Category Archives: Whips

“Is there a discount for matched pairs?”

FCE stockwhips

FCE stockwhip Pair

The title of this post is a question I’ve gotten a few times lately, so I figure it was about time to address it here on the blog.

The fact is, I do not offer a discount on matched sets, there’s actually a fee associated with it. At first glance it seems odd because it is common practice for sellers to offer discounts for multiple purchases. Such is the case with many of the beekeeping supply companies I deal with where the more of an item I buy, the less per item I pay. So in light of that, I realize it may seem counterintuitive to people that I would charge more for a pair of whips.

The reason why I charge more for matching a pair of whips is simple: it takes much more time and focus to make a matching set of whips.  I’m not sure how others do them, but for me, making a set of whips match is not as simple as just making two whips back to back. When I make a matched set, I spend much more time on it and it is more painstaking because I really try to get the whips to be as matched as possible. This means I’m constantly going back and worth between the two, repeating every step as closely as possible. Every step is worked, compared, and sometimes reworked. It’s lots of work… Or, maybe I just stress out about it more than some.

Here’s an example: Right now I have a matched set of 8ft, 16 plait bullwhips on my waiting list. I can make one 8ft, 16 plait bullwhip in a day; two of them in two days, but because it’s a matched set, I’m pretty sure that this order could end up taking me three days. To me, it is only logical to charge a little more for doing a job that will require even more time, skill, and focus to accomplish. I try to keep it reasonable; the most I charge extra is $75.00 for most types of whips and just $25.00 extra on a set of FCE stockwhips because the handles are prefab and I only have to handcraft and match the thongs.

Again, I realize that some may disagree with this policy and that’s okay. I hope that this article will give folks some incite as to why I do charge more on matched pairs. It has nothing to do with being greedy or wanting to discourage two-handed whip cracking.

Thankfully the online whip market is still very much a free market, so no one is forced to buy anything. Those who see the value in what I do will have no problem paying what I ask, those who do not see the value will go elsewhere. Either way, no one is being defrauded.

-Rhett

http://cowwhips.com


USPS adding to wait time

post officeI’ve used USPS Priority mail service almost exclusively for all the years I have been shipping whips. Except for a few minor issues here and there, I have always found the service to be reliable. I never had a whip lost or damaged. USPS provides free boxes that fit most of my whips and the prices are lower than other services. Overall, I’ve found it to be a great value and have come to rely upon it.

Lots of changes have been made recently with the U.S. Postal Service and their website is touting improvements to Priority Mail. Some of the changes and realignments to their sorting centers have actually had a negative impact on the quality of service based upon my experience. Those who receive USPS shipping notifications from me should be aware that this recent decline in service could add a few days to your waiting time. Packages that are supposed to take from 1 to 3 days are now taking from 4 to 12 days. International transit times for my packages are equally abysmal.

I recently spoke with a manager from their consumer affairs division about the lagging transit times and he said that, overall, their transit times are largely within their goals, but that the recent changes USPS made are directly impacting me. He assured me that they are doing all they can to work out the bugs. I could switch to other shippers, but I want to keep prices low.

For now, I guess I just happen to be shipping from a location that’s 4 to 12 days from everywhere. Just keep that in mind when you receive your shipping notification.

everitt mcgill


New bullwhip designs on the horizon

I’m not sure why, but I’ve noted recently that a plain black bullwhip will garner many more “likes” and attention on Facebook than something more flashy looking. That being said, I’ve decided to start promoting my fancier work a bit more than in the past.

Whipmaker Tony Layzell in the U.K. was the man who was graciously helped me with learning a more simple way of doing the designs around four years ago. I’ve done this sort of work when requested in the past, but I never really advertised it much as I always preferred doing the simpler designs.  My personality type likes “comfort zones,” so that’s where I tended to remain.

Now that I’m full time making whips, it does get somewhat dull doing the same old patterns all the time. I also figure my Facebook fans will eventually tire of seeing the same things over and over again when I post whip photos. I will be updating my main website soon to make these options easier to select without having to contact me to make a special request. Here are photos of a couple of recent examples:


Rhett’s Budget Priced Nylon Whips

As a nylon whip maker, I often have people coming to me to buy whips who are new to whip cracking. I think that happens because people just starting out are sometimes are conscious of the cost of getting into whip cracking.

