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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Why are Albion swords so expensive? Reply to topic
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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%  [ 112 ]
Total Votes : 176

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Stephanie Maks




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 5:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't any experience with A&A so I can't compare to them, but I can say, my Thegn is an amazing piece of work. It gives me a feeling of awe when I hold it or look at it closely. The workmanship is incredible, and compared to the wallhanger junk I used to own, it feels positively alive. I also own a few ATrims, so I can compare there. Gus's tactical swords are solid and well made, but of course don't have the historical research behind them; if I judge his Makers Mark line by the one sword I have, I would say that from a fit and finish perspective it is half done - it needs someone like CF to add the finishing touches. (Not a slight against Gus by the way, as this is one of the reasons I bought from him - to add my own finishing touches.)

So asking why Albion swords are too expensive, or if they should/could be cheaper... makes me think of analogies. Why is a Rolls Royce or a Bently more expensive than a Chrysler or a Toyota? They both get you where you want to go, after all. They both start out as roughly equal amounts of steel, glass, and plastic. Quality of workmanship, quality of material, and those finishing touches, make the difference.

If you look at Albion's product line, look at a given blade, then compare the different models that share the blade. Look at their relative price, and the differences in the models, and you can figure out something about how Albion's pricing works. It isn't arbitrary. From what I can see, they have done what good businesses should do - they know what it costs to produce a given sword, and they have based the models' pricing on the material and labour costs.

Ultimately, 'too expensive' is too subjective - what is too expensive for one person, may be a great deal for another. We're fortunate that there are lots of alternatives to cover various price ranges.

Cheers!
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Tony Peterson




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 5:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well.. if Albion Europe was say 200Euros cheaper I think the prices would be perfect, but reading their news section they are actually putting up the prices on all swords by 11%!

Once they've added that to their swords I personally would think them to be way over priced. There are plenty of other sword makers out there who make great quality swords and are way cheaper.

Get yourself a custom Binns instead! Cool

Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas!

The time of heroes is dead: the christ god has killed it, leaving nothing but weeping martyrs and fear and shame.

If we die... it will be for GLORY, not gold.
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Greg Coffman




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 5:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You don't have my option for the poll either. Albions are underpriced and I would be willing to pay a bit more. Their swords are just that good and still a bargain for the price.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 7:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Because people buy them at that price.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Stu C




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 7:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fundamentally, Albion is a business and not a charity. I assume that like any other sensible business they price their product at the point that will produce the maximum profit (or possibly the minimum loss in the current climate). It's up to each individual to determine whether the price asked is worth it for them, but IMHO worrying about why they charge X or Y or Z for their product is a bit of a pointless exercise in speculation.

That said, my personal feeling is that they have probably now started to get too close to the price point of European custom makers, particularly for non US residents because of the adverse exchange rate for many currencies against the US dollar (which is hardly Albion's fault!). Generally speaking if a custom sword is going to cost me the same (or similar) as production sword (with 100-1000 units), I'm probably going to go custom.

I'd still like a Svante, though Happy

Stu
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Darryl Aoki




PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 8:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've got a few Albion swords, and I consider them to be worth the price I paid for them. Their prices are definitely on the level of "I'd better consider this purchase", and I'm not going to buy an Albion at the drop of a hat, but that doesn't mean that they're overpriced. I recently got the Doge I ordered a while back, and am quite impressed with both the aesthetics and the handling characteristics / overall feel of the sword. It is, I believe, the most expensive sword in my collection, and will probably be so for quite some time, but I'm darn happy with it.
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Raymond Deancona




PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 9:26 am    Post subject: Albion price         Reply with quote

