Saturday, February 6, 2016

Review: River's Edge Cutlery Store [Recommend]

Sometimes I feel like a grumpy old man. Ok, I am a grumpy old man. But just when I think that every place I do business with is going to disappoint me in some way, I discover an online store like River's Edge Cutlery, and my faith in humanity is restored.

They blew away my expectations by shipping the next day with 2 day priority mail, and I was happy with their prices. The order came with a little handwritten thank you note and a Right In The Rain waterproof notepad.


Flashlight Scam: Lightstrike 360 [Avoid]

As a few web sites like this one warn people of the G700 flashlight scam, it seems like new variations of the scam are popping up every day. I saw this ad on my own site! I can block any ad but only after I see it and tell Google to stop showing it to me.

It's getting hard to keep track of the variations, like the G700 scam and the X800 scam.

This Lightstrike 360 is the same exact flashlight as all the other scams. You can buy it for 10-15 bucks from a USA seller like Amazon or get it straight from China for about $8 shipped if you don't mind waiting a month for it to arrive. If you really pay attention, you can find this flashlight for closer to $3 !!

They try to skirt the lines by putting "world's brightest flashlight" in quotes and with all these paragraphs explaining that these aren't real product claims, blogs, news, etc. They pile on the bullshit so thick that it's pretty much only older, non-technically-savvy people who are going to buy it.

Their site says:

WHY DO YOU NEED THIS FLASHLIGHT THAT IS EQUIPPED BY EVERY NAVY SEAL?


I can say definitively that no government on earth issues a $3 flashlight to any of its military personnel, let alone elite forces like the SEALs. Not even the Chinese military uses flashlights this cheap. I think they use Fenix brand but I'm not positive.

In just a few minutes I found two variations of this ad on my own site! Bastards. I could picture my elderly mom or uncle falling for something like this.




It's true that this $3 flashlight would amaze your grandmother who hasn't seen an LED flashlight in the last 10 years, but you wouldn't like her paying $75 for it, and just imagine what meemaw would think of the Sunwayman D40A that I carry.

The flashlight community, Budget Light Forums has oodles of threads trying to track these scams as well. I think the fact that the ads and companies keep changing shows that the public is catching onto these shenanigans. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

HAP40 Is Hot

Spyderco has been working its way through the HAP40 sprint runs, and it's pretty clear that this whole run is a huge success. There are still a few of Spyderco HAP40 Enduras around, but all three batches of the Delica sold out pretty much instantly, and now it looks like the first batch of the HAP40 Stretch has sold out just as fast, if not faster than the HAP40 Delica.

I'm committed to the full set. I have an Endura, Delica and a couple Stretches on the way!


Spyderco HAP40 Endura


Spyderco HAP40 Endura With HAP40 Delica 1

Spyderco HAP40 Endura With HAP40 Delica 2

Spyderco HAP40 Endura With HAP40 Delica 3

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Review: BladeHQ Knife Store [Recommend]

Lately I've been purchasing a lot of things for review, but I also wanted to review the sellers too: the good, the bad and the ugly. For the most part I seem to be a little luckier than the average. While I'm definitely a stickler for good service, I'm usually patient with legitimate issues. Stuff happens, right? I thought most of these seller reviews would be positive, but a few companies rubbed me the wrong way.

So, I'm happy to report that I really like BladeHQ. I've done a bunch of orders with them, and while they seem to ship a little slow, they don't make mistakes. And they won't take your money unless they have a product to ship you. Overselling really bugs me because it ties up my money without getting what I ordered.

One thing I like about BladHQ is the free swag. I did a few orders over the holidays and got a slingshot, titanium straw and a cool beanie with their logo on it. I even forgot to enter the code to get the swag until after my order but they were nice enough to add it after I emailed them.

It's gratifying seeing a company go the extra mile to treat its customers right, even if they won't break any speed records for shipping. Good selection, good service, fair prices--that's all I want from a seller, and BladeHQ gets it right.






