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Thoughts about pre-orders

Discussion in 'Carothers Performance Knives' started by Nathan the Machinist, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. Casinostocks

    Casinostocks Factotum Gold Member

    Mar 20, 2016
    ^ You will have to ask yourself this question or questions: what benefits are there in choosing a dealer / distributor specifically for CPK and then weigh the pros and cons:

    - is there a cash-flow advantage? Ordinarily yes because as a dealer you will have to commit to purchasing a number of units but this will have an affect on CPK's business model. Nathan has always sold directly with the exception of Fort Henry which used to get some CPKs in limited numbers and then went ahead and marked up (I have nothing against this). A dealer will expect a discount when committing to purchase in bulk and will have some sort of agreement with the manufacturer on their mark-up percentages. The problem here is that Nathan also sells directly and no dealer will entertain the idea of selling a merchandise which the manufacture also sells directly at lower prices. Dealers by and large will eschew pricing discrepancies and inconsistencies. The only remedy that I can think of would be for Nathan to offer a few "basic" models to a potential dealer, models which he will agree not to sell directly. I don't know to what degree this method will cause Nathan a mental conflict being that he has always believed in good and honest pricing from the maker to the end-user for his well engineered tools.

    - will there be a name recognition advantage and exposure? Well yes and maybe! CPK is a niche knife-maker; the brand influencer are our own NinJo, Bennieboo and Dan Keffeler who is also a collaborator plus they have Lorien who is a contributor. So far, CPK has niche written all over it but it can go more main stream if they sign up with a well-know dealer. There are pros and cons!

    - advantages in streamlining the process? Nathan had been a machinist long before he became a knife-maker and he has already stated that one of the big reasons as to why he has not gotten himself in trouble is because he has a lot of experience in managing expectations in the manufacturing, production and delivery processes. The ONLY possible advantage I see with adding another link (a dealer) is the alleviation of the administrative pressure on NinJo who seems to be the only "bookkeeper" in CPK's current hierarchy. There are far easier and less "costly" solutions to this than coupling up with dealers.

    If it was up to me, I would just consider hiring a non-machinist at this stage who can be trained to handle the admin side, someone who also has website development and maintenance skills to both assist NinJo in addition to bring up CPK's social-media and online presence to better modernities.
  2. SneezySky

    SneezySky Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 23, 2017
    ^100% agree...
    to support the knife community. Revenue may be a bit lower but costs and the headaches would be lower too (if you choose the right dealer / channel partner). Sell to them in batches and they can hold the stock for you. They could do the (joint) marketing to spread the word - just pick the ones that are really investing in their website, marketing, logistics, customer service - basically companies that are investing in their business.

    my 2 cents.
    benchrest308, jus_gus, vkp78 and 4 others like this.
  3. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    If a reseller is part of the discussion, then frankly Nathan I'd say that there must be someone out there who needs you more than you need them. Amazon doesn't need CPK. But maybe one of the knife-specific shops (one of the BF supporters like USA Made Blade) would benefit from having CPK on their banner. That guy will work hard for you. Find that guy and grow together.
  4. fkctrjt121

    fkctrjt121 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 29, 2017
    I would have a web shop where you can hold stock and drop a special here and there. Continue Friday sales and pre-orders on here. Drop a certain amount to dealers (worldwide) to increase your exposure and consider the discount given to them an advertising budget. In Europe we have Lamnia and in the UK Heinnie Haynes.
    Amazon are not going to advertise/promote you to the right people the way dealers will.
    I once waited 12 years for a pre paid sword to arrive, I don't hesitate at all pre-paying CPK and actually I'm really grateful you take my money and I'm on the list to get one.
  5. azwelke

    azwelke azwelke.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 12, 2007
    Thank You for taking pre-orders. It might be a gamble, but so is crossing the street. Sometimes good things come to those that take chances. We only live once, and how boring would life be if we could just have what we want all the time?
    91bravo, CataD, jus_gus and 9 others like this.
  6. Karoi

