Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ebay Policy Spelled Out

OK, here’s how I’m looking at it. For stuff that I sell you this week and next week it shows up on Ebay at an inflated price…

First Time: You buy a tool and decide it’s not for you and so you put it on Ebay. OK, no problem, I understand, you’re moving on to some other Atwood product or something else entirely. I don’t have a big problem with this and I appreciate you checking my stuff out.

Second Time: This is not looking good but hey, shit happens. If I can identify the seller (and I usually can pretty easily) I will try to send a polite warning that they are being watched. That’s if I have time of course, I am very busy and frankly have no time for stupid games.

Third Time: OK, it’s pretty clear what you’re all about. You’re obviously more interested in trying to make a quick buck off my stuff and could care less about collectors who often are unable to get to my site in time to pick up something at a reasonable price for their collections. Part of the reason they couldn’t get the piece was because YOU were there cherry picking for your own selfish ends. Well, you’re now cut off from further purchases. Purchases will be refunded if you try to buy during a sale. And I will be saving names on a do not sell list for circulation to my dealers too.

So far I have barred about 5 or 6 people because of this kind of behavior. I hated to do it, I really did, but this is about fairness and I felt I owed it to my fans to try to rein in this kind of thing. And I should mention I’m not real crazy about the related practice of scanning the BST sections on the forums with the sole intent of turning things around on Ebay.

So please folks, have a heart and think about this. I’m really not trying to be a hard ass, I’m just trying to stand firm and do what’s right. It would be a shame if I started to have to spend all my time babysitting a bunch of jerks rather than making the next batch of cool stuff.

90 comments:

bzorg said...

Well, why not doing this, If we have to sell a tool , not more than the buying price and not through ebay ?

jon sanders said...

Sounds more than fair.
But who could bear to part with one?!

Ben L. said...

Well said Peter- Striking a blow for fairness.

Joe said...

Peter, I totally agree with and support your decision. I just feel sorry that you had to spend precious time dealing with this kind of annoying stuff. Well, "cherry pickers" are only attracted to good cherries. So you are definitely one GOOD cherry....oh, I mean good knife/gadget maker:) Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Peter, your policy is GREAT. I only wish you could have done it sooner. They pushed you into it, now you had to push back!

BRAVO

Anonymous said...

Good to hear, BRAVO Peter.

Gary McConihay (lumpygary)

Anonymous said...

I like your policy and it is fair. You could have us send you a pic of our Atwood collection with a current newspaper in the backgroud for proof we still have our tools--only joking. I support you 100% Peter, keep up the good work.

B. Gibson

Anonymous said...

What to do if your a reformed profitier, and now just a stone cold junkie in need of a fix. No redemption plan?

virtualmatt said...

Where to start... First, bravo to Mr. Atwood for not only calling out the scalpers but taking it a step farther and actively stamping out this type of behavior. Second, how awesome is it that his tools are so widely coveted yet he himself doesn't raise the price to oblivion to fit the demand. Displays of modern chivalry such as this keep me from losing all hope in people during this internet age.

Tirade aside, I'm still waiting to catch something (anything) in stock! I love gadgets and have since renewed my blade/tool collecting hobby but haven't had any luck here yet. Maybe February will be my month...

Alan said...

You do what you go to do. I support this. Good move.

HoopleHead said...

good to hear. there are definitely legitimate cases for reselling, but for repeat offenders and the obvious flippers its good to crack down on em. bravo!

Peter Atwood said...

Thank you for the positive comments and support! I appreciate it.

The bottom line is I am a fair and reasonable person, maybe too fair sometimes. I am always open to emails so if you have a concern about something in the past and are ready to become a more responsible and RESPECTFUL human being then we can talk. Folks, it's all those two words, reasonable and respectful. And that really isn't too much to ask IMO.

Anonymous said...

Peter, Well said and quite fair.

Looking forward to your creations!


Bryan

s4biturbo said...

great call peter! too bad it has to come to this, but I applaud you on doing something about it! To all the scalpers out there; you are taking away from peters creative time, go hawk something else, we don't need or want you in this community!

Oh and peter i was able to score a few of your older pieces and finally got added a goblin to my collection, just amazing!

dickie said...

Awesome. I've been watching and waiting, hoping to get my hands on one of your fine tools for a while now. I, for one, will promise to only resell for the original price I paid (plus true shipping), if I sell at all.

ccpmedic said...

BRAVO!!!

Sharkytm said...

Amen Peter. It saddens me to see your fine products being scalped and immediately posted on eBay for 2x to 5x the asking amount. You are 100% justified in your actions, we support you.

