View Full Version : AB order timeline

04-27-2011, 01:51 PM
First of all, this isn't a "Where's my AB?" rant. I was just wondering if anyone knew where Steve was in terms of orders. Last I heard, he was in October of 2008 orders and had stated that once he got through 2008, things would move along more quickly as his orders had dropped due to his price increase.

Again, no rant here. I ordered a Crystal Skull AB in April, 2009, so I've passed the two year mark and was just wondering where I was in the queue. And, yes, I realize that I could try to contact Steve, but, he is notoriously hard to get hold of and, if he had to respond to dozens of "Where's my hat?" questions, he wouldn't have time to make hats.

04-27-2011, 03:38 PM
I'm out of touch on the whole thing- I know there's an extensive thread on fedoralounge on the subject (and a lot of complaints!).

04-27-2011, 03:48 PM
I'm out of touch on the whole thing/ (and a lot of complaints!).

I am one that is as well. I haven't contacted Steve in awhile more so because while I had someone measure my head the 5 times and take the average like John recommends, I'm still one that wants to MAKE SURE I get it right so still need to travel somewhere where they work with hats to have an actual hatter take my measurement. Then I think I'll try to email Steve so that he can get an affirmation on the sizing.

As for complaints - you should see them vent over at the other forum. :D

04-27-2011, 04:20 PM
Size is certainly a difficult thing. My HJ Magnoli was a 60 and a bit small, my Henry wad a 60 and a bit big, my uptowner is a 61 and too big, my AB is a 60 and slightly tight, my fed IV is a 60 and a bit too big and my Schubert is a 60 and fits just right. I'm not joking!

Unlucky Berman
04-27-2011, 04:59 PM
I have an ABD from Marc and found it not so hard with the size. Before that I used the Akubra Federation (the old model) and bought a 57 cm. That is slightly loose and seems a little bit bigger than 57 cm. I measured my head several times and always got 57 cm the way I usually wear my hat. When I talked with Marc about it he confirmed that Akubras tend (back then) to be a bit bigger. But he also confirmed me that if the 57 Akubra isn't too big, he would recomend me also a 57 cm ABD. What should I say, well, it fits perfect.

Regarding the time to wait for one, it seems a general problem with AB's. The last I read Marc also needs 2+ years.

04-27-2011, 05:44 PM
Well, I knew there was a long wait when I ordered it, so I can't complain there. However, the projected wait time was around 14 months when I ordered. Steve is a one man show so I also understand that his times were complete estimates. No problems there either.

However, I don't think it would be a bad thing to maybe have an update post (monthly or bi-monthly?) that lets everyone know that he's at X month for X year so people would have at least some idea what times they were looking at. I realize if Steve had to answer every email he got, he wouldn't have any time for making hats. But a semi-regular announcement of where he's at would be good for the customer.

04-27-2011, 06:13 PM
I agree. I imagine the not knowing is a major irritant for a lot of people - it would be for me as I tend to be rather impatient. When I ordered my rabbit raiders from him he said eight weeks and it was shipped in 9 so no complaints there

06-08-2011, 11:54 AM
Holy cow I thought the wait was one year... now it's three?

Eek! Hah so if someone ordered today they wouldn't receive it til like 2014? That's weird to think about. But understandeable?

06-08-2011, 01:07 PM
When Steve did his price increase new orders would be done on his day off and should have their hat in 6 weeks (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Indiana Bugs
06-08-2011, 06:23 PM
That sounds correct. That was the crux of the latest round of complaints against him at FL. If the guy wants to use his day off to make only hats from a certain order, then thats his business. If he did nothing that day, it wouldnt speed up the older orders any faster.

06-09-2011, 03:06 AM
So basically: If you ordered a year or two ago, at the old price, you'd still have to wait months..
But if you paid new higher price you'd get it in 6 weeks?

06-09-2011, 03:20 AM
Basically. But you also have to remember that the reason for that is Steve raised his prices to $650 to help put a stop to orders... which it pretty much did. Steve has received very few orders since then. If Steve just closed his door then he would get slammed with e-mails with people trying to get Steve to make an exception.

