Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Why are Albion swords so expensive? Reply to topic
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 

Do you feel that Albion swords are priced higher than they should be?
Yes, they should be cheaper.
36%
 36%  [ 64 ]
No, they are priced accordingly.
63%
 63%  [ 111 ]
Total Votes : 175

Author Message
Curt Cummins




Usergroups: 
Donating Members

Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 63
PostPosted: Sun 02 Nov, 2008 3:54 pm    Post subject: Volume         Reply with quote

If you want the prices on Albion swords to go down, buy more Albion swords. Based on the piece of film I saw on there manufacturing plant, they are set up for a moderate volume production of a quality production piece. Overhead kills you because you've got to make the lease payment, payroll,vacation pay, medical benefits, workmens comp insurance, business insurance, taxes, utilities, pay vendors promptly or they put you on COD etc. etc. ad nauseum. I know this only too well because I manage a small business with thirty or so employees.

Once you've sold enough swords to cover overhead, the cost to make each piece is reduced pretty much to direct labor and materials and the price can come down. So you want cheaper Albions - buy them instead of offshore made wallhangers. (Of which I have several, and only one Albion.)

Let's look at their costing rate (the amount that you have to charge for each hour of labor to cover your fixed costs+ materials=break even).

My operation is probably a little more expensive than theirs and it's about 55.00 an hour. So lets assume $40.00 per hour for them.

My Valkyria cost $1200.00

Materials - direct (the steel, bronze and wood) and indirect - grinding wheels, salts etc. Usually 25% of cost with a 25% mark up or $225.00

That leaves $975 for labor at $40.00 per hour just to break even. Thats 24 hours. I can't guess how long it takes to make on of these, but I'd be surprised at less than 16. So 16 time $40.00 =$640.00 $975.00 - $640 = $335.00 or %28 profit or gross margin. Out of that they have pay advertising - shipping and handling - credit card fees. etc. So they are lucky to end up with 20 to 25% profit. Retailers usually do double that.

At 25% the owners are making a decent living and nothing more - assuming they have the volume to cover the overhead.. Without the volume it's a long down hill slide.

Ye braggarts and awe be a'skeered and awa, frae Brandoch Daha
View user's profile Send private message
Bryce Felperin




Usergroups: 
Donating Members

Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 552
PostPosted: Mon 03 Nov, 2008 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Kowalski wrote:
Chad,
I was hoping you would take my post in that light and I agree 100% with your response. It all comes down to the choices we make in what is a priority at any given time in our lives. Right now top among them is insuring there is enough money to pay the mortgage and other associated bills and have some left to put into my retirement account and for the kid's college fund. If there is anything left it goes in an envelope for fun stuff that usually gets spent for not fun stuff. Broken washing machine, backup money for when you get injured and are laid up for a bit or your wife gets let go from her job of over 5 years. That last sounds all to familiar to me unfortunately.

Here is a scary thought that I do not believe has been spoken. We have seen to "production" manufacturers raise prices this year though the first one did not raise the same concern that Albion's did. If others do tend to look at Albion as a benchmark will some of the currently "affordable" custom makers follow suit and raise their prices as well? Just some food for thought.


Scott


They will and probably quicker than you like. Just look at the prices and wait times for a Barta sword. A few years ago they weren't that long or high. Eventually demand creates its own price pressures.
View user's profile Send private message
Addison C. de Lisle




Usergroups: 
Contest Winners
Donating Members

Location: Nobleboro, ME
Likes: 27 pages
Posts: 601
PostPosted: Mon 03 Nov, 2008 5:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The Albion Guarantee
Great care was taken in the making and assembly of your Albion sword. However, even with the pains taken to seal and stabilize all of the organic materials used, extremes in temperature and humidity can sometimes create small expansions and shrinkage that lead to potential loosening of the hilt. Although rare, should this occur we offer refurbishment and repair by our shop at no cost to you apart from return shipping. All Albion Mark swords are guaranteed for life against defects in materials and workmanship.


