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Howard Waddell
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Jun, 2010 6:26 am    Post subject: Albion Price Increase         Reply with quote

Due to our rising costs, we are forced to implement a price increase as of August 2, 2010.
Until August 2nd, you can still reserve swords at the old price (either through deposit or payment plan).
All existing orders will be honored, as we always do, at the price at the time of order.

Sorry to have to do this - but we have fought it off as long as we can.

Best,

Howy

Albion Swords Ltd
http://albion-swords.com
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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Jun, 2010 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is sad news, but I guess you have to do what you have to do to survive. Any idea of how much of an increase we'll see?
Thanks and best wishes,
Dan
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Jonathan Blair




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Jun, 2010 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Guess this means I will have to cherish the one Albion I already have all the more.

Very sad...

"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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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Jun, 2010 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Will it affect all models including those not yet in production?
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Wade McManus




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Jun, 2010 1:18 pm    Post subject: Albion sword prices         Reply with quote

I first saw an Albion sword at BLADE three years ago. I have two of their swords thru good deals on this thread and previously lower prices. The quality of their swords is undeniable. But the reality is...is that they are tough to afford for most of us swordheads.

I hate to see this increase too.

Wade
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Jonathan Blair




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Jun, 2010 11:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While I am sure that Albion has a good reason to raise the prices (whether it is that new $100,000 piece of equipment to increase production or the pressing need to give their employees a salary adjustment), it matters little. At some point, people will begin to ask themselves "is it worth it?"

Sword making is a niche business for a non-essential luxury item. There are likely only a few million people who would buy swords. Having said that, there are now more sword makers in the world than there have been in centuries. Some are custom shops, others are production shops, all are clamoring for our dollar/pound/euro/yen et al. The average cost of a Next Generation Sword from Albion is $1072.43 with the vast weight toward the higher priced longswords. Assuming a 10% price increase for 2010, that average goes up to $1176.68. The last price increase was 11% two years ago in August of 2008. Assuming a 10% increase every two year period, this means that in August 2014, no Next Generation Sword currently in production will cost less than $1000, except the smaller Roman swords, with the average being $1423.76. This of course does not account for the prices on the Museum Line or other lines.

I'm not trying to pick on Albion here for their price increase. I am simply trying to point out that at the current rate and period of increase, Albion will become too cost inhibitive for the majority of customers much too soon, especially with the increasing quality amongst the lower end sword makers out there.

"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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Allen Foster




PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 8:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Blair wrote:
I'm not trying to pick on Albion here for their price increase. I am simply trying to point out that at the current rate and period of increase, Albion will become too cost inhibitive for the majority of customers much too soon, especially with the increasing quality amongst the lower end sword makers out there.


Yes they are expensive, but they are also worth it.

At a an average cost of $1,000 most people (young or old) could set aside $84 per month to buy one Albion (or other favorite mfg) a year. That's a cost of $2.78 per day for an insurance policy to keep a one of kind manufacturer of high quality swords in business. Heck I could eliminate that diet coke from the 7-Eleven on the way home from work everyday and cover half of that.

Better yet, why not start a drive by the forum members to commit to buy one nice thing a year from one of our manufacturers and start setting aside money to do just that? If just half of the 22,409 registered users did this, companies like Arms & Armour, Mercinary's Tailor and Albion would their best years ever and be able to weather the economic storm.

"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face."
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Felix R.




PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 9:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allen Foster wrote:
Jonathan Blair wrote:
I'm not trying to pick on Albion here for their price increase. I am simply trying to point out that at the current rate and period of increase, Albion will become too cost inhibitive for the majority of customers much too soon, especially with the increasing quality amongst the lower end sword makers out there.


Yes they are expensive, but they are also worth it.

At a an average cost of $1,000 most people (young or old) could set aside $84 per month to buy one Albion (or other favorite mfg) a year. That's a cost of $2.78 per day for an insurance policy to keep a one of kind manufacturer of high quality swords in business. Heck I could eliminate that diet coke from the 7-Eleven on the way home from work everyday and cover half of that.

Better yet, why not start a drive by the forum members to commit to buy one nice thing a year from one of our manufacturers and start setting aside money to do just that? If just half of the 22,409 registered users did this, companies like Arms & Armour, Mercinary's Tailor and Albion would their best years ever and be able to weather the economic storm.


I can see the argument in Jonathans sentences. And to be honest Allen, what your are talking about is correct too from the overall sword buisness point of view, but when I consider, that I can get a high quality custom piece locally for about the same price...guess what?

