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Sword Buyers Digest - July Edition 2015
July 01, 2015
Quite a lot to get through this issue - including some stuff that is a bit more "political" than usual (and lots of more lighthearted stuff to balance it out) - so hope you find it both enjoyable and thought provoking..
1. From the Desk of Paul Southren
2. Bad Sword of the Month
3. Video of the Month
4. Best Forum Posts
5. Cool Swords and Hot Deals
From The Desk of Paul Southren
As many of you will know, last month I took a trip to China to visit some forges and check on Project X Japanese prior to shipping.
The good news was that the Project X blades were, as expected, quite stunning and I am pleased to say that they are now on their way to the USA - though it will be another couple of weeks before they arrive, clear customs, ship pre-orders, etc.
The bad news, the forges in Longquan are otherwise quiet. Eerily quiet..
Orders are waay down this year across the board, and it feels to me that the industry is - for want of a better word, sputtering..
But the bad news gets worse because the slowdown is not just limited to China..
Because sword sellers are suffering because, for nearly a year now, they simply cannot advertise their wares like they did before..
The world in general is becoming increasingly hoplophobic (weapon phobic) and the noble sword, rarely if ever these days raised in anger, is being increasingly marginalized.
Since around this time last year Google on whim decided to ban all ads for swords, ads that had previously kept several large sword sellers in business. And as is often the case, the other paid PPC options followed googles lead. As such, now it is literally impossible for a sword seller to promote their business - they are lumped in with sites that promote bomb making and narcotics sites...
And frankly, I think it is downright insulting..
Many sword sellers since have tried their hand at social media to try and make up for the shortfall. But my own recent experiences suggest, this is a short term solution at best…
Facebook does not like swords. Like google, if you are a sword maker or seller, you cannot advertise with them (even though they email you asking you to).
However, they allow groups or organizations that discuss swords - as long as they do not, in ANY way, link to or promote the sale of the evil death sticks.
Just recently, I thought I would take them up on their offer of boosting a post I made about how a re-enacting group was fighting bullying..
The result? It got rejected because it "promoted the sale of weapons..!"
Needless to say, I was confused. I challenged the reasoning, especially as they have a clause that seemed to suggest such a post would be fine. They replied with a stock "sorry, no links to weapon sales" email and "then decision is final".
THEN they had the nerve to send me an email asking "why not boost your post to attract more visitors??!", which irked me so much I decided to, as futile as it may be, try to do something about it..
This is the second time I have been frustrated by facebook like this. Last time I wanted to run some competitions - but this too was refused.
As such, sword related groups and sites on facebook are only just barely tolerated at best - and EVERYONE who has a sword related page is building on a house of sand that could be taken away on a whim..
Fair and reasonable? I hardly think so..
What facebook fails to realize is that swords (and what they represent) make them very different than any other weapon. For a start, in the age of the gun, as weapons they are impractical in the extreme. Secondly, most collectors are highly intelligent people who are interested in history and hold old fashioned values that the sword represents and champions in an age when such values are rare and much needed.
Treating swords as weapons is to imagine we are in the midst of a feudal society or a zombie apocalypse.. Collectors buy swords mostly to decorate their walls in a man cave, take them out to cut up a pool noodle or a water filled bottle or practice self-perfection through martial arts - never as weapons..
The time has come to take a stand. Over the coming weeks I will be releasing a series of posts on facebook designed to raise awareness of what swords are really about and why lumping them in with other weapons is a knee jerk kind of reaction that punishes responsible, mature people who just love swords and what they represent.
Posts like this one..
After all, both you and I know, sword collectors are some of the nicest, most old fashioned, polite and honorable people around - all qualities that the sword represents (
Will we change facebooks mind?
I doubt it..
But if you love swords, share our posts with your friends, get the word out and support our campaign however you can so we can at least raise the level of awareness.
Ok, rant over. ;)
But please keep this in the back of your mind - support your local, hardworking sellers and grab what you can - while you can...
A change is in the air - but with your support, let's make it a positive one and keep this cottage industry vitalized.
Visit our facebook page and support us here
I now return you to your regular programming, with something a little more lighthearted…
Bad Sword of the Month
Ok, well - there are some elements of the sword industry that if they went away, we wouldn't have anything to laugh at or mock…
And this monstrosity is a prime example.. The "Space Ninja Warrior 3000 Fighter Thing"There are so many things WRONG with it I just don't know where to begin. Still for $20, it is worth it for the laughs - and you can wear it on your back. Firmly out of sight, where no one can see it…
Video of the Month
He is a cutting machine.. And IT is one too apparently..
Check out this cool video of modern day legendary swordsman Isao Machii vs the Motoman MH24 Industrial robot in a 1000 mat cutting test..!
Best Forum Posts
SBG Forum: Chrisperoni's Dragon Slayer
It might be more handle than blade, but I think short of a bazooka it is what I would like to have at hand if I ever had to do a Saint George..
SBG Forum: Man chops of friends nose with a sword...
What can I say.. Some people are just amazingly stupid and irresponsible… Not for the squeamish, but not a reason to hate on swords. Just stupid people...
SBG Forum: Removing a tight fitting tsuka
Yes, there is a way without just banging it off and breaking the thing..
SBG Forum: Lancelot Chan's perfect sword balance test
Not everyone agrees, but it is an interesting theory. Try it on your swords and see how they stack up..
Cool Swords and Hot Specials!
This month we just added a new "sword" to our line up. Well, technically - it's actually more of a hybrid - a somewhat futuristic blend between Gladius and Tactical combat knife called the Thraex III, the flagship blade of a new company called (appropriately enough) US Gladius.
SBG Sword Store
In other sword store news, the Hanwei Raptor sale is nearly over - at the time of writing the digest we have 2-3 of the Nanbochuko and Shinogi style blades for $199.99 left in stock - so at the rate they have been selling, if you want one, you had better snap yours up quick smart as they won't be coming back at this price again, that is for sure..
We DO have a reasonable quantity of the Shobu style blades (pictured below.
But for the next 3 days, we will offer them exclusively to SBG Digest subscribers for an ADDITIONAL 10% off the massively discounted price so you can get yours for just $175.49!!
But whatever you do, you had best be quick!
Well, that is all for this issue. Hope you enjoyed it - and hope you will support our facebook campaign.
Talk to you all again next month. Until then, stay safe and happy swordening!
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