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J&D CUSTOMS
10-21-2010, 06:49 PM
I ask this with the upmost respect to all cue dealers. Does anyone buy cue to shoot with any more or is it all about the flavor of the month?

What I mean is , seems like many of the makers are using flippers to push their cues, get them in the limelight, and talk about how great this person is and that person is with building.

But if you follow the trend, it changes from week to week, month to month on who the god like builder is at the time. This is an unfortunate turn of events for many involved in the cue world, IMHO.

I feel this takes away from the personability, interactions, between the cue builders who put their heart and soul into builds from the customer themselves. Don't you? Not to mention the markup that is there.

I know this sounds evil towards those who sell cues, but it is more evil I think towards the builders all over the US and abroad that have to pimp there cues out just to get sales or exposure. If you are not giving your cues away or selling them at such deep discounts for this service it seems like you are on the back burner and way out of the lime light.

I have tried this , I admit , using folks who have wanted to push my cues and promising the world in return for me with all they will do for my business. It's a joke, trust me. Very few folks are out to help anyone in this business unless it makes them as much or more than the actual builder of the cues they are selling. Some are better than others but I feel the hype all ruins the market and really does hurt the little guys in their private shops doing what they love to do,BUILD CUES.

I think their are many builders right here on the forum that build one hell of a cue for the money they are asking. And they do not seem to get the credit they deserve for all the hard work they do! My hats off to all who turn a lathe on, throw some sawdust in the air for the love of building and the game! You guys are all top notch in my book fella's! Build on and don't sell yourselves out for the mighty dollar, I won't! I will always offer the best cue I can produce with the best tools and materials I can for the best price, no one will buy me or my name!!!!!

Thanx for the time to read,
Jim Lee

Rockin' Robin
10-22-2010, 12:07 AM
Nice post. .......deleted the rest of the speech.

Worminator
10-22-2010, 05:33 AM
Hey Jim,

Could you give us a few examples of what you are speaking of? Also, do you believe there is a difference between Cue Dealers and "flippers"?

Thanks,

Maniac
10-22-2010, 06:32 AM
Jim,

When I opened and read your OP last night, it was at the bottom of the page with ZERO replies. Now this morning, you have every bit of TWO replies. When I saw the title and read the content of your post, I would have sworn that you would have had a few dozen replies by now. Maybe the silence is some sort of an admission of guilt???

Maniac

BHQ
10-22-2010, 06:35 AM
Jim,

When I opened and read your OP last night, it was at the bottom of the page with ZERO replies. Now this morning, you have every bit of TWO replies. When I saw the title and read the content of your post, I would have sworn that you would have had a few dozen replies by now. Maybe the silence is some sort of an admission of guilt???

Maniac
too hot a potato???? :wink:

sfleinen
10-22-2010, 06:38 AM
Jim,

When I opened and read your OP last night, it was at the bottom of the page with ZERO replies. Now this morning, you have every bit of TWO replies. When I saw the title and read the content of your post, I would have sworn that you would have had a few dozen replies by now. Maybe the silence is some sort of an admission of guilt???

Maniac

Perhaps the readership, when they see the title of this thread, are thinking that the OP's use of the word "flipping" means flipping a coin vs. lagging (to determine who breaks). And they're probably thinking, "oh no, not another league-bashing thread!" and subsequently don't even bother reading it.

:D

-Sean

J&D CUSTOMS
10-22-2010, 08:43 AM
Hey Jim,

Could you give us a few examples of what you are speaking of? Also, do you believe there is a difference between Cue Dealers and "flippers"?

Thanks


Sure Jamie. Cue dealers are Joss,Meucci,Schon, ect. that have the interest in their product and promote them with the upmost confidence and respect. They put out and promote a fine product with the customer in top priority.
So yes, I think their is a difference between dealers and "flippers".

Thanx for the input,
Jim Lee

J&D CUSTOMS
10-22-2010, 08:44 AM
Nice post. .......deleted the rest of the speech.

Thanx Rockin' Robin, much appreciated.

J&D CUSTOMS
10-22-2010, 08:46 AM
Jim,

When I opened and read your OP last night, it was at the bottom of the page with ZERO replies. Now this morning, you have every bit of TWO replies. When I saw the title and read the content of your post, I would have sworn that you would have had a few dozen replies by now. Maybe the silence is some sort of an admission of guilt???

Maniac


Just may be of some sort. Not for me to say!

Worminator
10-22-2010, 08:57 AM
Sure Jamie. Cue dealers are Joss,Meucci,Schon, ect. that have the interest in their product and promote them with the upmost confidence and respect. They put out and promote a fine product with the customer in top priority.
So yes, I think their is a difference between dealers and "flippers".

Thanx for the input,
Jim Lee


I'm not sure I understand Jim. Are you speaking of the production cue manufacturers, or the dealers that sell the manufacturers' cues?

In other words, are you referring to the production cue manufacturers (i.e.,Joss, Meucci, Schon) as Cue Dealers, and companies like Pool Dawg and Seyberts that sell their cues as flippers?

LeagueShirts
10-22-2010, 09:11 AM
On the same track, how many people who buy cues in the FS section here get them for collecting vs playing vs investment/speculation? After all, if pool's popularity goes up and down, so do the cue values, right?

Ghosst
10-22-2010, 09:15 AM
I'm wondering if you meant a particular dealer asking people to write reviews about a specific low-volume manufacturer or custom cue maker in order to push sales on those cues or cases.

J&D CUSTOMS
10-22-2010, 09:53 AM
No Jamie, I mean dealers. Those who sell the cues for the MSRP. No hype, bsing, just sales. The ones here on the forum know exactly what I mean.
The flippers, ones who get a cue or cues, tells every one it is the greatest cue that they have ever had in their hands and plays like a true extension of their own hand, then 2 days later , it is for sale.
Flippers, who talk up certain makers just because they have such cuemakers cues just to build artificial value to such cues to capitalize on money.
Flippers, who talk about how great the cue hits and sell it EVEN BEFORE they have ever felt it in their hands. I call this presold hype.
Flippers, who only promote those who give them deep discounts or nearly free cues just so such flippers will advertise their cues only to find out the market has changed and such flippers drop the maker like a hot rock to promote the next flavor of the month.

Cues should be based on quality , craftsmanship, and playability, not just a hyped up name. How many folks buy a cue just because such and such makers names on it.
Don't get me wrong, their are folks selling very nice and even artistic cues that are well worth the money they get. BUT, they have also spent years gaining the experience,tooling, and constuction technichs to demand said prices.
While others have not and use flippers and freebies to pump up their values.
This is just me expressing what I have seen, especially as of late , in the cue world. Many may not agree, many may agree. That is why it is an opinion!

J&D CUSTOMS
10-22-2010, 09:55 AM
I'm wondering if you meant a particular dealer asking people to write reviews about a specific low-volume manufacturer or custom cue maker in order to push sales on those cues or cases.

No Ghost, not any one in particular, just the cue world as I see it as of late. Not even meaning me. I am doing fine, just meaning it as a whole. Nothing personal or directed to any specific person or maker. Just a discusion and opinion.

hangemhigh
10-22-2010, 10:06 AM
There is a reason people get on a particular cue maker, and promote their cues.....They do excellent work and there is value in their work. Others that don't get the attention, not so much.

Worminator
10-22-2010, 10:08 AM
No Jamie, I mean dealers. Those who sell the cues for the MSRP. No hype, bsing, just sales. The ones here on the forum know exactly what I mean.



Jim,

In regards to the Joss, Meucci, Schon dealers, I do not know any of them selling for MSRP. You can buy those cues all day long at 30% off up to as much as 50%+ off. So I'm still confused about this.

In regards to flippers (BTW, I do not consider myself a flipper, others may), I agree about the "dumping" of cues at or below wholesale to move out inventory. That has always been something I have avoided. I never want to devalue a cuemakers product.... it is not good for anyone, even the person buying at the discount.

J&D CUSTOMS
10-22-2010, 10:09 AM
There is a reason people get on a particular cue maker, and promote their cues.....They do excellent work and there is value in their work. Others that don't get the attention, not so much.

I would agree to that in many cases Tommy. Others , not so much. Some are more hype than quality!

pwd72s
10-22-2010, 10:36 AM
On the same track, how many people who buy cues in the FS section here get them for collecting vs playing vs investment/speculation? After all, if pool's popularity goes up and down, so do the cue values, right?

I bought my Josey from this site. Trust me, it's very much my main playing cue. It now carries "battle scars"...but those didn't hurt it's play, only it's looks.

(edit) The above wasn't quite clear. I bought the cue through the for sale section here...a notice placed by "skins". But I very much bought the cue directly from Josey...

Qjunkie
10-22-2010, 10:37 AM
Mr. Lee

Let identify on who a cue flipper is- Strictly my opinion- and forgive me if I make some general assumptions because I probably fall into that economic demographic. Look I don’t have the income to come on AZ and pick up a Searing, Szamboti, Showman etc. I would love to have one. But as an alternative to selling my kidney or something like that, I acquire cues that I can personally afford. For me those are cues in the $500-$2500 range. But the market is huge in that price range. I have a lot to choose from. Now instead of having a closet full of cues, and because I’m not a collector of cues, it just makes sense for me to come on AZ and post “Want to sell…” or “Looking to Trade…” and keep my collection manageable.

I don’t think a cue dealer is a flipper. Now if a dealer approached you and said; “Build me a bunch of cues for price $X.XX and I’ll “promote” and sell your cues on the internet, my shop, pool hall at a mark up. I think the builder needs to look in the mirror and check themselves and say am I building for the passion of the game or the all mighty dollar?

The dealers I see here on AZ have a lot of different cue makers to choose from. Personally I don’t see them hyping a certain cue maker. But “cue maker fan-boys” that a different story all together.

Hats off to you for building for the love of the game and the art of cue making. The “hype” of cue maker X should affect you at all.

Mike < not a flipper or a fanboy :grin:

RRfireblade
10-22-2010, 10:42 AM
I'm not sure this is some kind of orchestrated plan. It's something you see across the board at any forum , any subject matter. "Flipping" as it were , has little to do with the manufacturer and everything to do with the seller. But it only works if you can buy cheap (in this market , possible) and sell for a strong gain (in this market , not so much).

IMO , it's more of thing where some people spend more time posting than playing , get hyped themselve over the next great thing and buy it. Tell everyone one in the world how great it is until they get out of the chair and use it. Realise then that they are still the same player they were before and want thier money back.

Personally I havent seen it pushed from a the builders end unless I mis understand your post , it sounds like you feel Flipping is builder motivated ? Maybe I misunderstand the use of the term in this context.

pwd72s
10-22-2010, 10:51 AM
In the collector car world, flippers abound. I have zero respect for them. The M.O. is that they will "suck up" to someone with a prized car...build a long term relationship if need be. Profess total love of that particular machine, how much they'd LOVE to own it, please consider them when it's time to sell, etc.

Once they get the car, it's instantly put on the market for whatever the market will bear, but definitely MORE than he paid for it. To me, he violated the trust given him by the owner who thought he was passing a prized posession on to a friend.

In other words, a con is pulled off by flippers.

Those who openly buy and sell collector items are not flippers, since they don't disguise what they are doing...those who advertise as dealers are also not flippers.

Oh, my collector car got sold to a dear and close friend in Istanbul...it will be his son's car one day. The flippers of the early Porsche community hate my guts for selling "out of the country" and for less than they would have paid. Screw 'em...the joke is on them!

ridewiththewind
10-22-2010, 12:00 PM
I mean this as no disrespect, but Joss, Meucci, Schon, MeDermott are all what can be considered as production manufacturers of cues, in that they produce generally a large number of cues each year. While one can purchase directly from them, typically they are purchased from a licensed retailer of not just cues, but other billiard products as well. Examples of these retailers would be Pooldawg, Muellers, BilliardsWarehouse, etc.

Now, a Cue Dealer is typically an individual, or partnership of individuals who deal almost exclusively in custom cues, or highly collectible older production cues. Some of these dealers may offer only brand new custom cues, with which they have entered into a sales agreement with the maker. These agreements often include not only the pricing at which the dealer may purchase any given cue at, but the pricing at which they may sell at. This allows the dealer to bring to the general public a particular maker's cues that may be otherwise difficult to obtain directly from the maker due to backlog, long waiting lists, etc. It also allows the dealer the ability to make a small profit to cover overhead, marketing, and capital, while avoiding undercutting the cuemaker's direct sale pricing. Understand that not all makers are into the business end of sales and marketing, and some find it much easier to just craft the cues and let others do the business stuff for them. There are some of these same dealers who will offer to take into trade, toward purchase, other makers' customs and collectible production cues as a service to their customers...and some will not. There are also some dealers who handle mostly just used custom cues. Many of these dealers also stand behind what they sell...they're not going anywhere.

Until the advent of the internet explosion..many players/customers and makers as well, had little to no exposure beyond their particular geographic boundaries by which to offer/acquire their cues. John Wright was a bit of a pioneer in this respect. He was one of the first to gather together different makers cues, and then send out brochures of what he had available. He offered fair pricing, an amazing selection, and was dearly loved by many...and is still missed to this very day.

