COMPENDIUM FOR BEGINNERS AND PROFESSIONALS
Like all other areas of the economy, the internet has now penetrated the knife world to the last corner. The Custom Damascus Knives trade on the Internet is flourishing, regardless of whether it is new or use knives. In many forums and Facebook groups there is a lot of haggling, trading and barter. In this scene in particular, knowledge of the basic rules and customs makes it easier to get start. Above all, the high number of counterfeits makes the trade in knives between private individuals a matter of trust, because fraudsters are hiding everywhere and waiting for gullible victims like spiders in the web.
If you want to buy a brand new knife, it is easy. A large number of reliable dealers are present in the German-speaking area with web shops and not only offer impeccable goods, but mostly also commit service. The offer ranges – depending on the shop – from the rare custom with a four-digit price to the Far Eastern diamond simple cheap knife.
Nonetheless, the trade in knives between private individuals on Facebook and eBay is flourishing: the range goes beyond the classic collector’s market, and (almost) new goods are also for sale there.
One can assume that there are now two to three privately trade knives for every knife bought from a commercial supplier.
KNIFE TRADE: NEW OR USE?
Second hand trade phenomenon. Many knife friends want to get to know or try out products from different manufacturers and give them back after a certain period of time. Month after month, thousands of knives are offer by auction houses, knife forums and special Facebook groups. Basically, all three media offer the opportunity to purchase knives in good condition at fair prices or to swap them with like-mind people.
The trade in use knives among private individuals is traditionally widespread among collectors. Models from a certain manufacturer, knives from a certain region or era have been and are pass on to collectors or even more frequently exchange. In the meantime, not only downright collector’s items are traded. When it comes to knife trading on the Internet, the number of use work knives is now likely to exceed the number of real collector’s items many times over.
A word in advance to all adventurers and bargain hunters: The knife scene consists almost without exception of very knowledgeable members who know the value and prices of blade steels, knife models or collectibles inside out. In addition, missing information can be google in seconds or obtain from the manufacturers’ websites. Because all market participants know the prices, there are hardly any profits to be made from trading in use knives.
Particularly cheap offers can have exactly two reasons: the knife is not what it claims to be or its overall condition does not justify a higher price. Ready. Instead of gifts, there are numerous forms of fraud in the knife trade on the Internet, in which greedy beginners are always fool into a particularly lucrative bargain. Anyone who, as an outsider, tries to earn money with use goods in the closely network knife scene is more likely to offend than get rich. So much as a preliminary warning to all smart people.
APPRAISAL AND PRICING
Pricing . If knives with artistic value or cultural-historical significance are left out, the following factors determine the price of a use knife in addition to the omnipresent balance of supply and demand:
- The current price at internet retailers, provide the knife is still in production,
- the last sales price before production was discontinue,
- Reputation of a company or a knife maker in a particular region,
- the general condition, with damage and signs of wear causing corresponding deductions,
- Deviations from the original product, modifications or handicrafts usually lead to significant discounts.
Rarity alone is not a criterion; the world is full of rare knives that nobody wants. In contrast, serial knives that are produce in large numbers can have a high resale value on the consumer market due to strong demand. An example of this category is the Paramilitary model from Spyderco, a technically and optically intact specimen often changes hands on the day it is offered.
The Spyderco Paramilitary is a burner on the use market and that’s why it magically attracts counterfeiters.
Previous purchase price.
It also only plays a subordinate role for resale, because the commercial value is regulate by supply and demand. This becomes particularly clear if you want to sell valuable knives from certain American knife makers in Europe or knives from German craft workshops in the USA. Here the point comes into play that knives can be rate very differently in different countries. Good examples are the American knife makers Darrel Ralph and Todd Begg. Both produce customs for which there is a market in the USA where four-digit amounts are paid for products from both manufacturers.
In Europe these knives only come across a small group of buyers; the achievable prices are correspondingly low. Discounts of 50 percent and more from the original purchase price can result in knife trading on the Internet.
Foreign sales .
The opposite is true for the sale of knives made by German manufacturers in the USA. Since knives and names are largely unknown there, even offers at dumping prices rarely find a buyer. The picture is more balance with large manufacturers with international sales, with these knives the regional component only plays a subordinate role. Benchmade, Microtech, Spyderco and Zero Tolerance knives have a loyal fan base all over the world. In the case of products from these companies, the market value is essentially determine by demand and state of preservation.
