BF Price Drop

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Stence, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. Stence

    Stence Rookie

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    I'm not sure if anyone has noticed this yet but just about every vendor is seriously dropping the prices of their blades for the summer.

    BG has them unwired for 108
    Absolute and the new needablade.com have them german wired for 129
    The Leon Paul UK site has them wired for 108 (converted from GBP)
    Fencing post has them wired for 116

    This isn't just for epee too, the foils are also discounted. I can't for the life of me fathom why.

    It seems like everyone is clearing stock for some reason. Anyone wanna make some guesses as to why? I can't imagine BF was going out of business considering how ubiquitous they are, and even if they were people would be hoarding the blades, prices/demand would go up not down.
    The only reason me and my teammates can think of would be:
    • the FIE is dropping their status as an FIE blade (which to me is unthinkable)
    • some vendor is introducing a new style of blade that will make people not want to buy BFs
    • BF is putting out a new model that is rendering this one obsolete
    • BF is expanding and it is becoming cheaper to manufacture
    Can anyone think of other reasons or can someone who runs a store explain the price drop?
     
  2. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Perhaps the advent of requiring those RFID tags in everything is nigh?
     
  3. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    LP's new bladeless fencing system is being released and they're becoming redundant.
     
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  4. Mitchell

    Mitchell hi Staff Member

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    Pure speculation, but I don't think the price of BF blades in the US ever really corrected for the Euro drop. Now that the season is over and vendors are refreshing inventory, prices are dropping.
     
  5. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    This is most likely the reason. Vendors would have purchased previous inventory when the Euro was higher against the dollar, and priced accordingly. New purchases are being made at the more favorable exchange rate, and so the retail price can drop.
     
  6. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    The exchange rate for the euros to dollars has been dropping recently.

    upload_2017-7-27_15-54-19.png
     
  7. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    That plus the RIFD chip are probably the biggest factors.
     
  8. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Not sure why vendors would allow currency exchange fluctuation affect their prices. I know that the last time I bought a bib for my LP X-Change mask it was about $50. Now, even after a substantial increase in the value of the dollar, the same item is $75.

    We might all want to reap the benefits of exchange rates making goods cheaper, but it's not always that simple, especially if the sellers have any pricing power.
     
  9. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    It'll be interesting in how they incorporate the RFID chip into a blade. Given that the current side of the proposed RFID chip for gloves, mask, jacket, and breeches is roughly 1" x 2" in size.

    The RFID tag for uniforms and masks is suppose to withstand "a heat no more than 100°С, repeated mechanical hits and washes up to 20 times with no compromise in protective attributes." I guess if I want a new FIE uniform, it's only going to be good for 1/2 year since I machine wash my uniform weekly.

    More importantly, will the average fencer be able to rewire his own blades? I guess those people that use an acetone soak to clean their blades would have to go another route.
     
  10. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    1" x 2" is a "chip"? :eek:
     
  11. Mitchell

    Mitchell hi Staff Member

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    I suspect the bulk of the reason is because there are a lot of people bypassing US vendors, buying direct from places in Europe like fechtsport langenkamp, or just buying other blades in general. Dropping prices encourages people to stop doing that.
     
  12. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Yes, it's probably a fairly straightforward imbalance between supply and demand.
     
  13. Steve Khinoy

    Steve Khinoy DE Bracket

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    That's a misprint. It's a small chop. And 100 C. is definitely overdone.
    I foresee either a decline in US sales of FIE uniforms, or ofless-expensive, local-use-only FIE uniforms without the chip.
     
  14. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    Yes, the actual chip is probably very small. The 1" x 2" size includes the packaging of the chip and I noted it was for clothing, masks, and gloves. You can find more information on the FIE website. That's where I got the information from.
     
  15. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    Why would a RFID chip cause blades to be obsolete. Most of the fencers I know are club and regional competition. I've only known a few who go to FIE-level events. I don't see how not-having the RFID chip will cause me any competition problems.

    I second the economic over technical reason.
     
  16. downunder

    downunder Podium

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    er... the US$ has been weakening pretty consistently versus the Euro for the last 6 months so it can't be FX

    e.g. A €100 blade would have cost you $105 in December, now would cost you $117
     
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  17. RebelFencer

    RebelFencer Podium

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    Did they find a way to increase production? Is there any market research suggesting that they may sell more at this price point? That's about all I can think of.
     
  18. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Although, I'm not sure manufacturers think much about market segmentation, eg producing some blades for "club and regional" fencers and some for international fencers. Also, not sure they are producing with the American market in mind. Isn't FIE pretty much what everyone has to use in Europe?
     
  19. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    An RFID chip wouldn't cause a blade to be obsolete -- it's the lack of one that might for certain types of future competitions

    It probably won't given you're in the US and the only FIE gear required here is gloves for saber fencers.

    It is economic. Right now there's uncertainty as to if/when FIE chipped gear will be needed at certain events and what type of phase-in (if any) there'll be. While you and the fencers you know probably won't be affected by any RFID requirements, others who buy BF blades might. So if you're a seller (or the maker) of current FIE blades, you're likely concerned about what could happen when part of your market needs or prefers something other than the unsold stock you're sitting on.
     
  20. ShortFoot

    ShortFoot Made the Cut

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    I wonder, once the chip is in common use, will there still be no-chip FIE blades, at their own, lower price point? FIE blades last long enough, compared to non-FIE, to make them a good investment even just for a club use. It'd be a shame to have to pay extra for a chip and lose the option of just buying a durable no-chip blade.

    I understand about the limits of market segmentation. But manufacturers do already put out two types of blades, and there's also rebranding, so clearly the manufacturers and vendors respond to differentiated demand to some extent.
     
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