Now...along came the flippers. Many were individuals who managed to talk makers into making them cues or getting on their lists for cues with the sole intent of selling as soon as the cue was received, and with a typically hefty profit margin. If it was a newer maker, with a little bit of initial 'buzz' going on...these individuals would hype the hell outta these makers, while all along snatching up what they could from these makers, at a song, and then holding for a short time to drive demand, and then make a killing on the resale. The savvy of this was picking the makers whose yearly production was next to nothing...the gamble was was whether or not the maker actually had any talent, and therefore a mass appeal. The unfortunate part of this was/is that it was the flipper making all the profit, and the bad taste left in the mouthes of those makers who were duped into selling low in order to gain the exposure. It should also be noted that often flippers washed their hands of the deal once it was/is done...not all, but many. Definitely a caveat emptor.

I just wanted to make sure you had the definitions correct...as it appears your issue is with the flipper, and not the authorized retailers and dealers.

Lisa

ridewiththewind
10-22-2010, 12:26 PM
I bought my Josey from this site. Trust me, it's very much my main playing cue. It now carries "battle scars"...but those didn't hurt it's play, only it's looks.

(edit) The above wasn't quite clear. I bought the cue through the for sale section here...a notice placed by "skins". But I very much bought the cue directly from Josey...

I will help clarify. :grin: Tim aka 'skins' is part of the Josey family. Typically, Keith is uber-busy making cues, and his wife, Sherri is uber-busy running the businesses (they also own a successful Tae Kwon Do school). Neither spend much time on the internet. 'skins' will often help out by posting up pics of what Keith will have available at say, the US Open or SBE...giving people a sneak preview or an opportunity to pre-purchase should they not be able to make the shows.

Lisa

pwd72s
10-22-2010, 12:49 PM
Thanks for the clarification Lisa...I knew Tim was connected to the Josey family somehow. I meant absolutely no disrespect towards him. He gave a heads up here about the cue I bought being for sale...I'm quite glad that I bought it. Paul

jlrowe
10-22-2010, 01:13 PM
I definitely agree Jim, most are definitely hype more than quality. Its all in the marketing of the cues. If you advertise a cue to a broad audience and long enough with all the right words and techniques, that cue can have a major design flaw and still be the best on the market. If you can afford to prestige price a cue and only sell to an elite upper class, that will automatically evoke quality. Because when somenone spends a pretty penny on something they have to justify why they did so. So they are going to hype it up to their peers that this is the best thing since sliced bread. Im not saying that the expensive cues doesn't have high quality materials and construction techniques it is just that there are custom cuemakers that has consistantly better quality materials, woods and construction techniques at a fraction of the price. What justifies a plain jane with same woods and materials basically same design priced at 475 vs 1675? The cuemakers lifestyle or demographics maybe. One reason is just the psychology of buyers. If you take the two cues and put them side by side put a high price tag on one an low on the other and do a survey on which cue is of highest quality. Probably 8 out of 10 will say the one with highest price. The influx of inferior products from a couple of countries into the american market has caused this way of thinking. So the majority of people think if its priced cheap it must be. It is definitely hard to market your skills and craftsmanship. But that is one alternative, especially if you have a product that is not unique to all the other products on the market. Predator took a shaft made it unique and stated that it would improve your game and advertised heavily; well it worked. If you dont have a product that is unique you have to market and advertise yourself & make your name well known instead of the product. You can probably tell i enjoyed marketing in college. Sorry if i got off track:grin:. Hope this helps!
Great post Lisa!

Kid Dynomite
10-22-2010, 02:38 PM
This sounds so similar to a wall street pump and dump scheme!

They get the stocks for cheap or the cues in this case.

Then hype them as the next George Balabushka!!!

Then sell at the peak of the hype!!!!

When its all said and done the buyer is left holding a poorly constructed pool cue at inflated prices that they will never be able to recoup!

While the cue pimp is off sailing the southeast asian seas with a pocket full of hundreds and a line girls outside his cabin door!


But, hey thats the american way! Capitalism at its finest! oh, and good luck with the court system if you try to get recourse that way you could be tied up in court for years and by the time you get a verdict the money is long gone! Left with court fee's and a useless judgement against that POS that lives in a completely different jurisdiction outside the enforcement arm of the law.

WELCOME TO AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kid Dynomite

CocoboloCowboy
10-22-2010, 02:54 PM
Flipping is a fact of life, be it Pool Cue, or oyther high demand items!

GoTulane
10-22-2010, 04:15 PM
Yeah, I seem to pick up cues and sell them pretty quickly, but I do not have a money tree in the backyard, and have been unemployed since January, until I just got employment 4 weeks ago. So money is tight, but getting a little looser in the near future. Especially if I get my BP money!!

The new employment is going well, but doesn't give me much extra money to buy cues, after making up for the bills and debts that piled up this past 9 months without employment.

But I have an addiction to trying out all kinds of makers, and seeing what I like about cues, in order to find the one cue that would be the best fit for my game. So I cannot really keep together a collection, and constantly trade/sell cues to move on to another maker I would like to try. But most of the cues I have bought and then sold/traded I barely broke even on, if I didn't lose money on them due to shipping and fees associated with the trades/sales. But I see it as the cost to be able to try out different cue makers and their wares. To me it is fun to try out different cues, and the cost/loss is worth it to me.

But I do not believe I am promoting HYPE and pushing any cuemakers out there, just really like to try out different cues by all kinds of makers. It is my thing, and I enjoy it.

Of course, I have a really nice cue being built by the OP(JIM LEE), and it is one that I will keep, since I have truly designed it with Jim to be my signature cue, that is why I am calling it the GOTULANE cue. It will be unique, and truly MY CUE to keep.

I guess I will still continue to buy and sell cues, but hopefully I can start making a little money on them to keep supporting my habit without killing my wallet. Just check out my thread (http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=206264) where I am currently selling all my current holdings at below the cost to me.

Yes, it is an addiction, but one I am currently happy to have. It is fun, and when it loses that quality I will stop. But I do not see that happening anytime soon. OF course the wife sees it differently, but until she has evidence to support her suspicions, I can continue my losing ways.

But to answer to the question at hand - I do believe there are some people here that are HYPING cues that they bought to sell at large profit in order to promote the cuemaker and his wares, and they might have gotten a nice discount to provide their service. But there are also the ones on those long waiting lists that when they get the highly sought after cue, they sell it immediately to make a very nice profit. It is a fact of life, and it is their right to do it, and I do not hold it against them. They got in line at the right time and will be rewarded for their time and discipline because they were in the right spot at the right time. Also, it takes demand to allow for the increased price, it takes 2 to tango, so someone must also accept to pay the higher price in order for the cue to sell. I feel sorry for the cuemaker who sells the cue, knowing the secondary market will double, triple, or quadruple the price, and the cuemaker doesn't see any of that. What the cuemaker probably sees is an increase in names being put on their list for ordered cues - so more work at the same pay.

What would happen if the cuemakers in this realm of cuemaking raised their prices with the current demand for their cues? Prices would increase or decrease depending on the current market - NO SET PRICES for customers on THE LIST! Price would be dependent of current market price. Hmmmm..... that would really make the cue buying and selling world quite different. Of course people who bought cues during a lower demand market time(therefore lower cost) would be able to profit when and if the market went up, but then it would truly be a world like the stock market for cues.
What a clever concept - the Artist gets paid for his work for current market price. Of course the cuemaker may not get as many orders for his cues, since the HYPE MACHINE is offline, but maybe it would be more enjoyable for them. I am not a cuemaker, so I cannot begin to say how they would feel, but if I spent my heart, soul, and time crafting a unique piece of work, and then sold it to only see the buyer sell it for double what I charged them within a matter of hours/days, it would really piss me off. And it would truly have me reconsidering my pricing structure. The next piece of art would certainly sell for more.

But all of this is JMHO, and therefore it is probably flawed.

Michael

classiccues
10-22-2010, 04:36 PM
Here is what I see...

Someone isn't happy his cues ain't moving. Well let's see, who the hell would want to start making instruments to play a game, in a game that is declining in participation, when there are 5 new instrument makers a week, who within a month are seeing the same problem you're having.

Who starts out wanting to supply a market that has an over abundance of product as it is, and not enough people using the product to begin with. An economy that isn't letting the average player own ONE decent cue let alone 4-5 cues that are worth money.

Here is a tip for you... a sponge can only hold so much water. This sponge at the moment needs a good wringing...

The fact is... all the new players are learning to play with low deflection shafts, OBI, Tiger, Predator etc.. gone are the days where every player dreamt of getting a cue from a custom cue maker and getting on his waiting list. This was a great thing when there was maybe 50-100 cuemakers. Now you have more cuemakers than pool players.

Everytime I read that someone wants to get into the cue business, I think to myself, there is a guy that I wouldn't follow through a minefield on his best day. You guys are killing me, hey get a lathe, get a mill, hell call unique products get a cnc.. sure WTF... the world needs another cuemaker like Iran needs another reactor, or TV needs another reality show.

JV

ridinda9
10-22-2010, 04:54 PM
Maybe I'm guilty of being a 'flipper' .
I buy a lot of new cues , and resell many of them after a short time .
I do receive wholesale prices from many manufacturers & custom builders .
And I frequently sell at or near retail.
Why ?
Because , frankly , my opinion is well respected in the local billiard community , and when someone comes to me and says "how does an OB1 play compared to a pre-cat 314?" or "how do Joss cues play compared to McDermotts ?" or "are Kamui browns better than Moori mediums?" I like to be able to answer based on personal experience , and not just regurgitate some internet review .
That requires that an awful lot of cues pass through my hands .
I'd LOVE:lovies::lovies: to be able to keep them all , but that's not really feasible from a financial standpoint. So they gotta go . . . .
Remember that flavor of the week you mentioned ? Just because I really like Cherry Garcia doesn't mean I don't want to tryPhish Food!
Does this make me a flipper ? Maybe . . . .
Does it make me a bad guy ? NOOOOOOO !

ridewiththewind
10-22-2010, 05:09 PM
Here is what I see...

Someone isn't happy his cues ain't moving. Well let's see, who the hell would want to start making instruments to play a game, in a game that is declining in participation, when there are 5 new instrument makers a week, who within a month are seeing the same problem you're having.

Who starts out wanting to supply a market that has an over abundance of product as it is, and not enough people using the product to begin with. An economy that isn't letting the average player own ONE decent cue let alone 4-5 cues that are worth money.

Here is a tip for you... a sponge can only hold so much water. This sponge at the moment needs a good wringing...

The fact is... all the new players are learning to play with low deflection shafts, OBI, Tiger, Predator etc.. gone are the days where every player dreamt of getting a cue from a custom cue maker and getting on his waiting list. This was a great thing when there was maybe 50-100 cuemakers. Now you have more cuemakers than pool players.

Everytime I read that someone wants to get into the cue business, I think to myself, there is a guy that I wouldn't follow through a minefield on his best day. You guys are killing me, hey get a lathe, get a mill, hell call unique products get a cnc.. sure WTF... the world needs another cuemaker like Iran needs another reactor, or TV needs another reality show.

JV

No argument with this logic at all.

I have a local maker and friend whose been crafting cues for about 6-7 years now, I think. He seems to be doing fine, even in this declining market. Why...he makes a great value for the money. He knows his demographic, knows what they can afford to pay on any given level of cue, and continues to get them out into the hands of players. There are actually more his cues in the hands of players now locally than likely production cues...no joke. He is also a player, and knows he can 'work' with as to payment arrangements, and who he can't...and he does.

Truth is, he loves working with wood, so he also builds shadowboxes for the local Navy base for use in the retirement presentations, also provides local engraving services, and makes some of the coolest exotic wood boxes. He just purchased a used edge-surging sewing machine, so will now be able to offer custom patches for local leagues and organizations. He is retied USN and understood the need to diversify right out of the gate. He's not rolling in it, but he gets his bills paid, and it allows him his passion to build cues. He also knows how to build the various machines he needs for his craft, and has slowly built his shop and wood inventory over the years. He also didn't look to over-expand his regionally boundaries, preferring instead to let his work get out there naturally...through the hands of players and word of mouth...he does not advertise. He also does not rely on the internet to hock his wares.

He is building his business and his reputation the old fashioned way...and it's working for him. Maybe in another 10 years he'll have a bigger reputation that reaches past the PacNorthwest...maybe he won't...I don't think he really cares, as long as he gets to keep making players cues for players. His name is Paul Allers, and he makes one of the best playing 60" cues one could hope to wrap their hands around.

Lisa

J&D CUSTOMS
10-22-2010, 05:20 PM
Here is what I see...

Someone isn't happy his cues ain't moving. Well let's see, who the hell would want to start making instruments to play a game, in a game that is declining in participation, when there are 5 new instrument makers a week, who within a month are seeing the same problem you're having.

