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Dan Koster Kickstarter Disaster

Discussion in 'FEEDBACK: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!' started by ncrockclimb, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    mmmotorcycle likes this.
  2. Lodd

    Lodd Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2015
    I don't understand how people are surprised by this. A quick read up on how kickstarter works should give you a basic idea. Backing someone on kickstarter is a lot like roulette: if they deliver you usually get a good deal. If they don't you lose your bet.

    Always do your due diligence to see what the odds are.

    I backed a few things on kickstarter. Lost a few investments too. Too bad, but I knew what I was getting into. When I back someone on kickstarter, I consider that money gone. Only back someone on kickstarter with money you can afford to lose.

    Look, it's quite clear that Mr. Koster is a fraud. This is definitely not a defense of Mr. Koster and his behaviour. But it seems there were plenty red flags when the kickstarter went live. It also says everywhere basically that refunds are not an option. I also see that the amount of 22,793 was provided by 53 backers. That's an average of $430,05 per backer. I'm very sorry all this happened, but the 53 backers could have seen this coming from a mile away if they had only taken the time to do their homework.

    Still, it sucks. Sometimes something is just exactly what you want and in your enthusiasm you let your guard down and fall for a con. It can happen to the best of us. Thanks for reporting Mr. Kosters behaviour for the benefit of the bladeforums archive so others know to avoid.
  3. LizaMari

    LizaMari Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 16, 2014
    But...but....but....three months ago he posted, “I’ll get these first four out end of next week. Got sidetracked with personal stuff. Thanks.”
    Surely, he must have sent those four knives out, right?

    Because we all know Mr. Koster isn’t a lying, thieving, money grubbing POS....

    I don’t know whether to admire the remaining Kickstarter backers for their optimism and faith in the dirtbag or to pity them.
  4. Josh K

    Josh K Pirate

    Sep 29, 2008
    Blast from the past.

    I placed a deposit on a Monster Nessie in ‘09. Got an email from Dan saying it was “glued up” in late 2011 and to pay the $470 balance or he would refund my deposit and sell it to someone else on the list. I asked for a refund but don’t remember if I got it.

    The GB&U threads at that point were top of mind and left a very bad taste in my mouth, to the point where I didn’t want to own one of his knives at any price.
  5. sharp thoughts

    sharp thoughts Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 24, 2000
    Precisely and well said. The same goes to the knife assemblers from Survive.
    Barrettboy, craytab and LizaMari like this.
  6. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    I don't know how you can sleep at night, taking money from so many folks and not delivering a single knife.... What kind of life is it to live, looking over your shoulder all the time? Koster is a crook, plain and simple. Reminds me of the Survive group.
  7. trevitrace

    trevitrace Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2013
  8. ncrockclimb


    Nov 20, 2014

    For the first year, Dan blamed all the delays on suppliers.

    Dan said that he received all the parts he needs to complete the knives in February 2018.

    Since then, it has been one lame excuse after another. At this point, it is almost comical... Almost, but not quite.

    Dan is a liar, and the Kickstarter supporters are not the only people to whom he owes knives. There are people that paid for knives BEFORE he started "working" exclusively on the Kickstarter campaign. I truly feel sorry for anyone that has chosen to give Dan their money...
    mmmotorcycle and sharp thoughts like this.
  9. empty5853

    empty5853 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2004

  10. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    I came really close to "investing" in his pre-production bushcraft folder idea.
  11. Mitchell Knives

    Mitchell Knives Knifemaker Moderator

    May 21, 2000

    You can order pretty much everything you need to make any kind of folder you can dream up from Alpha Knife Supply in probably 5 minutes.
    mmmotorcycle likes this.
  12. Thomas Linton

    Thomas Linton

    Jun 16, 2003
    Uncle Bill would be so pleased. Not.
  13. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    That's probably the worst cutting (and well deserved) blow that you can make. I miss the old Dan. My very first custom knife that wasnt an HI was by Dan. I did it because I trusted him. I was young and about to get married without a lot of money.

