08-03-2017, 09:42 AM
#21
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(08-03-2017, 04:51 AM)primotenore Wrote:
(08-03-2017, 03:57 AM)Sully Wrote: I've never heard of Bufflehead soap and I'm a confirmed soap junkie.  What makes the soap special?  Duck tallow?

I think that some artisans purposely release a small batch of soap at a time in order to generate hype.  I decided several years ago that I didn't want to play the refresh the website game to buy a puck of soap.

I agree. I also think there is some "shilling" involved.


BINGO!


Usually, the "product" isn't all that. . . . .AND a bag of chips. . . . . .that the hype suggests!

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 08-03-2017, 09:44 AM
#22
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
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At one point I owned 5 different Bufflehead soaps.  They are very good soaps, and well worth the effort to get one.  To me, the performance of all were exactly the same.  They even look identical.
Only the scents are different, and faint.  I have since traded them all away for other soaps.  I would like to own another Bufflehead soap, if he comes up with a scent that I like, but I'm not going to fight my way to the checkout like some Black Friday sale rush.

Another artisan that does the batch-release thing is Paladin.  Nearly everyone complained about this method also.
When Ken first started releasing his brushes into the wild, they sold out in seconds.  Then in minutes.  Later in hours.  His latest release was last night, now a full 12-hrs later there are still brushes available for sale.  This means that supply/demand ratio is eventually coming to equilibrium.
Bufflehead soap will eventually come to the same equilibrium.  Patience...

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 08-03-2017, 11:47 AM
#23
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(08-03-2017, 09:44 AM)Mr_Smartepants Wrote: Another artisan that does the batch-release thing is Paladin.  Nearly everyone complained about this method also.
When Ken first started releasing his brushes into the wild, they sold out in seconds.  Then in minutes.  Later in hours.  His latest release was last night, now a full 12-hrs later there are still brushes available for sale.  This means that supply/demand ratio is eventually coming to equilibrium.
Bufflehead soap will eventually come to the same equilibrium.  Patience...


There was one brush available yesterday am from the last sale he had 2 weeks ago.

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 08-03-2017, 12:00 PM
#24
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(08-03-2017, 09:44 AM)Mr_Smartepants Wrote: Another artisan that does the batch-release thing is Paladin.  Nearly everyone complained about this method also.
When Ken first started releasing his brushes into the wild, they sold out in seconds.  Then in minutes.  Later in hours.  His latest release was last night, now a full 12-hrs later there are still brushes available for sale.  This means that supply/demand ratio is eventually coming to equilibrium.
Bufflehead soap will eventually come to the same equilibrium.  Patience...

In theory, yes.  But that will only happen if Bufflehead increases production to reach that equilibrium.  It will never happen with sporadic micro releases.  That business model only serves to fuel the hype.

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 08-03-2017, 12:30 PM
#25
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(08-03-2017, 09:09 AM)kingfisher Wrote: To clarify my position, let's change the item being sold from soap to, say, oil paintings.  
Say what?!?! That comparison does not clarify anything. You can make shave soap by the metric ton if you want to...scale up or scale down. It took Picasso a bit longer to create a masterpiece.

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 08-03-2017, 12:45 PM
#26
  • Sully
  • Super Moderator
  • Cedar Park, Texas
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(08-03-2017, 12:30 PM)bullgoose Wrote:
(08-03-2017, 09:09 AM)kingfisher Wrote: To clarify my position, let's change the item being sold from soap to, say, oil paintings.  
Say what?!?! That comparison does not clarify anything. You can make shave soap by the metric ton if you want to...scale up or scale down. It took Picasso a bit longer to create a masterpiece.

You beat me to it Phil.  I don't comparing how long it takes to make soap and an oil painting is a fair comparison.


And, I'm not saying that Bufflehead is shilling or artificially creating hype about their product.  I don't know enough about them to say anything about their business model.  I think we all know or suspect some artisan's who do engage in behavior of this nature.