As for my thoughts on the subject, I agree that Albion swords are expensive. Especially as a college student, I am lucky if I can buy one a year. If they weren't so accommodating with their payment plans, I probably wouldn't even be able to afford that. However, I feel that the price is justified for the value of the product. I feel I get my monies' worth in the confidence that I am getting a well-crafted, well-researched product from an established company that I trust. Something else that I hadn't considered but was brought up here and agree with is that what we are getting is essentially a production version of a sword made by Peter Johnsson, which in reality would cost much more. Just my $.02 (which is finally starting to be more equal to the euro, yay Big Grin )

"Never tell a Hammerer that it’s the hammer doing all the work. They have views on that sort of nonsense; the kind of views that also involve your kneecaps"
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Brian Nelson




Usergroups: None

Location: Houghton, MI
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Sat 17 Mar, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think what everyone seems to forget is simply labour. For $200 I can get a bare blade from Albion. For $80 I can get cast bronze guard and pommel fittings from a guy in the UK. So for about $300 (buy a slab of wood to make a grip), I can get all the parts needed to make a sword that is 99% identical to the Albion Valkyrja (goes for $1200). Now, the blade is an Albion, which is the most important part. Bronze is bronze, you can't really claim one is way better than the other. So what's with that $900 discrepancy, then?

Labour. It will probably take me several hours to file/drill out the fittings, several hours to get the hand grips "just so." All in all it may take me up to 20 hours to assemble the sword to the point where it looks ALMOST as good as an Albion. Now, skilled labour goes for about $50/60 an hour. There you go, $1000/$1200 right there. And my product wouldn't look quite as good, because to be honest, I'm not quite as good as the guys at Albion.

So basically, when you say Albion swords are overpriced, you're saying that it's okay to pay a mechanic $60/hour to work on your car, but to pay a guy $30/hour to work on your sword is too expensive. A little unfair, I would say. Plus, that's not even including the cost of overhead and research.

Also, to address the "hand-forged" complaints: This summer I made my first ever knife, a 10" blade seax. I did all work with hand tools except for a belt grinder and drill press. The handle is simply walnut and brass. It took about 20 hours. Are you going to pay $1000 for a semi-crude-looking Saxon knife? I don't think so. That's why people cast parts and use a CNC machine. If I had used one it would have only taken about three hours (plus $20 in parts) for a decent $200 or so. It's just ridiculous to expect to pay so little for such skilled work.

[end rant]
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Sam Barris




Usergroups: 
Donating Members

Location: Yokosuka, Nippon
Likes: 1 page
Posts: 540
PostPosted: Sat 17 Mar, 2012 7:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've always been a fan of Albion's work, and while their prices are high, I have always tried to keep that in perspective given everything that goes into them. I've actually developed a healthier respect for the "expensive, but worth it" line of reasoning, now that I'm looking into guitars more seriously.

With swords as well as "axes," you can get something made reasonably well in a sweatshop overseas for a few hundred dollars. At just under the one thousand dollar range, you can buy something like an Albion Crecy or a Martin D-1; no frills, but solid craftsmanship. Above that you get into the higher end Next Gen/Museum Line blades and the D-28/D-35 realm (or, not to leave the Taylor folks out, say, a GA8 or something).

It's actually kind of funny how much in parallel the pricing runs in those two worlds. And in both, there are just certain costs associated with buying something made by amazingly skilled craftsmen, as well as a premium for having those craftsmen located in America and bringing in something like a living wage (though, as others have said, we may still be defining that somewhat loosely). Still, I'm just at a place in life where I'd rather own one nice Albion and one nice Martin than half a dozen sweatshop models. Your mileage may vary.

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Phil D.




PostPosted: Sat 17 Mar, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am a big fan as well.I have a few of their second hand sword via the forums.Only lately have I seen a variance in their specs...lengths ,POB don't really matter to me but when you start reshaping ends/points then that is a concern which should be monitored...the shape of an end make for a completely different sword.I can't spend 800 on a certain sword and then i receive one w/different aesthetics.Not a difficult thing to monitor. You can't let your reputation make you lax.

But I still want one of the "Principe" swords.

"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

" I've had a wonderful evening but this wasn't it."
-- Graucho Marx --

"I remember when I lost my mind.There was something pleasant about that day...".

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."


Last edited by Phil D. on Sun 18 Mar, 2012 9:02 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sun 18 Mar, 2012 12:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Phil D. wrote:
.the shape of an end make for a completely different sword.I can't spend 800 on a certain sword and then i receive one w/different aesthetics.Not a difficult thing to monitor. You can't let your reputation make you lax.


Past a certain point ( Sorry pun alert ) a difference in point shape does turn it into a different sword than the one purchased even if it might be a valid sword variant, one still wants to know before buying and receiving it if it will look substantially different.

