Lets talk GEC!

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by rockgolfer, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    When times are tough you go back to the beginning. Making what knives they know they can reliably deliver is an insult to no one.

    I prefer the SFOs also since I like less mainstream versions in either the shield or the cover material but I don't feel slighted if there's nothing in the current pipeline that I like. That time will come again and I"ll worry about getting one then.
  2. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    I doubt it's concern for the modern man that is driving his decision.
    But perhaps the Loliscramble that has become prevalent these days is starting to turn away customers?
    Everybody waiting for the next exclusive release and leaving regular run knives collecting dust on the shelf?
    Who knows for sure, we can only speculate at this point.
    KnifeandEasy, rpstrimple and rdave like this.
  3. rdave

    rdave Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    Yes, perhaps, but difficult find a #23 and particularly LL on the shelf currently...
    rpstrimple, JohnDF and thepapercut like this.
  4. rpstrimple

    rpstrimple Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 16, 2011
    I don't think it entirely has to do with folks flipping knives for premiums. That happens with every collectable in existence. He could raise his cut of the SFOs to get more, the dealers would simply charge more, and you would still have people flipping SFOs and club knives even higher. I'm sure there is something behind the scenes that we all don't know. Maybe the SFOs were a huge PITA and maybe he thought now is a good time to readjust their workflow given the pandemic.

    I do agree that the SFOs were a lot of the times more interesting than the standard production. And I hope this isn't a shift toward a simpler, less interesting production knife. If we only get two 33s, I am going to be bummed. Another member mentioned the 33 is just a transition into the next major pattern release. But I don't know how that would be any less scrambly? Why jam in a 33 if you are transitioning production? Is it a previously agreed SFO? Maybe MG? Who knows...
    Quiet and JohnDF like this.
  5. Chief

    Chief Chief Master Sergeant USAF (ret) 1975-2000 Platinum Member

    Nov 15, 1998
    My speculation / conclusion ... GEC has been forced to make changes for financial reasons caused by the shutdown. Somewhere read GEC has 33 employees, that is a huge payroll! Bill is undoubtedly friends with CC, KSF, CK, G&M, etc and wouldn't make decisions to hurt his friends unless absolutely necessary to keep GEC afloat. As it stands, this decision shut down Waynorth Cutlery, Northwoods, and several others. They will have extreme difficulty finding a USA slipjoint manufacturer who can provide them with the same quality knives.

    Wouldn't surprise me to see GEC sell direct to customers. Take all the profit instead of feeding distributors, dealers, and flippers. If I were a bank loan officer, would ask my efficiency expert to evaluate GEC's business model / market and make recommendations concerning the viability of GEC to repay loans. Offer the loan contingent on implementing the changes. Selling direct would not be a problem for GEC. Doubling / tripling their profit would allow GEC to weather the shutdown and continue as a growing concern. Nothing but stubbornness prevents GEC from making thousands and thousands of highly sought after knives. Make a bunch of grinling whittlers or whatever hot pattern and sell them direct. Would love to see thousands and thousands of single clip sawcut TC barlows, enough to drive down the price and give everyone a chance to own all they desire for $125. Win, win, win.

    GECs are so popular they no longer need to produce SFOs (non SFO cherry LL beavertail 23s sold out in minutes on two sites yesterday) but SFOs need GEC. GECs are the only factory traditional knife I use and collect. I plan on continuing to support GEC by purchasing releases and hope they make it through this challenging time.

    Sacto, BIGDORK, redsparrow and 15 others like this.
  6. rdave

    rdave Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    Good Points @cheif... None of the SFO dealers you mentioned should be hurt by this change - all dealers survived well in the pre-SFO era. Some dealers had an opportunity to make SFOs and have turned it down over the years.

