SO, you want to snag that super cool, limited edition knife we have coming in, huh? Well, we have some pointers that you might want to be aware of to help you have the best chance of grabbing some gear. Note, this is gonna get SUPER in depth. If you can’t feel bothered to read this, keep that in mind next time you want to gripe at us because you missed a knife release.
First and foremost, there is a fundamental truth you need to understand: There are going to be more people that want that limited item than the quantity we will have to sell. That means, SOME PEOPLE are not going to get a knife. You need to come to terms with this right now, before you go any further. If you can’t, you should close this tab and delete your shortcuts to MonkeyEdge.com, and just blacklist any emails or methods of stumbling upon our site. The sooner you understand that there is no guarantee you will get the item you are looking for, the sooner you will be ready to try. At the end of the day, there are a lot of folks trying to get the same thing (and we don’t control supply, so cut out the “you should get more” crap right now), and you are literally in competition with everyone else that is trying. Gladiators, prepare to die.
We are going to go over a few key things people cannot seem to wrap their heads around:
- The basics of how our website and checkout procedure works, and the ins and outs behind the scenes.
- How Monkey Edge operates regarding information about projects
- How we actually sell the gear when it’s posted up.
- The best steps you can take to increase your chances at getting in on a release.
- How our email notifications work.
- Answers to all the common suggestions on how folks think things could be run better, and why they don’t work.
[Always has been.]
How our website works.
The cliff notes version of how our website works is pretty simple. You put an item in the shopping cart. You proceed to checkout. You enter your checkout info. You submit your order.
Pretty simple, what could go wrong? Well, actually, there are lots of things that can interrupt this process, and most of them have nothing to do with us. The biggest thing you need to know is that when you put something in your cart, it does NOT hold that item for your leisurely checkout. Items in cart do not get allocated or reserved until you COMPLETE checkout.
To start with, and to go on a bit of a tangent, “Shopping Cart” is a bit of a misnomer with e-commerce, since you are not physically collecting goods in a basket. In a physical store, you could rush to the section that has your gear and grab one for yourself to guard and sacrifice your body and dignity protecting, but the internet is a bit more clinical. A more accurate term than Shopping cart would be “shopping list”, since it’s gathering the items you intend to purchase. In any rate, we regularly have dozens of active shopping carts on the website at any given time (during normal days), with the majority of those eventually being abandoned (meaning the items were not purchased). How many times have you gone to some website, added a bunch of things to your cart, and then forgot to finish the order or else decided to think about it? Imagine if those items were pulled from inventory and no one could buy them? A nightmare for both the retailer and the other shoppers. Now imagine if you went to a site and saw the item you were looking for was not in stock, but unbeknownst to you, the site had 15 in inventory but they were sitting in other shoppers carts to be ultimately abandoned. Lame.
“BUT, you could have a time limit!”, you holler at us. Well, yes, we could. But for any release OTHER than super hot, limited product, this would be a nightmare. Remember, these systems we work with have to be running for a normal retail shop 24/7. Say there was a 15 minute timer to check out. And factor those dozens of abandoned carts. That makes for inventory that is flicking in and out of stock non-stop. There are sites that do this kind of thing, and they are frustrating as hell to shop on. Let’s go back to our real-world example. Imagine going to the store to buy eggs. You walk all the way to the dairy fridge, but no eggs! Lame. You walk away, and 30 seconds later, those eggs are restocked. Someone else goes to get eggs a minute later, and grabs some eggs. You see them in their cart while walking around, go back to get some, but they are already out of stock again! This is the physical version of a time limit on carts, stock going in and out, and having to luck out at looking at a fresh page when they happened to be ‘in stock’. So, there is no reservations until the order is submitted on our site. For better or for worse, this is the most fair thing we can do.
[Checkout time limits break a normal retail site, and allow the cheaters a better chance to game the system.]
Okay, so you have your gear in cart. Cool! Now you have to go to checkout. Without diving into this a ton, there are some things you should have ready. You should know your address, your contact info, and your payment details. You should also make sure to check all the boxes required and enter all the details you need to. If you don’t select your shipping type, don’t yell at us that ‘the site didn't take my order’. No duh, you forgot to fill out a field. That is how online forms work - if you don’t fill them out 100%, they will error out. Welcome to the internet. Attention to detail is key. Most of the time, folks are in a rush, don’t fill out something, and get pissed when they try to submit and order but the site kicks them back because they forgot to choose a shipping method or something. In reality, our one-page checkout screen is nearly identical to most e-commerce platforms (and is a lot faster than other multi-page, multi-step checkout methods other sites use). It’s all in one place, but you have to get everything right to proceed.
