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Old January 29, 2013, 12:33 AM   #26
wayneinFL
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This is not a result of supply and demand, it is a result of greed. Some stores gouged so much that the manufacturer thinks they can get more, which means the distributors will charge more, which means every LGS will have to charge more to cover their costs.
But people are willing to pay those prices. If they weren't willing to pay, you wouldn't see shelves emptying out. That is demand, plain and simple.
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Old January 29, 2013, 07:42 AM   #27
Strafer Gott
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The owner of my LGS is wise enough to know you can shear a sheep many times, but you can only slaughter it once. Even so, my LGS is an institution, and I'd prefer they stay open. After the black stuff is gone, they still have a ton of classical guns that I desire. And they are ready to deal!
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Old January 29, 2013, 10:56 AM   #28
Gaerek
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One store I frequent is having trouble getting guns from their dealers. They have inflated prices 15-20% to compensate for the lack of cashflow...and guns they get are usually sold in less than 24 hours after they're displayed, even with the inflated prices. The other store I frequent has no trouble getting guns from their dealers. As such they haven't really increased gun prices. As for ammo, the first store I mentioned have kept their prices the same (well, I think most stuff got increased by about $1 a box...small premium to pay if you ask me), but have instituted a three boxes per caliber, per customer, per day policy. The second store doesn't have a limit, but but they've increased ammo prices by 30-40%. Since a box of 9mm isn't worth nearly $20 to me right now, I choose not to give them business.

A business increasing prices is not an ethical thing, especially when you have options. They are having some of the same troubles we are in getting supply, and having increased pricing. They have to stay in business too. If the increased prices are worth it to you, go for it. If not, no one is forcing you to buy anything.
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Old January 29, 2013, 11:36 AM   #29
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"Is it unethical to follow the principles of basic economics and instead ignore the supply and demand curve?"
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Old January 29, 2013, 11:52 AM   #30
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I find it interesting that people keep blaming the shops as though they're the only ones involved in this.

There's no shortage of people out there who, if given the option, will purchase armloads of rifles, magazines, and ammo at "normal" prices and then turn around to sell those at much higher prices to those who cannot find such things in stock but have a felt need to purchase them.

If that rifle, magazine, or ammo is going to be sold to the end user at a 50-100% premium over pre-panic prices, what's the difference if it's done by the shop or by some "unethical"* buyer?

Some people complain if the prices are raised, causing the buyer to reevaluate just how badly he or she "needs" the item. Some will also complain if limits are imposed on how many may be purchased at one time in order to allow as many people as possible to obtain the item ("Who is that guy to ration this stuff?").

I would contend that it is far from unethical for people to sell items at higher prices when demand has gone insane... it causes buyers to self-limit themselves at purchase time. Where they might have otherwise purchased many items, they cut back to what they see as actual necessity, allowing more to be available for others.

Moreover, it can also be that some people now selling things can finally get enough money for the items for it to be "worth" selling them... while they might have wanted to sell a firearm, the prices being offered were not high enough- $800 for a given firearm might have led to a "forget it, I'll keep it" attitude, but at $1300 the person might think "OK, now I'll move it out." In this way the supply can actually INCREASE due to high demand and high prices.


*(I use "unethical" in quotes there to not pass judgment, but to use the term as the OP did... referring to someone taking profit in a market gone crazy with demand, which is not necessarily unethical in an economic sense.)
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Old January 29, 2013, 12:00 PM   #31
MLeake
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Compared to what scalpers do to concert ticket prices, most gun stores are not so bad.
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Old January 29, 2013, 12:09 PM   #32
BigD_in_FL
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I still don't feel it's right for gun shops to "stick it to" new gun buyers or internet customers because they can make an extra 25% or whatever right now.
He isn't "sticking it" or anything else to anyone. What good does it for the owner if he sells at below market price and then doesn't have enough money to reorder new inventory? He is then out of business. NO ONE is forcing you or anyone else to buy from him. He should sell it below market price because someone didn't do their due diligence and plan accordingly? Or sell it below market so someone can buy them, put them on GB and make a killing and then brag about it on here?

