I was just poking on the ebay and notice a whip being sold that’s made by a maker that I’ve done a few posts about in the past. He’s been gone from ebay for a while, but reappeared recently and if I’m not mistaken he’s using an new/different user name. How do I know it’s the same person if they are using a different name? Well I don’t, however based on the way the bullwhip looks and how the listing is written I’m guessing it’s the same person. If I’m wrong I apologize to both people, however my personal issues with the listing are still valid.
Here’s the listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/11-pro-built-nylon-bullwhip?item=270959893407
Issue #1: There are gaps or a misplait (possibly both) a few inches off the top of the transition knot.
Issue #2: The title says 11′ pro built nylon bullwhip. While what makes someone a professional is debatable. Are you a pro if you sell one whip a year to sell, make over 50% of your income, make over a certain dollar a mount? I don’t know your definition of “professional” but the listing says it took over “24 working hours” to make this whip and they are selling it for $285. Let’s assume between ebay fees and paypal fees the seller is out 4% and has $43.60 in material (I picked that amount to give me a nice round number for my math, I was going to figure in $50 in material) into the whip. That nets them $9.59 1/3 an hour making the whip to put that into prospective the state I live in (Washington) has a minimum wage of $9.04 and hour. So this “professional” maker is barely making more than minimum wage which is a safety net for unskilled labor.
Keep in mind that hourly wage doesn’t take into consideration things like state and federal taxes the maker would pay (I’m assuming they are a legitimate business) which is typically somewhere between 5 – 15% depending on how much they make, and since they are a professional maker I”m going to assume they make enough to have to file federally. That means that if this professional maker were to hire an unskilled laborer to sweep up after him (for the purposes of comparison) the unskilled laborer would be making the same wage as the professional that employed them!
Why did I tie the sellers use of the work professional with an hourly wage? Simple in my opinion I think that this person is either inflating their skill level or the amount of time put into the whip.
Issue #3: The description of the internal construction, here’s what the seller says: “Inner layers are a 12 strand plaited half length bolster to give better taper, 10 strand plaited full layer and an 8 strand plaited layer…..all over a bb filled paracord core“.
Everything seems pretty standard except for the “12 strand plaited half length bolster”, I can’t imagine what that is. OK, I can imagine, what I see in my head is the 2nd half of a bolster (the half towards the point of the whip) that at the halfway point it’s split to 12 strands which are then plaited backwards towards the handle. Sort of like how I cut bellies with a yoke, but backwards?! That’s possible to make out of leather, but wouldn’t give you any advantage over plaiting a certain distance then leaving the strand loose as filler strands…but here’s the amazing part is how you’d do that with paracord!
Also the seller goes into detail telling how far the 12 and 10 plait layers are braided, but the 8 plait layer is just that. Why would you over emphasize those two layers and be very vague with one? I don’t know.
Issue #4: Classic over hyping in the listing, the seller says, “loud cracking man sized monster bullwhip“. First of all the loudness of a bullwhip has more to do with the person cracking the whip than the whip itself. A good whip cracker can make loud or quiet cracks and pretty much anyone with a basic level of whip cracking abilities can get a solid loud crack out of a overhead crack with the crappiest of whips.
Here’s my favorite part of over hyping, the seller calls the whip “man sized”! What does that mean? The whip is 11 feet long, I don’t know anyone that’s 11 feet tall! Oh wait, they are referring to the plaited part not the whole whip. Wait a minute the whip has a plaited length of 8 1/2 feet, or 3 inches longer than the worlds tallest living person (according to the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records)!
What do all these issues mean? Well it depends on you and your goals. For me in my own personal opinion they would add up to someone trying do a sell a whip, not someone trying to make a nice whip to sell.