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Are ammo seller gouging or are the high prices just supply and demand

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by castile, Apr 1, 2020.

  1. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg Member

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    Shades if grey. Some arenas operate more along the Ferengi model than others. For example, ever been to a coastal resort area in Mexico, and the population density of local attractions and time share hawkers? I found a great idea on a travel board decades ago. Just feign inability to understand and speak to them, and with your companion, in gibberish. Such as the Swedish Chef from the Muppets as one possibility.

    I guess I should watch that video at some point just to get a better idea of what all is omitted in that snippet. All my formal education predates widespread access to the internet (I used computer punch cards at one point, and still did work via a mainframe into the mid-1990's) and widespread access to even digital still photography much less digital "talkies". But it's difficult for me to get motivated to do so. I just don't think I'd ever get those minutes of my life back.
     
  2. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    I'm used to people thinking about individuals conducting "price gouging", vice companies. Most company prices fluctuate a bit for a variety of reasons. Reasons such as sales, competition with other businesses, quantities sold, etc.

    For example, I ran across a thread a few days ago where someone was talking about some bullets they bought for reloading, in a 4,000 round package. He liked how they turned out, so he wanted to buy more. But now the company only sells them in 1,000 round packages, maximum. And, of course, the price per bullet is higher that way.

    Gouging? No. They would nominally be higher per round this way. And it tends to make more available for more customers, because it helps keep product in stock when people want them. This is "business".


    For individuals? Opinions being worth spit, here's mine:

    Your property, your business.

    HOWEVER:

    If I believe you're a swinging male appendage about it, then the heck with you.

    What constitutes being a swinging male appendage?

    You drove your happy keister around at the first sign of potential "trouble" and quite literally bought out entire stocks of product in stores (ammo or whatever) just to screw over people to make a profit on their misery? You're a swinging male appendage.

    It'll be a cold day in Hell before I'll support you, either buying from you or standing up for you.

    Yes...that's also "capitalism" at work on my end.


    What constitutes NOT being a swinging male appendage?

    You're already sitting on as pile of product because that's just who you are. Maybe you're a prepper, maybe you have a hobby in which large quantities are accumulated because of the nature of the beast, maybe you've seen shortages in the past and told yourself "I'm gonna be prepared for this in the future because I can make some serious cash if it happens again."

    In that case, more power to you. You're not maliciously contributing to the current shortage in an attempt to make a buck off your fellow man. Sell that 9mm ammo for $20 a 50 round box. Whatever. If I really need some, I'll buy some AND I'll stand up and support you on this.

    That, too, is capitalism.

    And I view that as no different than any other time a person may wish to sell their private property for as much as he can get.


    We ALL make decisions on who we will or will not buy from, for a variety of reasons which really amount to EXACTLY that kind of reasoning.

    We don't go THERE because they have a "NO GUNS" sign and we don't patronize such places.

    We wouldn't get a car from THAT dealership if they were giving them away, because *#[email protected] THEM AND THEIR CRAPPY CUSTOMER SERVICE!

    It's the same thing, really.


    How do you know what kind of person an individual is? I leave that up to the individual looking to buy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  3. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    I sold some gold recently for substantially more than I paid for it a few years ago. Am I a price gouger?
     
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  4. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Gouging, in most cases.
     
  5. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    Because that’s the point of selling things in the system we have, is it not? As a seller (I’m not) aren’t I entitled to try to make as much profit as I can? If that means raising prices then so be it yeah? It’s not like the feds well shut me down unless I go way too high on essentials and someone will buy at the high prices because people are suckers. That’s the system we set up. The only thing you can do about it is vote.

    And in my opinion, gouging makes it so that everybody can have some because people are much less likely to hoard ammo if it’s more expensive, thus allowing the guy who just needs a box to have access to that ammo, albeit at a higher price.

    99% of people in a sellers position, regardless of size want to make as much profit as possible and 99% of buyers want to save as much as possible. It’s all a matter of perspective and which of those positions you’re in.

