High end knife shops hurting the industry.

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Just venting here but I am getting frustrated with some of the high end knife shops.
Owl Woodworks did a post early about Farina Fine arts adding $500.00 to $1000.00 to some work they picked up at a show in Nashville.
Eating Tools just posted 2 Bidingers for $1000.00 each AEB-L knives. Those same knives would go for about $650.00 at Epic Edge.
There is no coming back from that pricing and essentially means I will never buy a Bidinger. Same goes for someone like Don Nguyen.
Don may make the best knife in the world, I dont know but, $2400.00 for a refurb made in 2017. $1600.00 for a 6 year old used 52100?
I appreciate the guys like Modern Tools, Epic Edge, Crocker etc. whom are able to make a profit but still offer market priced knives.
I dont really know my point to this post but I feel like its getting to the point where is a maker starts to get good he is instantly unaffordable and it sucks as a buyer.
 
Just right, they kill our fun and make our wallets bleed. The worst thing is, they will fetch more or at least the same as the maker.

My menu goes for 250 this night, if a "dealer" like this would go with me he had to take 500....

As said long time ago, don`t pay this crazy prices. Just look at knives like Shig, Kato and i we don `t buy them they go for much cheaper, or maybe what they are really worth.

I used to collect knives but this decade is over now. No more really good deals to get sadly.

SirCutALot
 
I get what you’re saying here. Some retailers do mark up the knives more than others.

This may be beside the point but those Bidingers probably have a 25% markup on them which I think is fair because if not how can a retailer make money and I wouldn’t expect Dan to make less on his knives. A simple convex grind in aebl from Dan would probably be about $650+ if you had a custom with him direct. Complex grinds approach or exceed $1k depending on the steel.

Ultimately the makers and retailers develop these relationships and agree this is the path forward. I do agree with the absurdity on those refurbed pricing you mentioned so I vote no with my wallet and don’t purchase them.

Sure would it be cool to own some of these makers work - maumasi, Straub, etc? Yes but I don’t lose sleep over this. There will always be others up and coming. Or there will be makers who choose to move away from retailers and just go it alone.
 
I agree sometimes pricing can be ridiculous but I expect market forces to eventually find an equilibrium. Stuff like the Don Nguyen refurbs I just roll my eyes and move on.

I agree with @Bico Doce that there’s always newer, less-established makers to try. When a maker crosses 1k either direct or via retailer I accept that I’m just too late to the party and move on. I’m sure everybody has their own mental “red line” on pricing - mine used to be $300 😝
 
I get what you’re saying here. Some retailers do mark up the knives more than others.

This may be beside the point but those Bidingers probably have a 25% markup on them which I think is fair because if not how can a retailer make money and I wouldn’t expect Dan to make less on his knives. A simple convex grind in aebl from Dan would probably be about $650+ if you had a custom with him direct. Complex grinds approach or exceed $1k depending on the steel.

Ultimately the makers and retailers develop these relationships and agree this is the path forward. I do agree with the absurdity on those refurbed pricing you mentioned so I vote no with my wallet and don’t purchase them.

Sure would it be cool to own some of these makers work - maumasi, Straub, etc? Yes but I don’t lose sleep over this. There will always be others up and coming. Or there will be makers who choose to move away from retailers and just go it alone.
I definitely understand the sentiment of obtaining some of these maker's knives gets increasingly pricier; however, I think that you're paying to essentially skip the waitlist. While Bidinger might only be $650 for a knife that Eatingtools sells for 1k, you don't have to wait for it. Same with Don Nguyen and everyone else in that category of sought after makers.
I think there's a sweet spot for knife makers where they have made enough knives to start getting really good, but don't have the hype to charge crazy prices. That's a good time to get in on a maker.
Also, a 20-30% markup for a retailer isn't crazy, looking at you alcohol mark ups at restaurants.
 
I'm not sure why you think complaining on a forum like this would help when it's forums like these that contribute to the problem. It's supply and demand, and if things are in limited supply there's always someone around with enough money that they don't care how much they have to pay, so the prices keep going up. Corona period probably didn't help since a lot of people with more money than sense suddenly started throwing money at things like knives.
 
