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  #1  
Old 12-27-2012, 3:50 PM
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Default Price Gouging at FFL/Shop Lately?

I have been on a bit of a gun purchasing kick the last 6 months or so, and I've observed something just recently in this last rash of purchasing....

My local FFL is GOUGING customers. This shop has doubled or tripled prices to customers in the last two weeks, even overnight they have been marking up their prices.

What concerns me is this--when everything calms down with whatever legislation that is going to be passed, don't you think that these dealers are going to suffer? Won't they be run out of business?

It's sad that the laws of supply and demand are pushing these dealers into raping customers--sure--they are not forcing anyone to buy....
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2012, 3:57 PM
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Old 12-27-2012, 4:01 PM
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The ones raising the prices are only grabbing new gun buyers that won't be back after they buy their $1500 m&p sport.... the gun owners who already have the firearms and are the major buying force will remember who wasn't loyal and vote with their wallets.

In the end it will bite them in the butt.

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  #4  
Old 12-27-2012, 5:52 PM
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It is the law of supply and demand. Once everything sells, the FFL might not have anything to sell nor anyone to sell it too since most people are buying what they want now. There are FFLs who are basically sold out and can't get any more inventory.

What is gouging? If you had an item that was in high demand and people would fight over it, is it not reasonable to include the price? I have seen stories about customers who want to buy items so that they can turn around and make a profit.

People complained about the prices and they could get it lower elsewhere, now elsewhere is either higher or does not have it, so if you find a place that has it, do you really think that the price should be a lot lower than the going rate? Many FFLs have put up inventory on auction sites and the selling prices have been insane. You think that FFLs should not do that?

Are customers loyal or do they typically just go with low bid?
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2012, 6:02 PM
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Im so tired of hearing "price gouging". I realize most people hate school and hate economics more but some of you needed to pay attention to senior econ. My suggestion is to look up a guy named Adam Smith and then review a concept known as supply and demand. Then look up a guy named Karl Marx and the concept of centrally controlled markets. Then figure out which world you want to live in. Its amazing how many of you want the freedom to do whatever you want as long as it doesnt cost too much or take too much work.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2012, 8:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Jed peters View Post
I have been on a bit of a gun purchasing kick the last 6 months or so, and I've observed something just recently in this last rash of purchasing....

My local FFL is GOUGING customers. This shop has doubled or tripled prices to customers in the last two weeks, even overnight they have been marking up their prices.

What concerns me is this--when everything calms down with whatever legislation that is going to be passed, don't you think that these dealers are going to suffer? Won't they be run out of business?

It's sad that the laws of supply and demand are pushing these dealers into raping customers--sure--they are not forcing anyone to buy....
Many people called me a gouger in 2008/2009. I am still in business.

The beauty of this time around is I discovered the beauty of Gun Broker. Rather than have my local customers call me a gouger, I just put everything on Gunbroker for a penny. Hard to call me a gouger when you guys are the ones bidding the prices up to insanity.

And I think that is the key component that you whiners (yeah, let's call a spade a spade) are missing is the demand is out of control right now. We couldn't sell items for that price if people weren't paying it.

The only people consumers have to blame are themselves. I couldn't sell my inventory for such a nice profit if you weren't willing to spend the money.

However, like kemasa so accurately pointed out, now that demand has eclipsed supply, expect to see legitimately high prices as wholesalers and manufacturers start to raise their prices as they competed for the limited supplies and resources out there and also just because they want a piece of the pie.

It is what it is. Gouging it is not. If you don't like the price, don't buy it.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2012, 8:59 PM
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Just a thought on the gouging comment... I received a call from a to be unnamed well known distributor offering me Colt 6920's. Its not someone I use on a regular if at all basis, but i hear from them every now and then.

This was last Tuesday, when everyone was rushing about in full panic and I was offered those Colts at 50% more then I would normally pay. The "my price" eclipsed my "for sale price" by over $200. Whos gouging who?