If you, somehow, manage to get all your crap typed in right, you then hit submit. Now here is the final boss of the process. You hit “Place Order”, and the site does a few things. First, it pings your bank, and asks if the info you submitted is correct and you have the money. If it’s all good, it proceeds; if it’s not all good, it says so and will display what did not work and kick you back to the checkout screen. Next, the site pings inventory, and makes sure that all items in your cart are still in stock (remember, other people are buying things, so the stock might have changed while you were typing). If stock is good, the order gets put into the system and allocates product to you. If it’s NOT in stock, it will kick you back and tell you the item is no longer available. Seems straightforward, but we get endless emails and calls about this process, so some folks must be confused how an order submission works.
[Cart Snipe, verb. When you check out faster than someone else, and in doing so, the product you purchased that was also in their shopping cart is removed from their cart due to no more available stock.]
Other things to keep in mind are internet services and traffic. When these releases happen, a LOT of people hit the site at once. That means a lot of different users are demanding server time and data. This slows everything down. If you are running your system through a VPN or something, you are adding extra steps along the way of that data flowing back and forth. If you have a slow or congested internet host, you are going to have a slower shopping experience. The thing is, with all the people demanding things from our site, it doles out the best it can to everyone. How YOUR end then takes the ball and runs is not up to us. If you are getting a slow response from our end, odds are people at the same point are getting the same slowdown. But it’s not always our fault, your ad blockers and VPNs and browser plugins can mess with the data going in and out, and ultimately screw you out of scoring that item. So don’t cry to us when this happens.
[Someone, somewhere, will always have a slower checkout process. When a million people hit the site, things will start slowing down.]
Lastly, no server short of mega farms and huge corps can handle the spikes of traffics that happen on a hot release. How many times have you heard of a website crashing due to demand, from BIG companies? It happens. While ours rarely goes down to that point, there is a limitation on the physical hardware and the data flowing, so keep it in mind. Basically, we are tired of getting screamed at and hearing the stupid sob stories about how slow things are during these releases. Yeah, no duh. A traffic jam is a traffic jam and while your local sports bar is pretty barren on a Wednesday afternoon, it’s jam packed during Super Bowl Sunday. Stop complaining that there are no open tables when you only visit our site on Super Bowl Sunday (when it works fine all the rest of the time).
How we sell gear.
One of the cool things about Monkey Edge is that we refuse to sell you items we don’t have in stock. Meaning, if you can add something to your shopping cart, we have it in stock ready to ship today. No backorders or any other B.S. We also post things up at totally random times, so we don’t favor any one area or region. On top of that, we don’t tell anyone when these times are so someone can’t be camped out ready to rock while others are not in the know. It truly is as much of a ‘surprise’ as we can make it, so everyone is on the same footing.
Our mantra is “No Insider Information”. This means unless some bit of info is publicly available on the product page, our social media or sent though our newsletter, we will not tell you. Say you want to know when something is getting posted. Unless we have already publicly said when the item is getting released, we will not tell you. You want to know how many are being made? Unless we have already publicly said how many there are, we will not tell you. Do you see the trend here? We don’t tell people any info they cannot find readily available so no one has a leg up on anyone else.
This also holds true after the item has sold. "Are you going to get more?", "How many were made?", "When will you restock any cancellations?", and so on. Same rules: No info will be given until publicly posted. Not every cool item will get made again, and others may get another run. Until we have news to share regarding any of this, we will not give out any info.
[No insider info, for anything. Ever]
While it’s impossible to do stuff in a 100% fair and unbiased way, we do our very best to make sure folks are treated equally in the system. We get that sometimes, releases happen when you are at work or asleep. We get that you want to know so you have the best chance, but please try to remember it’s not all about you and there are other people out there working different times, in different countries that also want to get gear. Sure, knowing when that gear is getting posted up might allow you to change shifts or wake up for it, but the next guy might not be able to get out of work. That gave you a leg up, since you got your way into a release you might not have seen, and worse odds for the folks who were sitting at home doing nothing. And not for nothing, but on these super hot items, the more people we set up to win (as in, tell them exactly when to try to buy a knife), the more competition you have and worse your odds at getting something are. Food for thought.
How many times have you been walking through a store and stumble on some cool item that you usually can’t find. Say a game console Christmas-time. You happened to be at the right time for a restock, and can get that item since no one really knew it was getting stocked and there was no rush to grab it. It happens, but it doesn't happen that much anymore since retailers are more open about when they are releasing gear. You aren't going to find a PS5 this year with a leisurely stroll through Target, because Target has told everyone and their mom WHEN PS5’s are going up for order. If we tell everyone when that really cool knife is going up, that means even more people than normal will be waiting for it to post = more competition for you.
So if we release some product that posts up while you were at work and you miss out, think before you call us to chew us out. The world does not revolve around you. If you legitimately feel that we should run our release schedule around your availability, you should probably just never shop with us again since this just really isn’t going to work out.
