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Forum Index > Makers and Manufacturers Talk > Tried & True Armory commission wait times Reply to topic
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Tom Kinder




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Mar, 2012 6:16 pm    Post subject: Tried & True Armory commission wait times         Reply with quote

Just wanted to post publically about an issue that is frustrating the heck out of us and our customers.

wait times: they are long and things are moving slowly. Gus, Hiroshi, and I would love to move everything out and get all swords done in a short time frame but that just isn't possible right now.

Gus has to pay rent and the costs of doing business and lately this means he has had to take on jobs that don't make swords. this slows down sword production but at the same time ensures that they WILL get done instead of the shop collapsing and going under and Gus ending up living on the streets of Seattle.

all the same, we feel bad that times are stretching out and people are waiting longer than we originally hoped and figured they would.

the three of us have talked about this a lot recently and we have come to a decision:
we are going to limit the amount of commissions we accept to three (3) per month until our back log is greatly reduced and we get some better momentum flowing.

I don't know how long it is going to take, but we have decided that we want to focus on getting our backlog cleared.

also I want to get a few things out in the open right away.

there will be swords showing up on the shelf and from other dealers who get their stuff from Gus. this does not mean anyone's project has been jumped ahead of anyone else's. those of us who are getting swords have placed orders with Gus and have been waiting in line just like the customers who buy from us. Gus has been filling these orders as quickly as he can and generally in the order received with some juggling due to batch affinity. What this means is that if the next two swords on the list are long swords such as XIIa.4 or XIIa.1 it is entirely possible that Gus will make a batch of 3 to 5 of this size sword based on what is the most efficient use of his materials and machines. this means that one or two guys who are down the list 5 or 6 places might get their swords earlier. it all has to do with the way Gus's shop, machines, and most importantly heat treating are set up. heat treatment needs to be done in batches of similar sized swords and there is very little cost difference between a batch of two and a batch of 10 swords so it makes sense to get as many blades as possible into a heat treat batch and is a waste of money to send out a heat treat batch of 2 or 3 swords.

basically there is more than one wait list and they are separated by blade size.

at this point I want to ensure all my customers that their orders WILL get filled, and I ask for your continued patience. nearly all of you have been patient to the point of saintliness or at the very least serious stoicism, please continue to hang in there.

thank you all for your time and continued patience, good things are coming, your things are coming,

Tom
Tried and True Armory
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William Carew




PostPosted: Sun 16 Dec, 2012 2:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Concerned customer here who hasn't heard anything about orders made in February and March 2012. No responses forthcoming from the T&TA gmail account to my request for information about my order. Also, appears to be no T&TA forum or Facebook updates since early 2012 from what I can find. I'm hoping that raising this on various fora will attract the attention of the T&TA proprietors (PM also sent to Tom K).

I'd appreciate any information anyone has about whether T&TA are still trading and what is happening for existing customers who have paid deposits. PM me if you have info and don't want to make it public.

Bill Carew
Jogo do Pau Brisbane
COLLEGIUM IN ARMIS
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Marc Ridgeway




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PostPosted: Mon 17 Dec, 2012 7:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T & T is still trading... and the content of the post above still very valid. I have an order in that I made last year... I believe it is close to being fulfilled.

I can't speak for Hiroshi... but Tom is in the Coast Guard and often at sea for months at a time. Also he recently had to move his entire family ... again. So I know that he is very busy at the best of times, and unable to access the internet at the worst of them.

It is frustrating to wait, but at the prices T&T were selling ATrims for , it is a very part - time venture , both for them and Gus... bills still have to be paid.

I am waiting happily...

Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Jeremy V. Krause




PostPosted: Mon 17 Dec, 2012 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just have to say that watching these posts through the years; this seems like a very unorthodox way to sell and purchase swords.

It seems fairly unprecedented in the industry.
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Mon 17 Dec, 2012 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been watching these posts also, and I respectfully disagree.

Many self employed smiths have had delays in production, and I knew that going into my Tried and True purchase. The product I received from them exceeded my expectations, and in my opinion, the wait time was acceptable.

Tom was proactive in communications, and I know their reputation. I knew that while it might take longer than anticipated that I would receive a product that was worth (to me) more than their asking price.

There is a saying in the fabrication business, "You can have it made well, cheap, or fast, pick two."

I could not be happier with my Tried and True purchase.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Jeremy V. Krause




PostPosted: Mon 17 Dec, 2012 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams wrote:
I've been watching these posts also, and I respectfully disagree.