Truly a prime example of supply and demand. Supply = 0, Demand = panic buy. I have already had people offer to put rifles on consignment for $3500 for a COLT. I politely decline.
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2012, 9:02 PM
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Just a thought on the gouging comment... I received a call from a to be unnamed well known distributor offering me Colt 6920's. Its not someone I use on a regular if at all basis, but i hear from them every now and then.
Interesting. Usually the distributors don't fluctuate that much. I had one guy try to ream me on some uppers and turns out he was doing it behind his partner's back. That didn't go over so well.
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2012, 9:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tenpercentfirearms View Post
Interesting. Usually the distributors don't fluctuate that much. I had one guy try to ream me on some uppers and turns out he was doing it behind his partner's back. That didn't go over so well.
Trust me, I was flat out floored when the call came through. He warned me "pricing was kinda high" but damn..... Of course, looking back at last Tuesday, I should of bought every one he had..lol
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2012, 9:16 PM
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i'm sure some FFL's are just trying to squeeze as much money out of people as possible, but i think quite a few are realizing that if they aren't making money now, they wont be making any when the inventory is depleted. They still have rent, utilities and wages to pay out even if people aren't buying guns...this means building a reserve so they can weather the shortage. That's just the reality of owning a business, and i can understand it. The greedy ones tend to have horrible customer service, and will tend to drive business away anyways. Let the market work itself out, I'm more worried about where prices are going to settle afterwards. Without a SCOTUS ruling that guarantees no more bans, it's gonna be a sellers market and prices will just continue to climb.
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  #11  
Old 12-28-2012, 5:10 AM
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We have dedicated the last month to finding ways to increase production. Instead of charging crazy prices to our dealership customers, we've found ways to increase supply. Our billet lower production will go from 3000 pieces per year to 30,000-40,000 pieces for 2013. Unfortunately other components may reduce our complete firearm sales, but at least we can get the serialized parts out before a ban. Our dealers will likely charge much more than msrp, but they have to if they want to pay their overhead.
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Old 12-28-2012, 5:12 AM
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...also please don't call to buy direct unless you are a dealer. We only sell to dealers since we do not have a dros account.
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  #13  
Old 12-28-2012, 6:47 AM
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Originally Posted by franklinarmory View Post
Our billet lower production will go from 3000 pieces per year to 30,000-40,000 pieces for 2013. Unfortunately other components may reduce our complete firearm sales, but at least we can get the serialized parts out before a ban.
Jay, be sure to think about the possibility that Feinstein's new AWB that requires NFA registration is not going to allow you to register just receivers. My prediction is it will not and so everyone who has bought every lower out there right now is going to be scrambling to finish them up before the ban. That means selling the 10 extra lowers they bought because they are horders to try and afford a $5000 Plain Jane upper. And you can imagine what lower prices are going to be like compared to complete rifles and all the other parts if said event occurs.

http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/publ...ssault-weapons

Personally, I don't think the House of Reps is going to go along with it.
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  #14  
Old 12-28-2012, 6:59 AM
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So let me get this straight... demand is high so prices are going through the roof and it is price gouging? OP, I think you're a bit mistaken.
Price gouging is typically associated with necessaties. Kind of like the hurricane is coming so I'll charge $10 a gallon for gas and every service station follows suit. Not because their cost went up, but just because they can. They know that everyone needs gasoline and after the storm ends, people will still come back because, well, people need gas.
As for firearms, they aren't a necessaty and not everyone is raising their prices. When the storm ends, don't go back to those shops if you feel they are taking advantage. But please realize, as illustrated above, the dealers costs are going up from the distributors.
But, that's really the beauty of America, we all want guns to protect our freedoms, one of which is the free market economy. In this case there are really only 3 options you have.
1. Pay the asking price no matter how high or low you think it is.
2. Don't buy the item.
3. Move somewhere else where EVERYTHING is regulated. Of course, you won't even have the option of buying a gun in those places.
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Old 12-28-2012, 7:36 AM
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Well, lets see, I am on my 32,961th e-mail/call since the shooting (Outlook has a nifty counter) 99% of these calls are for lowers, Magazines and Ammo. My supply left me at my normal price in about 2 days. Geez, I have nothing to sell. My next shipment of lower receivers came in, (that I ordered in July!) and I placed them on line for sale at one fifth of what they are currently selling for on Gunbroker(I raised my price from $115.00 to 179.00), thinking they would stick around a little longer and all 100 lowers sold in 5 minutes. . . . . . SUPPLY is no longer there. . . . .DEMAND has increased

