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Where did all the vendors go?

Discussion in 'Support' started by NMaxy, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. Bill T

    Bill T Founding Member

    There's lots of reasons someone may buy...or not buy a forum.
    Timing is a big part. ..
    I'm sure no one wants to leave, but sometimes the numbers don't add up....at this time. ..
    Demanding an explanation may inhibit them from returning when the time is right or their situation is better.
     
  2. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

  3. butch

    butch Founding Member

    since it was brought up about vendes makig the forum ad withouth them the forums dwindle. forums are nothing withought members. venders hope that they can sell to a fe now and then. any vender that only markets to a single forum is foolish and wil not be in sales long. a forum can go completely without "venders" forums (you get ads in there place to pay for upkeep ) but a forum with nothing but venders sells nothing and is gone (you cant buy ad space for buyers )
     
  4. WildBoar

    WildBoar Founding Member Contributor

    I'm sure lots of vendors signed on the first year to help make/ build the forums, and largely at the request/ invitation of the forum owners. It's easy to sit back and say they should have an obligation to stay on (and pay much, much more then we regular members pay per year), but are they guaranteed future business from the members, and that all the members will stick around and keep paying as well? A knifemaker needs to sell several knives per year through the forum (ones that would not have sold through one of the others, through their web site, facebook pages, etc.) just to break even. For some of the part-time makers, the economics probably are not there.

    I suspect if Bill Burke or Devin Thomas dropped their vendor memberships thier businesses would not suffer. And someone like Butch who primarily sells through shops/ stores who already have vendor memberships really doesn't need to be one as well. We're probably lucky so many continue paying each year to retain their vendor statuses.
     
  5. I guess all those vendors were informed and reminded at least 1-2 times about their membership expiration, right? Cause it was only after reading that thread that I discovered that half of vendors are gone. Any chances that they are simply unaware?
     
  6. apicius9

    apicius9 Founding Member

    Jim let us know about the upcoming request for payment after a gracious first year of 'free riding'. But over two day jobs, I just missed the deadlines. Maybe that was similar for others. And while I can see why not everyone would see the value of 'advertising' here, for me it's more about supporting the community anyway. I appreciate everything that Jim has done to start this place. As a member for many years, I also feel a commitment to the 'other KKF', but after they have become a 'for profit' business and really ask for unreasonable contributions from people like me, I am not sure how long I can support both.

    Stefan
     
  7. The BoardSMITH

    The BoardSMITH Founding Member

    For me, I don't sell enough to members, either here or the other KKF, to justify the costs. However, because of the exposure at both on the internet, I can and have been found by non-member customers who read the sub-forum entries in their search. So it does make financial sense for the extra internet exposure.

    On the other side, I have been able to make a lot of friends with other vendors, people who I would never have had a chance to meet or get to know. One knife makes calls a few times a year and we have a long spirited conversation and I learn from his explanations abut knife making. Had it not been for the forums, KF-ITK specifically and Dave Martell, I would not be as successful as I am today. There is a hidden benefit to the forums and the sub-forums specifically.

    If the other vendors choose not to renew then that is their loss. I would have preferred to see them support Jim and his endeavor a little longer but that was their decision and I am not smart enough to second guess them. The one year "free ride" was very gracious of Jim and I appreciate it and will continue to support Jim as long as I can.

    Ditto for the other KKF even if it has become a for profit enterprise.
     
  8. William Catcheside

    William Catcheside Founding Member

    I don't think its all that easy decision,I found it hard to justify being in two places as a paid up Knifemaker, for me all the work and list I'm currently working on was through KKForum. They did address the intrusive advertising issues and the forum has continued to grow. It would be a poor business move to leave there for me personally, there are just too many people watching even if sometimes it feels like comments and interaction are lacking. On the other hand there is the political side of it and there is a different dynamic here and a desire for more honesty and openness , (I hope there will be more interaction also :D).
    It seems to be growing and pulling in more members all the time. I have made the decision to be on both forums as long as I can. Its not just about sales after all, its about an enthusiasm and inspiration for what your doing and Im sure the ethos established here will grow into something special.... Plus Jims site is super slick to use :)
     
