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Knife Collecting From beginner to professional. Discuss the latest trends, get reviews, opinions and more ... If you're serious about collecting custom knives, start here!

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  #1  
Old 04-03-2001, 09:33 PM
ERIC ELSON
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Show Set Up : Maker/collector discussion


Show set up or Display,
This has been on my mind this week since I have a show this weekend.

I have two questions, one for the collectors and one for fellow makers,

For the collectors, What do you(do you not )like to see when it comes to how a maker presents his/her work at a show.Also What draws you astetically (if it even matters)to a makers table

For the makers, What set up do you use at shows and Why/how did you come up with your current setup.


Eric
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2001, 06:11 AM
CKDadmin
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Eric,

I dare you to where a Tuxedo to sell in!

Alex



PS - there's a small point there, if you can see it.
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  #3  
Old 04-04-2001, 06:34 AM
Terrill Hoffman
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Eric, I have always been drawn to the table where you can tell the maker has put an effort into his display. It relates his own judgement of value. If a maker takes care in the handling and setup of his knives, he is relating that they have a value equal to their cost. I would rather see ten knives (he may have more under the table) set out on their own stands than twenty just toss out across the table.
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  #4  
Old 04-04-2001, 08:01 AM
dogman
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For a maker's table, I think too many knives on the table creates confusion. A collector comes to your table and wants to but a knife from you, but if you have 20-30 different choices they have a difficult time making up their mind. Try not to have more than 10 knives displayed. Also, if you notice someone has crossed the line from a passing view to an definite interest on your knives, talk to them and find out what they are looking for. Remember, they came to you, it is not like you called them up on the phone to solicit a knife (Les is getting ideas ). Some folks have trouble deciding what hamburger to buy at McDonalds. Choosing a custom knife can be much harder. If they pick a knife up, talk about the handle material, blade material, do they want to see the sheath(if it is not on the table), tell them something about building the knife that you really think you nailed, or some area you had trouble with, but you made it right in the end. Make the knife personal to them.
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  #5  
Old 04-04-2001, 02:34 PM
Les Robertson
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Table set ups


Excellent Topic!

What attracts me to a table.....knives I like.

If I were a maker I would have the following on my table.

Several knives showing the different styles and materials I can work in. I love it when a maker shows versatility.

I like to see each knife on some kind of stand. This allows me to get a good profile look without craning my neck at the table.

I like to see an information card by each knife. This is very helpful at busy shows for the person on our side of the table as well. As several people can have their questions answered without verbalizing the question.

Also, I like to see a photo album of previous work. This will help me put together an "ORDER" if the knife I would want is not on the table.

Other artsy stuff on the table, takes away from the knives.

I do like the candy trays. As at shows it can be a good while before I get some lunch.

NEVER, NEVER, put duplicate models of the same knife on the table. It tells customers there is no rush to buy this knife as there are plenty.


Lastly, and possibly most important. When a customer comes to the table, get off your ass and greet them. If your not excited about your knives, why should the customer be.

As Dogman points out, this will allow you to assist your potential customer in their decision.


Les


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  #6  
Old 04-04-2001, 03:52 PM
CKDadmin
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Re: Table set ups


Eric ...

Follow that advise and you don't need anything else, except a pocket full of bills to make change with.

Alex

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  #7  
Old 04-04-2001, 10:17 PM
MIKE KOLLER
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Re: Table set ups


Eric ,
Don't have to old of a gentlemen standing behind the table with you unles all he can say is "He made these not me".Let you public know your age,it will astonish them that you are at the level of knifemaking that you are.You are a young man that makes GOOD knives so 'work it'.

Just my thoughts and I wish you the best.
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  #8  
Old 04-05-2001, 12:37 AM
CKDadmin
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Re: Table set ups


Eric ...

Your age is an advantage ... only if you are willing to stand up and be proud of it!

Excellent point Mike!

Alex
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  #9  
Old 04-05-2001, 02:42 PM
ERIC ELSON
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Re: Table set ups


Thanks for all your comments everyone!

I guess my table setup won't be too bad, I have all my blades on individual stands, with a nice table cloth to accent the blades,each blade with an info card.
I had not really thought about having TOO MANY knives on display,but that is a good point, I don't have to worry about that now though.