It's not gouging anything Jed, Its called Capitalism. I WISH I had more SUPPLY to help you out with your DEMAND. Since my SUPPLY is governed by the manufacturers ability to produce the lower, DEMAND at his end has increased. Availability of materials and labor costs will govern his price of the item. If he can't find materials, as everybody else needs them to meet demand too, his prices will raise, raising my prices, raising your prices. Of course there is plenty of supply on the open market. . . .Its called GUNBROKER. Where you can pay double or triple what I would charge you, or where you can see that currently my price is a Screaming Deal!

Or I could just quit selling stuff at my store, and sell everything on gunbroker. Then I wouldn't be GOUGING anyone, I'd just be another guy selling his supply at the current market rate and making top dollar for it.. . . . . . . to a buyer who wanted it SO bad that he was willing to pay 5 times what it was worth. But then again, worth goes up when there are less of them out there because everyone wants them or can't have them anymore. Worth is created by low SUPPLY and HIGH demand. . . .I feel like I am repeating the same story over and over, Sorry in all this mayhem, I must have lost track of my thinking. . . . . .Good thing I have my moral compass!
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Old 12-28-2012, 8:39 AM
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Originally Posted by tenpercentfirearms View Post
Jay, be sure to think about the possibility that Feinstein's new AWB that requires NFA registration is not going to allow you to register just receivers. My prediction is it will not and so everyone who has bought every lower out there right now is going to be scrambling to finish them up before the ban. That means selling the 10 extra lowers they bought because they are horders to try and afford a $5000 Plain Jane upper. And you can imagine what lower prices are going to be like compared to complete rifles and all the other parts if said event occurs.

http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/publ...ssault-weapons

Personally, I don't think the House of Reps is going to go along with it.
Wes, the change that you are suggesting would require a total rework of the NFA. It is bad enough that they are looking to add to the NFA, but to totally rework it to require that serialized firearms could not be included unless or until they were configured into a regulated configuration is a wild concept. It would create more problems for them than not. I understand your concern to be cautious, but I still believe that the serialized part is the goal for most buyers over the next twelve months. If you start another thread on this topic, I'd be very interested in seeing what informed opinions would come of it.

...until then I gotta sell enough lowers to afford my Cal-FFL renewal.
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Old 12-28-2012, 8:56 AM
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I understand many of the sentiments expressed by Robby and others. However, Robby, you are not exactly dependent on retail walk-in business off the street. In your case, I would have raised prices even more! Online selling is a completely different business model than store-front retail.

That said, I've seen actual location, storefront, retail businesses change prices almost arbitrarily--I watched one guy (in person) get bumped with a $500 additional charge onto what he "thought" was the price from his experience that very same morning!

Price tags at this local shop have so many price tag changes over them they are an inch thick--prices are going up every day.

I am all about capitalism, and the economics of supply and demand, etc. However, there is something about working retail--you have to be loyal to your customers. You have to continue to service them and not ostracize or alienate them by your prices or "better than" attitudes. That is what gives staying power.