06-09-2011, 05:43 AM
Yeah he did the right thing.

06-09-2011, 02:03 PM
Steve's original pricing was lower then what those type of hats go for on the open market. When the announcement was made that he made the hats for CS he was swamped with orders from all over the world. He raised the price to cut down on orders. Steve's had health issues lately, as well, and has said on more than one occassion that once he fills all outstanding orders that he will have an VERY DESERVED retirement.

06-09-2011, 05:08 PM
Steve raised his prices to $650

$650 is a helluva price to pay for just one hat. For that kind of money, they should get Shia LeBeouf to deliver it. When you open the door, he holds it up and looks at it, as if contemplating putting it on his own head. Then, you grab it from him and put it on your own noggin, sneering at him as you walk out the door.

Now that's money well spent. 8)

Raider S
06-09-2011, 05:14 PM
Feel free to create a new thread if this is the wrong place, but I'm trying to understand this.

Orders take in 2008, at the original asking price, are still pending, correct? And orders taken later, but at a higher price, are being completed and delivered ahead of older orders? Is that correct as I'm reading it here?

So, have people who locked in at the earlier price made a down payment, or did they pay in full? Have they been given any updates as to when they might expect their hats? Crismans, as you were the original poster, have you been updated on the status or found an answer to your question elsewhere?

My worry would be if I'd paid in full and the orders went unfulfilled for some reason I'd have no way of getting that money back. Also, if I knew people who ordered later but paid a bit more were getting their hats much sooner, I think it would be understandable why those who have been waiting the longest might be upset if they see other people getting hats ahead of them.

That's not a knock on the guy personally but in terms of business, it's hard to justify giving preferential treatment to people who paid more when you already have money from previous customers (no doubt that money has already been spent) and they're left hanging months after they originally were told they would have their hat and no news of when they should expect their orders fulfilled.

This could become an ugly situation depending on what happens in the coming months.

06-09-2011, 05:18 PM
You must remember though, Steve makes the $650 hats on his day off and it has no effect whatsoever on the older orders. And there have not been too many of those $650 orders. If Steve just decided to do nothing on his day off it would still have no effect on the orders.

06-09-2011, 05:39 PM
No, I've not been able to find out an answer. Please remember, that I realize it was going to be a long time when I ordered my hat. However, it is longer than what was estimated at the time I ordered and there have been no updates. That's the crux of my "complaint": I wish Steve would send out a monthly announcement--"Hey, everyone, I'm at December 2009 now" or whatever. That way you would have some idea where your order stood.

This isn't a knock on Steve at all. But I ponied up $450 over two years ago and would just like to know whereabouts my order was. But to be honest, I've not contacted Steve as I know it's hard to get back a reply because if he answered all his emails on "where's my hat", he wouldn't have time to make hats. It's a bit of a Catch-22 going on here.

06-09-2011, 06:13 PM
The problem is it would be very difficult for Steve to describe where he is with orders. He is never just within just one months of orders. Steve tries to fill each of his blocks, so some people with really large or really small sized heads would get bumped up the list in front of those people with regular sized heads... since there are only so many blocks for him to use. So if he were to send out an update, it would be like "Hey- I'm working on November 2008 orders... unless you have a big or small head in which case I am working on November 08 to April 2009 orders."

Also, one month may have a thousand orders, and the next month could just have a few hundred. So it wouldn't help as much.

06-09-2011, 06:29 PM
As I recall he really was/is in a difficult spot. He had a staggering number of orders for CS hats from all over the world, and his name being mentioned on the making of video increased that.
I recall he has even refunded people who didn't want to wait any longer, and it hardly made a dent in the order pile. He also still had people wanting to order hats in general and to help slow that raised the price, which I guess worked. Still to think he works 5 days a week on CS hat orders, and on 'new' orders on what would be days off, and still has people two years out on the original order run, is mind boggling. Does anyone know the original total of CS hat orders?