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 08-03-2017, 12:48 PM
#27
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I'll stick with my favorite high-production and readily available artisan soaps thank you very much.

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 08-03-2017, 01:02 PM
#28
  • iShave
  • Active Member
  • Calgary
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This hassle over soap is beyond me... there's way too many top performers that are readily available. I get the hassle for a razor like the Wolfman as no one else matches the finish or customization, same with custom straights, but for soaps? No... way too many out there, in fact the market may be way over saturated.

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 08-03-2017, 01:21 PM
#29
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(08-03-2017, 12:00 PM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: In theory, yes.  But that will only happen if Bufflehead increases production to reach that equilibrium.  It will never happen with sporadic micro releases.  That business model only serves to fuel the hype.
No, it allows him to continue his HOBBY.

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 08-03-2017, 01:23 PM
#30
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Whole lot of kerfuffle over nothing in my opinion. He could double or triple the price and push most people out of the market, and I guarantee he wouldn't sell out in 30 seconds every release. You can't win as an in-demand artisan with limited production capacity. Wolfman gets skewered, Bufflehead gets skewered, Paladin gets skewered. It's the same thing all around. I appreciate that each one of those guys has insisted on keeping their prices accessible compared to similar grade products on the market.

As many have suggested, if you believe there are better-stocked soaps out there of comparable quality then I strongly encourage you to buy those. Clearly some amount of people find Bufflehead to be better in some regard. I've had 4 of his soaps (sadly down to my last one with ~25% left). They are supreme IMHO. I tried to get this latest one and failed. I will come back around for the next one.

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 08-03-2017, 01:52 PM
#31
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What we are seeing from Paladin is really an evolution in terms of sales strategy. Where they initially offered a limited number of brushes, now they are slowly introducing new designs and materials as well as holding some brushes from scheduled releases - intended for later distribution into the store (which gives those 'not ready' on release date a chance to wander in and buy). 

Agree with crazindndude though - it's a difficult position to be in as an in-demand artisan.

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 08-03-2017, 03:02 PM
#32
  • iShave
  • Active Member
  • Calgary
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Paladin supply isnt so much an issue anymore, its moreso making the popular handles in the colour most people are wanting. You can tell there is a big demand for black handles from Paladin, as they sellout instantly. I love my Paladin brush and recently traded for another one, Ken has made a top notch brush that I really enjoy and appreciate the quality but I'm kinda over it as far as waiting for what I want to be available or trying to fit the release time into my day. I've moved on to the custom brushes, just easiler, you get exactly what you want and imo just as good in quality from the handle to knots. Same thing with soaps, just too many options out there to go chasing Bufflehead or whoever, with CRSW, Sudsy, T&S, Mystic Waters this list will go on for at least 20 more companies, it's really not worth putting the energy into getting a hard to get soap. I have a feeling with how much this niche is growing and the continuous success from other small businesses, it's going to put even more competition out there in the very near future.

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 08-03-2017, 03:42 PM
#33
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If a business wants me to take steps to purchase an item , that just isn't for me , if you want to sell me something make it available and I'll purchase any other way is just not going to happen on my end. I have sold off all my hard to get items because of this practice.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 08-03-2017, 06:34 PM
#34
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Couldn't care less about hype trains now.

Same with a certain couple of brush company's and a certain razor company - could not care less.

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 08-03-2017, 06:36 PM
#35
  • SRNewb
  • Senior Member
  • No. Va, USA
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I have one of the Bufflehead soaps. The one I have is excellent, and I don't think there would be anything different with any of the others.
That said, the soap was a gift from a really cool friend, and I use it sparingly because every time I do, I think of him.
But I will not buy any. There are a ton of really great soaps out there, readily available. I won't and have never played "Keep up with the Jones" or anything like that. Ain't jumping through hoops for a shaving soap(or anything else, for that matter).
But for some guys in the community, that is part of the fun. And it is always that way when you get a group of men together, whatever the hobby is. There is room for all kinds, and I wish those that enjoy that sort of thing, and the soapmaker, the best of success. No one's twisting anyone's arm to buy anything. We are grown men; and make our own choices.

