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Anyone have Blade Show tips

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by erhodes, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. erhodes

    erhodes Gold Member Gold Member

    493
    Jan 30, 2012
    so i am planning my trip to blade show next year and it will be my first time. I figure since it just ended maybe those that went can give me some good tips of how to manage my time there and good booths to hit up first day early and where to go from there. Any tips are much appreciated.
     
  2. u812

    u812 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 15, 2002
    Take more cash than you think you need. Make a plan of the main things you are after and go for those first. Then start at one side and slowly make your way through the whole show floor. I wait til Sunday for smaller purchases,many times Sunday is the deal day.
     
    erhodes and WValtakis like this.
  3. SVTFreak

    SVTFreak Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    Make a list of places you want to see while they have more stuff. Download and print a map. Mark them on it. When you arrive Friday, hit those first.

    Then, I start at the tables (It's what interests me most generally more of there) and work all thise, up and down, the remainder of Friday. Then Saturday I hit all the outside tables and side rooms. Took me 3pm-7pm Friday and then 9am-5pm Saturday. Stopping for lunch.
     
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  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I would spend time looking at the custom and handmade makers, visit their web sites and the chatter here on the forum as part of your research. Use this year's vendor list as your reference for who might be there with stuff. When next year rolls around, visit those tables or booths first or in other words highest interest vendors. This way if you really want to buy something from a specific maker, you have a higher chance of fulfilling that urge. Depending on your finances, you can spend a small pile of money very very quickly at the show if you hit what you believe to be the greatest interest knives or vendors first.

    It is probably worth it to spend multiple days at the show and stay at one of the hotels at the complex. You don't need to worry about parking and you have your "home base" to work out of. Consider it a vacation splurge if you routinely don't hit the higher priced hotels. I believe Friday and Saturday are the two days to attend... Sunday if you like but things are winding down on Sunday for many vendors and the custom guys have often sold most of their blades by Sunday.

    Best thing about the show is to have fun and relax. I would suggest you buy show tickets online versus waiting for the show. Lines to buy tickets/passes were VERY long at the start of the show. I would get the early bird pass if I have specific custom vendors I hope to buy from.

    I drive to the show and spend one day and return home. I try to attend on Friday, but sometimes it's Saturday. Depends on my schedule and available funds for the most part.

    It used to be a CASH kind of place. But now more and more vendors accept credit and debit cards. Most seem to use Square.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    JC972, Quiet and erhodes like this.
  5. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Prices generally are NOT negotiable at the show. Vendors have to pay state sales tax on all of their sales at the show and most just add a rounded amount to the price of a certain knife to be sold at the show just like any brick & mortar store. Some do appear to eat the sales tax, but I don't think that is the more common situation and don't expect that. Hence, you can probably pay less direct with the vendor if the sales tax thing is important to you.

    Don't go to the show expecting to see all of these bargains. There are certainly some bargains to be had, but that is relative and a value judgement. Prices on factory knives will be about the regular street price versus full retail.

    The one thing that struck me this year was the many vendors who manufacture or sell grinders for the makers. There were quite a few with booths or tables.
     
  6. WValtakis

    WValtakis Gold Member Gold Member

    May 29, 2004
    While I'd say this is true of the Dealer/manufacturer booths, I saw much haggling over in the tables section...especially with the "collection sellers" and even more so on Sunday. I was able to negotiate a couple deals that saved me 25-33%;)

    ~Chip
     
    erhodes likes this.
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Sunday is definitely the haggling day if you want to do it. I didn't spend a great deal of time (essentially zip) looking at the "collection" tables as I see them at smaller knife shows.
     
  8. erhodes

    erhodes Gold Member Gold Member

    493
    Jan 30, 2012
    I wasn’t really expecting to find deals but i want to go to see if i can get knives that i am never able to get normally. Such as a holt specter
     
  9. WValtakis

    WValtakis Gold Member Gold Member

    May 29, 2004
    If you're going for one of the really popular makers, definitely spring for the early bird ticket on Friday. There were none of the Diskins that I picked up left by 2 when the general tickets got in.
     
