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May I suggest a change to the 'vault coticule grabbing system'?

yohannrjm

Well-Known Member
There's a bit of sour grapes involved in this post :blush:, but I do think there may be a case for what I'm trying to say here.

I've been interested in a coticule from the vault for a long time, and have been more-or-less continually haunting the forums waiting for Bart to post another review of a stone I'd be interested in. Of course, I can't stay online indefinitely, so I keep missing out on the coticules, as they become available. Given the posts here, I see that's the case for other people as well.

We could all buy hones directly from Ardennes, of course, but it is nice to have a trusted person evaluate a hone before you buy it. (Thanks Bart!! :thumbup: )

It's easier for some members to maintain a continual presence on the forums, and they are rewarded with (effectively) first refusal on the stones. This is fair, as there's no active weighting involved, but it does mean that occasional users are at a real disadvantage when trying to get a hone. Most people here are looking to buy one hone, not a bunch of them, and they have only a small chance of being online at this forum when Bart posts a hone review.

So........

What do people think of a 'reserve period' of, say, 3 days?
--- where people who've bought coticules from the vault in the last 6 months are not allowed to claim a stone (though they can express a desire to buy one if the stone is not claimed by a new buyer in that time). This way there's a chance to spread around the stones as they come available.

Yes, I know there are people here who collect stones with different characteristics and they'd be miffed at missing out on 'the one' required to complete their collection, but I don't know if this is a collectors site or one that's trying to popularize the hones.

Anyway, I'll shut up now and wait for the counterarguments to be stated. :)
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Posts like this make me afraid Bart might get tired of seeing posts about sour grapes and decide that this service that is being provided free of charge isn't worth his effort... I say, we should be grateful that we have this resource, and we should deal with whatever stones we are or are not able to procure via this process. I've missed on several of my desired stones myself, and it would be great if everyone did like our friend Gary who proclaimed he's picked up his 3rd and last stone. However, we shouldn't complain because we missed out. :)
 

kinematic

Well-Known Member
You could always contact Ardennes directly and ask them if they have a particular stone you're looking for. That's what I did and that's what I got :thumbup:
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Truth be told, it is very difficult to do what seems like a “make-it-fare” rule, and I can guarantee… not everyone will like ANY new arrangement.

I myself am online every day, but I do have a life, and so I’ve missed a few desirable stones (at least 3 in the last lot)… it’s kind of like eBay where I am out-sniped (yes I know it’s not exactly the same analogy but the concept is similar… I didn’t win the item).

But like everything in life (even a reservation for a room at the Carlton’s) is more or less a first come first serve… and we each get our turn even if we have to wait in the queue.
Goodness knows, the man has his hands full… but OK, let’s hear what a few our other members have to say.
 

yohannrjm

Well-Known Member
No, I'm sure there's no one set of 'rules' that will make everybody happy. Also, I'm not criticizing Bart or anyone else for the setup that exists right now. He's providing an invaluable service - I like the fact that you know what the characteristics of a hone from the vault are going to be when you order it. I was just inquiring to see if anyone else thinks there could be a way to 'spread the wealth', as it were - some way to try and make sure more individuals get hooked up with vault hones.

There are all sorts of logistical problems involved with what I proposed: I acknowledge that. Also, there may simply be no reason to change anything - I acknowledge that too. Once people have picked up as many stones as they want or as many as they feel is fair, other people will be able to get stuff. So it may work itself out as it is right now.

I was just wondering if there was a better way to get the hones spread around.

Also, I don't see why Bart would get 'tired of seeing posts about sour grapes'. I would imagine that anyone who misses out on a stone he wants would be disappointed ---- that's to be expected. Most people probably never mention it - I only did here because I wanted to explain why I think the system could benefit from a change.

It's perfectly valid to reply:

1) The system works, leave it alone. :)

2) It would be too complicated to police an alternative system.

3) Another system would only make things worse. (certainly possible)

4) No! :D

Also, Smythe - the queue analogy is flawed in that in a queue you know that you're eventually going to get to the head of the line (even if it takes years). The system we have right now is a queue that keeps resetting itself. A person could be on here for decades and never get a chance to get a stone from the vault.

Maybe a real 'queue' could be the answer I'm searching for. :confused:
 

kinematic

Well-Known Member
yohannrjm said:
Maybe a real 'queue' could be the answer I'm searching for. :confused:

That's actually not a bad idea. A queue based on how long you've been a member here. If someone is a new member he/she starts out @ the end and slowly moves forward. If you're first in line you move to the end again after buying a stone.
 

yohannrjm

Well-Known Member
I did think that would work but I was worried about complications arising from people who'll reach the head of the queue only to be offered a hone whose characteristics they don't care for.

