So after Christmas, I had a bunch of Dick's Sporting Goods gift cards and wanted to go pick up some pistol ammo. I went into one of the stores around my house and found literally bare shelves - all they had left for 9mm were 5 boxes of competition ammo at $40 each.
I was already thinking about picking up my first shotgun to get into some other shooting sports, so I look at their spotty racks and see some youth guns, some $1000+ guns, and maybe 6 adult guns that wouldn't break my budget. 4 of them were 18" barrel models.
So I pick a Mossberg Maverick 12 ga 28" barrel for about $200. My paperwork and the computer check takes about three minutes to clear. Then things come to a screeching halt. They can't find the box. They spend about 40 minutes looking for it and then a manager and the sales guy come up to me and ask if I still want the gun, or they can order me one, which will probably take about a month and a half...
I ask if there's anything important with the box, or if it's literally just a cardboard box. They tell me that it's literally just a box. So I ask them to throw me a bone since this is a slightly odd situation (you could tell that they were really spun up about this, I guess it's pretty big internal problem when a box walks away...). So they offer me a $14 case to have something to walk out of the store with the gun in something. I push for a $35 one I like and they accept.
So after my gift cards and a coupon (that said "no firearms" in the fine print, but they let me use anyway), I spent $15.26 on a brand new shotgun and case.
Happy New Year!