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Small Supply, Big Demand: What is ‘fair’?


How Monkey Edge Treats Limited Items, And Why.

It is a fact of life that often when it comes to cool things, there is far less supply than demand. Meaning (sometimes literally), there are more asses than there are seats.

We here at Monkey Edge can sympathize. We do actually happen to be real people and like to buy in-demand gear and cool things ourselves, and often miss out by seconds!

Let’s take a quick detour down memory lane of my hessian youth: I can remember being a kid and saving like crazy for Metallica tickets, then waiting in line for over 24 hours. (Remember this was pre-internet and you used to have actually go down to the box office and just sit … without an iPhone to keep you entertained.) At any rate, I can remember waiting in line only to get to the counter and STILL only get crappy seats in the back. I was pissed.

How could I get such crappy seats when I was like 10th in line? Well the nice lady explained that all across the state people were waiting in lines at other box offices and that tickets were sold first come first served from a statewide pool. Point being, I did all that I could and STILL missed out. Just not enough good tickets to go around.

Monkey Edge is fortunate to have gear (and even special projects) from some of the most in-demand makers and companies in the world. Unfortunately, there is often not enough quantity to even begin to meet demand. Therefore, we have developed what we think is the most fair system to dole them out. Notice I did not say ‘best’ system, because everybody has their own definition of ‘best’. While somebody may not like our systems, our goal is to keep the playing field as level as humanly possible.

Therefore we have the following policies:

Information (when will they be posted, etc): All information regarding any project is posted publicly. If you call, email, or private message, we will not give any different information other than what is out there publicly. There is ZERO insider information.

Timing: We deliberately post things at random times and on random days. We do this again to keep things fair so there is no time period that people can ‘camp out’ and hit refresh on the site.

Another note on timing: just because a vendor has said that they have shipped something to us does NOT mean that it is for sale yet. We have had stuff delivered to the shop while a customer that wanted one is in the lobby that we have had to tell ‘sorry, wait for them to be posted on the site at a future date’. Again, no advantage to anybody.

First come, first served: Once posted on the site, the items are first come first served. We also typically limit things to one per customer (that means one item and not one of each color if there are variations). First come, first served means first to check out and pay for their item. Adding an item to your cart does not hold the item! Our cart will not allow us to sell more than that are in stock. It is not considered “sold” until the order is complete. If there is one left and somebody checks out faster, the item can be removed from your cart.

By the way, the cart thing always tweaks people even though this is the way that the majority of e-commerce sites work. At any given time we have 50-100 pending shopping carts on the site with the vast majority of them with abandoned and incomplete orders. Can you imagine that if all the inventory of those carts was placed ‘on hold’ and unavailable for others to purchase? There would hardly ever be anything for sale.

Not to mention imagine the confusion if the say the cart held an item for even just 15 minutes and then wiped. That means you could go to the site, and not see something only to have it re-appear 15 minutes later. Now imagine that nightmare with all of those 50-100 carts.
No VIP status: Even if somebody spent 10 grand with us the day before, we do not treat them any differently than somebody who has never spent a nickel with us when it comes to these special projects. Friends of the shop, friends of employees of the shop, etc. are not given any advantage or insider information. They must watch the site like everybody else. Heck, even the Monkey Crew employees are not allowed to purchase special run hot items.

Bottom line: We don’t tell anybody nuthin, we post up at random times, and things are first come first served. We believe this is the only way to keep things fair. It really sucks every time we have a special project that sells out right away to get some butt-hurt email from somebody that missed out accusing us of all sorts of shenanigans. Like we have some grand conspiracy to keep them from getting something. Like we are not in the business to sell stuff. We totally understand disappointment, but being accused of stuff really bums us out. Hopefully this post will give you some insight into how we do things and why.


12 replies to “Small Supply, Big Demand: What is ‘fair’?”

  1. Richard Klug says:

    Thank you for clearing that up. It was very frustrating yesterday when I thought I had one. Again you guys have always been very nice !!

  2. Brett says:

    Great job with the way you handle the limited releases! Just a thought… if you want to keep it completely fair and random, dont give a heads up to people on social media so that you have to have a facebook account to have a chance at an item. Thanks!

    • monkeyedge says:

      We hear ya, but we have to have SOME way of letting people know other than hoping they will keep checking the site. The Facebook/Instagram posts are a good way to do that.

  3. Brian Vedel says:

    I just want to say thank you for being there as an awesome source for a ton of hard to find stuff! I am a long time customer and Monkey Edge has been there for me many times when I needed a gear fix. To everyone at Monkey Edge, THANK YOU!

  4. Sean says:

    I’ve signed up for email notifications about an item (Chicago Candy Bar) and wasn’t notified when one was posted to the sight? Then it was out of stock again. So should I sign up again? Did I miss out?

    • monkeyedge says:

      Hi Sean – I’m guessing what probably happened was that you signed up for notifications on the dark brown ones (our SKU SG1027-MB134), the ones that came in stock were actually a whole new SKU (SG1054-MB135) because they were the light brown. The notification system only works on a per part/SKU basis, so it would not have sent a notification. We are not quite that sophisticated that it would cross reference products that are the same, but different if you know what I mean. Normally, say you sign up for a notification on SG1027-MB134 when we have “zero” in stock. When that quantity changes from zero to 1 or more in stock, the system sends out the notifications that were logged. Say that by the time you go to purchase it, it is sold out again, you would have to sign up again to receive notification the NEXT time it comes back in stock. Sorry for the ramble. Hope this helps!

  5. Dave Partovi says:

    I missed out on some knives by clicking too slow. Tough. You guys are a private company. Whatever you want to do is your choice and here what’s fair is what you say it is. Freedom.

  6. ShawnH. says:

    It’s funny that you say limited items are sold one per customer but I go into different forums and the guys received 4 in one box.

  7. William says:

    I think your system is more than fair. I’ve missed out on a few of the exclusive knives that I’ve wanted and managed to get ahold of a couple that I’ve wanted for a while. I have your site bookmarked and check pretty much every day.

  8. Devin says:

    I’m just posting to say, you folks rock! No brown nosing intended. Just a happy customer.


  9. Jesse Zuckerman says:

    Thanks for the explanation and for doing your best to keep everyone on an even playing field. Love your stuff!