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Yaqi copied the Vector

What's at stake is whether we as a very small community can handle an influx of knock-offs without losing the people who actually create the new products we all enjoy.
If that happens, the community eventually loses the innovations and new design directions that it currently benefits from. I think that's a shame
I agree with you 100% on these points. Where I have to respectfully part ways is with your idea that prohibiting discussion of these products here on B&B will somehow help remedy this problem. I simply don't see that. What I do see is that open discussion around these products will tell us what they really are (and what the real McCoy is), and I think that is a good thing.

Take a look at this thread. It has provided you with a platform to advocate passionately and effectively that patronizing these knock-offs is bad for not only your business, but for our entire community. It is a point very well made and I completely agree with it. This discussion has provided me, for one, with a much better understanding of the potential impact of knock-offs on the small safety razor industry. While I would not be inclined in any event to buy the particular clone razor that started this thread, after taking in this discussion, I'm even less so.

While I don't dispute that knock-offs are bad for your business (and those like you), I would humbly suggest that public discussion of them is not. In fact, I would submit that a free and open discussion of them, like has happened here, is ultimately good for your business. But it couldn't have happened if, as you suggested, this thread would have been banned at the outset.
 
I agree with you 100% on these points. Where I have to respectfully part ways is with your idea that prohibiting discussion of these products here on B&B will somehow help remedy this problem. I simply don't see that. What I do see is that open discussion around these products will tell us what they really are (and what the real McCoy is), and I think that is a good thing.

Take a look at this thread. It has provided you with a platform to advocate passionately and effectively that patronizing these knock-offs is bad for not only your business, but for our entire community. It is a point very well made and I completely agree with it. This discussion has provided me, for one, with a much better understanding of the potential impact of knock-offs on the small safety razor industry. While I would not be inclined in any event to buy the particular clone razor that started this thread, after taking in this discussion, I'm even less so.

While I don't dispute that knock-offs are bad for your business (and those like you), I would humbly suggest that public discussion of them is not. In fact, I would submit that a free and open discussion of them, like has happened here, is ultimately good for your business. But it couldn't have happened if, as you suggested, this thread would have been banned at the outset.

This is a reasonable take. But this discussion is just me making lemonade from lemons because I don't have a choice. While I'm decent at doing this, the reality is that I don't want to have to make lemonade because I hate these stupid lemons.

Make no mistake about it, I'm doing cleanup work to hopefully stem the flow of future losses for both myself and for the other makers in our community. This isn't moving the needle forward. I'm just trying to keep the needle on the gauge. This thread, and all like it, are damaging because what we don't really see are the people casually viewing it who maybe aren't entrenched in the community and who think "oh cool, a cheap razor" and head off to buy it when they otherwise wouldn't have found it. And those people are less likely to post here for a few reasons. First, most forum members are lurkers who rarely, if ever, post. Second, I'm here and most people are kind enough to not look me in my digital face and tell me that they're buying a knock-off of my product. Finally, the thread has now largely turned pro-original and anti-knock-off so people are less likely to oppose group think and to declare their love of the knock-off.

So while it perhaps looks like the thread is helping me, what we're actually seeing is selection bias in the responses here. We don't see all the website visits, orders, and increased awareness of this knock-off. And those things are certainly damaging. There truly is no such thing as bad press and forums have a chance to cut these bad actors off and to prevent them from leaching off the hard work of the makers in our community.

I don't actually expect forums to do this. They should, to be clear, but I think forums are more afraid of losing members over censorship concerns than they are of losing vendors who can no longer afford the fees here due to dwindling sales. I understand their position and they understand mine. This is evidenced by the sub-forum this thread is now in. They're trying.They get it and I'm sure they sympathize, but our business needs are at odds on this right now and that's okay. Given the current trajectory of knock-off production, I think our needs will eventually align as vendors either choose to stop paying to be members at a place that protects those who knock off our products or as vendors scale down our development of new products, giving forums less content to discuss and, over time, less traffic. It's a tough balancing act for forums and we're not far enough into this for them to really see the impact. I'm definitely early on this because I think it's prudent to act now before we start losing makers and artisans to knock-offs.
 
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This thread, and all like it, are damaging because what we don't really see are the people casually viewing it who maybe aren't entrenched in the community and who think "oh cool, a cheap razor" and head off to buy it when they otherwise wouldn't have found it.

Thanks for your thoughtful response. I understand your thinking about this, but I think we'll have to settle on disagreeing on this point: I'm just not persuaded that trying to selectively block the flow of information to shavers out there is a winning strategy in the battle against knock-offs. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it ain't going back in. Fighting it by trying to keep people from knowing about it seems like a losing proposition to me. In my view, better to go at them head on, as you have done here, and expose them for what they are.

There is also the very thorny problem of fairly administering a policy that bans any sort of knock-off-centric threads, or perhaps even any mention of knock-off products. It would be hard to make clear rules for that; even if one could, they would be, by definition, arbitrary. That looks like an impossibly slippery slope to me.

Thanks again for your contributions to this discussion.
 
