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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2010 10:06 pm    Post subject: The down side of deferring sword buying.         Reply with quote

Deferring sword purchases because of the weak economy is O.K. if one's personal finances are in difficulty but deferring buying swords from our small makers ( Relative to big business all our sword makers are small businesses and not just the one man operations or custom makers ) by too many of us can mean that in a couple of years when we want an Albion or an A & A or any other small production high quality sword they might just be not available.

So, without overdoing the " fear mongering ", the time to support our makers is now and not later as they might not be around later if we don't support them now with our buying their swords. Worried Wink

Oh, I used swords as an example but this could apply to armour, other weapons and suppliers of quality period kit for reenactors and collectors.

I know that a few years from now it would be sad if the availability of quality swords dried up because the only options would be either cheap replicas or very expensive custom work from the few surviving top makers.

( Oh, if the top end production makers drop out of the business the incentive for the lower end foreign makers to keep improving the quality of their product would cease to be there and they might revert to just making wallhangers of 1970's quality Cry ).

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




PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2010 11:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While that is true and it may happen, we have sonny of VA who is one of us...so I doubt we will see the market revert to the level of the 70s.

As for getting a new sword...Id love to...but tax season is coming up and Im probably gonna have to owe 4 grand again. That happened last year and that really threw getting new swords into hiatus. They really need to stop punishing small businesses.
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Michal Plezia
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 9:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean- supporting makers is a great idea Wink Laughing Out Loud
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I hear what you are saying Jean. People do what they can in difficult times. There must be more to why you posted, maybe a concern about a specific company or custom maker or two but you don't necessarily want to share the details and I understand. However, for me, all the craftsman I have been working with in this community the past, 5, 6 years, are all still 1 year or more out on commissions, in some cases 2- 3 years still. And a certain scabbard maker Wink who I used at the very beginning of his business when the turn around was a few weeks now can't get to me for a year or more and has had to hire an apprentice/helper .........

OTOH I have noticed that some folks who I have never commissioned work from before, and who have a good reputation, seem to have a relatively shorter wait of 3-6 months. So my take on it is that the market for custom work has become a bit topsy turvy and if one was thinking of doing a commissioned piece of work for a sword, kit accessories, or armour, now is a good time to shop around and maybe branch out a bit. tr
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good point about purchasing but the toy funds only come so fast, and in the grand scheme of things, although I really love my swords....

My only recent purchase (ongoing) is a gift for my son. A&A put a gladius on the muster page and I snapped it up about 10 minutes after they posted it one night. My son has asked about gettign one for years, and now when he gets done with Basic and AIT, he'll have one. I also have some things I want, and with a bit of luck will get someday, but they come when they come. Big Grin

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Edward Hitchens




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 12:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean,

I think you have a very good argument here and I couldn't agree with you more. And thus far, my employer is surviving the recession though we have had to make budget cuts like everyone else; not even the public sector is recession-proof. I mention this because I'm putting myself in the shoes of one of the millions of out-of-work people who are trying to find employment, particularly the ones who have spouses and children to support.

I regularly browse thru the Marketplace here on myArmoury, and I've noticed many forumites selling their prized high-end swords and other items because of losing their job (or the fear thereof), or taking a pay cut. I've even seen entire collections offered for sale in recent months.

Even the concept of the possible demise of high-end sword makers is startling to me. However, that would be the least of my problems if (God forbid) I were to find myself unemployed. I think even the swordmakers themselves would agree that if they were forced to close their doors permanently, their first priority would be to find a way to continue supporting themselves and their families - and resume creating swords only if circumstances allow.

To those who can (and are willing) to make a sword purchase to support our favorite makes - and the economy - God bless you for it! To everyone else, hang in there. Happy

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




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 8:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmmm. I wish I could keep buying swords at the pace I had been accustomed to. This economy has really taken it's toll on everyone and everything. I will continue to buy and commision swords as long as I can, but there is a point at which other things become much more important. I hate the thought that some producers could go under as well. Ours is a luxury hobby and luxuries are the first things people give up in hard times. I'll be focusing on small blades like knives and seaxes this year because of lost income from work, hopefully it'll help keep some of those makers afloat.

