Ammo Price Gouging

Ouch!

Ouch!

Wow.

Up until today, I hadn’t actually seen any price gouging on ammo.  Heard about it, read about it, but haven’t seen it.

But today that changed.

Went into a gun store with Crapgame (not going to name the store, but it isn’t one of the 2 notorious gougers in the area) and looked around.  On the shelf I saw a 500-round bulk pack of Winchester XPert 22.

I figured it might be a good idea to stock up, since I am shooting more .22 these days.

There was a little sticker in the corner of the box.  It said: $70.  (I checked MidwayUSA when I got home; their price was $30.99.)

And there was a 525 round box of Federal bulk pack ammo priced at $65.

Neither box included lubrication to ease the pain of the ass-rape being offered to customers.

Now, I am not one of those people that equates price increases with price gouging.  I am mostly in the John Stossel camp.  Business is business.  A vendor needs to be able to make a profit on the products they sell, after factoring in all of the variables.  And prices have gone up across the board for ammo, and I accept that reality.

But there is no way in hell that this gun store is making less or the same profit margin on that ammo that they would have made before the sale.  They are being opportunistic dicks.

I don’t want a government solution to this problem, like NJ did.

If you see stupid prices on ammo, and you aren’t in desperate need of that ammo, DON’T BUY IT!  Let it sit there until the dealer gets sick of staring at it and makes the price more reasonable, or until someone who does need it desperately comes looking for it.

That’s the only way to restore some sanity to the ammo marketplace.

That, and more production.

 

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9 Responses to “Ammo Price Gouging”

  1. Justsomeguy says:

    In fairness, the ammo probably didn’t cost him much if anything more so he is making much more per box, on the other he can’t get very many boxes to sell, and his rent didn’t go down any.

  2. Brett says:

    “I am mostly in the John Stossel camp. Business is business.” “They are being opportunistic dicks.”

    Have you read the Stossel article that you linked to? Think about what he actually says in the article you mentioned (“Today, some car owners wait in line just to top off their tanks. If gas stations could raise prices, many of those drivers would wait, and drive less.”) and try to apply those principles to ammo.

    After reading this article, you seem like someone who agrees with a free market except for when it inconveniences you. 22lr is nearly impossible to find on the shelves in any store in the country (you should know this because just 5 days you wrote on article on the ammo shortage). The only way to keep 22lr on the shelves is to increase the price of the product so that every hoarder, flipper, panic buyer, and person who is shooting more 22 because other ammo is too expensive doesn’t buy as much as they can as soon as they find it in stock somewhere.

    “I figured it might be a good idea to stock up, since I am shooting more .22 these days.” Good thing you are the only person in the country who is shooting more .22, especially since “prices have gone up across the board for ammo.”

    “If you see stupid prices on ammo, and you aren’t in desperate need of that ammo, DON’T BUY IT! Let it sit there until the dealer gets sick of staring at it and makes the price more reasonable, or until someone who does need it desperately comes looking for it.” Wait…? Are store owners dicks for increasing prices or are they or are they doing what they need to do to keep ammo on the shelves? Should bricks of 22 come with FrogLube for the people that are being ass raped or should the people decide if the value of the item is worth the asking price? I think you took both sides of the argument while writing this article.

    • Gunnutmegger says:

      LOL.

      Yes, I read it (the whole thing, not just the first 3 paragraphs), and yes, I actually understand all of the issues Stossel was discussing.

      Your conclusions are incorrect, and illogical to boot.

      Capitalism works both ways. Buyers and sellers both have power, as well as responsibilities.

      Sellers can offer the items they choose, and charge what they want for them, and I can buy what I want if I feel the cost is fair (when weighed against my needs).

      Read the article again, and this time pay attention to the story of the guy with the generators. He bought them with his own money, rented a truck with his own money, filled it with gas that he bought himself and then took the time to drive 600 miles from Kentucky to Mississippi to offer people generators.

      In other words, he added value. He is entitled to charge more, to cover the money he fronted to buy & transport the generators and the time he spent doing it.

      If he already owned the generators and simply increased the retail price while staying home, he would be an opportunistic dick. A dick who is free to charge what he wants, but still a dick.

      While some might try and mischaracterize opportunistic dick behavior as some kind of righteous “anti-hoarding” tactic, that is a load of crap. People are free to let themselves be taken advantage of by opportunistic dicks, I am similarly free to educate people on what things cost at other retailers, and to encourage them to shop elsewhere. Retailers can sit on the ammo (and pay interest on the money they shelled out to obtain it) until someone desperate enough to pay their inflated price comes in, or they can price it more competitively and move it out the door faster and pay off their creditor. Total freedom on both sides.