I've been debating with myself as to whether or not I'd throw my two cents in. So, here goes. I've been collecting swords since the late 70's when I started with crap wall hangers and moved up from there. I've owned and traded just about every major sword maker in the US and several from Europe, as well as custom and semi-custom makers, so I think I have a good base from which to compare. I've also been a machinist for a company that made defense parts, so I know about that side of the business too. "Do you feel that Albion swords are priced higher than they should be?" I'm not sure the question is a valid one. Are they worth the price: compared to what? Albion is comparable in price with A&A and some other European makers, and the quality is just about as good as some custom makers. If value for the dollar is the question, then that is purely subjective. I've got some MRL that I really like and would have a hard time parting with, on the other hand I've owned $1500 dollar pieces I didn't shed a tear to get rid of. I believe Peter Johnsson made most of my points already: Albion is a buiness with a staff that needs to be paid a living wage. Building operations (electricity, water, taxes, etc) all add to the cost of the product. On top of this they want to make a quality historically accurate product; so add in research and start up and finishing costs. Steel prices have risen steadily, and some steels are hard to get thanks to the global demand (read as China's massive building projects) which drives the prices up even further. And I'm sure the staff would like a cost of living wage increase. CNC machines are not cheap, and maintenance on these isn't cheap either. Plus the programmer/operator better know what they are doing, or that expensive machine can be broken and unrepairable very quickly. I think a more valid question is "Are you willing to pay a high price for quality and accuracy?" If you answer "no" then Albion is overpriced, if you answer "yes" they are priced where they should be. If you want a bargain, check this forum's marketplace, there are usually several Albion's for sale. That being said, I have not purchased a new Albion in several years. Family and mortgage severly limit the toy budget. I've also not purchased from A&A or some other high end makers for the same reasons. Right now I am willing to "settle" for lower quality that does the job for what I want. If I had the extra money for a high end toy budget would I buy Albion? Absolutely. But if I had that budget, I'd also get myself on Patick Barta's waiting list...
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As a firm believer in personal business' and the free market, I think their prices are fine. I say "fine" because I do not have access to their books, and as a privately traded company I do not have a right to request them (or so they teach us in accounting). The economy will eventually pick back up, and we'll be buying again. There's talk of another stimulus package, and if students get one, I'm dropping it on an Albion.

Sometimes I wish I was insanely rich so I could send money their way; there are so many things they make that I like.

M.

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Ian Hutchison




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Blair wrote:
I have mixed feelings about Albion now-a-days. I still think Albion does some of the finest work out there, and you pay for quality. And I understand that times are tough and businesses have to raise prices to keep up with their costs. However, I have a problem with the price on their NG swords not yet in production for YEARS now increasing along with all the rest. Take for instance the Dane. There has been to my knowledge at least two price increases since the design for the Dane was released in late 2004, and the sword is still not in hand. Yet the price on preorder of the Dane has increased on each overall price increase. The research is done on it and all the extant designs, so that is not the reason. The waxes are carved or not, but the Dane looks to me much simpler in design than the Valkryja's complex pommel and cross carvings, yet costs $600 more. I'm sure that the sketch does not do the planned finished product of the Dane justice, but still it languishes in development hell, along with nine other unfortunate designs, for four years. Still the prices go up. I've seen the price on the Crecy go from the $580 I paid for it two years ago to the $800 that it is now: a 37% increase. Even the "lowly" Squire Line has gone from $300 for the two single handers to $430 over that same time frame, a 30% price increase. And development of that line is totally stagnant.

On another note, I have a sword in queue with Albion now that I will pay off in August of 2009, which means I'll get it sometime around October 2009 if they start it after the sword is paid off and an approximate two month wait exists at that time. And that doesn't take into account the time it will take to have someone craft a scabbard for it. Is that acceptable? To me it is, since I have arranged this, but just oh so very barely so. Why do I have to go this route? Because twenty-six swords of Albion's NG line are now more than one of my home's monthly mortgage payments. Another six more are within $20 of my mortgage payment. I don't have that much disposable income; I've never had. So I am stuck with a $100 service charge on a year long payment plan that I put in just before the last price increase. One thing is sure: regardless of my admiration of Albion's fine work, the Sherriff I have on order will be my last Albion unless I become fabulously wealthy.