Damn the man.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Obviously people struggling or worried about keeping their jobs have bigger issues to worry about but the Topic was/is that if one can afford to buy and wants something now it might be better to not defer purchases until next year in the hope that prices might eventually go down: if everyone does this the makers may go down, not the prices.

Anyway, some buying now may give these companies the " oxygen " they need to survive until the economy gets better.

So should you be afraid that these makers might go out of business ? I would say " don't panic " but don't take for granted that they will all be there next year.

My buying has slowed down and currently it's mostly custom projects ( high end ) and things like Del Tin swords that I'm currently finding appealing as well as supporting armour making by buying "14th century full arms " from mercenary Taylor's that I wanted:
http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...cts_id=122
and miscellaneous stuff from Kult of Athena:
http://www.kultofathena.com/
( supporting the major and reliable vendors are also part keeping the whole industry/craft alive. Blush ).

Oh, and A & A Bec the Corbin / Italian Pole Hammer earlier this year.
http://www.arms-n-armor.com/pole232.html

Now, I currently have a Cinquedea half way finished and halfway paid for by Michael Pikula and a very special bronze and steel walking stick in the production stage by OlliN.

I regularly check out Tinker to see what is currently available ( He has a Viking sword currently available at a reduced price that is very tempting " Hacka Dem " Oh, a type XII that also looks very good. Wink Wink ).
http://www.tinkerswords.com/Page%203.html

Some of the new Albions are very tempting but I have to clear my personal backlog of orders before I seriously consider them.

Anyway, I can't support the industry just by myself or buy from all the makers that I find appealing ( All at the same time ). Wink Laughing Out Loud

By the way I'm not rich, I just have no debts and my creditcards have no unpaid balances, I just don't spend what I can't afford out of discretionary funds i.e. play money.

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




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Feb, 2010 5:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd just love to see a couple of nice sales!!! Surprised
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Feb, 2010 6:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
I'd just love to see a couple of nice sales!!! Surprised


Seconded; if Albion was to have a sale on one of the pieces I'm really interested in I probably would put something on a payment plan (again).

I do understand that it is a difficult time for everyone, and the makers of novelty items in particular, but as a student there's not a ton I can do to help out Sad

www.addisondelisle.com
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Feb, 2010 12:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Addison C. de Lisle wrote:
Joe Fults wrote:
I'd just love to see a couple of nice sales!!! Surprised


Seconded; if Albion was to have a sale on one of the pieces I'm really interested in I probably would put something on a payment plan (again).

I do understand that it is a difficult time for everyone, and the makers of novelty items in particular, but as a student there's not a ton I can do to help out Sad


Don't worry about it in the sense that you don't personally have to buy anything if the money and timing is just wrong for you. Wink Cool

The point of a Topic like this is to raise consciousness generally about keeping our top makers " afloat " and that statistically some people reading this will be motivated to buy something now or soon rather than later.

Certainly, sales are a good thing for the customers and also good for the makers if it stimulates enough extra sales to compensate for the lower profit margin and if the companies are still making a profit: Selling the same 4 swords a month at a lower price doesn't help much compared to selling 6 swords a month at a lower price and ending up with an improved bottom line. ( Numbers are just pulled out of the air to quantify the example ).

The math being unique to each maker's costs and overhead versus volume of sales and profit by unit sold. ( I'm not an expert at this and have never run a business: I'm just guessing based on what I think is basic logic ).

Oh, and I've seen sales here where there where no takers or very few takers: A sale works when it coincides with enough people suddenly finding that they can afford something they couldn't before at the regular price and that they coincidentally where sort of lusting about it anyway Wink There have been sales where I was very tempted but the timing war wrong for me as my disposable play money was already committed to paying another project/purchase(s).