I DO worry that perhaps this might hurt ALL of us; i.e. not simple price increases like Robby is saying he is using to keep "correct" in the market, but rather the outright arbitrary outright gouging of walk in customers at your retail storefront. How many people do you think feel like me as a casual gun purchaser that is likely to spend upwards of $5k a year at your store if you are just consistent with me?
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:29 AM
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Jed, Since you are a customer of mine and you visit other stores, You know that you get to vote with your dollar. Price is set by the consumers willingness to pay. If you don't like the price, don't buy it. Your gun store will sell it to someone else who, currently,is more than happy to pay the price.

Gun buying hysteria does not bode well for a deal conscious buyer. And sadly but true, I haven't seen to many gun stores really worried about losing a buyer. Even at the cost of their reputation. Heck, just look at some of the stores around here, people B***CH and complain about them all the time. . . .they are still in business.

Is not gouging Jed, Its Commerce.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:00 PM
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Jed, Since you are a customer of mine and you visit other stores, You know that you get to vote with your dollar. Price is set by the consumers willingness to pay. If you don't like the price, don't buy it. Your gun store will sell it to someone else who, currently,is more than happy to pay the price.

Gun buying hysteria does not bode well for a deal conscious buyer. And sadly but true, I haven't seen to many gun stores really worried about losing a buyer. Even at the cost of their reputation. Heck, just look at some of the stores around here, people B***CH and complain about them all the time. . . .they are still in business.

Is not gouging Jed, Its Commerce.
Which is precisely why I called you about the Kahr last night....I'll order when I get the one out of your jail right now!
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:14 PM
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Everywhere I've gone prices seem to be pretty much the same, it's just that there is zilch on the shelf right now. Can't buy what isn't there.
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Old 12-28-2012, 1:30 PM
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It is the law of supply and demand. Once everything sells, the FFL might not have anything to sell nor anyone to sell it too since most people are buying what they want now. There are FFLs who are basically sold out and can't get any more inventory.
This is the real reason the prices are going up.
Lots of manufacturers aren't producing anything until they know whether or not an AWB will pass, so the shops just can't get anymore ARs or AKs - ergo, the prices simply need to go up.

You have to remember, the store still pays rent on the store, they pay the employees, and the owner needs to make a living whether they have rifles in stock or not.
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Old 12-28-2012, 5:43 PM
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This is the real reason the prices are going up.
Lots of manufacturers aren't producing anything until they know whether or not an AWB will pass, so the shops just can't get anymore ARs or AKs - ergo, the prices simply need to go up.
I call BS. Manufacturers already have the machines to make the product. Not making product waiting to see if you are going to have to sell all of your expensive machines would be stupid.

The demand has far eclipsed supply. Period. I have a few things coming in and so will everyone else.

Now the question is should they increase capacity? I wouldn't.
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  #23  
Old 12-28-2012, 5:49 PM
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Rape was the best word you could think of, seriously? Besides can't rape the willing...
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raping customers
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Old 12-29-2012, 3:12 PM
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If you plan on selling N firearms per month and you base all the production on that, including times to work on equipment and then suddenly all the inventory which is intended for months is sold, there is a problem. Some companies build the firearms in batches and don't build all firearms all the time, which is not normally a problem if the average of N firearm/month holds up.
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Old 12-29-2012, 6:06 PM
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Lemme tell you a little secret boys and girls, all your screaming and crying about gouging is more than likely causing some shops to just list on GB instead of selling what precious little they get at their shop. That's why you won't find that one more lower, upper, BCG etc that you need. Yup instead of listening to you ***** about prices and threaten a boycott if they "gouge" you, they just put it on GB and let the market play out. Perceived gouging problem solved, more money made.
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Old 12-30-2012, 5:32 AM
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Lemme tell you a little secret boys and girls, all your screaming and crying about gouging is more than likely causing some shops to just list on GB instead of selling what precious little they get at their shop. That's why you won't find that one more lower, upper, BCG etc that you need. Yup instead of listening to you ***** about prices and threaten a boycott if they "gouge" you, they just put it on GB and let the market play out. Perceived gouging problem solved, more money made.
Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner!

http://www.gunbroker.com/All/BI.aspx...Sellers=640562

I was thinking about splitting the items I get half to the store and half to Gunbroker. However, business sense dictates when receiving those prices, just go straight Gunbroker and notify my customers this is where they can find it. And the best thing is I really am not a gouger, especially when I set my prices to start at a penny or at a nice panic profit of around 40%. If they go up to astronomical amounts, that is what the market will bear.

