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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 27 Dec, 2008 5:35 pm    Post subject: Is the economy changing your sword buying habits (yet)?         Reply with quote

Automotive and retail in general are reporting drastically decreased sales. National unemployment is up. Every business publication says consumer demand in a broad sense is down. In short we all know, or at least we're being told, that the economy is not at its best. But is any of this hitting your favorite hobby?

For me it is. My wife works in automotive and her hours, and thus her income, have been severely cut due to the current market downturn. At this point we've been able to quantify a ~40% reduction in her take home pay at the end of the day. For the family budget overall a reasonable SWAG is that we are down about 28%-33% from our normal peak income.

On the sword collecting front, I had to indefinitely delay (effectively cancel) a custom project and accept the reality that I can't buy anything new. The adjusted budget says that is does not matter if its custom, production or from other collectors. Does not even matter if its a deal too good to be true. No sword buying for me. I do have one other custom project that will flow to completion because it was already paid for before the economy began to stumble. Just an issue of waiting now for it to be done now; but that's it until automotive picks back up (at a minimum but there are things that will need to be accelerated first, like retirement funding).

Trades I can do as long as they don't involve cash outflow in excess of shipping (at least for now).

I recently did one that I'm happy with.

Unfortunately, I just don't have the free cash for purchasing fun that I normally do. Fortunately things are good, I just have to be careful to cover needs and not wants with what I have. I'm curious hear, has the economy forced any collecting changes on anybody else?

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 748

PostPosted: Sat 27 Dec, 2008 6:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It has effected my household as well Joe across my 3 top hobbies. My wife has been out of work since mid-August. Add to that the economy and things are a little more snug then I like. Luckily for me people still need furnaces when there old equipment is beyond repair so my job is steady and secure. Unless the company goes under which we are not.

Happily for me one of my other hobbies is biking and since my buddy owns a shop he lets me wrench there and use tools and helps out when I need it so I can keep my bikes rolling.

I did snatch up an Albion Next Gen Squire during the 10th Anniversary sale but that was basically my Christmas present for this year and my birthday present for next year.

Oh well, it is what it is I guess.

Scott
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,440

PostPosted: Sat 27 Dec, 2008 7:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I should probably mention that the intent of this thread is not to cry in my beer. Hard times force everyone to make choices, and I'm interested in hearing how people are making adjustments. My main adjustment so far is that I now hunt for trades instead of making purchases. It does end up being a bit different, trying to put a trade together, and it certainly slows the growth of my collection down, but its not the end of the world for me. Big Grin
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Sat 27 Dec, 2008 7:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I hear ya Joe. I guess after the Squire the plan is to tighten the belt and hold off on anything to include trades right now as I only have 2 swords and I am not even thinking of letting either go.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Dec, 2008 8:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interestingly, the economic downturn hasn't affected my buying at all. For the last 2 years, I've generated funds for my collection/library through the sale of other things. My collecting has been done with a net zero out-of-pocket. This keeps my collection at a manageable size and keeps me from dipping into monies that need to go elsewhere. Every purchase is funded by something else being sold off.

Perhaps the economy will force changes for me if the stuff I'm trying to sell off doesn't move because the potential buyers are pinched financially....

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Jeff Kauffeldt




Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Joined: 16 May 2005

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PostPosted: Sat 27 Dec, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my case it's the reverse. I can buy and buy ( no matter what happens in the economy, rich people will still need protection ha ha ha.) but it has effected my ability to get ride of stuff. I have quite alot of armour and weapons in my closet and I can't seem to find any buyers anymore. I've acepted the fact that I may have to simply barter to get what I want but it seems other haven't caught on to this yet. It's realy frustrating.
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Dec, 2008 10:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I make my living predicting the ups and downs in the economy and helping companies plan accordingly (accountant). I am fortunate to be able to apply those skills to my personal life and hobbies. I am planning on buying a few high end swords but, I am in no rush. If Albion wants my money I want to see a 50% sale on their swords. I'm the consumer, its my money, I have the right to make my demands. It's up to them to meet it or not. If not, that's fine, I'll just keep buying more cheap stocks Happy
No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 12:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Was slowing down my buying anyway since after a while one gets more selective and one runs out of " corners " to stack one's swords in.