If this is directed toward me JV, you are way off coarse. I brought this up due to the fact of how the cue world is operating at this particular time. And wanted to share my opinion and see if others had the same opinion as what I have been seeing. Nothing more.
There are many great makers right here on AZ that can build a great playing cue at a great price. That was my original point. They should not let the flippers bring them down trying to set thir markets with only certain cues or flavors of the month as I call it.
It is just a shame many won't try these makers cues due to influence, or should I say false influence of hyped up cues. It ruins the market in many ways and the only person who EVER benefits from this is the flipper, not the maker, or the customer in the long run.
So I do not agree with your statements at all. If you want , go to Valley Forge,US Open and stand in the middle and just take a 360 degree look. Those are pool players my friend, and they are by the thousands!
Thanx for allowing me to share my opinion and reveal many aspects of what I was saying.
Jim Lee

SC02GTP
10-22-2010, 05:25 PM
There are so many nice cues out there that I want to one day own. Unfortinate for me, I will need to "flip" a cue in order to afford another one. If I had the financial means, I would never sell or flip a cue. I try to buy low, have fun playing with it, sell at a medium price, and move on. I tend to look at cues that are common in my region or ones that I have personal past experiences with. I will also only buy quality cues built by quality cue makers. I do not listen too much to the hype or what the flavor of the month is presently.

axejunkie
10-22-2010, 05:51 PM
Forums like AZ have created communities of like-minded individuals to share their interests, which in this case is cue collecting. Before the internet, joining or even finding such a community was much more difficult. One of the things this has led to is a huge surplus of cues that are not regularly used, yet likely have little collectible value (in terms of appreciation over purchase price). The effect is a general decline in cue values, and I'm fearful the proliferation of cues being bought and sold will lead to a near permanent decline in the cue market.

classiccues
10-22-2010, 06:15 PM
Here is what I see...

Someone isn't happy his cues ain't moving. Well let's see, who the hell would want to start making instruments to play a game, in a game that is declining in participation, when there are 5 new instrument makers a week, who within a month are seeing the same problem you're having.

If this is directed toward me JV, you are way off coarse. I brought this up due to the fact of how the cue world is operating at this particular time. And wanted to share my opinion and see if others had the same opinion as what I have been seeing. Nothing more.
There are many great makers right here on AZ that can build a great playing cue at a great price. That was my original point. They should not let the flippers bring them down trying to set thir markets with only certain cues or flavors of the month as I call it.
It is just a shame many won't try these makers cues due to influence, or should I say false influence of hyped up cues. It ruins the market in many ways and the only person who EVER benefits from this is the flipper, not the maker, or the customer in the long run.
So I do not agree with your statements at all. If you want , go to Valley Forge,US Open and stand in the middle and just take a 360 degree look. Those are pool players my friend, and they are by the thousands!
Thanx for allowing me to share my opinion and reveal many aspects of what I was saying.
Jim Lee

I've stood in the center of Valley Forge for the last 14 years and can tell you for the last 5-6 the numbers have been declining. BTW the majority of those playing down there, if the cue is over 250, they might have a heart attack.

The flippers aren't bringing down the market, the market is bringing down the market. What is a flipper? Flippers are guys trying to find the perfect hit, OR a small time cue dealer just trying to make 50-100 on every cue. If a cuemaker wants to deal with a flipper or cue dealer that is their right. In this market a maker needs to do anything and everything they can to get noticed.

Sure the APA, TAP and BCA leagues have great participation. But unless you're building cues with flames, skulls, grim reapers, or the Bud Light logo, they aren't your customers for the most part. In fact if you tell them there is a Szamboti in booth 327 they'll ask what the hell is an ice cleaning machine doing here.

Jamie asked you for some examples, so lets see you name someone who is an over-hyped cuemaker that is hurting the market using flippers.

If the cue flipper is the only one benefitting from the arrangement, how could there be so many flippers? There must be a lot of stupid cuemakers to support the flippers.

JV

J&D CUSTOMS
10-22-2010, 06:34 PM
I've stood in the center of Valley Forge for the last 14 years and can tell you for the last 5-6 the numbers have been declining. BTW the majority of those playing down there, if the cue is over 250, they might have a heart attack.

The flippers aren't bringing down the market, the market is bringing down the market. What is a flipper? Flippers are guys trying to find the perfect hit, OR a small time cue dealer just trying to make 50-100 on every cue. If a cuemaker wants to deal with a flipper or cue dealer that is their right. In this market a maker needs to do anything and everything they can to get noticed.

Sure the APA, TAP and BCA leagues have great participation. But unless you're building cues with flames, skulls, grim reapers, or the Bud Light logo, they aren't your customers for the most part. In fact if you tell them there is a Szamboti in booth 327 they'll ask what the hell is an ice cleaning machine doing here.

Jamie asked you for some examples, so lets see you name someone who is an over-hyped cuemaker that is hurting the market using flippers.

If the cue flipper is the only one benefitting from the arrangement, how could there be so many flippers? There must be a lot of stupid cuemakers to support the flippers.

JV


JV you seem very bothered by all this. It is an opinion, no need to get excited. I will not name any names of any flippers or my fellow makers. I am not like that at all and is not the point of this thread.
You say you have been to these places, then you know, the higher end market will always be there for those collectors and just folks with money, but be honest when I ask if the builders selling great cues at a great price booths aren't hopping and selling?
Cause they will pick up the cue, look at it, find a table near by, test hit it, and buy it with out carring to much the name or the persons sales pitch who is selling it. Cause they are holding it for themselves. Would be a great world if all customers could have a chance to do that! Then I could assure you this flipper game would change big time!
Thanx again,
Jim Lee

nksmfamjp
10-22-2010, 06:35 PM
Oh, when someone has an untouched, unchalked cue that HITS A TON!!!:grin:

jlrowe
10-22-2010, 06:55 PM
Oh, when someone has an untouched, unchalked cue that HITS A TON!!!:grin:

:grin:Exactly, Yep its a monster player. It has to be look at the name on it and the fact it cost $2,000

JB Cases
10-22-2010, 06:57 PM
I agree with whoever said that flippers are people who cozy up to cuemakers and collectors professing love for the cues and then once they get their hands on the "special" cue they have waited a lifetime for they flip it two days later.

I have had special cues that I had to sell to pay bills many years after I acquired them. In several instances I called the makers and apologized. To this day I am sick that I had to sell those cues.

I don't believe that a flipper has this feeling about any cue. I think that they just want to be able to say that they "owned" x-brand.

At the end of the day people can and should be allowed to do whatever they want with the merchandise they own. But where it hurts is when feelings get invested and you think you are doing something special for a guy and the thing you made ends up for sale two days later.

As to the idea that some cue makers are overhyped by flippers I don't think that this is particularly true.

I think that especially today cuemakers get a reputation for quality FASTER because of all the trading and flipping. If the cues can't stand the scrutiny then they fade from the light as people complain about them.

Of course people will say nice things about the things they are trying to sell as one of my famous colleagues has stated. But at the end of the day if a cuemaker's product isn't really good then that WILL become known.

Are flippers good or bad for the market? In some ways good because they keep things moving and eventually good cues find a good home. In other ways bad because they cost a lot of time and emotion only to have the cue maker disappointed when the cue is put up for sale at an inflated price a short time later.

As to playing with cues. Well most sellers will advise customers to try out a range of cue brands and construction styles to find the type of cue they like. So people who go through a lot of cues are then able to describe their experience with it. So when someone comes on here and says they are interested in a Sugartree then there are plenty of people who can offer their opinion of how a Sugartree plays and feels because they have experience with it. To me, even though hit is subjective, there is something to be gained from having a larger pool of decent players who are experienced with the "hit" of a wide range of cues.

Somewhere in their a person can get a decent idea of whehter a particular cue might feel good to them or not. Now, this is certainly no substitute for actually playing with the cue as it's my experience that people who look at a cue's specs will often say that they are sure they won't like it and then when they pick it up they love it.

So I can definitely see the merit in buying a cue, trying it out and flipping it a short time later because it's not "the one". I have had cues made for me by well known cue makers that were kind of blah for me but that my friends LOVED. Jerry Olivier, my good friend built me one like this. I liked it well enough but it wasn't GREAT. Then a year later he hands me another shaft for it and OMG it was like I just had the best orgasm of my life when I hit a ball with this shaft. Why? What did Jerry do? I don't know, it just felt that good. That's the magic that is cue making in my opinion and for those of us lucky enough to have had that feeling when hitting balls we will always chase that feeling again should we let the perfect cue slip through our fingers.

classiccues
10-22-2010, 07:24 PM
JV you seem very bothered by all this. It is an opinion, no need to get excited. I will not name any names of any flippers or my fellow makers. I am not like that at all and is not the point of this thread.
You say you have been to these places, then you know, the higher end market will always be there for those collectors and just folks with money, but be honest when I ask if the builders selling great cues at a great price booths aren't hopping and selling?
Cause they will pick up the cue, look at it, find a table near by, test hit it, and buy it with out carring to much the name or the persons sales pitch who is selling it. Cause they are holding it for themselves. Would be a great world if all customers could have a chance to do that! Then I could assure you this flipper game would change big time!
Thanx again,
Jim Lee

I am having a problem with your definition of flippers, what exactly do you feel a flipper is? A guy that waits 10 years for a SW then sells it right away? What is a flipper?

JV

J&D CUSTOMS
10-22-2010, 08:24 PM
Now...along came the flippers. Many were individuals who managed to talk makers into making them cues or getting on their lists for cues with the sole intent of selling as soon as the cue was received, and with a typically hefty profit margin. If it was a newer maker, with a little bit of initial 'buzz' going on...these individuals would hype the hell outta these makers, while all along snatching up what they could from these makers, at a song, and then holding for a short time to drive demand, and then make a killing on the resale. The savvy of this was picking the makers whose yearly production was next to nothing...the gamble was was whether or not the maker actually had any talent, and therefore a mass appeal. The unfortunate part of this was/is that it was the flipper making all the profit, and the bad taste left in the mouthes of those makers who were duped into selling low in order to gain the exposure. It should also be noted that often flippers washed their hands of the deal once it was/is done...not all, but many. Definitely a caveat emptor.

I just wanted to make sure you had the definitions correct...as it appears your issue is with the flipper, and not the authorized retailers and dealers.

Lisa[/QUOTE]

I can't say it any better than Lisa here in her post JV. Hope this helps.
Jim Lee

bobroberts
10-22-2010, 08:27 PM
I am having a problem with your definition of flippers, what exactly do you feel a flipper is? A guy that waits 10 years for a SW then sells it right away? What is a flipper?

JV

If you don't want to wait for a well know cue maker to buy a cue, then you might use a dealer who makes a little on top of what they paid for a cue. Some might even lose money on a sale.
There's not to many people getting rich from flipping cues. Most enjoy buying and selling so they can try out different cue's.
I buy from what i see and know of certain makers and the experience they have in the business. Right now there are way to many builders and few real craftsman artisans.

SC02GTP
10-22-2010, 08:59 PM
I agree 1000000% with Mr. Bob. The cues that are quality and have built a solid reputation over the years will always appreciate in value. The builders that have recently came into the market have to wait their time, build quality stuff, and satisfy customers before they are able to see the $$$ that other long time established makers can ask for. you can't buy tallent or reputation. You work for and earn both.

classiccues
10-23-2010, 03:49 AM
Now...along came the flippers. Many were individuals who managed to talk makers into making them cues or getting on their lists for cues with the sole intent of selling as soon as the cue was received, and with a typically hefty profit margin. If it was a newer maker, with a little bit of initial 'buzz' going on...these individuals would hype the hell outta these makers, while all along snatching up what they could from these makers, at a song, and then holding for a short time to drive demand, and then make a killing on the resale. The savvy of this was picking the makers whose yearly production was next to nothing...the gamble was was whether or not the maker actually had any talent, and therefore a mass appeal. The unfortunate part of this was/is that it was the flipper making all the profit, and the bad taste left in the mouthes of those makers who were duped into selling low in order to gain the exposure. It should also be noted that often flippers washed their hands of the deal once it was/is done...not all, but many. Definitely a caveat emptor.

I just wanted to make sure you had the definitions correct...as it appears your issue is with the flipper, and not the authorized retailers and dealers.

Lisa

I can't say it any better than Lisa here in her post JV. Hope this helps.
Jim Lee[/QUOTE]

If you need to post someone else's words then I don't think you know what a flipper is either. But I'll try one more time.

Is a flipper different than a dealer and if so, what are the differences?

Just so you don't have to guess, or post someone else's thoughts, let me tell you from someone that has sold quite a few cues.

As a dealer we strike our deals with cuemakers that we like, are our friends, people whose work we think merits having in our stable. Normally there is no "written" contract. We will usually take 5-10+ cues a year. Our discount is set, lets for this example say 20%. The deal usually works this way, we list for their retail and will discount no more than 5%. So on a 1000 dollar cue you might make 150-200.If anyone thinks this is a hefty profit, I beg to differ, I think it's pretty fair. It gets the cuemaker more outside business and we can fill a little deadtime in his schedule. We never push, when they are finished we take them. There is not one cuemaker we have bought from that will say Joe is unreasonable, or made me make cues at 50% off. We just don't do that.