Edwood said...

Bravo! Bravo!

It's a shame you have to babysit your sales now, but there are just too many trolls out there.

Geomorphologist said...

Yes! If anything you are being too nice. I'm tired of seeing people trying to make a quick buck off of someone else's work and at the expense of those who really would like a tool that they would put to use. Bravo.

Geomorphologist said...

Yes! If anything you are being much too nice. I'm tired of seeing people trying to make a quick buck off of someone else's work and at the expense of those who really would like a tool that they would put to use. Bravo.

santaclaus2100 said...

Well done, Peter.

It is unfortunate that some people would profit off the genuine collectors. It is not right!!

Personally, I am grateful that you sold me a few pieces at one go. It was my first purchase, and I'm still enjoying them.

Keyton with my key case, bottle bug hanging off a carabiner attached to my work bag. Crawdaddy and prybaby being kept in pristine condition in my Pelican case.

Keep up the good work!!

Han (Singapore)

aki said...

Way to go Peter!!
and Grats to the people who will finally be getting their hands on some of Peter's brilliant tools!

webb said...

Peter, we could use your situation in an economics class, covering supply and demand, market value and scarcity.

You're seeing scarcity on your site because your prices are below market value. This mirrors what happens when gasoline is price-fixed: there's none to be found. Or when housing is rent-controlled: nothing available to rent.

Then, you're seeing excessively high prices in the secondary market. Scarcity is a fact of life, but those who would be willing to pay high prices can't pay them to you, so they pay them in the secondary market. Frankly, I don't see what the problem is.

If you want to make your goods more widely available to those who really want them, then let economics do the work. Here's an idea: put items at auction for twice what you think is the fair-market value, then drop the price by $5 a day. You'll see ebay sales dry up, you'll get to put the money in your pocket, and nobody could say that they didn't have a chance to buy what you're selling.

Peter Atwood said...

Hehe, well the problem with that approach is that it would be such a pain in the ass on my end to list everything on Ebay (which is what has been suggested before by many people) that I would rather close up shop than go that route. Really, it is a terrible solution and just not realistic. Plus, I'll be damned if I'm giving a cut to Ebay. I'd rather make batches so big that they cannot be depleted easily and sell through my site like usual.

Bolster said...

Peter, your new policy benefits buy-and-keepers like me, so of course I'm all for it! I am sorry it diverts your attention from your craft, and I hope there's only a few bad apples you have to track. Question...would it be difficult to serial number your creations? Would make monitoring ownership a cinch.

bike-brain said...

Peter- Hmmm. It is your stuff. It is a labor of love. The tools are beautiful. He wants to share at a fair price (his). Art? Sorry, "value is what someone will pay" is nothing but a convention (Oh, dear!!!). Come on y'all! Let's be adults and let Peter be happy too!! Some of the "value" of his stuff seems to be something that doesn't have a $ sign attached. Might be the biggest thing of all on this site to applaud. Might even be an example for. . . umm. . . ! Peter, your stuff is great. I hope this is a burp for you - your tools . . . I'm a wordy guy but I'm lost. Cool doesn't get there. Hang in there Peter!!

sanders said...

You are right Peter, the more of something there is out there the less the price can be hiked up to by resellers. The large numbers of a few models will help out the situation.

Omer said...

Finally, after a month of checking the site I may be able to buy SOMETHING. Go Peter!!!

Anonymous said...

If you really want to kill the ebay bug. Call for an all Atwood fan boycott of ebay purchased Atwoods (which will take discipline) but the rewards of everyone being patient would surely pay off. PS if you close up shop the prices will really go through the roof!

Edwood said...

I agree with Peter wanting to keep his products at a reasonable price, so that they would actually be used as the fine and functional tools that they are, rather than locked up in a safe only to be taken out and played with to cut paper and pry cardboard now and then.

Logan said...

This seems like dejavoo. yeah if he charged more then less people would try to scalp them. market value bla bla bla. he makes what he wants, charges what he wants and creates what he wants. if he charged market value i would not be able to own an Atwood piece. its like dope, he gives us what we want at a good price and we keep coming back. im really amused that people waste time to wait for a few pieces just to sell them. 2weeks of waiting and checking for $150+ - in profit. thats my 2cents and its probably only worth 1

DB said...

Peter, I've also just recently noticed that a large percent of the ebay scalpers have changed their usernames in an attempt to "hide" from you it seems...

Hans said...