I was in discussions with a retailer at one point, this was exactly the range he told me he would mark up my blades. Can't imagine them opting for less, especially in countries with crazy import fees.
I am in agreement that retailers need a markup, that is how they stay in business. My issue was that a maker and retailers sell a knife for $650.00 then a new retailer comes along and sells the same knife for $1000.00. That is a huge mark up and now artificially overprices the knives. If makes them so they cant be resold and if I am a maker and I see my knives going for $1000.00 I am going to ask more because I can get it. I am not talking about all retailers, just a select few that price gouge.
 
Manufacturing guy here. We typically aim for 40% margins, but that comes with Value add from our site. For items we sell to our distributors we sell at cost+some%, to which our distributors mark up as well (everyone needs to make money)

At my favorite retailers that I frequent I am usually 100% willing to pay the markup, because of the Value add they provide. At most sites though, I am like most here sometimes nickle and dime-ing $10-50, looking for the lowest possible price. Perhaps the lack of waitlist time is the value add that people are looking for.

Like those above, $300 was my limit for a long time. Missed out on the $350-400 Shigs and Katos back in the day, and while I personally wouldnt pay the $900+ that they fetch now those with the money bags wouldn't hesitate if they were able to end their search. Though TBH were a 240 Shig Kasumi be offered to me for $750, I would probably still hesitate.
 
From a maker's standpoint, there are certainly some benefits to the price increase that comes after selling through a reseller. Personally, I spend a lot of time on each knife and don't make a lot per hour. A couple of hundred dollars extra per knife could easily double what I'm making per hour. To some extent, I think it's just an inherent issue for people trying to make really high-performance kitchen knives. No matter how efficiently we can make our processes there simply isn't enough of a market to sell enough knives to make it. Many people are interested in custom knives for aesthetic reasons and may not know how to take care of a knife with thin geometry which rules out a big section of the market unless we want to start making a second set of knives with thicker geometry. This means the only way to really make it is to charge more per knife. This, unfortunately, has the effect of pricing people who are interested in high-performance knives out of the market of well-known makers.
 
I am in agreement that retailers need a markup, that is how they stay in business. My issue was that a maker and retailers sell a knife for $650.00 then a new retailer comes along and sells the same knife for $1000.00. That is a huge mark up and now artificially overprices the knives. If makes them so they cant be resold and if I am a maker and I see my knives going for $1000.00 I am going to ask more because I can get it. I am not talking about all retailers, just a select few that price gouge.
I didn't mean to sound like I disagreed with your central point, I was only relating my own experiences in talking to a dealer. I had no idea the degree to which some knives by some makers were being marked up. I tend only to see the dealer's pricing for knives, never direct quotes. I'd be upset too if something I really wanted were driven hopelessly beyond my means by, well, I won't presume to understand all of the driving forces, but suffice it to say; what appear to be unqualified price hikes. It's why I got out of gun collecting.
 
I'm not sure why you think complaining on a forum like this would help when it's forums like these that contribute to the problem. It's supply and demand, and if things are in limited supply there's always someone around with enough money that they don't care how much they have to pay, so the prices keep going up. Corona period probably didn't help since a lot of people with more money than sense suddenly started throwing money at things like knives.
This is exactly right, the plague turned the decades-long economic trend on its head, away from goods and towards services; now nobody is spending on services and have shifted their spending towards goods, prices have adjusted accordingly.
 
I am in agreement that retailers need a markup, that is how they stay in business. My issue was that a maker and retailers sell a knife for $650.00 then a new retailer comes along and sells the same knife for $1000.00. That is a huge mark up and now artificially overprices the knives. If makes them so they cant be resold and if I am a maker and I see my knives going for $1000.00 I am going to ask more because I can get it. I am not talking about all retailers, just a select few that price gouge.

How does a couple vendors putting a large comparable markup on the knives artificially overprice the knives?

Also just as general info, like @MowgFace I'm a manufacturing guy and my company almost mandates a 40% margin.
 
How does a couple vendors putting a large comparable markup on the knives artificially overprice the knives?

Also just as general info, like @MowgFace I'm a manufacturing guy and my company almost mandates a 40% margin.