Raider S
06-09-2011, 06:48 PM
Crismans, I don't see anyway your concern could be construed as a "knock" on Steve. While $450 is not a life-changing sum, it is a lot of money when you don't have any idea when you might see the item you had on order.

jnicktem, I don't think the idea of making the more expensive hats on a day off would necessarily seem like an ok thing to a person who paid $450 now waiting two or more years to get their hat. In fact it would make me far more upset to hear this! If someone is already months or years behind with other work, why take on new work and finish that first simply because of a price hike?

As a consultant (ie. my own business) I cater to various clients. The work is deadline driven and therefore needs to be completed on time or I'm no longer working. Some projects are bigger ($$$) than others and many times jobs run concurrently. If I take a contract for 5K that needs to be turned over in a week and a day later another client has a 10K job that needs to be done that same week, I can either: 1) choose only the 10k job and lose my other clients business, or 2) work day and night to finish both and meet the deadlines, or 3) possibly ask (depending on the relationship to the client) if there's any flexibility in the scheduling to allow some additional time. The thing I can't do no matter what, no way no how, is accept both contracts then choose to delay one because I'm getting paid more by someone else.

Obviously the hats are slightly different situation but when you take money for something and give a timeline for delivery you either need to do whatever is necessary to keep the schedule, or you need to ask people if they can continue to wait and give them updates on the progress, or offer a refund so you can at least get through the remaining orders. Taking on new orders at a higher price for the same product (when you have people already waiting) and turning them over faster simply boggles my mind.

06-09-2011, 07:16 PM
I may be wrong but I think those new higher priced orders are not for CS hats, and use different blocks.

He used to do the hats for Magnoli as well, but discontinued those.

06-09-2011, 08:14 PM
Working on the more expensive orders does not delay the other orders at all. It has no effect on them whatsoever. Who really cares how Steve chooses to spend his day off?

And the new higher price is for all of Steve's ABs, including the CS hats.

06-09-2011, 08:30 PM
And BTW- I am one of those people that paid Steve $450 over 2 years ago for a hat. Do I care that Steve puts an hour or two on his day off to make a hat for someone that paid $200 more than I did so they can get it sooner? Not one bit. Steve already works 16 hours a day, 6 days a week making hats. Eventually I will get mine. Anyone who doesn't want to wait can ask for a refund or pay the extra price and get it quicker. No big deal.

Raider S
06-09-2011, 09:14 PM
Working on the more expensive orders does not delay the other orders at all. It has no effect on them whatsoever. Who really cares how Steve chooses to spend his day off?

When you work for yourself, there aren't "days off" in the traditional sense. Working is working no matter what day or time of day it happens to be. Yeah, it can suck. So if he's working on a hat on Sunday, it's still work. That someone works 16 hours a day, 6 days a week doesn't make me feel anything other than it's far better to have work than not have it, it's better than the alternative. If he can get more money for his hats, more power to him, this isn't a question of price.

There's no need to be defensive about Steve as this is about business, nothing more, and however he wants to run his is his concern. To say working on more expensive orders first doesn't delay other orders, however, isn't something I could be sure of. I'd want to get the oldest orders out of the way as soon as possible but hey, I'm just f'ing nuts that way.

As I mentioned, if I bought a hat at $450 and was told to wait a year and that year became two with no word of when to now expect it, I'd be concerned people paying more for the same item are getting theirs sooner. If you feel differently that's perfectly fine. I don't know what people are saying elsewhere because I haven't read the comments, but none of the above is a comment on the man himself, it's a question of a purchase and nothing more. And if they are commenting elsewhere it simply means there is a real concern.

If refunds are offered and easy to obtain, that's a perfect solution. Crismans idea of a monthly, even quarterly, update is a great idea and it wouldn't take more than a few minutes to send out a mass email progress report to those who'd like one. If that's too much of a personal time burden, finding a person to go through orders and make a list once or twice a month isn't difficult and wouldn't be much of an expense.

Crismans, an estimate of the remaining wait time isn't asking too much and it would be in your interest to send a friendly email and inquire. It's not like you've been hounding him; you have been extremely patient!