    Karoi Unobtanium Member

    Sep 7, 2014
    I really appreciate the pre-orders and hope they can continue.
    I completely understand if an alternative way would be more efficient and less of a PITA for CPK though. If so, perhaps going with a dealer such as Blade HQ or DLT might work as others have mentioned in this thread. Amazon is a [insert expletive] corporation that I recommend you avoid at all costs for a number of reasons.....
  7. woodysone

    woodysone Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Nathan, I learned my puter skill on a commadore 64 back in 79, I don't stand a chance with the younger generation. So thank you for continuing the practice, and if it's faster have Jo shoot me a email for my bank account info.;)
  8. WValtakis

    WValtakis Hand Engraving, Anodizing and Embellishment Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 29, 2004
    You don't just have your paycheck deposited with them? Saves a bunch of hassle;)
  9. woodysone

    woodysone Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    I think you have something there Chip,but I like to keep the illusion that I have a choice.:confused:
  10. Panthera tigris

    Panthera tigris Street Samurai Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2012
    Maybe try to get 3 interns

    1, a Ruby on Rails programmer
    2, a Graphic Design student
    3, an MBA goon

    Literally all you have to do is feed them and give them internet, see what happens

    This should set you straight

    Lorien is right about everything, except when Betzner feels it is necessary to intervene.

    In all seriousness I am sure whatever happens you will have many loyal supporters to tag along as your business and success grows.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
  11. Ian80

    Ian80 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 12, 2013
    I like the pre-order but understand your dilemma. I think I would do a web store to start and see how that goes. If you need more exposure then reaching out to a retailer like DLT or similar might be the next best idea.
    duramax, fkctrjt121 and Odog27 like this.
  12. Odog27

    Odog27 Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 20, 2011
    Me like preorders.
  13. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    @Jo the Machinist, what do you say about pre orders? Generally in agreement with Nathan, or do they make your life easier than frantic Friday sales? Not attempting to cause strife, I'm genuinely interested.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  14. brute steel

    brute steel

    Jan 27, 2018
    Nathan, these people that are all in on you, will be the same people that will trash you when you don't fulfill the orders in a timely manner. This is not a knock on you, I've seen all excuses out there. 1, 2, 3 man operation team, someone got sick and needed money to pay hospital bills, blah, blah. Also having an LLC , you're personally liable for all business debts (Shit happens, what are you going to do when you spend your customers money into something else?) In addition, while you can run this as you see fit, in the long term, it's will be harder to raise capital.

    I'd hate to see you become another Guy Seiferd or Dan Koster
  15. trevitrace

    trevitrace Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    I find your narrative unlikely. Especially the part about Carothers going the way of other shady and/or egregious shitheads.
  16. fkctrjt121

    fkctrjt121 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 29, 2017
    The problem people have messing up pre-orders is that they think making a knife means they can run a business. Running a business well is an art itself.

    I have faith paying CPK upfront as I believe as much in their business running skills as I do their machining skills.
    grogimus, Standard78, Odog27 and 5 others like this.
  17. Jo the Machinist

    Jo the Machinist KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 17, 2015
    I appreciate that people can get what they want without the drama. It is also nice to be able to plan production in advance. They have benefits and problems, but all in all they are nice in that we can plan in advance and have a better idea of what we need to focus on. It does take extra administrative time trying to keep everyone up to date on progress and answering emails about particular orders. I guess mostly though, I am happy when you guys are happy and I just don’t want to over complicate things.
  18. XtianAus

    XtianAus Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2016
    You're great Jo^
    I really appreciate the pre-orders. I wouldn't own many CPK if it wasn't for them.
  19. CataD

    CataD Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    You're projecting, dude. The only one here that is ready to 'bash' CPK, like you did the others, is YOU! Grow up and learn to have some patience and faith...
    Standard78, Odog27, bluemax_1 and 3 others like this.
  20. CataD

    CataD Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    As you prob. know, I Like pre-orders a lot! :) Thank you very, very much for doing them!

    And @ everyone, most of you know I get lucky on the fast sales pretty often, so I would probably get what I need. BUT, the pre-orders give me the chance to get what I want ;)...


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