What's Wrong With These Pictures?

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From Amazon, today:
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Can you tell me what's wrong with these pictures? Drop? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Well, I can: all these Drop exclusive items are in stock at Amazon, marked up by at least $20. None are in stock at Drop. All of two weeks after your post about keeping stuff in stock at Drop. What's up with that? You have all of 8 exclusive Drop models of knife in stock at Drop. I count some 22 'exclusive' Drop models in stock at Amazon. Where you've marked them all up. Saying again: after posting that you're moving to keep your exclusive stuff in stock (https://drop.com/talk/70301/celebrating-our-community?discussion=true) instead now most of it can only be found in other stores, where you are charging more for them. You guys keep talking about the pandemic and international trade issues.... but the whole 'it's a pandemic folks, we just can't get the knives fast enough to suit you' thing would sell a LOT better if all this stuff wasn't available in stock at Amazon today. I should add that I've thought about this a bit, tried to come up with reasonable explanations, and they've all fallen short. For example, I'd be substantially ok with this if you had too much stock on hand, too many choices for your buyers. But the number of knives you've been offering have steadily dropped for a while. As a matter of fact, in the last 2 weeks, I have seen all of ONE new knife offered on Drop... and you sold out of it in hours. Likewise I'd be fine if you were simply clearing out some old stock that just weren't moving anymore here -- god knows I was tired of logging into drop to check for new gear and having to wade through a dozen FF collabs I'd already seen a hundred times already. But that's not what's going on here either -- a number of the models you can only find at Amazon are still comparatively new and in demand in this community. How does this jibe, in the least, with that stuff you just posted this month in Drop Hub about keeping stuff in stock -- you know, 'Celebrating your Community'? Absent an explanation from Drop, I have a very clear conclusion: your venture capital creditors, who run you like Mussolini ran the trains, have decided that you can't make sufficient profit to generate the return on investment they think their investment entitles them to take, selling your own products to your own community... so screw us, right? We can go pound sand. You'll just give us some BS explanation about keeping more stuff in stock, while keeping less in stock. Very 2021. Y'all might as well run for office. Some celebration, folks. Prove me wrong. I'll wait.
thumb_uperickong, method_burger, and 3 others
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mdeous
193
Mar 7, 2021
That was long before they dropped the mass (all puns intended). In other news, the other day I wondered how many open positions they have opened at Drop (it's not always meaningful, but it sometimes reflects how well a company is doing and the areas it's investing in), and there isn't much, 1 generic product management role in the Product and Design dpt, and the Drop Studio dpt only has 1 position for an audiophile PM and 2 positions related to MKs. I won't draw any conclusions from this regarding the future of the EDC community, it could be that they already have the staff they need there, but what's sure is that it's not expanding. For reference: https://boards.greenhouse.io/drop
(Edited)
reswright
3560
Mar 7, 2021
Applying some open source analyis: they posted and updated the job posting for the audiophile product manager and the keyboard product manager on the same day. And the job descriptions of each make it clear that these aren't minor roles, but rather roles with oversight over those two areas, which are clearly the only two areas left Drop GAF about. So: they're looking for new leadership for each of the only two areas they're going to sustain going forward. And each of those postings, when I checked, are one day old, which could mean they were both posted yesterday but in practice probably means they were both updated yesterday. So there's some urgency for them to replace the current leaders in those positions, who may have already left. At or near the same time. Not what you'd call a good sign. Either people are quitting or someone's cleaning house with plans to double down on the stupid. Who knows, maybe Amazon outright acquired them. That's no good but at this point it would be a better diagnosis than the othes that occur.
mdeous
193
Mar 2, 2021
Meanwhile, days pass and still no new knife drop in sight...
reswright
3560
Mar 3, 2021
hey, if they bust out a bunch of decent new collabs or exclusives and rejuvenate EDC I'll be the first to say they came back around. I don't mind being wrong about stuff like this, it's kinda win win. Hell even if they just gotta pay off some bills before their suppliers will front them any more EDC, I'll be happy to see it come back around. That said, yeah, I'd bet a fiver they're winding EDC down, or at least the sharp and pointy component of it. They've been showing signs of it for a while now and probably know that if they announce it before they've sold off as much of their stock as they can, that what traffic they're getting to EDC will drop off altogether and it will be all the harder to get rid of all the Nextools and gadget lights and 'rustic' leatherwork they have left.
mdeous
193
Mar 4, 2021
I dunno how much of their traffic to other EDC items came from people looking for knives, but I'd bet it already dropped a bit. I personally check the shop wayyyy less often than I used to as I got tired of coming to check and see nothing new, and I can't believe I would be the only one.
