reasons with price being only one of those factors. This does not mean that on January 1st, all of our products will suddenly be extremely more expensive, instead what it means is that Spyderco is working with everyone in our network to continue bringing our products to you at fair prices through your favorite retailers.
This is a work in progress and we will continually review and apply our CQI – Constant Quality Improvement philosophy in the coming months. The Spyderco Crew thanks you for your undeniable loyalty and continued support!
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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby SpyderNut » Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:28 pm

Thank you for the information, Kristi. Always appreciate it! :)
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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby El Gato » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:11 pm

Thanks Kristi.
I understand the MAP policy is not unique to Spyderco but may very well be a coming trend in the industry.
Thanks for letting us know. :) :spyder:

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MichaelScott
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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby MichaelScott » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:22 pm

Not knowing anything about MAP, I consulted the Small Business Admin and found this:

How Minimum Advertised Pricing Impacts Your Retail or Online Store’s Marketing Efforts

If you run an online or retail business, did you know that you might be prohibited from advertising a manufacturer’s products below a certain minimum price?

Minimum advertised pricing (MAP) policies are particularly critical to manufacturers who sell their products for online resale, given the ease at which consumers can now conduct online and mobile price comparisons. MAP policies are also established to help small businesses compete and sell on service and value, rather than entering into a price war with cost-cutting big box stores.

But how legally enforceable are these minimum advertised pricing policies and, as a small business owner, is there a way to get around them in your sales and marketing practices?

The Truth About Minimum Advertised Pricing

Minimum advertised pricing only relates to “advertised” pricing and is perfectly legal under U.S. antitrust statutes. So, essentially, you are limited to advertising MAP-protected products at a certain price, but you can sell these products at any price you choose (often guided by the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price or MSRP).

What Does this Mean for Online Businesses?

Under typical MAP agreements, online retailers can’t “display” any prices that fall below the MAP price. But which part of an online store actually represents advertising display space has caused quite a bit of controversy. For example, say a product is listed on a site for $10. Once a coupon code or other incentive is applied, the actual shopping cart price could come down to $8. Is that still considered “advertising” since a transaction technically hasn’t yet occurred, or is it a commitment to buy and outside the scope of a MAP agreement?

The difference between an advertised price and an actual price that you may be charged has come under scrutiny by U.S. Circuit Courts and FTC rulings, which tend to agree that an actual price displayed in a secure/encrypted shopping cart isn’t subject to MAP – because it’s technically not advertising space, but represents an actual storefront. So in an online world, an actual price may legally end up being a lot lower than the MAP-required advertised price.

In fact, manufacturers are often advised to focus their MAP policies on advertised prices in paid search ads, shopping comparison ads, and internet landing pages but not in shopping carts or other point of sale interfaces.

Look for Alternative Ways to Discount

While it’s not always advisable to lead with price in your marketing efforts, look for other ways to attract customers without breaking any MAP agreements. For example, many manufacturers are okay with your offering free shipping, coupon codes, or a “buy-one-get-one at a discount,” if MAP doesn’t protect that other item. Essentially, as long as the dollar value of the MAP-protected product isn’t reduced, then you are okay. Be careful with coupon codes. It’s safer to advertise the coupon—not the product that it can be applied against—so as not to imply that you are advertising the MAP item at a reduced price. Instead, be clear about what items are excluded from any coupon code promotion.

The Bottom Line

If you are unsure about how your online advertising and marketing practices may border on breaking any MAP agreement you have with a manufacturer, talk to them or consult a legal attorney. Manufacturers do monitor their dealers for potential violations and the law is constantly in flux on this one, so do your due diligence.
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Skidoosh
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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby Skidoosh » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:35 am

How does MAP affect group buys such as MassDrop?

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Ankerson
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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby Ankerson » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:39 am

Nothing really different than CRK and Strider have been doing for a very long time now. :)

Good for everyone I think.

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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby powernoodle » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:26 am

What's with all of the smiley faces? Price-fixing never benefits the consumer. This is nothing to be happy about.

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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby Evil D » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:33 am

This may be bad news for me as my local shop owner has voiced some frustration about this from other makers. Hopefully he continues to carry Spyderco. His prices have already gone up to match or exceed online prices, which to an extent I don't mind paying to support a local business but I'm also not made of money.

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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby Bodog » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:36 am

Maybe spyderco will start listing the MSRP at more realistic prices. $259 for a military is a ridiculous price. I know of absolutely no one that would buy one at that price, ever, anywhere (and its my favorite pocket knife). A stepped titanium chaparral for $570? Come on, that's just plain stupid.

Everyone ignored these ridiculous MSR prices because when they hit the street most dealers would flagrantly disregard the MSRP and price them at what people would buy them for. Making dealers tie their prices to an absurd MSRP is insulting to the dealers and the people who buy them, even if it's 40% off MSRP.

