Monday, September 10, 2012
I was at a
knife gun show last weekend. There has hasn’t been a show in this area for several months so I expected a good turnout of tire kickers and browsers.
I used to do the same thing myself. For a 5-spot I could look at stuff, ask questions, swap lies and have a good time. I’d take a little extra cash in case I saw something I liked, but my little extra was 60 bucks. I seldom found anything I couldn’t live without for under 60 bucks. Under 500 bucks, there are a lot of once-in-a-lifetime deals in that range but beer budget doesn’t support champagne taste.
On the whole I enjoyed the show. I sold a few knives and swapped a few stories. Bumped into a few-off the-wall conversations with customers.
“Got any full automatic knives?” he said.
“Yes, I just happen to have two. One from Spyderco and one from HK. Benchmade makes the HK line.” I did my Vanna White imitation and gestured at the knives. She is much better at that than I am. He looked confused. So I picked up the Spyderco and plugged on.
“I like the Spyderco because they put the safety next to the release button.”
He takes the knife opens it and said, “But you have to close this yourself!”
He grins and shows me a Microtech out-the-front and flicks it in and out.
“Very nice.” I said.
“And your prices are too high. I paid a lot less,” he gestured with the open knife blade, “for this than you’re asking for that.” He points to my price on the Spyderco.
I try being nice, but I like the role of the curmudgeon too much to not play that part.
“That’s great. Too bad you didn’t buy two of them when you had a chance and then you wouldn’t have to spend your time bothering me.”
Well, as Groucho Marx said, or maybe it was Karl, “Don’t just leave in a huff, leave in a huff and a half.” And he did.
Later I see a fellow check my prices online with his smart phone. That almost always means I won’t get the sale.
“Will you take $15 for that knife?” Something about gun shows makes people think it’s a flea market and we will haggle like two Armenian rug merchants. I’ve gotten used to it to some degree.
I look at the price. I’m asking $24 for a nice Kershaw folder. I typically mark my prices reasonably below MSRP. I also pay sales tax out of that and of course I have to pay for it in the first place. I don’t have a lot of room to wiggle.
“No sir, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
“Well, I can get it on Amazon for $17.” (I checked later. It’s a close-out and it’s a good price but you have to pay shipping and tax.)
“Well sir, in that case I think you should.”
He wandered back a little later and said, “Don’t you want to make a little money right now? I want that knife, but I don’t want to wait two weeks for delivery."
Of course the answer was I couldn’t help him. I also didn’t tell him that SIR stands for Simpering Imbecile Retard. (No, it’s not politically correct, but it is true.)
If I was smarter I would have said something like:
“Yes I’d like to make a little money. I’ll sell it you for the internet price of $17 but I have to charge you $7 shipping and handling, a buck for tax, grand total $25. Oh, and you have to pick it up at my house in two weeks. Or you could just pay me the $24 now and walk out owning it.”
That’s what I write this blog for. To get it out of my system. Someday, I’ll actually say that to some hairball.
I over heard this snippet of conversation at the show:
One man to another:
“I have to get home before the third quarter to protect my TV from my wife.”
“Oh, is she a football fan?”
“No. She’s a Browns fan.”