06-09-2011, 09:41 PM

And the new higher price is for all of Steve's ABs, including the CS hats.

thanks, I thought they were for other only such as Raiders.

I would think a new CS order would go in with the others waiting. I'm not one waiting for a hat so
I don't feel the frustration, but I can understand it, and the feeling of frustration must be there for Steve as well. Basically people have to decide for themselves if they want to wait. One of the things they are buying is a hat made by Steve, not Steve's assistant, or anyone else. He's only one guy, makes them by hand methods and can only do so many hats at a time. With a huge order it complicates things.

06-10-2011, 02:17 AM
There's no need to be defensive about Steve as this is about business, nothing more, and however he wants to run his is his concern. To say working on more expensive orders first doesn't delay other orders, however, isn't something I could be sure of. I'd want to get the oldest orders out of the way as soon as possible but hey, I'm just f'ing nuts that way.

I still don't think you understand how Steve works on the new orders. He delivers the hats in 6-8 weeks, and that's how long he spends working on them. On one day off, he will block the hat. The next day off, pounce it. Then the next day off, sew parts in... and so on. The time he spends on his day off to work on new orders are very, very little.

So I really don't see how doing that little amount of work on his day off is supposed to really help move along the older orders. I can understand your reasoning if Steve spent his whole day off, or ever a decent chunk of his day off, working on the new orders. But he doesn't.

Raider S
06-10-2011, 03:54 PM
No matter what his working style is, he should consider a suggestion like Crismans concerning the progress and status of orders.

If there is any Internet talk out there expressing confusion about why orders are now delayed not by months but years, word from him would help quiet any talk and reassure those who are waiting for their merchandise.

06-11-2011, 02:44 AM
Let me clear up a few things.

First it's easy to Monday morning quarterback what he should have done or what he should do now.

This man works 16 hour days 6 days a week working on that Hugh list that really got built in a month or two. On his one day off he will work on a hat that is at the $650.00 price tag. He gets very few orders for that price tag. That was the idea. Price it so high that it would cut the orders off.

On a side note there are hat companies that charge $650.00 and up for a hat that isn't as close to what Steve can make.

On that day off he isn't work a full day or much more than a hour. First week he comes into his shop and blocks a hat. He will continue that hat the following week by working on it for a hour. That will go one for about 6 weeks to get that one hat done.

He isn't making a fortune making hats at $650.00 while others are waiting front that list at the old price. We are talking a hand full of hats a year. It was the best solution for a bad situation. If had just closed his doors the e-mail would have went even more out of whack than they are already. marc tried it and it killed his e-mail account.

The guys is trying his best to get everyone their hats and he is only one man. He knows all to well how he comes across to everyone but no one could have for-seen this explosion of orders in a short period of time.

Just trying to explain the situation the best I can at this time. I think most of his health issue is from working 16 hour days 6 days a week. Its bitter sweat for me watching the fame he got from doing Indy 4. I'm happy he did it because no one could have put Indy back into a great hat once again but It cost him a lot.


06-11-2011, 02:52 PM
Understood, John. Really, his fame from Indy IV was a double-edged sword. What hat-maker (especially one who started because of Indy's hat as I believe Steve did) wouldn't want to create that fedora? But it really was an avalanche of orders and I know that it has been a trying experience for him to fill all of them.

I think most of his customers understand the situation (I do understand it myself), but it is nice to know where you're at as well. I wonder if Steve had ever considered getting someone (even just part-time) to work on the email/communication side of things. You're right about the arm-chair quarterbacking, but I wouldn't think that would be a huge expense. Could be wrong though.

06-11-2011, 03:23 PM
It's a good idea but it has it's own problem. That person would be getting in his way more than helping him. Since you can't work straight down the list because people hat size vary and he ( and myself ) try to have as many blocks filled at all times to get the most hats in production at any given time.

Remember, it's not like he or I make one hat and then when that hat is done we start the next. We wouldn't get anything done. I block a bunch of hats In one day. While this batch is drying I'm working on another group that's further down the line of production.

I know everyone has all these idea but believe me Steve has thought of all of them and what he is doing right now is the only answer at this point. Hence the reason I said the Indy 4 fame is a curse in a way.