Albion was very competitive a few years back. With 10% every two years, they will loose a lot of people to other makers. It´s all about calculation. If they wouldn´t have increased prices, I would own one or two more by now.
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Rob Stanford




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 9:44 am    Post subject: Albion Prices         Reply with quote

I agree, the pieces Albion deliver are of good quality, but the economic reality has moved other makers like Gus and Christian into LOWER cost alternates such as the Chimera range. Others like Valiant are offering deals on nicely made swords with quality scabbards that are still under half an Albion. Custom makers seem more willing than ever to make deals to stay in work, and raw material cost and wages for many have stagnated.

Unfortunately for many people like me, would rather 2 VA's in the hand than one perfect Albion in my mind...
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 10:13 am    Post subject: Re: Albion Prices         Reply with quote

Rob Stanford wrote:
I agree, the pieces Albion deliver are of good quality, but the economic reality has moved other makers like Gus and Christian into LOWER cost alternates such as the Chimera range. Others like Valiant are offering deals on nicely made swords with quality scabbards that are still under half an Albion. Custom makers seem more willing than ever to make deals to stay in work, and raw material cost and wages for many have stagnated.

Unfortunately for many people like me, would rather 2 VA's in the hand than one perfect Albion in my mind...


Mileage varies. A lot.

My own story, as an example, is quite different than yours. I'm a historical sword enthusiast and the other, less expensive options that you mention don't meet my own needs. I, personally, do not wish to own more swords that are not so appealing to me. I'd rather wait for year(s) to own one sword that is very much appealing to me.

And there's the problem. It goes right back to any business model: there is a consumer base for multiple product offerings. Albion has chosen a niche product (swords) and within that a niche consumer (those interested in well-researched, well-executed historically-based swords). These things combine to create a very small potential customer base and combined with their third choice, their decision to keep everything Made in the USA, creates a high price point.

I commend them for sticking to their guns and refusing to compromise the integrity of their vision.

That of course creates yet another problem. By and large, I imagine that their core audience (people like myself) simply don't have the funds or the means to justify spending to purchase their products, as appealing as they are, very often. This creates an already-small customer base that only pulls the trigger and makes a buy on an infrequent, and I imagine unpredictable, schedule.

That's a hell of a thing and one that doesn't have an easy set of solutions. I'd really hate to see Albion make compromises on the R&D side of their business. I'd also hate to see them change their product-focus and decide to make products that are aimed at a larger audience than the historical items.

I really don't know what the solution is for them, but I have some ideas. Everybody has ideas, though, including Albion. The unfortunate reality is that attempting many of the ideas is also very expensive.

Perhaps more offerings from their Squire Line would appeal to consumers like yourself? Then that leads to the R&D costs to find out. Bah.

It's complicated.

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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Albions certainly are expensive- that's for sure,

I could never plop down that cool grand at one time that's why I have bought all of my albions on payment plans.

Do the less expensive swords from other makers offer payment plans?

Another thought on custom makers- though many produce excellent products- does the research on these blades bring them to the level of historical precedence we found in albions. How much hands on research has the maker spent with antiques? Is historical precedent his/her primary concern or is personal artistic inspiration also a driving factor even if it may depart from what history has left us. Strict historical precedent is my primary interest, hence I seek out products with the highest level of attention given to this area.

This quest has actually lead me to seek weapons in two parallel veins. I will buy albions if I want a faithful representative of a given sword type.

I also will buy swords with a more specialized attention to more historical materials and processes like incorporating iron and using inlay and other specialized construction factors. These will invariably be from custom makers- though I will pick makers with a real passion for producing "more" historically accurate pieces. I say "more" because we all know that we can only approach that elusive "historically accurate" descriptor, but never really claim it.

Nathan once used the phrase "less historically innaccurate." I like that.

Sorry, I guess this does wander off topic a bit- but it does touch upon the kinds of decisions that drive some of our purchasing choices.
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Allen Foster




PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: Albion Prices         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:

It's complicated.


Not really. It's $2.74 a day ($1,000) for a Rolls Royce or $1.10 a day ($400) for a Hyundai Economy.

Both will get you there but only one gets you the girls.

"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face."
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Antonio Lamadrid





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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have never understood Albion’s unbalanced pricing policy. Although I know that many of you will find it quite logical and disagree with me. Also I do not pretend to be so naďve as to think that I would run their pricing policy better than them.

On one side, you have little gems like the Earl or Munich for a very moderate amount. Maybe “cheap” is not the word, but any good swordsmith will charge you more than Albion for a similar custom piece.

Then, on the other, you have other models, like the Cherusker or the Svante, whose prices are, IMO, outrageous, no matter how many hours Mr. Johnsson has spent researching on them in faraway museums, among other factors.


I think in the end it all comes down to the importance you give to historical accuracy. Most of those who appreciate it will think their swords are worth it.
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When it comes to certain kinds of swords, there is nothing like an Albion. There simply is no alternative. So far, even with this increase and a few more, their prices are quite reasonable for what they make. An Albion is like a high end watch, it is an heirloom quality item that will, with proper care, outlive you.

