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Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions 819

No Life Club Posts: 1,475
Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« on: October 21, 2020, 05:53:07 AM »
Hey guys, so I just came across the pricing of the Tale of Knives organisers/holsters and... I don't get it? They are handmade leather in the USA, that's great and everything, but I have a decent amount of handmade leather goods, made in the USA at no where near those prices... Am I missing something here or is this just social media boutique pricing?

What kind of cost is the leather in these products and how many man hours would a professional leather worker be putting into template products like these?

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Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 54,863
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2020, 06:03:08 PM »
Got a link to said products ?
No Life Club Posts: 1,475
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2020, 06:22:20 PM »
Got a link to said products ?

Oops! Here you go: https://taleofknives.com/collections just click into any collection to see pricing (they have a 2/3 week lead time on products ordered).

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Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,783
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2020, 08:27:46 PM »
There’s a point beyond questionable markups when pricing become so inflated that it becomes unquestioned, and clearly targeting an audience I don’t rub shoulders with.  :o

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Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 54,863
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2020, 12:16:59 AM »
Catering to the client who thinks nothing of spending $500 on a folder   :dunno:
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,109 Bored

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Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2020, 07:44:04 AM »
now, now, nothing wrong with expensive folders.... :) if you like them buy them

OK, so I had a look, expecting to see prices of 1000Euros/Dollars.

they are not cheap (80 to 160 dollars generally), but they are not prohibitively expensive if you compare them with what leather holders from many major makers, LM, Victorinox or some online sellers like Etsy or non leather ones like maxpedition cost.
They are 2, 3 ..... times the price but hold a lot and I expect they will be well made, using expensive leather and with good stitching.

Leather shoes and gloves can also be really expensive.

I don't use any belt "carry systems" so they are not for me but people happily spend serious money to modify a low cost Alox knife, or buy a 200+Euro multitool so they may want something nicer for their belt (the belt may cost way much anyway), especially for social occasions.


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OCD Squad Leader Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 11,863
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2020, 11:02:24 AM »
I'm with DKS on this one... they look good and are not outrageous expensive.

Remember, cost is not just material + labor cost it also includes workshop + tools/machines + webshop + customer service + returns + warranty claims + R&D + QC + management (hiring/product decision/material acquisition etc.)... Finally, demand. Since they have a backlog of 5-6 weeks they seem to be priced right.

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No Life Club Posts: 1,475
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2020, 12:39:02 PM »
now, now, nothing wrong with expensive folders.... :) if you like them buy them

OK, so I had a look, expecting to see prices of 1000Euros/Dollars.

they are not cheap (80 to 160 dollars generally), but they are not prohibitively expensive if you compare them with what leather holders from many major makers, LM, Victorinox or some online sellers like Etsy or non leather ones like maxpedition cost.
They are 2, 3 ..... times the price but hold a lot and I expect they will be well made, using expensive leather and with good stitching.

Leather shoes and gloves can also be really expensive.

I don't use any belt "carry systems" so they are not for me but people happily spend serious money to modify a low cost Alox knife, or buy a 200+Euro multitool so they may want something nicer for their belt (the belt may cost way much anyway), especially for social occasions.

No problem with expensive folders here, I have more than a handful of them, however I also understand why they're more expensive, whereas for these products, I'm just stumped besides boutiquey social media prices  :dunno:

You mention the comparison of leather pouches/holsters from major brands, so I took a look:

-The most expensive one I can see from the Victorinox site is the 'Leather Imitation Belt Pouch' for £23
-Leatherman's is the Ainsworth Heritage Sheath at $50
-Under the Maxpedition site's pouches section the most expensive product is a bottle carrier at $55
-For comparison purposes I took a look at the Galco site, a leather gun holster in a similar style is listed at $99 (I imagine the moulding done would be more intensive a creation process, but again, noob here)

I get the whole if people will pay for it then charge what you can mentality, I was just trying to understand how much of the product was materials, labour etc. and how much was social media branding, from the looks of it a pretty decent mark up is the brand  :dunno:

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,122 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2020, 01:08:35 PM »
Things like huge metal clips instead of belt loops, and metal riveted snaps instead of velcro tends to drive up the cost because they can't be automatically done and are more expensive.

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No Life Club Posts: 1,475
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2020, 01:10:11 PM »
I'm with DKS on this one... they look good and are not outrageous expensive.

