What’s Up With Knife Center’s Secret Benchmade Pricing?

Price Quote for BM555HG: Benchmade 555HG Mini Griptilian Axis Lock 2.8″ Plain Satin Edge Black Handle

Due to the manufacturer’s restrictions, we are unable to advertise our price for this product. If you would like a price quote, please enter your email address below, or if you prefer, give us a call at 800.338.6799.

Other vendors are perfectly happy to post their prices for anything and everything Benchmade, but Knife Center can’t or won’t. What’s up with that, I wondered…

Because while I’m not exactly sure what all the Ten Commandments of e-commerce might be, “Thou Shalt Post Thy Prices” is definitely one of them.

Opaque prices interfere with quick gratification and discourage impulse buying, so if Knife Center is coveting thy neigh I mean, not posting their prices online, there must be a compelling reason. Good or bad.

Bad reasons could include: “Our prices suck, and we’re firewalling them so that at least some customers won’t know the difference.” Or possibly “We’re tired of listing our prices and only capturing your IP address to sell to Google. Now we want your email address and/or phone number too.

BM555HGanwBefore these dark conspiracy theories infected my temperament, I looked up the price of this Benchmade 555 Mini-Griptilian at other online vendors. Without dropping any other names, they were all happy to post their price online: eighty-five clams and up.

Then I called the 800 number for Knife Center and dutifully Pressed ‘One’ For Sales. After a wait of less than fifteen seconds I got my answer: $70. Knife Center can’t advertise this price on the internet, but I can and it’s pretty good.

Seventy bucks is apparently below Benchmade’s “minimum advertised price” for this model, which explains why Knife Center is keeping it on the Q-T. Minimum advertised pricing is neither new or unique to Benchmade. Most manufacturers do it as a way to buttress the credibility of their brand names, and to protect the legitimacy of their advertised price structures.

The moral of this story is that Knife Center’s strangely secret Benchmade pricing is no gimmick. Or if it is just a gimmick, it’s one I can deal with because it could save me money.

 

comments

  1. Roger says:

    Knife Center and Benchmade aren’t the only examples of this practice. Usually it’s because the supplier or manufacturer sets a “minimum advertised price” that the seller wants to undercut. They can’t advertise that price without breaching the agreement and possibly losing a nice supplier. Although it’s used pretty regularly because the sellers know that if you’re going to investigate the price that you’ll likely buy it as long as it’s reasonable.

    1. Colby says:

      I just learned something new. Thanks.

  2. supergrover says:

    i’ve seen something like this before. usually, you just have to put the item in the ‘shopping cart’ to see the price.

    my guess is that this vendor din’t know how, didn’t bother to do this, or benchmade’s contract is worded atypically.

    but, if they don’t actually sell online; then they probably couldn’t list (one way or the other) a price that low online

  3. Nathan says:

    GP Knives does this for Benchmade too. I’ve seen that they have the lowest price on BM’s. But instead of calling you can just type in your email and get an immediate response. It’s quite great

  4. Christian says:

    I love Knife Center. I live about 40 minutes from them, so they are my friendly local knife shop. You can even play with their dog when you pick up knives from them in person.

    The minimum advertised price thing is a pain, but one advantage of them playing that game is they are an authorized dealer. Meaning you won’t be SOL if you need warranty work. Also their prices are generally awesome, and that’s including me having to pay state sales tax.

  5. Bob says:

    I just purchased a Griptilian to replace my lost leatherman (sad day), DIRECT from BM for over $100. I feel a bit cheated now.

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What’s Up With Knife Center’s Secret Benchmade Pricing?

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