What would you like to see from your vendors?

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by Eisley, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Eisley

    Eisley Rookie

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    We at Absolute Fencing care quite a bit about our customer's satisfaction and your opinions on what you feel could use improvement or alterations of any sort.

    Amanda cares a lot about quality and feedback, and her and Gary are constantly making small steps with all of our equipment to improve everything we make. (Recent additions include YKK zippers on all our uniforms, a softer non-shrinking material for all padded jackets, and a new and improved material for all of our stretchy knickers).

    So now's your chance to let us know! What do you think could use improvement, and why. Also, if there's anything that we don't carry that you think we should, let us know also!

    We can't guarantee you'll see a change in everything mentioned, but I'm sure some will definitely be noted and you may even see some of the changes soon if they're practical.
     
  2. Beloit Fencer of Old

    Beloit Fencer of Old Rookie

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    Great question! Eisley, you know I think you're fantastic, the AF FIE blade is (should I be embarrassed to say?) my favorite blade, and Absolute has the best customer service anyone can expect.

    ...now everyone is bracing for the "but"...

    1) Thorough descriptions on the website of each product would be helpful.

    2) Photos should be of better quality, and in focus. Yes, the thumbnails don't have to be, so that the pages load fast. But it's irritating when it says "click here to see larger image," and all that happens when "click here" is that another window opens with the same photo, in the same size and quality.

    3) I volunteer to grammar-check for the website! (or is the poor English supposed to be part of the charm?):)
     
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  3. yankeefencer

    yankeefencer Rookie

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    Customer service is top, please do not change that. Also I am fond of the Lammet forges blades (epee) and would love if Absolute carried them. I have only only issue and that is with the velcro on the collar of my signature series jacket, it tends to come off fairly easily and I have had to replace it within months of use. Cheap yes but after paying $500 for my jacket and knickers I would like to not have to sew on more velcro....its a little annoying. Overall everything is great, keep up the good job. I look forward to stopping by the booth at JO's.
     
  4. Nolano

    Nolano Rookie

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    I second all of these. THis has always been a pet peeve of mine, when websites do these things.
     
  5. OROD

    OROD Podium

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    Booth Babes!!

    .
     
  6. emagdnim

    emagdnim Rookie

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    once again in higher res, not just thumbnails.
     
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  7. dradtke

    dradtke Rookie

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    Just recently, I've purchased a plastron and a pair of knickers/socks from Absolute. As a college student with a tight budget in a passionate yet far-from-professional club, I feel like I can bring a different view point here. Your products are absolute-ly (sorry, couldn't resist) top-notch. I also feel that the prices are fair and not exorbitant. Customer service is excellent as well. I do, however, second the comments already made about the website. Other than that, keep up the excellent work. There's already talk of switching our official supplier to Absolute when we do our next bulk order. :)
     
  8. Marquis1972

    Marquis1972 Made the Cut

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    Eisley,

    I have to concur with them that AF's customer service is top notch and has the expertise to answer technical questions. I've always ordered from you guys and am impressed.

    I have to agree with the above posters about some JPEG images that could show various angles of the products. For instance, a larger image with sharper detail of a front-zipper jacket showing at least 2 or 3 sides.

    I also think it would be very beneficial if AF includes a page or footnote section that explains the differences of quality between various kinds of grip handles, arm guards, blades and such. I can see a listing of various arm guards and can see why new fencers could get confused or over-whelmed by new information they have not been exposed to before.

    Cheers,

    -A
     
  9. aamct2

    aamct2 Rookie

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    In addition to higher resolution pictures, more pictures of each item would be beneficial (front, back, inside, etc. as appropriate).

    I also would like to see the uniform section have a better organization. For example, go to the Non-FIE Uniform section. Notice how it is not completely organized by uniform type, by gender, etc. It seems to be very disorganized. Pick a standard criteria to organize it by and go with that.

    ~aamct2
     
  10. brtech

    brtech Podium

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    You asked!

    I'd like to see you make a tool kit for your typical fencer, which would contain:
    1. Hex tool for the pommel nut
    2. Tip screwdriver
    3. 4 in one screwdriver (large/small slot/phillips)
    4. Small bag of swabs
    5. Small container of alcohol
    6. Wrench for tightening a loose barrel
    7. Wrench for tightening socket nut (foil)
    8. test box (the cheap one you have now is fine)
    9. shims (epee)
    10. bag of screws
    11. bag of springs
    12. roll of tip tape (foil)
    I personally don't think most fencers carry around a weight, but maybe that could be optional.

    These have to go in a container that actually survives in a fencing bag. I suspect a softsided bag with compartments or foam will work the best. I've tried lots of other kinds of containers and they don't survive.

    And of course the problem is: foil or epee, french or german or LP, inside or outside hex?

    And the answer is: that's what computers are good for: a custom order page on the website where you specify what you use.

    How about an armorer's special hex tool: I want something that goes with me to the strip. So, it's got to have both inside and outside hex, in something that either clips on a 'biner or something like that. Think about an outside hex where the cross bar is an inside hex.