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 08-03-2017, 07:52 PM
#36
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(08-03-2017, 12:30 PM)bullgoose Wrote:
(08-03-2017, 09:09 AM)kingfisher Wrote: To clarify my position, let's change the item being sold from soap to, say, oil paintings.  
Say what?!?! That comparison does not clarify anything. You can make shave soap by the metric ton if you want to...scale up or scale down. It took Picasso a bit longer to create a masterpiece.
I guess people on this forum have never heard of reductio ad absurdum.  Oh, well. My point still stands. An artisan is under no obligation to sell or make available a certain quantity of a product. Period. 
 If he wanted to, he could make a total of 8 ounces of soap, keep four for himself, and sell one puck to his next door neighbor.  That would be a counter-example that renders the whole discussion absurd, because in that case he would be doing what aggravates people only in a more exaggerated way, but paradoxically, nobody would be upset with him.

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 08-04-2017, 07:04 AM
#37
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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There are so many high performing soaps in amazing scents available on a regular basis there is no need to chase special releases if you don't want to.  However, I certainly understand the satisfaction of obtaining a hard to get item as that is the basis of most serious collectors.  Now, collecting a consumable item is kind of a catch twenty-two, but still understandable.  As for the manufacturers, releasing limited editions takes about as much effort as a regular production item and with a rapid influx of revenue I can see why these limited releases are so popular.

Don't let the frustration of not getting what you want bother you.  If you really want something just keep trying and more than likely you will eventually get it.  I personally have stopped buying soaps due to my ridiculous inventory and I don't really follow the newer manufacturers, nor the limited releases.  I did buy the CRSW For Jeff soap, but only to support the cause.  The last soap purchase previous to that was the soap for the Sue Moore charity auction.

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 08-04-2017, 12:38 PM
#38
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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Innumerable articles and books have been written on how scarcity increases demand. Some artisans "know" that better than others... The fact that a maker can make only (!) 20-30 soaps 3 times a year sounds like a joke to me.

I highly doubt that these soaps are significantly better than some of the best performers we've already tried. It's just hype. No soap is worth that hassle.

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 08-04-2017, 03:40 PM
#39
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The exclusive side of shaving is getting rather annoying to me , it just seems like everything these days is limited edition once it's gone it's gone , the entire concept seems so cookie cutter and basic. I'm happily keeping away from that nonsense (aside from this thread of course)


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 08-04-2017, 04:39 PM
#40
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I realized late last year 2016, that I have been one of these lemmings for far too long.

I took a FULL STOP.

Haven't bought a brush or razor since that date.
Have only bought 3 AOS Tallow Sandalwood, because itøs a great shaving soap, that is discontinued, so would add to my stock before it's not availbale any longer.

Will however order 4 Jabonman Tallow shaving soaps later this month, but that could very well be the final thing I buy in 2017, and I only do this to support Manuel and to get a little stock of his incredible shaving soaps. I mainly focus on mildly scented soaps and creams now, preferably almost scentless. The scent during the shave is pretty much unimportant to me now. I get anosmic to the scent durng pass 2 anyway, becuase it's right up my nose all the time. And I very very rarely find scents in shaving soaps, that can rival the scents I get in my fragrances, which I wear daily.

So soap makers, that make soaps, that is very hard almost impossible to get are far far away from what I consider interesting. IN fact I avoid these companies.
I'm done chasing the red dragon.

I have soaps and creams coming out my ear, they collect dust on my shelves. I can rotate a new cream and soaps for every shave for a year without using the same product twice.
Chasing new shaving soaps and creams, that you have to sit and wait in the night to have a chance of getting is absurde in my opinion.
Just as absurde as owning the number of soaps and creams I do, I guess  Biggrin

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