BTW I take cues I like. They have to be made a certain way, look a certain way, that's it. I don't jump on ANY one's bandwagon while they are starting out. BTW currently there are 4 cuemakers we buy new from, just an FYI.

Now are we on the "list" of other cuemakers, like SW. Sure we are, but we pay full retail. Then resell the cue at yes, a profit. (C'mon do the home alone Macauly Caulkin face) Are we entitled, yes, and so is anyone else that waited their turn in line. BTW we'll leave out the cuemakers that took deposits, gave a time frame for delivery and failed to not only meet that timeline, but then decided their quoted price was too low. That's for a whole other thread. But that doesn't happen right?

Or the cuemaker that a dealer may "push". But when he get's noticed they want to change percentages, move you down the line, make you 3 cues a year instead of 10 because they now can get the full boat that they couldn't without your initial legwork and persistance to get them out in the market. This hasn't happened either, right? Cause you're all just freaking angels.

The fact is dealers or mini-me dealers are in it yes, to make a buck. Just like you're in it to make a buck. However the internet which BTW helped build US, now is a hinderence. There are many outlets that were unavailable to sellers 5-8-10 years ago. So anyone wanting to be a flipper or dealer right now, I wouldn't follow into that same minefield either.

Which brings us to this, are flippers cauing false hype in the market? No, they aren't. The people that are buying cues in the 1500 or higher dollar range are smarter than that, sometimes.

I'll say it one more time. The market is what it is. If you have a decline in pool halls, pool players, etc.. and you have MORE people trying to make cues when there aren't enough buyers, you get a market that is saturated with product. This is what there is now, no dealer or cuemaker with any sense would say otherwise. Just look at the AZ for sale section, is all the proof you need. It's not flippers, they have ZERO control over the abundance of cues vs the number of actual cue buyers.

You want to make some money, make card markers for poker players :) .

JV

J&D CUSTOMS
10-23-2010, 04:52 PM
I have answered Jamie's post as well as yours as to what a flipper is , both using my own words and Lisa's quote from her post. Bottom line is this lowballing way of buying cues flippers use and selling high does not help any one but them. The maker has to settle for pennies on the dollar compared to what his hard work sells for. Whether he just really needs the cash at that moment or what, it happens a lot.
Then when such cues are not selling at that high price, these folks won't even give the maker's of those cues the time of day.
It is very clear what I was talking about Joe. If you are just wanting to argue or feel offended and want to fight, wrong place sir.
Those here on this very forum that understand what was being said I am sure agree and are thankful I posted this. I am glad to bring this kind of dealing into the light. It needed to be...

Fatboy
10-23-2010, 05:14 PM
I ask this with the upmost respect to all cue dealers. Does anyone buy cue to shoot with any more or is it all about the flavor of the month?

What I mean is , seems like many of the makers are using flippers to push their cues, get them in the limelight, and talk about how great this person is and that person is with building.

But if you follow the trend, it changes from week to week, month to month on who the god like builder is at the time. This is an unfortunate turn of events for many involved in the cue world, IMHO.

I feel this takes away from the personability, interactions, between the cue builders who put their heart and soul into builds from the customer themselves. Don't you? Not to mention the markup that is there.

I know this sounds evil towards those who sell cues, but it is more evil I think towards the builders all over the US and abroad that have to pimp there cues out just to get sales or exposure. If you are not giving your cues away or selling them at such deep discounts for this service it seems like you are on the back burner and way out of the lime light.

I have tried this , I admit , using folks who have wanted to push my cues and promising the world in return for me with all they will do for my business. It's a joke, trust me. Very few folks are out to help anyone in this business unless it makes them as much or more than the actual builder of the cues they are selling. Some are better than others but I feel the hype all ruins the market and really does hurt the little guys in their private shops doing what they love to do,BUILD CUES.

I think their are many builders right here on the forum that build one hell of a cue for the money they are asking. And they do not seem to get the credit they deserve for all the hard work they do! My hats off to all who turn a lathe on, throw some sawdust in the air for the love of building and the game! You guys are all top notch in my book fella's! Build on and don't sell yourselves out for the mighty dollar, I won't! I will always offer the best cue I can produce with the best tools and materials I can for the best price, no one will buy me or my name!!!!!

Thanx for the time to read,
Jim Lee


good question, i'm going to give you my personal way of buying cues and then my view of the whole market, so there is 2 answeres:

speaking for myself, I buy cues from some cue makers to support them, doing something for pool and to get to experience a new cue. I sell some of them I keep some of them(i dont have any reasons to keep of sell its usally a impulsive thing when I decise to sell a cue). I use what ever cue brings out the best in me as a daily player(That is a replaceable cue) if I had a Bushka that brought out the best in me, I couldnt travel with it so it wouldnt be my daily player. If I ever stumble on a cue that works better than my daily player that I can replace I will change cues(very little chance of that happening) If we go back to slow Stevens cloth my current cue wont work its to soft for that. But for the current equipment its great.

Now speaking for the whole market, I think alot of people were making a pile of $$$, there has been a great improvment in cues in the last 5-7 years and people could afford them so the market absorbed them. Now that $$$ is tight some of those impulse purchases of cues that wont get any play are comming back to the market. And there are more cue makers than ever and new ones popping up all the time, and very few retireing. Thus a glut of cues on the market.

classiccues
10-23-2010, 11:49 PM
I have answered Jamie's post as well as yours as to what a flipper is , both using my own words and Lisa's quote from her post. Bottom line is this lowballing way of buying cues flippers use and selling high does not help any one but them. The maker has to settle for pennies on the dollar compared to what his hard work sells for. Whether he just really needs the cash at that moment or what, it happens a lot.
Then when such cues are not selling at that high price, these folks won't even give the maker's of those cues the time of day.
It is very clear what I was talking about Joe. If you are just wanting to argue or feel offended and want to fight, wrong place sir.
Those here on this very forum that understand what was being said I am sure agree and are thankful I posted this. I am glad to bring this kind of dealing into the light. It needed to be...

Seriously, anyone who waits for a cue and then wants to sell it, that's up to them. I am just looking for an example of a flipper. I don't personally know anyone that fits your description.

Example: If a collector owns a bunch of cues, orders xxxx cue, decides he doesn't like it and sells it a week later, is he a flipper?

Show me ONE cuemaker that is getting pennies on the dollar for his work, and then show me the person that is making the "BOAT" load of cash you are talking about. PM me if you feel that's necessary. I know a TON of people and no one I know fits your description.

JV

classiccues
10-24-2010, 12:16 AM
I ask this with the upmost respect to all cue dealers. Does anyone buy cue to shoot with any more or is it all about the flavor of the month?

What I mean is , seems like many of the makers are using flippers to push their cues, get them in the limelight, and talk about how great this person is and that person is with building.

Here is a problem. You start out addressing cue dealers, then go into flippers.

Are they the same?

But to answer your question, sure people hear about a certain cuemaker and YES they want to get one. But also yes, they buy them to shoot with them. But this ALL boils doesn to internet hype. This guy heard this cuemakers cues are the sh*t and then tells this guy, posts on this forum, and so on and so on. Most of what I believe you are referring to when you say flippers, come in when the hype is starting.

But if you follow the trend, it changes from week to week, month to month on who the god like builder is at the time. This is an unfortunate turn of events for many involved in the cue world, IMHO.

Yes, this happens. Not as a result of flippers but as a result to the quantity of new cuemakers that surface. Your 15 minutes of fame can be fleeting at times.

I feel this takes away from the personability, interactions, between the cue builders who put their heart and soul into builds from the customer themselves. Don't you? Not to mention the markup that is there.

Why? Customers have the same internet access as "flippers", right? Maybe the question should be why cuemakers let these individuals run them when getting to the customers is so easy. Maybe cuemakers are lazy, maybe they don't want to be bothered with that end of the business. Markups? Who negotiates the markups, the cue flipper and the cuemaker. If the cuemaker thinks he is getting shorted, why did he make the deal in the first place? Sounds like cuemakers are Christmas lights and there must be some dead bulbs on the string.

I know this sounds evil towards those who sell cues, but it is more evil I think towards the builders all over the US and abroad that have to pimp there cues out just to get sales or exposure. If you are not giving your cues away or selling them at such deep discounts for this service it seems like you are on the back burner and way out of the lime light..

You're right.. there are many free sites and web site services that a cuemaker COULD get his cues out there. But that takes time. Maybe there are guys short on time. Why did you agree to a "deep" discount? Because YOU wanted the short route to get your cues out there, right.. and it wasn't delivered, right? Hmm maybe this is the heart of the matter.

I have tried this , I admit , using folks who have wanted to push my cues and promising the world in return for me with all they will do for my business. It's a joke, trust me. Very few folks are out to help anyone in this business unless it makes them as much or more than the actual builder of the cues they are selling. Some are better than others but I feel the hype all ruins the market and really does hurt the little guys in their private shops doing what they love to do,BUILD CUES.

This is not true. There are many dealers that will swing a decent deal for cues. It's the newbie, unknown builder that must realize you ain't coming out of the box getting Szamboti or Searing money, and you must realize that the cuedealer is ALSO putting as much faith in YOU as you are them. It's a two way street, making the cue is only part of the equation.

I think their are many builders right here on the forum that build one hell of a cue for the money they are asking. And they do not seem to get the credit they deserve for all the hard work they do! My hats off to all who turn a lathe on, throw some sawdust in the air for the love of building and the game! You guys are all top notch in my book fella's! Build on and don't sell yourselves out for the mighty dollar, I won't! I will always offer the best cue I can produce with the best tools and materials I can for the best price, no one will buy me or my name!!!!!

Thanx for the time to read,
Jim Lee

This is good advice.

But lets try and help you out. Lets look at the cues that you bump in the for sale section. You have a bunch of plain cues in the 425 dollar range with one shaft. Well let me give you advice. Make the second shaft and include it with the cue for 500. No one wants a single shaft cue unless it's a break cue. If you are going to discount your cue to a dealer, start at 30-35%. Why? Because YOU are the newbie, the dealer is not. Most dealers want more intricate cues, and cues that have a bigger name. Remember YOU are also going to have to give a little if you want a dealer to promote you. I saw your fancy cue, don't use faux ivory, period. The minute you do and call it faux ivory you just devalued your cue by 20%. Ivory is a staple in cuemaking, just like birdseye maple.

Hopefully this comes off less confrontational. Hopefully you gained some insight.

JV

J&D CUSTOMS
10-24-2010, 02:46 AM
I will start off by saying this thread is not about me. JV you are saying YOU this and YOU that directing it toward me. I did not start this thread for me, so can you please not try to make this about me and my cues.
I started it over flippers. Not dealers. I stated that in the very first line of my post.
I will say this, the folks who have read this thread understand for the most part. The ones who are upset must be the flippers or know them. Or there would not be any issues with it.
I am just seeing and expressing my opinion, no personal issues. If many more folks were not afraid of the backfire that a thread like this may cause them if folks don't totally agree, more would post openly I believe. The fear of the net and not being popular with everyone all at once is silly.
If you got many cuemakers in a room, and displayed several of each of their cues, then let them talk openly about fit,finish, and quality with each other, I have a fealing it would be a great discusion and not an arguement. Sure , you may get that 1 cocky guy , but in all it would be great. Especially if the masters would join in and share input from their years of experience. I for 1 would be there!
But reality will not let this happen plus we are scattered around the globe, so financially it may be tough in these times to go.
And JV I do appreciate your input on the cues I have for sale here, really. But I am an ole dog that's been at this a long time. I got it!
I wish others would post their opinions whether it agrees with any of the points I have brought up or totally disagree with them. Would like to hear all of your guys opinions on this!
Take care,
Jim Lee

midstroke
10-24-2010, 09:31 AM
Well right now im having my first custom cue built. My plan is to keep it as my player until im done. As long the cue plays like others the maker has built i will be happy. Now to the pathetic part, for the last 15 years i have been playing with the same meucci. The meucci is from the father of a kid i use to shoot with that passed. When my new cue is finished i will offer my old cue back to the father. I just dont feel i need 20 cues just one that im use to. As far as flipping cues i see where your coming from for sure.

CocoboloCowboy
10-24-2010, 10:33 AM
Laurie Franklin @ Southwest Cues, finally got smart, and raised her prices, but the fliping of Southwest's still goes on.

classiccues
10-24-2010, 10:44 AM
I will start off by saying this thread is not about me. JV you are saying YOU this and YOU that directing it toward me. I did not start this thread for me, so can you please not try to make this about me and my cues.
I started it over flippers. Not dealers. I stated that in the very first line of my post.
I will say this, the folks who have read this thread understand for the most part. The ones who are upset must be the flippers or know them. Or there would not be any issues with it.
I am just seeing and expressing my opinion, no personal issues. If many more folks were not afraid of the backfire that a thread like this may cause them if folks don't totally agree, more would post openly I believe. The fear of the net and not being popular with everyone all at once is silly.
If you got many cuemakers in a room, and displayed several of each of their cues, then let them talk openly about fit,finish, and quality with each other, I have a fealing it would be a great discusion and not an arguement. Sure , you may get that 1 cocky guy , but in all it would be great. Especially if the masters would join in and share input from their years of experience. I for 1 would be there!
But reality will not let this happen plus we are scattered around the globe, so financially it may be tough in these times to go.
And JV I do appreciate your input on the cues I have for sale here, really. But I am an ole dog that's been at this a long time. I got it!
I wish others would post their opinions whether it agrees with any of the points I have brought up or totally disagree with them. Would like to hear all of your guys opinions on this!
Take care,
Jim Lee

Jim,
In the very first line of your post you mentioned cue dealers specifically. FYI. Also, in your first post you admitted to attemp to have a cue maker / dealer-flipper relationship. So I think it's more about you than you want to admit.

