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View Full Version : Why dont local gun shops stock ammo like online retailers?


Kerplow
07-29-2010, 1:12 AM
well, what gives?

it seems like everything i want is readily available ONLINE, and not at my local gun store.

Ed_Hazard
07-29-2010, 1:20 AM
1) Overhead. Overhead is much higher on a storefront as opposed to a
wharehouse.

2) Turnover. On hand product moves quicker than haveing to wait for it.
People are more likely to purchase product when it is on-hand
simply because they "finally" found some.

3) And finally it's always available online until it is backordered.:D

nelsonstevenj
07-29-2010, 7:41 AM
Small gun shops usually don't get good dealer prices on ammo, so they buy the same bulk stuff online everyone else does, then sell it at a markup. One of the local shops has tons of ammo, from oddball calibers to bulk common stuff. He buys walmart/Internet ammo, then puts it on the shelf for double what he paid. Though at the same time, he's got the lowest prices for guns themselves in the area...

tenpercentfirearms
07-29-2010, 7:49 AM
For my shop, if you saw some ammo online, come in and ask me if I could get it. I'll look it up and see what price. My shipping time on it is about the same shipping time on when you order it from them. However, my guess is the online guys might beat my price. Then again, you never know for some specialty ammo.

Walmart is what really puts the screws to me. You just can't compete with them, but I don't even try. I make about 30-40% on ammo and there it is. If you come in and need some, there you go. If you want to drive to Bakersfield, do what you got to do.

THT
07-29-2010, 7:54 AM
To make selling ammo worthwhile, you have to buy in bulk (read: pallets). That's alot of money to tie up in just one SKU. Throw in the fact that margins on ammo aren't very good to begin with plus the overhead associated with the store and that makes it very hard to compete with online vendors who specialize in ammo.

tenpercentfirearms
07-29-2010, 8:00 AM
To make selling ammo worthwhile, you have to buy in bulk (read: pallets). That's alot of money to tie up in just one SKU. Throw in the fact that margins on ammo aren't very good to begin with plus the overhead associated with the store and that makes it very hard to compete with online vendors who specialize in ammo.

Another thing I just thought about is storage space. My little gun shop is packed to the seams. We can't fit much more in it. Thank God we will be in a new location right next door soon and with about 4 or 5 times the space.

Sunwolf
07-29-2010, 8:07 AM
Since you are selling the 6.5 uppers now,how about stocking ammo?

tenpercentfirearms
07-29-2010, 8:37 AM
Since you are selling the 6.5 uppers now,how about stocking ammo?

LOL! I back ordered a 1000 rounds from Midway. Months later it came in and I kept 500, I put 500 on the shelf. Within a week all 500 rounds were gone. I haven't seen any since.

Sunwolf
07-29-2010, 9:45 AM
Ah well,back to reloading!

Sinixstar
07-29-2010, 10:10 AM
Online retailers also stock more because they have a larger customer base. If you're selling something online, your target customer base is anybody anywhere with a computer.

If you have a B&M store, your customer base is whoever happens to walk in the door.

I worked for an online retailer (snow sports equipment) that sold more gear in one day than some b&ms will sell in an entire season for this same reason.

shooting4life
07-29-2010, 10:27 AM
Everyone above is right. Plus I shoot some odd calibers that are hardly factory loaded except by the small shops like corbon. Just imagine trying to stock something like 357 maximum, 9.3x62 or 22 jet. Even more common calibers like 41 mag cannot be found in stores because the demand is not their.

wheels
07-29-2010, 10:40 AM
Don't forget that at least some of these online places don't have the ammo either. Some have an agreement with a distributor to drop ship their orders.

Ever notice how some of the big online electronic companies will all show a similar number of a given product in stock - all of them are selling products from the same distributor.

Merc1138
07-29-2010, 11:00 AM
This is like wondering why any b&m can't compete with the selection of their online counterpart. Online you can do more business with more customers all from a centralized warehouse where you have room to keep at least some small inventory of the more obscure products(some calibers in this particular case).