Thanks for your thoughtful response. I understand your thinking about this, but I think we'll have to settle on disagreeing on this point: I'm just not persuaded that trying to selectively block the flow of information to shavers out there is a winning strategy in the battle against knock-offs. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it ain't going back in. Fighting it by trying to keep people from knowing about it seems like a losing proposition to me. In my view, better to go at them head on, as you have done here, and expose them for what they are.

There is also the very thorny problem of fairly administering a policy that bans any sort of knock-off-centric threads, or perhaps even any mention of knock-off products. It would be hard to make clear rules for that; even if one could, they would be, by definition, arbitrary. That looks like an impossibly slippery slope to me.

Thanks again for your contributions to this discussion.

I completely see this side of it, too. It's a tough situation and a tougher problem to solve. It's really easy for me to just sit over here flailing my arms knowing I don't actually have any power in this. It's a much harder thing for forum admin to figure out how to deal with this, if at all. My goal in the short term is to simply broach the topic, bring the issue to light, and engage in discussion that will hopefully lead people to think a bit about the impact this has on the wet shaving makers, designers, and artisans. :)
 
My goal in the short term is to simply broach the topic, bring the issue to light, and engage in discussion that will hopefully lead people to think a bit about the impact this has on the wet shaving makers, designers, and artisans. :)
I'd say mission accomplished. And thanks for that.
 
As a small business owner / operator myself Shane has my sympathy.

For the folks saying why spend the money on a low production high quality stainless steel razor when a cheap one will still knock whiskers off your face I'm reminded of a story from my past.

A 1976 *** Ford Pinto got me through some financially dark days. Once I was out of the red, still single with no kids, and some money to burn I bought my dream car. This was about 1987 and I bought a used 1984 Porche 911 Turbo. I still had the Pinto cuz it was only worth about $150. I had both cars parked in the driveway and my buddy Randy looked at them and said "the Porsche is a waste of money, the Pinto gets you where you need to go". My other buddy Scott said "yup, but you can't wipe the smile off his face when he drives the Porsche...whats that worth?"

I've been on both sides of this fence and will say the only people wrong are the ones judging the other side for doing what they want. If you wanna drive a Pinto drive a Pinto. If you wanna drive a Porsche drive a Porsche.

To Shane I would say...from a small business owner that knows stainless steel and CNC machining...I've seen your work and the quality is impeccable. That level of quality sells itself. Your customer base is vastly different than Yaqis and I suspect this will not hurt your bottom line. Hang tough and keep doing what you do brother. Innovate!
 

BigFoot

The Real Beast of Bray Road!
I agree with Shane that ripping off someone else's intellectual property is a reprehensible thing and it is a practice I condemn. However, banning any discussion of products that reflect it is a bridge too far for me. Shutting down open discussion about it simply isn't, in my view, an appropriate remedy. It is a treatment that does nothing to actually help eradicate the the disease. On that matter, I have to respectfully disagree with Shane.

The suggestion to ban these threads is apparently based on the assumption that discussion of such products here is tantamount to condoning or, worse, promoting the practice of knocking-off other people's designs. Taking a look at the discussion in this thread, it seems pretty clear to me that is definitely not the case. A lot of diverse opinions have been expressed about this, which is what B&B is all about.

But the real issue this suggestion raises is the inherently arbitrary nature of censorship. How is it to be decided which threads get banned? When does "inspired by" become a banned knock-off? And does that carry over to brush handles, mugs, maybe even soaps and AS, that look like, smell like or are even explicitly based on an existing product? That, my friends, is a slippery slope indeed.

Finally, I'm not so naive to think that B&B is an unfettered platform for free speech. As pointed out, there are plenty of rules here that could be construed as censorship. But saying "since we already have some, let's have some more" is a "two-wrongs-make-a-right" argument that doesn't logically work for me.

I may have missed something but what was censored?
 
I may have missed something but what was censored?
Shane seemed to advocate the idea that any discussions involving knock offs of products from B&B vendors should be completely shut down before they could get started. After all, he's paying for forum sponsorship, etc.

Disagree.
:(
 
Shane seemed to advocate the idea that any discussions involving knock offs of products from B&B vendors should be completely shut down before they could get started. After all, he's paying for forum sponsorship, etc.

Disagree.
:(
I disagree as well but this is a privately owned forum and the owners can do whatever they want.

A knife forum I used to frequent completely banned the discussion as well as the selling of knockoffs. Not many members had a problem with it either.

People need to remember that just because this is an Internet forum, it isn’t necessarily a democracy.
 
This is a total aside but have you (@Blackland Razors ) looked to see how much it costs to file the patents in China / US [ if this was not done already ] or even design trademarks? If it isn't too much I don't think it would hurt in keeping issues like this to a minimum (e.g. truly sketchy knockoffs).

I agree with the sentiment, I think the target audience is a bit different (so this might not be worth pursuing), but I also definitely agree with the anxiety (given the breathless random purchases from aliexpress, people seem to go on about [ which I had not even heard of before coming here ] ) that this has the potential to completely derail an already pretty niche market.