There are several ways it could be dealt with but the simplest one would be a queue where the person at the head gets first refusal on a stone when it comes up for sale. If he accepts, he gets the stone and goes to the end of the list. If he declines he stays at the top, and the stone is offered to the next person on the list.......and so on. This way you get what you want, even if you have to wait for it for a long time.

Just speculating here. :D
 

Evritt

New Member
The initial poster has a good idea, but take it a step further. Incorporate that idea with one where the market decides.

Have Ardennes post their minimum price that they would sell the coticule and then open it up for - say three days, and let the highest bidder win it. That way, no one has to worry about going to work - or sleep, and missing a pick.

I too, missed a stone that I wanted. I am certain that I would have paid more than what Ardennes wanted originally.

It only makes sense for the membership, Bart, & Ardennes. No hard feelings, except for those of us Rockefeller bastards that were adopted out of the family for fear of social shame, and do not now have limitless expense accounts, or your fancy Maserati cars, or one's own private au pair to wash the naughty bits, or a chateau filled with your Playboyed Bunnies at one's 16th birthday, nor custom Learjet 85 with accompanying short-skirted stewardess, ... but I digress.

If I threw a standard coticule at a certain upper class elite, would it leave a mark? Or should I use the select?

Evritt
 

kinematic

Well-Known Member
Some of the extra money could go to Bart. He and Ardennes seem to have a vey good partnership wich benefits Ardennes financially. It's only fair for Bart to benefit from it as well, even if only to cover the cost of running this site.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
If it aint broke dont fix it I say

I think the chance to own hones from the vault is more than others get, and that alone is work enough to sort and organise, I am grateful for that chance and the work that goes into it.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
I can fully understand the frustration. I also feel responsible for the fact that more and more people are making very specific demands when they approach Ardennes for a purchase. While I imagine they just don't have the profit margin to thoroughly search the stock for each customer. And they just don't always have that availability of hones to meet the demand for the layer that happens to be "high profile" at a given moment. And they sure don't have time to hone razors and test shave with them. That is one of the reasons, I've suggested to them they'd start a third line, sold with a label that states the main facts, as a service to those people who find such a thing important.
[note]I have stated before and will state again, that the end results that can be reached - with competence - of different Coticule are all situated within narrow margins.[/note]

So part of this problem is about to resolve on its own.

As far as making the Vault more fair:
First off, I refuse to turn it into an auction, because that would make it highly unfair, imho.

I currently see two options:

A. leave everything as is. Simple. You keep your eyes open and with some luck, you'll be able to get the one you want. For full disclosure, I occasionally help a personal comrade with getting one. This happened with: n°4, n°22 and n°54. We all like to help out a friend occasionally. I'm no different. I could keep these hones out of the Vault, but the idea about the Vault is to line up and test Coticules in the first place. That Ardennes agreed that I could take reservation is just a nice treat to our members.

B. Everyone who wants one is put in a queue. When a Coticule becomes available, the top name in the queue gets the first chance to claim it, etc... We descend the queue till someone takes the hone, or till the queue runs out. If you take one, or refuse 3 times, you're off the queue. You can always enlist again (at the bottom of the queue). It would require some programming to make this run pretty much automated, but it can be done.
It's the only way I can currently think of to make it more fair.

It's all the same to me.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

yohannrjm

Well-Known Member
I consider option #2 to be a very elegant alternative to what we currently have in place.

Over on TSD I used to be part of a 'Grab Bag' thread. On that we just had a list of people as part of the thread that would be used as the list of recipients of the grab bag. The details are unimportant here. What we could do is similar: put a moderator in charge of a page on this site (probably attached to the Vault page) where the names on the queue would be listed. If a person declines an offer he gets a '-' sign next to his name, on the third refusal he goes to the bottom. No need for any programming. If you go through two consecutive cycles of three refusals you're taken off the list - to weed out dormant users.

Anyway, I'll put my vote for changing to Bart's second option.

Let's see what other people think.
 

Moe

Member
tat2Ralfy said:
If it aint broke dont fix it I say

I think the chance to own hones from the vault is more than others get, and that alone is work enough to sort and organise, I am grateful for that chance and the work that goes into it.

I agree with this.
 
I'm also one that seems to keep missing the opportunities, but no hard feelings, it is what it is. One casual observation, if I may: I've found my lack of luck here has been pushing me towards other types of hones (Jnats, sythetics, eschers, etc). So I would suggest, if you want to keep this a small, close knit, somewhat esoteric community - leave it the way it is. It seems to work well for most. If, however, you want to swell the ranks and get new people indoctrinated - a change might be the way to go. Maybe some combination of #1 & #2 would work. In other words, set aside a handful from each 'batch' for newbs/queue/wait list, and leave the (majority) rest for the status quo.