Watch, we work for the same parent company haha. Dont tell me youre based in Auburn.
 
instantly unaffordable and it sucks as a buyer

Hmmm... the elephant in the room here... we're talking about luxury items?

As much as we like to gloss over that fact, the price elasticity of demand for a 'high-end' knife (made by an artisan) is going to be much lower than a mass made knife. In other words, increases in the price of artisan knives is going to have a relatively small effect on the quantity demanded. If artisans find themselves in a position where they can take advantage of price increases... more power to them! Clearly demand far outstrips supply... what can you do? If vendor markup is a part of that strategy... so be it?

There is an awful lot in this world that I wish I could afford but can't! Fortunately for me, I can afford everything i need.
 
Just venting here but I am getting frustrated with some of the high end knife shops.
Owl Woodworks did a post early about Farina Fine arts adding $500.00 to $1000.00 to some work they picked up at a show in Nashville.
Eating Tools just posted 2 Bidingers for $1000.00 each AEB-L knives. Those same knives would go for about $650.00 at Epic Edge.
There is no coming back from that pricing and essentially means I will never buy a Bidinger. Same goes for someone like Don Nguyen.
Don may make the best knife in the world, I dont know but, $2400.00 for a refurb made in 2017. $1600.00 for a 6 year old used 52100?
I appreciate the guys like Modern Tools, Epic Edge, Crocker etc. whom are able to make a profit but still offer market priced knives.
I dont really know my point to this post but I feel like its getting to the point where is a maker starts to get good he is instantly unaffordable and it sucks as a buyer.

IMHO, high end shops are great for the industry, and it's my wish to see more—they're an indicator of interest in the craft; passionate/knowledgeable sellers willing to take a business gamble, making knives available to cooks/collectors; and there're more than enough lower priced/budget knife options for buyers. Much of the knife knowledge I've attained have been via 'high end' vendors, who spent much time, effort discovering and introducing makers to cooks/collectors—JKI, JNS, ET, EE, et al. The higher the price of custom knives—the more attractive the field is for young makers to seriously enter the craft with aspirations to make a business out of it.

Whether a brick and mortar (physical space) or virtual business selling knives—I feel the OP under appreciates the tremendous amount of hard work, knife knowledge, and financial investment that companies like Eating Tools, Epic Edge have put into their endeavor. I've gladly paid a much high price buying knives from a trusted vendor, than buying from the maker direct—the vendor's knowledge, judgements, advice a major perk.

Regarding makers. I've no issue at all with what a maker charges for their knives—if Don Nguyen knives sell for $2400 that's fantastic, kudos to Don for putting in the work developing his brand, marketing and knife making talent—his prices, a sign of a healthy market. Makers should charge as much as they can, as much as buyers are willing to spend. Some of my fave makers are under-charging—I'm hoping they raise their prices before too long. If some buyers are priced out, no big deal—ownership of high end knives is not a right, not an entitlement for all to enjoy; high prices filter out a large % of buyers, thus making ownership more covetable to some. Akin to eating at a starred restaurant; buying a Leica; traveling in business class—quality often doesn't come cheap.

In short—high end shops, ...bring it!
 
Maybe I labeled my post incorrectly. I don't have a problem with shops like JKI, they are great. My issue is with a couple of shops like I named that are price gouging. For example Modern Cooking is selling the Spare MCX line for about $450 on average. That is great and maybe a bit to low. If another shop posts an equivalent Spare next week for $850, that is the issue I was pointing out. Obviously not everyone agrees and I wasn't looking for that. I have enjoyed seeing everyones point of view on this thread.
 
I don't think there's a problem pointing out what you see as gouging, especially if you can also point out a lower priced and available stock.

The original issue will either be fed by fools or die off. That's just how business works.
 