I am with you Peter, all the way!
It's all about being reasonable and respectful. But it is a damn shame that you have to waist time on these jerks.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you just sell your stuff on ebay in the first place? You'll sell it for more probably as there are demands for your stuff (I've been trying to buy for months, but it seems I can't because the stuff I'm interested of goes really quickly), and there will be no point in trying to scalp in the first place.

Anonymous said...

peter,
I believe "Webb" is correct in his assesment of supply and demand, market value, and scarcity. I believe his suggestion for correction does not involve Ebay or its fees. Sounds like the suggestion is for you to sell your fine tools/knives on your site at twice your normal asking price and dropping your price $5 a day until the item sells. Certainly mass producing your tools and thereby diluting the market has the potential of lowering appeal to true collectors. Quality rules supreme over quantity especially with work as unique as your own. Finally, the rightful person to profit from your hard work is you! Webb's suggestion is not necessarily the solution, but I believe it is in the right direction.

BT

Anonymous said...

Webb has it right, but you're too lazy to do it. So, what do you do? You try to bring DRM to knives and tools.

Look. Once you sell it, it ain't yours anymore. If I want to give it to someone as a gift, I don't need your fucking permission. If I want to sell it on craigslist, I don't need your fucking permission. If I want to sell it on eBay, I don't need your fucking permission.

Just let go, man. Once you sell it, it's out of your hands. You have no legal right to do what you're spelling out here. None.

Peter Atwood said...

Hehe, the flippers weigh in! :D

MetalMork said...

I also agree with Peter's decision.
I'd rather all of my money flow straight into the Author's pockets rather than to somebody who does not actually add any value whatsoever to the final product.

'nuff said
Francesco

aki said...

yeah lol... boohoo, go pound sand.
I hope this takes a bite out of your profiteering.

And just for reference sake he's not saying you can't sell his tools moron, just buying them directly for the express purpose of turning around and selling for a higher price is what he doesn't want. Stop trying to take advantage of his good nature, remember he can sell to whomever he damn well chooses to.

s4biturbo said...

LOL!! why does all the supreme all knowing godlike wisdom always come from Anonymous??? freaking highlarious!!

Steven said...

Actually, Peter does have the legal right to do what he is doing here. He has the right to refuse sales or service to anyone he choses for any reason at all. It is his business, leave it that way.

Steven

George said...

Hey Peter,

If you believe you need the policy you spelled out about eBay then thats it, thats your policy.

No discussion is needed. I dont believe it is a buyers place to question a sellers policy it is the buyers choice to play by those rules or not & if they dont want to abide by the policy they are free to leave just go darken someone elses doorstep.

You are in a tough position your a one man shop your the R&D dept, your the material purchaser, your the production dept & the shipping dept your also the complaint dept.

Thats alot of hats to wear & I probably missed some departments in there as well.

Now add to that your new hat you are forced to watch eBay to see who is buying & selling your stuff for the sole reason of profit not for personal use or a collection, just to flip it just to line their pockets & you have a 3 point plan clearly spelled out for those people, unfortunatly that ebay watching role could eat up most of your day alone & take you away from your craft while you police that website.

Peter I would bet all that is taking some of the pleasure away from what you do : (

Keep up the good work on your craft of making metal into usefull tools because I personally appreciate all your effort.

~George

Anonymous said...

Sell the Nibbles for $150, see what the market will support.
I will buy your product at your price sending the profit to you up front.

Anonymous said...

Excellent. I've seen this before. Some makers do not want their products on eBay and they make a policy of no eBay sales -- none. Anyone found selling thru that site or other similar sites is cut-off on the first sale. If they don't like the product they can return it for a refund. More than fair if the sales policy is made up front.
R

Sam said...

Peter, what if you had a small forum on your website with the specific focus of letting owners of your tools buy sell and trade, at fair and uninflated prices? You wouldn't have to 'control' it per se, just encourage your users to do make any sales in that setting, and without significant markup?

Matthew Harris said...

Peter why not just number your tools and require registration. People who register the tool should be entitled to future discounts and premium chances at buying your products. You can give each customer a code, or better yet put peoples names on the tools, no one wants a tool with someone else's name on it.

webb said...

Here's an idea: put items at auction for twice what you think is the fair-market value, then drop the price by $5 a day.

Oops. I didn't mean to say "auction". If you put 'em up on your site at a too-high price at first, and then discounted them until they sold, you'd get a good idea of the true value of your work pretty quickly.

Anonymous said...