[Seriously, no insider info.]
Okay, so how do releases go down?
For hot, in-demand products, releases are fairly consistent. Usually, we will put up a “Coming Soon” Product page for said in-demand item. There, folks can see the pretty pictures, bookmark the page, and sign up for our email stock notifications for this product (more on how this system works in a bit). We usually post about said product in advance of release on our Social Media and maybe send out a newsletter. Come release day, we will add stock to the products, and at that point in time the product will go in-stock and the stock notifications will mail out. We may also make a social media post saying the product is live, and may time a newsletter to go out at the same time.
We say “may”, since we do not always do this. Remember, this is our system and our rules. If you don’t like the rules of the game, don’t play it. If we sit down to play checkers but you are trying to play by parcheesi rules, you are not going to win. Keep in mind everyone else has the same rulebook. If you are gonna get butthurt when you lose playing the same game, you should instead reflect how other people beat you at the game because they had better understanding of the rules and out-performed you. I don’t get mad when some 11 year old kid kills me in Call of Duty since I play 3 hours a month and he plays 12 hours a day. I just accept I suck, tell him about the things I did to his mom and move on with my life.
What should I do to have the best chance at winning the game?
Now this is the $50 question. The short and unpopular answer is that there is nothing you can do to guarantee you get in on a release. Remember that whole “supply and demand’ thing you didn't pay attention to in high school? Yeah, well in this case, demand is like the Grand Canyon, and supply is like football getting tossed in, falling to the bottom and exploding, and then a pack of wolves fight over the shreds. Meaning, a lot of people want a small amount of product.
Here is what you should do for the best chance at getting a knife.
- Sign up for email notifications (more on this in the next section) for the SPECIFIC product you are looking to get. Make sure you add Service@MonkeyEdge.com to your contacts and ‘okayed’ email address list to try to prevent most cases of spam/junk mail sorting.
- Sign up with MULTIPLE email accounts, so in case that your Gmail is feeling bad that day, maybe your Yahoo is doing a little better and will get the email sooner.
- Follow our Social Media (Instagram and Facebook Page) and make sure you turn on post alerts.
- Sign up for our Newsletter.
- Get your account dialed in with your info that way you don't have to type it when it's time to check out. If your browser supports it, get your auto-fill info setup for let time typing.
- Actually sign in to your account if you want your account info to populate at checkout (a no-brainer you'd assume, but here we are sayin' it...).
- Make sure your device(s) have the fastest notifications settings turned on, so notifications will be pushed through as fast as they can.
- Bookmark the product page and check it a lot.
- Google “alerts when a website changes”.
- Check religiously and pray to whatever deity or demon you prefer.
How does Monkey Edge’s email notifications work?
This one is an ongoing fustercluck of people simply NOT knowing how email works. While it sucks when it doesn't work out for you, stop being a turd and screaming at us when something doesn't work in your favor.
When we re-stock an item, our system automatically mails everyone on the sign up list at the same time that the item is in stock. This also clears the sign up list, so keep in mind that if you miss out on a release, go RE-sign up for notifications so if there is a cancellation or something, you will get another email when the item is put back in stock. One sign up, one notification. One stock add, all sign ups notified and the list cleared.
However, understand that, contrary to an apparent lack of knowledge, Email is NOT AN INSTANTANEOUS form of communication. In fact, a LOT of things can delay an email from getting delivered, and a lot of things can delay you from knowing that your email has been delivered and is waiting for you to look at it. While we send them all at the same time, there can be delays from our server to your server, from your server to your device, and from the time your device receives the email to it alerting you of said release. Here is a really simple article from a credible source on how delays can happen in emails.
[A good example of how folks don't get how email's work.]
Imagine us sending out regular letters, stamp and all, to everyone on the notification list. Some letters will get to certain cities first, and zip codes within those cities will get them before others. One city had a power outage and traffic signals are down, so delivery trucks get delayed. Another letter was delivered but the recipient didn't check their mailbox immediately, and saw the letter an hour later (in email, this often results at the “Delivered” time being the time you checked for new mail). Yet another had their delivery truck break down and therefore was delayed.
Well, email has issues too, and it can make some emails take longer to deliver than others. This is why we SPECIFICALLY state on our email sign ups that email is not an instantaneous technology (for those that still don’t get it, as in: this will not be delivered immediately) and that stock may sell out before notifications get delivered. So next time you start to holler, remember we already told you how this works, and you forgot (or didn’t pay attention). Basically, it is a great tool for general product restock notification, but is not capable of super fast, simultaneous notifications. Nothing beats due diligence, persistence, and multiple notification systems. We even have a standalone post on email notifications you should absolutely read.