@Matt Jacobs In general I agree with you but you are off a bit.
A custom AEB-L B-grind from Dan will run you around 800-850$ shipped.
So these prices are quite moderate for eating tools. I know some of their margins.
I was really surprised about the pricing of his knives at EE. Super cheap, so they didnt make a lot of money with it and also Dan probs sold it cheaper to them than direct customer. He can benefit from this with increasing his circle of clientele.
Last year if I had bought a Magnacut B-grind he had available I would have paid way less than now getting a custom with it. It's so much more now that I opted for AEB-L, in general his prices increased. Overall he is a great maker and the experience working with him was absolutely great.
A custom is more work for the maker than something which he just makes in his own gusto. Some customers it's just 2 emails and done deal, others it's like 80. The 2 emails guys will still pay the same price as the 80 ones. I'm gonna get another Kamon and it was just 2 messages and done deal. Though I know him in person and he knows my preferences which makes it of course easier. I'm usually pretty certain what I want and do it in detail which makes it easier for makers. When I'm talking with them it's usually something I wanna know about their whys and hows and some chitchat if they are up to it. Don't wanna rob them their time.

I find it quite funny when you indict Eating tools but say Modern cooking are doing good in that regard. I know some of their margins and would put them slightly under ET. Just because they are more active here doesn't make them good. I'm not saying they are bad but I probaly won't buy from them. Also from what I have heard Abe from Eating Tools also isn't a bad guy. He went for full luxury and that's also his clients, so not really a lot of us who buy from him.

I don't have much against slight price increasements but some makers really went quite through their roof with their pricing. Also as long as the makers directly benefit from it it's fine.
I don't like to see Japanese makers upping their prices and Asian wholesalers even more upping them and profiting the most.
JKI, EE, Carbon... are great and their prices are still fair. Also wouldn't call them high end vendors.
If a maker sells his knife for 700, Vendor sells it for 1000. Maker increases his price to 800, suddenly it's 1200, that's not okay imo.

Also have to add that makers are also at fault with this. They actively go into exclusive contracts with such shops and decide that's okay. Some also deserve some blame.
 
Maybe I labeled my post incorrectly. I don't have a problem with shops like JKI, they are great. My issue is with a couple of shops like I named that are price gouging. For example Modern Cooking is selling the Spare MCX line for about $450 on average. That is great and maybe a bit to low. If another shop posts an equivalent Spare next week for $850, that is the issue I was pointing out. Obviously not everyone agrees and I wasn't looking for that. I have enjoyed seeing everyones point of view on this thread.
Hmm, do you believe these couple of shops are controlling the flow of high end knives into the market?
 
Some of my fave makers are under-charging—I'm hoping they raise their prices before too long. If some buyers are priced out, no big deal—ownership of high end knives is not a right, not an entitlement for all to enjoy; high prices filter out a large % of buyers, thus making ownership more covetable to some. Akin to eating at a starred restaurant; buying a Leica; traveling in business class—quality often doesn't come cheap.
I'm really scratching my head at this part... it sounds awfully elitist. Sounds a bit like wanting to gatekeep 'the plebs' out of a hobby. 'Filtering out buyers' basically means 'making a hobby less accessible to poor people'.
 
As a manufacturing guy I'll offer a general comment that everyone better be prepared for price hikes to continue and to continue to jump markedly. The cost for maker's has no jumped considerably and they aren't going to just absorb that, nor are vendors who also have seen their costs spike.

We're already seeing it.
 
Hmm, do you believe these couple of shops are controlling the flow of high end knives into the market?
No I don't think there is a conspiracy here. The root of the problem is that the internet gave a lot of these smaller makers a far larger audience (this effect being multiplied by corona), yet since it's a hand-made product the production isn't really flexible. As a result you get a situation where it will sell anyway almost regardless of price, and it becomes easy to crank up the prize as you'll almost always find someone willing to pay it.
 
As a manufacturing guy I'll offer a general comment that everyone better be prepared for price hikes to continue and to continue to jump markedly. The cost for maker's has no jumped considerably and they aren't going to just absorb that, nor are vendors who also have seen their costs spike.

We're already seeing it.
Depends on where you live and where the knives are from. Americans might get lucky due to the appreciation of the dollar vs the euro and yen.
 
I'm really scratching my head at this part... it sounds awfully elitist. Sounds a bit like wanting to gatekeep 'the plebs' out of a hobby. 'Filtering out buyers' basically means 'making a hobby less accessible to poor people'.

Whether you like his language or not, his point that there is no right to own high-end knives is accurate. I'm not saying I'm completely on board with all of what he said but the idea that prices should be kept low so "poor people" can enjoy the hobby as well is absurd.
 

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