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Thread: Importing knives from Japan

  1. #1

    Importing knives from Japan

    Hi all,

    My name is Jerry, and I am researching knivees from Japan. I know a lot of you have purchased knives online or imported knives abroad without first having seen the products in person. What did you look for, and how did you validate the product before you purchased it?

    It'd be nice to hear some of your experiences.

    Regards,
    @jeywalk - for disclosure, I am a product curator at a design store

  2. #2
    Senior Member wenus2's Avatar
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    Lol. Hard to tell if this is spam, or if this guy is just confused at the name of this subforum.
    One of those Dennis Rodman posts... I can see it going either way
    -Enjoy the ride. *** All statements made herein are my personal opinion and nothing more, regardless of tone or context. ***

  3. #3
    Senior Member rdpx's Avatar
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    Hi Jerry,

    I will assume that you are looking for knives to sell on your site...?

    There is a wealth of knowledge here and someone will normally have experience with a knife that someone is considering buying unseen. So someone asks either for a recommendation based on paramaters they set down or might just say "I am considering knife X Y or Z" and request opinions.

    Having had a brief look at your site I would say you want to offer a knife with really good F&F and no fancy stuff. Should be easy to find one. Main thing will depend on price point. Small issue is sharpening of J-knives as they do need a bit of attention.

    Are you looking for a knife for your site to sell, or are you looking just for one for yourself? Or are you just interested in how people make buying decisions on products that they have never actually seen and handled?

    Robert

  4. #4
    Sounds like the typical questions first time buyers wrestle with when considering buying their first knives online, if they've got no experience with the knives themselves. Sounds normal enough to me.

    I'd say in my case I just read a lot, asked questions, and tried to imagine my best choice.

  5. #5
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    Where are you from?

  6. #6
    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for your input.

    Quote Originally Posted by rdpx View Post
    Having had a brief look at your site I would say you want to offer a knife with really good F&F and no fancy stuff. Should be easy to find one.
    Great, nothing fancy was kind of what I had in mind as well

    Quote Originally Posted by rdpx View Post
    Are you looking for a knife for your site to sell, or are you looking just for one for yourself? Or are you just interested in how people make buying decisions on products that they have never actually seen and handled?
    A bit of each actually. I am researching on the potential of featuring a couple Japanese knives on our website. So firstly, I wanted to poke around a bit to see if there is a need for that - i.e. are there knives that people like from Japan, but can't find in the US/Canada yet?

    Secondly, I wanted to understand what people would consider when buying a knife that they have never seen and handled? Sounds like reviews / other people's opinions are quite important.

    However, would you guys say knives are something quite heavily dependent on your individual preferences? I.e. a large selection is better vs a few that are "one size fits all"?

    Regards,

    Jerry
    @jeywalk - for disclosure, I am a product curator at a design store

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by stevenStefano View Post
    Where are you from?
    Toronto, Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by Patatas-Bravas View Post
    I'd say in my case I just read a lot, asked questions, and tried to imagine my best choice.
    What did you end up buying for your first online purchase, if you dont mind me asking?

    Quote Originally Posted by wenus2 View Post
    Lol. Hard to tell if this is spam
    Sorry if it came across as spam initially, but I'm not here to promote anything. Just here to see if I can learn something, get closer to the community, and offer something of value back.

    Regards,

    Jerry
    @jeywalk - for disclosure, I am a product curator at a design store

  8. #8
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeywalk View Post
    Secondly, I wanted to understand what people would consider when buying a knife that they have never seen and handled? Sounds like reviews / other people's opinions are quite important.

    However, would you guys say knives are something quite heavily dependent on your individual preferences? I.e. a large selection is better vs a few that are "one size fits all"?

    People's opinions matter a lot, because there clearly isn't a way of measuring how good a knife is. If you're serious about getting into it, I'd do a lot of reading and perhaps get an idea of something you'd like to try or think would sell well then go from there

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenStefano View Post
    People's opinions matter a lot, because there clearly isn't a way of measuring how good a knife is. If you're serious about getting into it, I'd do a lot of reading and perhaps get an idea of something you'd like to try or think would sell well then go from there
    Agreed, but it has to be the right person's opinion. For example, I'm a home cook, and if I dice three onions for a meal, that's a lot. So, my opinion on edge retention is not worth a lot to a pro. Food release is important to a pro because it affects output, but less important to a home cook where is is just an annoyance. And the ability for a knife to cut a plastic water bottle is entertaining, but worthless in determining the performance of the knife in food.

    Rick

  10. #10
    Most of the good dealers have spent years cultivating relationships, traveling to Japan for research, educating themselves about the products, and cooking seriously (some of them professionally). Given that you have no current expertise, it seems unlikely that you would make good choices about gaps in the current market that you could fill, and it doesn't seem reasonable to expect that people here would do that work for you. If you want to compete with existing dealers, you shouldn't expect their help, nor that of their dedicated customers. And without extensive knowledge and experience, you're not going to be a viable competitor, anyway.

    If, on the other hand, you just want a small selection of knives to complement your existing product lines, you might consider cultivating a relationship with one of the established dealers. One of them might be willing to help you make some smart product choices, give you advice about how to market them, and work out a distributor relationship that allows you to offer some knives without competing with them.

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