Many self employed smiths have had delays in production, and I knew that going into my Tried and True purchase. The product I received from them exceeded my expectations, and in my opinion, the wait time was acceptable.

Tom was proactive in communications, and I know their reputation. I knew that while it might take longer than anticipated that I would receive a product that was worth (to me) more than their asking price.

There is a saying in the fabrication business, "You can have it made well, cheap, or fast, pick two."

I could not be happier with my Tried and True purchase.


And I can only go by what I read here as I am not a customer. It is good to hear that you are well satisfied with your dealing with T and T.

I seems as if, when it comes to Atrims we read mostly about frustration, personal business, life troubles, and continual delay.

But, again, I am only going by what I read around here, thus my impressions may be grossly inaccurate.


Last edited by Jeremy V. Krause on Mon 17 Dec, 2012 10:03 am; edited 2 times in total
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 17 Dec, 2012 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams wrote:
I've been watching these posts also, and I respectfully disagree.

Many self employed smiths have had delays in production, and I knew that going into my Tried and True purchase. The product I received from them exceeded my expectations, and in my opinion, the wait time was acceptable.

Tom was proactive in communications, and I know their reputation. I knew that while it might take longer than anticipated that I would receive a product that was worth (to me) more than their asking price.

There is a saying in the fabrication business, "You can have it made well, cheap, or fast, pick two."

I could not be happier with my Tried and True purchase.


The problem with your post and the logic you express in it is this: when sellers set expectations with customers and miss them without doing any form of customer service to remedy the situation, it is absolutely reasonable for a customer to be upset by this. This needs to be called out exactly for what it is: bad business.

Our community has been plagued for years by bad business. This has had a great impact on the market that surrounds it and has had a great influence on the fact that it is so small and unhealthy. When people post such things that give such bad business practices "a pass", include a "blame the customer" message, or avoid discussing such practices with critique, they are doing absolutely nothing to help grow the industry that surrounds our hobby. Every time a seller engages in bad business practices, it hurts the entire industry and every maker in it by limiting the potential customer base. The only positive that comes from it, and it's a small one, is for the few makers that have successfully found the niche of providing value above and beyond the mediocrity found in the industry. Unfortunately for them, they're still playing in the small pond of limited customers, but at least they become the big fish.

Don't give business practices like this a pass: call it out and be critical. Expect professionalism.

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Ken Jay




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Location: Portland Oregon
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PostPosted: Mon 17 Dec, 2012 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I purchased an in-stock ATrim from T&T when they first opened for business. They where good to do business with then. There have been delivery issues from some makers and a good rule to follow is buy only items on hand or make payment only when the item is deliverable. I learned this back in the day when I bought custom knives.
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JE Sarge




PostPosted: Mon 17 Dec, 2012 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I greatly respect and admire Gus Trim. I own a few of his swords and I cherish them in my collection. But, I really do think that Gus should settle into making what he wants to, when he wants to, and offer them for sale when they are completed. The whole preorder business has not worked well for him (now or in the past) or those he's involved with on a professional level. It's always seems to end up overwhelming and become problematic. He makes an excellent product, but the demand for his swords are impossible for a small scale, part time operation to keep up with. Only selling what he made would also make him more money in the end by cutting out any vendors. I really do this this would benefit him best given his situation.

So, I see it as being the skilled sword maker he is, he would do just as well, if not better, to make X number of swords per year as it fit his schedule, then sell just those. This would completely eliminate any headaches for him, his business associates, and his customers.

Just my thoughts on this...

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
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Jack Savante




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec, 2012 12:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The demand is clearly there for these swords, understandably too as they look fantastic and get great write ups, is the delay due to an inability to produce the swords quickly enough? Have there been some other mitigating circumstances>

It seem strange to me as an aspiring sword maker who has yet to canvass his wears but is incredibly envious of Angus' success that a marque like ATrim which has such a loyal and cashed up customer base should be disappointing customers left right and centre. The money is coming in, but swords aren't going out very quickly and that seems an unbalanced equation.

I don't own an ATrim but would love to, but when I read online about 3 year delays (not wait times, but actual delays without any form of contact) I really doubt I'd put the cash down to order one, I'd much rather buy an ATrim from someone who is selling theirs.

I am no fan of Albion's 3 month wait time, I really agonised to get my hands on my Tiberius during that time, but at least Albion said 3 months and it was three months.

I understand there is such a thing as 'island time' and that some people just have a laid back approach to deadlines and meeting other people's expectations, but personally if I know in advance that a given person is lax in their approach to business and timeliness I tend to avoid doing business with them like I avoid the plague.