As a firm conservative, long time knife collector and hobbyist, it's not unusual to see this sort of thing. A free market is anything but "FREE". Recently there has been an incredible surge in the price of "master maker" knives such as Lake, Walker and some others. This is being driven by people with incredible amounts of money. But like spoiled children, when there interest fades, the market falls back to earth. The value of something is what someone is willing to pay for it. Who gets the money is related to whose got the goods and the scratch. As Alan Greenspan has pointed out, the "invisible hand" of the market will eventually take control here.

As an aside one might ponder the question, "Why are Atwood tools in such demand?" Honestly, there are similar mass produced tools that can be had for a whole lost less and are readily available. I think what we are seeing here is what I like to call "Entry level collector phenomenon." Face it, althought we're seeing 2-5X "list price" for items, it's not like we're talking 30-50K for a Walker knife that sold for 5K 3 years ago! Most people can shell out a few hundred dollars for a handmade tool. I like Peter's stuff, but lets face reality here folks, you can buy a handmade FOLDER by a decent maker for $500. Unfortunately, that's a number that stretches some budgets in terms of "collections". It's hare to establish much in the handmade market at this price point. Let's also face reality, Peter DOES an excellent job of marketing himself. The website and this blog are MARKETING TOOLS! Lest we not forget Paypal is an eBay company, and that's part and parcel intrinsic to his checkout. The reality is that Peter is already feeding the beast he abhors so much. Why? Conveinence on his end no doubt.

I'd just caution people regarding both the buyers and "flippers". Unless it's unique, or of very limited production some day the bottom WILL fall out of the market.

Peter Atwood said...

Uhuh, this is why I am attempting to keep my prices reasonable. Think of it as the Fed cutting interest rates... :p

Anonymous said...

As a collector who actually has purchased a Bug Out Blade from a re-seller (I don't want to call him a "scalper" 'cause I feel the starting price was fair), I have to say I respect your decision, Peter. There's something profoundly wrong about someone scalping your stuff.

It boggles my mind that anyone can actually part with these tools or even go more than an hour without them close at hand. Huh. I guess that's the definition of "obsession".

Min said...

I firmly support you with your decision, Peter. Actually I feel this should have been addressed way earlier. I don't think ebay cherry pickers will die out, but hopefully this policy will have a certain degree of deterrence.

BTW, I wonder if the refreshing robot thingy problem has been/ is being resolved?

greg said...

I agree with your decision, Maybe now I will be able to purchase a neat little tool. Thank You

Anonymous said...

In my opinion true Atwood Tool Collectors shoud boycott purchasing any Atwood tool listed on ebay.

bike-brain said...

"The value of something is what someone is willing to pay for it. Who gets the money is related to whose got the goods and the scratch."

On the larger stage, yes. On the other hand you are only speaking of monetary value. Typically capitalism only defines things as having value in that one narrow sense. I think Peter is trying to say that he doesn't want his tools value to be only that. And, wow. Such anger. Retreat to "legal rights". Expletives. Nothing like the, "Let's be adults here," request that Peter made. Wonder if that's not one of the profiteers. Hmmm. Ebay is cool. So is what you are doing Peter. Come on folks. Let's stop pretending that Peter is trying to undermine the free world's economy because you aren't getting your way. Peter has every right to sell to whom he wishes.

I agree with the sentiment expressed elsewhere. If you are going to yell about your legal rights, call Peter lazy, whatever,stop being childish and put your (ebay?) name on it.

Anonymous said...

Keeping prices moderate by cracking down on scalpers is going to help bona fide collectors in the long run, because it will avoid the boom to bust mentality that causes the price of collectibles to crash.

Unlike say, a Beanie baby, Peter's stuff has real value. It's useful, beautifully designed, and well crafted. If the price stays in line with the value, the pieces will hold that value for decades to come.

John said...

Peter: I don't think you responded to questions about posting at the purchase price, perhaps as a buy-it-now. At any rate, it isn't all that unusual for artists to make stipulations about what can be done with there work after a sale. This is usually done with a buy-back option or a time frame. I also have no idea how I'd get something like that you're not making, e.g. Son-of-prybaby, without some sort of secondary market.

logan said...

"KICK HIS ASS SEA BASS!"

MaTa said...

As a firmly progressive female (LOL) F**K all that "what the market will bear" this and "its none of your business what we do with it post sale" that. . . Because of Peter being the rare artisan that DOESN'T sell out and crank up his prices to ride on his knifemaker / 'rockstar' reputation, I WAS ABLE TO AFFORD TO PURCHASE AN EXAMPLE OF HIS ART!

Yeah, even being the pO' folk that I am, I was still able to pick up a Bike Tool after weeks of steadily checking and checking and checking his site. With my tenacious work and a bunch of luck, I was able to score one AND I LOVE IT! I will NEVER sell it. . .it hangs off my wallet chain and is used VERY frequently - people notice it and ask about it all the time (especially here in way bike friendly Portland).