    The point is GEC can make an SFO in every knife they produce by souping them up a bit, so to speak, and their regular runs are pretty nice right now... Howard is a master at turning the ship in the right direction as evidenced over the past 14 years... Give it a chance...
  7. Half/Stop

    Half/Stop Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    Thanks John! :) :thumbsup:
    JohnDF likes this.
  8. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    I wasn’t collecting GEC knives at the time those came out, unfortunately for me. As scarce as they are, those seem like great knives!
  9. Half/Stop

    Half/Stop Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    Hello Mike! I was actually talking about the #77 Washington Jacks. They are beautiful knives, I am fortunate to have a few of the models with the spear main. I think some the Northfield and Tidioute versions of the #77 Yankee Jacks can hold their own in the appearance department. IMHO of course. ;)
    Old Engineer, btb01 and mrknife like this.
  10. knifeswapper

    knifeswapper Knife Peddler Dealer / Materials Provider

    Sep 3, 2004
    Yes, those were outstanding. I am also a fan of the standard #77.
  11. mrknife

    mrknife Gold Member Gold Member

    May 9, 2010
    i dont think theyve run regular 77 yankee jacks in some time....
    Travman likes this.
  12. knifeswapper

    knifeswapper Knife Peddler Dealer / Materials Provider

    Sep 3, 2004
    On this account - my speculation is no better informed than the rest. But it is curious how the no-sfo and one each #33 fell together.

    Things have changed a lot in 20 years. There was a time where there were collectors and users. Now the collectors use their knives, so they are more akin to hoarders. My guess is that 40% of GEC's see usage from their first owner. The rest are kept fresh until the first owner needs to move them. So, in the end, I feel like 60% of GEC's end up with patina within 5 years of production. I do think Bill has targeted the hard core folks BY making the best traditional using knife available.

    Can't agree with that. When a run is in finishing; Bill sits down and calculates his cost down to the penny. Then he adds the company margin on top of that. I have never felt like he figured SFO's any differently. And he sure does not ask for tooling costs upfront (that I recall).

    In lieu of past discussions - I do not concur with this line of thought. I don't think GEC has financial issues/concerns at this point in time. But much of the negative communications with the factory in the past few years has been sfo related. "Why does he get one and I don't?" "Why are you letting these secondary prices go crazy?" etc. etc. But you may be right....
  13. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    At least that's some good news for everybody. :cool::thumbsup:
  14. Jiki

    Jiki Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 12, 2018
    My two cents.

    1. I think everyone is making a lot of assumptions about the health of the company.

    2. I think the 33s are just a filler run with material on hand because of some supply chain delays. They did the same thing last year with some pruners, fish knives, and hoof picks. Savvy of Bill to have things on hand to keep his employees working especially after a forced shut down. We should not read too much into it. After all we have so much to read into the SFO news.;)
    JD Bear, mrknife and untytled like this.
  15. LastRodeo

    LastRodeo Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 2, 2013
    Did Christine manage alot of that SFO communications overhead in the past?
    Travman likes this.
  16. Norcaldude

    Norcaldude Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 19, 2014
    People causing drama, that's why we can't have nice things.
    tstaut, EngrSorenson, Travman and 2 others like this.
  17. bbk357

    bbk357 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 12, 2018
    and how a GEC official distributer puts all of his stock on eBay to bid.
    There you go folks. All the flippers ruined it for everyone.
    Lesknife, Old Engineer and mrknife like this.
  18. willard0341

    willard0341 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  19. Scott J.

    Scott J. Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 8, 2019
    I don't understand people complaining about SFO's.
    If you want a unique item then it cannot be produced in numbers that flood the market. By definition it would no longer be unique.
    If you really want one you can have one just pick one if the following methods.
    1. Get in good with the dealers and get in the lists and pre oreders.
    2. Pay someone to do that for you (you're free to decide to pay the flip price or maybe you don't want it bad enough to pay for it or do the groundwork for it)
  20. Markeologist

    Markeologist Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 21, 2018
    OK, thanks for the info Mike. I thought the tooling for the Barlows was a cost you and Charlie incurred, thus your rights to those models.

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