Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Tribute Business: Call it what it is

I don't plan to make this a regular occurrence, but I couldn't resist commenting on this recent item posted on eBay. Plus, this item is out of my price range and won't be joining my collection. I included the posting info below. The best intentions were behind many September 11th tribute and commemorative items. The eBay seller relates the story behind the knife's development and how 100% of the proceeds were donated to the NYC Police and Firefighters Widows and Children's Benefit Fund. But ultimately, what is the real reason for offering an item like this? One obvious reason is a marketing opportunity. I don't say this in a negative way. We live in a consumer-driven society where material goods define who we are (and how we remember). This knife clearly has special significance. But it is also this special quality that will demand a higher bid (as the seller relates below). Companies can't escape why they exist, no matter what they say their intentions are. They exist to make money, and these objects were created to make money. Whether a portion or all proceeds were donated, does it matter? The motive is still the same. And people bought these objects realizing this was a transaction. Their purchase helped support something (ie. made them feel good about it) and the object served as a connection and a way to remember to September 11th. Consumers and businesses together played this exchange out with a wink and nod. A win-win for everyone.
You are bidding on limited edition knife. This is Spyderco World Trade Center ( WTC) Collectible Knife. The insert in the center of the knife was made from actual steel beams recovered at the WTC. This knife 1252 / 2819. Through collaboration between company founder Sal Glesser and a group of firefighters and first responders in the New York City area, Spyderco designed a special folder to commemorate their service. The company offered a limited number of special folders that honor the men and women who fell in New York City on that day none of us should ever forget.
Basically, the folder is a special Rescue model with a CPM S30V steel sheepsfoot blade. This model was also chosen to debut the company’s new ball bearing lock, which is such an interesting concept that it really deserves a separate article. The knife is marked with a serial number from 1-2819, to commemorate all those who died in the towers that day. The WTC Rescue by itself would be a beautiful and handy folder for any first responder’s kit, but it boasts at least a couple of other special features.
The WTC Rescue is supplied with a tasteful wooden presentation box . One hundred percent of the profits from these knives when originally sold were donated to the New York City Police and Firefighters Widows and Children’s Benefit Fund.
Over the years, I have seen about six of the 2,819 knives up for auction. The last one sold for over $650.00 . This is as new in the box, never carried, never sharpened, the recent economy dictates its sale.
Paypal accepted +3%, or Postal MO. Shipped same day as payment recieved. Shipped USPS, with tracking sent to buyer. Shipping in CONUS add $12.00
Buy It now: and I will pay for the shipping, insurance, and tracking.
September 11, 2001: Never Forget.

1 comment:

Ricardo Sierra said...

This is very cool, Andrew. It makes me think about our own idea of making a 'wilderness skills' museum and how the objects people have used to revive and maintain the skills of survival to the modern day could be pretty interesting... Anyway, nice blog and cool idea. Good stuff. I like!

See you soon,