Remember, cost is not just material + labor cost it also includes workshop + tools/machines + webshop + customer service + returns + warranty claims + R&D + QC + management (hiring/product decision/material acquisition etc.)... Finally, demand. Since they have a backlog of 5-6 weeks they seem to be priced right.

I appreciate the business mindset here, but it's a small operation with what appears to be a flat operational structure:

-Their returns are extremely limited, they require the customer not only pay for shipping but also a 20% restocking fee
-They don't appear to offer a warranty of any kind
-Such a flat structure (it appears to be a husband and wife along with a small team of employees) means that the owners most likely perform all admin, from hiring to material acquisition
-I'm mostly ignorant to leather production, my assumption would have been that unlike working metal the tools/tooling wouldn't need to be replaced often if at all?


One product that really made me question all of this is the keywrap (https://taleofknives.com/collections/ready-to-ship/products/key-wrap-rts), $24* for a small piece of leather with no stitching involved at all, just a grommet and snap button.

*This is without shipping, I assume it's also without taxes?

Again, not judging people that purchase these things, I just want to understand why the prices are so high for template produced leather goods.

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Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 54,863
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2020, 01:46:24 PM »
now, now, nothing wrong with expensive folders.... :) if you like them buy them

OK, so I had a look, expecting to see prices of 1000Euros/Dollars.

they are not cheap (80 to 160 dollars generally), but they are not prohibitively expensive if you compare them with what leather holders from many major makers, LM, Victorinox or some online sellers like Etsy or non leather ones like maxpedition cost.
They are 2, 3 ..... times the price but hold a lot and I expect they will be well made, using expensive leather and with good stitching.

Leather shoes and gloves can also be really expensive.

I don't use any belt "carry systems" so they are not for me but people happily spend serious money to modify a low cost Alox knife, or buy a 200+Euro multitool so they may want something nicer for their belt (the belt may cost way much anyway), especially for social occasions.


Not saying anything is wrong with that, just that is who their target customer likely is .
OCD Squad Leader Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 11,863
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2020, 03:55:18 PM »
@GearedForwards
You are right, their warranty is smurf and for me would be the reason not to buy from them. Kinda sounds like they don't stand behind their product.

But remember, it does not matter if the owner does the work, or if he hires someone, it is still work that needs to be paid.
And for working with leather in general you could say that you can have a manual stitcher for a few $, but then it takes forever to sew something, so your labor cost goes up. Or you invest into a leather stitching machine (quick google search tells me that they are easily $2500 and more for a decent model)

As for the $24 Key Wrap... this is the problem of "cheap items are only profitable in large numbers". Independent of the product a lot of the overhead (shop cost as an example. If you go into a supermarket and buy a $1 or a $10 product it is the same work for the cashier).
Since this is obviously a way to use leftover-leather I kinda appreciate it.

Just for a comparison look at this:
https://taleofknives.com/collections/the-free-multitool-gear/products/tuxedo-multitool-push-up-xl-flashlight-keypster
https://www.etsy.com/de/listing/840118554/edc-leder-gurteltasche-mit?ref=shop_home_active_2&frs=1&crt=1
Sure, the one on Etsy is less than half the price... but then it is made in Ukraine (nothing wrong with that, but labor cost in Ukraine is a good deal lower, minimum wage is $1/hour). Then look closer how that key-carabiner is sewn on. They are both nicely made but I would say (judging from the images) that the stitching is in general nicer on the US made product.
I'm not a leather person and it is close to impossible (at least for me) to judge leather quality from pictures, but I have to say, the leather on the Ukrainian product looks dry-ish.




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Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,109 Bored

dks cy

********* *
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2020, 06:14:29 PM »

Not saying anything is wrong with that, just that is who their target customer likely is .

it was not a serious sentence, hence the smiley face

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Al : "Women!"

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No Life Club Posts: 1,475
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2020, 07:16:28 PM »
@GearedForwards
You are right, their warranty is smurf and for me would be the reason not to buy from them. Kinda sounds like they don't stand behind their product.

But remember, it does not matter if the owner does the work, or if he hires someone, it is still work that needs to be paid.
And for working with leather in general you could say that you can have a manual stitcher for a few $, but then it takes forever to sew something, so your labor cost goes up. Or you invest into a leather stitching machine (quick google search tells me that they are easily $2500 and more for a decent model)

As for the $24 Key Wrap... this is the problem of "cheap items are only profitable in large numbers". Independent of the product a lot of the overhead (shop cost as an example. If you go into a supermarket and buy a $1 or a $10 product it is the same work for the cashier).
Since this is obviously a way to use leftover-leather I kinda appreciate it.