If Peter was putting these on feeBay, I would NEVER have been able to afford the gouging "free market" prices due to all the collectors scooping them up and squirreling them away in safes like they were the next Stradivarius or something.

That's the same type of mentality that also prices houses, vintage guitars, etc. way out of my range due to obnoxious flippers focusing on all about the profit and NOT anything else like artistic merit, personal need, community etc.

Also, feeBay is a blOated monopoly and constantly increasing their fees and other nonsense hassle you don't want to have to deal with. . . trust me, after 10 years there I have just about had it with them.

Keep doing your own thing and ignore the haters - WE LOVE IT! Keep up your chivalry and your dedicated fan base will continue to grow as will our respect for your craft AND your 'price control' decisions on your products!

THANK YOU!!!!! U ROCK!!!!! : D

Anonymous said...

Here is the deal. Bottom line................ Your stuff is worth more than you charge.. If you up the price to the real market value, you benefit. But then instead of people complaining that they couldnt get one it will be they couldnt afford one. Nobody collects garbage for the sake that its great but worth nothing. So all the die hard collecter's are bs, IT WOULDNT BE WORTH COLLECTING IF IT WASN'T WORTH IT. You gona collect china made tools because their cool, DOUBT IT. Hate to say it, but you copuld fix all this crap by raising your prices to the true market value. If that is too expensive then too bad, thats the way it works for every thing else. IE I want a escalade, but cadillac aint gona lower the price so I can have one. Plus if you really want an Atwood , put about 30 min a week into searching and you cn find one at reasonable prices. Moore cutlery crawdaddy $70.00 right now. Peace, love your stuff peter.
Reformed Flipper

Webb said...

I find this whole discussion, and the various reactions to it fascinating. Nice how people love to take sides. A little civility goes a long way.

Basic economics tells us that the ebay price is likely much higher than the equilibrium price would be on Peter's site. With the current sales method, you've got a fixed supply, and a substantial demand. This sets an equilibrium price. When the equilibrium price is higher than the actual price, you get sellouts, which look like shortages and extremely high demand.

So after the sale, you have the same demand curve that you had before. However, we have a very small supply hitting the secondary market. This means the secondary market has a much higher equilibrium price than the initial sales (with a larger supply) would have had.

The secondary market reflects the demand created by Peter's fine work, combined with the extremely small supply. From that, you get high prices; it's just how the math works.

I would expect if Peter told people to please resell the tools on ebay (or wherever), and that people responded, then the increased supply would also bring down prices in the secondary market. Then all that ebay selling wouldn't look so awful.

Anyway, it's a very interesting problem.

Anonymous said...

Hey, flippers...guess what -- Nobody cares what you think about Peter's policy. We're sick of you buying everything up for quick profiteering after MULTIPLE PLEAS from Peter to STOP DOING THAT.

You've refused to do so. Go ahead and reap that now.

Way to go, Peter. I am glad you have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to these greedy low-lifes. You are a man of character as evidenced by your willingness and ability to do your best to stop this.

Listen, you profiteering assholes...just because the primary focus of YOUR life is the love of money, don't go faulting Peter because he has a different (BETTER) value system. He puts time, care, and love of his craft into the tools he makes. It seems to me that it is more important for him to know that he is providing these at prices the average person can afford to buy and USE and that is more important to him than selling to a bunch of collectors to put them in a safe to sell in a few years. He should be COMMENDED for this. Not castigated.

It's about time you flippers had your ass handed to you like this. You've been doing this against his wishes for a long time now and you brought this upon yourself so shut the fuck up. God, you're a bunch of damn crybabies.

Anonymous said...

Allright folks, let's cut the artist crap right here and now. Peter Atwood is not an artist. At best, a craftsman and that may be debatable. Artists create things that express emotion. Peter MAKES TOOLS! Is everyone clear on that? I consider most high end knifemakers to be craftsmen. Engravers are a different breed, and they probably fit closer to the artist category. They work with a client and perhaps a knifemaker to turn a craft into a piece of art. Now there ARE definite knifemaker artists, but they are not the run-of-the-mill practical/tactical type. Let's be really clear on this one, a true origional work of art cannot be entirely re-created, technonlogy be damned. Give me a prybaby, a CNC laser/plasma cutter, and I'll shoot them out like no tomorrow, and even Peter won't be able to tell his from mine! The man uses O-rings as a retention device for commercially bought 1/4" bits for heavens sake! Does he belong to the Knifemakers Guild? Slow down on the art B.S. O.K.?

sanders said...

