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97 Large Coke Bottle Update

I talked to GEC briefly on Friday and want to pass along a few notes. regarding the upcoming 97 Large Coke Bottle. 

The quantities of this knife appear to be large with almost 4000 presold by GEC to dealers.  Due to the size of the run there is a possibility, (Read that again….a ‘Possibility‘) that GEC may eliminate one of the handle options for both the Tidioute and the Northfield. 

This is the type of thing that can drive us all nuts.  GEC demands dealers make a “FIRM” commitment for quantities no later then 7AM Monday morning for delivery next March.  But we’re not sure what they’re going to build.  And we don’t have the bone color determined yet.  AND we won’t know the cost until the day they ship next March.  AND we’re pretty sure there won’t be any SFO’s.  AND it’s getting highly unlikely there will be any stag. 

In summation, I’ve got a couple hundred knives ordered but am not 100% certain what I’m going to be getting.  I’m also taking early reservations based on the same premise.  I’ll tell you in advance I appreciate your understanding.

I have to admit its amazing GEC knives have reached this level of popularity.  Dealers and customers alike are willing to place orders without knowing all the specs, the cost or availability of a product.   GEC has every single knife sold before a single blade is cut.  Most of the knives will never see the inside of a pocket meaning warranty issues are virtually zero.  Believe, I’m not being critical of GEC.  On the contrary, this would be any businessman’s dream come true.   

If you haven’t placed a reservation yet and would like to, go to this blog post and fill out the reservation form.  Be sure to check the boxes next to the knives you’re interested in.

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GEC Early Reserve: New Pattern #97

I have an Early Reserve form at the bottom of this post if your interested in the new pattern #977.  I just received an email this morning that GEC announced a new knife will be released March of 2019.  The knife will be a pattern #97 Large Coke Bottle.

At 4.75″ OAL Closed, this will be one of the biggest offerings (0ther then the Whaler/Sunfish Series) we’ve seen from GEC.  The #65 Ben Hogan came in at 4.5″ and I believe that’s the closest contender.  It’s been a long time since we’ve seen GEC come out with a knife anywhere near this size and it’s going to be interesting what the reaction will be.

Here are the specs as of this moment.  As in the past, it’s early enough in the process to anticipate there could be changes as we get closer to the March release date:

Tidioute:

  • Jigged Bone – color to be determined
  • Jigged Brazilian Cherry Wood (Beaver Tail)
  • Maroon Linen Micarta

Northfield:

  • Smooth Yellow Rose
  • Gabon Ebony Wood
  • Possible Stag

I’m going to open the pattern #97 to early orders with a couple of changes.

  1. No deposit required
  2. PLEASE register in the store to expedite the order process
  3. If you have cancelled out of reserved products in the past, you fall to the bottom of the list.  In other words, if I end up getting shipped ‘short’, you may fall off the list.
  4. I will NOT be taking early orders for the stag.  This knife will require a big chunk of stag and GEC is already offering up a caveat that they will be allocated.  The number of names drawn with the option to purchase a Stag #97 will  be determined by the number of Stag #97’s available.

Be sure that to establish an account in the storefront if you don’t already have one.  Also be sure your shipping and billing addresses are up to date.  That speeds up the process and eliminates the need for me to manually enter your order info when the knives become available.

Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.
Early Reservation Request
Select the Items you wish to reserve. You will be notified and invoiced when the items become available which. Scheduled arrival is March 2019,

 




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GEC Early Orders

I’ve been getting requests and inquiries about Early Orders for the recent GEC releases.  Since GEC went to the allocation system on most new releases, it’s been difficult to reliably anticipate how many knives I’ll receive.  As a result, I can’t guarantee everyone that places an early order a knife.

Most of you are aware the releases tend to sell out within an hour or two after they’ve been listed in the store.  My best suggestion is to subscribe to the blog to find out when I’m listing new knives or subscribe to the RSS feed for the Recently Added Products category.

Sorry I can’t address all of your requests, but there’s nothing to be done about it.   I have so many old customers that I used to be able to take care of and those days are over and I sincerely feel bad about it.




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Whaler Shipping Update 5.9.18

I’m getting emails and calls asking when I’m going to ship the Whalers.  Actually, I started shipping the Iron Wood Saturday.

The Whalers are coming through piecemeal. The first box of Iron Wood arrived late last week, another box yesterday and the balance of Iron Wood are still on the way.  My guess is I’ll see the Muscle Bone coming through in a similar manner.  I assume GEC is trying to get knives in everyone’s hands as soon as possible and this means unless a dealer only ordered a few, they’re coming through in partial quantities.

IF you only ordered an Iron Wood, you should have received an invoice.  If you paid the invoice,  your knife is either in your hands or on its way.  IF you ordered a Muscle Bone  and an Iron Wood (or just a Muscle Bone), you probably haven’t been invoiced yet.  As soon as the Muscle Bone arrives, invoices will start going out for the balance of the orders.