Kavik
5409
Feb 24, 2021
The one thing I saw in relation to this was a comment in one of these items where someone from Drop said the increased price on Amazon is to cover the additional cut that Amazon takes, and because prices are up due to a 30% import tax on knives from China. Much of that sounds suspect to me, but I didn't really feel like getting into it further at the time. Here my thoughts though: 1 - first and foremost, "exclusive" goes out the window the second you start selling them elsewhere. All references to that should be taken down. Admit that you're screwing the core of your member base who gave you the money in advance to get these projects off the ground, like some sort of Kickstarter with no perks for buying in early. 2 - I didn't look it up, but 30% sounds higher than what I thought it was supposed to be? Either way, that's been going on for a while, and those prices were already included in the original Drop pricing 3 - most people pay for the ability to reach larger markets, be it through advertising costs or fees for selling through another platform (ebay, Amazon, whatever) Why should the customers be paying extra to cover your "exposure costs"? I didn't notice the in stock / out of stock part of this until seeing this post.... But yeah, that's messed up. This whole place lately feels like a big F You to all the long time members, but this one here now feels a whole lot more like a hard push to grasp every last dollar in any way possible. Edit : the link to that conversation - https://drop.com/buy/drop-eric-ochs-otter-titanium-liner-lock-knife/talk/2776417?utm_source=appshare&referer=94FC7J
(Edited)
Kavik
5409
Feb 28, 2021
Lol I understood it, just couldn't focus enough to decide if I needed to respond to anything. It's a messed up system, definitely. Luckily though, there are still those who read back through older posts. I know I still do that when I'm considering a product here. And I do still receive alerts for the occasional upvote on really old comments and reviews when things drop again....so I'm happy to see the burying of negative stuff isn't fool proof. But still annoying that it works to the extent that it does
reswright
3560
Feb 28, 2021
Ah gotcha, say no more. Well, the system still works if the only people who are ever reminded of these old posts are the ones where were a part of them the first time around. So long as others aren't getting those notices, so long as the old posts never actually trend again, they consider the damage contained.
reswright
3560
Feb 23, 2021
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mdeous
193
Feb 22, 2021
I don't really know what to think about it, it could be a good thing under certain circumstances, but there are a couple of things that give me an unpleasant feeling:
  1. the Amazon shop only takes orders from US-based customers (I had noticed the shop, but hadn't noticed the stock nor the price markup because when visiting with a foreign shipping address these show as out of stock)
  2. items are out of stock here but in stock on Amazon (although this could make sense as these seem to ship from Amazon, and therefore are probably stored in Amazon's warehouses instead of Drop's)
  3. there have been basically no new knife drops recently (while there used to be new blades for sale almost daily)
  4. this "celebrating our community" post looks like it's mostly aimed at the MK community as a lot of emphasis is put on what's been done for it
All this put together makes me wonder if the EDC community is not going to see the same tragic ending as the writing one did... Could they just be in the process of liquidating what's left of their stock before shutting it down? It wouldn't look any different if it they were.
(Edited)
reswright
3560
Feb 22, 2021
The store's been there for a while, but it wasn't until someone else pointed it out that I saw they had a bunch of knives there that they didn't have at Drop anymore. I had initially thought that the slowdown in knives was just a Chinese New Year thing as that's where most of their knives are sourced, and that it'd pick back up. But people are coming back from their holiday vacation and Drop still isn't sourcing more knives. As far as where it's warehoused -- if Drop made the decision to just relocate a bunch of stock to Amazon, they did so with the express intent of not having it available on hand, as Amazon gives partners like this the ability to ship from their own warehouses -- it's part and parcel of what they do. People can sell through Amazon at the same time they sell through their own site. So if Drop had just been 'look we need to reach more customers' they could have done it that way, and they didn't. And, as you point out, Amazon isn't shipping those knives outside the US, or at least they aren't shipping them to you. So this community group buy website built around the concept that it's too hard to get certain things delivered outside the US has gone from that to 'We're gonna sell it all on Amazon, and if you live outside the US, hard cheese to you!' Business is as business does and it's their business. Slowly phasing out EDC without telling anyone -- I think that's kinda weaksauce but it's their business. That said, doing this at the same time they post that stuff about celebrating their community and keeping more stuff in stock would be an Orwellian level of doublespeak. The thing is, as long as I've been here, the big community has seemed to be the audiophile community, and if the comments are any indication there's a long ton of audiophile customers who prepaid for gear they aren't getting, and aren't even getting updated on, and they're getting pissed about it. I've gone from being pretty close to spending a grand or two on Drop sourced audio components to watching and shaking my head, awfully glad I didn't. So EDC wouldn't be the only community they're running straight onto the rocks. Maybe their numbers on bespoke keys and switches are so strong it can sustain their whole business?
reswright
3560
Feb 21, 2021
*twiddles thumbs*
method_burger
536
Feb 21, 2021
i miss the days when Massdrop had more creative ideas. Pretty sure that rent for all these items in stock is really racking up. why not bring back mystery boxes, and put random things in it that is taking up space? why is the amazon store (roughly december 2020) timed in the same year when drop started to charge for shipping (roughly april 2020)? the other thing is, if massdrop is just going to be a fancy front as an amazon shop, then... whats the point of this website? what about the core business model 'discount through a commitment of mass customers.' instead this is going to be more like a bunch of marketing, followed by 'click here to buy stuff' which is kind of close to other websites like everydaycarry.com. and also, whats the point of this community of customers? if outreach is a problem, wheres your marketing department? what i find weirder is, since the pandemic, where internet use has gone up significantly, drop not only doesn't capitalize on new traffic, but instead cuts back on free shipping (a common perk), cuts back on product offering, sells previously exclusive content via third party. i'm not sure what the heck is going on, but we've all been saying since the website redesign, that massdrop felt weird. if you are going in a different business direction, thats fine. but you can do the common courtesy of announcing it to your customers (like geez, you guys are an SF based company, thought you guys were all about communication). or heck, even ask us, your customers, for ideas on problems you face and how to resolve them. whens the last time you guys sent out a survey on 'customer satisfaction of drop' as a company, not the purchased product? you got an active and very nitpicky community, and a pretty neat business idea that i'm sure the older members of the community is still very in favor of. dont keep us in the dark. the way i see it, theres 2 options. become more like massdrop once again, or become just another electronic store front. really hope you guys choose becoming massdrop.