The best thing, as I mentioned in another post, is to ask for a pic of the sword that will be shipped to you before buying it so that you can decide if it looks like what you desire and prefer.

At the prices of a high end sword the vendor should be willing to give you a pic before shipping, if not, go to a different maker or another vendor willing to give the better customer service. Wink ( I know from experience at least one vendor who will take the time to answer your questions or at least check for you if the sword in question closely matches the specifications, if he would also take a pic is less important to me when I have confidence in a vendor I have had numerous and great customer service from like Kult of Athena ..... note there are probably other excellent vendors out there but I mention the one I deal with most often when I don't purchase directly from a maker like Albion, A&A or a custom maker ).

So if you have concerns STOP guessing or gambling on being lucky just ask questions, get answers and/or ask for pics !

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Herbert Schmidt




Usergroups: None

Location: Austria / Europe
Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 127
PostPosted: Sun 18 Mar, 2012 12:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I must admit I haven't read all six pages but let me add this to the discussion:

Albion swords are not expensive.

If someone thinks so, he has got the wrong reference point.

Herbert

www.arsgladii.at
Historical European Martial Arts
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Augusto Boer Bront




Usergroups: None

Location: Cividale del Friuli (UD) Italy
Posts: 224
PostPosted: Sun 18 Mar, 2012 1:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe a little off topic, but wat's the difference between Albion Swords and this ones? http://www.aresacademy.it/1-XIII.html
"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
View user's profile Send private message
Bruno Giordan




PostPosted: Sun 18 Mar, 2012 1:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Augusto Boer Bront wrote:
Maybe a little off topic, but wat's the difference between Albion Swords and this ones? http://www.aresacademy.it/1-XIII.html


A little distressing to repeat. italian law won't allow the building of a sharp replica, unless the factory owner gets a very difficult to obtain license (plus, exporting sharpies would be an odissey of red tape for each single item)

So the swords of mr. D'Angelo, however well researched, will never exhibit the same cross section as originals. sharpening them without altering the cross section would result in a secondary bevel. Exactly the same problem as Deltin's. Both makers are living in the wrong country.

A skilled swordsmith based in a more open country could correct this error by grinding th entire blade with extreme care to avoid ruining temper.
View user's profile Send private message
Augusto Boer Bront




Usergroups: None

Location: Cividale del Friuli (UD) Italy
Posts: 224
PostPosted: Sun 18 Mar, 2012 2:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply, I didn't know that. Big Grin

Edit: but I don't think that you spend 400 Euro more just for the sharpened blade. There must be some other differences.

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
View user's profile Send private message
David Lewis Smith




Usergroups: 
Donating Members

Location: NC
Likes: 2 pages
Posts: 321
PostPosted: Sun 18 Mar, 2012 4:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I own a lot of Albion swords, at least nine, hey, its early and i own a lot of swords at least 100, at last count i had 58 on display. I own custom work and other companies swords as well. My opinion is that one gets what one pays for, Albion swords are worth the money.
David L Smith
MSG (RET)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bruno Giordan




PostPosted: Sun 18 Mar, 2012 5:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Augusto Boer Bront wrote:
Thanks for the reply, I didn't know that. Big Grin

Edit: but I don't think that you spend 400 Euro more just for the sharpened blade. There must be some other differences.


research by Peter Johnson which results in design that replicates original design in detail. PJ has just published an essay on the design criteria of medieval sword. He is probably the one that knows better than anybody else the rules governing proportions in sword.

Medieval swordsmiths employed calculations based on simple mathematical ratios, one of them was the golden rule, see for example this thread

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=3592

Peter Johnson has just published an important article on this topic, I'm still waiting for the booklet it is in.

Most likely you will find an answer there. For me there are only two methods for designing a "new" european sword: either to copy an original faithfully or to employ original design concepts.

Albion swords seem to be made that way. Extremely classy custom makers like Patrick Bartha apparently go the first way, examining in detail originals from museums, a thing Albion does only with the Museum line.
View user's profile Send private message
Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sun 18 Mar, 2012 10:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With a few more years’ perspective and experience since making my previous post in this thread, I would like to add a different perspective. We've got things backwards, here, because we are looking outside of ourselves- in this case, to Albion's price point for their product- instead of looking back towards ourselves. The problem is not Albion's price point for their swords, nor will it ever be. The problem is that far too few of us are looking for more creative and intelligent ways to earn money.