Lots of requests are coming through for specific handle coloration preferences.  Sorry, but it’s just not possible to take care of everyone’s requests.  I haven’t seen any of the Iron Wood that doesn’t look good.  If you don’t like the looks of your knife, put it on Ebay.  I just saw the first one sold on Ebay this AM for $250.  Another is at auction with a current bid of $169.00 and another buy it now for $215.

I said earlier I was allowing 72 hours for payment of your invoices before your deposit was lost and your order cancelled.  Several of you emailed and told me you were sending a money order which would run beyond the 72 hour window to get here.  That’s fine.  As long as I know what’s going on.  IF I don’t hear from you or receive payment in the 72 hour window, I’m operating on the assumption you’re not going to complete the purchase and your order is cancelled.

I’m trying to fill orders in the sequence the orders were received.  Believe me, the sooner I can ship the orders the happier we’ll all be!




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Early Order Update 3.9.18

Let me start by saying I was a little overwhelmed by the response to starting up the early order program again.  I had discontinued it last year for a number of reasons, the major one being it can be a real PITA to keep up with.  Even with the requisite deposit there were still a surprising number of ‘no pays’.  Orders come through without the deposit, etc, etc.  In addition, we saw the quantities (i.e. availability) of regular production knives increase substantially reducing the need to order early.

As soon as it became official the Whalers were going to be run once again, there was no doubt the interest was going to be sky high.  For that reason I thought I’d try the early order system one more time and include the new 44 Gunstock and 15 Boys Knives.  The volume of orders has been almost triple what I anticipated and the number of ‘thank you’ for reinstating the early order program comments was a surprise.  Feedback like that is what helps steer the direction of TSA Knives.  Going forward, you’ll see more Early Order offers.

I put a limited number of the Whalers up for early order and held some back in reserve until next Monday.  Chris will have the final numbers on dealer orders and I’ll get confirmation on exactly how many Whalers I’m getting.  Once I know where I stand, I hope to be able to offer a few more Whalers for sale but I don’t want to get overbooked.   At this writing there are still both handle options available but only a few.  If they sell out, check back Monday afternoon as I’m hoping I can release a few more.

I’ve been asked if the Desert Ironwood or the Muscle Bone Whalers has been selling better.  Right now the Ironwood has a very slight edge over the Bone.  Part of that is no doubt due to people not knowing what to expect with the “Muscle Bone”.  Until you actually see it….???  As in the past, after we actually saw the Percheron Bone and early Primitive Bone, interest increased.  I’m willing to bet we’ll similarly see interest grow for the Muscle Bone.

Early Orders for the new 44 Gunstock has the Northfield Autumn Gold running 2:1 over the Cocobolo and Stag.  Cocobolo is running 3:2 over the Sambar Stag.  The Northfields in total are out booking the Tidioutes 20:1.  I’m betting the Cocobolo is going to look fantastic next to the Brass.

Over 60% of the early orders are for one of each handle in the Whaler.  Almost 90%+ of the orders are for more then one knife.  That may be 2 or more Whalers on an order or a mixture of 46’s, 44’s and 15’s.

Understand, the above numbers are my numbers.  I have no idea what the mix is for anyone else.

It’s sounding more doubtful that we’ll see Queen revived any time soon.  A number of people have continued to ask about the future of the Trestle Pine Knives.  I’m exploring some options but am a very long way from anything certain.  While I’m not getting my hopes up, I’m definitely not giving up just yet.

 




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GEC Early Order Links Active

I just finished putting up the early order link for the upcoming GEC Whaler, Boys Knife and the new Gunstock.   PLEASE don’t call or email asking to be put on the ‘reserve’ list.  It’s pretty simple to place an early order online and it makes life simpler for all of us.

All of the early orders will require a deposit.   It worked quite well in the past and reduced the number of  orders that were placed and cancelled.   Gotta have a little skin in the game as they say.  When the knives come in you’ll be invoiced for the balance due.  Domestic shipping is included in the price.  Overseas shipping will be billed at the normal rates.

The deposits are non-refundable UNLESS… GEC changes the handle material or they don’t deliver the quantities they promised me.  If by any remote chance they don’t deliver the promised quantity, the orders will be filled in the order received.

The prices are yet ‘to be determined‘ by GEC.  I’m hesitant to say this but the 2011 Cocobolo’s were in the $150 range, soo…. I would guess the Whalers are going to be somewhere in the $170-$190 range.  I know I’m sticking my neck out and I’m not making any promises, but everyone’s gonna ask and that’s my best guess.

I don’t have pix of the 15’s coming through with the Bail & Chain, but hopefully everyone has an idea what they’re talking about.  As soon as a picture or drawing comes up I’ll get it posted.

The 46 Whaler’s will be identical to the original with a large and small 1095 Pen Blade.  Fair warning, this is going to be a hot product.

The new 44 Gunflint looks nice and I do like the brass bolsters and the UN-X-LD stamp on them.  I think this will be another winner.




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Weekly Update Queen Revival?

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.

56 Natural Canvas

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.