I think the first lesson I learned at my first show was to Get off my Butt!!!! I HAD too or people would just think the Maker of the knives on the table was gone and keep on walking

Mike, Alex,
I'm proud of my age,but at the same time I realize that in the end the age of the guy who made the knife does not matter...its the knives quality,workmanship that sells.

Les, I look forward to meeting you this weekend!


Eric




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  #10  
Old 04-05-2001, 09:23 PM
MIKE KOLLER
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Re: Table set ups


Eric,
Your right about the quality and all of the knives,that is why "you" should be extra proud of you age.Good Quality knives from a young man , that says a lot about the young man.I know several intelligent young people that do not and will not apply themselves to anything except what is in such as Music,the crowds,drugs,......you get my point.Well my hat is off to you for at least being focused enough to have a goal in life.
Saaallllluuuuuuttttttttteeeeeeeee!
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  #11  
Old 04-06-2001, 04:54 AM
george tichbourne
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Re: Table set ups


Eric dress code for the Canadian Guild show is suit and tie, black running shoes are permitted if you must.
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  #12  
Old 05-25-2001, 10:05 AM
Gary Mulkey
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Greeting the potential customer and talking about yourself and your knives is vital. Usually he is buying the maker and not the knife. If he is knowledgable at all about knives, he will soon know if you're an accomplished knife maker or not.
Displaying your work so that the customer can easily see and pick up the knife he's interested in is imperitive. Tell the interested customer that it's O.K. to handle the knife. If you're not proud enough of your work to have it examined closely, then stay in the shop until you are. I would never buy anything hand made without being able to scrutinize it.
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  #13  
Old 05-25-2001, 12:16 PM
ERIC ELSON
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Gary, Welcome to the CKD! and thabks for posting.

I agree completely! I WANT people to handle my knives, you really cant appreciate a knife until its been handled.

Again Welcome to the CKD, we look forward to your input on this board!

Eric
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2001, 07:01 PM
MurrayW
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show set up


The most important item to have at your table is clearly marked PRICES on the knives for sale.

for some reason, many makers don't price their knives and that is not sound business.

Also, personally, I'd like see all the knives for sale by the maker. I'd really be annoyed if I had purchased a knife from a maker to only find later in the day (s) that another knife I'd have preferred was now on display.
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  #15  
Old 05-27-2001, 07:27 AM
Les Robertson
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Show Set Up and Pricing


Hi Murray,

The three main reasons that makers do not price their knives are the following:

They are trying to size you up and figure out how much they can get. So I advice my clients, leave the suit and Rolex President in the room. People who deal in custom knives are very familiar with the price of watches and pens.

This rule also applies to dealers.

The second reason makers do not have prices on their knives is because they are unsure what to charge. So they throw out a number (what they hope to get) and watch for your response.

Lastly, the knife is very expensive. By not pricing it and forcing you to ask how much. This gives the maker a chance to explain, why the knife costs to much.

In fairness to the maker, this is an excellent sales technique. It allows the maker to interacte with the potential client. Exception to this..When you hear the maker say "why are you asking you couldn't afford this". I have actually heard makers tell this to potential clients. Who I knew for a fact could afford any knife in the room. Actually, now that I think about it, I had this done to me about 7 years ago by Michael Veit on a $1,000 knife. Needless to say, he was "right". Seems I have never been able to "afford" one of his knives.

These threes reasons will cover about 85-90% of "no price tags". There are alwasys other reasons, forgot price stickes, etc.

This is where a knowledgeable custom knife dealer come into play. If the knife is on the makers table and you are unsure...ask the custom knife dealer (make sure he is familiar with that makers work). If the knife is on a dealers table, call the knife maker.

What, you mean to say you don't have the entire knifemakers list in the Knife Annual stored in a Palm Pilot that you take to shows with you?

Well if you are at a major show you can usually find a copy of that book lying around. Open it up, get the makers phone number and call him. Once you find out the price, there may be enough of a price difference that you will order one directly from the maker.

Guys, if the maker or dealer doesn't know the price, then make sure you do.

You say you can't remember all the prices? Then put a price range, or actualy prices of knives within the makers name on your palm pilot.

Another suggestion, is learn prices for different materials and construction techniques. This can help you with an "approximate" price.

See you at the Show!


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