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rdpx
04-07-2013, 08:07 PM
Hi

I have a friend going to Japan this week and she says she will be in the kitchen shop area of Tokyo on one day, and she would be very happy to bring me a knife back.

This has me wondering how prices are in shops in Japan compared to just say buying direct from Koki. If they are pretty similar I may skip the offer, but if there are good savings to be made I might take her up.

Am currently about to go on holiday myself, and when I get back was going to order a Tojiro DP honesuki for a decent price here in UK ($77 delivered). If I could get a much better knife for less direct from Tokyo that might be worth a think.

I am inclined to just pass on the offer as she knows zip about knives and so on.... but just in case, anyone have any decent recos for a really nice honesuki I could get for that price or near it in a shop in Japan?

Thanks R

TheDispossessed
04-07-2013, 11:25 PM
prices are honestly not what's better, i was in japan last summer (albeit when the exchange rate was the worst), it's the experience and selection. if you aren't there personally, it may not be worth it.

ecchef
04-07-2013, 11:52 PM
prices are honestly not what's better, i was in japan last summer (albeit when the exchange rate was the worst), it's the experience and selection. if you aren't there personally, it may not be worth it.

+1. Exchange rate is a little better now though.

SpikeC
04-08-2013, 02:34 PM
Some Japanese knives recently raised there prices due to the strong yen, will they now lower them?

JBroida
04-08-2013, 02:42 PM
i've lowered some things... but keep in mind that a lot of us bought stuff when the yen was stronger, so it will take a bit of time to shift things over. Likewise, there were some items that we never raised the price on initally, but rather decided to suck it up on those items in hopes that the dollar would get stronger again.

mzer
04-08-2013, 02:57 PM
It's important to note, when wondering about retailers prices, that the function of an entrepreneur in society is to anticipate future prices and future demand, and not to simply react to it. Prices, especially future ones in complicated markets like currencies, are not always as transparent as we would like, even if we think they are because we can look at currency rates and see past changes. But somebody like Jon is paid not only for his exquisite taste in knives and nice customer service, but also for his willingness to take on risk and to forecast. Some of the risk he takes on is exactly what he just mentioned, that he doesn't always keep a certain ratio of cost to price in anticipation of future events. As importer and retailer, he is actually doing these calculations multiple times, even if it seems like only one decision. Heck, even if it seems to him like he is only making one decision, he is not.

Anyway, I only mention this because it is a rather opaque part of business, and it is easy to get caught in thinking you are being gouged when you are simply dealing with a retailer who is being responsible and perhaps even has been charging too low a price in the past. The internet has been wonderful for many things, and among those things for ironing out price discrepancies, but there are also times where we have only a bit more information than we had before, which makes us more dangerous than useful.

Korin_Mari
04-08-2013, 03:16 PM
+1 to Jon's comment

I don't think the prices will spike up like it did before as long as the dollar stays strong. But with that being said, the vendors/knife companies have some say in prices too.

Timthebeaver
04-08-2013, 03:58 PM
Do you mean the makers in Japan? Which ones?

Misono were first, big increase too (60%?). Konosuke increased their prices recently, as did Masamoto and Suisin. There are probably others.

SpikeC
04-08-2013, 04:26 PM
I was referring to the makers in Japan. A while back there was an increase of something like 30% from some of them, I don't recall which off hand.

Korin_Mari
04-08-2013, 04:39 PM
I was referring to the makers in Japan. A while back there was an increase of something like 30% from some of them, I don't recall which off hand.

If it wasn't when the dollar plummeted by 25-35%, it was probably makers adjusting prices to match present costs. It's normal for the makers in Japan to increase prices every few years as production and material costs increase.

pkjames
04-10-2013, 09:04 PM
from my experience in buying knives @ Kappabashi, tokyo, I can say that it is not easy for an in-experienced person (not local to the area / no enough knife knowledge) to find a good deal. Mainly because it is rather a "cutlery market" rather than pure "knife market" and you maybe struggle to find decent stuff as there are many cheap , low quality things around as well, not to mention there are lots of things other than knives.

also, the retail price isn't necessarily better compare to some of the japanese online retailers. if you speak fluent japanese and know what is the right price, you maybe able to bargain a bit, but it didn't apply to me.

I use to spend a day there trying to find some "nice knife @ good price" but failed. I did bought a little cast iron teapot :p

my 2c.

James