When I was a bit younger, I remember observing how many people would spend all of their lives working, year after year, earning salaries in the range of $40,000 to $80,000 a year. They'd making enough money to save some, if it was intelligently saved, and perhaps go on the occasional holiday, while spending the vast majority of the money on bills, loans, debts, the cost of living, and so forth. At the time, the thought that struck me was "There has to be a better way of doing things than this. If people spent even a fraction of their time coming up with creative ways to make more money, instead of accepting that they had to follow the 'regular job-routine', they could probably earn a lot more."

I realize that money is not everything, and that some people who do not earn that much are truly passionate about what they do. This is fine; I think it is better to be passionate about what you do than to be working at a job primarily because it pays well. Working at an unsatisfying or stressful job because it pays well is soul-destroying. Just the same, it strikes me that nearly everyone who is passionate about their work, but who does not get paid particularly well to do it, could find a creative way to do something related to their field or profession that would enable them to earn more money than they presently do. It just takes the willingness to really think about creative ideas that might be practically implemented related to your line of work.

The thing is, money is always available. But how many of us are making both creative and intelligent plans for its acquisition? How many of us are turning our present job situations into inspirational dissatisfaction that urges and drives us onwards to better things? It is the spirit of innovation, the spirit of creativity, the spirit of service, and the spirit of entrepreneurship that has made America great—and I’m Canadian, by the way— and this same spirit can drive you onwards to greater things, too.

Given the nature of this forum, I think it’s safe to assume that most of the members here are reasonably avid readers. Further, since we’re discussing the price of Albion swords, which at present might be too high for you, I would assume that it is safe to say that even if you cannot afford an Albion, you probably can afford books. There are lots of excellent books available for sale about how to creatively and intelligently earn more money, so it is not as though this knowledge is not available to a general readership. If you really do not want to spend money, you could always consider going to a library, or checking out online resources. Either way, there is plenty of good material available out there to help you on your way.

For those of you who already earn enough money to buy all the Albion swords you want, congratulations, and well done for placing yourself in this financial situation. For everyone else, I hope that this post will inspire you to re-evaluate your life if you’re not happy with your financial situation, inspire you to get creative and think outside your box, and move forward in a new direction. I wish you all the best.
View user's profile Send private message
Johan Gemvik




Usergroups: None

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 793
PostPosted: Thu 22 Mar, 2012 7:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
With a few more years’ perspective and experience since making my previous post in this thread, I would like to add a different perspective. We've got things backwards, here, because we are looking outside of ourselves- in this case, to Albion's price point for their product- instead of looking back towards ourselves. The problem is not Albion's price point for their swords, nor will it ever be. The problem is that far too few of us are looking for more creative and intelligent ways to earn money.


Yes, you're absolutely right!
Actually, just now landing a well paid engineering job again I'm already following your plan Craig. Soon, my dreams of a modest but all so sweet Albion collection might be made real.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
View user's profile Send private message
JE Sarge




PostPosted: Thu 22 Mar, 2012 10:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ha! I had a good laugh revisiting this thread years later. When I originally posted this topic, I did not own an Albion, and I really was wanting to know 'why did Albions cost so much?' - as trollish as that might have seemed. My experience was limited to some antiques, Del Tin, Windlass, and a few prized A&A pieces.

Since then, and partly because of the responses to this thread, I have bought, owned, and used many, many Albions - some of which are still favorite pieces in my collection. As I have now progressed into owning pieces which far surpass Albion in price, such as Raven Armoury and Odinblades - in retrospect, I can honestly say that Albions are great swords for the price paid.

The irony here being, that years later - I have answered my own question! Laughing Out Loud

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
View user's profile Send private message
William Swiger




PostPosted: Thu 22 Mar, 2012 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You have come full circle Grasshopper Happy
View user's profile Send private message
Joe Fults




Usergroups: 
Donating Members
Upgraded Members

Location: Midwest
Posts: 3,094
PostPosted: Thu 22 Mar, 2012 8:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

JE Sarge wrote:
The irony here being, that years later - I have answered my own question! Laughing Out Loud


Actually no irony at all...that's how it always goes for everyone! ;-)

Joe Fults

"INVENIEMUS VIAM AUT FACIEMUS (We will either find a way or make one)" Hannibal

"Our life is what our thoughts make it" Marcus Aurelius
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Why are Albion swords so expensive?
Page 6 of 6 Reply to topic
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum



All contents © Copyright 2003-2013 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum