- Buyer's Guide
COLLAB PROGRAM FAQ
A long conversational explanation of why collabs happen the way they do. We will be updating and modifying this post with more information as we are able to. If you were linked to this post and your post was deleted or the comments turned off, please read to find the answer to your question you were asking. These questions come up far too often and it clogs the group up with what could be interesting/fun content. Thank you!
WHY DO WE DO IT?
First and foremost, we do these collabs because they are fun. Because we love carry. Because our friends at these amazing brands want to work with us and have some fun. Collabs are our play space, where all of our wild ideas exist. In this space, we can design our dreams, go wild on creative experiments and explore new tech, go deep into storytelling, take risks, go a bit insane and abstract even. Ideas that are never intended for mass market or mass scale production. Their sole purpose is to be special. These projects will not appeal to the mass market. They won’t even appeal to most of the market. Features are added and/or removed with a niche group in mind. They will only likely appeal to other die hard carry enthusiasts. Folks like all of us right here.
THE BEST SOLUTION
We wish there was a better way where everyone who wanted one could get one and no scalpers could even possibly get one, but this is the absolute best possible situation… based on more than a dozen people with more than century of manufacturing experience combined. I don’t know any other company that cares more about their absolutely bad ass people than we do. We’re a handful of softgoods industry veterans who are designing dream products for dreamers who appreciate them.
BUT… A PREORDER WILL FIX IT!
No, preorders are not the magic bullet. The factory has the maximum limit set… which we usually hit with these manufactures whenever we make a collab. So if we did do a preorder? Folks place their order, they sell out in the SAME AMOUNT OF TIME… and then wait up to 5-6 months to receive their bags. Same exact amount of bags (the factory maximum), same exact sellout time, but a suuuuper long wait time. It’s honestly how much material can be produced and how much the factory is even willing to accept to manufacture. Additionally, when fabric suppliers can’t supply the fabric… and the project gets pushed back 90 days. Or some boat gets stuck in a canal and products are delayed 60 days. Well, the customer doesn’t have to wait for all those delays, because they’re happening behind the scenes, before the product is launched. We have to deal with them.
Option A: Same sellout time, same amount of bags, money spent, collab product in hand 3 days later.
Option B: Same sellout time, same amount of bags, money spent, no collab product in hand for approximately 5-6 months… and possible extra delays.
TELL THEM TO JUST MAKE MORE!
Factories don’t just make X product. They make alllll kinds of different products. They are contracted by up to a dozen different brands who are all making dozens of products each. They have a limit on how many of X product they can/will make until they move along to the next product and/or the next brand. Factories can only make so many products. They have a limit. Bags and backpacks are made by hand, by human beings. There is no big red button that is pressed and a backpack comes out the other end of some big machine. That would be super cool if it was like that though. Anyway, 99% of the time, the brand we are working with has already hit their factory’s maximum amount they are able to make. The factory will not make more. They are unable.
ANOTHER ISSUE WITH PREORDERS…
People bail. A great example here… with our dear friend Silas at Bedouin Foundry, we did a second run for the Bedouin KHAN collab messenger bag after it sold out… because people pleaded, begged, and demanded for us to make it. So we asked the one man show, Silas, if he was down… and he graciously agreed. We asked folks we were 100000% down to get in on the 2nd drop to sign up via email and they would be guaranteed a KHAN once they dropped. Well, Silas put his trust into those folks. He took a massive financial risk and made the bags. Then when they launched? 40% or more of those people… they just disappeared and flaked. Leaving inventory on Bedouin’s shelves… in his super tiny London shop. That kind of inventory and risk that Silas took (a suuuuper tiny brand)… that could potentially financially ruin his brand. This stuff is no joke. This is real life stuff here. People’s livelihoods are at stake. Luckily, after a few weeks, other folks bought them up so Silas could recoup his losses, while those people who signed up and were committed to purchase couldn’t have cared less. Why couldn’t they have paid ahead of time? Again… see above.
I GOT IT! A BALLOT SYSTEM!
If you think people complain about the current system now… just wait until 10,000+ people sign up to enter a ballot for a few hundred bags, even 1,000 bags. The complaints will be astronomical.
“I didn’t win the ballot AGAIN, there MUST be bots! Why can’t they do a preorder? Why can’t they just make more bags? Why can’t they go back to just being on time?”
It would be a nightmare.
YOU NEED TO STOP SCALPERS!
