Since you asked me to address this thread I will. First, most of your information is accurate some is not. Dealers are not all created equal.
There are only a couple of full-time custom knife dealers (note I said custom). Most dealers sell factory and custom. Nothing wrong with that, but you should make that delineation when discussing dealers.
A dealer who sells both factory and custom will have some knowledge of both...but is not a specialist. Custom knife makers need to learn the difference between the two. The main problem with selling both is that if you have a client interested in a custom knife but the dealer lacks the ability to explain the advantages over factory knives. They can fall back on a less expensive factory knife. The dealer gets a sale and you get nothing. Again, this is the most common knife dealer in the US.
Next, as a custom knife maker who decides to sell their knives has entered into the business end of custom knives. As such everything good, bad or indifferent about your business is your fault.
Next, most makers do not know how to price their knives. Which is why on average 60% of custom knives are taken home from shows. If you do not know your position in the market you choose to compete in your knives will not be priced to sell. They will be priced to bring home.
Next, you can make what you want...that is your prerogative. But understand that generally, you are not buying your knives. Also, understand that by adopting this business strategy you will more than likely not win awards, get in magazines, sell out and will find few if any dealers who wish to carry your work. Again, it is your business...do what you want.
Dealers are business people. We buy knives to resell them at a profit. The question you should ask yourself is "If I enter into a business relationship with this dealer (Note I said Business Relationship...not friendship...although it may turn into that) what can he/she do for me to increase my position in the market?" If the answer is yes then move forward with the business relationship; if not then don't.
I can only speak for myself. I look for quality for the money...value pricing. Those knives can range in price from $200 to $10,000.00. Value pricing....quality for the money. Custom knife dealers will know, especially dealers like myself who have been doing this for 31 years will know your position in the market. Consequently, they will know what your knives should be priced at to sell....not what you think you should get, not what you hope you will get, what the knife will sell for. A pricing mistake commonly made by makers is to ask another maker. Remember these individuals to not buy knives. Coca Cola does not ask pricing advice from Pepsi on a new soft drink they are coming out with. Why? Because they are competitors. Now you may see your knife maker buddy as your friend...buyers don't care if you are friends.
So to sum up:
* It is your business...you are responsible for everything good, bad or indifferent.
* Working with a custom knife dealers is a business relationship. As such it should benefit both parties.
* Know your position in the market you compete in and price your knives accordingly.
* Try and make what the buying public is interested in...not what only interests you.
Enjoy the craft, enjoy the people you share your craft with, as success in this industry is difficult to obtain and can be even more difficult to maintain.