It's not my business and I can understand why a manufacturer would put something like this in place but I don't agree with it at all. Not whenever the suggested prices set by spyderco are so over the top that it's ridiculous to even consider a knife at that price.

Can you imagine if Ford came out and said Ford dealers couldn't wheel and deal to sell a truck? That the MSRP of a stock F150 is $100,000 and all dealers across the country couldn't sell them for less than 40% of that price? I'd think most people would say a stock F150 at $60,000 is still too much. If dealers are given the free reign to drop that price as low as necessary to sell the truck, say $25,000, then MSRP wouldn't matter and people could ignore the ridiculousness of it. That's how it has been.

It's disappointing to hear this policy going into place, unless spyderco brings their MSRP into the realm of reality.

Let's put it this way, I'm eligible to use the LEO discount spyderco has in place. That's 40% off MSRP straight from spyderco. Ask me why I've never used it.

Like Pawn Stars says, if the deal isn't right, walk away no matter how much you want the item. This sucks.

At least the mule team is still in place. The last bastion of what makes spyderco spyderco. That's now all three big knife makers that I have to walk away from because of pricing. All are good knives, all are deserving to be carried, but they priced themselves out of the realm of what I consider to be a good value. These are tools priced for the ignorant and the gotta have it collector. I don't like that, especially from spyderco.
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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby Ankerson » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:52 am

Actually as far as cars go, it's starting to get to that point that the prices will be what they are, sticker price minus rebate etc.. ;)

Something to watch for in the future.

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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby i am travvy » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:10 am

Idk how much this will really affect us since I've noticed that the majority of dealers already have most of their spyderco stock at 40% off. I think where we might get jipped is on any "holiday" sales like black Friday deals and cyber Monday sales, like many of the bigger dealers offer and possibly on the big discounts on the discontinued models. But I'm wondering if this is why we saw some of the dealers get rid of all their spyderco stock this year. Interesting to see where this will lead.

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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby paladin » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:11 am

FWIS, it seems to be an evolution with growth driven from at least 2 different factors:

1. Spyderco's MSRP's are prohibitively high. I understand the reasoning behind this philosophy. But still, anyone who has purchased an actual Spyderco @ MSRP-- in a moment of weakness or out of necessity-- probably had a bad aftertaste after they had a chance to buy the same model @ street price. Seriously those MSRP's as Bodog noted are CRAZY HIGH. MAP may afford Spyderco an opportunity to bring their MSRP's down from the stratosphere back closer to ground level by allowing them more control from headquarters.

2. Obviously, it is Spyderco's best, least intrusive, least draconian option to get a handle on the counterfeits market. In theory, it will make it easier to "spot" a fake by sending up a flare to all consumers, dealers, & even Golden when a price violates their MAP policy. I am unsure how it will affect the secondary markets-- it may take months or years to reap any benefits there.

Still, I think it's a necessary business evolution aimed at long range brand viability happening at a good time for me personally. :) :spyder: :)

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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby Jim Malone » Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:21 am

Sad news.... :(

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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby bearfacedkiller » Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:28 am

I am not a fan of this at all but I will wait and see what street prices end up being before I pass judgement. We are just so used to paying almost half of msrp. The msrp on a Para2 is $198 and 40% off of that is $118 which isn't that far from what it costs now. However, this is an economical model not a high end collaboration. Some Spydies are already starting to get priced out of my range and if prices go up much I will be priced out of even more knives. I have seen other brands I like implement MAP pricing and I haven't bought as many knives from them since. Only time will tell what street prices end up being. I am not a collector even though I have many knives. My first three Spyderco purchases were a Sharpmaker and then a Delica and then a Para2. Value was one of the main things that initially attracted me to Spyderco and I still think Spyderco offers the best bang for your buck with many of their models and I just hope it stays that way. I understand why a company would implement MAP but I have mouths to feed and too many hobbies. This isn't going to make it any easier to buy a Stretch2 which is already a little hard to buy at its price point. If you take 40% off of the Stretch2s msrp of $350 you end up with a street price of $210. Hmmm... I am a Spydieholic so I'll be buying plenty of Spydies anyway. :D
Last edited by bearfacedkiller on Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby markg » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:31 am

This has been going on Industry wide for sometime now, really Spyderco was the last hold out. Benchmade, ZT, Emerson and others noted above. The move has been to go to MAP pricing and or dealer direct sales (no wholesalers). For the collector who is used to buying a lot of knives at the best possible price, well those days are over. You will still buy knives just not as many.

I have found in relation to other brands, that I have found local dealers and buy more from brick and mortar stores. They often have sales (which online stores are going to find difficult) and they have competive prices to online stores.

Will knives get more expensive? Yep. Frankly you should expect most quality knives to start at $200, that is industry trend. Blame the market, knives are hot and folks will pay $250 for one all day long..