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  10. WValtakis

    WValtakis Gold Member Gold Member

    May 29, 2004
    And there was only one of the ivory g-10 available to begin with since @JParanee pocketed the other one while setting up;)

    [​IMG]

    ~Chip
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    WillB and Quiet like this.
  11. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    Given that Holt is an in demand maker right now, I would definitely do as others have suggested and make plans to A. purchase early bird tickets for Friday and B. make Holt your first stop when the entrance rush happens. Also, be in line before eight o'clock. Trust me, there'll already be hundreds of people there before you no matter what time you get there (people camped out the night before).

    BLADE 2019 was a tremendous time, and I used this exact same plan. Early bird tix, in line early, and made my favorite company's (Olamic) table my first stop. I was able to score the knives I was looking for while everyone else was standing in line for CRK's new Seb31, and the Killbox guys were raiding the Steel Flame table. LOL
     
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  12. WillB

    WillB Gold Member Gold Member

    382
    Feb 3, 2007
    Wear

    Comfortable

    Shoes!

    That is all... :cool:
     
    Jody744, erhodes and WValtakis like this.
  13. SVTFreak

    SVTFreak Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    Funny thing is, this show isn't as big as many trade shows. I did half the steps I do in an average day at Disney. 1/4 of a huge trade show like SGI, SEMA or SHOT. My feet hurt, but nothing like what some are.

    The biggest common denominator of all advice above is to have a plan.

    There are deals to be had but you have to be willing to dig and look. I scored great deals on the two I bought from collection sellers. 50% off makers price on one and 25% off on the other. That one the seller even had one nearly identical for 400$ more than I paid for it. I was able to even bring them both by the makers table and get their history and details. That's the kind of stuff that makes the show for me.
     
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  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I was sort of surprised with the long early bird line. I would get their early, but once the line starts moving into the show, it goes pretty quickly. I can't imagine camping out to get into a line early.... just not my style. Won''t do it on Black Friday for anyone.... I would rather spend extra money than stand in a boring line for hours. The line to buy the show admission bracelets was probably 300 feet long. Convenient parking is another reason to get to the show early-ish.

    I also really enjoyed my one day at the show. I blew off the early bird pass, but in hind sight, I wish I had sprung for one of those passes before the show as they were sold out ahead of the show. I was pretty prepared in the sense that I knew precisely where I wanted to visit first. In my case, it was Dogwood Knives to look at Dan's Kepharts that he had made as I heard a lot of good things about them. It used to be Bob Dozier's tables for me, but I own a lot of his knives and not getting something is not a big deal to me anymore. For the first time visiting Blade, I was not totally pooped by the end of the day. I took it easy.

    Funny.... I didn't even stop at CRK's booth. Forgot all about visiting them. They moved from their regular spot and I just missed it. I can hold one of their knives at KSF's store if I choose to.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  15. JParanee

    JParanee Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 2006



    We had 9 of the customs on Friday when the show started and they went fast

    I did manage to this year save one for myself

    The tuxedo Revolutions are awesome and Matt is at the end of this series so I had to snag one

    Every year I put one in my pocket and always end up selling it by the end of the show this year knowing that it’s the end it was a tuxedo your way home with me

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    @WValtakis and @ShannonSteelLabs were further up in line from where I was, and I didn't find out until we were all inside, that Bladeshow staff escorted some 200 people who had camped out overnight to the front of the line around 8AM, so they in essence cut in front of all the people who had gotten into the building on time and lined up first thing. I was further back, but when they finally did open the doors, everyone was let inside very quickly.
     
    WValtakis likes this.
  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I wouldn't know any of these people. Only know them through the forum. I didn't make a firm decision to attend on Friday until Thursday. So, getting the early bird pass or buying online was a bit out of the question for me. So, if you know for sure you're going, I would suggest getting your pass/tickets at least a week early.
     
  18. WValtakis

    WValtakis Gold Member Gold Member

    May 29, 2004
    The early bird tickets were sold out months in advance.
     
    JaxBaron likes this.
  19. JaxBaron

    JaxBaron Basic Member Basic Member

    514
    Jul 4, 2016
    I have never attended Blade show but have it on my to do list for 2020. When do tickets usually go on sale? I definitely want the early bird. Thanks
     
  20. WValtakis

    WValtakis Gold Member Gold Member

    May 29, 2004
    They went on sale mid-February this year:)
     
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