Short 8 plait bullwhips made from kangaroo leather can start at around $250.00 from better known makers. For longer whip with higher plait counts, it could reach $600 or more. For someone just getting into the sport, and for those on a budget, it’s sometimes difficult to justify spending so much. Therefore, well built synthetic whips offer a great value. The material costs are much less for the maker, so the savings is passed on to the buyer.

At one time, I prided myself on having lowest prices on my whips even among synthetic whipmakers. These days, due to the economic forces of supply and demand, the prices of my whips do tend to be higher than some of my competitors. That being the case, I still have some whips that are priced for those on a budget, so there’s no need to sacrifice quality or taking the chance of buying a cheaply made whip on eBay.

If you’re someone looking to get a nice whip at a low cost, consider these:

“FCE” stands for fast, cheap, and easy. This model was designed specifically to be a budget whip that could be used by sport whip crackers or cattlemen working in tight spaces. With prices starting at just $95.00, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more durable hand plaited whip for less money. They’re used by performers, sport whip crackers, and cattlemen alike.

Like the FCE, my 12 plait nylon bullwhips were also designed to be a budget whip. Made to the same standard as my proven 16 plait design,  Prices for these begin at $115.00 and they have been a very popular model since I introduced them last year.

These are the whips that I’m probably most known for around the world. Compared to come local sellers that can be found here and there, my cow whip prices aren’t the cheapest; but on the global whip market, they’re still quite a deal. Prices for these start at $105.00.

If there’s anything I can do to help you decide on the right whip for you, feel free to contact me using the form below, or by visiting the Contact Page on my website.


4 foot Whips Available Again

4ft whip in the rain.

4ft nylon bullwhip in the rain.

I haven’t offered bullwhips or snakewhips shorter than 5 feet for a number of years now. Yesterday I decided to begin offering bullwhips and snakewhips 4 feet in length because I’ve had special requests from stage performers saying that the shorter length be better for staged where space was limited. I updated my website, to reflect this change of direction.

 

To see all the current kinds of whips I offer at this time, please visit my online store.


Florida Cow Whip: Made in Argentina!

A while back, I received an order from Fabian F. in Argentina for a set of my whipmaking DVDs.

Today I was pleased to receive an email with the following pictures asking for my opinion of his efforts using my DVDs.

My reply: “Most excellent!”

Your results may vary, but if you have an interest in making your own nylon Florida cow whip, consider ordering my whipmaking DVDs.  This is one example of the many photos I have received from people who have used my DVDs to learn to make their own cow whips.

-Rhett

Cowwhips.com

 

 


Bullwhip grip change method

Today I received a question in an email about  how I made the bullwhips with the grip portion of the handle in a different color than the thong as seen on the Young Indy style bullwhips and on many of the 12 plait bullwhips I have posted on my website.Young Indy

I agreed to help out and took a few snap shots of the process on a 12 plait bullwhip I was working on at the time. I’m posting them here to maybe help others who wonder what to do. This is probably not the only way, or even the best way, but it’s my way and it has worked for me so far.

From here, I just build my transition knot foundation as normal and cover it with a turkshead knot.

That’s all there is to it!

-Rhett

Cowwhips.com


True Story

wonka whip meme

 


Don’t Judge a Cowboy… by the color of his whip!

IMG_0204A while back,  I was browsing some other whip websites and I happened across the statement that said that no “real cowboy/cowgirl” would dare carry a whip on their saddle that was any other color than black, tan, or brown. I thought I’d interact with that idea for a bit and demonstrate that, apart from being untrue, a case could be a made that “real” cowboys and cowgirls might actually be better off in some cases with a whip that was made in colors other than black, tan, and brown.

IMG_0677

Through my whipmaking adventures, I’ve noted that there’s actually quite a bit of diversity among the cowboys and cowgirls of America. They come in all sizes, shapes, and colors and so do the horses, equipment, and tack that they use. Whips are no different. Suggesting that a “real cowboy” won’t use whips that are only certain colors is just as silly as saying cowboys won’t drive Dodge trucks, wear yellow shirts, eat Krystal burgers, or ride an American Paint Horse.

One big reason why a “real cowboy” might consider ordering a whip in colors other than black, tan, and brown is because whips get lost.  About a decade ago, I had a “real” Florida cowboy call and order a solid hot pink whip. His old whip had fallen off his saddle and he wasn’t able to find it. He said he knew he would get laughed at by some of his peers, but he wanted his whip easy to IMG_0583see if it happened to fall off his saddle again.

