View Full Version : The Sportsman's Guide

evan price
December 19, 2006, 01:27 AM
In November 2006 The Sportsman's Guide advertised .308 Indian NATO surplus rifle ammo for $59.97 for 400 rounds in bandoleers in ammo cans. This price was available from 11/24 through 11/29 2006 on their web site.

A lot of people (including me) ordered this ammo. They found out it was on backorder for 30-45 days. No problem. We received electronic and postcard confirmation of the order and price.

On 11/30/06 Sportsman's Guide increased the price of the ammo to $94.97 per can, no explanation, nothing.

Those of use with confirmed orders for $59.97 received messages that the price would not be honored. If we wished to still receive the ammo we had ordered, and had confirmed orders from SG for, we would have to pay the new price of $94.97 per can for it. No exceptions, no further discount.

Calls to SG customer service, asking to speak to supervisors, etc. got nothing. SG refuses to honor their sale price even though they took and confirmed those orders. SG's excuse at first was, it was an error. Later, they retracted that and said that their cost for the ammo had increased.

The truth of the matter is, Sportsman's Guide has done this before with other types of ammunition and other products. And not just once or twice. Why do business with and/or support a vendor like that?

Mistakes happen. Costs keep going up. But if you accept an order for a product, confirm that order, take a deposit, and then later demand more money for the product, that's dishonest business practices. In many states, this sort of bait-and-switch is illegal and so far there have been complaints filed with the Minnesota Better Business Bureau and the Minnesota Attorney General's office.

Please consider this when thinking about dealing with The Sportsman's Guide.

December 19, 2006, 07:37 AM
I have never been a fan of the Sportsman's Guide. It is suppose to be a site or catalog for deals, but most of the stuff is either junk or you can find it cheaper at most sporting good stores.

December 19, 2006, 08:58 AM
I have had good luck with them for several items, although I have never bought ammo from them. Your story troubles me though and I will be emailing them regarding my concern and linking directly back to this thread.

December 19, 2006, 09:06 AM
Be thankful, the Indian stuff is crap. I've got about 600rds of it in a can but its so crappy looking I wouldn't even try to shoot it in anything short of a Browning 1919 or MAG58/M240 - or some other very heavy duty weapon than can withstand the force of a KB without endangering the shooter. What SG did, however, sucks. FWIW, I've got 7000rds of Wolf 308 & 5.56 on order with them right now, so hopefully this bait & switch isn't indicative of how they're dealing with all ammo orders, but I fear it may be; there were similar problems reported on ARFCOM with large orders (>10,000 rds) of 5.56.

December 19, 2006, 09:54 AM
Damn! I should have read this thread last night! I just ordered 5k of 9mm and 1k of .40 and 3k of 5.56! :eek:

FWIW, though I have placed this exact same order in the past and never had any problems.

December 19, 2006, 05:37 PM
WELL, I've ordered from them before. I did have one order that said the ammunition was in stock, and, it was not. I got two of the 5 boxes I ordered, and canceled the back order.
Just ordered from them again, on .475 ammo, and, probably should have ordered it from midway....



December 19, 2006, 08:03 PM
I have bought many items from Midway and they are great to deal with. If you are looking for magazines I have had great luck with CDNN. The sportsmen's guide seem to stock a lot of USA brand mags and don't think they hold up as well.

December 19, 2006, 08:18 PM
I can't understand your problem with Sportsmans Guide.

Just last week, I received the last of my 7.62x39 Wolf at $123/1000.

They love to send out notices that you must respond to or they will cancel the backorder, but they have always honored the price at the time the order was placed, no matter how much it had increased.

I have noticed that they have fixed one flaw in their system.

Many times, I have gone back and pasted in an old item number (different prefix) that posted at a cheaper price than the current price.

Seems like that no longer works.


December 19, 2006, 10:02 PM
Sportsman's Guide is a French owned company. Do you really expect the French to have ethics?

