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reswright
1424
Aug 31, 2019
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Considering how bad 'curation' was getting in Blades and a couple other places this is a move that could end up with some positive upside. It might be something you really needed to do in the long run and it might be a bit of bullet biting you're doing now, so I'll be the lone voice in the crowd that says 'I think I get it'. Don't get me wrong. It is clearly a move that has immediate downside, and it was made a lot worse by the way it was implemented, like this is Office Space and you guys just 'fixed the glitch' instead of tellin' the poor bastards looking for their red Swinglines that they've been fired. About as classy as firing people at the christmas party, that. Grow a set, ya know? And like, seriously, are you guys mimes? Were you raised by martial nuns with yardsticks that cracked you one if you made a sound? TF is with the radio silence? You want a community website, start talking. You don't need every one of your buyers to be Leonardo da fricking Vinci; we can start with being responsive for questions. You don't need to carry the whole load, you don't need to know everything, you just need to provide data and every once in a while, take feedback when you get out of step with what folks want. Blades/EDC has several people who provide content and clearly care both about what's being sold and the possibilities inherent in a place like Drop -- this is stuff that many forums end up having to pay or bribe people to generate, so you guys can't really ask for a lot more than what people give you. I read someplace in this thread that management thinks we are a 'hyper critical' community, which suggests that they might not understand how other web communities work in real life, or maybe they're a little butthurt that we haven't jumped on every grenade of a deal that they tossed over the transom, but the simple fact is, if they really are using the concept of 'community' to mean anything more than 'people who buy our stuff' they better get more comfortable with sharing data. So there's a lot of reasons they might want to retrench. The simple truth is that Drop was slinging stuff left and right that they weren't even validating, probably because the buyers were either overwhelmed by the responsibility or more likely never assumed it in the first place. And this was presenting them with an immense problem WRT liability and FCC guidelines, in addition to bad merchandise. We had 'gemstone' dice that were made out of bullshit simulants, and when those were caught by the community Drop just tried to sell them with a different label. We had and I guess still have kitchen knives that snap in two, knives with no bolster being sold as thought they had one, we had aluminum cookware being provided with bad directions. We had items of dubious provenance showing up like those DDR Klax knockoff knives, and ghost shift knives with bad QC like hundred dollar Kizers with warped grinds, and Rikes that are actually HQ Outdoors with a Rike label. We had things going through multiple rounds of sales with incorrect and misleading ad copy for months at a go. And people were starting to complain a lot more about them. Did it change anything? No. Things were so out of control that someone over there went 'wait, I have it! Let's sell loot boxes IRL!' and that's exactly the direction they took. Then -- something happened, I don't even know what, but clearly something did, and here we are. All of these processes opened Drop up to a window of liability that they know is still gaping wide open, and the fact that they are going to concentrate their manpower on fewer drops with better vetted merchandise is possibly the first positive sign I've seen out of Drop since things first started going downhill. I don't want to diminish the loss to those folks who wanted the quilting stuff, etc. They have every right to feel disrespected as customers and to go elsewhere, but if someone told me 'dude Drop is now your responsibility and your first job is to unscrew this situation we're in' my very first moves would probably be to do what they just did: contract the lines of business and put more internal eyes on the deals being offered, even knowing that in the short term it might contract the revenue stream, in the name of building quality and capital within the community. Again, this is a community website and right or wrong, just or not, right now the community has the profound sense that Drop regards them as an inconvenience and Drop is no longer even offering them a compelling reason to check in. I'm hoping that these changes end up yielding Drops that have a little more informational integrity to them and that people can start seeing the difference that results when you really curate things well -- because that's one place where Drop can shine, if it follows up on these initiatives. One last thing I'd say to all this -- I've read and understood some of the things said in the discussion about polls, and polling, and how it hasn't worked that well at Drop. What's more, I get it. The things that everyone wants, suppliers do not need to bend over backwards to find a way to sell, and may not be interested in working with Drop for any number of reasons. So just because we the entitled consumer want it, doesn't mean you the retailer can offer it, and that's how it is. Here's the thing, though -- there's stuff that, for example, the Blades community has been asking for for a long time, like drops from Tuyaknife or TwoSun. And all we hear is nothing. If you can't get them, FFS say so and give us a little detail. That's how communities work, you know. It would go a lot farther than you might think in terms of establishing the sort of rapport that you want your community to feature, because right now all we get is silence and trust me, we fill in the blanks accordingly, in a way that doesn't flatter you much at all, if you follow me.
Aug 31, 2019
Kavik
4496
Sep 1, 2019
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Wow....excellent post man, wish I could give this 10 👍s I hope someone at Drop takes the time to read and really digest the whole thing when they get back to work next week.
Sep 1, 2019
Wizardo
9
Sep 2, 2019
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Honestly in my opinion from what I've seen offered in the last few months (pretty well since the name change) drop seems more concerned with selling their own branded merchandise than any actual curated products. The curated products are what brought me to (mass)drop in the first place.