Wow...37% in two years? I'm trying to think what else has gone up so much in that time besides fuel. I hear that steel has gone up 50% in the past 5 years. Other metals have also increased greatly in price, namely Chrome, Nickel and Zinc.

As far as my situation is concerned, I could justify paying $600-800 for an Albion which is right around what most of the swords I have my eye on cost now . If those prices were to increase to $1,200 or $1,400 as the more expensive swords currently cost, I would have to decline.

When it reaches that point, for a few dollars more I could just as well order a custom from a very good smith here and have every last thing done the way I like it.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Stephan Johansson




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 10:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello!
I just must put a comment on this thread.
For me the Albion sword designed by Peter Johnson, is worth its price.
These pieces are unique and not really comparable to anything else.
I haven't seen any swords at any price so closely matched to medievel originals. Every time I visit other manufacturers websites I get dissapointed at the look of their swords.
I do not think that the actual polish and finish is higher than some other companies products or that the blades are "better".
The value of the Albion swords is in their historical accuracy (wich really is phenomenal, and unique).
These swords are for them who sees this difference and appreciate (or even demands it).
For me it would be meaningless to buy a sword with less authencity than an NG Albion (I would rather have even higher matching to original swords like the museum line)
If you do not after handling and looking at an Albion feel this quality and appreciate it, theres really no reasen to buy such an expensive product. You could probably find something much cheaper.
But if you want to own an medievel sword this is the way to go (or steal a real one from a museum)!

I do not think they have reached the point of diminishing return in any way yet.

...and I am a ordinary working guy with to little money from the same country as Peter Johnsson and I can verify that taxes here is high!

Best Regards
Stephan Johansson
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 11:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To add some perspective, consider what you'll pay for a new computer or digital camera that will be obsolete within a few years. Invest the same amount in an Albion or A&A sword now and it will hold most of it's value over the same period. More to the point, it will be as functional in 10 years (or 20 or 75 or 500) as it is today, given proper care. I can't afford to spend $1,000 on a sword or anything else, but that price is nothing considering the research, experimentation, manufacturing and finishing involved. I'd certainly rather have my choice of Albion or A&A swords vs. my choice of mid-range digital SLRs or entry-level Macs.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Scott




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 11:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Justin King wrote:
I have generally been of the opinion that they are worth the price, although the two most recent Albions I have aquired have exhibited some minor flaws in the grinding and finishing that offset this view somewhat.


I ordered a Jarl, and that will probably be the last Albion I buy.

When it arrived, the pommel had corrosion under the wire and there was a nice rusty fingerprint on the guard. The tip was ground 1/4" off-center. So I send it back, wait more month*S*, and finally get it back with a tip ground closer to center but still not true and the corrosion still under the wire on the pommel.

They did get the rusty fingerprint off the guard, though...

Det er ikke å unngå fare det vi har komme!
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Christopher Gregg




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
To add some perspective, consider what you'll pay for a new computer or digital camera that will be obsolete within a few years. Invest the same amount in an Albion or A&A sword now and it will hold most of it's value over the same period. More to the point, it will be as functional in 10 years (or 20 or 75 or 500) as it is today, given proper care. I can't afford to spend $1,000 on a sword or anything else, but that price is nothing considering the research, experimentation, manufacturing and finishing involved. I'd certainly rather have my choice of Albion or A&A swords vs. my choice of mid-range digital SLRs or entry-level Macs.


Well put! This is exactly the argument I gave to my wife when I got my Albion. We have three computers in the house totaling $3500 in cost, the newest of which is almost 7 years old, and is nearly outmoded. My Albion will be just as effective centuries from now! Laughing Out Loud

Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 2:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I view Albions as worth their price, even if prices have increased recently. The level of quality on the Next Gen line is comparable to that of many custom sword makers while still being significantly cheaper. I won't be buying any Albions (or any other weapons for that matter) for quite some time, but that is due to my personal financial situation, rather than Albions being overpriced for their quality.