Like you, I don't think anyone that has particiapated can distinguish betwen a flipper and a dealer. Sure I'd like to hear some concrete differences in the two, I have only indicated that fact 10x.

We could beat the horse to death on the dangers of entering into a partnership on the dealer/maker level till we are blue in the face. But those relationships are not why the cue market is down, it's down because the number of players that might want a custom cue is down.

JV

classiccues
10-24-2010, 10:46 AM
Laurie Franklin @ Southwest Cues, finally got smart, and raised her prices, but the fliping of Southwest's still goes on.

So CC, IYHO a flipper is someone that has spent 10 years on a list just to resell?

What if that person in 10 years gave up pool, OR learned to shoot with a Predator? Is he entitled to sell it since he waited that long?

Or how long would he have to keep ownership to NOT be a flipper?

JV

CocoboloCowboy
10-24-2010, 10:48 AM
Every Cue dealer on this Forum is a FLIPPER. They buy with the intention of reselling for a profit, they are like any business in business to make money. Be it Wal-Mart, or the CVS, Walgreens, the place you buy Gas, etc. Flipping T-shirts Coca Cola or who know what. Flipping is not wrong it is what makes money change hands.

Fatboy
10-24-2010, 11:56 AM
long before the internet I had a good reputation as a guy to buy cues from, i sold 80% to bangers. I bought the cues from people who got broke in Vegas, it wasnt a hard thing to figure out. So I flipped piles of cues, if I couldnt get them sold in Vegas I would go to AZ or N.Ca and dump them and buy up there. It was a solid gig for me for years, I made $100-$300/cue the cues were awalys $700 or less. Over $700 they wouldnt move as fast. So yeah I was a flipper which is nothing more than a dealer in my case on the rail not online. so what? its commerece buy low/sell high.

best
eric

Graciocues
10-24-2010, 11:58 AM
Flippers are people that order a cues for profit. No intention of keeping them.

I like building for players and don't take very many flipper orders.

ridewiththewind
10-24-2010, 12:06 PM
Truth be told...in the last year or perhaps two, there hasn't been nearly the amount of 'flipping' as there once was.

I do not really consider dealers as flippers as their intent, by the nature of their business, is immediately implied. They are outlaying capital, overhead and marketing and maintain an inventory. They also are the ones putting themselves out there for the potential losses due to an unhappy or dishonest customer. They are a bona fide business.

Flippers do not typically carry an inventory, capital outlay is generally low, no overhead to speak of, and their marketing consists of...hits a ton! They may acquire a cue from an unobtainable maker for say $6K and talk about how they'll be buried with it and a couple o' days later sell for $18K-$20K. If there is a problem, they are not nearly as likely to stand behind what they sell, as their reputations are nearly as important to them as a dealers...as their intent is typically to cash and dash.

I am not saying that all flippers are bad people, not at all...but have seen enough here in the last 6 years or so to understand why it may put a bad taste in some peeps mouthes.

Lisa

Ken_4fun
10-24-2010, 12:39 PM
I flip cues. Get over it.

I buy cues all the time and I sell cues all the time. This pisses you off? Well get over it.

I commission at least a couple cues from makers each year. Does that piss you off? Well get over it.

Wanna know what pisses me off? Its cue makers who bites the hand that feeds them.

Wanna know something else? I see it all the time. New cuemakers who really arent that good, *****ing about cue flippers and trying to sell a pantagraph or cnc cue for 1500 and up!

When you have been in the cuemaking business for years and years and have a good enough reputation then maybe your cues will sell.

Cue flippers arent the problem. I buy and sell alot of cues because I like trying out different makers and being savy enough to at least break even on every deal.

Ken

hangemhigh
10-24-2010, 01:07 PM
[b][/b[b]][quote=ken_4fun;2673140]i flip cues. Get over it.

I buy cues all the time and i sell cues all the time. This pisses you off? Well get over it.

I commission at least a couple cues from makers each year. Does that piss you off? Well get over it.

Wanna know what pisses me off? Its cue makers who bites the hand that feeds them.

Wanna know something else? I see it all the time. New cuemakers who really arent that good, *****ing about cue flippers and trying to sel

CocoboloCowboy
10-24-2010, 03:46 PM
I found this Flipper in Action (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azEOeTX1LqM), it was fun to watch. LOL

Graciocues
10-24-2010, 03:51 PM
I have nothing against flippers. The flippers I've worked with have become friends and I enjoy working with them. They paid what I asked and made a profit. One sends me 50% of his profit and in no way is obligated to do that.

Flippers are not bad people. Dealers are not bad people. They have their places in the cue market.

The only thing I have against the flipper thing is they don't hit the cues. I don't think test hitting a cue takes away from the value. If I put hours into building and designing with a guy I expect them to hit a few games with it.

As long as the customer plays with it I don't care how long they keep it.

jlrowe
10-24-2010, 04:44 PM
Lisa hit the nail pretty much on the head when she stated that cue dealers are not flippers because the nature or their business is implied. Flippers on the other hand do not disclose this information. And Jim Lee did not state that a cue dealer is a flipper. It is stated in his first opening sentence. JV you seem offended in some way and try to make cuemakers seem stupid. I don't understand why. You are representing yourself as a dealer which is fine. Dealers usually deal with certain makers that are in demand and dont have to hype their cues up like flippers do. But 30-35% that is crazy, there is no way a custom cuemaker producing a low volume can get a ROI. Unless he inflates his prices drastically, which will not work unless his cues are in high demand. Basically there are flippers with different intentions. One good and one not so good. How can you say his cues are inferior to another well know cuemaker. You would have to be a cuemaker yourself and disect the construction of the two cues and determine which is better. Jims construction methods may be better than Southwest. Yes, some of these high end cuemakers have a reputation but for the wrong reasons. I have shot with Jim's cues and I've shot with Southwest cues. As a player yes i would flip the Southwest and put the cash in my pocket and go to the pool room and play with Jim's cue. I dont find it feasible to spend the extra thousands to get the same or less results. This is coming from a players standpoint.

classiccues
10-24-2010, 04:56 PM
Lisa hit the nail pretty much on the head when she stated that cue dealers are not flippers because the nature or their business is implied. Flippers on the other hand do not disclose this information. And Jim Lee did not state that a cue dealer is a flipper. It is stated in his first opening sentence. JV you seem offended in some way and try to make cuemakers seem stupid. I don't understand why. You are representing yourself as a dealer which is fine. Dealers usually deal with certain makers that are in demand and dont have to hype their cues up like flippers do. But 30-35% that is crazy, there is no way a custom cuemaker producing a low volume can get a ROI. Unless he inflates his prices drastically, which will not work unless his cues are in high demand. Basically there are flippers with different intentions. One good and one not so good. How can you say his cues are inferior to another well know cuemaker. You would have to be a cuemaker yourself and disect the construction of the two cues and determine which is better. Jims construction methods may be better than Southwest. Yes, some of these high end cuemakers have a reputation but for the wrong reasons. I have shot with Jim's cues and I've shot with Southwest cues. As a player yes i would flip the Southwest and put the cash in my pocket and go to the pool room and play with Jim's cue. I dont find it feasible to spend the extra thousands to get the same or less results. This is coming from a players standpoint.

Not making anyone seem stupid. BUT you can't complain about %'s and discounts if you AGREE to them beforehand. No one twisted Jim's or any other cuemakers arm to agree to terms with a flipper or dealer.

I don't feel 30 -35% is outta line if the guy is a newbie. When you factor in the fact that now he has to be promoted, a dealer may sit on his cues for a lot longer than he would someone elses. There are a lot of other factors involved and it comes down to business philosophy. ( I would get into what really works as an agreement but it might be to much honesty for some people to handle)

You don't have to be a cuemaker to spot quality. That can all be seen from the outside. Internally, even a good cuemaker won't know if another cuemakers work unless they have x-ray vision, or rip it a part in the lathe. No where did I say his work was inferior. But that is what a dealer must contend with when deciding to add someone to their inventory.

JV

CocoboloCowboy
10-24-2010, 05:19 PM
Not making anyone seem stupid. BUT you can't complain about %'s and discounts if you AGREE to them beforehand. No one twisted Jim's or any other cuemakers arm to agree to terms with a flipper or dealer.

I don't feel 30 -35% is outta line if the guy is a newbie. When you factor in the fact that now he has to be promoted, a dealer may sit on his cues for a lot longer than he would someone elses. There are a lot of other factors involved and it comes down to business philosophy. ( I would get into what really works as an agreement but it might be to much honesty for some people to handle)

You don't have to be a cuemaker to spot quality. That can all be seen from the outside. Internally, even a good cuemaker won't know if another cuemakers work unless they have x-ray vision, or rip it a part in the lathe. No where did I say his work was inferior. But that is what a dealer must contend with when deciding to add someone to their inventory.

JV



I also do not think you need divulge your PERSONAL BUSINESS DEALING with any Cuemaker who work you REPRESENT, or I and or other BUYERS will EXPECT THE SAME DISCOUNTS.

A New Cuemaker can benefit from a DEALER who is well established, but the Dealer need not take advantage of the NEW Cuemaker just because he or she is NEW, If they want to keep a long term relationship.

JMHO.

classiccues
10-24-2010, 07:09 PM
I also do not think you need divulge your PERSONAL BUSINESS DEALING with any Cuemaker who work you REPRESENT, or I and or other BUYERS will EXPECT THE SAME DISCOUNTS.

A New Cuemaker can benefit from a DEALER who is well established, but the Dealer need not take advantage of the NEW Cuemaker just because he or she is NEW, If they want to keep a long term relationship.

JMHO.

Nothing here has been divulged. We are talking hypotheticals and ideas. If you don't buy in quantity, you should not expect discounts. So that's that.

Dealings are a 2 way street, as I said numerous times that the final deal is usually agreed upon. That means that the dealer / cuemaker are both good with it. This is the way it works in all walks of resale, period.

JV

or1pkt
10-24-2010, 07:43 PM
Jim Lee is right...simple as that... bicker and argue all you want but jim's op is dead on most people posting in this thread dont have the equipment to install a tip let alone the know how to do it so there are two types of people arguing in this thread.... collectors/flippers and a legitimate cue builder (s) so collect and flip all you want...but there is still a hell of alot of guys out there building great cues that get no recognition because they are more concerned with building a quality cue instead of trying to look cool ond be in certain cliques....imho

CocoboloCowboy
10-24-2010, 08:14 PM
but there is still a hell of alot of guys out there building great cues that get no recognition because they are more concerned with building a quality cue instead of trying to look cool ond be in certain cliques....imho

The list is long of the Cuemakers who as you say are not in a cliques, or in vogue, but still make a great Cue that you don't have to wait a DECADE FOR! JMHO.

qbilder
10-24-2010, 10:05 PM
A builder makes a deal with a dealer. 30% is pretty standard. The builder's job is to build cues and focus his attention & time on building cues as well as he can build. The dealer, for his 30% cut, handles all of the marketing, advertising, selling, etc. He handles all of the people person stuff that many of us builders aren't so great at. I'm not a good salesman, nor am I fond of constantly having to smile & be nice for everybody every day so folks like me enough to buy my product. The dealer is. Him dealing my product allows me the opportunity to do what I do best, build cues. He does what he does best, sells cues. We both win. We're both happy. Who's flipping? What's to complain about? I enter a personal agreement & so long as we're both satisfied and honest then there's no problems.

Flippers in the negative sense are the liars, scoundrels that play on cuemakers heart strings & such to get a cue faster or cheaper, so they can use the cue for their own profit. They lie & cheat to get the deal. These guys aren't cue dealers and shouldn't be compared to actual dealers. Per example, I once had a fellow order a cue & told me he was a student and couldn't afford much so just a basic player would be good. I could level with the kid so I built him a very nice cue for like $300. He had it about two weeks & told me somebody stole it from him & he really was attached to it, could I build him another? I felt sorry for him & built him another at even bigger discount. Two days after he recieved it I seen the first one go up for sale BY HIM for $700. He basically lied & cheated his way into getting paid to get a cue. He got a cue plus some cash for nothing but some lies & a little time. That's a flipper, an extreme case but a good example. I learned my lesson from him & several others. There's lots of them. If a builder spends much of his time with customers like this, how long before you get wise & raise your prices? How long before you say f$ck it & get a dealer? There's a huge difference between dealers & flippers.

