Why would anyone shop online for a pocket knife? How are you going to run your thumb across that blade to ensure that it is sharp enough to perform a kidney transplant? Sportsmen and collectors have to see and feel a good knife in their hand before slapping down the green stuff and taking it home.
I have a nice little pocket knife collection myself, and the majority of them were purchased online through a variety of vendors. Why would I do this? Why would I purchase something without being up close and personal with it first?
Being that I am admittedly addicted to pocket knives, I tend to look them over anywhere and everywhere I run across them. When I am at my favorite sporting goods store, I will go through the knife section with a fine toothed comb. I cannot stand to think that I missed holding and observing anything.
I personally subscribe to the more popular pocket knife magazines. Many of the authors are experts in their specific knife areas. They put out great information on company news, new knives, knife features and a massive amount of information on related topics. Yes, my subscription is always handy and the pages end up becoming pretty ragged.
My next step is to start my Internet search. I like to find the smaller pocket knife companies online that remind me of a small store in a small town. I like to think that the staff and owner are personal type people who just love to talk knives whether they sell me one or not.
I will spend some time going through the inventory; checking out the brands that are carried. I like to reader over the features provided by the Internet shops to compare to what I have knowledge of. I look for personalization of the website to ensure that the owner did not just slap it up on the Internet and hope for the best. I like to buy form truly interested folks; people who enjoy what they do and love pocket knives.
Sometimes, I do like to send an email to the customer support or the webmaster of the site to discuss some knife topics. I like to throw in a comparison. For example, I may have three pocket knives in mind. I will ask the site owner what his or her opinion of the three are; which he or she would purchase and why? I like knowledgeable knife shops that have opinions and know what they are talking about.
I cannot tell you how many times that I have ordered a knife and it never show up. This is common with pocket knife shops as the inventory moves so quickly and keeping the numbers up is a massive job. So, with that in mind, I will communicate with the shop and find out what is going on. There is nothing more discouraging than not getting a response. This will end my future patronage of this shop, simple as that.
Customer service must be at the top of the list for an Internet store to survive as the transaction is so impersonal. I do not want to feel like I am sending my hard earned cash into the void of the unknown and hoping for the best. I want my product delivered or I want my money back without a hassle or a problem.
Is online shopping safe? I mean, look at all the identity theft. Well, it is just as safe to shop online as it is by phone or in person. The identity theft commonly occurs first hand. In other words, you give your credit card number to a vendor and someone copies it down or picks up a receipt with your information on it. It is very difficult for a hacker to intercept a credit card transaction shooting across the Internet.
Credit card numbers are usually taken from vendors or companies that leave the information stored on their computers. The transaction is mostly safe and it is rare for an identity theft to happen that way. So, do not fear the pocket knife purchase, fear what the vendor does with your information after the purchase.
I will always be a pocket knife Internet shopper as long as it is available. And, I believe that purchasing online will become bigger than in-person shopping in the years to come.
William “Cole” Doggett is a knife expert and owns a an Internet knife shop, Knife & Supply Company, LLC at Pocket Knife | Hunting Knife. His website is devoted to all things pocket knives, swords, kitchen cutlery, sharpeners, machetes and a wealth of information. Stop by!
Also, check out the Fighting Knife Blog | Collectible Knife.