Sep 2, 2019
reswright
1424
Sep 4, 2019
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as for me, it was a mention in someone’s column talking about top designers working direct-to-consumer. Sounded really cool, so I googled. Here I am. I think the collaborations are important to Drop the same way selling the house wine is to a vineyard restaurant. They have a chance to sell their own wholesale item at a retail price. That makes for a nice margin. If they get it right, everyone’s happy. I think it is fine. But they have to have good open market items too, and prices that are competitive for those open market items as well, or a whole bunch of their clients will stop showing up. They DEFINITELY should not underestimate the degree to which the modern consumer regards shopping at their storefront, and their curation, as personal entertainment that gets punctuated by occasional transactions. New stuff is everywhere and so are the people ready to sell it to you; that isn’t entertaining. New stuff that might be a good deal? That can be entertaining AF. So places that can source decent priced deals with some regularity are at a huge advantage when it comes to attracting and keeping people around long enough to build their personal brand within that community of interested customers. That is the name of the game. Otherwise people gravitate toward other sellers with different stuff, just to keep things fresh. They stop checking in, then stop checking emails. There’s no easy way to strike the balance, but getting it right is lucrative and makes a lot of people happy.
Sep 4, 2019
DougFLA123
1240
Sep 9, 2019
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“Rikes that are actually HQ Outdoors with a Rike label”?? For real? I’ve purchased several Rike knives here, and the quality was underwhelming!
(Edited)
Sep 9, 2019
reswright
1424
Sep 9, 2019
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Rike's sort of near the handmade end of the Chinese knife spectrum, but the guy occasionally licenses some of his designs for production with HQ Outdoors, which makes cheaper versions and sells them for considerably less. Digging though the past sales and associated comments on Drop it looks like there were some drops here alleging to be Rikes at a deep discount, but they were hitting the market at the same time the HQ Outdoor production versions were dropping elsewhere, and people who liked Rike weren't happy with the quality, which was comparatively shoddy. To me, and apparently to some others that left reviews, we don't like how that lines up. It might be that Drop somehow found a genuine source for real Rikes for like half their normal price and the Rikes just happened to not be nearly as good as usual for some honest reason,and that all the HQ Outdoors correspondences are just a coincidence, right? But if you take that possibility, and set it next to the possibility that someone was just banging out HQ Outdoors production knives and putting a 'Rikeknife' label on them to sell to a no-questions-asked buyer looking for a quick buck? I know which one I trust more.
Sep 9, 2019
DougFLA123
1240
Sep 9, 2019
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When I first joined this website in 2017, my first purchases were Rike knives. I purchased the Rike 1504 Ti Frame lock, the Rike Thor 4 Ti Frame lock, and the Rike Damascus Hummingbird Mini Flipper. None of them were Reate/WE Knife quality, even though Rike charges Reate/WE prices, but Massdrop prices were stellar! I purchased each of them months apart and two of the three had major flaws...Quality Control Issues. One of the options Massdrop gave me when I wrote a ticket and complained about the poor quality was that they would give me a partial refund of $100 (for each of them), and I can keep the knives. I took the deal. I thought I had done very well, getting already discounted high-ish end Rike knives for $100 less than the already discounted Massdrop prices. Now that you brought this up about HQ Outdoors, I think I may have been scammed by Massdrop and I didn’t get a good deal at all! Is there anyway to know who actually made these three “Rike” knives? I wonder if @JonasHeineman can shed some light on the subject?
(Edited)
Sep 9, 2019
reswright
1424
Sep 11, 2019
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It's actually HX Outdoors, I believe.
Sep 11, 2019
DougFLA123
1240
Sep 11, 2019
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Ok, thanks
Sep 11, 2019
DougFLA123
1240
Sep 11, 2019
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I think Rike Knife makes HX Outdoors, just like WE Knife makes Civivi.
Sep 11, 2019
reswright
1424
Sep 11, 2019
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Could be. It would offer a ready explanation as to how Drop might have obtained HX Outdoors knives with Rikeknife labels.
Sep 11, 2019
reswright
1424
Sep 11, 2019
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It’s worth pointing out what might be obvious: if I have learned anything buying Chinese knives, it is that this happens a lot. This would be something that happens with well known, prestigious, good knives and it is a known problem. Western company A contracts Chinese OEM B to make Brand C knives. The OEM runs one, maybe two shifts, but some of the workers often come back in the evening to make knives on the same tooling, with maybe the same material and probably not the same QC, but still using the desirable Company A Brand C logo. They sell the knives in some deal under the table and are done. Most of this stuff stays in China or nearby, but sometimes someone has a bunch left over and they sell it off to a foreign buyer who thinks they are buying Brand C. That could be Drop. Or Drop’s buyers could be hustling ass trying to find deals and they call up the guy who did, and just found out and is sitting there going ‘WTF am I gonna do, these are ghost shift knives” when the phone rings and it’s a Drop buyer going “C’mon, sparky, gimme a deal!” ‘Well, maybe I could let you in on this run of Brand C knives....... yeah. Seriously. . I can maybe give you a break, since we’ve done business before..” ‘Done! Woohoo!”.
Sep 11, 2019
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