December 19, 2006, 10:03 PM
Well that is a dirty trick and since it sounds like they do it repeatedly, I will remember them and remember not to buy from them. If they don't have the goods they should not advertise it. Or there should be a disclaimer in the ad, like we are expecting a shipment of this, etc.

December 19, 2006, 10:13 PM
I had something similar happen with SG,,, when I got the 2006 spring SHOOTERS catalog,, on page 76 they had sealed cans of 640 7.62x39 HP listed for $69.97.. I called to order a can of it about a three weeks later (definetly still "spring") and it was on backorder,, for two months.... AND it was $89.97....

Funny,,, anyone who still has one laying around,,, look on the front and back,, under "2006 Spring Shooting Supplies",, it says,, "SAVE THIS CATALOG... For all your shooting needs!" And on the bottom, under their contact info, it says "100% Satisfaction Guarantee... FAST SERVICE..."

December 19, 2006, 10:54 PM
There are numerous "I got burned by Sportman's Guide" threads on the forums. I personally won't deal with them again because I their advertising is intentionally misleading.


evan price
December 20, 2006, 02:23 AM
Mike: SG has specifically refused to honor the previous price as ordered for anyone who ordered it. Check this thread out:


December 13, 2006 03:09 Post #89

That was fast. I just checked the BBB complaint I filed yesterday, and SG has alreayd responded. Talk about not getting it???? They offer $10? I can tell you what I would do with that coupon if it were paper.... And, I love the last line. Please keep your customer number for rapid ordering???? Where is that hell cartoon when I need it? I edited the complaint below to remove the coupon numbers and personal info.

Consumer's Original Complaint :

BBB Processing

12/11/2006 web BBB Complaint Received by BBB
12/12/2006 AS BBB Member Complaint Validated by BBB Operator
12/12/2006 Otto BBB Member Send acknowledgement to Consumer
12/12/2006 Otto BBB Member Send acknowledgement to Business
12/12/2006 BBB MORE INFO RECEIVED FROM THE BUSINESS : December 12, 2006Dear Mr.XXX, Thank you for your letter. In regards to your complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau, we have looked into this matter. Unfortunately there was an error on the price of item number 96533 on our web site. We do state the following information on our web site, "I do my best to make sure the correct photo, price and copy are shown. But...sometimes I make a mistake. In the event of any such mistake, I reserve the right to charge the correct price, to ship the correct item, or to correct the mistake." We did contact you on 12/9/06 to inform you of this error. The price of item number 96533 is $94.97. To purchase this item you would need to pay the price of $94.97 plus the shipping and handling. Below is a coupon for $10.00 due to this error. The coupon is valid for one full year and had no minim merchandise purchase to use.With Our Compliments: ##################################################
#### Date: 12/12/06 Coupon No.: XXXXXXX Reference NoXXXXXXX Good Thru: XXXXXXX------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Here's How to redeem your Guide Discount Coupon: * By mail: send in your Coupon along with your completed order form. * By phone: give the Coupon Number in the upper right hand corner of your Coupon to the phone Representative taking your order. Call 1-800-888-30.06. * By Internet: at checkout screen, enter coupon number from upper right hand corner of coupon. Coupon must be redeemed in full, cannot be redeemed for cash, and must be redeemed within one year from date of issue. Not valid with other offers. Only one coupon may be used on an order. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.Sincerely, XXXXX Special Assistant to Gary OlenVisit our Website at www.sportsmansguide.com or e-mail us at [email protected] retain your Customer ID Number XXXXXXX for Order Status and Fast Express Internet Checkout.411 Farwell Avenue * So. St. Paul, MN. 55075-0239 * fax: (651) 552-5305 Customer Service: 1-800-888-5222

December 20, 2006, 02:52 AM
I think we're talking about two different issues.

I'm saying that they have never failed to honor a price that was in effect when I successfully placed the order. You caused me to go check the invoioce for the Wolf 7.62x39 that arrived last week. It was 123.47/1000.

You seem to be talking about forcing them to honor an incorrect price, either on the website or in a printed catalog. I agree that happens, but many other companies have the same policy.

I tried to take advantage of it once, but I don't blame them when it didn't work out. Their website had switched item numbers for a Knight Revolution muzzleloader and an inexpensive black powder scope. I ordered five of them, but they caught the error and I got five scopes. They immediately sent me a return UPS label to send them back at no cost to me. That's great service even when I was trying to screw them.


December 20, 2006, 10:58 AM
OT, but
I'm saying that they have never failed to honor a price that was in effect when I successfully placed the order. You caused me to go check the invoioce for the Wolf 7.62x39 that arrived last week. It was 123.47/1000.
Is that deal still up? Best i can find is 147.00/1000

December 20, 2006, 11:11 AM
That's exactly my point. I continued to place backorders last June and July at the lower price. They honored the original price even with the recent increases.


December 20, 2006, 12:54 PM
I have ordered ammo and non ammo items from the Sportsman's Guide. If the ammo wasnt in stock a popup came up and notified me that it would be backordered. I also received cards from them also notifying me of the status . I have no complaints at all with SG.

Old Retailer
December 21, 2006, 07:42 PM
My biggest complaint with them is they won't ship ammo to Reno. Everybody else does. :confused:
and so it goes.............


January 16, 2007, 01:52 AM
I used to order lots of stuff from SG.
What finally got me mad was that every time I got a catalog, I would try to order things the same day and half the items were no longer available. I finally told them to remove my name from their list.
Also, used to be, maybe still is. . .the shipping was based on price. So you could pay a fortune for a $200 watch shipped next door while a cheap but heavy item would go across country for much less.:mad:


January 16, 2007, 05:49 AM
I have ordered from SG many times and never had a problem. So long as you choose products with reputable brands (I have ordered several pair of boots from them) you should not have a problem. The price has never been changed on me, my deliveries are timely, no complaints. I am sorry to hear that others are having problems.

January 16, 2007, 05:59 AM
And I've tried a Barska scope and a Guide Gear scope that I decided I didn't like. They took them back and issued credit, no questions.


January 16, 2007, 10:12 AM
I never had them charge me a higher price for a backorder

But I did have them send me the wrong type of 7.62x54r once

Their picture in the ad was for some high quality russian ammo

What I got was cheap albanian

I sent it back and they shipped me .....more albanian

It took me 6 months to finally get my money back

Buyer beware!

45Marlin carbine
February 6, 2007, 01:09 PM
I've had mixed luck with them, some very good, and some not-so-good. I have returned items with no problem but had bad luck with some 'specials' they had. jury is still out I suppose.

February 6, 2007, 01:28 PM
SG always has some nifty stuff for decent prices. Every once in a while they will have an ammo deal that blows every other retailer away... so what if every once in a while they can't meet the demand with their limited supply of product and have to hike up the price a little. I'm sure there is some fine-print somewhere in the catalog or website that says something like "prices may be changed without notice".

It's capitalism. Get used to it, it ain't going anywhere.

I've ordered from SG hundreds of times with no problems. I think you complainers are definitely the exception rather than the rule.

February 6, 2007, 02:53 PM
I ordered some flip up sights for my AR15 flattop at about 40% of the regular price. I was informed when they were ordered of the due date. They e-mailed me and sent me a card that the delivery date would be pushed back 30days. They have always kept me well informed. I even joined the Buyers Club. The discounts have more than payed for the yearly price.

Big Don
February 6, 2007, 03:48 PM
I've kept my purchases limited to boots and clothing as the ammo prices can usually be beaten by others that I've dealt with and not had problems. SG has been good on returns so I will probably continue to purchase those items but will avoid the ammo problems.
I'm curious why they won't ship to Reno. I'm used to that here in Kalifornia but Nevada is a whole different deal. Anyone? Anyone? :confused:

February 6, 2007, 05:20 PM
Most places including grocery stores will not honor an error in thier advertisements or in their web-sites.
Sportsman's guide is about the only place I will buy boots you can't beat their prices or their service.

February 6, 2007, 05:35 PM
check the fine print in the catalogs before you buy!

February 13, 2007, 11:56 AM

I just received a call from SG from a pleasant girl looking for $5 more per thousand on a lot I had ordered last month. I accepted because for that amount it isn't worth spending the time arguing.

Not only was carried at the price I ordered on the website for something like a month, but the order was confirmed at that price, and an email asking whether I still wanted it at that price was confirmed a couple of weeks ago.

This was not a printing error. It may have been someone's error at SG to set the price as they did, but that is no mere clerical error. Changing the price after an order is accepted is going to buy them a consumer suit eventually.

Big Don
February 13, 2007, 11:36 PM
Consumer suit? I'm willing to be there's a district attorney out there looking to go after one of those evil ammunition purveyors who need to be shut down because they're cheating honest citizens and selling "death devices" at the same time. This is just plain dumb for SG go act this way. Your patience is amazing, even for the $5/thousand. You say OK, Tom says OK, Dick says OK, etc. They make their money and get away with this crap. Based on what I've read here, I'll never buy ammo from SG and will now think twice about buying other items, even though I've said they were pretty good in a previous post. This is bad business. Hopefully, "Gary" from SG reads TFL or has friends who do and someone tips him off about how he and his organization are coming across here. :barf:

February 13, 2007, 11:42 PM
I just ordered a dozen AK magazines from them. They arrived quickly and were in better shape than expected.

February 14, 2007, 08:00 AM
This is just plain dumb for SG go act this way.


I've brought my share of consumer suits in the past. In my state, SG's conduct toward me should bring $600 to me in statutory penalties and my reasonable attorneys fees. I would also seek a retraining order prohibiting that practice in future.

That is assuming I file a suit as an individual only, and don't get a class going on this. Someone is going to post that the remedy I've outlined is unfair. I tend to agree, but note that these laws are meant to be pretty one-sided and force quick compliance from suppliers.

That is a large risk to take for just a few dollars.

February 15, 2007, 02:23 AM
ahhhhh, good ole sg- false advertising, rude, dimwitted salespeople, deals to- good- to- be- true, and those lovely "backorders." how is it that on no less than 5 occaisions i've gotten one of their catalogs in the mail, seen something i liked, TRIED to order that very same day, only to find out it's <drumroll please> "backordered" for at least a month and a half. funny how, even if i DO place an order, the "backordered" item never seems to make it into their inventory. i think they either A- have incredibly small inventories of trhe items in their catalog, B- don't actually have the items in the catalog half the time, and are trying to see how many people will order them so they know how many they should order for their warehouse, or C- they employ the biggest nimrods on earth and have the worst inventory system ever. probably a combo of all three.

seriously, i've had it with their bs. the crappy thing is- they are consistently the cheapest, and often carry items not found anywhere else (the ones they actually have that is). i just composed a lengthy complaint letter to them today after dealing with two complete retards in their ordering department. maybe i'll get a $10 off coupon that i won't be able to use anyway because what i want will be "backordered."

by the way, i have yet to receive any "backordered" item i've ordered from them.

anybody who can nail these bozos for false advertising/ bait and switch tactics has my full support.

February 15, 2007, 08:14 AM
I had two items on backorder. However, I was told that that they were not in yet when I ordered. I received e-mail and a post card advising me of their status. They were not due till 5/01/07. I recieved an e-mail telling me one of the items did come in and I have received it. I even received e-mails saying I could cancel the order if I wished.

I have had a couple of ammo items that were backordered and I received them as scheduled.

I don't know about the sales people as I do all my shopping online with them. I have not had any problems with SG. Ninety percent of the stuff I have ordered from them has been in stock and received from them.

February 20, 2007, 07:17 PM
ordered 2 boxes of ammo, it shipped the same day overall great experience.

February 20, 2007, 10:32 PM
Never raised anything in price..

They just cancelled part of order for .223 ammo for reasons only known to them:(

I will not buy from them again..

November 6, 2008, 09:22 PM
I know that this thread is from long ago but I had to comment about the club discount from Sportsmans Guide. I spent the $30 for the one year membership and made about 3 orders over the course of about 3 months. On my third order, I received a phone call that I had ordered too much and that they were cancelling my Buyer's Club and would not refund any portion of my membership. Nowhere does SG tell you that if you save too much using the buyer's club that they will revoke your membership and not refund your money.

November 7, 2008, 07:35 PM
I can't find too much on their website or in their catalogs that is that great of a deal. Most everything is about the same price that I can buy it anywhere else for. Even with the club discount, I can't find any big deals. After paying the shipping and handling, I can get it at Bass Pro Shops or Sportsman's Warehouse for about the same price, plus I have the option of carrying it back without the hassle of having to mail it back.

November 7, 2008, 08:38 PM
"On my third order, I received a phone call that I had ordered too much and that they were cancelling my Buyer's Club and would not refund any portion of my membership"

Odd, I've been a club member for more than 10 years, I order often and save alot of money. I have never heard of them cancelling a membership because they sold you too many things. On the rare occasion I wasn't pleased with the product they sent return postage paid packaging and refunded my money promptly. On a few occasions if they sent a wrong or damaged item they sent a new item without asking for the other item to be returned. I have bought black powder firearms, air rifles and pistols, knives, holsters, scopes, clothing, lots of ammunition tools, boots and lots of other things. Overall I believe the prices were fair and the quality good. Sorry your experience was not as good.

November 8, 2008, 01:46 PM
I was just at their retail outlet in south st paul,mn, yesterday.
It has always seemed to me to be a kind of "liquidation clearance" type retailer. that said,I have never had a problem returning items.
The warehouse is right there off the sales floor.You get a catalogue off a rack, go to a register and have them look up the number and bring one out of the warehouse.
There were several mail order returns of the item I was looking for,even one that was listed as "sold out" on their website,which I bought.I wouldnt have bought the one I had them bring out.
Last year I bought several different types of ammo,but I drove up there and made sure it was in stock,and saved the shipping.(My MIL lives about 5 miles from them.Its about 25 miles one way for me.)
I have had good luck with them,but I have never had to order anything without getting to look it over first,or seeing if it is in stock.

November 17, 2009, 02:07 PM
I've been buying from The Sportsmans Guide for years :rolleyes:. Once in a while something funky happens (see issues above) but overall I really can't be too harsh. Recently though I ordered 1k rounds of my usual 762x39 and according to their customer service dept :mad:, neglected to check the box to have the billing split into 4 payments :confused:. The SG customer serv dep is staffed by a bunch of bozos that really do nothing useful beyond looking up orders, so you'll really be wasting your time seeking their help. If you really want to get their attention, send a complaint letter to one of their corporate officers. You can get that info from US Security and Exchange filings on-line, it's public info, http://www.secinfo.com/dsvrp.v8R3.htm and very interesting info about their company. It also provides names and addresses like, their CFO Charles Lingen, at http://www.secinfo.com/dsvrp.v8R3.a.htm#1stPage. ..
Reading some the first posts in this thread I'm amazed at how much ammo has gone up in price, my 1k rounds was $270 afterthe buyers club discount.
Happy Shooting!

November 17, 2009, 04:52 PM
I am guessing that they stock very little and most everything is drop shipped.
They just get a markup for taking the orders and have little control over what their supplier charges them. Most places have just gone to the No backorders policy to prevent bad feelings.


November 18, 2009, 12:42 PM
I tried to make an order with with a visa gift and wanted to split the remaining balance on another card. They said they could do the split:confused:. You would think an website online would be prepared some something like this.

I went and bought somewhere else even though I had to spend and extra 20 dollars. :mad: