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Exclusives - Need "Thought- to- share"?

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by Sal Glesser, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. ferider

    ferider Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 20, 2018
    There are really no cons for me. If it's too difficult to buy a knife, I will not - I will certainly not sit in front of a dealer's web page for an hour and update the browser every few seconds to buy a limited exclusive.

    And let me be clear: it's none of my business what you, dealers and other end-customers do. It's your shop and brand.

    But since you asked: What reputation do you want your brand to have ?
    • I got into Spyderco because of designs (in particular large slicers) and steel.
    • Except for your core customer base for whom you can do nothing wrong, very limited (in nr.) exclusives promote a brand reputation of producing expensive toys, encouraging flippers and questionable resellers (e.g., how come, that 2 months after an exclusive release, I see flippers offering 3-5 copies of a knife that was limited to 1 copy per house-hold ?)
    • Also, do the exclusives limit your manufacturing of new production knives ? Do they limit your customer support budget ? Do they limit your QA budget ? Only you know - and if they do, I assume you are doing a conscious business trade-off. I was certainly more excited when the Shaman or Yojumbo came out, then wanting to buy yet another exclusive PM2. I bought two new Yojumbos. One of them had quite severe lock-stick. Etc.
    Note that the above only applies when exclusives are very limited. Some great exclusives have been available in larger numbers for at least a couple of days, for example the KC Rex45 Rosewood Shaman, or the Pakkawood Police. Allowed me a no-stress purchase of 2 superb knives, and I compliment KC + Spyderco for going that route.

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  2. maugust09


    Mar 14, 2018

    I wont give many dealer exclusives a 2nd look because the odds of me snagging one are slim and i am certainly not paying a scalper +$100 just because he got 5.

    I believe you summarized quite well the main reason people dislike exclusives/sprints.
    BD_01 likes this.
  3. StuntDouble


    Apr 26, 2004
    Oops, totally flaked on this just being about exclusives. That's what I get for posting late at night.

    The main con is see is the endless complaining about scalpers, crashing websites, or selling out when people have an item in their cart. That's not really on Spyderco though, and is up to the dealers to handle those issues. I can totally get why dealers and distributors don't order more, because there's always a risk of getting that combo that doesn't appeal to the masses and ends up gathering dust. Even if an initial run sells out, there are no guarantees that a second run would be just as successful. Things move quickly these days, and folks are always anxiously awaiting for the next cool thing to blow their money on.
    craytab likes this.
  4. Rusty_shackelford


    May 3, 2013
    There isn’t much you can do to keep guys from buying with multiple vpn’s and credit cards( or however they work around household buying limits). Setting the limit at one per and not three per household would have to help a bit tho.

    As far as guys wanting multiple, the key word is “wanting”. In the name of as many copies making into as many different hands as possible, too bad for those guys I guess.
    What about the guy that wants 4. One for him and his 3 sons.
    What about the guy that wants 3 or 5 or 7 for whatever reason.
    Sprints are kinda toys at this point.
    Spread em around. Have fun with it.
    Spyderco has to take care of the masses, not one guys ( yours, mine, or whoever’s ) particular “wants”
    craytab likes this.
  5. loon#r

    loon#r Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2008
    My apologies if someone mentioned this already, here’s my simpleton minded question, can you decease a percentage of production of the “baseline model” quantity and correspondingly increase production on the exclusive quantity side while distributors enforce the 1/household rule?

    Clearly people want more of the exclusives and are willing to pay the asking price. But every site I visit there seems a surplus of purple, black, blue, gray, etc. FRN VG10 delicas, enduras, etc. available while exclusives vanish in a puff of smoke...whaaaa!
  6. sharp_edge

    sharp_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    It is an art (or business) of balancing things.

    Setting the prices of exclusives higher than they have been? I say so because their prices are usually much more competitive than their production counterparts. Just take a look at the prices of exclusive PM2s vs the prices of production PM2s. Well, raising the prices would certainly make the flippers second-think about their practice but at the same time, it may make those exclusives not as attractive and not sold out as fast as they have been; it may not contribute positively to increase the popularity of the brand.

    Increasing the quantity? That may mean Spyderco would have to decrease the quantity/pace of manufacturing the production counterparts, something only Sal can tell where the balance is. Also, increasing the quantity of exclusives means they would be no longer as rare as they have been, and hence they may get sold out more slowly.

    Personally after chasing almost every exclusive/sprint run of PM2 and Military in the last 3 or 4 years, I have taken a big step back and realized that one or two of each model could sufficiently last the rest of my life (or maybe even longer) and tying up my $$ on a pile of knives that will not get a chance to be used just does not make sense. I may still try to grab one or two exclusives or sprint runs but if I miss them, then be it. I am not going to pay the flipper prices under any circumstances. After all, IMO there is not a single knife that cannot be replaced by multiple others.
    Skar likes this.
  7. DA170

    DA170 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 12, 2020
    I think exclusives are Fantastic ! They generate buzz /excitement in the community and make money for the dealer/distributor.

    I'm no computer expert and have been successful on every drop I've participated in (60 over 4 years) . The only knife I missed out on was the Micarta Cruwear Shaman, Which a fellow forum member helped at cost.

    IMO, Vendors need to beef up their online commerce capabilities in order to release these exclusives. That being said, For people to whine and complain about not getting the knife on release day is absurd. This type of bickering was why I dropped my presence on the Spyderco Forums, After the Crucarta Shaman cry fest. There's loads of opportunities to pickup the piece in the weeks that follow on BFs and other avenues. I've counted over 10 Purple Para 3s going for cost plus shipping on the exchange! At the end of the day...it's just a knife! As others have pointed out, There will be more coming. :)

    Thank you Sal /Spyderco for your continued innovation and respectable business model. You are a class act.
  8. loon#r

    loon#r Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2008
    Hey man, don’t stymie the addiction!
  9. SixtyLion


    May 6, 2010
    I’ve been a huge Spyderco fan for more than a decade and really like Dealer/Distributor exclusives. These limited editions offer an exciting opportunity to get some of my favorite Spyderco knives with more premium/exotic components.
    When it comes to Cons, there are none! There is a reason why they are called Exclusives, which means that there will always be some customers who will not able to buy them, and increasing production numbers clearly defeats the purpose of limited run. So keep 'em coming!
    One suggestion, maybe as dealers' exclusives you can bring back some of the discontinued Spyderco knives made with modern materials!
    sliceofaloha, Neil3 and DA170 like this.
  10. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    The real problem is that doing all the sprints or exclusives would concentrate the traffic on the Spyderco site and staff.

    With sprints you can choose from ten or more places to buy. With exclusives it's never going to be everybody gets a trophy day unless you have a preorder system.
    craytab likes this.
  11. Buellrider

    Buellrider Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2016
    From my perspective, I don’t see any cons with the current process. I have participated in a couple of dealer exclusive runs and got what I was after.

    If they were easy to get and everyone that wanted one got one, then it wouldn’t be as fun and they would no longer be EXCLUSIVE imo.
    Neil3 likes this.
  12. nephron

    nephron Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    I try not to let emotion get the better of me, so those sales are interesting but I can wait until they come to the secondary market. If the price is still high then patience comes into play. There is no knife I want/need bad enough to throw away money on it, maybe having 60ish pf them helps. I am more interested in picking up a vintage model I don't have for a good price.
    So no cons I can see, it seems to be working as well it can considering the circumstances, like most things no perfect solution for everyone.
    Neil3 likes this.
  13. cbrstar


    Sep 7, 2015
    This is my Country's and not Spyderco's fault. But being in Canada there is a few dealers that manage to get the odd sprint. But with exclusives if you do manage to actually score one you're running the chance of it getting pinched at the border. The thing is I feel like some of the exclusives are better then the sprints. For example I'd love a PM2 in K390 etc, but I because it already was an exclusive I doubt we're going to see a sprint any time soon.
  14. TheFactor

    TheFactor Life is good ! Platinum Member

    Feb 26, 2015
    I love an exclusive only thread :p
    Warms my heart more then spending 30 minutes of my life I’ll never get back at a dealers drop to see error error error error error oh did I mention error :D then finally get threw to check out and it’s snagged out of your cart to cap off your 40 plus minutes of frustration. The frosting on the cake is you have posters post oh my gosh didn’t even want one and was getting ready to vote and remembered DLT has a exclusive drop . Must be my lucky day 30 minutes after drop I got one and didn’t even like pm3’s:rolleyes: Don’t be bitter ...I got your bitter buddy lol....
    Anyway I will be very selective on what dealers I buy exclusives from now on.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  15. soc_monki

    soc_monki Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 5, 2019
    I think exclusives are great. The problem is most dealers don't order enough, but when you're 2 years out you cant really predict you'll need 1200 more than what you ordered. You can say right now that you could sell out 3000 Pm2s in a particular configuration, but would they still sell out in 2 years? Maybe not.

    However dealers CAN reorder the configuration, and people can be patient for another round to come in. But that would also take 2 years (I hear spyderco is really backed up). So would people wait that long? Some would. Some wouldn't.