The drop in prices
is an “achievement” of the rampant model policies of some manufacturers. Companies that put thirty, fifty or more new knife models on the market every year devalue their products by quickly changing models. Not only are retail prices falling correspondingly rapidly, the value for resale can also be halve within a year.
The link between falling prices and model policy can be demonstrate very well using the example of two American companies. Spyderco relies on short model cycles and a high number of new releases, but these knives already have discounts of 35 percent from the list price when they go on sale. Within two years, the market price has largely been reduce significantly. Chris Reeve Knives traditionally operates a cautious model policy with long production cycles. Model changes are extremely rare and only happen every few years, but knives from Chris Reeve Knives are extremely stable in value and have consistently high resale prices over the years.
The Spyderco C156GPBN, Brad Southard Flipper, is a typical example of the aforemention loss of value in standard knives. Original list price: 419 US dollars, initially trade for 439 euros in Europe in the first few months after publication, later for 399 euros. After three months, the selling price had already fallen by 25 percent and the price spiral has been turning downwards since then. On the use market, a Brad Southard pinball machine in mint condition can bring you 200 euros with a bit of luck at the end of 2016. Since this Spyderco model is a very good and value knife, the reasons for the rapid loss of value are not to be found in the quality of the product, but in the model policy of its manufacturer.
Custom Damascus Knives TRADE ON THE INTERNET: EBAY, FACEBOOK AND CO.
The trade of new or use knives on the Internet takes place essentially on three different stages: auction platforms, forums with an attach marketplace and specialist groups on Facebook.
Auction houses .
There are few big ones and several small ones; almost all of them have offer and / or sales commissions due. Depending on the platform, this commission can devour ten percent of the sales price achieve, but by far the largest number of potential interest parties can be reach via auction houses. Since almost all auction houses earn money from every sale, they have little interest in preventing auctions with fake or otherwise problematic content.
Contrary to cheap lip service, the big players in the industry take little or no action against product pirates, counterfeiters or fraudsters.
The risk of being rip off when trading knives on the Internet is therefore highest at online auctions.
The eBay platform in particular has been a playground for fraudsters for years.
The high number of honest dealers does not put the risk into perspective and without specialist knowledge, common sense and a good dose of mistrust, buying via online auctions becomes a game of chance.
A common trick use by scammers at online auctions is to sell plagiarism. Fake knives are bought through Chinese dealers for ten or twenty euros each and then list as allegedly real knives at an auction house.
Of course, it is clear that a new Custom Damascus Knives cannot be an original at a fraction of the retail price, so many fraudsters set the price so high that the customer is not directly alarm, but greedy contemporaries hope for a lucrative bargain. Even conservative estimates now assume that the number of counterfeits for certain knife models is over fifty percent.
Before placing a bid at an online auction, you should examine the provider as closely as possible. The number of positive reviews is by itself not a reliable indicator, many scammers create a respectable facade by buying cheap items and receiving positive reviews for these transactions.
It is therefore important to see whether the seller of a knife has receive good reviews for previous sales of knives. It is always interesting to find out which items the seller has already trad-in. If he offers the third knife of a certain model within a few months, that says more than the nicest evaluation points.
Custom Damascus Knives TRADING ON THE INTERNET – BE CAREFUL WHEN USING PAYPAL
Buyer protection. In the past, buyers in auction houses could be advise to pay for the item using the PayPal payment system in order to benefit from PayPal Buyer Protection. In the event of fraud, the defraud buyer could then have the purchase amount transfer back. Following a change to the terms and conditions by PayPal in July 2015, Messer are largely excluding from the buyer protection benefits. In the PayPal Terms of Service today it says:
The term “particular knives” is really vague and that is exactly the trick. With this passage in the terms and conditions, PayPal can reject any application for buyer protection from the trade in knives. The question of whether knives were equate in the terms and conditions with drugs, illegal firearms and Molotov cocktails because the purchase or sale of knives is not compatible with PayPal’s basic pacifist conviction or whether the Custom Damascus Knives trade was only record because an above-average number of applications for buyer protection were made every knife friend can answer for himself.
The restriction of buyer protection with regard to knives naturally also applies to purchases from a commercial dealer with PayPal and is not restrict to transactions between private individuals.
KNIFE TRADING ON THE INTERNET – RISKS ON FACEBOOK AND IN FORUMS
Internet forums. In every region of the world, Custom Damascus Knives fans have come together in forums in which there is almost always a so-call “marketplace” where members can offer, buy or exchange knives. Some of these forums are operate by interest groups and offer the use of the marketplace free of charge, other forums are operate as a commercial project and only grant access to the marketplace for an annual fee. Since there are enough free forums in Germany and around the world, non-commercial knife enthusiasts can save these fees.