Having said that, I also understand that personal crises can and do happen, and can throw normally responsible people into a world of chaos in which they are unable to keep their promises as they like to. I do hope Tried & True fall into the latter, rather than the former category. If they don't I feel sorry for their customers. If they do I wish them a speedy resolution to whatever issues are causing delays behind the scenes.
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William Swiger




PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec, 2012 4:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

JE Sarge wrote:
I greatly respect and admire Gus Trim. I own a few of his swords and I cherish them in my collection. But, I really do think that Gus should settle into making what he wants to, when he wants to, and offer them for sale when they are completed. The whole preorder business has not worked well for him (now or in the past) or those he's involved with on a professional level. It's always seems to end up overwhelming and become problematic. He makes an excellent product, but the demand for his swords are impossible for a small scale, part time operation to keep up with. Only selling what he made would also make him more money in the end by cutting out any vendors. I really do this this would benefit him best given his situation.

So, I see it as being the skilled sword maker he is, he would do just as well, if not better, to make X number of swords per year as it fit his schedule, then sell just those. This would completely eliminate any headaches for him, his business associates, and his customers.

Just my thoughts on this...


I agree 100% with what you are saying. Too much history has passed to warrant any preorder arrangement involving the exchange of money. Best if Mr. Trim sold them as he made them. If months went by without an update or e-mail response and the general impression was just be happy you are getting an ATRIM and you will get your sword sometime in the future - I would not be a happy camper. I don't blame the T&T guys for accepting pre-orders as they must have been given a timeline of completion by Mr. Trim. But the reality is they were the go-between and have the overall responsibility to deal with the customers and provide information updates and refunds of paid in full and deposit orders if requested.


Last edited by William Swiger on Tue 18 Dec, 2012 8:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Meng Lee Khaw




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec, 2012 7:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jack Savante wrote:
I am no fan of Albion's 3 month wait time, I really agonised to get my hands on my Tiberius during that time, but at least Albion said 3 months and it was three months.


Jack mate, that really makes me appreciate the fact I only had to wait a week or so when I bought the Tiberius of you Razz
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Marc Ridgeway




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec, 2012 10:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have mixed feelings about this topic... on the one hand, I do understand what everyone is saying , and the reasoning... on the other hand I personally haven't had any experience that is that far outside of the norm in this business.

As a consumer , I have bought several swords on a "preorder" arrangement from Gus... I have had to wait for them ... but I have always gotten them, and always got more than my money's worth. Every custom sword I have ever ordered came with a wait time... and most involved paying at least some up front. One custom took a couple of years , and then I got my money back... no sword. One custom never came... no money ... no sword... 6 years later now, I gave up hope 3 years ago.
So my experience with Gus is not that far outside the norm I have experienced with sword makers. Or plumbers, or web designers , or mechanics....

As a part-time seller of Angus Trim swords I agree with the sell them as they are made philosophy . Evolution Arms is a 99% in stock business . This is the direction also that I believe that Gus intends to persue going forward.


Still though, as a Tried & True customer , I am just happy I am getting an Atrim , and I will be getting it sometime in the future, For right now, that is good enough for me. Doesn't mean others should feel the same, but that is how I feel.

Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec, 2012 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Was a time when I spent quite a bit of money on this stuff. Over time the sword industry just wore me out and now I don't spend much money on this stuff anymore. At this point I find it easier to wait for things to come up in the used market if I have a want. Delivery has tended to be more predictable there in my experience.
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
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William Carew




PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec, 2012 4:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just wanted to make a few additional points as clearly as I can. I can only speak for myself, but I suspect quite a few other customers of T&TA will agree with much of what I say FWIW.

First, Iíve seen a tendency (across numerous forums) for admirers of Gus and T&TA to counter customersí concerns over the current delays and lack of communication by pointing out the quality of the work and the low margins involved for Gus and T&TA. Iím afraid this is a bit of a red herring. No-one that Iíve seen post has ever doubted the high quality or value for money of the T&TA line, and I would have been happy to pay a reasonable amount more for a T&TA sword by Gus, contingent, of course, on advertised delivery times and communication being reliable. In good faith, I paid substantial deposits on the prices set by T&TA Ė I did not haggle, nor attempt to talk their prices down, so it is clearly not my fault (or the fault of other customers) if the vendors under-priced their wares to the point their business model appears unsustainable, nor am I somehow Ďgetting my just desertsí by waiting indefinitely (in the dark) for the goods I ordered as a result. So letís please lay those kinds of Ďblaming the customerí excuses to bed.