As for a dealer not being able to sell your cues, it's not entirely their fault. Let's all face it. There are lots of undesired builders and every one of them feel their cues are worthy. But are they? Really? I can't say. I can only assess my own self. I learned long ago to look at myself from outside the box and try to see me as everybody else sees me. I try not to taint my self perception with fantasy. Decisions I make are influenced by this but not dictated by it. I won't change who I am or how I feel because I want to fit in, but I will absorb & try to learn the points of view others have in hopes of gathering some insight that I may lack. It's all about learning. My cues reflect this in their design and how they play. They are still a reflection of me, but are not so self absorbed that nobody but me can relate to them. As I grow, they grow. As I diversify, so do they. So when a dealer or myself has a problem selling a cue, I can swallow my pride and assess the situation, even when it means learning that I might have simply built a cue nobody likes. Me being me, if this happened enough to prove unsuccess, then i'd either completely change direction with my building or else i'd quit & try something else in life. It may hurt, but i'm not too proud or stubborn to know when i'm on the wrong path. Again, it's all about learning. For me that's how it is. To each his own.

And be careful what you wish for. Lots of builders ask for busy schedules & lots of cues to build. But few really understand what comes with it. With every ordered cue is a customer. Every one of those customers want to be involved in the build. They want specific things and they like to simply BS about cues. They have questions & want to learn. That's all great, really. It is. But now multiply that by how many orders you want to fill in a year. Let's say you wanna build 50 cues in a year, at $1000 each. After taxes & overhead, you will bring home about $35,000 in that year. That's poverty. Now consider the time it takes to build those 50 cues, and then consider the time you spend emailing, PMing, phone talking with all 50 of those customers. I know a lot of my buyers call at least twice per week and talk 45 minutes+ every time. 5 of those per day really cut back on building time. Tell them you have no time to talk & they no longer feel interested in you because you are showing them your only interest is in getting their money. So you'd lose lots of orders like that. So you have to talk. You have to. That's part of the reason they buy custom instead of production. It's the experience. But do you have time for it? So how do you fix this? The only way to to limit your production and raise your price. Build 25 $2000 cues instead of 50 $1000 cues. Or get a dealer & hope for the best. It's a tough gig making it go by building cues. In fact, it's damned near impossible. It's an impossible dream.

Sorry for such a long post but there's a lot to address. Point being is that cuemaking is something you should do because you love doing it, not because you think you can make money at it. I do well because I have money outside of cues. There's no way I could live on cue income with a wife & children. I sell as many cues as anybody and they get dang good money. But it's nothing near living wages. It's piggy bank money. A single man shop can't do it. It's virtually impossible. The numbers simply don't equate. Do it for love & be happy you're doing it. If you need money, get a job.

ridewiththewind
10-24-2010, 11:53 PM
A builder makes a deal with a dealer. 30% is pretty standard. The builder's job is to build cues and focus his attention & time on building cues as well as he can build. The dealer, for his 30% cut, handles all of the marketing, advertising, selling, etc. He handles all of the people person stuff that many of us builders aren't so great at. I'm not a good salesman, nor am I fond of constantly having to smile & be nice for everybody every day so folks like me enough to buy my product. The dealer is. Him dealing my product allows me the opportunity to do what I do best, build cues. He does what he does best, sells cues. We both win. We're both happy. Who's flipping? What's to complain about? I enter a personal agreement & so long as we're both satisfied and honest then there's no problems.

Flippers in the negative sense are the liars, scoundrels that play on cuemakers heart strings & such to get a cue faster or cheaper, so they can use the cue for their own profit. They lie & cheat to get the deal. These guys aren't cue dealers and shouldn't be compared to actual dealers. Per example, I once had a fellow order a cue & told me he was a student and couldn't afford much so just a basic player would be good. I could level with the kid so I built him a very nice cue for like $300. He had it about two weeks & told me somebody stole it from him & he really was attached to it, could I build him another? I felt sorry for him & built him another at even bigger discount. Two days after he recieved it I seen the first one go up for sale BY HIM for $700. He basically lied & cheated his way into getting paid to get a cue. He got a cue plus some cash for nothing but some lies & a little time. That's a flipper, an extreme case but a good example. I learned my lesson from him & several others. There's lots of them. If a builder spends much of his time with customers like this, how long before you get wise & raise your prices? How long before you say f$ck it & get a dealer? There's a huge difference between dealers & flippers.

As for a dealer not being able to sell your cues, it's not entirely their fault. Let's all face it. There are lots of undesired builders and every one of them feel their cues are worthy. But are they? Really? I can't say. I can only assess my own self. I learned long ago to look at myself from outside the box and try to see me as everybody else sees me. I try not to taint my self perception with fantasy. Decisions I make are influenced by this but not dictated by it. I won't change who I am or how I feel because I want to fit in, but I will absorb & try to learn the points of view others have in hopes of gathering some insight that I may lack. It's all about learning. My cues reflect this in their design and how they play. They are still a reflection of me, but are not so self absorbed that nobody but me can relate to them. As I grow, they grow. As I diversify, so do they. So when a dealer or myself has a problem selling a cue, I can swallow my pride and assess the situation, even when it means learning that I might have simply built a cue nobody likes. Me being me, if this happened enough to prove unsuccess, then i'd either completely change direction with my building or else i'd quit & try something else in life. It may hurt, but i'm not too proud or stubborn to know when i'm on the wrong path. Again, it's all about learning. For me that's how it is. To each his own.

And be careful what you wish for. Lots of builders ask for busy schedules & lots of cues to build. But few really understand what comes with it. With every ordered cue is a customer. Every one of those customers want to be involved in the build. They want specific things and they like to simply BS about cues. They have questions & want to learn. That's all great, really. It is. But now multiply that by how many orders you want to fill in a year. Let's say you wanna build 50 cues in a year, at $1000 each. After taxes & overhead, you will bring home about $35,000 in that year. That's poverty. Now consider the time it takes to build those 50 cues, and then consider the time you spend emailing, PMing, phone talking with all 50 of those customers. I know a lot of my buyers call at least twice per week and talk 45 minutes+ every time. 5 of those per day really cut back on building time. Tell them you have no time to talk & they no longer feel interested in you because you are showing them your only interest is in getting their money. So you'd lose lots of orders like that. So you have to talk. You have to. That's part of the reason they buy custom instead of production. It's the experience. But do you have time for it? So how do you fix this? The only way to to limit your production and raise your price. Build 25 $2000 cues instead of 50 $1000 cues. Or get a dealer & hope for the best. It's a tough gig making it go by building cues. In fact, it's damned near impossible. It's an impossible dream.

Sorry for such a long post but there's a lot to address. Point being is that cuemaking is something you should do because you love doing it, not because you think you can make money at it. I do well because I have money outside of cues. There's no way I could live on cue income with a wife & children. I sell as many cues as anybody and they get dang good money. But it's nothing near living wages. It's piggy bank money. A single man shop can't do it. It's virtually impossible. The numbers simply don't equate. Do it for love & be happy you're doing it. If you need money, get a job.

This is precisely the point I was trying to get across...but since I am not a dealer, or a cue maker, and am damn sure not a flipper...this post says it better than perhaps myself. I do not know if it could have been stated any clearer.

GoTulane
10-24-2010, 11:58 PM
Yes, I pick up plenty of cues and turn them pretty quickly, as I have said in an earlier post. Mainly I just want to try out as many builders, and see what I really like. And I believe I found what I like, so I have a few cues in the making, or hopefully going into the making, since I have found that if I buy a cue that wasn't made for me specifically, then it will not hold as much value to me, and therefore it will probably find its way into somebody else's hands or case.

But through my "flipping" of cues over the last 5 years, I have found what I like in a cue, and had the opportunity to try out many different cuemakers' cues. And though I am probably negative in the money making dept over the long run, it has been a great spend of cash just to have the opportunity to try out many cues and many makers, and some of the most amazing cues out there. Even when I was unemployed, I still kept the addiction of trying out cues, and actually picked up some of the most amazing cues to try. It is crazy that way - I had very little money, but got some really unique opportunities to try out some of the coolest cues during that time.

Now I am employed, and really like my new job, and look forward to getting a few cues made for me, but I will probably have quite a wait for a few of them - need to gather the money and also give the cuemaker the time to get my dream cue in line to be crafted.

But I am one of those people that will not bug or BS with the cuemaker over long extended times during the build of the cue. I know what I want, and I hope to provide that information clearly the first time. AND I KNOW A CUEMAKER'S TIME IS VERY IMPORTANT!! I am just one person in line, and there are plenty of others who also want a cue. Plus the cuemaker has a family, and does not want to spend all his time building cues or talking cues, nor should he be expected to do it!! I need a break from work, and down time is NEVER overrated - so I understand. I wouldn't want to bug or take time out of a cuemaker's daily schedule, unless it was required. The Cue Artisans that I have in mind to build my few chosen cues know what they are doing, and I put my trust in their hands that they will provide the best possible cue they can craft for me - and that is that. What else do I need to do?

So I am not trying to be mean to others that believe they need to talk to the cuemaker every day/week, and I do like talking to people, but I wouldn't want to control somebody's time more than I already will be doing by having them make me a cue. They also have a life outside of MY CUE CREATION, and therefore, I must respect that - That is just my take on it. I guess I am just too easy going, but that is how I am.


SO I am just letting all of you cuemakers out there know that:

I am patient, and not bothersome, so let me know if you have room for me on your build list. I am not a rich man, but I am also not poor, and I am looking forward to having a few cues built to call my own, which will eventually find their way into my son's hands when he learns the love of the game and the beauty of wood crafted in the shape of a pool cue. (I already have one cue on order and expect it soon, and I have spoken to the other cue artisan about a build using pink ivory wood, but that cue may take some time to start since the cuemaker is highly sought after, and is flooded with requests everyday) So I might have room for one more cue purcahse in the next year - 2011.

Of course I will still continue to purchase/sell/trade cues on the secondary market to continue to try out new and also established cuemakers that I still have not had a chance to try out. That is my stress relief after a long day at work, and it allows me to do something I enjoy - playing pool!!


Michael

qbilder
10-25-2010, 01:15 AM
Michael, going through cues would not really warrant being a flipper. That's just being a cue nut. We're all cue nuts. I don't know any good builder that didn't blow through countless cues before building their own. Cues are fun. We love them. There's nothing wrong in buying, selling, swapping, etc. It's fun. Flippers that builders don't like are the liars & folks trying to play underhanded angles to get quick cash turnaround. You don't exactly fit that mold.

As for BSing with buyers, I love it. That's the fun of building for me. I get to meet folks from all around the world, all walks of life that share my interests. If I relied on cues for cash then I might get bothered by spending my days BSing & talking cues. But I don't. So I can enjoy myself. Besides, I learn a lot by speaking with everybody. It's fun. Why have passion for something you don't want to share with other like minded folks? It's only human, and frankly it's enjoyable. Cues are fun. My long post was mostly to point out that there's a lot of non-profit time involved in cuemaking and that it's not for everyone. If you don't absolutely love cues & love talking about cues as well as building them, then maybe cuemaking isn't your thing. The pay for building cues is the people you meet, the fun times you share with them, the great conversation, and the craft itself. The money is never going to justify the time spent so if it's not a deep rooted passion then you won't be a happy cuemaker. If you can't be happy, why do it?

JB Cases
10-25-2010, 05:15 AM
A builder makes a deal with a dealer. 30% is pretty standard. The builder's job is to build cues and focus his attention & time on building cues as well as he can build. The dealer, for his 30% cut, handles all of the marketing, advertising, selling, etc. He handles all of the people person stuff that many of us builders aren't so great at. I'm not a good salesman, nor am I fond of constantly having to smile & be nice for everybody every day so folks like me enough to buy my product. The dealer is. Him dealing my product allows me the opportunity to do what I do best, build cues. He does what he does best, sells cues. We both win. We're both happy. Who's flipping? What's to complain about? I enter a personal agreement & so long as we're both satisfied and honest then there's no problems.

Flippers in the negative sense are the liars, scoundrels that play on cuemakers heart strings & such to get a cue faster or cheaper, so they can use the cue for their own profit. They lie & cheat to get the deal. These guys aren't cue dealers and shouldn't be compared to actual dealers. Per example, I once had a fellow order a cue & told me he was a student and couldn't afford much so just a basic player would be good. I could level with the kid so I built him a very nice cue for like $300. He had it about two weeks & told me somebody stole it from him & he really was attached to it, could I build him another? I felt sorry for him & built him another at even bigger discount. Two days after he recieved it I seen the first one go up for sale BY HIM for $700. He basically lied & cheated his way into getting paid to get a cue. He got a cue plus some cash for nothing but some lies & a little time. That's a flipper, an extreme case but a good example. I learned my lesson from him & several others. There's lots of them. If a builder spends much of his time with customers like this, how long before you get wise & raise your prices? How long before you say f$ck it & get a dealer? There's a huge difference between dealers & flippers.

