|Tool or Membership Card?|
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I was at a gun show last weekend. The weather was too nice and the only people inside were tire kickers and the vendors. If I had my druthers I would have been outside too!
I saw something I don’t like. Fellow was wearing a phony police badge on his belt issued by some collectors group. I’ve seen similar things in gun magazines for CCW. It’s not knife related, but it’s worth mentioning.
Don’t be a strange ranger, a wannabe police officer. Having a phony star doesn’t get you a better table; police aren’t impressed that you’re imitating them and everyone associates phony police ID with child molesters.
At the show a fellow came up and was admiring the American made knives. He kept repeating, “That’s good. That’s good,” as he inspected each one. Then he picked up a Spyderco.
“These made in Japan?”
“Yes sir, they are.”
“I thought these things were suppose to be $35?” It was clear he expected the Japanese knives to be significantly less expensive than American knives.
I knew at that point he wasn’t going to buy anything.
“That was in the 70s sir.” Talk about sticker price shock.
I don’t refer people to other publications very often, but sometimes people say things better than I. Check out the Jan 2012 issue of Blade. Doug Metzer’s editorial “The China Syndrome” is worth reading. You can read all of it at http://knifeshowcase.blademag.com/ Click on the forum tab.
I agree with Doug on several levels. “American consumers will never pay for a knife made in the USA. They vote with their wallets. Demand for union wages, regulations in the steel industry and more have driven business out of America.” Here’s the chilling part: “The consumer will not sustain the inflated prices of U.S.-made products.”
I get many customers at my table looking at the American-made knives. Only a few buy. The given reason in many cases is “It’s more money than I’m prepared to spend.” Can’t argue with that, but it does cause me to scratch my head wondering if I’ve missed something when I see them buying from the “2 for $5” pile at another vendor.
What I think I’m missing is, I see knives as tools. Tools I’ll use to make my life easier, safer and possibly to protect and save it. I want a quality tool. Others see the knife as a club token: I have a knife so I’m one of the boys.