Oh, if one looks at the current Albion prices I can still find many swords under the $750 - $1000 personal threshold where I feel comfortable buying. The $1500 + swords are still appealing if I really REALLY want them and don't buy anything else for half a year. Wink There are even swords below the $500 range in the Skirmish, Squire & Maestro lines.

So even if some Albions in the Museum line are sort of in the " nose bleed " inducing price range one can support the company by buying those that one can afford. Wink

( NOTE: This Topic shouldn't become about any one maker but just about buying what we can, when we can, if we can. Wink )Cool

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Clayton S




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Feb, 2010 10:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another reason? What you want this year might not be offered next year. Every manufacturer changes their stock line-up, but I think everyone here knows the importance of NOT waiting long to make a purchase.

You can always find what you want cheaper by waiting, but it's generally a lot more work finding the item.

Sword? No, I am merely a peasant...
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 20 Mar, 2010 11:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just putting some money where my mouth is as I just ordered some armour from Mercenary Taylor's to complete and diversify my kit(s) as I have many pieces of armour and by mix and matching parts, pieces and helms I can do approximations of armour from the 9th to early 16th century. ( Not living history accurate but good enough for me to play with ).

If people wish to continue posting to this Topic to encourage and support our industry maker I would encourage posting what and from whom you purchased as it might motivate others to also think of buying something. Wink Cool

A little bit about what you are buying and why you are buying it and why you are buying it from a specific maker or vendor even if just for the sake of our curiosity.

Here is what I'm getting from MT:

1) Archer's Knee Cops http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...ucts_id=98
Alternate to wearing my full leg armour and should go well with high boots for a half or 3/4 armoured look.

2) Plate Greaves as alternates to my full Two Piece Greaves and my Splinted Greaves and they might also work with the high boots alone or in combination with (1).
http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...ucts_id=48

3) Anglo-Saxon/Viking shield http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...ucts_id=76

For early period kit and I might try out fighting sword and shield on free training days with my Longsword HEMA group.

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




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Mar, 2010 1:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The only thing I've bought of late is this:

http://www.arms-n-armor.com/custom943.html

Reason for buying it is that my son is six weeks from graduating Basic. When he went into the service I offered to buy him a graduation gift when Basic and AIT were done. Something that he could eventaully have as a reminder of the experience and rememberance of me as years speed by for both of us. To my suprise he asked for a Gladius. I guess he always like them, or at least he liked them since he saw Galdiator years ago. Anyway A&A put this on the muster page and I manged to get it from them about 15 minutes after it went up. I got this particular sword for my son because A&A does not do as many roman swords as some other vendors...so its a slightly unique piece, and the price was right (downright aggressive in my opinion).

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

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
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Harry J. Fletcher




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Mar, 2010 5:05 pm    Post subject: Struggling         Reply with quote

I can give you a very good reason why I can't buy more swords. It is U.S. Income Tax time and State property tax time. I have had to write a check to the U.S. government and to the State government for large amounts which will leave me broke for half the year now.

Make more money you say so I can buy a sword or two? Well, have you heard of bracket creep? I am retired, my wife works and makes too much money so if I went back to work we would be pushed into a higher bracket and would end up taking home less money after after taxes and expenses than we have now.

I would like to buy a new car but government legislation has made my heating and airconditioning unit obsolete so I can not have it serviced if it breaks down and must have it replaced at...you guessed it, my expense! President O'Bama gave all that money away to the auto industry but I can't buy a new car because of the government. I need a new car, I want a new car, but I can't have a new car thanks to my government.

A while back the U.S. government enacted a luxury tax on yachts and airplanes to soak the rich with a new tax. What happened? The rich and corporate American stopped buying corporate jets and yachts so the people who made them were laid off and added on the welfare rolls. After a few years the government rescinded the tax law. One of the few times I might add.