    Keep doing it Sal!
    Neil3 likes this.
  16. StuntDouble


    Apr 26, 2004
    That's my thought. By the time an exclusive came back into stock, would it be as desired as the first time around? Or, would it be seen as "Oh, they're doing this again?" I guess only Spyderco and their dealers know.
  17. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    I think the Exclusives are fantastic. They drive alternative material choices, and the success of them drives other dealers to try their own exclusives, so we get even more variety. Sometimes I think if I won the lottery, I would pay Sal to make exclusive batches of knives that probably wouldn't sell out, just because I had always wanted the option. Elmax Lum Fixed Tanto with polished green linen micarta and red liners? Kumo reissue? Lava?
    Neil3 likes this.
  18. Halfneck


    Jun 30, 2005
    No real cons I can think of other than the frustration of missing out & not wanting to pay scalper's prices on the secondary market.

    As long as it profits Spyderco I am happy with it. Sure I may miss out, but it keeps one of my favorite knife companies in business. Might not get what I want today, but it will still be around so I might get what I want later down the road.
    miltmaldo and Neil3 like this.
  19. Cursum Perficio

    Cursum Perficio Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 27, 2012
    ............... the ones I want to buy are usually highly sought after, and often I can't get them new from the dealer because they sell too fast. Living in another country with relatively poor 'net access is a part of this problem for me.
    I want to buy new from the dealer because I won't support flippers, and buying privately from o/seas can be problematic for the seller, or they just won't do so. As of course is their right.

    Fortunately I have good friends here that live in the U.S. that will help me out, but other non-U.S. residents may not be so lucky.

    Some of the Sprints/Exclusives I got thanks to pre-ordering, although some pre-orders I never got - too late on the list for the number the dealer gets. And I'm seeing the pre-order option occurring less now.

    I see the difference between Sprints and Exclusives, but from my perspective the problems acquiring them are the same.

    I have 23 Spydercos in the drawer at this time. 15 of them are Sprints/Exclusives. I don't have safe queens, all are bought with the intention to use them. A few are still NIB but they will get used sooner or later.

    Sal, I find your S30V to be very usable and well suited to 3 - 4 inch folder blades. I have/use/like my Spyderco folders in S30V.
    But after about 6 years of using other steels in Sprints/Exclusives.... that's become what I want.

    When you released the Shaman I knew it was a knife I wanted. I didn't buy a standard Shaman because I'm limited with how many knives (expensive from o/seas) I can buy, and I waited for Sprints/Exclusives. Couldn't get one until the REX45/Rosewood exclusive which was available from the dealer for nearly 3 days (love it BTW :thumbsup:).

    I see you will produce "2000 to 3000" of the Z-wear/micarta Shaman as a follow up to the Cruwear/micarta Sprint that so many wanted and couldn't get. Thank you sir. I can only hope that's enough for people like myself to simply buy one from a dealer when they go up for sale. I don't see a reliable pre-order option.

    FWIW, I would gladly pay retail price right now for a Z-wear/micarta Shaman, and wait for them to be made/released, if I knew it meant I would get one.

    I can see some of the difficulties Spyderco and Dealers have with this subject. Because it's successful and profitable for both, and makes such great pocket knives for us, I hope you can find a way forward.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
    Cvrobinson and MolokaiRider like this.
  20. RustyIron


    Dec 4, 2019
    Hey, Sal.
    I've pondered your "Sprint and Exclusive" model, and it's interesting on a couple levels. The "genius" part is that you've created a level hype that is hard to comprehend. People talk about a release for weeks and months in advance, then they wait online in a desperate attempt to become one of the lucky ones who gets to buy their coveted knife. Another example of this level of enthusiasm is people waiting in line for the next iPhone. You've made yourself into the Steve Jobs of knives.

    The other interesting aspect is that obscure combinations of designs, materials, and aesthetics can be combined to appeal to a smaller, but more enthusiastic customer base. Sitting in front of me on my desk right now is a Manix 2 LW in REX 45. It's currently my favorite knife. The only reason I bought it was because it was being made available in a new material. If not for that, you wouldn't have made a sale. I also have some dealer exclusives that are the same way. If they were a run-of-the-mill product, they wouldn't have made the sale.

    To summarize, sprints and exclusives allow you to make sales to people who otherwise wouldn't be buying, and you offer up cool new products to enthusiasts. I have a sneaking suspicion that you gauge the sales of exclusives when deciding on what to add to your permanent lineup. Those exclusives that are VERY popular can be a weathervane to lead you to next year's product line.

    So keep up the good work... but don't make it TOO good. One or two knives a year that sing to me is plenty. There are other things I need to spend my money on.
    Neil3 likes this.

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