GEC Wholesaler ?

GEC specializes in highly collectable and premium quality usable pocket knives. The company's USA manufactured knives have quickly proven to be a big hit with both collectors and users who seek quality American craftsmanship.
kootenay joe
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GEC Wholesaler ?

Postby kootenay joe » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:14 pm

I recently received a mail out from a well known GEC dealer that contains this statement: "I've also been able to purchase a few of the bone and micarta versions from an intermediary wholesaler ".
GEC has about 20 dealers who sell out with every popular run. GEC does not need a wholesaler to sell their knives. It just adds unneeded expense.
Also there are a number of ebay sellers who always score multiples of every popular GEC or Northwoods release even when many of us cannot even access the website because of so much traffic.
Is there a connection between the GEC wholesaler and the ebay sellers who always have multiples to sell ?
Note: i have no business experience so perhaps there is a role for a wholesaler to sell GEC knives and someone here might take the time to post the explanation.
kj

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m0nk
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Re: GEC Wholesaler ?

Postby m0nk » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:16 am

Roland, that does sound strange indeed. I always thought the distributors get the knives direct from GEC. The only "wholesaler" I know if is Blue Ridge, who, by looking at their website, doesn't seem to sell direct to customers. But I didn't know other authorized GEC dealers have to go through them. Hopefully someone more familiar with the situation can shed more light.

- Lee

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Re: GEC Wholesaler ?

Postby Sharpnshinyknives » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:15 am

kootenay joe wrote:I recently received a mail out from a well known GEC dealer that contains this statement: "I've also been able to purchase a few of the bone and micarta versions from an intermediary wholesaler ".
GEC has about 20 dealers who sell out with every popular run. GEC does not need a wholesaler to sell their knives. It just adds unneeded expense.
Also there are a number of ebay sellers who always score multiples of every popular GEC or Northwoods release even when many of us cannot even access the website because of so much traffic.
Is there a connection between the GEC wholesaler and the ebay sellers who always have multiples to sell ?
Note: i have no business experience so perhaps there is a role for a wholesaler to sell GEC knives and someone here might take the time to post the explanation.
kj



I got that same email and it raised my eyebrow too. There is probably, at the least, an internal person in charge of sales and working w/ the end retailer. Manufacturers have to play a balancing game of supplying enough product to their retailers to keep them on board selling their knives. My guess, and it’s just a guess, is that GEC allocates a certain amount of product to be doled out to smaller retailers. One may get product on this run and not the next. I worked as a wholesaler 35 years ago in a different industry and there certainly was some of this going on then.
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Re: GEC Wholesaler ?

Postby peanut740 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:14 am

My partner in Maher & Grosh is a distributor. They are considered dealers also as far as I know.He sells thru his website and at shows.He usually doesn't keep most knives long enough to have to sell thru dealers.Most of the hot new knives are spoken for before he even gets them.
Roger

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Re: GEC Wholesaler ?

Postby kootenay joe » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:03 am

Quote Ssk: "GEC allocates a certain amount of product to be doled out to smaller retailers"
Quite possibly but why ? Their regular dealers sell out in minutes and only some of the dealer's faithful customers manage to score a knife.
The GEC dealers can easily sell every knife except for the occasional pattern that is not popular. They don't need a wholesaler.
But they do use a wholesaler and i wonder if this is how the ebay sellers get their stock ? Or, is one of these ebay sellers the wholesaler ?
kj

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Re: GEC Wholesaler ?

Postby Beavertail » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:24 pm

Roland,
You've hit the nail on the head.
I've always believed that some have an inside track on buying these knives.
I think the email You received confirms this.

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Re: GEC Wholesaler ?

Postby knifeswapper » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:34 pm

GEC has a two tiered distribution model. Any dealer that purchases at least $36k yearly can sign up on the "distributor" tier when they open it up for new clients. This level has been closed for some time as they are protecting current clients given current capacity. They also have a "dealer" tier which starts much lower (sub $10k). Although there may be a couple of distributors (SMKW and Blue Ridge come to mind) that have been long time "distributors" for GEC - there is no separate consideration for them. In theory, any "distributor" could sell wholesale if they wished. But I know of none that do as most are simply volume retailers.

There are some small dealers that go straight to eBay. There are some end customers that visit the GEC factory store and buy direct at retail prices and then hurry them to eBay. But neither of the two actual wholesale sellers that I am aware of sells on eBay.

I looked on Blue Ridge and they did buy some bone / micarta Pemberton's at "distrubutor" and sold them at "dealer" pricing - which is completely legitimate as long as the buyer has a resale certificate (which is required to have a BRK account). My guess is this is exactly what the quoted dealer did.

Neither of these two models actually ended up being terribly rare. We have had the muslin on the site for a week and are currently only finishing the early reserve allocation for the bone.

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Re: GEC Wholesaler ?

Postby kootenay joe » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:38 pm

Thanks for the above explanation.
The GEC website lists 27 dealers. Do these dealers buy direct from GEC or do they have to purchase from a distributor ?
If the dealers buy direct from GEC why is there even a distributor ? 27 dealers are enough to take every knife GEC makes. Dealers often sell out and i am sure wish they had more to sell.
If distributors get a certain percentage of knives made and then supply the ebay flippers who double the price, this is very unfair to GEC customers. It would be more fair to instead send these knives to dealers so that we could buy them at the regular price.
As it is now with dealers getting limited numbers of knives, those of us who live in slow internet territory can no longer get onto a dealer site when a popular knife is released, in time to buy one of the knives. If dealers had a larger supply some of us 'slow internet' folks would be able to score. But because GEC supplies distributors and they in turn supply the ebay flippers, we slow internet people can only get a GEC at inflated flipper prices.
kj

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Re: GEC Wholesaler ?

Postby knifeswapper » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:50 pm

I didn't do a very good job, let me try this again. "distributor" is just a word for the top-tier dealers and "dealer" is the word for the smaller. Instead of "Gold" tier and "Silver" tier as some do. They are all listed in GEC's website and buy directly from GEC. Even the page on GEC's website says "GEC Distributors/Dealers". The difference is the amount of product the dealer buys in a year. I am a distributor, along with DLT, KSF, The Knife Connection, etc., etc. I do not sell wholesale and everything I buy from GEC goes thru the Early Reserves then the front page of the web store.

Nobody is selling knives out the back door to flippers. Flippers are just better and faster at buying knives from drops than most "slow internet" people and they then go flip them. Most times dealers will limit them to one knife; but they will buy from 3-4 dealers. There is nothing whatsoever being done that can be avoided by GEC or at the individual dealer level to eliminate this practice.

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Re: GEC Wholesaler ?

Postby kootenay joe » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:51 pm

Thank you Mike. Your clear straight forward explanation is what i and others needed(wanted) to know. For me it is a relief to learn that there is no favoritism in how GEC knives get from factory to retail seller.
GEC's use of the word "distributor" for high volume dealers is what created potential for misunderstanding. Now we do understand. Thank you Sir !
kj


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