    I mean we’re not talking about vaccines or medicine here (in which case I think profit should be less relevant).
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  6. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg Member

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    There are definite anti-gouging laws in place in many areas as I remember spawned after Hurricane Katrina made landfall and continuing afterward. The National Guard was deployed to keep order, enforce curfew, etc. in the city where I grew up in 1970 after Hurricane Celia made landfall 35 years before Katrina. To this day nobody knows what the peak wind gust speeds were because the anemometers broke at 165 mph. My father helped several gas stations hook up mechanical pumps in order to dispense the fuel they had in inventory on his own time after serving on ride-out crew at the refinery e worked at. None of those stations raised their pump prices IIRC. National Guard also set up free meals and dispensing one gallon of milk and one block of ice per family per day (larger families may have received more, there were 5 of us in my immediate family). Before that, there was gunplay but no injuries about who was first in line when the first semis with ice were due to show up. I don't remember that being sold for a fee but it was one bag per adult in line. It took 3 hot swampy August weeks for our neighborhood to have electric power restored.

    To my knowledge none of the anti-gouging laws are Federal laws, so I don't get where discussion of being shut down by the Feds comes from. If anyone wants to see the legal definition of what constitutes price gouging in their area, it shouldn't require much more effort than joining this board and posting there. It's really that simple.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  7. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    All I’m saying is that A.) bullets aren’t a necessity and b.) it’s a waste of time for local and state governments to go after a company raising their prices on ammo thus c.) companies can charge what they want so whether they’re gouging or not is largely irrelevant.
     
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  8. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg Member

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    What you say has no particular relevance to anti-gouging laws. Just because you say something doesn't make it so, even though you work at a LGS.

    If availability of ammunition wasn't decreed essential during this COVID-19 crisis, then ammunition shops would have been closed. This is Texas.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ksat.com/news/2020/03/15/how-to-spot-and-report-price-gouging-in-texas-during-coronavirus-crisis/?outputType=amp

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/news4s...ints-of-alleged-price-gouging-in-bexar-county

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.te...-essential-businesses-during-coronavirus/amp/

    What are the rules where you work?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
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  9. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    If there’s an ammo shortage and I am able to quadruple my prices and sell it, that’s supply and demand

    If somebody tried to quadruple the price I have to pay, it’s price gouging
     
  10. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Now you got it. ;)
     
  11. dekibg

    dekibg Member

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    I hate when people are complaining about prices of non-essentials.
    Even if you own only one gun (of any kind) and you don't have at least 50 rounds/shells for it, it is your fault that you waited for this.
    Even then, buying 50 rounds/shells at ANY price should really not break your bank.
    Why 50 round mark?
    I don't think that in most of situations, anyone here will ever need more than that to take care of situation, but I don't want to open another debate here ....
    Recreational shooting, as most of us do, is totally different story, but it is NOT a necessity.
    So, if you are a gun owner, and don't have ANY ammo, shame on you, go and find 50 rounds at any price at the moment, then wait for this to be over and buy more at normal prices later.
     
  12. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg Member

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    I hear ya. While scrounging for FMJ pistol ammo may currently be difficult I've found .40 S&W Winchester Ranger and 9mm Speer Gold Dot self defense ammo available with simple Google searches. For example, Target Sports USA as the company brought up by the OP.

    https://www.targetsportsusa.com/winchester-ranger-40-sw-ammo-180-gr-bjhp-ra40b-p-108924.aspx

    https://www.targetsportsusa.com/spe...duty-9mm-ammo-124-grain-jhp-53618-p-3526.aspx
     
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  13. George P

    George P Member

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    Like the old saying from an antiques guy:

    " I buy junk and sell antiques"; the key to making a profit is to buy low and sell high............
     
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  14. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    When the ammo sellers were having to compete so fiercely during a time of excess supply, having to cut their profits so low over the past couple of years that they could barely stay in business and pay their employees, what did those who scream "price gouging" at times like the present call that situation? Did they simply say it was supply and demand, because it went the way that the accusers like to see it go? Did any of those people who were thrilled to be buying ammo at the lowest inflation-adjusted cost in history chip in a 20% tip when they were buying quality 9-mm brass ammo for $159/thousand? :) IMO, with things like ammo, it's supply and demand, whether it's going in your direction, or not.

    Now, with drinking water after a hurricane, that gets more dicey and the government, right or wrong, is going to start having a say in it (and in extreme cases probably start using taxpayer dollars to distribute drinking water to the needy at no cost to them).
     
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  15. jamesinalaska

    jamesinalaska Member

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    To all those who say "there is no such thing as gouging in a free market", you are fundamentally and immorally WRONG in your thinking. There are such a things as hoarding and gouging, and even the law recognizes such behaviors as immoral and wrong to the point that such practitioners can be punished by lengthy prison sentances and even, in severe enough cases, by execution.