The best sollution would not have gotten in this mess in the first place but that easy for me to say because no one really could have seen this in advance. That's easy to say. Again, I would be Monday morning quarterbacking.

I have benefitted from this. People hate to read or hear when I have to adjust my prices but if I hit the 6 month time frame I increase the price to drop in down some. I have learned if there is a big movie deal for me, that I will have a new site already in play before the announcement comes out with a adjustment in prices. I will look very smart and like I know what the heck I'm doing but really it's Steve's exsperience that is making me look so good.

Again, I will state that it's another thing being on the other side of the table. Someone calls me and most don't understand that they are not the only person I talk with. Then I get " way to make me feel special." I try my hardest to make a personal connection with every person I talk with but I can't remember every little detail and every person. I'm only human and it's. Just the fact the volume of the thing is enough to give someone a lot of stress related illness. Mine is just a drop in the bucket compared to what Steve gets on a daily bases.

I need a vacation :D steve needs a very long needed time off.

Raider S
06-11-2011, 04:14 PM
For Steve's own protection he should send out an email update every few months. It doesn't need to be specific to individual orders but simply say he's working through orders, explain the process (done by size, multiple steps, etc.), and perhaps give a rough number of how many orders were completed since the last update.

Doing something as simple as this might go a long way in protecting himself and keeping anxious customers somewhat satisfied. The majority of people would be more than understanding and this is a way to keep things calm.

06-11-2011, 04:23 PM
It would take longer than you think. Not all order are by e-mail. Beside the e-mail would read. I finished up another X amount of orders. You really can't put a date on where is is in the pecking order. Trust me, he has though of everything and there is no way to make the thing any better for him or the customer but to just make as many hats in those 6 days a week with 16 hour days. It will end.

Raider S
06-11-2011, 04:34 PM
How many orders do you think he took? I bet a thousand or more given the worldwide audience.

16 hour days, 6 days a week has been stated a bunch and I think the picture of his working hard is clear. No doubts there! ;)

06-11-2011, 05:15 PM
How many orders do you think he took? I bet a thousand or more given the worldwide audience.

16 hour days, 6 days a week has been stated a bunch and I think the picture of his working hard is clear. No doubts there! ;)

There really isn't a answer that people will like. Most will have to just wait. Heck, Im waiting for two hats myself.

06-11-2011, 06:46 PM
The number of orders he had for those hats has to have been staggering. Considering it has been reduced by some cancellations and he's still buried in hats tells you something.
I doubt he ever thought he'd get so many orders and left his regular price for them initially as he just wanted people to be able to afford one.

There maybe is something in setting limited numbers for items like this, and special pricing from the start.

Kt Templar
06-11-2011, 08:50 PM
I feel really fortunate I got in on the first run of $100 rabbit ones he did. I can't ever see myself paying the prices the beaver ones command. Mine took a year to turn up, I think I emailed him about at the 10 month mark and got a reply back that yes it was still happening! It is way ahead of the OTR offerings.

I think he should have closed the books and cleared the orders, then reopened them for a limited time to top up the orders again. JMO.

06-11-2011, 11:26 PM
The number of orders he had for those hats has to have been staggering. Considering it has been reduced by some cancellations and he's still buried in hats tells you something.
I doubt he ever thought he'd get so many orders and left his regular price for them initially as he just wanted people to be able to afford one.

There maybe is something in setting limited numbers for items like this, and special pricing from the start.

You are right. He wanted everyone to be able to afford a hat from the guy who them for the movie. He really should have jacked the price up before everyone knew he made them for Indy 4 but again that's easy for me to say.

06-14-2011, 08:34 PM
Steve just posted this over on COW:

"Hello fellow fans and old customers. First, I have been away for quite a spell, fighting for my life with not only colon cancer, but prostate cancer as well. It is a long story that I would rather not go into in any detail, except to say I have been deathly ill for a long time now, going through the quackery and treatments traditionally given to folks with cancer. I actually had made out my will and bought my grave plot, as I was not given good news. And being so sick and weak from the treatments, I struggled to still get a few hats made and shipped out, but nothing like I used to do. Now, for the good news! I am finally in remission, I reckon is what they call it. And looks like I wil not be checking out anytime real soon, which has given me a new lease on life, and hope for the first time in over a year.