Second, my main concern is not a slightly extended waiting time, it is the lack of recent updates from the vendor and the utter silence to the recent enquiries Iíve made about my order (note: if I do receive an update on my order, I will happily acknowledge the fact here and on the SBG Forum). Iím not alone in this. I understand delays can happen, and I am sympathetic to the health, financial and family challenges of the people involved, including Gus and the proprietors of T&TA. Iím not demanding that my swords be made right this moment (!), Iím merely asking for responses to my emails and PMís with specific and reliable updates about my orders Ė or if the vendors are so overwhelmed that is not possible, at least some regular, general information and updates on their website, Facebook page and/or the various sword forums to reassure us they are still working to fill our orders. Now, if there is no foreseeable light at the end of this tunnel, and if I will not see my swords this side of Christmas 2013 (by which time my orders will be nearly two years old), then I (quite reasonably I feel) want to discuss my options, including a full refund, with the vendors.

To summarise:

1) I am not complaining about the price I paid, nor am I questioning the quality of the work. Iím sure the quality will be excellent and the swords good value for money. That is not the issue. Nor are customers to blame if the prices were set too low by the vendors, resulting in demand eclipsing production capacity.

2) While I am concerned about waiting times extending out to unreasonable levels, I am much more concerned about the lack of information and response to customer enquiries. Communication is the most important part of running a business: you must talk to your customers and be honest and forthright with them, regardless of how good or bad the news is.

That is all. I wonít have much else to say on this matter for a while unless new information comes to light, or I receive an update on my orders. Hereís hoping the vendors are getting their heads above water, and orders are being filled. We really are in this together, and itís in all our best interests for this to work out positively.

Bill Carew
Jogo do Pau Brisbane
COLLEGIUM IN ARMIS
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec, 2012 6:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill, thank you for your clarification. I understood you from the start and I'm hoping that others will now be on your same page. You're not asking for miracles. You're simply asking for common courtesy, professionalism, and expectations that are reasonably met or reasonably reset.

Good call on the red herring label: you're 100% correct there. Such conversations are frankly completely off-topic to the conversation.

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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec, 2012 10:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I didn't mean for my statements about the quality of my commission to counter balance any unprofessional behavior.

While my wait time was longer than originally stated, it was completed and sent to me six months after I ordered it. As I said, Tom was in contact with me the entire time, and as work progressed I was sent photos at various stages of completion.

In his dealings with me, Tom was completely professional, and I personally left the transaction feeling completely satisfied with our interaction.

If I had to wait two years, and he had not returned my E Mails, than I would of course be upset, and would possibly be looking for a refund. I'm not saying that that is in any way acceptable. I didn't realize that people were in that kind of situation.

It's a shame to hear about these problems, I wasn't "giving them a pass" I honestly am satisfied with my dealings with them.



...it really sucks to hear this stuff, I hope they can make it good. There are so few options for well tuned swords, and to loose the most affordable one would be a hard hit for the community.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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William Carew




PostPosted: Wed 19 Dec, 2012 1:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Nathan. I'm glad that my intent (a genuine desire for information) is not being mistaken for sour grapes. If the T&TA guys are reading this, let's indeed 'reset' and move forward in a positive way.

Matthew, no problem. I understand the desire to communicate your own positive experience. FWIW, I hope you and the others who have posted in support are right, and that I and all the other outstanding customers will get to experience some of your joy with our own swords in due time. I've long admired Gus' XIIIa and XIIa 'swords of war' and I really am looking forward to having my own in hand.

Bill Carew
Jogo do Pau Brisbane
COLLEGIUM IN ARMIS
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William Carew




PostPosted: Fri 22 Mar, 2013 10:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just checking in for a progress update.

My update: No communication received. No swords. Still waiting (over a year now).

Anyone else heard anything?

Bill Carew
Jogo do Pau Brisbane
COLLEGIUM IN ARMIS
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Ken Jay




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Mar, 2013 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't want to be seen as unfairly bashing Gus or T&T, I've bought a boat load of Atrims and used T&T for one such purchase. That said Gus does have an unfortunate history of issues with taking the money and failing to deliver swords or delivering after absurdly long wait times. Given the history, I will not buy another unless the sword was in stock with the seller. While Gus does seem to be producing swords,, all-be-it at a much reduced rate, I wouldn't hold out much hope of receiving a long ago ordered sword from Gus today.
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