Gunbroker must be pleased as punch over all of this. Their profits are probably out of control right now. Damn GunBroker. They are such gougers and should be cutting us dealers a break right now.
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Last edited by tenpercentfirearms; 12-30-2012 at 5:36 AM..
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  #27  
Old 12-30-2012, 10:31 AM
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I can't really say it any better than anyone else but just think about it... how are shops looking now when you go in them. I know ours is looking pretty dang empty. We have orders in but they aren't shipping them. So who's going to pay the rent and bills next month? Is the guy that got a screaming deal going to pay the shop's bills next month?

It's not gouging, it's keeping your doors open and being around once all this madness goes away. I have actually heard of some shops thinking about closing because they can't get inventory to sell but still have many expenses to pay.
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Old 12-30-2012, 4:36 PM
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How about the gouging by the customers in the past saying that they can get it for less elsewhere? Are you willing to beat that price?

Well, now things are turned around and the customers can be asked can you get it for less elsewhere and do they actually have it.

It is all based on your POV.
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Old 12-30-2012, 5:55 PM
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I don't know about you guys, But I don't see how selling firearms quicker than usual is a problem. If dealers are paying higher prices from suppliers/manufacturers, that's a different story. I would hope that the dealers have better partnerships/agreements with their suppliers. Remember, there is no monopoly on the manufacturing of lower receivers, there are various companies that can supply those products.

If you want some prime examples, look into cases where local hardware stores were gouging customers for plywood before the hurricane was to touch down. Once it passed, many of those customers returned their overpriced plywood and some of those businesses closed up shortly after when people refused to shop there.

The days of "take it or leave it" are dwindling, as gun shops are popping up all over, along with E-businesses. These stores have stayed in business because they were the only store around, not because they had exceptional service. Let it be known that many rural areas cannot sustain multiple gun stores, hence the dilemma.
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Old 12-30-2012, 6:46 PM
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I don't know about you guys, But I don't see how selling firearms quicker than usual is a problem. If dealers are paying higher prices from suppliers/manufacturers, that's a different story. I would hope that the dealers have better partnerships/agreements with their suppliers. Remember, there is no monopoly on the manufacturing of lower receivers, there are various companies that can supply those products.
Really, tell us about these companies that can make them. I want to know more.

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If you want some prime examples, look into cases where local hardware stores were gouging customers for plywood before the hurricane was to touch down. Once it passed, many of those customers returned their overpriced plywood and some of those businesses closed up shortly after when people refused to shop there.
Amazing. Do you have some specific examples? Names of stores?

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Originally Posted by Jizo View Post
The days of "take it or leave it" are dwindling, as gun shops are popping up all over, along with E-businesses. These stores have stayed in business because they were the only store around, not because they had exceptional service. Let it be known that many rural areas cannot sustain multiple gun stores, hence the dilemma.
I never thought of it that way. How do you explain the dozens of horrible gun stores Calgunners complain about on a daily basis still being in business for year and years?

Tell me how with this insane demand the take or leave it attitude isn't working when the three guys behind that guy are willing to take it?

This is one of the most pointless posts I have ever read. Horrible.