So as of last week, I worked my first full week in many, many months. And I am feeling strong enough again, with my new much lighter body to get back to my own self. This has been the worst time in my life, but now I can just look back on it, and try to forget the pain, vomiting, and weakness that many days kept me in bed for days.

So, very very happy to be back, and feeling so much better than I had gotten used to. Ok, on to business now. I have completed all of the hat orders that I had a back log of, but I also have misplaced or lost a big pad of orders, that I need to make to finally get back on top of this. So, if you ordered a hat, but never recieved it, please email me, at sdelk@cableone.net, with our current address, which Indy hat you wanted and you head measurments so I can get you guys finally covered. I cleaned out my inbox so there is plenty of room for your emails. I think I can get these orders knocked out in a very few months, just depending on how many I end up with. I don't think there should be that many, but I will find out here shortly from you.

I must of course apologize for the inconveniences caused by my life threatening illnesses, but honestly, I was not thinking much about hats for quite awhile as I was deathly ill. But the good news, I am BACK, with hopefully many years left on this planet. I just hope no one here ever has to go through what this old body has been through-ever.

Also, I have sold John Penman the CS block, and will also supply LLS or David Garrison with this block so these guys can take my place in the future to keep the Adventurebilt America alive and supply the CS hats well into the future. I don't want this hat to die, and while Marc of course will be making these hats for decades to come, I think we need for my own hats to be around, using my felt and parts for decades to come. Afterall, there were both my hats and Marc's hats in that film. And these two guys I want to be my successors, and even to supply the hats before I retire, as I don't want to take on too many orders from here on out, so I can enjoy life, in the years hopefully I have left. I am not getting out of hatmaking, with this new lease on life, but I just want to work a whole lot less in my remaining years. So, I will keep the 650.00 price in place, to cull down my own sales, so I can enjoy this craft like I used to. I want to still make hats, just not so darn many like I had to do after Indy 4. Anyways, the higher prices I charge for the beaver and rabbit hats, will be only for fast delivered hats, so that is what my prices will get you, a hat that does not require years of waiting, but only 8 weeks max lead times. This worked out perfect prior to getting cancer, and so I will keep that pricing, as it yields the amount of work I wish to do in regards to hatmaking.

You can expect me to post in the fedora section once again, a regular visitor, as I have really missed the friends and fans here, although I will attempt to keep my future posts much briefer than I am known for. Again, it is wonderful to be back in the community, healthy with hope once again for the future. Fedora"

Raider S
06-14-2011, 09:07 PM
We can all only wish him a continued recovery from such a horrible illness. Hopefully making hats will bring him peace and not a headache! Best wishes and better health! :goodjob:

06-14-2011, 09:08 PM
Thanks for posting that Nick.

Best to Steve in his continued recovery.

06-14-2011, 11:40 PM
Thanks for posting that info Nick. Here's hoping Steve has a continued recovery and a long, happy retirement!

06-17-2011, 11:46 PM
All the best to Steve. Glad he recovered. Hope he enjoys a long overdue retirement and many years of good health. :toast: :toast:

06-30-2011, 02:34 AM
Update: Steve has emailed me back that he got my order (I resent my order as mine was apparently one of those that was on the pad that was misplaced) and all is well. So good news!

06-30-2011, 02:36 AM
Update: Steve has emailed me back that he got my order (I resent my order as mine was apparently one of those that was on the pad that was misplaced) and all is well. So good news!

Glad to hear that!

06-30-2011, 02:41 AM
When Steve first told us to send him an e-mail if we haven't received our orders, I sent him one right away. I heard back from him the very next day saying that he will get to it right away and thanked me for my patience. I told Steve that when it comes to his health, I have all the patience in the world.

06-30-2011, 05:48 AM
For sure. If he doesn't have his health, no one is going to get a hat.