Black Friday 2022 Rant
Black Friday came and went as any day in the calendar. We did well all thanks to you, the knifemaking community. Thank you all for supporting a small company. Especially during these times of economic uncertainty. Our sincere and humble thank you to all our customers.
So, what is the rant about? Well, Black Friday and commercialism itself. Unlike any other day in the calendar, Black Friday is meant to be the pinnacle of consumption. This isn’t the problem; the problem is that after Black Friday come Cyber Monday where companies dump prices even more. All in the name of commerce. And there was commerce. So much so that Black Friday became Black Week and Cyber Monday became Cyber week. One day became 2 weeks, approximately half a month.
Ok. So, companies are trying to sell more and extend every reason to market something. In theory this is fine and dandy until we start looking at what is actually happening. According to a Swedish study, around 85% of everything sold during Black Friday was available cheaper than the BF offer within the last 30 days. So, a normal price or a normal sale within 30 days was actually cheaper than the BF offer. What kind of epic BF offer is this? Also, according to a Finnish study, the real average BF discount on items were 4,7%. 4,7%. This is a great discount? And this is going on all around the western world.
Enter Bladepoint. With our loyalty program Blade-Points customers can get a cool 5% off everything. This is standard and available 24/7/365. And this is on top of other offers. The average BF discount was less than what we run all the time for our loyal customers. During 2022 I have raised the prices on exactly 3 items out of the whole inventory. That is around 1% of the whole line-up. And those raises were only so I can afford to restock them when they sell out. Only one of these items were on sale at all during our BF sales. ALL other discounts were from the same prices that have always been. For example, the offers on stabilized blocks were 30-70%, Bladepoint blades up to 25%, tons of items from Lauri, NKD and other suppliers on 20-50%. All from standard prices that have -not- been raised “due to inflation” or whatever.
So, am I dumb for pricing like this? Or, honest? Is dumb honest or is honest dumb? Flip this whatever way you like, but both me and Daisy were working our butts off to be able to bring you what we did. Margins are naturally lower with these discounts. This is possible because we work from home. The stabilizing Laboratory is in the attic of my house and the workshop is in the garage. We live and breathe this lifestyle every day. Some days more willingly than others.
Despite good sales, I am wondering if Black Friday is sustainable. Big companies run hard marketing and succeed in pushing “great deals” to people. All while we are working honestly at a miniscule margin. Hard work should pay off, but it doesn’t. Hard marketing does. We have no budget to market with (relative to the giants), and even if we tried, the knifemaking industry isn’t easy to market as we deal with weapons according to many social media platforms. There is no way we can overshadow the giant companies so what can we do? As I see it, either we join them, or we refuse the hysteria. I don’t want to join them as I do not feel like jacking up prices to give discounts is an honest way of doing business. Refuse the hysteria will lead to Bladepoint being relatively less visible to other offers. Especially during the BF and CM weeks of mass marketing and consumption.
Right now, I don’t think Bladepoint will be running Black Friday offers in the future. Many other companies are thinking or have already done the same. As things are with bigger companies pricing and marketing strategies, honesty doesn't seem to pay off. If honesty isn’t an option, then I rather not play the game.