    I did get my knife. I did not have to wait 4 years. I did have to ask and ask and ask and ask and plead that he please at least sharpen the Yvsa Cherokee Special I sent him because I was going to cut my wedding cake with it. He delivered with about 2 days to spare. He had it for 6 weeks, I think. The ulu he sent was crooked garbage. This was when he first started out before he had a forum and bilked a ton of people.
    mmmotorcycle likes this.
  14. Thomas Linton

    Thomas Linton

    Jun 16, 2003
    I am shocked at his conduct, but I am beyond denial. I have two of his knives, but I put them away. Too depressing.
  15. ncrockclimb


    Nov 20, 2014
    Dan might have made quality knife at one time, but the reviews on his more recent products are less than stellar. One only need read through his (now closed) forum to find multiple accounts of defective heat treat, bad grinds and generally poor craftsmanship.
  16. dirc


    Jan 31, 2018
    his website is up, he seems to still have and takes orders from his order page.

    Why hasn't a local district attorney shut him down yet?? He's still actively breaking the law... (at least it would appear so).
    I really don't understand this part of it

    He's either guilty of hundreds of cases of mail/wire fraud or isn't

    I guess the law doesn't work in Bentonville, Arkansas?
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  17. Barrettboy

    Barrettboy Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 20, 2016
    If you want a good scandi folder, you don't need to go to Mr Koster (who just recently threw his back out). Buy an Enzo Borka 90. My bushie mate swears by it.
    MJ713 likes this.
  18. DJC72

    DJC72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 1, 2014
    Dirc, I agree with you. Have people contacted the local DA or considered some form of legal action?
  19. Michael Pattarozzi

    Michael Pattarozzi

    Jul 15, 2018
    I admit that I ordered a knife from Koster through Kickstarter. I did not do due diligence. I do not have any expectations of ever receiving a knife or getting a refund. Please learn from my mistake, I have. On the other hand, I have a vested interest in watching a train wreck. It is impossible to look away. Reading his updates is an exercise in futility. He claims the same work as being done every few months. He cannot even make new excuses, he just recycles the old ones.
    LizaMari likes this.
  20. T. Erdelyi

    T. Erdelyi Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    You know I’ve been reading with great interest of the Koster nightmare. I have an interest in the story not because I bought or am waiting for a knife but I own one.

    I have an early Koster Bushcraft that I’d been either gifted or won in a giveaway quite a while back. I really like this knife too, perfectly balanced, well thought out with a scandi grind that came with a hair whittlin’ edge behind a sturdy spine. Which coincidentally is at a perfect 90° angle to the side providing a perfect edge for striking a flint/ferrocium rod for startin’ fires.

    Long before I’d read or heard about the shenanigans and down right disregard for promises made or the value of his own word to back up the promises had himself previously made I had the knife and had used it.

    It was/is a terrific blade and as a Bushcraft knife I personally don’t have any to equal it in my collection.

    Then I read about the post in TGB&U. then I started to read more, I read the Kickstarter comments and replies, I read the BFC comments other places here and I began to wonder. What kinda person is alright with conducting business in the manner he’d been doin’ and expextin’ it to be alright?

    I understand people screw up, I understand people have unexpected things come up that impact schedules, dead lines and due dates.

    Once, twice maybe but in business as an owner and custom maker your responsible for your time and and makin’ sure you allocate enough time to cover unexpected problems.

    If you can’t then you make sure you don’t keep takin’ money without fufilling previous orders, especially ones you’ve been paid in advance for.

    In the real world you take care of the people who’ve paid in full first. You don’t string people along that are too good natured to complain and only satisfy those willing to ruffle your feathers the most.

    Because of his business model which is much like another whose forum has been closed recently for the same reasons, (I won’t mention any names. Let’s just say that they’re unlikely to SURV¡VE much longer either.) I won’t be spendin’ any of my money on any Koster knice in the near future, no matter how perfect they are.

    Now here’s my problem, I have the Bushcraft knife, it’s a great knife and based on its own merits I’d recommend to anyone. Because of Koster’s business model I can’t with a clear conscious recommend his knives to anyone.

    What about the one I have though? Would you trade it or sell it to get another knife? There’s nothin’ wrong with it and for a good price on a good knife with no waiting could you possibly sell it with a clear conscious and if you could, what would you say about the knife and the maker or would it be caveat emptor knowing I was selling a well made knife and that was my only obligation?

    Do I have to do full disclosure like when selling a house of all the info only because I know it? If I didn’t know any of this before hand I’d sell it as a great knife, because aside from who made it, it’s a great blade.

    FYI, because I was either gifted or won the knife in a GAW, I was just curious as to what others thought about the subject?

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