That said, the economy and the " paper loses " are making me feel less rich or secure than I was so I do think twice about what to buy.

The main thing now is that I want to wait until the backlog of custom project not yet fully paid for to be finished before I add new swords or projects to the list and probably will buy swords one at a time if the price is affordable for me at the time: It's more sword rationing than sword starvation. Wink Laughing Out Loud

Either buy one or two major pieces a year i.e. over $1000 or buy a few more of the nicer semi production swords collaborations that are starting to be competitive in functional quality and looks with the higher end swords.

So maybe it will be 1 high end sword and a couple of midrange swords ??? ( Or other stuff like daggers, armour, polearms, training sword for 1:33 ? ).

People still seem to be buying up here this Xmas in Canada, and although we can't be immune from U.S. or World economic breakdowns, our banks never got into the kind of trouble the U.S. banks have with the Sub Prime mess and are basically sound: Maybe the crisis will hit us harder later on but with a delay and possibly with less intensity ? At least one can hope. Worried Question

P.S. That's the plan at the moment but the main idea is to not make longtern financial commitments and buy only when the cash is there! Also, buying things immediately available for delivery being very attractive as opposed to long waits for custom projects. ( Might still make special orders or custom orders but again these would be 1 or 2 a year ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Arne Focke
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Location: near Munich, Germany
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 2:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The buying habits of the customers in our museum certainly haven't changed.
The numbers of visitors has decreased rapidly over the course of the year, but this few people bought more of our stuff at the museums forge.
Since i am no creedy person i instantly invested the money in my work (new tools & desk) and my hobbies (too many) thus pushing the economy. Wink

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My favorite hobby certainly took a big hit as the company I work for was force to cut almost 50% of the staff in my department and as I result I will be unemployed next year. I had cancel a custom mid-16th century "Knechtharnisch" i had on order and never even got to order the German basket-hilt and halberd which was to go with the harness.

I still hope to be able to buy a at least a few of the final items I need to get my 15th Century kit in working order. But I will certainly not be doing it the way I planned. For the first time I'm actually contemplating selling the high end parts of my collection. While I like the wat the swords look on my wall my big interest have always been Living History & Reenactment rather than assembling a collection. The collection sort of happend along the way. So for me the question is do I sell a sword or two I do not need for my portrayal in order to raise at least some of the needed funds despite the knowledge that it might be a long time before I'll be able to replace them? (If ever given the way the prices have increased in recent years)
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Dec, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Like some my purchasing has slowed down as my interests and curiosity has
changed. Like others I try to fund either a new purchase or a project by selling
something I have -- I repeat a personal mantra not to get too attached to the
swords I own
. So if someone finds something of mine attractive enough to
offer either an interesting trade or reasonable $$$, I'm quite likely to part with
it ...

I've also been investigating less-expensive swords offered by companies like
Kris Cutlery or Valiant Armoury, but haven't gotten to a point yet where I've added
a number of them in order to compare them with the few Albion swords I still own.

One thing I mentioned in a similar thread, as prices increase, even prices asked
by gents in the marketplace or other classifieds, and as the economy demands
one to be more intelligent about spending his-or-her $$$, individual sellers and
companies alike can maybe find themselves leaving a portion of their existing
customer-base behind. People who had been saving, or were on the edge of a
commitment, and loose patience because prices have taken another jump.
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Bryce Felperin




Location: San Jose, CA
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Dec, 2008 11:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am securely employed at a server company that seems to in good shape, but I have to plan for contingencies too. So for me, I am going to wrap up a sword and scabbard project and then take a bit of a break from buying for most of the first six months of next year.

I'll wait and see if layoffs or unemployment are in my future and save some bucks to pay rent if bad things happen. My GF is having problems in her company's home redecorating business and is looking at possible unemployment soon also, so that will also affect my personal buying since I can't justify it if she's out of work. Wouldn't look good you know. ;-)
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Mon 29 Dec, 2008 11:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have just bought an half new leaf blade power hammer, an italian version of the american little giant but on steroids (65 kmgs, precision working).

I hope I will be able to finance my hobby with that .. hobby shop will be ready hopefully quite soon.