And for those of us who use their swords in our martial arts careers, they are absolute bargains and an absolute necessity. People practicing JSA are used to paying those kinds of prices, and more, for their swords, and they do it gladly, becuase these swords (and my Albions) are an intergral and necessary part of what we do and who we are.

At the end of the day, what matters is what you want. Do you want (or need) the best? Or will you settle for an economy alternative. It is a decision people make all the time in other markets. Jaguar or Kia. Your call.

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Antonio Lamadrid wrote:
I think in the end it all comes down to the importance you give to historical accuracy. Most of those who appreciate it will think their swords are worth it.


I known and appreciate the quality of their wares and can imagine the expense that goes into the R&D, but that still doesn't mean there is enough money in the bank to buy something that expensive from them (or anyone) right now. Happy That's my reality, which may be different from other people's.

I love their stuff. But they've priced themselves out of my current situation. Looking at an example: the Regent was less than $1000 when I got mine. It's now $1400 and almost certainly will go up on August 2nd. I'm much more likely to be able to scrape together the funds and buy a $900-$1000 sword than a $1400+ sword.

I understand that Albion has to do what they must to keep thriving. I know they spend as much or more on research and machinery as their competitors. I respect that and don't hate them for doing what they think is in their best interest. It just makes this one buyer less likely to buy from them, regardless of how much I respect them or how much I like their wares.

The idea of how much the items are worth is a personal one and will be influenced by a person's financial situation. If I were a millionaire, I wouldn't balk at a $1000+ sword. But that's not me. Happy

As long as people like me are the minority and people who have the extra income are the majority, this will work out and Albion will thrive. That's what they're (literally) banking on. That and their knowledge that the looming price increase will generate some orders as people try to beat the clock...

Happy

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
At the end of the day, what matters is what you want. Do you want (or need) the best? Or will you settle for an economy alternative. It is a decision people make all the time in other markets. Jaguar or Kia. Your call.


No, what matters most is what you can afford. I'd rather have a Jag (as long as it's a recent one) than a Kia, as most people would. But if I can't afford a Jag, then does it matter what I want? That's reality.

As my grandmother says, "Wish in one hand and spit in the other. See which fills up faster." I wish I could afford Albion swords, but I'd bet the little money I have on the hand with the spit..... Happy

Happy

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Felix R.




PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is what I am saying. I bought my Yeoman for 520€, my Crecy and the Fiore were below 600€. Now those swords are above 700€. I would never buy those swords for that price. They are really nice. That is for sure.
When they can´t produce for these prices anymore, well then this is the way it is. But if it is just to increase the margin, then you should better think twice.
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 3:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is horrible! I mean, there isn't any kind of financial crisis in this country, and the cost of living isn't increasing or anything. The nerve that Albion would dare raise their prices! They don't need new materials or equipment! And they definitely do not need to give raises ever to their hard working employees!

I once read that sarcasm is the defense of the weak mind, but sometimes it just feels right Wink

Of course prices go up, that is the way things work. Albion makes some of the finest blades I've ever held, and if they feel its necessary to increase the price, well, that's what they have to do. The quality is worth it.

And honestly, if you can currently afford their sword prices, you can save up a little more and still afford them.

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Paul Watson




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 3:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Antonio, the Cherusker is one of their least expensive next gens. Do you see it as being expensive because it appears to be so simple? I bet the blade is quite complex and that is where a lot of the production cost would be.

I wish they cost less but I would not want that at the cost of historical accuracy. Like a lot of people here each price increase makes purchasing more of them less likely for me.

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, but that which it protects. (Faramir, The Two Towers)
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:

No, what matters most is what you can afford. I'd rather have a Jag (as long as it's a recent one) than a Kia, as most people would. But if I can't afford a Jag, then does it matter what I want? That's reality.


What matters is what you want. Do you pay a cable bill? An internet bill? Do you drive in situations where you could take public transport or ride a bike? Do you go out to eat? Do you go out to drink? Do you buy computer games? Do you buy stuff for other hobbies (cameras, home theater, stamps, etc.)? Do you have a girlfriend that likes to be wined and dined? Do you buy or rent movies? Do you buy groceries without coupons or sales? Do you buy expensive cuts of meat?

None of these things are necessary, they are all luxuries, yet if we look at what most of us spend on them in a year, we could own every Albion we ever wanted over just a few years instead. It's a choice, nothing more.

Most importantly, do own one or more less expensive swords? There's a good chunk of the money for an Albion right there. Again, it's about choices.

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Last edited by Michael Edelson on Fri 25 Jun, 2010 3:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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