      One-size-fits-all anti-gouging laws don’t discriminate between legitimate price increases and opportunistic dick behaviors, which is why I oppose them.

      I don’t mind paying $20 for a 325-round box of Federal Automatch .22 because it is a fair price. I bought 3 of them 2 weeks ago.

      I would buy that 500-round box of Winchester Xpert from MidwayUSA because it is a fair price.

      But I’m not going to encourage anyone to get ripped off at $70 for 500 rounds of that ammo. If someone really needs that ammo at that price, they can go ahead and buy it. I suspect the box will be sitting there for a while, though. It might have moved at $70 a year ago, but people know better now.

      • Brett says:

        The issue with using the story about the guy buying the generators with the intent to sell them at a significant profit to people who needed them is that it more closely resembles a flipper who waits at a store for the ammo shipment to come in and then buys as much as he can so he can resell it for a profit. The only reason flippers are doing that is because they know that the market value is greater than the price some stores are selling the ammo for. This leads to empty shelves, much like in your previous article. Having empty shelves is a terrible business model especially when the people are buying all of your limited inventory just so they can make a profit.

        A store owner is not an opportunistic dick for selling a non-essential commodity at what he believes is the market value. Judging by how fast 22 sells at $70 per brick, it may currently be worth even more than that. It’s also important to remember that after the 22 quickly sells out, the store owner has no way to restock that empty shelf other than to wait a several weeks until the next shipment of a few boxes of 22 comes in. Empty shelves don’t pay the rent and it’s hard to justify paying employees just to tell potential customers that they are out of stock.

        Educate people on what things cost at other retailers? You say that you “would buy that 500-round box of Winchester Xpert from MidwayUSA because it is a fair price.” but that ammo doesn’t exist. The only 22 ammo that midway has in stock is match grade that is 33 to 45 cents per round, blanks, and Aguila powderless. The free market (that thing that Stossel promotes) has determined that Midways prices on 22 ammo are too low, there are 8 pages of out of stock 22. They have no product to sell anymore. CTD on the other hand actually has 22 ammo for sale, it might not be at a price that you or I are willing to pay, but during a severe ammo shortage it is the only way to keep inventory in stock, those who need it can pay that price if they want.

        You say “I actually understand all of the issues Stossel was discussing.”
        “While some might try and mischaracterize opportunistic dick behavior as some kind of righteous “anti-hoarding” tactic, that is a load of crap. People are free to let themselves be taken advantage of by opportunistic dicks”

        Stossel says “What politicians call “gouging” is just the free market.”

        • Gunnutmegger says:

          Fronting the money to buy 19 generators, renting a truck, and driving 600 miles to sell them where they are in greater need is not something a “flipper” does. “Flipper” being synonymous with “opportunistic dick that is too lazy to be a speculator”.

          The generator guy is more of a speculator, in that he was willing to take substantial risks beyond simply buying merchandise and raising the price. And no one was being forced to buy his generators.

          Part of having a free market involves having free communication as well as the freedom to seek out relevant information.

          If that means that retailers who behave like opportunistic dicks get butthurt over being called out on their tactics, tough shit. If that means that overpriced merchandise gathers dust because of a merchant’s greed, tough shit again.

          I never said they shouldn’t do it, let alone be arrested for it (as the generator guy was).

          They are free to charge what they want, and customers are free to shop around, share what they know, and make their own buying decisions. Customers are also free to judge & shame retailers, boycott them, and harass their customer service personnel in their quest to get more for less.

          But your apparent willingness to believe that CTD has some altruistic motive for raising their prices like opportunistic dicks is puzzling to me. How many of their $100 P-mag 30-rounders did you buy in the wake of Sandy Hook? Or maybe you sought out cheaper (than CheaperThanDirt) sources?

          There is no immunity from criticism in the free market.

  3. Texas Colt carry says:

    Ever heard of “Cheaper Than Dirt”

    Their “Dirt” must contain gold nuggets!

    http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/AMM-0551

  4. GEORGE says:

    Just saw an article where a store was going out of business because they did not have enough product of all kinds to sell to make enough money to stay in business. I think that some stores have to make higher margins because they don’t have enough product. I live in NY and don’t know how small mom and pop stores will be able to stay in business especially when they start the having to do a background check to buy ammo.

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