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#2430 - 11/10/01 05:26 PM Re: mercantile woes
Neanderthal Offline
newbie member

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 130
Loc: Pennsylvania
cthompson01 : www.otterbox.com Nice waterproof containers. Various sizes reasonable prices. Chris : no doubt your kit would set the industry standard. When one considers the expense involved adding to one of the currently available units as well as replacing inferior components, your price might represent a bargain. My only question is size of the market. Are there enough of us out there that take this thing seriously enough and are knowlegeable enough to spend that kind of money ?


#2431 - 11/10/01 11:17 PM Re: mercantile woes

I take it this isn't going to be a pocket kit. Good choice on the knife. A little big but you can't beat the quality for the cost

#2432 - 11/11/01 02:42 AM Re: mercantile woes
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Yes, It hopefully will be a pocket kit. The SAS GEM book and Mora would obviously be items outside the box, which is how Im trying to think. I've come to the conclusion that only sharp knives and accurate compasses are interesting. The Mora isn't as robust as I d like. The model I hope to include does have a half guard, full tang and sheath. I can get these at a modest price. I figure it's miles ahead of the erzats SAK or cheap folders usually included. Hopefully the GEM ( and plug for EQUIPPED) will move the buyer forward without regrets for my kit's assembly. Meanwhile Im still looking at containers.

#2433 - 11/12/01 04:38 PM Re: mercantile woes

I admire your pursuit of the idea of marketing a kit. It sounds like you are worried about hitting a price point that typical buyers are going to find acceptable. That's really the essential challenge here. How do you assemble something of the quality and calibre of one of Doug's kits for anything like a reasonable cost of production? It's almost impossible, which is why so many other commercial kits have fallen short. Eventually they have all had to make serious compromises in quality of components, packing methods, etc to meet the challenge of mass production and acceptable pricing. Also remember that retail pricing is typically double the wholesale price (and the wholesale price is marked-up from the cost of production). If it costs $75 dollars in materials, it's going to have to retail for at the very least $200 in a normal distribution channel, unless you direct-market it.<br><br>Right off the bat, if it were me, I would market the kit, the knife, and the survival manual separately. That will allow a buyer who already has a knife and/or a manual to get the kit at the lowest possible price point without wasting money. Also, what two people ever agreed on a knife selection? Even if somebody buys all three, the perceived price point will be lower, because the prices will be considered separately, not together.<br><br>As far as the container goes, I can see that is going to be a challenge to work out. One idea (that is off-the-wall and has some drawbacks), but costs only a few pennies per unit and is waterproof, compact, lightweight and has secondary uses as a water container or as tinder-- a vacuum bag. I have been vacuum packaging my survival items for a while now, and I am very happy with this as a packaging method and I think it has commercial potential. The vacuum pressure really consolidates the items into a solid mass, so there is no shifting of contents and no wasted space or weight. The main drawback is that the contents can't be removed and examined or switched by the purchaser without breaking the seal. It's purly an "open in the event of emergency" package. The clear bag would allow easy viewing and inspection of the contents, though. This would probably be best suited to smaller kits that do not contain expiration items. The problems of cost, supply and getting the perfect size container would be eliminated. It would allow you to get a good assortment of items to market at minimal cost in a ready-to-go package. <br><br>The lack of a rigid container might be seen as a drawback by some, and for those people, you could provide instructions on how to acquire an appropriate tobacco tin (or whatver) and possibly even market that as a separate item if or when you can get them. This would probably be an acceptable solution to that kind of buyer anyway, since the kind of person who would bother to change the container would also probably change or add to or subtract from the contents anyway, necessitating a different sized container.<br><br>Good luck!

#2434 - 11/12/01 05:15 PM Re: mercantile woes
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
I find myself eliminating items rather than compromising on quality. I can't see a roll of candy or a bullion cube saving a life. The button compass has become another issue. Aside from just acquiring any, I can't see the value. If a survivor is going to travel ( usually not recommended anyway), something better than "squint, watch the mini needle wobble between N-N/W is needed. So I am looking at small base plate units. I can offer a very basic Mora ( 51/2" rockwell 60 carbon)for @ $ 6 wholesale. Aside from actually possessing a sharp blade,this is the only reliable knife for sparking on natural flints, My THIRD fire source. So thats my plan; increase quality,decrease quantity. If I can hold retail down to a reasonable markup I will make the unit attractive on that illogical level.

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