Italian customers however bought sparingly already since the starting of the euro currency, this year is going to be even worse.
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Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Jun 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Mon 29 Dec, 2008 12:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I still have my job that I started 3 years ago, so that's good... but suddenly I have much less money for swords and other cool things. All of a sudden I have to support other people as well as me, and she has school loans plus limited job prospects. This means I'm paying rent and expenses for two people but that's how it goes. Thankfully I have enough saved up I think to get through this and if we get a bit of luck in the next few years I'll have some extra money, but these days anything that isn't rent/bills/food is right out.

Its not too bad. I'm happy with what I've got hanging on the walls.
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Edward Hitchens




Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Dec, 2008 6:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My issue is similar to Chad's: Not buying, but selling. The last piece I attempted to sell was my A&A German rapier. I actually didn't set a specific price, but did a "make an offer" type of deal. I had a few people show interest and make some offers, but none were even close to the sword's value or what I paid for it (I'm its second owner). Like many of us, I don't want my collection to get too large; the number of swords in my collection now is less than half what it was in 2003 (what a difference five years makes!). My job is quite secure at the moment but with the abysmal economy, I'd rather have cash set aside for other things.
"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Dec, 2008 1:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edward Hitchens wrote:
My issue is similar to Chad's: Not buying, but selling. The last piece I attempted to sell was my A&A German rapier. I actually didn't set a specific price, but did a "make an offer" type of deal. I had a few people show interest and make some offers, but none were even close to the sword's value or what I paid for it (I'm its second owner). Like many of us, I don't want my collection to get too large; the number of swords in my collection now is less than half what it was in 2003 (what a difference five years makes!). My job is quite secure at the moment but with the abysmal economy, I'd rather have cash set aside for other things.


I think that even at the best of times getting a decent price is a question of being patient as the timing has to be right for the buyer to have the funds.

At he worst of time, like now, it can take much longer and even a radically reduced price may not bring in a buyer.

Being in a rush to sell because of need for immediate cash is almost a guarantee of having to sell it at " Fire Sales Prices ".

Once my still not paid for custom projects are paid for I think I will look at the stuff on The Marketplace Forum with more interest. Wink Oh, in the past I've only bought a few books and one axe on this Forum as I have had a tendency to buy new rather than previously owned.

I think a lot of people are going to start buying from The Marketplace Forum more often but only in a few months if they feel that their situation is secure enough and the relative bargains compared to new are going to be too tempting, but for at least a while I think sales of anything are going to be slow.

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




Location: Tucson
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Dec, 2008 7:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Even the most expensive books in this hobby are still much cheaper than a good sword Idea
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Jonathan Blair




Location: Hanover, PA
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Dec, 2008 11:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It sure has affected my buying. I had to cancel an order for an Albion Sheriff, leaving me a $250 credit with them that I likely will not use anytime soon.
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Dec, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Son was in a major wrestling tournament today. Multi-day affair including 38 school teams from at least three states with significant travel involved, so hotel stay was required. Another ~$450 out of the bank.

Would be nice if the school would stay a bit more local but its a "find the best competition" thing and I guess they have money to spend. Burned through way to much of our emergency fund to do it though. We won't be able to go to his next multi-day day extended travel event, nothing to pay for it with so I guess I should count that as a cost savings.

Wife is getting surgery tomorrow though. Nothing major but they called and told us that we have tome come up with over $440 out of pocket for that.

And of course the car's maintenance lamp had to light up on the way home.

All in all an exciting way to close out the year.

Tight just got quite a bit tighter. WTF?!

At least the kid made it into the second day at the tournament, which is something. Happy

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Edward Hitchens




Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Dec, 2008 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

I think a lot of people are going to start buying from The Marketplace Forum more often but only in a few months if they feel that their situation is secure enough and the relative bargains compared to new are going to be too tempting, but for at least a while I think sales of anything are going to be slow.


I definitely agree. I've been frequenting the Marketplace more and more often just to see what's out there. Lately, the Marketplace forum has been a treasure trove! Many folks are selling Albions, A&A's, Atrims, and even custom-made items for hundreds of dollars from new. One can tell that the economy is taking its toll on some more than others because many sellers admit to not wanting to sell. Sometimes I can't help but feel sorry for someone who has saved a lot of money and waited a long time for a custom item only to have to sell it because of the economy of all things.

On the other hand, I am surprised that some things posted on the Marketplace do sell quickly even in these tough times.

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
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