Overstock

Alden Cole

Well-Known Member
I was talking with a friend and asked him what he did with overstock, as I have a few knives that I posted on FB but did not sell. I then put them on my website, which does not get a lot of traffic. I got to thinking about what everyone does with their knives that do not sell, or if this is even a problem for most other knife makers. I would guess full timers don't have this problem? What do you do with overstock? Thank you!
 

billyO

Well-Known Member
Hi Alden. If you're a member of your local blacksmith or knifemaking group, perhaps donate 'em to them if they have an auction to raise money for the group?
 

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
I'm guessing there's a reason you have overstock. I think you should ask yourself honestly, why isn't anyone snatching these up? Lot's of things could be the cause, priced too high, could even be priced too low, quality not high enough, material selections not popular, pictures aren't great, etc. Maybe show some pics of the ones that aren't moving, like an example of what you posted on FB and someone will have more insight.
 

Alden Cole

Well-Known Member
I'm guessing my main problem is that I have not spent enough time developing a following for knives. I really have only been selling knives for maybe 6 months, or a year? For example, I still own this edc that I finished a little while ago, and even the bowie in my avatar. I like to think that I make a good product and ask a fair, even low, price. I asked $250 for the bowie and $135 for the neck knife. The link to my FB page and website are in my signature, if you would like to look at the original posts. Mostly, my question is this. Once you have posted your knife on your main platform, (in this case we aren't talking about custom orders), what do you do if it doesn't sell? Surely this happens to other people :)! Thanks!Maple3.JPG
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
You might consider selling on Instagram or Etsy. I think they both have more of an audience than Facebook. On Instagram you need to build up a following, but I don't think it would take long. I started an Instagram account last Monday and I already have 50 followers. If you get the right followers I think those will sell for what your asking...but I'm no expert...so your mileage may vary.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
I store them where they will not rust and save them for a local festival or three. I do not do many festivals but I sell quite well when I do normally. I also give some away as gifts. It is a great resource when your wife comes in a panic and says she forgot XXX’s birthday. Also when people call with a rush order I tell them they are welcome to come pick a knife from my inventory. It pays on a few fronts to have some inventory ready to go. I am not talking 100 knives but I like to have a selection on hand.
 

Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
I store them where they will not rust and save them for a local festival or three. I do not do many festivals but I sell quite well when I do normally. I also give some away as gifts. It is a great resource when your wife comes in a panic and says she forgot XXX’s birthday. Also when people call with a rush order I tell them they are welcome to come pick a knife from my inventory. It pays on a few fronts to have some inventory ready to go. I am not talking 100 knives but I like to have a selection on hand.
That makes very good sense , Chris. A few in the on deck circle is good advice.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
For many years I took orders, and for all those years I sold everything I made. But there came a time, and I think if a person sticks with it long enough, the time comes for everyone, to realize that there are fewer days ahead, then there are behind, and that there are lots of things I want to make before I'm unable to do so. For me that time came when my personal situation changed (my health). I quit taking orders, cleaned up the order log, and said that from then on, I would make what I wanted to, and if it sells fine, and if not, that's fine too.

Sometimes a knife is just waiting for the right person to come along, so many times I will just leave one that hasn't sold, up on the website, and occasionally post and/or repost it on social media.....and usually it sells. Sometimes it's just one in the safe, for my family to sell after I'm gone. And of course, there is always that occasional "walk in", especially around hunting season and/or Christmas, who is looking for a knife....so I try to keep a few stored up for that too. My storage consists of either a humidity controlled safe, for the higher end pieces, or a large Pelican Case for the "day to day" type knives.

If you're a full time/sole source of income Knifemaker, it's generally sold before you make it, but for me that got old really fast.....every time I stepped into the shop, I knew exactly what had to be done. Since I don't have to do that (military retirement....and a wife with a really good job!) :) when I quit taking orders, knifemaking became fun again. Now I look at have "spare" knives as a blessing, that are just waiting for the right person to come along.
 

Alden Cole

Well-Known Member
Thanks everyone for the replies. I guess often I am too impatient to get a knife out the door, because at the rate I have improved, from knowing nothing to knowing a teeny bit more than nothing, I see all the flaws in my previous knives! I enjoy giving away knives too, don't get me wrong, and also having a small hoard for quick sales, but I want to give away knives as a gift, not give away knives to get rid of old stock. I have a large batch of knives that I am making sheaths for, (the ones I posted in the "whats going on in your shop" thread), so I hope they will sell!
 

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
I checked out your FB page and have a few thoughts. As mentioned above, Instagram might help. I've sold a few on Insta to people that I had never heard of on FB. Problem with FB and Insta is getting more followers, it takes a while. You have to post on there quite often to keep yourself relevant. On FB, join as many knife maker groups as you can and share and post in those too. There are also survival, hunting, fishing, etc. groups too. There are a lot of customers lurking in some of those groups. Oh, and don't blast a pic of a knife in 10 groups all at the same time, spread it out over a couple days to capture more audience.

As for your FB page, here's my advice. Practice photography, a lot. Online sales will improve with picture quality. Not trying to knock you, but you have a lot of really dark photos on there and a lot of quick snapshots with paper numbers. There are 3 or 4 knife pro knife photographers that are really popular, study their work and try to learn from them. We all struggle with the pics a little, you're not alone.

You might try doing some WIP posts on there too. I've done that a few times and guys start tuning in to see daily posts about a project, seems to generate a lot interest. You might try working "yourself" into your page more too. People like knowing the maker, they will buy more if they feel they have a personal connection to you. If you post a video, turn the camera around and talk to the camera. It's hard, but I really think it helps.

If all else fails and you still have extras on hand, just wait til Christmas. Every year I get several last minute requests that I can't fill. People think you can just whip out a blade in a day, lol. I also get hit up a lot around graduation times and the start of hunting seasons. It all just takes time, keep improving on each knife and keep working social media. It'll get there.
 

Alden Cole

Well-Known Member
Thank you, Anthony, I will use your advice. Next time you look at my FB page it will be better! I'm hoping that people will buy some knives as Christmas Presents, last year I had a lot of requests, but didn't have time to work on them. This year I'm starting early.
 
Top