Review: Cutlery Shoppe [Avoid]

It's funny that I seem to have great luck with online shopping. I've had very few issues overall with any sellers, but lately it seems like my run of good shopping luck has ended, and suddenly I'm having issues with a bunch of different companies.

Like Cutlery Shoppe, the online cutlery store which took my money for a product they didn't have in stock, and then cancelled my order when they couldn't fill it. It really bugs me when a company, especially a company located in the USA, sells me a product they don't have.

Not only does this behavior deny me a product I thought I purchased, but for something rare like what I ordered, it's twice as bad, because I could've potentially bought the product from somewhere else before it sold out of everywhere. Now nobody has the product in stock, or even claims to.

So, this was my first and last order with Cutlery Shoppe. They are a pretty big company--big enough to keep track of their inventory and sell people only what they have in stock, instead of taking everyone's money and just giving refunds for the orders they can't fulfill.

I'll come right out and say that I think it's a very shady practice, which I'm only used to seeing with fly-by-night Chinese companies overseas, who just change the name of their company when too many people are annoyed with them.

In about 20 minutes I can create a Drupal e-commerce site using Ubercart, with full inventory control which can show the user what's in stock and not take orders that exceed the inventory. This is basic stuff for an e-commerce site, which is why I think their behavior is shady.

I've done some searching around and I'm not the only one to have problems with Cutlery Shoppe.

Update: I reread their original cancellation email again, and noticed that those funds from my failed purchase don't get to be spent on anything for another 7-10 days, per their email:

P.S. - A note about your funds:
At the time you placed the order your bank reserved the funds in our name when they authorized the transaction.
We have not completed the transaction (charged your card).
Normally the reserve held on your funds is dropped within 7-10 days, but this time frame is entirely up to your bank.


Translation: "It's not really us taking away access to the money for the product you thought you purchased from us, it's the bank's fault."

You Know You're A Knife Collector When...

I've been thinking about this subject for a while. Knife collectors are a rare breed, and I've thought of a few amusing factoids to show how different we are:

You know you're a knife collector when:

  • Most of your knives only get used to open packages containing other knives.
  • Your spouse notices your secretive behavior and bursts in on you to discover that you're looking at knives on the Internet.
  • You keep a loaner on you just in case one of your friends asks to borrow one.
  • You know so much about steel that you could probably get a job as a metallurgist. 
  • Every knife in your house is razor sharp.
  • People hand you packages and mail and say "open this please."
  • You've bought and sold the same knife more than once.
I'll add to the list as I think of more and/or people make suggestions. It's a fun list!


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The X800 Flashlight Is A Scam [Avoid]

If at first you don't succeed, increment your product number! This X800 flashlight looks to be a variation on the G700 flashlight scam. The problem with these types of scams is that people fall for them, because the flashlight looks incredible, and that's hard to fake.

And to some extent the flashlight is incredible for 2009. But it was cheap back then and it's cheap right now. For about 13 bucks you can get an almost identical flashlight. It wasn't and won't ever be used by the military and it's not incredible by any definition of the word, but it's a decent flashlight for 13 bucks.

Or just get a Thrunite Ti4, which I have reviewed and use myself.

UPDATE: I just clicked on an ad that looked like this:



And it took me to an "advertorial" site where it had a photo of the "X800" scam flashlight. They can't even keep the models straight!


At the bottom of the site it says:

"THIS IS AN ADVERTORIAL AND NOT AN ACTUAL NEWS ARTICLE, BLOG, OR CONSUMER PROTECTION UPDATE"

I looked at the Tweet stream of one of the reviewers because of this tweet on the flashlight site:


Scrolling down a little, I found this gem:


So, yeah, a guy named Marky Johns blogs under "blog of matt" and the only non-junk tweet I could find talked about Internet marketing. 

It seems like their "brightest flashlight ever" claim is based on a sock puppet / shill review.