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Done With Customs

Discussion in 'Design' started by Scott Kozub, Nov 11, 2021.

  1. Scott Kozub

    Scott Kozub Active Member

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    For the last few years I have been making custom knives. I try to provide the customer with the specs they want. I'm very clear when they order that this is a hobby, not a job and it usually takes about 3 months to make a knife but this depends on the workload. For this reason, I never accept payment or even a deposit until the knife is complete and the customer is happy.

    This spring/summer I got very busy with orders. The hobby quickly became a drag. I was feeling obligated to spend all my free time on knives. I like to provide customers with photos and video clips of the knives as they're being built. I always update someone when I'm working on their knife. At night I was doing order forms, photos, build sheets, and answering emails.

    Unfortunately, I had some customers that kept contacting me wanting constant updates. I'd tell them when I planned to start and they'd take it as the knife would be complete that day. I just had to rehandle 2 complete knives because the customer didn't like the grain pattern. I asked him to come look at the knives because the handles turned out great but he didn't want to and he wouldn't be happy so I rehandled them. 99% of my customers are great but it only took a few instances to make me realize that I don't want the headache.

    I finally made the decision that I will no longer be doing built-to-order knives (except for family and Friends). I'm working on clearing up my backlog at the moment.

    I'm so glad I made the decision. Now I can make the knives I want to make, post them on my site and if someone wants to buy it they can. I'm actually really excited about being able to try some new stuff and materials. I was getting kind of bumbed out but am really looking forward to this.

    I'm going to be making some test knives for a good friend who has a trapping license to get his input. Funny how a simple thing like this has given me a new drive.
     
  2. FORGE

    FORGE Active Member

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    Scott I agree with you 100% ......... I spent over 40 years meeting customer deadlines and designings and building projects the way they wanted.
    Custom knife making is a hobby that pays about $5 an hour and I build what I want, when I want with ..... no deadlines or commitments.

    Somebody always wants it a little longer,a little shorter, not quite as much sweep ,with a gut hook, more flex in the blade, with a different handle ,with micarta instead of G10 . They all have their smorgasbord of ideas and from my experience most users are not quite sure what they want.

    IF YOU WANT TO GO NUTS JUST START TAKING ORDERS FOR CUSTOM KNIVES WITH COMPLETION DEADLINES.
     
  3. Dave Hodson

    Dave Hodson Member

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    Unfortunately it only takes one bad customer to ruin your day and spoil it for others. You make some beautiful knives and I'm sure you enjoyed the satisfaction that comes with a happy customer but we only get a limited number of breaths - you can't get them back and it's a shame to waste them.

    All the best
    Dave
     

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