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Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Dec, 2007 4:49 pm    Post subject: The Reboot: Deposits and money...         Reply with quote

Going forward, in the beginning of the reboot, I've taken the last two weeks to review what went well, and what didn't work.

For the most part, Christian Fletcher will be the "point of contact", and where to purchase items in stock, and take an order. One of the things that didn't work so well, is my "customer service", as I'm not that good on the communication side of things....

On the other hand, the "never say never" side of things, I need to develop a better policy on deposits.... in the last few months, one of the things that has worked, is group sales. So, I may again someday take orders.......

What hasn't worked? When I wound up with the retailing end of things a couple years ago, I inherited a "ask for all the money up front".......There's a lot of good business reasons for something like this, and I've probably heard them all. But for me, I'd say it was a mistake, and something I don't intend to continue. In my opinion, for something like this to work, one has to be "low overhead", and very profitable. i was neither the last couple of years........

Christian Fletcher has a policy of $100 non-refundable deposit. I think that'll work here too. The rest just before shipping......

For special "sales" things may be different. I think things should be flexible enough for things like the "Payoff Sale" to work, and 1/3 down for a cost savings like that seems reasonable. But, without something like that, my policy will be $100 down.................

swords are fun
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Jason Elrod




Location: Winchester, VA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Dec, 2007 6:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What do you do if you're ready to ship and the customer decides to switch models on you? Keep the $100 and then charge the price of the new sword? Just something to think about.

Also, this probably deserves its own thread, but have you narrowed down the models that you are going to keep in production?

It might be cool to have a pole as to what swords your clients would like to see kept in production.

Will Christian be handling the tactical line too?
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Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
Joined: 26 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Dec, 2007 6:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason Elrod wrote:
What do you do if you're ready to ship and the customer decides to switch models on you? Keep the $100 and then charge the price of the new sword? Just something to think about.

Also, this probably deserves its own thread, but have you narrowed down the models that you are going to keep in production?

It might be cool to have a pole as to what swords your clients would like to see kept in production.

Will Christian be handling the tactical line too?


Hi Jason

The reality is that its going to be CF that will deal with most customer issues...... however, there's two nice things about having the machine paid off, and dropping the deposit to $100. Its easier to refund even during slow periods, and someone that makes changes all the time, is not likely to have a good experience dealing with me. Likely the best for both parties would be to refund pretty quickly..............

The poll's a good idea. I'll start another thread dealing with something like that later........I really don't have that much time for monitoring stuff right now.......

Yep, CF will be handling the Tactical swords, and the knives, as well as the "classical" AT stuff, the newer "historically inspired stuff", and the blunt stuff assuming I decide to either continue it or restart it {at the moment, I'm leaning towards just making sharps, dropping the training lineup altogether}..........

swords are fun
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Tue 04 Dec, 2007 7:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Will Christian be doing the follow up customer service stuff with the current " pay off the machinery sale " also or will you continue to do this during the transition period to CF being the customer contact ?

Assuming that everything goes according to plan shipping on these should be early next year around March according to your previous posts and it would be good to avoid confusion as to who customers should contact if they have questions or just need feedback around that time.

Hope that this is of general interest and not specific to just my order.

On the other issue I think $100 deposit the rest at delivery is good as a general policy. Refundable or not ???
That might depend if work was started on it and the reasons for cancelling the order by either side and if it's a standard product easy to sell.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
Joined: 26 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2007 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Will Christian be doing the follow up customer service stuff with the current " pay off the machinery sale " also or will you continue to do this during the transition period to CF being the customer contact ?

Assuming that everything goes according to plan shipping on these should be early next year around March according to your previous posts and it would be good to avoid confusion as to who customers should contact if they have questions or just need feedback around that time.

Hope that this is of general interest and not specific to just my order.

On the other issue I think $100 deposit the rest at delivery is good as a general policy. Refundable or not ???
That might depend if work was started on it and the reasons for cancelling the order by either side and if it's a standard product easy to sell.


HI Jean

I'm still the contact on the "Sale" stuff, and earlier stuff, and CF is the contact if you order from him. It won't be that hard in practice, if you email him for something that's my responsibility, he'll just forward it to me, and vice versa.

On the deposit thing, I think I'm about the only one that never had a "policy" on refunds. Its something that rarely really comes up, believe it or not, I think it was an issue for me twice this last year. Everyone else has a policy.... Albion, the indisputed industry leader has a policy of $300 deposit for their Next Gen and up swords, non-refundable. I don't recall A&A's, but they have one too. So do the custom guys, etc.........

I don't know how it works for the others in practice, but I intend to be flexible. Quite often, if someone wants "out" of a deal, its best for both parties to shake hands, and have the money refunded. The smaller deposit {$100} is less of an issue {hopefully} for the customer, and easier for me to refund, even if things aren't that wonderful financially at the time {after all, indications are that the US is headed for a recession, if not already in one}. I didn't have this flexibility over the last year, the machine payment being what it was, I quite often didn't have the money, if someone wanted "out". The idea is to be work out for the best for both parties....... in other words, to learn from problems of the past, and incorporate in going forward so as to make things easier for both parties......

swords are fun
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Aaron Mays




Location: Germany
Joined: 10 Feb 2007

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PostPosted: Sun 16 Dec, 2007 10:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What happened to existing backorders? I've been waiting for a AT1315 since March and haven't heard anything for months.

Aaron Mays
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