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Hello all, my name is Terry, and I recently opened a knife shop online. I opened the shop to support my own "Knife Addiction," which my wife wishes I would seek treatment for!

My goal is to offer great factory, as well as custom knives. I am looking for suggestions from knowledgeable members, as to what types and brands of knives I should sell, as well as the custom knife makers I should pursue.

I live in White Plains, New York, and I am also looking for knife shows I should attend or sell at. I really appreciate any and all suggestions, and thank you for your time!

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Thank you Terry!  The knowledge base here is due to the wonderful members contributions and a determination to house as much as we can in one place. 

Terry Soloman said:

Thank you Jan and Steve! I am surfing the forum and learning quite a bit. There is such a deep knowledge base here!!!

Terry, I'm just a small time knife collector and believe the prior posts are valuable. As a professional salesman for 40 years selling various products and services I learned and believe 2 lessons. 1 - Attitude outweighs product, product knowledge and pricing.  2 - If you ain't out sellin' you're being outsold. Join every group, knife or not, put your name wherever you can stick it and ask for referrals. Good luck and good selling!

Education and interaction.  Excellent points posted here and advice.  Check the show calendars.  The NY Custom Knife Show is later this week, I strongly suggest attending and seeing what its all about.

I'll be there representing KNIFE Magazine, stop me anytime to talk!

Been there Done that. These are some really solid pointers. I remember ordering a stiletto knife online from a 'well known' website. Boy i was disappointed. Not only did the delivery took around two months but the quality was below par.  A few scratches during delivery is not a problem. However, so many scratches completely ruined the beauty i ordered. 
Steve Scheuerman (Manx) said:

First and foremost...BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT!! I have seen many many companies and individuals ruin their reputation and business by not being truthful about their products. Condition, origin, availability...these can destroy a business if misrepresented. The knife world is very unforgiving when it comes to this. Make sure your custom designs are not copying someone else's work. If your knives are Pakistan in origin, be sure to divulge this and price them accordingly. Claiming something is in stock and then making the customer wait weeks or months will not help your business. Production knives are not easy to make much of a profit on, as there are sooo many knife sites and sellers, both on their own webpages and on Facebook. Ship quickly and provide tracking. Be sure you put the responsibility for knowing local knife laws on the customer, so you are not shipping and taking back knives due to illegality. Find tradeshows and craft shows in your area and get a table. They are usually pretty cheap (much cheaper than knife shows) and can really pay off.

Above all...don't expect to make millions. It is tough to get ahead in selling knives. I have done it for a while now, about 4 years or so, and it is mainly a hobby for me so I can go with the wife to craft and trade shows. Knife shows can be very expensive to get a table, and if you have lower end products, it can be tough to move your knives when people are buying the top-end stuff. It also really depends on where you are. If you are trying to sell at shows in places with an abundance of knife stores, you might find business a tad slow. Engage everyone that walks by, even if just to say Hi. No one wants to see someone plunked down on their butt and ignoring everyone that goes by. Smile, talk and engage. Signage is also important, as well as having lots of business cards on hand. A nice display idea helps to bring folks in too. Maybe some extra stuff as well as knives? Flashlights, fire starters etc.

Again, THANK YOU to all of you for your suggestions and advice!!! I made a HUGE mistake last week, and bought FAKE Spyderco knives - OUCH! I was hipped to the fact they were counterfeit by a sharp-eyed Spyderco collector. Man, that was a costly mistake!

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Very sorry to hear that, Terry. That is one reason it is hard to make good money reselling production knives. To be sure of the authenticity of the knives you sell means dealing either with the factory, or through a reputable dealer. This means a higher price-point for you. Getting caught selling clones, purposefully or not, is a sure-fire way to tank a knife business. Word spreads like wildfire in the knife community, and once started, that fire is *very* hard to put out. Good thing you found out before you sold them! Bullet dodged, and a lesson learned. :-) To show you it could happen to anyone, here is my "real" Benchmade I got from a knife show. This sits on my shelf in my collection as a constant reminder to do my research and due diligence. Clones are getting more and more prevalent and as such, they are getting harder and harder to spot. 

Thank's Steve! I've been looking for a Benchmade distributor, as the wholesaler I am currently working with (Blue Ridge Knives) doesn't stock them. I have a lot to learn, but even though I lost some money on this one, I'm loving talking to other people and making new friends over our appreciation of knives!

Steve Scheuerman (Manx) said:

Very sorry to hear that, Terry. That is one reason it is hard to make good money reselling production knives. To be sure of the authenticity of the knives you sell means dealing either with the factory, or through a reputable dealer. This means a higher price-point for you. Getting caught selling clones, purposefully or not, is a sure-fire way to tank a knife business. Word spreads like wildfire in the knife community, and once started, that fire is *very* hard to put out. Good thing you found out before you sold them! Bullet dodged, and a lesson learned. :-) To show you it could happen to anyone, here is my "real" Benchmade I got from a knife show. This sits on my shelf in my collection as a constant reminder to do my research and due diligence. Clones are getting more and more prevalent and as such, they are getting harder and harder to spot. 

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