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Old 12-30-2012, 7:00 PM
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Dunno. I am a non-FFL. I am just a buyer. I don't like the price increases either. However, it just seems communist to me to complain about it though. It's called "capitalism".
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Old 12-30-2012, 7:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jizo View Post
I don't know about you guys, But I don't see how selling firearms quicker than usual is a problem. If dealers are paying higher prices from suppliers/manufacturers, that's a different story. I would hope that the dealers have better partnerships/agreements with their suppliers.
If the FFL can't get new inventory for what they sold, then what exactly are they to do? I am sorry that you can't see that stock is limited and prices have gone up, if you can find it. If a FFL can no longer get replacement items to sell, what exactly do you suggest that they do? The rent still has to be paid, along with all the other expenses.

It is also clear that you don't understand how things work.

This also goes to show that a FFL is better off to put what inventory they have on an auction site and let customers decide what the correct price is.
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Old 12-30-2012, 7:13 PM
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Dunno. I am a non-FFL. I am just a buyer. I don't like the price increases either. However, it just seems communist to me to complain about it though. It's called "capitalism".
Yep.

It is funny that customers think that it is acceptable to try to force the price down, but when demand increases and inventory decreases and people are willing to pay more, that there is something wrong with that.

If it is wrong for a FFL to say that they can get more money from another customer, shouldn't it be wrong for a customer to say that they can get it cheaper from another FFL?
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Old 12-31-2012, 5:55 AM
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If it is wrong for a FFL to say that they can get more money from another customer, shouldn't it be wrong for a customer to say that they can get it cheaper from another FFL?
Preach it!

Again, you never heard me complaining before this. The hypocrisy isn't on this side of the counter.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:09 AM
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hmmm too lazy to search through a bazillion posts, but are you sure you haven't ranted about customers shopping for the lowest price?
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Preach it!

Again, you never heard me complaining before this. The hypocrisy isn't on this side of the counter.
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Old 12-31-2012, 3:51 PM
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hmmm too lazy to search through a bazillion posts, but are you sure you haven't ranted about customers shopping for the lowest price?
You will have to find it. I do not believe I have. I think I have said Calgunners love to low ball everyone, but that is not a complaint, that is a fact of life. I would do the same thing with my money if I wasn't a filthy rich gouger.
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Old 12-31-2012, 3:56 PM
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Having been on both ends, I like to sell high and buy low. In panic #1 I sold some things for prices that almost had me feeling guilty....almost,.............prices that now would be incredibly cheap.

Timing is everything.
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Old 12-31-2012, 9:48 PM
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I call BS. Manufacturers already have the machines to make the product. Not making product waiting to see if you are going to have to sell all of your expensive machines would be stupid.

The demand has far eclipsed supply. Period. I have a few things coming in and so will everyone else.

Now the question is should they increase capacity? I wouldn't.
A CNC mill (the machine that makes ARs) can make anything so long as it has the correct program uploaded. The machinery isn't special. If they manufacture them now and can't sell them, then they wasted massive amounts of aluminium on useless items. Instead, they are waiting to see if they need to set a re-design or just make a different gun.
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Old 01-01-2013, 5:22 PM
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If they manufacture them now and can't sell them, then they wasted massive amounts of aluminium on useless items.
Are you claiming that manufacturers can't sell AR15 lower receivers right now?
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  #40  
Old 01-01-2013, 6:25 PM
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Wes, the change that you are suggesting would require a total rework of the NFA. It is bad enough that they are looking to add to the NFA, but to totally rework it to require that serialized firearms could not be included unless or until they were configured into a regulated configuration is a wild concept. It would create more problems for them than not. I understand your concern to be cautious, but I still believe that the serialized part is the goal for most buyers over the next twelve months. If you start another thread on this topic, I'd be very interested in seeing what informed opinions would come of it.

...until then I gotta sell enough lowers to afford my Cal-FFL renewal.
well, they already do require that. A manufacturer isn't supposed to be able to just Form 2 a stripped receiver as being an SBR. That is why the public can't buy virgin SBR receivers, but must buy it fully assembled from the manufacturer.

It isn't an SBR until it is assembled as one, so you can't file a Form 2 saying you made an SBR if all you have is a stripped lower.
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