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Markus Fischer




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 11:37 am    Post subject: Arms&Armour German Bastard sword price development         Reply with quote

Hi
Is there any good reason why the price of the German Bastard sword by Arms&Armour is today TWICE as high as some years ago?

I think it's the same case with the Dürer Bastardsword and probably with a lot of other Arms&Armour offerings as well...

Best regards

Markus Fischer
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T. Kew




Location: London, UK
Joined: 21 Apr 2012

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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 1:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Inflation. Changes in steel prices. Changes in cost of healthcare for employees. Changes in manufacture to improve quality, accuracy, etc. Increase in rent on their workshop. Increased demand allowing them to charge a fairer price for hte work they've always been doing.

There are loads of reasons prices go up over time. The only question you can really use to judge it is "is this worth it to me now, at the price they're currently asking?"

HEMA fencer and coach, New Cross Historical Fencing
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Markus Fischer




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 1:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I am sure that it is worth the price... but I simply can't afford it.
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Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Markus,

That's inaccurate. Today, according to Arms & Armor's Web site, the German Bastard Sword is US$1,150 and the Dürer Bastard Sword is US$1,075. I have a copy of A&A's Catalog 15, which is about a decade and a half old--I can't find a copyright date, but the Dürer Bastard Sword is a new item in it, and the earliest mention of it I can find on this site is in a thread from January 2006. On the price list attached to the catalogue, both swords are listed at US$790. For the GBS, that's a 45.6% increase, and for the DBS, a 36.1% increase over fifteen years.

If you do a search here on the site, I can immediately recall at least two posts--there are probably more--by Craig Johnson warning of price increases and explaining the reasons for them. They boil down to higher labor and materials costs, and accelerating inflation resulting in a higher cost of living. [Edited to add:] Having seen T. Kew's post, which went up while I was writing this one, the reasons there are an excellent summary of the ones I didn't recall from Craig's old posts mentioned above.

In order to see whether the swords have lost value against their numerical cost, you should compare the value of the U.S. dollar (or other currency of your choice) today to its value in 2005. According to Inflation Tool, inflation in the U.S. dollar between 2005 and today amounts to 35.12%, which suggests that A&A's price increases are pretty well in line with inflation.

Sadly, there are few options if you can't afford the sword. You could:

1. look for a used one in the Marketplace forum;
B. save your money until you have enough to make the purchase; or
iii. lower your sights.

In other words, I'm afraid that if you simply can't afford one, it seems pretty clear that you simply won't buy one. But there are opportunities to be creative about trying.

I hope this proves helpful.

Best,

Mark Millman
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Markus Fischer




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 2:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is in fact accurate.
As a proof...just take a look at the review of the German Bastardsword on this forum.
There the price is listed as 500ish.
I think the reason for this lower price is, that your catalog is the official one from A&A....and usually a reseller offers a sword for less than retail price.
Concerning the sword... I will not buy it, because I currently don't have the money (even for a used one (which I probably won't find) I would have to pay at least 700USD which is still too much) and will look for something more affordable.
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Tyler C.




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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Markus Fischer wrote:
even for a used one (which I probably won't find) I would have to pay at least 700USD which is still too much


This is entirely my opinion, but I have owned a number of more affordable swords and all have lacked the 'magic' that swords from higher end makers like A&A have. The 'magic' in good blades is not some intangible mysterious power but the synergism of small details that make the complete blade something more than anything mass produced can be. Additionally, blades like this will hold their value as can be seen by the prices in the used market. I can't afford one right now either, but I have learned my lesson and I now prefer saving a little longer for a blade that will bring me much more enjoyment in the end. Again, this is just my opinion. Everyone has a different reason for owning a sword and there are different aspects of ownership that bring people joy, but I wanted to share my two cents just in case it is useful regardless of inflation.
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Brian K.
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 4:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A product is priced as such for 1 of 2 reasons; because they can, or they must, to survive.
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Edward Lee




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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 5:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know this is off topic but if you are looking for a sharp sword under $500 Regenyei is really the way to go in Europe. I've heard many speaking high praise of them.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 7:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Consider this. I wrote the “German Bastard Sword: Another Look” review on this site some 15 years ago. Around the same time I also bought the Del Tin 2161, brand new, for what I recall to be around $250. Kult of Athena has it now for $530, more than double the price. I believe I bought an Albion Landgraf around that era for about $650, and those go for now over $1000. Angus Trim swords were around $250-$300 at that point, and now are in the $1000 range. The easy answer is inflation; The full answer requires a comprehensive understanding of economics. Happy

As Tea said, it all boils down to what the value is to you. If you can’t justify the cost, that’s absolutely fair.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 7:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Markus,

On Monday 10 August 2020, you wrote:
It is in fact accurate.
As a proof...just take a look at the review of the German Bastardsword on this forum.
There the price is listed as 500ish.

You're right; the second review, by Bill Grandy (aha! I notice that he too has posted while I was working on my note; that's getting to be a pattern) lists the sword at US$595. (There's also an older review by Patrick Kelly that doesn't list a price.)

Quote:
I think the reason for this lower price is, that your catalog is the official one from A&A....and usually a reseller offers a sword for less than retail price.

Not many resellers have handled Arms & Armor weapons. As far as I'm aware--and I could be wrong (again)--Kult of Athena is the only one to have done so. But because Catalog 15 was the last one that A&A printed it was distributed for an unusually long time. What seems more likely to me is that my copy is from several years on and the price list that came with it as a separate sheet already reflects at least one increase compared to when the catalogue was first printed.

