Monday, January 15, 2018
Since when do we find weather the new source of chills, goose bumps and scary things that go creak in the night? Why do we find it entertaining when the weather person gets on the tube and tells us it could be bad weather ahead, (assuming the parameters don’t change over the next three days) and the facebookers announce that they have traded their car for a two-person dog sled and 100 pounds of potatoes.
I use to work with a bunch of Texans, who at the mere mention of snowy driving conditions, would raid the vending machines and horde candy above the ceiling tiles in their office. And I want to say categorically, no evidence of cannibalism was ever suspected or even found. At least they had good reasons. They never saw snow before, but the rest of us?
Anyway, the Medina
knife gun show was pretty
empty. A lot of vendors got snowed in at
home, frightened off or just plain figured it would be poor show. And they were right. Saturday was very empty, but I don’t know
why. It took me about 45 minutes to
drive in because I slowed down to 40-45 but the roads were drivable. It would have been a good day for bargain
hunters. Most of the vendors needed a
sale and could be talked down to a better price.
By Sunday the roads were clear and we got a few more walk-arounds and quite a few more walking sellers. I don’t know if it was the need to raise cash for Christmas bills, got a better one for Christmas, or had too much money tied up in weapons. Many people had simply stocked up in anticipation of a presidency that would order out the troops to go house to house in search of guns, bullets and any knives other than the plastic ones you get at Mickey D’s.
Don’t sit there smug you muzzle loaders, you and those 1776 assault rifles would have been next!
I welcomed one man to my table, telling him he was free to handle the knives. He confessed he was just looking, cause he didn’t have any money. I told him that’s okay, because none of the knives were for sale.
I’ve got to give him credit. He came back with “Except for what sticks to my hands,” but I informed him that I was sure that I and the police would manage to get the knife free. He didn’t buy anything, but then again he said he didn’t have any money.
One of my potential customers had some specific needs and no matter how I tried I couldn’t find the right knife for him. He was, or perhaps I should say, is an elderly fellow with a bad case of the shakes. The shakes rob him of both strength and dexterity. He wanted a knife that he could open with one hand and it would lock open. It had to be a small, quality knife with a pocket clip and of course it had to be cheap.
Now cheap is an interesting word. Some people think an $8 dollar steak meal is expensive and others think a $45 steak meal, without bar bill, is cheap. I understand it. But personally, when I have to purchase something to make-up for my inabilities I expect to pay more, rather than less.
I had a small, Gerber with a great price, but it was too hard to open and didn’t have a pocket clip. I showed him a Spyderco Delica, too big and too hard to move the blade with his fingers. I showed him several others but they were too hard to open single-handed and he insisted it had to be a one-hand opener and small. Frankly, small was his enemy. With his loss of strength and dexterity, a larger knife would have given him more surface to grip and better leverage, but he insisted on small. I skipped over the Benchmades with flippers and showed him a nice sized auto. I thought I had a winning card for this fellow. Boker makes a small auto for 45 bucks. Too expensive for him. I had to admit defeat and send him on his way.
I don’t think he’ll find a knife to match his rigid expectations.
I also had a fellow with an absolutely beautiful damascus knife that he wanted to sell. I don’t have a picture of it, but let’s give words a try.
It had a shape similar to a Gurkha Kukri made from 250-some fold damascus steel. The damascus had strong lines and formed a raindrop pattern. The blade edge was split into front and back edges by a decorative structure resembling a single 3 inch row of corn kernels still on the cob.
It only took one look to realize that it was a classic wall hanging, ‘barbeque knife’ for the man cave. My seller confided in me, when I indicated that as much as I liked the knife it wasn’t right for me, that he was in a financial bind. He just bought a gun and owed his buddy 80 bucks. Still, there wasn’t a maker’s mark or name stamp on the knife and it just looked too good. I knew that even for 80 bucks, it might take years to find the right buyer.
Did I miss the bargain of the show? Did someone sell everything they had to buy this pearl of great price? I don’t know. But I doubt it.
Monday, November 12, 2012
I expected the first gun show after the election to be a crazy place. I’ve heard stories of people rushing in to buy ammo with two-wheel trucks following the first election of President Obama.
Heck, I’ve heard of people buying ammo for guns they don’t have. I guess they anticipated either all ammo sales would dry up and they could find the right gun later or they were already planning to buy the appropriate gun. Who knows? Maybe they planned on using it as trading wampum following the zombie apocalypse.
I didn’t see the frenzy this time. Either people are still overstocked from the pre-election feeding frenzy or this election hasn’t alarmed them as much.
What I did see was a lot of was knife sales. Used, new or collector, they were all there. I seldom buy used knives. For one, most people want back what they paid for it. I can’t do that. Many of my sales are impulse buys. It’s a new knife; you haven’t seen it before and it beckons to you. Unlike Ulysses, the songs of the Sirens prove too much and a purchase is made. Well, it’s not quite that pleasant but impulse buys are a big part of my business.
Older knives almost always need to be marked down to sell. It may surprise you, but I am in business to make a profit. If I pay you top dollar, I can’t sell the knife.
Collectables are another story. Many of them are too valuable, or rather too expensive to buy at “market price.” I can’t buy your collectable at market price if I want to make some small but fair profit.
|The collectable Randall knife|
You bought it for the pride of ownership, for the status, for the physical appeal and maybe for the investment. I have to speculate the market will remain hard long enough for me to get my money out of it.
I did run into one fellow who wanted to sell a knife, so he claimed, made by Kershaw. It was some sort of “collectable” but he left the knife at home. Instead he brought a crappy picture of the knife which he displayed on a smart phone screen.
Not interested – Pass!
I also had a person ask me why Benchmades are so expensive. I’m not sure how to answer that. The big question is why do things cost what they do?
That’s a cosmic question. It deals with how we value things and the sliding scale we use to trade hours of our work for hours of someone else’s work. Honestly, in the face of that question I’m often at a loss for words. Can I explain our economic model to him? I don’t fully understand it myself and I’m in it, like most of you.