New CBSA Rule to Drive Prices Up
If you live in Canada, expect the price of most folding knives to go up, especially in secondary markets. Collectors may want to start stock up while prices are still at par.
The culprit is a new rule by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), in effect now, that prohibits the import of assisted openers and any manual folder that opens with centrifugal force. (Automatics were already restricted, but the rule covers them, too.) This only applies to imports, not knives already legal to own in Canada. Both businesses and individuals are impacted.
As BLADE reported here and here, it’s that centrifugal force qualifier that will especially limit Canadian knife enthusiasts’ choices. An inspecting CBSA official may open a blade halfway, give a flick of the wrist and determine the knife is prohibited.
If a knife can open with one hand, it's not going to make it into Canada.
Existing Stock Will Dry Up
This wide leeway effectively ends the flow of fresh folders imported into Canada. That includes popular brands from the United States.
Imported folders already in Canada will remain on shelves and are not banned from purchase or possession. However, retailers won’t be able to reorder them.
More Investment Options than Ever Before
If anyone will benefit from this new CBSA rule, it’s enthusiasts with assisted openers and manual folders already in their collections. Mundane assisted openers and folders not originally thought of as collectibles are now investment pieces.
Collectors have more, safer bets in categories never considered before. That $50 flipper doesn’t look so insignificant anymore.
How High Could Prices Go?
It's hard to say, but prices will only go in one direction in 2018. Beyond that is less certain. Rising prices reflect a market adjustment. Expect that prices will find a ceiling, then drop to a new normal. The trick will be to catch prices in secondary markets on the upswing before the fall happens.
The rise in prices may press some Canadian collectors to try their luck with the CBSA and order folders/assisteds from outside the country. However, authorities are already working to stay one step ahead.
“The way the Canadian government figured out all the tricks on how to get knives into Canada was reading blade forums and watching YouTube where all these people were bragging and giving instructions on how to get knives into Canada,” Neil Ostroff, owner of True North Knives, told BLADE in an e-mail. Ostroff is originally from Canada, but now resides in the U.S.
The Bottom Line: Buy Low Now, Sell High Later
If you’re a knife collector in Canada, it’s time to start buying new assisted openers and folders while you still can. Hold on to them and wait to see where prices go in secondary markets.
* For those also interested in U.S. knife laws, don't miss this book by attorney Evan Nappen.
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