Plus, you also have the option of placing that warehouse where it may be the most economically viable, which may not be smack in the middle of a local customer base.

Online, people can order 24/7 from any timezone. In a brick and mortar store you have a set period of operating hours.

Also, an online business doesn't have to wait on customers. Even with ammunition, it's just like any other product. You're going to get a customer sitting there staring at 2 boxes for 15 minutes asking questions before making up their mind and maybe making a purchase. The staff is probably going to at least be keeping an eye on them. In an online store, customers can stare at a picture for an hour if they want to before making a decision, and there doesn't need to be any staff to care.

Now of course the big trade-offs are going to be customer service typically not being as good as it can be face to face, you don't get that feeling of instant gratification ordering online, sometimes you still end up paying sales tax and combined with shipping may not be cheaper than the local shop. Depending on the particular item, you may want to see it in person prior to buying it.

So for ammo, I wouldn't expect a local shop to stock much more than the most popular.

Rob454
07-29-2010, 3:47 PM
well, what gives?

it seems like everything i want is readily available ONLINE, and not at my local gun store.

Im willing to bet that most online places do not stock as much as they claim to. I bet it gets a lot of drop ship from the supply house/person. No reason to keep 2 pallets of ammo of all different kinds in the shop if you dont need to. Also the shop has to pay tax on the inventory they have in stock that does not sell so again no reason to keep a ton of it. i bet lots of them dont even have a ton of ammo at the "shop" maybe cabellas has it in their warehouse or some big name but a little guy i bet they dont

stormy_clothing
07-29-2010, 5:34 PM
so the answer is not to have a good reason for people to come into your store on hand so that you can be just like every other store that just barely gets by....

joedogboy
07-29-2010, 6:18 PM
I've seen bulk ammo at several b&m stores - just in a limited range of calibers.

Boxes/tins of 200-1k+ rounds of:

5.56/.223
7.62x51/.308
7.62x39
7.62x54 R (iirc)

ZRX61
07-29-2010, 6:48 PM
One of my local gun stores has piles of ammo. However, they want $350 for one of those 440rnd cans of 7.62X54R Mosin ammo that sell online for $90....

Lead-Thrower
07-29-2010, 10:05 PM
My local gunshop has tons of PMC .223 in stock for $6/box. And tons of .40 s&w in stock for $13/box of 50. We'll just say I needed 2 trips out to my car last time I was there. :D

audihenry
07-29-2010, 11:19 PM
well, what gives?

it seems like everything i want is readily available ONLINE, and not at my local gun store.

Because your local shop is tiny compared to these online companies, some of which are just massive houses, funded to the gills by investors.

Also, your local gun shop is run by mostly incompetent people who can't spell business, let alone run it.

arc3ange1
08-02-2010, 1:54 PM
You're right. I've found that true as well, that some local places don't have all the ammo tat online retail stores do.

If you live in the Northwest (this is calguns.net, so hopefully at least some of you guys do), I would really suggest checking out NW Ammo in Oregon. (http://www.nwammo.com) It has the best prices on the net, really fast shipping, and just unbelieveable prices.

I do alot of shooting, so whenver I find a shop with a good deal, I try letting other shooters know.

Thanks guys

rojocorsa
08-02-2010, 2:59 PM
Since IDK a lot on the subject of having a store, this is like an interesting mini lesson on micro economics...

Good stuff.

gbp
08-02-2010, 4:29 PM
all boiled bown to three words
demographics and demand

if you don't understand take a Marketing Class

WWDHD?
08-03-2010, 1:34 AM
So the main reasons why local shops charge a lot more for ammo are:
1. Lack of space to store pallets of ammo.
2. Sales people to deal one-on-one with customers.
3. wallMart.

How is AB962 in Feb. going to change this situation? To bad Costco doesn't sell ammo in bulk like they do everything else.

The Director
08-03-2010, 8:13 AM
Have you been to Ammo Bros in Cerritos lately?