Hell of a post Mata!
You write anything else I can get a sample of? :)

leber70 said...

This action shows why you are a joy to deal with. Those of us who buy your tools for actual use appreciate what you are doing.

Peter N. Glaskowsky said...

Peter, I also think Webb is right that you are selling your products too cheaply. "Supply and demand isn't just a good idea... it's the law." That's more than just a cute line, it's a fundamental truth. Supply, demand, and price are related in a free market just as pressure, volume, and temperature are related in the Ideal Gas Law.

Keeping your prices low does not prevent people from putting your gizmos in their safety-deposit boxes instead of on their keychains.

You can't prevent the development of a collector market for your work, but you can benefit from it.

Just try charging more. Charge more until your products stop selling out immediately. Then you'll know you're in tune with the market.

I'm not a flipper. I've never even been able to buy one of your products. I can only visit your site a few times a week because I have very little free time, but I do have money.

I'm not willing to support the flippers by shopping for your products on eBay. But I'd be happy to pay more directly if that would give me a better shot at buying something in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Nope. Luck of the draw is the fairest way for everyone, regardless of their economic status. You have no way to know exactly when he's going to post the items up for sale and neither does anyone else. Be there when they're available or try again next time.

All you people spouting off with your supply and demand lessons are clearly missing the point -- Peter is taking measures to sell his products for what HE believes will allow everyday, dare I say common people to buy them. I am willing to bet that most of the people here whining about how he "should charge more" are the ones that would not be affected in the least by him doing so. You probably have a lot more disposable income than the rest of us that are just happy to be able to try to catch his products on his website. See, if he did what you said and charged a lot more, you are the main people it would benefit. You wouldn't have to compete with all of us working stiffs to be able to buy one of his tools if he prices us out of being able to do so. Cut the crap...you don't care about Peter's bottom line. You just want less competition for buying his tools. It's so obvious.

He sets the price at what it is and it is what it is. Stop trying to tell the man how to run his business.

bike-brain said...

My last thoughts here (I have too much free time lately!).

First. There are clearly two kinds of response here. One group seems to be almost a community. Supportive. Happy. BUT- You gotta love the abject certainty in self and "my knowledge" expressed here.
For example, the certainty spoken about Peter being a mere craftsman. I'd defer to the artists and craftspersons that one. The ones I know state that much art is created from need of the artist. Reflects the times. I recently held a little woven grass bowl that would support twice my salary on the "market". Not the basket market but it is historic, craft, informs about a long faded culture and people. But this is a distraction and not even on point to Peter's little debate here.

Peter is asking us for something. Why must you shout him down (on a forum he kindly provides). Kudos to those of you calling for civility. Truly I can't analyze what is transpiring here into solely economic value. Peter is asking for support and room to focus on making the tools, making them tactile. I think he is on to something. Is it terribly profound? I don't know. But my goodness folks. Some of us can't work and play well with others. Being dismissive and abjectly certain of your position (or larger than the kid with the toy) has never made you right (doesn't make you wrong either). Just not listened to.

Geomorphologist said...

I've been buying Peter's tools for a long time now, before they became 'underpriced'. He is an artist - the art is in the design and imagination behind it (my view) - and he should be able to sell his work, or not, however and for whatever amount he wants. Why is everyone so eager to convince him sell for crazy money on Ebay? I don't get it.

Webb said...

I think that whether or not Peter's prices are "too cheap" is Peter's call. I think that Peter likes having the prices low, as he feels that that he'd rather the luck of the draw decide who gets what, rather than have price settle the issue.

But, I don't think that we should be surprised to see people using extreme means to avoid missing available tools (e.g. scanning the site). Nor should we be surprised that people resell his tools.

I think that he would like to feel that he can trust his buyers, and I'm sure he's disappointed when he sees someone immediately selling the tools on ebay. And, he probably believes that he's doing his buyers a favor by keeping the prices low.

He's definitely doing a favor to those buyers that can catch what he's selling. He's probably also doing a favor to those who scan his site with robots and then flip his products on ebay for profit.

Peter Atwood said...

I'm spelling out my Ebay resell policy for brand new items here. Simple as that. It's not a debate and I could care less if you think I'm an artist or not.

Joe said...

IMHO,
1. Peter's stuff is great, and he is a great guy.
2. Peter is an outstanding artist, craftsman and knife maker.
3. Peter's stuff has been keeping me happy and excited for years, during which I was on a student stipend most of the time.