And Krisit is right, Spyderco makes no money on this, what they charge to dealers has not changing. They are protecting the brand (percieved value in relation to competition) and they are supporting their dealer network (somebody who runs a business out of their basement and almost sells at cost on Amazon or eBay will drive many retailers out of the market which is bad for distribution). Will it cost you more? Yes it will.

Not surprised Spyderco did this, just surprised it took this long.

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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby Fred Sanford » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:53 am

If you do the math, the MSRP Of the Delica is $109. 60% of that is $65. The MSRP of the Chaparall is $195. 60% of that is $117. This will not really have any affect on us. Doesn't bother me at all.

MarkG, good to see ya buddy. :)

Thanks for the heads up Spyderco/Kristi.
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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby michaelm466 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:49 am

I have 4 Spyderco s on my "to buy" list, the primary dealer I buy from is cutlery Shoppe, who sells at 45% off msrp, with occasional overstock specials of 50% between the 4, there's an average price jump of $18 per model.
- I am glad that it's 40% and not 15%.
- I will try my best to get these 4 before the end of the year, however like my ZT and Benchmade purchases my Spyderco purchases per year will go down, especially non- Sprint items. I think I've bought one new Benchmade (KSF sprint) since MAP, and 2 used, for ZT, one used.
- upside: more gun/ammo money : )

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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby tvenuto » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:55 am

I really don't know enough about this to speculate on what the upshot will be for the ELU, but I do appreciate us hearing it direct from Spyderco and being given advanced notice.

From what I've seen, retailers who have a lower price just have a button that says "add to cart to see price!" or something similar. Maybe it impacts searchability? Does it give retailers an excuse to charge a little bit more? I buy from the same handful of trusted retailers, though, so I'm not sure it will affect me significantly, but as I said we'll see...

As an aside, I have always been a bit puzzled at how, in the gun/knife world, the MSRP and the street price have gotten so far apart. There are other manufactured retail products that don't seems to have the same phenomenon. It's little more than an idle curiosity for me, in either case.

I will say this: MAP, MSRP, whatever. If the quality of a Spyderco knife continues to be a tremendous value for the price I have to pay, I'll keep buying. Simple as that.

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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby Blerv » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:02 pm

David Lowry wrote:If you do the math, the MSRP Of the Delica is $109. 60% of that is $65. The MSRP of the Chaparall is $195. 60% of that is $117. This will not really have any affect on us. Doesn't bother me at all.

MarkG, good to see ya buddy. :)

Thanks for the heads up Spyderco/Kristi.
Yep, the best dealers are already at about 60-65% of MSRP. Any places out there cheaper I avoid unless trying to hunt down something long discontinued and there are no better options. Not being able to bait people into shoddy shops is actually good for the customer.

As for my own little segue...it has been a bit discouraging the cost of Spyderco products over the years. Not because of arbitrary price hikes or natural factors (materials, labor, etc) but design decisions (sculpted CF, flippers, decorative laser etching, etc).

I know people have varying tastes and mine are less fancy than most. Spyderco does a great job giving a wide spectrum of tools for every need and budget. Personally, I would just love to see a few more pedestrian models in FRN from the company that in my opinion reinvisioned the modern EDC folder. Even different blades in the same handles like the Matriarch line. I've been carrying a ZDP-189 FRN Stretch for a few weeks now and it's being stubborn about leaving the pocket. If there was a Jess Horn LW sprint thought it might get shelfed for a while... :D :spyder:

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Re: Spyderco Consumer Announcement

Postby MichaelScott » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:18 pm

There appears to be a focus on purchase price for many people. I feel that the price I pay should align well with the value I receive in the purchase. Given that Spyderco products have a high value in terms of materials, workmanship, design and the company policies regarding that and their customers, I for one think that their products command a higher purchase price than most other brands. I also think that reputable dealers sell at a price point that reflects this, their business practices and the need to make a respectable profit. If a seller is offering a Spyderco knife at what I am sure is below their cost, what am I to make of this? They are advertising to lose money? (Not likely.) They obtained the knife at far below wholesale somehow and are generously passing that saving on to me. (Also not likely.) The knife in question is a fake?

It is a different situation if a dealer advertises at MAP and offers a special discount to those who step up to buy. That discount comes out of the dealer's profit margin.

I think the bottom line for me is that I can be reasonably certain that if I choose a dealer who adheres to the MAP policy I will be getting the value I seek in a knife while supporting Spyderco's policies toward value, design and committment to their customers.

The deep discount sellers are out there for those who want to save a buck at any price. My suspicion is that if they can't do business they will turn to other products and the fakes will only be going to those who can't resist a deal that's too good to be true.

And, in response to the complaint about high MSRP. You will only have a valid argument if you can compare the cost to Spyderco to design, prototype, test, manufacture, advertise and distribute a knife against what you think it should cost, then you will have a discussion that can proceed on its merits.
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