Guest post, it mentions me (which is cool) and it is pretty spot on. For comments his email is linked at the bottom
The "Kydex"Rush of 2012
My office has had a pool on going as to when “the bigger” kydex makers will be forced to lower their prices (one already has). The proverbial lid has been blown off kydex holsters; first came a review from Kitup.com and 101 Holsters burst on the scene charging $55 and not nickel and diming for customization. PhillyEDCs “how to” video started a wave of people making their own holsters.
A quick search on youtube and you will find no less than 12 channels making kydex holsters this week. Albeit they suck, but that is just a function of time and money, i.e. how much time do they have to practice before they run out of money? Their problem is making a holster takes a long time especially to make it right; one can’t just put in an hour a day because one holster takes an hour, and only if one knows what they are doing and don’t screw up. If you do screw it up, back to the beginning, time and money wasted.
The “Kydex Rush” has begun. Make no mistake; the top 3 companies are feeling the squeeze as is evident by their goon squads harassing various holster makers recently. When you’re the top dog you don’t worry about young pups that is, until you start to see hundreds on the horizon.
Back to the time and money. I find myself laughing out loud at the computer when the youtuber is describing his smooth draw, his little arms shake and sweat beads off his brow as he tries with all his might to draw the bluegun from the holster. I’m sure if they stick with it, they will eventually get it right, but then the daunting task comes of breaking even.
Back to the office pool, before you add you dollar, consider 4 variables for your equation (weigh them as you see fit):
1. % of market share lost
2. Amount of time needed to produce a quality product
3. Peoples love of labels
4. Fan boys, which until this weekend I had no idea what a fan boy was.
#1. This one is tricky, because we really have no idea how big the “biggs” are. They could have 20 employees or they could have 4, they could make 1000 holsters per week or 100. We can only guess, because people tend to make stuff up, lie, or exaggerate. The trend seems to favor companies with a long wait. A longer wait doesn’t necessarily mean a better product but that is the perception. If they are a small shop and purport to be a large company they could withstand an onslaught of competition for quite a while, however if they grew to fast, cracks in the dam will overwhelm them and they will be forced to lower their prices.
#2. Some of the videos I’ve watched on youtube are hilarious; the holster process is in a crazy order, ridiculous designs, impossible retention, and stupid amount of definition (only to lose the definition when they heat the holster up because they can’t get the bluegun out). For most they will simply cut their losses and close shop. For others, they will make some extra money working weekends and have a nice holster every time they purchase a new gun. One or two may actually sell more than 10 holsters a month to people other than themselves. I still don’t understand why people put up a video of a holster they’ve made that looks awful. There is no patience in the youtube world. Rather than wait until they get feedback, actually test it and make it aesthetically pleasing, they rush it to market. The results are typical, they look like some dude making a holster for the first time i.e. ugly. When you go so far out of your way for originality, you end up with a hybrid of ridiculousness that looks like what you were not trying to copy in the first place. The best are people that actually think theirs is original and blast others as copycats or try to patent their piece of kydex with holes cut into it.
#3. This is the biggest wildcard. I had no idea just how cold blooded some people were, until people started committing murder over $200 shoes that cost $10 to make by child slaves in China. I will never understand this behavior. The backward logic is, X super hero uses Y, then if I use Y I’ll be X, wrong. There is nothing magic about Kydex, it all goes back to time and money. Material to make a kydex holster is about $10, so why pay $100 and wait 3 months when you can pay $50 and get it next week. If you understand this logic then you are truly what monopolies hate, consumers with brains. Competition is fantastic for the consumer, can you imagine how much a cell phone would cost if there was only Apple?
#4. Defined by the urban dictionary: A pathetic insult often used by fan boys themselves to try and put down people who don't like whatever it is they like. Instead being happy that everyone gets to own a nice kydex holster, they only want themselves and their friends to own one. They are part of a secret club and will give up their life to ensure no one else gets in. Also interesting to note that fan boys are a huge proponent of “made in America”; of course this doesn’t translate to their personal lives when they log onto the internet with their Ipad and shop at Wal-Mart. It is interesting how certain companies make a lot of money off people that feel better buying name brand stuff. If you handed a fan boy two products without the names, they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, of course they will swear on their mother’s grave they can.
More people making kydex holsters is a win for the consumer with lower prices, shorter wait times and better customization. It is extremely cool that you can contact a holster maker and have them customize exactly what you want. Never before has this been possible, the “Kydex” Rush of 2012 will be interesting to watch. How long can the “bigs” survive with inflated prices and wait times, and how many new kydex makers will try to claim their piece of the kydex fortune?