  9. Mrmnms

    Mrmnms Founding Member Gold Contributor

    I understand where Neil is coming from . I've made a couple of significant purchases as a result of this forum. I would hope there was enough business generated to justify vendors sticking around as the forum hopefully grows.
    I like this forum. I really enjoy and am grateful to the members. Enough to contribute twice in its first infant year. I want to see this work for all of us. The attitude here is different to me. Smaller egos, people with generous hearts and spirit . A genuine interest in being part of a useful community. I get a real sense of fellowship. When Neil or others I admire raise questions that might be uncomfortable for some I do not get the impression it was asked to feed their egos or fan flames. They were done for all of us. It's important to feel comfortable enough to ask questions.
    In general , I try to vote with my wallet . Understanding that for many craftsmen and vendors, it's a challenge to make make ends meet, I try to be patient, generous and cooperative even when things don't unfold the way I expected. I have little understanding of the finances of a forum like this, so the question I ask is how we can all help sustain this forum, so it's a viable place for all members ,craftsmen, vendor and members alike. Sorry for rambling.
     
  10. cheflarge

    cheflarge Founding Member

    Poiniently put Neal & Mike! Without this site and its vendors my knife collection would be very minimal, as would be my knowledge and understanding of what a knife maker has to do, from start to finish, to make a finished product.

    Don't know what the answer is, however, firm believer the more the better when it comes to vendors.
     
  11. PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue Tactical Walrus Founding Member Contributor

    I can only speak for myself. I have been a member/craftsman here since its inception. I will soon have my forum again. An issue with having a fulltime job tied to the oil industry, and a family, and all the bills that go with it, is freeing up funds to renew at a given date.
     
  12. Rick

    Rick aka Pensacola Tiger Founding Member Gold Contributor

    It'll be great to have you back on board, Pierre!
     
  13. chefcomesback

    chefcomesback Founding Member

    I believe it comes to couple reasons : first the vendor doesnt see the need to participate in more forums than one or sometimes , this is understanable but in reality what the forums users should know is what they are contributing to those forums are not at the same level, for example the group buy incentives introduced here lately , or maxims group buy suji , direct through forums or indirect through their pages it does bring business
    Second reason is the vendor cant justify the subscription costs , although it is lot more reasonable than other forums some makers dont want to pay it , that is about it i guess
     
  14. CrisAnderson27

    CrisAnderson27 Professional Craftsman

    Far more than reasonable. One knife sold on this forum more than justifies the cost of subscription.

    I actually only sell on this forum. Well, I have my Facebook and Instagram accounts as well...but those are a much broader range of interests than kitchen knives. That said, you are right in that it's been difficult to maintain a business in this manner. But my commissions are steadily growing, and the knives made in between don't stay in stock for very long...so I think that's more a matter of me being able to get them out in a more timely fashion.

    Jim notified us more than once. The first time it slipped my mind, the second I was low on the necessary funds. Jim then sent out an email informing us that we could pay for 6 month blocks of time, instead of just a year. The price was MORE than reasonable, and so I was able to get my forum back in very short order. I think it was only down a day or so.

    In all honesty...when it comes to kitchen knives...I have no desire to post anywhere else. I have free reign to post as I please here with ZERO constraints beyond those any other member is held to. As a knifemaker my input and perspective is valued and appreciated wherever I feel it has an application...without the implication that I have ulterior motives beyond helping others. Most often the best and easiest way for me to illustrate a point is with pictures of my own work. Here that is welcomed, rather than discouraged. Add to that that most of the people who I interacted with on KKForum are here anyway...and I'm more than happy with just my forum on this site.

    Thanks for all of that...to all of you :).
     
  15. butch

    butch Founding Member

    as noted in point 2 findig time to mak e knives... thats why i lean on my retailers to post and do marketign work. less marketing direct from me lets me spend me more time i the shop.
     
  16. Well, it's been a while, but I am finally back. I will be paying as a vendor soon. As you can see, we had to change our name. It's a long story but basically someone had trademarked our name last year and we needed to change. Also, we launched and completed a successful kickstarter campaign, so we have been swamped with trying to fulfill those rewards and keep up with our other social media (and of course family). I value the advice I got from many of you via PM and such, and I am excited to continue to be a park of this community. Thanks!

    P.S. is there still a craftsman/hobbyist option? If not what are my choices and how do I pay?
     
  17. CrisAnderson27

    CrisAnderson27 Professional Craftsman

    I'm still relieved that that was settled amicably and without undue stress!

    As for the rest, your options for account upgrades are here. Just make sure to PM Jim before buying any of them.
     
  18. Thanks Cris
     
  19. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

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