I haven’t heard from Queen since last Fall but I’m getting reports from several customers that have talked to people that should know, it sounds like Queen is on its way back. There haven’t been any definitive details I can repeat but the trickle of info is consistent and coming from multiple sources soooo…I’m left to believe there’s some hope. Appreciate the info some of you have shared.
The Great Eastern 56 Trappers have been arriving and going out about as fast as they come in. They’re every bit as nice as the original 56’s. I talked to Chris earlier this week and tried to add a few more to my initial order with limited success. My understanding is that some of the 56’s are being run in relatively small (100 pieces) numbers and as a result were actually ‘allocated’ to the dealers.
I know a lot of the runs are based on initial early dealer orders but sometimes it’s pretty obvious that the initial dealer interest may not reflect the demand. Often dealer early orders have to be submitted before much buzz is created on an upcoming pattern. In my case, I may order light based on early interest only to have my mail box fill up with requests for reserves after the info has spread.
When we get an early heads up (like we’re seeing more frequently) as in the case of the upcoming 43 Oregon Pattern it’s so much easier to anticipate interest. And no doubt it makes life easier for production planning at GEC resulting in easier access to the consumer.
I had an email last night regarding a dealer that has set up some sort of lottery system for early reservations and the writer was poking fun at the matter. I totally understand why the dealer might do it. In the past I took reservations and ended up with more pissed off customers than you can imagine. “Old” customers expected (rightly so) to be put at the top of the list for any new releases. Pretty soon it was only “Old” customers that were able to get on the reserved list. Then you had 10 old customers and you’re only going to get 5 knives. New customers were frustrated that they didn’t have a chance for some of the more difficult pieces. I finally quit taking early orders on almost all releases just to avoid the frustration.
Lets face it, GEC has an allocation program that rewards larger dealers with discounts and the lions share of some runs. Is that fair? Probably so, but it sure makes life tough for anyone starting out trying to expand or build a legitimate full time business.
I’ve kind of gone off on a tangent but I like to be up front about what’s going on and sharing some of the frustrations dealers can run up against. Be careful criticizing some of the efforts made to appease all of the consumers. Trust me, give it time and some of these high demand knives that have ended up with hyper-inflated prices will come back to earth and be available on the secondary market. When a $90 production knife turns into a $300+ collectible almost overnite, that’s not going to last.
The subject of these incredible prices for some of the GEC’s came up with a customer I have a high regard for in the knife industry. He brought up the point (and I totally agree) that in the next 5-10 years we’re going to see some of the aging collectors start to liquidate their collections. We were talking about collectors that have been acquiring since the 50’s and 60’s that hold some incredible older rare or interesting knives in their collections. Right now the current group of collectors are attracted to the most recent shiny new releases and pay scant attention to these older treasures. For now, historical interest or unique qualities aren’t a factor to many collectors. It’ll be interesting to see what happens down the road.