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Old June 12, 2009, 10:23 AM   #429
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 14,998
I don't know that hoarding is all bad. It depends on your timing as to whether it is unduely selfish or not? If you are hoarding during scarcity, then you are depriving others of access to whatever it is you hoard. That's selfish and maybe even anti-social. But if you do it during time of plenty, when nobody cares how much you buy and they are actually happy to unload their surpluses, then you actually help sellers out. Moreover, when a shortage comes up at some later date, you don't need to compete with other customers for scarce stock. That helps them out, too. I gues I'd call that prudent hoarding as opposed to selfish hoarding.

I've always bought primers in cases of 5,000 up at Camp Perry because there was always a price break involved in the past (though I don't know what's happening this year?). That's how I came to be sitting on 30,000 or so primers before the whole shortage came up. I don't see that as selfish hoarding because each case is a different primer and buying by the case was always my normal primer purchasing practice. As a result, though, I have had the luxury of not buying anything at all during the shortage. My prudent hoarding in advance of the shortage has left the current scarce stock available for the rest of you, in a kind of inside-out gesture of good will. Nor do I expect to need to buy more for another couple of years, by which time my stock will have been shot down to about 10%-20% of that original 30K.

In time of scarcity, free market economic forces would have prices rise until people stop buying more than they need. You see this in hurricane and flood-prone areas. During an emergency the local cost of everything from canned goods to gasoline goes up. The merchants then get accused of "gouging" or "profiteering", but practical experience shows that if they don't make those kinds of price increases, then the first customers in the door buy out their stock, leaving none for everyone else. That seems to be human nature, unfortunately.
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