Frankly, I think that we may have lived through the golden age of high-end swords a few years ago, and we're now grasping for an era that isn't coming back. Looking back retrospectively, I know that Albion's original prices on the Next Generation line couldn't stay that low forever, and we may be entering a time where one simply cannot get that sort of quality for a relatively low price.

I'm just happy that I (foolishly) dropped as much money as I could when I did on my various Albions, even although it was a bad decision on my part when I was a student. With three Next gens, a Squire line, and a Maestro line, I've got a decent collection of swords for the time being.
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Chris Artman




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 4:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Until Mike (Albion) pulls up to a sword/knife show driving a Lamborgini, I have zero concerns Wink I can only hope they bring on more museum level swords with more detail....
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R D Moore




PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian Hutchison wrote: Wow...37% in two years? I'm trying to think what else has gone up so much in that time besides fuel. I hear that steel has gone up 50% in the past 5 years.[/quote]

Food would fit in this category:
http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSMAN14118020080507
It's cost has increased 40% in just a year!

I was talking with a banker on the way in to work the other day, and he had attended a seminar featuring a prominent national economist. This economist forcasted 2009 to be similar to 2008 with an upturn beginning in 2010, though unlike past upturns, he predicted this one to last much longer. Do you buy a Starbuck's everyday? I used to drink a vente non-fat latte every day but now I'm tossing the $3.85 in a milk jug and at year end I'm going to buy an Albion with the money.

So, are Albions priced appropriately? Yes, without question. Should they be cheaper? Yes, without question. And the third question you should have asked: "Can Albions be sold for less and still enable them to stay in business? No, absolutely not. Nor A&A, nor any other maker who has bills to pay. All they have to do is to stay in business for us and we'll all come out of this. But if we quit buying then none of them stand much of a chance.

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Oct, 2008 12:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would, in all honesty, like to see Albion move beyond just swords, though I think A and A has a firm grasp on the high-end dagger and pole arm category.

Sean Scott wrote:
Justin King wrote:
I have generally been of the opinion that they are worth the price, although the two most recent Albions I have aquired have exhibited some minor flaws in the grinding and finishing that offset this view somewhat.


I ordered a Jarl, and that will probably be the last Albion I buy.

When it arrived, the pommel had corrosion under the wire and there was a nice rusty fingerprint on the guard. The tip was ground 1/4" off-center. So I send it back, wait more month*S*, and finally get it back with a tip ground closer to center but still not true and the corrosion still under the wire on the pommel.

They did get the rusty fingerprint off the guard, though...


Are you serious? I mean, I'm not contesting your experience but that seems way out of line with everything else I've heard about them. It sounds like a similar story by a member here, who shall name unnamed, about a dagger bought from a different (unnamed to protect etc) company, which was poorly constructed, which is totally contrary to everyone else's experience with their goods.

Very strange.

M.

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Li Jin




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Oct, 2008 1:30 am    Post subject: Albion price         Reply with quote

I think in my opinion, because Albion swords are Made in USA.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 30 Oct, 2008 2:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Every company has quality control issues. Make 'em fix it. The real test is how any company handles this sort of thing.
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Felix R.




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Oct, 2008 2:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As Nathan said. Such things can happen.

The second Albion I ordered, a Sheriff, had its fuller out of center by about 5mm on both sides, this was very odd looking. I e-mailed Soren, sent him pictures, sent the sword back. A few weeks later I had a Yeoman that was sent from the USA via Express. This is what customer service is about. Of course if someone had looked at the sword before (quality control) it might have not been sold at all. But hey, we are all human and make mistakes, it is how they are solved then.

I own a few sharps and two Maestro Line Albions. I like them all very much. And I would have liked to order from them soon, but the latest 11% price increase will give me a hard time collecting the money. And perhaps I will order a custom piece of armour instead.
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