Read the story about The Little Red Hen - the parallel is there.

Never ceases to amaze me how so many folks have no idea how retail works. Most do not realize how many locales raised a LOT of tax rates effective January 1, including a new Federal payroll tax to fund Obamacare. The owner has to recoup those costs as well as increased costs from the makers, who have always had a price increase about this time of year - even when there was no panic - anywhere from 5-10%.....Time to take a look at ALL of the factors behind price increases - and if you are underfunded or refuse to pay the market rate - then wait and hope the prices come down or that that particular gun will still be available.
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Old January 29, 2013, 12:22 PM   #33
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Ask the "oil field owners" of the middle-east
I remember the 1970's were a nest of thieves ( and still are)

if this post offends... please remove
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Old January 29, 2013, 12:38 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by BigDinFL
Most do not realize how many locales raised a LOT of tax rates effective January 1, including a new Federal payroll tax to fund Obamacare.
The "increase" in the payroll tax wasn't a "new" tax; it wasn't actually an increase, either, but rather reflected the expiration of a temporary reduction in the payroll tax that was enacted at the end of 2010, as a way to help middle- and lower-class workers in hard times.

See this article from Forbes.
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Old January 29, 2013, 12:42 PM   #35
Brian Pfleuger
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This video was posted in another recent thread on gouging.

Watch it. If you still complain about "gouging" after seeing this video, I don't know what else to say.
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Old January 29, 2013, 01:04 PM   #36
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Most of what most have said here is true, mostly. However, it is still true that there is no "free" in a free market. Someone pays something. The last things that will happen is rationing and price controls for guns and ammunition. Which reminds me: what happened with such things during WW II?

It's hard to imagine but there were times when demand plummeted. Skeeter Skelton said that during the depression, stores would sell ammunition by the round but cause folks probably couldn't manage the price of a whole box. Ah, yes. The good old days.

I still believing in patronizing the local gun shop but frankly, it's a little harder when there are more than one to pick from. But I'm not such a good customer anymore since I've pretty much given up all things gun. Money shortage, you know.
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Old January 29, 2013, 01:25 PM   #37
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Compared to what scalpers do to concert ticket prices, most gun stores are not so bad.
Actually, we've taken to calling a certain segment of buyers scalpers. These are the guys who come by first thing in the morning looking for "black rifles" and magazines. They don't care about brand or specs. They just want the item. Usually, they'll be on their cell phone discussing pricing with someone on the other end.

It's a fair guess they're being purchased for resale at the gun shows at markups that make the most shrewd retailer look altruistic.
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Old January 29, 2013, 05:03 PM   #38
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Add me to the growing list of those who don't like to see price increases. If an item costs too much I don't purchase it. Simple as that. At this point there isn't a firearm or any related item that I need. Having said that I don't have a problem with someone trying to make a profit. Is there a little bit of greed involved? Absolutely! Unethical? Without question.
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Old January 29, 2013, 05:18 PM   #39
Gaerek
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Is there a little bit of greed involved? Absolutely! Unethical? Without question.
Put yourself in the shop owners shoes. They have higher taxes, and Obamacare to worry about now that they didn't last year. They have limited supply coming to them. In order to stay in business and keep the cash flowing, they have to raise prices. Keep in mind, if they kept their prices low, what do you think would happen? People would go in first thing in the morning and buy a bunch of guns, then sell them at, or above market value on Gunbroker. People immediately think things like this have to do with greed. I'm sure there's some of that going on, but economics is far more complicated than that.
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Old January 29, 2013, 05:38 PM   #40
TheNatureBoy
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Gaerek, my post isn't a protest against price increases. Although I don't like them I support a business owners right to "strike while the iron is hot". If I were a business owner I'm sure I would do the same to some degree. My argument (if you want to call it that) is we as customers have the final say. If an item costs more than we want to pay we don't have to purchase it. It is unfair to call all gun shop owners greedy because I'm sure some are barely scratching by. On the other hand some (we know who they are) should be called out for what they are; greedy.
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Old January 29, 2013, 05:38 PM   #41
Auto426
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There is a line somewhere between shops charging a little more to cover for their trouble getting supply and places like Cheaper Than Dirt trying to sell Colt 30rd aluminum mags for $125 a piece or Beta C mags for $700 a piece. Where exactly that line is depends upon who you ask.
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:04 PM   #42
Alizard
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Maybe you should rephrase your question to:

"Is it unethical to follow the principles of basic economics and instead ignore the supply and demand curve?"
His question was legitimate: there is no ethical reason that a dealer MUST raise prices of an item just because they CAN. Obviously they can, assuming they don't care if they alienate their customers and send them to internet ammo sales.

The point is I don't want to hear whining about "support your local gun store" when they are gouging every chance they get.

And FYI: when ammo supplies get tight, our local range stops selling ammo to their regular customers to make sure they have enough ammo for their "walk in rentals" who they gouge for range time, targets, ammo, gun rental etc. It's not unusal to see three guys walk in and rent a range for an hour, rent three guns and buy ammo for them and at the checkout get hit for over $150.

The LGS doesn't care if walk in regulars have any ammo.

Last edited by Alizard; January 29, 2013 at 06:10 PM.
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:07 PM   #43
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The local shop I deal with tells me there is more to it than we know.
He buys a lot directly from the manufacturers and they are asking for 15% upfront, no refund if the law sours the deal.
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:09 PM   #44
Alizard
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The local shop I deal with tells me there is more to it than we know.
Basic problem is that the government is forcing ammo makers to fill military contracts which eats up their production facilities. They may not know from one month to the next what they can ship in civ ammo.
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:19 PM   #45
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He buys a lot directly from the manufacturers and they are asking for 15% upfront, no refund if the law sours the deal.
I'm in the business, and I haven't heard anything like that.
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:38 PM   #46
shootniron
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At this point there isn't a firearm or any related item that I need. Having said that I don't have a problem with someone trying to make a profit. Is there a little bit of greed involved? Absolutely! Unethical? Without question.
Unethical to make a profit?

Since when...capitalism is based on making a profit.

Oh, that is right...we are a socialist country now.
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Old January 29, 2013, 07:00 PM   #47
Hal
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Profit isn't a dirty word....

However...

How some of these places are making a larger profit leaves a bad taste that I'll remember if/when things return to normal though.

Not that they'll miss my business that much - it's just a drop in the bucket.
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Old January 29, 2013, 07:22 PM   #48
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It's funny that when there is an oversupply of an item and there are sales and rebates to move those items, nobody cpmplains about that. Let the supply dry up with an increase in prices to follow and everyone screams about how unfair that is.
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Old January 29, 2013, 07:35 PM   #49
btmj
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It is like all the sheep-dips who complain about price gouging of generators after a storm.

Ever wonder why there is not a warehouse full of generators in every state, just waiting for the next storm/earthquake/power-grid-screwup?

Stockpiling all those generators would cost a lot of money. The retailer can't pass that cost on to the customer during normal times, because his competitors do not maintain a huge warehouse, and they don't have that cost. During normal times, customers are super-price-sensitive, and this drives markups down into the 10%-20% range, which just barely covers operating costs.

So when the disaster hits, the prepared retailer can bring in all his carefully stored stock of generators. He is providing a valuable public service. Of course, he has to fully cover the cost of warehousing in this one moment, which means those generators might be 50% to 100% more expensive than the normal everyday price... Oh! But Wait! If he tries to raise prices, he will be flayed in the press, and the local AG will bring charges... so forget it. why bother warehousing generators in preparation for a disaster. Screw it. When the ones on the shelf are gone, they are gone. The public in need will just have to wait for the resupply truck. Too bad.

During the last power outage, I would have paid twice the normal price for a generator. But there were none to be had at any price. Thanks media... thanks Politicians.
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Old January 29, 2013, 08:40 PM   #50
FairWarning
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I don't particularly care how much they gouge, I am set. The prices will return to a more normal range at some point.

If someone pays hundreds of dollars for a brick of .22 LR, then they are certified idiots and can't blame anyone for forcing them to do it.
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