As for a dealer not being able to sell your cues, it's not entirely their fault. Let's all face it. There are lots of undesired builders and every one of them feel their cues are worthy. But are they? Really? I can't say. I can only assess my own self. I learned long ago to look at myself from outside the box and try to see me as everybody else sees me. I try not to taint my self perception with fantasy. Decisions I make are influenced by this but not dictated by it. I won't change who I am or how I feel because I want to fit in, but I will absorb & try to learn the points of view others have in hopes of gathering some insight that I may lack. It's all about learning. My cues reflect this in their design and how they play. They are still a reflection of me, but are not so self absorbed that nobody but me can relate to them. As I grow, they grow. As I diversify, so do they. So when a dealer or myself has a problem selling a cue, I can swallow my pride and assess the situation, even when it means learning that I might have simply built a cue nobody likes. Me being me, if this happened enough to prove unsuccess, then i'd either completely change direction with my building or else i'd quit & try something else in life. It may hurt, but i'm not too proud or stubborn to know when i'm on the wrong path. Again, it's all about learning. For me that's how it is. To each his own.

And be careful what you wish for. Lots of builders ask for busy schedules & lots of cues to build. But few really understand what comes with it. With every ordered cue is a customer. Every one of those customers want to be involved in the build. They want specific things and they like to simply BS about cues. They have questions & want to learn. That's all great, really. It is. But now multiply that by how many orders you want to fill in a year. Let's say you wanna build 50 cues in a year, at $1000 each. After taxes & overhead, you will bring home about $35,000 in that year. That's poverty. Now consider the time it takes to build those 50 cues, and then consider the time you spend emailing, PMing, phone talking with all 50 of those customers. I know a lot of my buyers call at least twice per week and talk 45 minutes+ every time. 5 of those per day really cut back on building time. Tell them you have no time to talk & they no longer feel interested in you because you are showing them your only interest is in getting their money. So you'd lose lots of orders like that. So you have to talk. You have to. That's part of the reason they buy custom instead of production. It's the experience. But do you have time for it? So how do you fix this? The only way to to limit your production and raise your price. Build 25 $2000 cues instead of 50 $1000 cues. Or get a dealer & hope for the best. It's a tough gig making it go by building cues. In fact, it's damned near impossible. It's an impossible dream.

Sorry for such a long post but there's a lot to address. Point being is that cuemaking is something you should do because you love doing it, not because you think you can make money at it. I do well because I have money outside of cues. There's no way I could live on cue income with a wife & children. I sell as many cues as anybody and they get dang good money. But it's nothing near living wages. It's piggy bank money. A single man shop can't do it. It's virtually impossible. The numbers simply don't equate. Do it for love & be happy you're doing it. If you need money, get a job.

Just quoting this because it's SO TRUE. Eric, listen man, it's been a tough year with the cases and all but I really want to get back into playing and I know you know what I mean. So dude if you could just like squeeze me in with a basic player, you know the kind I want just good solid woods the way you like to build them. I just want that good old feeling like it's an extension of my arm, you know right?

I managed to scrape together $500 and I know it's not anywhere close to what your cues are worth but man if you could find in your heart to just send me anything you'd play with, even a reject or whatever I just have my heart set on one of your cues and nothing else.

Thanks a lot for your consideration and I swear that this cue will go to my kids and their kids.

Your best friend,

John :-)


P.S. If you can fit me in I promise to send you a lifetime supply of sac-fresh.

P.P.S. If I ever did have to sell it then it would be a matter of life and death I swear. Or unless some sweet deal came up on Runde cuz I hear those play awesome. I know you understand, right?

JB Cases
10-25-2010, 05:47 AM
Jim Lee is right...simple as that... bicker and argue all you want but jim's op is dead on most people posting in this thread dont have the equipment to install a tip let alone the know how to do it so there are two types of people arguing in this thread.... collectors/flippers and a legitimate cue builder (s) so collect and flip all you want...but there is still a hell of alot of guys out there building great cues that get no recognition because they are more concerned with building a quality cue instead of trying to look cool ond be in certain cliques....imho

This is a lot of projecting about what's going on in people's minds. I have to say that out of all the people on AZ I am possibly one of the top ten when it comes to knowing a lot of cue makers personally and having been in their shops. Certainly the top twenty I'd wager.

Almost without exception all of those cue makers have been nice, cordial, funny, intelligent and really passionate about their work. I SERIOUSLY doubt that you will find any of them that are "trying to look cool and be in certain cliques".

Who is getting no recognition?

Recognition comes from a few things one of which is how many people actually know about and have experience with your product.

At last count there were something like 700 active cuemakers. Is this right? Joe?

Is there any way on Earth that 700 cue makers can all be great? Can they all be recognized? No. They can't. The ones who stand out are the ones who are forging their own way, ones who are participating socially and ones who have been sought out by dealers, players and collectors for their excellent work and their commitment to quality and their own style.

Joe hit the nail on the head when said it's a saturated market. 700 active cuemakers, easily 1000 brands of cues on the market - EVERYONE but a very few has it tough selling cues these days.

So as Eric said, most are doing it for a hobby because it's not enough to really be considered a career.

The fact is that a of folks on this forum just don't understand business. Building something is only one part of the equation. Selling it is the other. Go to the big arts and crafts fairs and you will see TONS of amazing artists and woodworkers who spend half their year doing the show circuit to sell their wares. A lucky few get picked up by galleries and manage to jump into another circle of customers with deep pockets. The rest struggle year to year doing their art and eking out a living selling out of 10x10 tents.

All of us dream of building only what we want to build and having a ready line of buyers with cash in hand willing to pay whatever we ask. Wouldn't that be great?

But life does not work that way. Recognition comes over time. It comes from building a circle of contented customers who appreciate your work enough to recommend you, to sell for you, and become repeat customers. If you're lucky then you hit a certain level of recognition that brings you new business based on your reputation. A lot of great craftsmen never get to this level because the stars don't line up. It's just the way it is.

Now a maker can help themselves by getting out there and promoting themselves and their work. But that takes time away from the lathe and has the downside that it can be perceived as a negative by would be buyers. Either way, it's work. Go the wrong way and you're Eddie Wheat.

Go the right way and you're Michael Webb, Tony Zinzola, etc....

But I am getting way off track. I haven't met a cue maker yet who was in it just to be "cool" and in with the "in crowd". I know it hurts to see certain names tossed about constantly as if those makers are the be all end all of cuemaking. But if you look deeper then you will usually find that those makers are connecting with customers through something that makes them unique.

In my opinion that is.

BHQ
10-25-2010, 06:50 AM
At last count there were something like 700 active cuemakers. Is this right? Joe?

ernie aka claymonts list
i think it was about 875 in usa alone

tony frank
10-25-2010, 04:55 PM
Here's a different take on custom design business in general. May also apply to this forum.
2 partners and myself started a design business 40 years ago. After spending many, many dollars and much time doing the advertising bit / promos, etc. We finally realized that our services were only desired by a very limited market. In affect most of our time and money was wasted thinking that someone out there would actually refer us to others who could use our products and services. DEAD wrong. We finally were able to conduct a successful business by door knocking where there was a potential good client. It was proven to us over the years that soliciting marginal and/or speculative customers was much like digging our own grave. We concentrated on satisfying the primo customers we had and they were good enough to recommend us to other primo clients. We worked for over 40 years - no advertising or even a yellow pages phone number - completing over 4500 projects for 175 clients. Never paid attention to our many competitors and concentrated fully on establishing our credibility with our first class clients. This may not pertain well to the retail business, however there may be a bit of food for thought here. I've been a successful all around $ playing pool / billiards / snooker player for over 50 years. My purchases and dealings are with people who have a reputation and a following of an astute group of customers. I want and look for integrity, talent and dedicated people who honor themselves and their profession. Unfortunately the flipping hype is eaten up by to many naive people which detracts from the business of the true artisan. One can only walk the walk and build that reputation one way or another. Dzuricky playing cue - old beasty unknown sneaky backup / break- Moori soft - 13mm, 11mm stock lucasi shafts and a tiger x - Play to win every game. No fakery or 2 bit hustling !! Same in business.

classiccues
10-25-2010, 05:16 PM
At last count there were something like 700 active cuemakers. Is this right? Joe?

ernie aka claymonts list
i think it was about 875 in usa alone

I started the thread that Ernie was nice enough to keep updating. Yes, it's a lot of wood. Now if those 875 each made an average of 75 cues a year, that is A LOT of product.

JV

classiccues
10-25-2010, 05:21 PM
A builder makes a deal with a dealer. 30% is pretty standard. The builder's job is to build cues and focus his attention & time on building cues as well as he can build. The dealer, for his 30% cut, handles all of the marketing, advertising, selling, etc. He handles all of the people person stuff that many of us builders aren't so great at. I'm not a good salesman, nor am I fond of constantly having to smile & be nice for everybody every day so folks like me enough to buy my product. The dealer is. Him dealing my product allows me the opportunity to do what I do best, build cues. He does what he does best, sells cues. We both win. We're both happy. Who's flipping? What's to complain about? I enter a personal agreement & so long as we're both satisfied and honest then there's no problems.

Flippers in the negative sense are the liars, scoundrels that play on cuemakers heart strings & such to get a cue faster or cheaper, so they can use the cue for their own profit. They lie & cheat to get the deal. These guys aren't cue dealers and shouldn't be compared to actual dealers. Per example, I once had a fellow order a cue & told me he was a student and couldn't afford much so just a basic player would be good. I could level with the kid so I built him a very nice cue for like $300. He had it about two weeks & told me somebody stole it from him & he really was attached to it, could I build him another? I felt sorry for him & built him another at even bigger discount. Two days after he recieved it I seen the first one go up for sale BY HIM for $700. He basically lied & cheated his way into getting paid to get a cue. He got a cue plus some cash for nothing but some lies & a little time. That's a flipper, an extreme case but a good example. I learned my lesson from him & several others. There's lots of them. If a builder spends much of his time with customers like this, how long before you get wise & raise your prices? How long before you say f$ck it & get a dealer? There's a huge difference between dealers & flippers.

As for a dealer not being able to sell your cues, it's not entirely their fault. Let's all face it. There are lots of undesired builders and every one of them feel their cues are worthy. But are they? Really? I can't say. I can only assess my own self. I learned long ago to look at myself from outside the box and try to see me as everybody else sees me. I try not to taint my self perception with fantasy. Decisions I make are influenced by this but not dictated by it. I won't change who I am or how I feel because I want to fit in, but I will absorb & try to learn the points of view others have in hopes of gathering some insight that I may lack. It's all about learning. My cues reflect this in their design and how they play. They are still a reflection of me, but are not so self absorbed that nobody but me can relate to them. As I grow, they grow. As I diversify, so do they. So when a dealer or myself has a problem selling a cue, I can swallow my pride and assess the situation, even when it means learning that I might have simply built a cue nobody likes. Me being me, if this happened enough to prove unsuccess, then i'd either completely change direction with my building or else i'd quit & try something else in life. It may hurt, but i'm not too proud or stubborn to know when i'm on the wrong path. Again, it's all about learning. For me that's how it is. To each his own.

And be careful what you wish for. Lots of builders ask for busy schedules & lots of cues to build. But few really understand what comes with it. With every ordered cue is a customer. Every one of those customers want to be involved in the build. They want specific things and they like to simply BS about cues. They have questions & want to learn. That's all great, really. It is. But now multiply that by how many orders you want to fill in a year. Let's say you wanna build 50 cues in a year, at $1000 each. After taxes & overhead, you will bring home about $35,000 in that year. That's poverty. Now consider the time it takes to build those 50 cues, and then consider the time you spend emailing, PMing, phone talking with all 50 of those customers. I know a lot of my buyers call at least twice per week and talk 45 minutes+ every time. 5 of those per day really cut back on building time. Tell them you have no time to talk & they no longer feel interested in you because you are showing them your only interest is in getting their money. So you'd lose lots of orders like that. So you have to talk. You have to. That's part of the reason they buy custom instead of production. It's the experience. But do you have time for it? So how do you fix this? The only way to to limit your production and raise your price. Build 25 $2000 cues instead of 50 $1000 cues. Or get a dealer & hope for the best. It's a tough gig making it go by building cues. In fact, it's damned near impossible. It's an impossible dream.

Sorry for such a long post but there's a lot to address. Point being is that cuemaking is something you should do because you love doing it, not because you think you can make money at it. I do well because I have money outside of cues. There's no way I could live on cue income with a wife & children. I sell as many cues as anybody and they get dang good money. But it's nothing near living wages. It's piggy bank money. A single man shop can't do it. It's virtually impossible. The numbers simply don't equate. Do it for love & be happy you're doing it. If you need money, get a job.

Eric,
You and I are on the same page 100%. I feel for any cuemaker that tries to make this his main income business. You would have to own all your property outright, have no bills, no family etc.. It's a tough nut and it's getting tougher. Every year I notice at valley forge more and more people standing around the machinery booths, they should be talking to all the cuemakers that go their and don't sell a damn cue. That will give them some perspective. I think they see a lot of the cues on line and in the booths down there and get this brainstorm, or brainfart, on how they could become rich.

JV

Bamacues
10-25-2010, 05:21 PM
A builder makes a deal with a dealer. 30% is pretty standard. The builder's job is to build cues and focus his attention & time on building cues as well as he can build. The dealer, for his 30% cut, handles all of the marketing, advertising, selling, etc. He handles all of the people person stuff that many of us builders aren't so great at. I'm not a good salesman, nor am I fond of constantly having to smile & be nice for everybody every day so folks like me enough to buy my product. The dealer is. Him dealing my product allows me the opportunity to do what I do best, build cues. He does what he does best, sells cues. We both win. We're both happy. Who's flipping? What's to complain about? I enter a personal agreement & so long as we're both satisfied and honest then there's no problems.

Flippers in the negative sense are the liars, scoundrels that play on cuemakers heart strings & such to get a cue faster or cheaper, so they can use the cue for their own profit. They lie & cheat to get the deal. These guys aren't cue dealers and shouldn't be compared to actual dealers. Per example, I once had a fellow order a cue & told me he was a student and couldn't afford much so just a basic player would be good. I could level with the kid so I built him a very nice cue for like $300. He had it about two weeks & told me somebody stole it from him & he really was attached to it, could I build him another? I felt sorry for him & built him another at even bigger discount. Two days after he recieved it I seen the first one go up for sale BY HIM for $700. He basically lied & cheated his way into getting paid to get a cue. He got a cue plus some cash for nothing but some lies & a little time. That's a flipper, an extreme case but a good example. I learned my lesson from him & several others. There's lots of them. If a builder spends much of his time with customers like this, how long before you get wise & raise your prices? How long before you say f$ck it & get a dealer? There's a huge difference between dealers & flippers.

As for a dealer not being able to sell your cues, it's not entirely their fault. Let's all face it. There are lots of undesired builders and every one of them feel their cues are worthy. But are they? Really? I can't say. I can only assess my own self. I learned long ago to look at myself from outside the box and try to see me as everybody else sees me. I try not to taint my self perception with fantasy. Decisions I make are influenced by this but not dictated by it. I won't change who I am or how I feel because I want to fit in, but I will absorb & try to learn the points of view others have in hopes of gathering some insight that I may lack. It's all about learning. My cues reflect this in their design and how they play. They are still a reflection of me, but are not so self absorbed that nobody but me can relate to them. As I grow, they grow. As I diversify, so do they. So when a dealer or myself has a problem selling a cue, I can swallow my pride and assess the situation, even when it means learning that I might have simply built a cue nobody likes. Me being me, if this happened enough to prove unsuccess, then i'd either completely change direction with my building or else i'd quit & try something else in life. It may hurt, but i'm not too proud or stubborn to know when i'm on the wrong path. Again, it's all about learning. For me that's how it is. To each his own.

And be careful what you wish for. Lots of builders ask for busy schedules & lots of cues to build. But few really understand what comes with it. With every ordered cue is a customer. Every one of those customers want to be involved in the build. They want specific things and they like to simply BS about cues. They have questions & want to learn. That's all great, really. It is. But now multiply that by how many orders you want to fill in a year. Let's say you wanna build 50 cues in a year, at $1000 each. After taxes & overhead, you will bring home about $35,000 in that year. That's poverty. Now consider the time it takes to build those 50 cues, and then consider the time you spend emailing, PMing, phone talking with all 50 of those customers. I know a lot of my buyers call at least twice per week and talk 45 minutes+ every time. 5 of those per day really cut back on building time. Tell them you have no time to talk & they no longer feel interested in you because you are showing them your only interest is in getting their money. So you'd lose lots of orders like that. So you have to talk. You have to. That's part of the reason they buy custom instead of production. It's the experience. But do you have time for it? So how do you fix this? The only way to to limit your production and raise your price. Build 25 $2000 cues instead of 50 $1000 cues. Or get a dealer & hope for the best. It's a tough gig making it go by building cues. In fact, it's damned near impossible. It's an impossible dream.

Sorry for such a long post but there's a lot to address. Point being is that cuemaking is something you should do because you love doing it, not because you think you can make money at it. I do well because I have money outside of cues. There's no way I could live on cue income with a wife & children. I sell as many cues as anybody and they get dang good money. But it's nothing near living wages. It's piggy bank money. A single man shop can't do it. It's virtually impossible. The numbers simply don't equate. Do it for love & be happy you're doing it. If you need money, get a job.

Eric,
You are dead-on, in my opinion, with what you say (and JB added to it afterwards). I had a really good career for 35 years, and now I am retired from it. I deal with cues because I am a woodwork lover and an avid pool player...not as good as I once was, but still fairly competitive.

There truly are not very many cuemakers making a decent living building cues. Most of the "good" cuebuilders that I know do it for the love of what they do. If their families depended totally on cuebuilding to feed them, they would all starve.

I once thought that I wanted to build cues. I built 4 of them...all pretty simple cues. WAY too much money and time involved (not counting all the needed infrastructure) with WAY too little return. I will never build another one. There are way too many guys out there who do it SO much better than I can, I prefer to toy with their cues and appreciate their artwork.

As Eric said, do what you do for the love of it. I have played pool for almost 50 years now. I am thinking of making it a serious hobby. Cues are the same way.

Joe

classiccues
10-25-2010, 05:30 PM
Almost without exception all of those cue makers have been nice, cordial, funny, intelligent and really passionate about their work. I SERIOUSLY doubt that you will find any of them that are "trying to look cool and be in certain cliques".

Who is getting no recognition?

Recognition comes from a few things one of which is how many people actually know about and have experience with your product.

At last count there were something like 700 active cuemakers. Is this right? Joe?......

Joe hit the nail on the head when said it's a saturated market. 700 active cuemakers, easily 1000 brands of cues on the market - EVERYONE but a very few has it tough selling cues these days.

So as Eric said, most are doing it for a hobby because it's not enough to really be considered a career.

The fact is that a of folks on this forum just don't understand business. Building something is only one part of the equation. Selling it is the other. ....

Yes, apparently there are some that don't know anything about business. When the market is lean there is static product, if a dealer isn't careful he could get a lot of static product and be in trouble.

Another hypothetical to show it's a two way street.... I pick up cuemaker xxx and we have our agreement. His cues just ain't selling for whatever reason.. now I have a few k in his product. But that cuemaker has to eat to, and since I ain't moving anything, I can't restock, so he needs to move cues. He comes out and starts to undersell me. Should I be mad, you betcha, but it happens. There is risk in tying up your money for a long length of time.

I don't buy as much anymore because even repair time is tough. SW wants 12 -16 weeks for a shaft. How do I buy a thinned shaft cue to sit for 3-4 months then have to invest another 6-7 beans... fact is that is why if one comes to me with thin shafts then it's no better than a 1200 dollar cue.

JV

qbilder
10-25-2010, 06:45 PM
Yes, apparently there are some that don't know anything about business. When the market is lean there is static product, if a dealer isn't careful he could get a lot of static product and be in trouble.

Another hypothetical to show it's a two way street.... I pick up cuemaker xxx and we have our agreement. His cues just ain't selling for whatever reason.. now I have a few k in his product. But that cuemaker has to eat to, and since I ain't moving anything, I can't restock, so he needs to move cues. He comes out and starts to undersell me. Should I be mad, you betcha, but it happens. There is risk in tying up your money for a long length of time.

I don't buy as much anymore because even repair time is tough. SW wants 12 -16 weeks for a shaft. How do I buy a thinned shaft cue to sit for 3-4 months then have to invest another 6-7 beans... fact is that is why if one comes to me with thin shafts then it's no better than a 1200 dollar cue.

JV


Interesting perspective, but totally valid. I have heard numerous dealers groan about picking up a builder that they can't move. And we all see what happened with DP. He had to eat. When survival is compromised, morals & creeds lose value in most humans. It's the facts of life. Self preservation nearly always prevails. Things are great & happy so long as the market is flowing strong for everybody, but a little drought can really clam up some folks. It's never good but it's human. Understanding these dynamics & preparinging for the worst would save a lot of hurt feelings among builders & dealers alike. But dreams & hopes seem to always weigh out logic.

classiccues
10-26-2010, 04:06 AM
Interesting perspective, but totally valid. I have heard numerous dealers groan about picking up a builder that they can't move. And we all see what happened with DP. He had to eat. When survival is compromised, morals & creeds lose value in most humans. It's the facts of life. Self preservation nearly always prevails. Things are great & happy so long as the market is flowing strong for everybody, but a little drought can really clam up some folks. It's never good but it's human. Understanding these dynamics & preparinging for the worst would save a lot of hurt feelings among builders & dealers alike. But dreams & hopes seem to always weigh out logic.

Eric,
And I know it could go both ways with the dealer panicing first and then over discounting the cues. But don't underestimate the consumer, they know it's a buyers market. I had a few offers recently on cues that I posted that if it was face to face, I might have to slap somebody.. lol I was made an offer of over 35% off, and I was like, WTF do people think the discount is? 60%?????

That's why the cuemaker/dealer relationship can get strained very quickly if things are not hashed out in the beginning. When cash and product is flowing you're soulmates, when the economy goes pop, you're a Springer contestant.

JV

Bamacues
10-26-2010, 06:50 AM
Very few custom cuemakers give discounts, and those who do, give pretty small ones. Also, any dealer "deal" usually begins with an initial purchase of a minimum of 4-6 cues, just to make sure that the dealer is committed to the cuemaker's product. That makes it tough, even for a "dealer"...as JV said, that is a lot of risk. This is especially true for those cuemakers who are more regionally known. I don't really know of any "top-tier" cuemaker who gives discounts....if they have a 4-12 year backlog, why would they?

The same holds true for the legitimate dealers on the production cue level. First, you have to provide your business license and tax ID, as well as proof of a storefront, etc. Then, you have to make a minimum initial purchase and, with many companies, maintain a minimum annual purchase quantity. When the market goes south, as it has recently, the dealer runs a big risk.

Marketing in the used custom cue business has its own risks. You have to try to buy low and sell higher...that is also tough right now. You also have to back the cue with your word when you go to sell it. That means that the dealer can suffer greatly from any non-disclosed issue or problem with the cue. If you lose out on just one cue, with the margin for profit being as small as it is, it can hurt you very badly and could take months to recover from.

Joe

GoTulane
10-26-2010, 07:26 AM
Michael, going through cues would not really warrant being a flipper. That's just being a cue nut. We're all cue nuts. I don't know any good builder that didn't blow through countless cues before building their own. Cues are fun. We love them. There's nothing wrong in buying, selling, swapping, etc. It's fun. Flippers that builders don't like are the liars & folks trying to play underhanded angles to get quick cash turnaround. You don't exactly fit that mold.

As for BSing with buyers, I love it. That's the fun of building for me. I get to meet folks from all around the world, all walks of life that share my interests. If I relied on cues for cash then I might get bothered by spending my days BSing & talking cues. But I don't. So I can enjoy myself. Besides, I learn a lot by speaking with everybody. It's fun. Why have passion for something you don't want to share with other like minded folks? It's only human, and frankly it's enjoyable. Cues are fun. My long post was mostly to point out that there's a lot of non-profit time involved in cuemaking and that it's not for everyone. If you don't absolutely love cues & love talking about cues as well as building them, then maybe cuemaking isn't your thing. The pay for building cues is the people you meet, the fun times you share with them, the great conversation, and the craft itself. The money is never going to justify the time spent so if it's not a deep rooted passion then you won't be a happy cuemaker. If you can't be happy, why do it?


Eric,

Yes, BS'ing about cues is great to do, except the wife gets sick and tired of it all the time:grin-square: I need your phone #, so I can stop bothering the wife, son, dog, and cat with my cue addiction excitement:thumbup:

I can understand wanting to talk and share with people, I was just saying I have heard of some people that will really get on a cuemaker's nerve by constantly bugging them(maybe even daily or hourly) about a specific cue being built, even when the timeline for the cue has been established, and the person is just bothersome to the point of annoyance. Look up STALKING on wikipedia.:eek:
Talking and shooting the $hit is cool, especially about something many of us love, but I was just stating that it could get to overkill.
I can understand about getting excited about a cue being built for you by a favorite maker, and the excitement is hard to control, so you want to talk about it all the time. Been there!! I guess controlled BS'ing is what I would consider myself able to do.

With my new job, I have a lot less time to BS about cues, because I am more focused on spending time with the family when I am not at work. The new job is 100x better than my last job that I did for 20 years, but I am trying to move up, and concentrate on building my career advancement, which takes hours and time at work. When I was unemployed I had all the free time in the world to BS about cues, and spend time with the family. Though the money was tight, I got to spend so much more quality time with my family, and in a sense it really got me thinking about priorities and what I want to do when I have spare time. But I had to eventually get a job, join the workforce again, and put food on the table, so hi-ho hi-ho, it's off to work I go.

But now I cherish the times I get to spend with the family on the weekends, and the time I get to BS about cues here on AZB. I just like to limit my BS'ing, so I have more time with the family with my limited 24hrs in a day.

Look forward to BS'ing with you soon about cues, especially when we have a specific one to talk about:grin-square:

Michael