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Old 03-17-2007, 10:44 PM
Brett Holmes's Avatar
Brett Holmes Brett Holmes is offline
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Location: victoria, Australia
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first show advice wanted

hey guys,
i am considering displaying at my first knife show in a few months and i was looking for a bit of advice, my number one concern is whether i shouod take more than one knife of the same design.
i curently have only made about 5 designs and only like about 3 of them, i intend to design a couple of new ones before the show but was wondering what you thought about taking 2 knives of the same deign but different materials.
and any advice you could have on other aspects would be great. I already know about standing to talk to people and being forward and freindly and well presented and all that stuff. i more need to know about the stuff that relates specifically to selling knives.

Brett Holmes.

Australian knife maker extraordinaire
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:26 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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Multiple knives of the same style are long a people like them. I know one maker who makes "Loveless" style drop point hunters, and every time I see him at a show he has a table full of what appear to be "cookie cutter" knives, with different handle materials. He seems to do well enough for himself, although it wouldn't be something I would do personally.

I think a more important aspect is to not have more than 8-10 knives on your table at one time. I've watched time and again when a person walked up to someones table that was literally covered with knives......sensory overload BIG TIME! Usually the person is so overwhelmed looking at the mass of knives that they quickly turn away and go somewhere else. Starting out, presentation is everything. You want those people to spend time looking at and handling your knives. The more they do, the more likely they are to walk away with a new knife, and leave some of their money with you!


"Every CHOICE has a CONSEQUENCE, and all your CONSEQUENCES are a result of your CHOICES."
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:48 AM
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Don Robinson Don Robinson is offline
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Brett, I've found that different people like different things. I sometimes have a knife on my table that I don't really like personally, but someone may come up and fall in love with the ugly duckling. Different people, different tastes. Show as many styles as you can.
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:41 AM
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skipknives skipknives is offline
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Take a buddy so you can step away to look at other tables or take a break.
take a note pad an a few pens cuz you'll meet alot of cool folks and you might want to exchange info..
don't wipe your blades the instant someone puts them down,,wait till they get two tables away so they don't think ur wipeing away there cooties.
most folks are right handed,,set the knives so its easy for them to pick up (if you want them to)
have fun
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Old 03-19-2007, 05:23 AM
Phantom23 Phantom23 is offline
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I would take it that would be the show in Melbourne in early May Brett. I hope to get to it (I should go from probationary to full member at the meeting at Saturday evening) but it is beginning look unlikely that I will get to Melbourne.

As intimated by the other guys, "beauty is in the beholder". Take the designs you don't like someone might like them.

The first show for me was a problem. The workmanship of other makers will blow your mind. You will then get to thinking, will I ever get that good, am I wasting my time or I have some catching up to do and get into it.

Think about it as if you sell a knife it is a bonus, but the table cost etc will be more than compensated by the idea's and information from the other makers. (Take the notebook for notes of how to do things and get cards from other makers).

If you have someone on the table with you it gives you a break (even for a few hours) and you can get around the other makers when they are not busy.

Stewart Townsend
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:14 AM
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NJStricker NJStricker is offline
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I think someone suggested this on past threads, but I'll mention it again. Have a stack of your business cards on the table, and pass them out.

As far as having 2 of the same design, what do you think of displaying 2 grades of the same design--a basic "working" and a "high grade" version? That might get away from the "cookie cutter" feel.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:44 PM
T-Wolf T-Wolf is offline
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The mainest(is that a word?) thing is to have fun,Brett.Don't hurt to have some knives that are alike-a guy buys one,and his buddy wants one just like it.Simple knives that are well made look a hell of a lot better than putting out something that you're not ready for.A knife show is an investment in learning....get your moneys worth!good luck.

Tom Buchanan
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Old 03-20-2007, 12:45 AM
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AUBE AUBE is offline
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i think if you had one or two of the same model displayed at once that would be fine, but i wouldnt put out like 10 or so that are very similar. having just one piece out will give the potential buyer a subconcious sense of urgency. "should i buy it before someone else does?" if you have quite a few of the same design they might figure they dont have to worry about it selling out and do some more shopping...then come across another maker who has a single knife they like and spend their money there. (like Ed said, some people do fine with many of the same design)

i know i do this all the time when im shopping...walk by a table selling sheets of carbon fiber, meaning to come back and buy some, then stop at a stabilized wood display and quickly grab up all the nice unique pieces before someone else does (even though he has more wood in boxes under the table) then realize i dont have money left for the carbon fiber. ive never regretted it.

also if for some reason sales dont go well for you dont worry about it! i think many of us take it personally when this happens. i didnt sell a thing my first show (then stressed that nobody liked my work) and sold out the next show. life is funny like that.

like others said, have fun!
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:17 AM
Michael E. Mill
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One thingis to start off with a good attitude. I always end up talking with many people and explaining what is necessary to make the knives. Stand up and have a SMILE on your face. People don't like to approach people sitting or a frown to visit. You are telling them to stay away. Just have fun and find yourself some new friends among the knife community. Mike
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Old 03-24-2007, 04:50 AM
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Brett Holmes Brett Holmes is offline
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Location: victoria, Australia
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thanks for all the good advice guys, keep it coming.
stewart, your correct, it will be the melbourne show. I talked to adam the other day about a table and was suprised at how cheap a table is so i will definately be going even if i only get 1 or 2 made, but hopefully i am aiming for 6-8.
Unfortunately i only have about 5 weeks and only 2 tnives made so far and im not 100% sure about one of them. and i work 6 days a week so that leaves only 5 days of work plus sheath making time after work.

On monday i am taking 3 knives to peter delraso for inspection for probationary guild membership, so i am pretty excited about that. I'll try to get a photo of the 3 knives at some stae to show everyone.


Brett Holmes.

Australian knife maker extraordinaire
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