    I think you really ought to perfect Gary's tang bender. It's a good tool, but it could be better.

    Make a carryon bag for a fencer who flies. It holds a mask, a lame and whites, and has pockets for an iPod, books, waterbottle, etc. Has to meet the airline carryon bag limit. Even better if it fit under the seat, but I'm not sure a mask will do that.

    I think there are lots of things you could do with bags. One avenue is start with something that looks like a golf bag, because of the crazy rules airlines have, but has appropriate compartments for fencing.

    Bags don't have a way to properly store a lame. Fix that.

    Minor trick: have a pocket that exactly fits a small bag, like the American Fencer or Fencing post bag. You put your cords in the bag, and the bag goes in the pocket.

    Bring back an old idea that got lost when Proprint went away: carry a stuffed bear with a smooth fabric. The idea is that a Y-age girl fencer buys the bear, and has it inspected when she gets her equipment checked. Of course it always passes, but the point is that it gets a stamp. The proprint one had a mask and a weapon for the bear. Very cute.

    Make a crazy card set for refs. Sure, yellow, red and black. But have:
    • a plaid card, just because
    • a green card: used for a particularly clever move
    • a orange card: used for an obnoxious coach, parent or someone as a warning
    now, what could you do with a blue card?

    I think many clubs would buy a good bungee set. The Triplette one is not bad, but there are many ways to improve it. You need options: actual length, permanently mounted vs temporary, ... We run a steel wire and use pulleys that assist the scheme quite a bit for permanent installation.

    Do all of your foil lames have a tab on the back yet? Why not?

    I suggest you bite the bullet and dump the ultralight fabric you are using, and go with the stuff BG is using in the "silkie" lame.

    Mask Bags: everyone ought to have one. Make something cheap; we'll tell everyone, especially saber and when the new conductive bib for foils comes, them too.
     
  11. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

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    We would buy one right away. Triplette and PbT are the only ones that market them I've found and I'm loathe to order from Triplette after past experiences. For a small club, the cost of making 1-2 bungee systems is about the same as buying them.
     
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  12. Cookeit

    Cookeit Rookie

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    That is called a duffle bag.. :jawa:
     
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  13. foibles

    foibles Podium

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    Want to revolutionize a small part of fencing?

    Want to revolutionize a small part of fencing?

    Offer insulated grips that have been Plasti-dipped. (Nobody does that).
    Some might not want their tangs dipped... but I would.

    http://www.plastidip.com/

    My gut tells me they'd be a smash-hit... in 6 months all the other mfg's would be following your lead.

    ***
    Stamp a number on the bottom of every grip that tells the proper length one should cut the weapon tang for that grip. I know there are ways to figure it out and all, but it would just be a handy time saver. Every time an armorer saw it they'd think "Thank you, AF".

    While your at it, might put the grip size on there as well. Makes re-ordering the exact same grip easier.
    (Nobody does that)
    ***
    Offer Deluxe Coaching Equipment kits.
    (Nobody does that)

    ***
    One side of the crossbar handle on the Outside Hex key, should be an inside hex, allen wrench. The other side s/b a flathead screwdriver.
    3 tang nut tightening tools in one.
    (Nobody does that)

    ***
    Open a distribution center in beautiful Central Coastal California and let me manage that bad boy :)
     
  14. chicken_wingz

    chicken_wingz Rookie

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    I would just recommend the un-labeling of the new AF Elite fencing shoes with "fencing"; the buyer should already know what they're getting themselves into.
     
  15. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    You forgot my fave (which I have to pull my wallet for)...brown card for crappy fencing!
     
  16. TodG

    TodG Made the Cut

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    Another vote for a bungee system. We've been buying all our club gear from Absolute and are extremely pleased.
     
  17. TodG

    TodG Made the Cut

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    Unfortunately, plasti-dip doesn't hold up well over time. I've used it on tools for years and it has to be redone frequently.
     
  18. Firebird7137

    Firebird7137 Rookie

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    This is just a technicality, but when you click "Continue Shopping" on the Web site after you have added an item to your shopping cart it kicks you back to the item description. Personally, I would like to return to the sub category, or even the main page for easier access/navigation.

    Example: I add a wired non-FIE Absolute blade to my shopping cart, but I want to get an FIE one as well. Once I click "Continue Shopping" it would redirect me to the "foils" page where I could then navigate to the FIE choices.

    Just my 2 cents...

    ~FB
     
  19. Elendae

    Elendae Rookie

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    Don't forget the pink card, for stupidity.
     
  20. Eisley

    Eisley Rookie

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    Beloit I think you're abosolutely right about the pictures, descriptions, and grammar on the website. I've been feeling that we need better quality pictures on the website and more grammatically correct, detailed descriptions of the products that way out customers know more about what they're getting or interested in without having to call and ask.

    This is something we'll surely be working on, that I already started to work on a little bit, but mostly you should start to see improvements as fencing season slows down a little so I have some more freetime at work to update these things.
     

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