Strider knives are classics of the international counterfeiting scene: in this case, the fake was upgrade to deception with a noble axle screw.
As a rule, each marketplace is assign a sub-forum in which members can rate each other for transactions that have taken place. Ratings within a social community are more meaningful than the unspecific ratings of auction houses. If a participant in a marketplace has been evaluate several times and exclusively positively for his trade, one can assume with a clear conscience that he is an honest and reliable business partner.
In recent years, specific groups on knives on Facebook have shot up like mushrooms and have given the Damascus Knives trade on the Internet a real boost. Almost every knife manufacturer has a specialist group in which fans and experts can exchange ideas about these knives. In these groups you will find a high level of professional competence and reading along the discussions is helpful for every beginner. Newbies should avoid two popular faux pas so as not to be the target of biting comments.
Under no circumstances should one give the impression that by participating in the group, one wants to sell a knife at a particularly high price, or that one wants to buy one at a particularly low price. Both are frown upon for good reason and the ubiquitous bargain hunters are neither popular nor can they hope for help and support. Anyone new to such a group who asks whether the $ 400 knife offer in an auction house for 30 euros is genuine should not complain about questions about their state of mind.
You should also avoid questions that could be answer by a simple search engine query or a look at provisions of the gun law. To begin with, reading a lot and posting few posts is a golden rule which, if follow, can mature a newcomer into a respect member of a specialist group.
Trading platforms on Facebook .
While members trade and swap in all manufacturer-specific groups, there are some groups that serve the exclusive purpose of trading. In German-speaking countries alone, there are over a dozen such groups if you count the groups for outdoor equipment. The good news is that trading through Facebook groups is basically free of charge. The bad news is that scammers and counterfeiters are also wreaking havoc in some of these groups.
Review groups are a good place to go on Facebook to find out about vendors and buyers.
You have to know that Facebook groups can be open by anyone and that the group operators (admins) can change quickly and / or frequently. It is therefore just as unclear whether technical supervision takes place as is the question of whether the person responsible has any qualifications in knife matters that go beyond layman’s knowledge. What applies to the Internet forums also applies to the knife trading groups on Facebook: the biggest is not necessarily the best.
Big differences .
The decisive factor for a diverse and high-quality offer is not the size or number of offers in a group, but the quality of the administration. In most German Facebook groups, every offer is check by qualified administrators before it is publish. Fraud attempts, offers of counterfeit knives or offers with prohibit items are filter out to 99.9 percent in advance. Likewise, dubious providers are exclude from trading if participants in the group draw the admins’ attention to obscure offers.
A responsible knife enthusiast should avoid groups in which counterfeit or adulterate articles may be sold with the consent of the operator (“knife market”).
Facebook itself cannot be held liable if you were rip off by a fraudster while trading. In the terms and conditions and on the help pages (“FAQ”) Facebook makes it unmistakably clear that it is not liable for economic damage. Therefore, Facebook sees no reason to take action against fraudsters or criminally relevant behavior. In the author’s experience, both the fraudsters themselves and those providing aids remain unscath on Facebook for years.
No, the internet has long cease to be a legal vacuum and since every banana republic, every second police station and all “three-letter agencies” in the world have combe the web for usable information, it has been use more for the public display of personal data. In addition, there is the problem that none of the aforemention organizations hunt for counterfeiters and brand pirates.
Can you take the law into your own hands and stop the fraudster by means of a criminal complaint and a lawyer? This can work if the perpetrator’s online pseudonym can be assign to a real person and this person has a place of residence in Germany. However, there is a risk that the victim can obtain an enforceable title at great expense and time and must then find out that the perpetrator has been living on basic security for years and has no attachable goods. Perpetrators from Pakistan, China or Russia laugh at any attempts by German or European authorities to prosecute and continue their attempts at fraud unimpress.
The user is himself!
Since the operators of platforms or groups may only half-heartedly ensure the legality of their content, an independent Facebook initiative is addressing this issue. In the “ The good and the bad ” group, the members rate their trading partners, regardless of which Facebook group the trade was agreed through.
All knife friends who buy, sell or swap knives on Facebook acquire a kind of “virtual” reputation over time due to their behavior. As the group name makes clear, this reputation can be good or bad. In any case, it is a credible indicator of the trustworthiness of a potential trading partner. This private initiative is available to all knife enthusiasts free of charge and makes knife trading on the Internet a bit safer.