Where the discussion gets a bit lost above is, while homages / off patent duplication certainly has a role in innovation, in contrast patents and design trademarks themselves have a legal timeline to protect businesses - particularly small businesses like Blackland. An homage or an idea that is not patented is one thing that can be discussed .. but in cases such as these, this is a different topic all together.

So in this case, I can only point out the irony in banning discussions around recreational/medical weed that randomly pop up - which is legal in California ( where I think Blackland is based ) and actually in contrast being far more lenient on sales of potentially patent breaking innovation / knock offs - which is decidedly not legal in California or in the world actually except under very rare exceptions.

From an ethical standpoint even if Blackland did not do the design trademarks or patents I would still argue the right thing to do is honor his design to be honest, given he is a small business and as such these discussions on homages aren't really anything more than a way of punishing folks who run small, niche companies without legal teams.

But thats just me.
 
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This is a total aside but have you (@Blackland Razors ) looked to see how much it costs to file the patents in China / US ? If it isn't too much I don't think it would hurt in keeping issues like this to a minimum (e.g. truly sketchy knockoffs).

I agree with the sentiment I think the target audience is a bit different (so this might not be worth pursuing), but I also definitely agree with the anxiety (given the breathless random purchases from aliexpress, people seem to go on about [ which I had not even heard of before coming here ] ) that this has the potential to completely derail an already pretty niche market.

Where the discussion gets a bit lost above is - homages / off patent duplication certainly has a role in innovation. In contrast patents themselves have a legal timeline to protect businesses - particularly small businesses like Blackland. An homage or an idea that is not patented is one thing that can be discussed .. but in cases such as these, this is a different topic all together (if patented).

So in this case, I can only point out the irony in banning discussions around recreational/medical weed that randomly pop up - which is legal in California ( where I think Blackland is based ) and actually in contrast being far more lenient on sales of potentially patent breaking innovation / knock offs - which is decidedly not legal in California or in the world actually except under very rare exceptions.
I think the difficulty of patenting or trademarking anything in China is obvious due to the massive amount of pirated, knock-off, and copy-cat products this country produces. Not being xenophobic, but I have a Blu-Ray set heavily advertised on Facebook that I'm sure is a Chinese knock-off upon receipt.
 
I think the difficulty of patenting or trademarking anything in China is obvious due to the massive amount of pirated, knock-off, and copy-cat products this country produces. Not being xenophobic, but I have a Blu-Ray set heavily advertised on Facebook that I'm sure is a Chinese knock-off upon receipt.


Right .. I get that. I would argue its actually more a marketing / sales defense. You can't wipe out the sketch - what you can do is nip discussions like this thread by saying - "guys you get you are talking about illegal activity, how are we having this debate?". Thats simple enough that even I get it :) It also helps in wiping out the random stores that pop up on amazon and elsewhere by having a form letter to send Amazon and other online behemoths. It doesn't fix the problem completely of course, to your point.
 
I think that's the same GEM style razor that he showed me. He found someone close to him with a 3D printer and he gave him that link. I'm kinda sceptical about plastic razors, but I keep seeing people saying good words about them and I guess if the design and the materials are good, they can outlive most Zamak razors.

This version has the same post of the Tradere maybe we will see one like the Vector in the future. Gem 3d
 
Will we ever learn how this thing shaves?
I think this is a good indication, taken from this post: New Yaqi SE in 50mm. - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/new-yaqi-se-in-50mm.603494/post-11181169

1618764063925.png


Me, I'm sticking with the real thing. To each his own, YMMV and the usual B/S...
 
Horrible and reprehensible. This is begging for the death of innovation, and if not the death, at the very least the more discerning buyers to subsidize innovation for others.

Anyone ask Shane what the Vector would cost if he could predict sales better and they weren't impacted/threatened by knock-offs? Yes, R&D, materials, machining, marketing, etc. all cost money but he likely has to factor-in recouping initial investment ASAP because everyone knows knock-offs are a threat.

People! There's a reason the original costs 200 and the fake costs 10. I can guarantee 190 isn't going in Shane's pocket.

Let me just ask 1 thing. For anyone that bought the knock-off, don't ever complain that manufacturing jobs have left your country or that your community "ain't what it used to be".
 

Lefonque

Even more clueless than you
I have just read the thread. I feel for Shane regarding Chinese copies. It is heartbreaking to see your design blatantly ripped off. I have friends who make high end eye wear. We were discussing the fact that they would take there product to a trade show only to find exact copies of their designs produced using cheap quality materials but looking exactly like theirs in always. It happens in many industries and not just by the Chinese. The music industry has been rife with these issues for decades. The fashion industry is totally direct in a way that constantly rips off style and design.

The first issue for me is not about censorship but about awareness. If I am aware that something is a direct violation of someone else's design then personally I will avoid the copy. The issue of affordability is very real for many people and I will not condemn or vilify anyone for that decision. Each person spends the hard earned how they wish.

If it was an incremental bettering of the design using quality materials then I am understanding that things sometimes progress that way. But blatant cheap copies are another thing.

Anyway with Shane's new model and production methods seem to be heading in the right direction and I wish him all the best.
 
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