By our math, scalpers make up less than 1% of purchasers… yes, less than 1%. Ticketmaster, a company worth $2.8 billion dollars with over 6,000 employees can’t stop scalping. People buy and sell everything to sell for a profit. Concert tickets, cars, artwork, knives, and bags. We can’t stop them. We have this group so you can find the collab or other grail item you missed out on. We take care of one another in here. We do not allow obvious scalping in here.
XYZ BRAND DOES IT THIS WAY!
Remember when PlayStation, a $45 billion dollar company, sold out of PS5 units when they launched? There was no one responding to customers and assuring them this wasn’t some Illuminati ploy to create a false sense of demand vs supply. They just said “give us your email and keep waiting”… if that. They have hundreds of employees whose job is strictly just to focus on supply chain management and ensuring more units were made. They didn’t make enough. They couldn’t. This isn’t some FOMO tactic. If they don’t make more units, they don’t make money. They straight up couldn’t make more units than they did. They wanted to make ALL OF THE UNITS so their CEO could buy another yacht or two. But they couldn’t. And they are a $45 billion dollar brand with more power than a small country.
TOYOTA CAN SCALE UP!
This was an actual comment made by someone. They suggested we treat our collabs to meet demand like Toyota scales up production to meet demand. Toyota. Yes… that Toyota. The car maker on every continent on earth. One of the top 10 richest companies in the world. Worth $236 BILLION dollars. Comparing the Toyota corporation to us is… wow. Even calling us “a company” is a pretty big stretch. I’m typing this in my boxers with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a napkin next to my 4 year old laptop on my desk and a big fluffy rabbit staring at me right now. We’re a team of industry misfits who are passionate about carry.
I REFUSE TO PARTAKE IN DROPS!
Cool. Look, no one is forcing anyone to do anything. You have freedom of choice. We love you just the same, even if you don’t participate in these collabs. This is the only way collaboration projects can work. A brand we are partnering with isn’t making a product to enter their production for forever… or even long term. It’s a one time thing. They are a business and need to get back to their core business and core products. They need to put their employees back on other projects they were working on the grow their brand. We work on a dream product, release it, it sells out, and we’re already working on the next 5 collabs with 5 other brands. If you insist on telling everyone that “drops” aren’t for you… just stop.
YOU NEED TO TELL THEM TO DO THIS!
Whoa. Hold up right there. These brands are our real life friends. We are doing these collabs to support them, like we have been since day one. We are doing this to cultivate the world of carry as a whole and build a community unlike any other niche hobby has ever seen. We work together on these collabs. We have fun doing it. Each brand has their own unique ways of doing business, for whatever reason they choose. We think that is super cool. They can run their business how they choose. We will NEVER “demand” or “tell” these brands what to do. That’s not going to happen. Ever.
I NEED TO KNOW HOW MANY UNITS
The most common question! The answer is, no, no you don’t *need* to know. You might *want* to know. Hackers *want* to know your social security number, so they can steal your identity. The car salesman *wants* to know how much money you have in your bank account, so they can take more of it away from you. Sometimes we actually DO post the quantities! And we’re stoked whenever we can. But usually we don’t. The reason we don’t post the quantity… is because this is private information that the brand doesn’t want us sharing. Demanding to know the quantity is essentially asking to have a look into that partner collab brand’s private finances. They’re not asking to send over your yearly income tax files and invade your privacy every time you make a purchase on their site. We respect their privacy and you should too.
BOTS! BOTS! BOTS EVERYWHERE!
To this date, there is zero evidence of any bot purchasing activity taken place on any collab product launch. This is not an issue.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY THESE ARE SO EXPENSIVE?
It’s pretty simple. To make these special projects come to life we use more experimental, premium materials and hardware. This stuff’s expensive. Especially when you’re not ordering quantities for mass production. There’s also prototyping. Testing. Prototyping again. If the product’s designed from the ground up, ie the Orbitkey x Carryology Hydra, then there’s new tooling that needs to be done too. Then manufacturing costs, if we’re using a factory, we’re making less, and being charged a higher rate because of it. On to lifestyle and studio photography, paying the model. Video production and editing in some cases. Shipping containers across the world. Backing up lifetime warranties. Accounting for pro or military discounts if the brands do that type of thing.
It all adds up when you’re making special gear, the right way, and delivering to your small but awesome community. And there’s always the fun upside, your piece of carry is now collectable, and will not only hold its value, but likely increase, so you can tell your better half you haven’t just bought ‘another bag’ but made an ‘investment’, ha!
We will continue to update this as time is available and new questions come in. Thank you for reading!