Just for a comparison look at this:
https://taleofknives.com/collections/the-free-multitool-gear/products/tuxedo-multitool-push-up-xl-flashlight-keypster
https://www.etsy.com/de/listing/840118554/edc-leder-gurteltasche-mit?ref=shop_home_active_2&frs=1&crt=1
Sure, the one on Etsy is less than half the price... but then it is made in Ukraine (nothing wrong with that, but labor cost in Ukraine is a good deal lower, minimum wage is $1/hour). Then look closer how that key-carabiner is sewn on. They are both nicely made but I would say (judging from the images) that the stitching is in general nicer on the US made product.
I'm not a leather person and it is close to impossible (at least for me) to judge leather quality from pictures, but I have to say, the leather on the Ukrainian product looks dry-ish.

A point of their brand is that everything is hand stitched, which would certainly make it more labour intensive. Part of my point however though was that they do the same patterns not custom work, the more you do anything over and over again you get quicker and more efficient, that's why I wanted a leather worker's perspective on how many man hours these things would take.

Regardless of my lack of knowledge of leather craft, I find it hard to believe a key wrap would take longer than 30 minutes, it's just an offcut cut to shape with a snap and grommet. If that were selling for $15 I'd think it was a little much but reasonable for small business, $24 before tax and shipping is ludicrous. "Cheap items are only profitable in large numbers" isn't really applicable here as it would be waste otherwise, any profit is profit.

I would agree that the stitching looks a bit better done on the TOK one, as it should, it's well over $100 more, labour costs however are nebulous without knowing a ball park of how many hours a project like this takes.

Their pricing doesn't even seem to make sense in and of itself, the key wrap is $24 with no stitching invovled, however their 'Classic Mini Pocket Trio' uses more leather and has stitching, yet the increase in price is only $15. (I actually think $39 is good pricing on this, competitive with Hitch & Timber etc.)

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,122 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2020, 08:06:57 PM »
I wish I were Tale of Knives, 6 week backlog sounds good. :) Room to increase prices?

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Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,461 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2020, 08:21:18 PM »
Handcrafting anything is time consuming. Leather and the related hardware is not cheap. I know nothing of the company, or its products. I haven't visited their website. I know that a simple item if done right does take time to do properly. Burnishing the edges alone can take time. There is a lot of discussion in regards to fair pricing for leather goods that are hand made. A lot of folks have no clue on how time consuming it takes. For example, my leather quiver took 3 to 4 days of 8+ hours per day to finish. Do you charge for your time on an hourly rate? Do you not? there are a lot of variables at play. Just keep that in mind.

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No Life Club Posts: 1,475
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2020, 08:29:40 PM »
Handcrafting anything is time consuming. Leather and the related hardware is not cheap. I know nothing of the company, or its products. I haven't visited their website. I know that a simple item if done right does take time to do properly. Burnishing the edges alone can take time. There is a lot of discussion in regards to fair pricing for leather goods that are hand made. A lot of folks have no clue on how time consuming it takes. For example, my leather quiver took 3 to 4 days of 8+ hours per day to finish. Do you charge for your time on an hourly rate? Do you not? there are a lot of variables at play. Just keep that in mind.

The point of this thread was to get an idea of what kind of man hours their products would take and if there was any pricing factors I was unaware of that were unique to leathercrafting. I've seen your quiver and it's very very impressive, I'm not surprised it was so time consuming, their products however are basically just belt holsters for tools, the only decoration being different colours of leather versus the lovely and very detailed picture on your quiver.

It's also a little different in that this is basically small batch production of a limited number of patterns, I've had commissioned leatherwork done by a guy in the US and his prices were no where near what they're charging. Hence my desire to learn why they command such a high price instead of just deriding them for being overpriced.

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Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,109 Bored

dks cy

********* *
Re: Tale of Knives products, some uninformed questions
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2020, 08:08:12 AM »
It may be worth you contacting them and asking them what makes their products special (I would not use the word expensive, to be respectful to them).

Hopefully they will let you know if they use any expensive leather or if there is a lot of manual work involved in each product.

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Al : "Women!"

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