As for my property tax payment it goes for public works projects whose contractors employ illegal aliens who are taking jobs away from lower income Americans who would take these jobs and did at one time. I am subsidizing illegal immigration.

Still, I buy a sword now and again because I like them and use them. My last purchase was Spartan Lakonian made here in the United States. I also bought an Albion which I wanted for a very long time. Why don't American manufacturers like Buck or Case get on the sword band wagon? In the case of Gen2 swords they are nothing but a rip off, poor quality sword made abroad with the name of an American Entrepenuer on it. Hanwei made in China seems to set the standard for swords made abroad unless custom made.

These are the reasons I watch my money and how it is spent. Ease up on taxes and people would see consumer spending increase amazingly and employment rise accordingly...if spent in their own country for goods manufactured in their own country.

To Study The Edge of History


Last edited by Harry J. Fletcher on Mon 22 Mar, 2010 3:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Mar, 2010 8:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry,
While I sympathize with the sentiments expressed, tax law and politics are better left to forums that deal with them. We aren't one of those. Happy

Happy

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P. Norton




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Mar, 2010 8:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just ordered a new Kingmaker from Albion. I've always wanted one since this model first came out, and I've been planning this purchase for a long time. I also sent a Munich that I recently picked up in the myArmoury marketplace off to Albion for a new grip, black with half-wire wrap.

These are the only two swords I plan (and have been planning) on acquiring for quite a while, since I can't really afford any more any time soon. But they're both great swords, so I'm happy with my purchases, and I'm sure Albion is happy to have the business.
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Mar, 2010 2:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's interesting how people react differently to the situation. No doubt everything Jean says is correct, but I was not thinking exactly like that. I am a fortunate person who's job was not affected by the economic downturn. Still, it is always a balancing act to put money down on something that I love, but know will do absolutely nothing for my family, which I love more.

I don't think I have slowed down at all during the recession. Since the fall of 2008 I can recall getting two A&As, one Del Tin, one Albion, one Tinker-Hanwei, one darksword, several Windlasses, a Merc. Tailor Helm, and a few other odds and ends. (I have also commissioned a few custom and customization jobs, which have yet to materialize.)

However, the big difference is that I have been tending to buy a lot more second-hand stuff than before. I figured that I can save my family some money this way, and if someone needs to let go something they loved that much, they must really need the money, so we are doing each other a favor. I have also sold off a lot of stuff at considerable negative profit, which is necessary (spacewise) for me to continue collecting.

Regarding the better companies (I may be wrong, as I really do not understand business or economics) I have been disappointed that they seemed to be raising their prices over the same recession period. There were a couple of pieces I had been eying, but then went back to look again when I had some money....still feeling that 'provider' guilt...then saw higher prices and got turned off. I guess food keeps getting more expensive for everyone, but still it seems out of step to be raising prices on luxury items in difficult times?

Again, this latter statement comes from pure ignorance of how business supply, demand, and materials work, I'm just being honest about my gut reaction and do not wish to offend anyone.
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Mar, 2010 3:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

PS - just to focus a bit on one favorite company, Albion, my sense is this: this would have been the perfect time to greatly expand the 'Squire line'. My sense is that maybe some people who are cutting back right now would be more prone to buy the 'Squire Version', if more swords were available with this option.

Besides, some of us prefer swords that are a bit rough around the edges, and conversely not over-pretty. This line looks perfectly fine to me, and perfect price, but they just don't happen to have any models that excite me right now. They are mainly the generic sword types. Why not make a 'squire' version and an 'knight' version of every sword, to target both sides of the market?

(And just one more little hint to the powers that be, if they are listening: calling these 'swords for the beginner' is a sure way to turn off people like me who are not beginners, but who are always watching their pennies. In fact, 'Sergeant' would be less belittling to the customer than 'Squire'. Pride is a powerful thing. Wink
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