    It is immoral and wrong to hoard food, for example, in a time of famine; ALL ages and ALL cultures have recognized this, including many backwards and harsh cultures like those of the time of Joseph and the Pharoahs of ancient Eygpt (see the book of Genesis),

    Hoarding of and price gouging on critical items is a felony (not a misdemeaner) and punishable by prison terms of years. And rightly so.

    Lofty notions of the "free market" from phonies all evaporate when they themselves are at the wrong end of those theories.
     
  16. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    None of that is relevant to firearms and ammunition today.
     
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  17. STI

    STI Member

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    I had 2 calls today inquiring if I would sell any ammo, reply yes and no I will not. Also they also did the same at the obamma time frames same answer you had plenty of time to get all you needed as I did so, you get 1 I told you so!
    If I sold any we would not still be speaking friends, so I pass. All this was very plain as to happening all anyone had to do was pay attention, bathroom paper was a surprise I admit. I do know of some 40cal range ammo and 22 but not a cheap price but available though. No gouging just yes or a no.
     
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  18. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg Member

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    I've rode out more than a double handful of hurricanes and tropical storms along the US Gulf Coast, but the absolute worst crisis for US citizens having access to potable water was not due to any act of nature.

    It was literally precipitated by arrogant bureaucrats who decreed changing the source water for the municipal water supply in Flint, MI without mirroring the chemical treatment program used by the supplier of the prior municipal water supply in Flint, MI. Followed by extreme efforts to deny any problem existed as a result of that choice. It began with the directional opposite if price gouging, cutting too many corners, with the final human cost not being shared by those decision makers.

    "We have met the enemy and he is us!"
    Pogo

    I substitute "them" for us, personally.
     
  19. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I have a friend that needed some Varget to reload. For those that don’t know, Varget is imported and is only available on a sporadic basis. I had two 8# jugs. He wanted to buy it, but I just gave it to him. I’m not reloading at this time, so no big deal

    He will replace it if/when I need it
     
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  20. dekibg

    dekibg Member

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    I agree with this.
    If a friend needs a box or 2 of ammo just to get thru this, I would be glad to give it to him
     
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  21. uzimon

    uzimon Member

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    if i buy real estate property and can flip it for double and i a gouger?
     
  22. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Price gouger = someone else making a substantial profit.
    Smart investor = me making a substantial profit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  23. George P

    George P Member

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    No we aren't wrong in our thinking; if the store owner raises his prices too high, folks won't buy it unless they REALLY need it. And in times of shortages, the owner may not be able to get more inventory, so that "excess profit" will be used to keep the doors open and the his employees working. I guess I am a hoarder because my freezers are full, as is my pantry. I learned a long time ago to make sure I have enough food, cash, etc. immediately on hand in case something goes wrong - whether it is something widespread like this or something simple like an injury that prevents me from getting to a store. I have been a customer of either Costco or Sam's Club since 1985; I always buy in bulk; it costs less, I am always prepared.
     
  24. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    Nope.
    But if you discover a cure for cancer and it costs you $1 a dose and the single dose does the trick, yet you sell it for $20,000 a dose, yah, that's gouging.
    I'm a pawnbroker and I can tell you this, no one really needs gold. it's pretty useless but for a few purposes other than jewelry and fancying up the look of something.

    My simple definition of gouging is if Joe is selling a commodity that is needed for life or health and for temporary reasons (hurricane, tornado, tsunami, whatever) the availability of said commodity is nil, and Joe is selling it for way more than the going rate when times are normal, that's gouging. Now, if it's legal where Joe is doing so, I think the people in that area are going to remember Joe's taking advantage.

    Raising prices on roses just before Valentine's Day isn't gouging, no one needs roses to survive.

    Now bullets aren't much of a different story. I don't think anyone truly needs bullets in the quantities being purchased. Sure, buy a gun and a box of bullets or two. I don't think that we're likely to experience the level of civil unrest some are anticipating, but I do think it's a good idea for everyone to be prepared for bad guy encounters. And that includes spending some of those bullets at a range to get competent with the firearm.
    Does the person need that box of ammo to live? Not if he's lucky enough to not become a statistic, and there's really only so much someone can gouge on a single box of ammo.
     
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  25. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Let's assume the dollar a dose covers the cost to manufacture and the cost to develope the cancer cure if I sell X number of doses. Then where between $1 dose, where I make zero profit, and $20,000 did I transition from reasonable profits to gouging? How is that defined?
     
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