To-Do’s: The Tyranny of the Urgent and then the knife things

Tyranny of the Urgent- the things that require immediate attention. Might be important or might not be. But one thing they are is urgent.

Most of us suffer from the Tyranny of the Urgent, especially on the first day back at work after the holidays. Well, today was that day for me.

My day was full of things I had to get done- appointments to schedule, calls to make, paperwork to do, expenses to turn in….all seemed to be urgent.

In one respect, the last three weeks of work was all pushed forward to today. Before the holidays, I worked really hard to “clear my desk” so I could relax and take off, and then I get back and I’m already behind. Isn’t that the way it is?

I got to the office and started methodically working down my “To- Do” list. I was making significant progress getting the urgent done in order to get to the important.

Urgent doesn’t necessarily mean important.

Once I got the most urgent done, then I was able to do the next item on my “first day back to work” list and this task was important- I mean really important.

I had to go get a cashiers check and get it in the mail.

You know why this particular “To-Do” was so important, don’t you? ┬áI had to pay for the knife I came to terms on over the holidays. ­čÖé

Hi-resolution pictures transmitted, price discussions ensued and the deal consummated- all electronically, and from 2500 miles away. I love technology.

Now you know why this task was so important- the sooner I got the money sent, the quicker I get my new old knife. Priorities, Priorities.

Published in: on January 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Buying knives- from the buyer’s perspective

Weekend Edition

ecommerce_shopping_cart_buy_computer_purchaseOK, I know not everyone is “tech savvy,” but come on…buying knives isn’t only done in person anymore.

Today, most knife dealers and shops are set up to do business electronically. In fact, many are set up for a buyer to “click and buy.” For sellers it is easy money and speeds up the sales cycle allowing them to make sales with less of their time invested in the transaction; for the buyer, it is quick and easy.


Last week I had two non-buyer friendly buying attempts. In one case, I followed through and put the energy into it anyway and bought the knife, but the second one- I never did.

From a buyer’s perspective there are two issues to buying online or long distance- our comfort level with the dealer/seller and the ease of the transaction.

I know we are hesitant to buy when we can’t “see” the knife but there are dealers and other sellers who have built a trustworthy reputation where we are OK buying without seeing the knife first. Also, some dealers are “set-up” to sell online- true e-commerce, where the buyer can “click and buy” right then and there.


I found a knife online. I was comfortable with the seller, his description, and the price. His website was well done and provided me ample photos. I decided to buy it. Then, instead of being able to “click and buy,” I was instructed to contact the seller via email (Frustration #1). The next day I get an email back from the seller instructing me to call him (Frustration #2).

mcAs well done as this website was, I was disappointed he didn’t have it set up to complete the purchase online. I didn’t want to have to call the dealer. So, I emailed the seller back to ask if he was set up to accept online payments. The seller emailed me back later to say, he wasn’t set up for online payments and for me to please call (Frustration #3).

I emailed him back to ask if he accepted credit cards. He replied that he did (why didn’t he tell me that in his earlier email?). So, I asked him if I could email my cc number (and any additional info he needed). He agreed and the rest of the transaction went smoothly. I got the knife in a few days later and it was just as expected and I am happy.


stoneage_reconst_rec300webThe second situation was more difficult. A dealer had a particular knife I was interested in. A friend sent me the dealer’s email address, so I shot him a message asking if he still had the knife, and if so, would he send me a couple of photos and a brief description.

A couple of days later, I get an email back from the dealer’s wife-

“My husband does have the knife. We do not have any photos but if you are in the area we can arrange for you to see it. Please call XXX-XXX-XXXX for a price and ┬ádescription. My husband does not use the computer.”

Tell me I’m out of line here

I know I may be more of a geek than most folks (I’ll accept that), but my gracious, it would seem to me someone in business today would have made himself learn certain skills to help sell knives.

….In the area…what area? This is the worldwide web, ya know. And I am not going to drive however many hundreds of miles just to see a knife (well, 99.9% of the time anyway) Heck, my dad is 80 years old and gets online everyday. He may not know how to get a picture into the computer, but if it would help him make money, he’d learn.┬á

Wrapping up-

Tell me I”m out of line here and I’ll back down. Knife buyers are not just down the street anymore; ┬áin fact, we’re online and feel it is reasonable to expect knife sellers to be too, and I would have expected a dealer to have already bought and learned to use a computer and digital camera.

Published in: on December 13, 2008 at 6:21 pm  Comments (2)  
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