Indeed, I could probably take my wife out to a nice dinner if I had a dollar for every story cowboys have told me about losing whips while working cows. The earth tone whips often blend in so well that they cannot find them if they backtrack searching. Having a whip that won’t blend in can help with that problem. So in reality, real cowboys ought to seriously consider buying whips with lots of bright colors.

So while I’ll grant that lots of working cowboys do order whips in earth tones, I’m also happy to cater to the ones who want them in other colors and patterns. I’d also like for the reader to note that all the whips pictured in on this post are examples of whips I’ve made for “real cowboys” who derive most (or all) of their income from working with cattle.IMG_0609

Visit my online photo gallery for more examples of whips I’ve made. Stop by the store to buy one! Others may judge you by the color of the whip you order, but I won’t.


Truth in Advertising

Pinocchio The internet whip market is really one of the freest markets there is today. People can freely buy and sell all over the planet. Every whipmaker is free to market his or her wares in whatever way they see fit and charge whatever price the market will bear.

Thankfully, there’s no Federal or U.N. Whip Agency overseeing what we make or how we make it. In having such a free market, I think we have to police ourselves so others won’t have to.

With that idea in mind, I want to touch on the topic of truth in advertising.

For now, I’m withholding names to protect the guilty, but I’m hoping a few whip buyers will read this and be more alert.  Better still, maybe the guilty sellers out there will read this and have a change of heart.

I recently started keeping a small inventory of items on eBay. I hoped perhaps it would get me more established in a market I’ve not really taken advantage of over the years. To me, eBay is a real mixed bag when it comes to whips. Over the years I’ve seen hucksters succeed there, while a few really good whipmakers couldn’t seem to make a go of it. You’ve got some great stuff being sold right along side of rubbish, and unfortunately, lots of people can’t seem to tell the difference.

There’s nothing at all wrong with “talking up a product.” In marketing, sellers are supposed to do that. No whipmaker in their right mind is going to advertise a whip with a line like “Eh, they’re okay. I guess.” I could nick-pick about claims I see about whips sounding like cannons, but I think (hope) most customers recognize such things as the hyperbole that they are.

What I’m talking about are those who make claims that are plainly false in order to deceive unsuspecting customers. That’s what really irks me!

I’ve watched one eBay whip seller for a while. He’s on the 3rd seller I.D. that I know of… In a recent listing with his new seller I.D., he states that he’s new to selling whips eBay, which is flatly untrue. In addition to that, he can’t seem to figure out when he started making whips. At one point the date was coincidentally the same year as I started making whips. In another place, it says that he’s been making whips for “going on a decade.”

So which is it? 22 years or less than 10?? 1991? or 2003-2004?

I don’t expect someone to know the exact day they started a new hobby or craft, but there’s something fishy if they can’t decide which decade they started.

Another inconsistency I’ve seen is great swelling claims of having made “[insert random number] thousand” of nylon whips on one listing and then another “[insert random number] thousand” of nylon whips on another listing. An unsuspecting customer may not think anything of this, but it sets off all sorts of warning flags for me.

A while back I did some math with the claims I saw on one eBay listing. If I recall correctly, it came out that in order to support the claim, he had to be making something like 750 whips per year in order for it to be possible! That’s 2 whips per day. While I won’t say that’s totally impossible, I’d say it’s highly improbable. From other information I’m aware of, I’m almost certain our unscrupulous seller just picked a large, random number in order to fool people about his experience.

The most prolific whipmaker I know of in the USA is Krist King. He has many retail outlets selling his nylon whips and they are literally everywhere. He tells me he produces an average of 12 or 13 whips per week, depending on what kind he’s making. I believe that claim because I’ve seen evidence of it over the years. With the particular eBay seller I have in mind, I’ve seen no evidence to support the outrageous claims that have been made.

Personally, I see nothing to be gained from making boastful claims of having made “[insert random number] thousand” whips or something when I know it’s not true. I’d rather be known for quality instead of quantity anyway.

I don’t understand why some people can’t just be real. What’s wrong with being honest about your experience and doing your best to make a good product? Why not be proud of what you’ve actually accomplished instead of trying to deceive people into thinking you’re something you’re not?

In closing, I hope whip buyers will take time to evaluate some of the claims they see. Compare listings and see if the seller is being consistent in the stories he or she is telling. If a seller won’t put his real name on his product, that should be a red flag right there.

If you see claims of thousands of whips having been made in a certain period of time, break out a calculator and see if the numbers look realistic. There’s far too many good sellers out there for you to be doing business with shysters.