These are fact and will always be fact because that's what's going on in ME. I don't think I am qualified to give Peter any suggestions. Whenever I give opinions on matters directly or indirectly related to me in any way, I am always biased. Being a customer, fan and even a friend of Peter, I respect his decisions and policies. And I think lots of, although not all, people here also do the same.

Anonymous said...

Hey Peter,

Bottom line is that you make cool looking shit that is very functional in EDC.

*flips BT in fingers*

Thanks for keeping the prices reasonable!

I am surprised that this has gotten a little crazy. Pretty simple to understand! This has to do with the people who buy to simply flip. You even give people several chances. You're awesome! Keep making cool things and well keep paying your wages.

Rick

PS - I'm getting my tax refund and some extra money from the feds. I'm putting some cash aside for your some toys. Keep em comin and quick before my wife spends it all on crafty house crap!

Rick H. said...

The no re-sell policy is totally fine with me, but all this Asam Smith market talk has me wondering what Peter and the rest of the Atwood collectors think about trading. There aren't any Atwood tools I want to part with particularly (I gave a couple x-mas presents, and it was . . . difficult), none I want to sell, but I might consider trading, say a crawdaddy for a sharkbite, or some variation thereon.

Anonymous said...

"*flips BT in fingers*"

Ah, yet another flipper! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Rick if you want to trade you might want to check out cpfmarketplace or perhaps edcforums its free to join also... putting a limit on how many of an item people can buy,should slow the resale market down and give others a chance to buy from Peter s website.. small batches and or new items have been 1 per customer as of late, even with larger batches why not have some kind of limit on those as well??? just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Nice job, Peter.

It's too bad that you even had to THINK about doing this, but I'm glad that you did!

Flippers - sorry... now FLIP OFF!

Christopher said...

Peter IS an Artist, he creates things. Who here can say that a tool can express no emotion, or evoke some sentiment or memory. An artist using CNC technology to create tools/sculpture/fetish objects is no different than someone using photoshop or some other digital program to create images. Craft and art are intertwined and intersect in many ways and through many materials. Just because an object is functional does not mean it is not art.

Min said...

Hell yeah, Peter is an artist. The abovementioned anonymous 'art=emotion' definition is pretty dumb, shallow and narrow. With ever expanding realm of art, who needs an authorization in the first place to be accepted as an artist? Once people start to take it as a form of art, it has more than enough to become one.

On top of which, Peter's work indeed stirs up the "cool" emotion within me. Need more?

Anonymous said...

FINALLY, Good Call Peter.

aki said...

Hey Peter N. Glaskowsky!

I like your style!! =)
Thanks for not supporting the flippers brother!

If you really don't have any of Peter's tools I'd be more than happy to share the love and sell you an item or 2 from my collection...AT COST.. same price Peter would charge.

I have a few old school full size prybabys, old school mini prybabys, G2 mini prybaby, Flat spannerbaby, Flat keyton, Bermuda Triangle(beadblasted)
Pick which 2 you want ^_^

Send an email to Peter and well you can pay him(he knows who I am)...and if you want I can either send it back to him to send to you or if you want I can send it directly to you.

I'll make sure he deducts it from my next order from him hehe ;)

And to everybody else who've been on Peter's side...sorry I can't hook you all up...wish I could...Mr. Glaskowsky's post caught my attention and I just want to pay it forward. Don't worry tho you guys & gals will get your day in the sun also!

Anonymous said...

Y'know, eBay is an interesting place for collectors. I can find old LPs, old comics, old baseball cards, vintage clothing, even classic automobiles. Speaking of classic cars, anyone here heard of the Barret-Jackson car auctions?

Classic cars are an expensive item, and extremely collectible. People buy these cars, many of them arguably works of art in their own right, and sell to a secondary collector market for thousands of dollars more than original purchase price.

What if automobile makers were to adopt Peter's policy? What if comic book publishers adopted the policy? Ty, the maker of the previously maligned Beanie Babies? How would you feel about it then? You'd think it was pretty silly of them to tell people what they could and couldn't do with their own legally-purchased property, wouldn't you?

If I buy a tool from Peter, it's mine. If it gets stolen, I'm the one who fills out a police report. If I carry one of the bladed tools into an airport, it's my property that's confiscated. Not Peter's. Mine.

As it is my legal property, and property owner rights fall to me immediately after purchase, I can do with it as I please.

I'm not a flipper. I don't even own one of this tools. Yet.

Why? Because, as has been explained repeatedly, the demand far outstrips the supply.

