Tag Archives: post office

Knife Collections, Treasures – Postal Problems

In the last ten years I know I’ve purchased and disposed of numerous Knife Collections.  When I say knife collections, I’m referring to groups of at least 15-20 pieces.  Some ran well over 100 pieces.  Until the last few years, most of the knife collections I bought were primarily made up of GEC knives.

I tended to stay away from collections comprised of random assortment of knives ranging from Rough Riders to Randall’s and everything in between.  The main reason I had avoided those collections was that they fell outside of most of my customers interests.  Great Eastern Cutlery had sucked most of the air out of the room and many of the new GEC collectors were recovering Case, Queen, Schatt & Morgan collectors focusing on the new GEC’s.

In the last year or so, the number of new releases from GEC has dropped off and their ‘allocation’ method of distribution combined with their SFO program really changed the landscape.  The days of getting all the knives needed to fill customer demand are gone.  As a  result, I made a minor shift in the business plan and started getting more interested in acquiring ‘non-GEC’ collections.

It makes life a lot more interesting as I’m often venturing into unknown territory.  Here’s a good example of a head scratcher when it comes to bidding on a knife collection.’

Knife Collection Assortment

From Top left clockwise, there is a “Tell” German Scout Knife, a vintage Winchester Muskrat, a Jack Knife Ben ranchers knife and a vintage Empire, Winsted CT.  Mix 10 similar knives in with a group of GEC’s and pre-1965 Case knives and you’ve just blown the better part of the day figuring out exactly what you’ve got.  It can be time consuming, often frustrating but also a lot of fun.  The challenge comes into play when someone reminds you you’re doing this to make a living and not necessarily ‘have fun’.  Reality can suck.

On the upside, every now and then there are true treasures to be found.  Like mining for gold, all it takes is the occasional bit of ‘color’ to keep you coming back for more.  In the last couple of weeks I listed several knives that I felt were real finds.

Western Knife Co Lever Lock

Case Trapper 6254 Stag 1965-69
Al Mar Fang
Al Mar Fang
Larry Brandstetter Bowie
Larry Brandstetter 1850’s Sheffield Bowie

As a result, it’s brought in a number of new collectors to the storefront looking for more of this type of item.  There are also a few GEC collectors getting bored and starting to look at different collectibles.  If you’re thinking of selling your collection or just getting rid of your odds and ends, let me know.  I’m willing to look at most anything but prefer to stay with higher quality collectibles.

On a side note, I’ve had some problems with the USPS of late.  Tracking information has been somewhat spotty in actually following a packages progress.   Packages have traveled from the midwest to the East Coast and back to the West Coast for delivery.   Some packages hit the distribution center in Chicago where tracking seems to fall into a black hole.   Worse, a customer recently lost a knife with tracking info showing it supposedly had been delivered.

What makes this particular incident frustrating is that the post office uses Geo Tags which shows the exact physical location when a delivered package is scanned at your door.  In this case, the PO said there was a substitute mail delivery person that day that they couldn’t identify.(?)  Second, the package wasn’t actually ‘scanned’ at the delivery location but a ‘note’ was made the package was delivered.(???)  And somehow the info on the ‘note’ was added to the tracking info showing the  package as delivered. (?????)  I’m calling BS on this one.

After several phone calls on the part of the customer he was told he could file a complaint with the Inspector General but it was ‘doubtful’ anything would come from the complaint.  I strongly encouraged him to file the complaint anyway.  If any of you have worked for the Federal Government you all know the last thing any department head wants is an IG investigation.  While it probably won’t find his knife, I’m hoping it puts some heat anyone that may have misappropriated it.

The really sad thing about the situation is that insurance wouldn’t have made any difference as the Post Office is standing their ground that the package was delivered.  Likewise a claim filed with PayPal would have the same outcome.

I wish I could offer up a solution to avoid situations like this but short of requesting a signature for deliveries…  That’s not something I want to do as I know how difficult it can be for me to always be available to sign for packages and I’ve had customers specifically tell me NOT to request a signature for deliveries to them.  I may however, add “signature requested” as an option when you place an order.  It adds about $2.50 to the cost of an order delivered within the US.  I’ll see.