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Expected price raises across japan for knives

Discussion in 'Japanese Knife Imports' started by JBroida, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. JBroida

    JBroida Founding Member

    Just a heads up for everyone... a number of knife maker associations across japan have agreed upon price raises for products made by their members. It seems this is occurring in multiple regions, and even those outside of these associations will be raising prices. In many cases, we expect to see 20% increases (though we have been told that some will be more). We have been told that these changes will begin in the fall, but people are going about it differently. Some have already started, while others will take a bit longer. Some will be raising prices on knives ordered from that point on, while others will be raising prices on everything (including items that have already been on order, but have not yet been paid for or shipped). This is not in every single region for knife making, but we have heard this from many of them, and expect others to follow suit.

    We have not seen so much of this as of yet, but we expect this to start effecting us (and everyone else) shortly.
  2. Holly camembert. 20% out of the blue. With the Yen being high on the top of that. that a bad bad news. Unfortunately my salary did not follow the same path, which means...less knives.
  3. JBroida

    JBroida Founding Member

    this has actually been a long time coming... the associations have been talking about it for a while. But it was tricky. One group doesnt want to raise prices all on their own, only to have people shop elsewhere. So they all got together and discussed what prices were fair for the craftsmen, and went from there. We've been hearing rumblings for over a year, but it became official a little while ago and we were just reminded (hence this post).
  4. "The associations"?!?

    Sounds more like a cabal.
  5. JBroida

    JBroida Founding Member

    Lol... It's groups like the blacksmithing association, sharpeners association, handle makers association, etc. They have these kinds of groups in every major knife making region.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. Jon, you know J bladesmtih , what is your opinion about this news ? do you know what knifemaker think about that ?
  7. chefcomesback

    chefcomesback Founding Member

    Not to speak in jons behalf but I believe some areas are way behind the production ( Sakai I was told ) it's to offset the increasing overseas demand .
  8. As long as the money goes to the actual makers and not inbetweens, it's fine by me. Considering what you get when you buy a handmade japanese kitchen knife, the current prices are a bargain, in my opinion.
  9. JBroida

    JBroida Founding Member

    yes... this is a price raise from the craftsmen. Wholesalers/retailers in japan may also adjust their pricing according to this, but the change is occurring at the craftsman level.
  10. JBroida

    JBroida Founding Member

    i wrote this up on another forum... it might be helpful here:
    There are a number of reasons, but the rising cost of materials, and difficulty of finding certain materials plays some role in this. In addition, the wage discrepancy between the craftsmen and wholesalers in japan plays a role too. But, mostly, we just havent seen significant price raises from the craftsmen over the years. Some, yes. But not as many as you guys seem to think. Many price raises have been the result of currency fluctuations. Since we started japanese knife imports, we have seen the yen get as strong as 74 yen to the dollar and as week as 125 yen to the dollar. In general, we try to not mess with the prices so much, so when the exchange rate sucks, we eat it a bit. When its a bit nicer, we make up for that time a bit. If it gets too extreme in either direction, we adjust pricing (but not as fas as to be in alignment with the extreme exchange rates at that time). We have raised and lowered prices accordingly. In fact, i just lowered prices on some things that needed it. Also, we dont always raise prices when prices are raised on us. This is different. This price raise is about the craftsmen wanting to be paid more fairly. I've actually encouraged this kind of price range, and i think anyone would when they see what kind of work goes into the knives, and what kind of money the craftsmen are able to make for that work.

    Currently, demand is out of control. No one can keep up. Most normal orders are taking 3-6 months on the fast side of things, with many companies having waits as long as 2-3 years (and some even longer). They are working like crazy to keep up. This is about being fair to the actual craftsmen who make the knives, handles, sayas, etc. that we all love. Not only do they deserve more as they get better and increase their abilities, but they also have to deal with a rising cost of steel, abrasives, coal, charcoal, electricity, wood, buffalo horn, etc. Also, how would you feel if you started a job 10 years ago at $15 per hour and were still making $15 per hour today?
  11. Thanks for the great insight, Jon! I agree with what has been stated above, that some of those prices are bargains considering how much work goes into a knife ... and you're actually spending very little (if any) for unwanted overhead (like Marketing millions etc. for bigger companies). At the end of the day it will be a tough pill to swallow for some of us who've gotten used to a certain price level, and it will absolutely suck for those who have to save quite some time for one of the nicer knives ...

    Now, Jon ... let us talk about that Kochi Kiritsuke style Gyuto :jump

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