Answers to all the issues people have with our system:
Believe it or not, we sell this gear professionally. It’s not a hobby, it’s how we feed our families. We have spent a lot of time tuning releases to how we like it, in the manner we feel is most fair. We have considered a lot of methods of doing releases, but dealing with the tools we have, the time we have, and the tricks people try to play to beat all the various systems, we have come up with the one we feel is best. Here are some common problems and suggestions we get and why they don’t work like folks think they will. If you think any of the stuff in this section is a little too ‘tin-foil-hat’-ish, you underestimate the lengths folks will go. A lot of hot gear we sell instantly becomes more valuable on the secondary market, so there is a demand for these by not only users and collectors, but resellers. Whether it’s to protect the investment or make a profit, folks want this stuff and will go to crazy lengths to get it.
“I got cart sniped/the item was in my cart”
This was covered in the ‘How our site works’ section. Additionally, we do not have times on checkout to ‘hold’ products because a fast and crafty individual can prep things and get more than one item ‘in cart’, and then leisurely check out multiple times with predetermined check-out info. If all it takes is a unique login to hold an item, one person could potentially lock down multiples and give them time to check out for each if they were to have payment details ready ahead of time. Which they would. Individuals already try to buy multiples with different accounts and payment credentials to game the system, but the short window to check out often helps keep them from being able to get more than one.
[A rare sighting of a wild Cart Snipe that is not agitated. Notice how the plumage is not puffed up in an effort to look larger.]
“Why don’t you announce when you will release a product?”
When we allow people time to set up, they can get their friends and family, neighbors and everyone one else ready to go for a release. While we usually limit hot items, it would be very easy for someone to fool our system if they can get a neighbor or someone else ready to check out too. This means that one dude starts getting more than one item, and less of a chance for you to snag one. Having a race against the clock often means that someone trying to cheat does not have time to get things going before the item is sold out. If they see something post up, text their buddy to buy it for them but the item was only up for 3-4 minutes, there is a chance their second didn’t have time to get in. If they know when a release is going down, this is no longer the case. As shown in the below image example, the whole point of this system is to keep people guessing when things will be released so no one knows ahead. Catching someone off guard is the point, so no one is 100% ready.
[Having a pre-determined and public release time has its own problems.]
“Why not sell it by drawing/lottery?”
With a lottery system, it is easy for folks to game this with other entries. If we require some sign up, someone can make a million emails (or get their acquaintances to enter) to stack odds in their favor. Again, this means less odds for the folks playing by the rules, and higher chances that some dude is going to lock down more knives than he should. Lame. It also creates a lot of work for us to set up and complete. Say we have 30 of something to sell. We have yet to hold any lottery that didn't have some passers. So we are left doing multiple re-draws, managing a bunch of individual sales (email the winners, set up payment, log sale, etc) that takes too much time to accomplish. A four minute sale on the site just turned into a week-long endeavor.
[Lotteries do not work for hot releases. You will always have people enter more times than they should.]
“Why not post up without notifications?”
We actually have done this before. It works great sometimes. Other times, we get yelled at because we didn’t tell people we were posting. We cannot get a break… Basically, when supply is limited, some people are going to miss out. Some of those people, regardless of the situation, are going to get salty. So if we are going to get yelled at, we will get yelled at by releasing things in the way we feel is the most fair.
We love you.
At the end of the day, we wish we could make everyone happy (or even settle for ‘not mad at us’). If you couldn’t tell that there was some sarcastic humor in this article, here is your big bright billboard saying that there was and begging you to have thick skin. We have our hands tied in that we can’t get more of the gear that you crave to the site to sell whenever we want (we would if we could, it’s how we make money after all), and being internet buyers ourselves, know how bad it blows when you miss out on that elusive gear. We have tasted those tears ourselves. They do not taste good. The thing is, if you want something bad enough, it's on YOU to make sure you have the best chance you can to score. If you want something but miss out and then start making excuses, think about it first. For instance, say you don't use Instagram. That's fine, but don't hate on us when the IG notifications hit before the Facebook notifications or Emails. YOU decided you didn't want to use that form of communication, not us. Someone else did, and was more committed to exhausting all available avenues to score. They did better than you. Don't sit around being butthurt, work harder if you want to win. You ain't entitled to anything we sell.
When the dust settles, we hope that as many folks as possible get kick-ass gear from us. Not everyone gets every item, so with perseverance and luck, you will score something one day. And it will be so, so sweet. If you are still pissed about something that you didn't get after all this, and can’t fathom how we could possibly do you as dirty as we did, you might need a break. Monkey Edge doesn’t sell anything you need, and if you are about to give yourself an aneurysm over some gear, you need to take a chill pill and re-evaluate why you are in this community.