In any case, you're right; the cost of the GBS rose by 93.3%, so it essentially doubled compared to whenever Bill Grandy bought his. I apologize for having doubted you.

Quote:
Concerning the sword... I will not buy it, because I currently don't have the money (even for a used one

That would indeed be an impediment.

Quote:
(which I probably won't find)

I wouldn't be so pessimistic. You may not find one you want to buy--and I admit that that may amount to essentially the same thing--but the sword itself does pretty reliably turn up in the Marketplace two or three times a year.

Quote:
I would have to pay at least 700USD which is still too much) and will look for something more affordable.

Needs must when the Devil drives (i.e., options are lacking under compulsion of necessity).

Good luck!

Best,

Mark
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 8:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian K. wrote:
A product is priced as such for 1 of 2 reasons; because they can, or they must, to survive.


Wish I could "like" this one!

"The goal shouldn’t be to avoid being evil; it should be to actively do good." - Danah Boyd
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 9:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another answer is that we ditched the gold standard.

We use a fiat currency that is purposefully manipulated to manage other economic variables (for good or ill is a different debate). From 10000 meters, the value of the GBS has not changed at all. It was worth one GBS (or maybe worth one Durer and a basic scabbard). Today a GBS is still worth one GBS (or maybe a Durer and a basic scabbard). Unfortunately, your dollar is less valuable in each unit of measurement because we have printed a holy metric shit ton of them. So, now it takes more of them to equal the value of that one GBS.

"The goal shouldn’t be to avoid being evil; it should be to actively do good." - Danah Boyd
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2020 3:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults, that's a perfect and succinct way of framing this conversation.
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T. Kew




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2020 10:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edward Lee wrote:
I know this is off topic but if you are looking for a sharp sword under $500 Regenyei is really the way to go in Europe. I've heard many speaking high praise of them.


I dearly love Peter and what he's done for the fencing sword market, but I would not personally recommend the Regenyei sharps - they work, but they are fundamentally blunt blades with a sharp edge ground onto them. Pavel Moc would be my recommendation for a cheaper European sharp maker, or look for some of the better options from Arma Bohemia.

HEMA fencer and coach, New Cross Historical Fencing
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2020 3:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Markus, if you are in Europe and on any kind of budget, you have to (sadly) forget about American sword makers.

Because you have the list price, but then have to add postage and insurance, then exchange rate fee, import duty and then VAT and all in all a $1000 sword may end up at E1500 (very rough calculation)...

But on the good side we have a lot of skilled custom / semi-custom sword makers, especially in the Czech Republic, but also in Poland, France, Hungary, UK etc. who can make good swords. It just may take a bit more time to research what exactly you want and who makes the best one.
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Edward Lee




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Aug, 2020 1:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T. Kew wrote:
I dearly love Peter and what he's done for the fencing sword market, but I would not personally recommend the Regenyei sharps - they work, but they are fundamentally blunt blades with a sharp edge ground onto them. Pavel Moc would be my recommendation for a cheaper European sharp maker, or look for some of the better options from Arma Bohemia.


I though arma bohemia is a reseller, didn't know they also make their own stuff.

I had an idea perhaps the OP can find a HEMA club and see if he can find some swords to handle and then decide which to buy.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Aug, 2020 2:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edward Lee wrote:
I though arma bohemia is a reseller, didn't know they also make their own stuff.

You are right. Arma Bohemia is a retailer. Having said that, they do commission their own designs with makers and so are part of the process. They don't do the manufacturing however.

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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Aug, 2020 6:46 am    Post subject: Currency Exchange Rates         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:
Markus, if you are in Europe and on any kind of budget, you have to (sadly) forget about American sword makers.....

Another variable that no one has specifically mentioned (though Joe Fults touched on it) is currency exchange rates. Back in 2011, the USD was worth roughly 0.7 EUR (+/-). For a good part of the last 5 years, the USD has been running at more like 0.9 EUR (+/-). [you can check the rates at XE.com]. Simply having patience might pay off, depending on where you think the currencies are going in the future.

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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Aug, 2020 6:46 pm    Post subject: Excellent answers, thank you         Reply with quote

Thank you my friends for giving excellent answers to Markus's query. Sword pricing is not an exact science by any means and pricing by a small shop maker rather than industrial production gets close to near on incantation and magic.

I've probably discussed with many of you over the years bits and pieces of this and won't try to make sense of it all here as the length of that post would need beer to finish :-)

Markus pretty much everyone here added good info and answers that describe the challenges. Like shipping, European and Australian orders are far less than they used to be with this additional cost.

We strive to put a fair price on our pieces. In the case of the expensive ones we know some customers are savings for sometimes years to buy the sword they want. We strive to make each piece something that when the box is opened they feel like they got a deal at the price. This is a hard thing to achieve with the anticipation and time it takes to make some items. We had to realize long ago we could not make swords for everyone.But we want to make swords for those who love and want our swords no matter how long it takes. Our swords are also better than they were 15 years ago, we are better makers and have learned more than when we made a sword in 2000. Its tough to put a number on that in your price calculations.

I want to thank you for your interest in our pieces and hope your and our fortunes improve so someday that may happen. In these uncertain times it makes the profession we have chosen more challenging but also more rewarding when we are able to survive.

Thanks for your appreciation of our pieces.

Craig- from A&A Inc.

PS If there is a US sword maker out there paying health benefits to employees I have never met them, most smiths would look at you like your nuts if you brought that up. If the health care laws had not changed in the last 15 years many of us would not be here making these pieces. Thats just one example of how our business is not like an average small business.

Be well, be healthy, be happy, and be a force for good
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