Peter has whined about people scraping his site looking for updates. He has protested against suggestions that he maintain a stable inventory of a few items such as the bike tools, prybabies, etc. Peter has created a demand that he cannot, or will not, satisfy. That demand will, therefore, be satisfied elsewhere.

I would like to own an Atwood tool. But, I can't do that unless he increases his supply, or the demand is satisfied elsewhere. I can't afford the prices on eBay, but to protest against the popularity of your own work and refuse to meet the demand for your work yourself is perplexing.

I had a friend who was a painter. He would sell his paintings for dramatically low prices, and they would sometimes show up as resales later on. I asked him why he didn't raise his prices. His reply was the wisdom itself. "It's easier to sell 600 $50 paintings than it is to sell 50 $600 paintings."

Peter, I love that you sell your works at reasonable prices, but until you can sell a reasonable supply at that price, you will always see your works appearing in secondary markets.

Peter Atwood said...

Uhuh, I hear. It's not I won't make enough it's that I CAN'T make enough. One guy cannot do what it would take a factory to accomplish.

Look, it's just this simple. Some people collect my stuff or buy it to use. Most are in one of those two categories. But there have been a few who only want to buy so they can resell because they are greedy fucking assholes. Period. They have zero interest in my stuff beyond the fact that they can profit off it. What more explanation or discussion can this possible merit? I'm SICK TO DEATH OF TALKING ABOUT IT.

Anonymous said...

Peter,

Firstly, I am shocked that you would demean yourself to profanity. I must say that as a former collector (I stopped a while ago due to these reasons) that I hate this Robin Hood attitude you have. If you feel you must support the less economically fortunate population than please do so at your own expense and sell these items for cost. But like everyone else in life you wish to earn an income and enjoy the finer things in life. I know you enjoy your expensive watches and flashlights etc... You work hard for your money ( I do not deny this) but how would you feel if you couldn't obtain one of those watches because you have too much money and it wouldnt be fair to those who have less. People should not be punished for hard work and success in life.

It is this punishment attitude of yours that has driven me from purchasing any more of your productss (Though I still visit the blog to keep up on the scoop). The goal of hard work and success is to obtain a better lifestyle, more comforts and hopefully less stress, everything you preach goes against this.

I hope that you one day come to your senses and charge more, work less and have more free time to work with your head in new tool design, than the labor of love of manual labor.

Not trying to piss you off, but hoping you will not redefine economic laws as they currently stand,

Your ex atwood collector

Anonymous said...

Peter, you can't be sick of a discussion you started by posting it to a weblog with an active commenting community. That's absurd.

Look. What you're trying to do is pretty much impossible. You'd have better luck pissing up a rope and not getting wet.

You have a situation of basic supply and demand. You could meet the demand, if you waited until you had larger batches before release. But, the thrill you get from interacting with the community you've build around your work makes you too eager to tease with glimpses and then you release in these tiny batches. Some of them have even been deliberately small by your own admission.

Good luck with your attempt at rights management for your tools. While you may be an excellent toolmaker, you can't make a tool to make these wishes of yours come to fruition. It's impossible.

Oh, and responding with profanity to someone who made an extremely well-reasoned post about collectible markets and eBay is kind of childish. Do you want to set the tone of the comment posts, or respond with some of the same vitriol that's going on here?

Peter Atwood said...

No more comments on this posting will be published. Also I think I am going to institute a policy of not publishing comments on future posts by anonymous posters. Put your name in there or forget it. I will not be needled and belittled by cowards and bullies.

john said...

that is how it should be,
keep laying the law!!!

Rick Lynch

Meor said...

I have been a user for the past 2 years now. Atwood make useful tools that actually works. Unfortunately it is difficult to obtain one directly due to the time difference (other side of the world), but I don't mind waiting and trying my luck. I for one will not be buying elsewhere simply because of the usually higher selling price. It is more meaningful to me to be able to get what I want direct from the maker. So Peter, keep churning those wonderful tools and worry too much what others do.....

Joaquin said...

I am new to this argument, but find it fascinating. Just stumbled across your tools from another blog. beautiful. Anyways, Peter, I recommend that you read The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss if you haven't already. He very simply and easily cuts to the chase regarding many of the ills you have mentioned here, and seen on your website regarding growth pains, business management and factory vs. artist issues. Good luck, and I hope to have a pry-baby or some other great tool of yours one day when I can afford it!

dave g said...

I have tried to buy something...anything from peter in the last 6 months and I find it imposible. Things are sold out with in a few min. I'll keep trying but I don't have much hope based on what I have seen

Peter Atwood said...

Dave, just email me, I ALWAYS have stuff in stock. Thanks.