Please understand, no disrespect intended, just my observations. I certainly don't want to make this any more difficult for Bart or make him think what he does isn't appreciated, because nothing could be farther from the truth.

I, for my part, will keep trying!

Cheers
 
This is a tough situation, because any change or lack of change is inherently geared towards benefiting a specific portion of the group. If we left things the way they are now, the collectors, who are willing to spend some extra time monitoring the site, could easily amass an army of Bart-examined coticules. If we change to a queue system, everyone would have their chance at the stones, but the collectors would have to wait much longer before getting another chance. I'm not sure how big this group is, but what if it grew to the size where everyone has to wait a year before getting another chance at a Bart-examined coticule? Think of how excruciating it would be for a collector to wait a whole year, while watching other people get new fantastic hones that look like a leopard and purr like one when you hone with it.

It is with that thought in mind that I present to you: the raffle system. Bart posts a stone on the site and everyone gets 1 or 2 days to write a post stating that they are interested. Once posting is closed, Bart puts all the names into a hat and selects one at random. This way everyone gets an equal chance at getting new hones, without consideration given to the fact that some are collectors and some just want to have one specific hone.

Any takers???
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Victorious said:
This is a tough situation, because any change or lack of change is inherently geared towards benefiting a specific portion of the group. If we left things the way they are now, the collectors, who are willing to spend some extra time monitoring the site, could easily amass an army of Bart-examined coticules. If we change to a queue system, everyone would have their chance at the stones, but the collectors would have to wait much longer before getting another chance. I'm not sure how big this group is, but what if it grew to the size where everyone has to wait a year before getting another chance at a Bart-examined coticule? Think of how excruciating it would be for a collector to wait a whole year, while watching other people get new fantastic hones that look like a leopard and purr like one when you hone with it.

It is with that thought in mind that I present to you: the raffle system. Bart posts a stone on the site and everyone gets 1 or 2 days to write a post stating that they are interested. Once posting is closed, Bart puts all the names into a hat and selects one at random. This way everyone gets an equal chance at getting new hones, without consideration given to the fact that some are collectors and some just want to have one specific hone.

Any takers???

Now that Idea I like.

FiveOhNine said:
I've found my lack of luck here has been pushing me towards other types of hones (Jnats, sythetics, eschers, etc)

Thats is a shame, this site is not a 1 stop coti shop, there are a lot of resellers out there and you can always deal direct with Ardennes, true the stones wont be "Bart Appraised" but as said time after time, ALL coticules will deliver the same superb edge.
 
tat2Ralfy said:
Thats is a shame, this site is not a 1 stop coti shop, there are a lot of resellers out there and you can always deal direct with Ardennes, true the stones wont be "Bart Appraised" but as said time after time, ALL coticules will deliver the same superb edge.

I already have a small old coticule, and I realize that there plenty of resellers - the problem is, the value of what Bart does is immense for new folks. Without knowing what a stone is capable of, or what its idiosyncrasies and peculiar properties are - we'll never know if we are really 'there'. We'd never know if our technique is correct and if we are getting the most out of a hone. I trust that all coticules will give a good edge, but will I know the difference between good and superb? Or will it just be good enough?....and frankly, if good enough, was....good enough, I wouldn't be here in the first place.:thumbup:
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
FiveOhNine said:
but will I know the difference between good and superb? Or will it just be good enough?....and frankly, if good enough, was....good enough, I wouldn't be here in the first place.:thumbup:

Fair point, I will stick my neck out and say ahem (clears throat) "all coticules are capable of producing a SUPERB edge"
its the skill of the honer that makes the difference between good and superb, and IMHO "superb" is an edge that after stropping pops fine hanging hair 1/2" from the holding point, and I can shave with and do at least 4 passes on my neck ATG, and have no bumps, weepers or burn, now thats a Superb edge! :thumbup:
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
tat2Ralfy said:
"all coticules are capable of producing a SUPERB edge"
its the skill of the honer that makes the difference between good and superb, and IMHO "superb" is an edge that after stropping pops fine hanging hair 1/2" from the holding point, and I can shave with and do at least 4 passes on my neck ATG, and have no bumps, weepers or burn, now thats a Superb edge! :thumbup:

Amen to that!:)

I've said this before, but allow me to repeat:
I don't make any selection at Ardennes based on "better" quality. I'm (re)mapping Coticule Layer properties, and the choices for the Vault are in the first place inspired by that research. In the second place I look for bouts of good size for razor honing. Their price is sweet for you guys, and I don't want to derange Ardennes by taking rectangular hones in sizes they're already short supplied with.

Best regards,
Bart.
 
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