Spyderco Sprint Runs – Behind the Scenes
You missed your chance at the latest Spyderco sprint run. You’re frustrated and want to vent! We don’t blame you but we wanted to give some perspective with the following info:
Sprint run knives from Spyderco are special configurations of an existing model – typically done in a new steel and color combination. The production number for these knives is limited and typically rumored to be around 1,200 total pieces. Think about that for a minute and let it sink in…a mere handful of knives spread across all of the dealers that Spyderco has.
Let’s break it down further; Spyderco offers a Premiere program to dealers that allows dealers to receive up to 5 knives for all models that they make, including Sprint runs. So when you see a dealer offer a new model – seemingly before anyone else – they are releasing this limited quantity. You may ask “Why doesn’t DLT put knives up for sale as soon as they arrive?”, well that’s a good question with a long answer.
For new models we list them as “Coming Soon” and allow for email signups via an in stock notification system. It is not uncommon to receive more than 500 emails for popular models. When you factor in the small number we are allotted (remember this is an allotment – we don’t have the ability to order as many as we want) more people unfortunately go away unhappy than actually score one.
Also, take into consideration that we have Spyderco specific email and SMS notification lists that have over 2,000 customers on each; along with customers on Instagram and Facebook that are vocal if they don’t get word of new releases. Social media numbers are hard to quantify against specific products since we have a lot of followers. Let’s make a few assumptions for the absolute minimum number of people that want a specific knife, and say that customers who sign up for in stock notifications are also signed up for Spyderco specific emails and SMS, and everyone else is just a casual buyer. That still leaves 500+ customers that want one single model!
We’ll move on to how many knives we can get our hands on. We’ve already discussed the 5 knives that we get from the Premier program. We also have to submit orders for Sprint runs, so we submit our order as soon as we know about the model. Before you say “Why don’t you order more?”, we typically order 500 of each. We certainly don’t expect to receive 500, but it’s a quantifiable number that our sales rep can enter into their system that really means “Give me as many as you can”.
Nobody outside of Spyderco knows how they allocate their production, but we do the best that we can to get the highest number possible directly from Spyderco. But wait, Spyderco has distributors who also get these knives! Yes, we know. We do our best to get additional knives from multiple distributors.
So to answer the original question, we release the highest number of knives that we can at one single time. We don’t want to burn our in stock notification list on 5 knives. We are going to put them for sale once we have our Premier, distributor, and Spyderco direct knives in hand, while trying to coordinate notifications via email, SMS, Instagram, Facebook, and our in stock notification system.
In the end, we will get less knives than our customers demand. There is absolutely nothing we can do about it. Please remember that this isn’t insulin, defibrillator, ventilator, or other life saving device that we are selling; these are knives and the world won’t end if you miss out. As Spyderco grows in popularity, all of us at DLT encourage them to produce larger sprint runs to make more customers happy.