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  #1  
Old 01-23-2013, 8:16 PM
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Default Price Gouging - no such thing

I am new to calguns. great site. been getting back into shooting/reloading after some years busy with other things. anyways...

I teach economics in high school and used to in college. yes, there are teachers out there who are so fervently pro-2nd that feel if you support banning bazookas you're a fascist motherf***er. and legal would include that which I can tow behind my car.

my NRA sticker is proudly displayed on my car in the staff lot. thank you very much. that being said -

I am a little upset to hear people carping about "price gouging". c'mon guys, do you believe in liberty or not? here's the thing, cf. Hayek, Block, et al. And by the way, Walter Block, who has written extensively on price gouging, is as libertarian/anti-state as you can get.

Prices serve a most vital function in a society/economy. They simply reflect current market conditions. At this moment in time, demand for guns, ammo, reloading supplies, mags, etc. clearly is far greater than the supply. So prices rise. It's called a shortage. Prices send signals to consumers and producers. And they regulate market activity. There is no such thing as a just or fair price, and that's been fully well explained since the Scholastics in Salamanca, Spain.

When you restrict price movements you cause market distortions (look no further than the disastrous fed policy with interest rates and the housing collapse) which only make things worse. In fact, the "price gouger" serves a vital purpose.

For example, during a natural disaster, the price of a bottle of water ought to rise to many times its original price. This serves the vital function of rationing. Thus, there is no hoarding. Rather than the first in line buying all the water due to the restricted price (per anti-gouging laws) and the rest going without water, purchasers only buy what they need. Price gouging serves the more vital function of insuring more have water. If you don't think this is so, see the chaos in the aftermath of the storm in New York. In addition, the vendor might not sell at a higher price, but the purchaser surely will. How many of the new AR purchasers, if the price was restricted, wouldn't turn around and sell it for 5x the price as soon it was freed from jail?

In times such as these, "price gouging" also serves the function of spurring faster and greater increases in production. Why on earth would a producer act with any greater haste knowing they cannot sell at higher prices. Profits spur production, it's that simple.

Prices also reflect the future expectations of both buyer and seller. If you believe they're going to ban your mags or guns, then suddenly the PRESENT VALUE of the item grows exponentially, and prices rise to reflect that. It's also why gas prices rise so fast following (fill in the blank event) that interrupts future gas shipments. That gas in your underground storage suddenly is more valuable, plus replacing it is going to be far more costly, and in order to refill it, you'll pay more in the future, so you need more to cover that - TODAY.

It's also why prices fall much slower as the even though the supply catches up, it did so at a much higher cost.

What happened? Well, Hayek described it rather well, and it's called time preference. Most of the current firearms customers (pre-frenzy) were more future oriented towards their purchases. Events quickly turned many rapidly and overwhelmingly towards the present. This serves to only increase present values and discount future values. I haven't checked lately but I'd wager that prices for a Model 70 30-06 or a S&W .357 haven't moved all that much. It's not all guns, all ammo. .223 has vanished, but I'd bet I could go to WM or Big5 and find .270. I'll go tomorrow and double check

We can be sure those that support price controls are no friends of the 2nd amendment. I'm sure anti-gouging laws will not apply to firearms. And let's all be thankful for that. It's the surest guarantee that we'll get more of things we need, and quicker too.

I'll admit, I've got powder, primers, mags, and a few other things well stocked up since from the clintonista regime. Yeah, I go back a ways.

But before we criticize those for simply doing what they ought to do during this crisis, remember those who we ought to "punish". We need to remember those that caved to political pressure and stopped selling ammo, etc. In fact, rather than criticize the "gouger", we all ought to thank him/her for performing the vital service of responding correctly to market conditions, and sending the right signals to both producer and consumer. It is only because of the "gouger" that we'll sooner find those items again that we need and want.

Sorry for running long. Hope this helps...

and doesn't get me banned
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Old 01-23-2013, 8:29 PM
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I completely Agree. I am very annoyed with people who complain about "price gouging" all I hear from them is "I didn't buy my stuff when it was cheap and available now I am freaking out so feel bad for me and sell me stuff at way below market value". Anyone who hasn't seen the current political climate a mile away there is no hope for you.
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Old 01-23-2013, 8:36 PM
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Well Stated. Procrastinators please take note and quit whining about prices.
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Old 01-23-2013, 8:38 PM
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I cant rip off anyone. If i was going to sell my stuff it wouldnt be 50-75 cents a round for crappy Wolf ammo. Or the Pmag gouging 50 buck rebuild kits.

By "todays market" I blew a few hundred dollars sharing ammo at the last C&R shoot


But thats me...and no nothing for sale
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Old 01-23-2013, 8:48 PM
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I don't have a problem with people making some money selling stuff at what ever price they want to. However the individuals using the marketplace to run a tax free business by flipping items from vendors is a slippery slope IMO.
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Old 01-23-2013, 8:57 PM
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Thanks OP, Hopefully more people now understand supply and demand.
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Old 01-23-2013, 9:01 PM
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Firearms has a huge deferred demand. Lots of people want to get guns but most don't feel the urge to right away. They either they wait for good deals, will get it later when there's money for it, or any hundreds of other reasons.

Prices on AR's and ammo have gone up quite a bit but prices for other kinds of guns or accessories haven't gone up as much or if at all. There's some substitute or complementary effects of the increased AR-15 demand. Ammo and accessories is complimentary. AK sales, 80% lowers, or other rifles would be substitute effects.

Last edited by Bouy; 01-23-2013 at 9:06 PM..
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Old 01-23-2013, 9:08 PM
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Well said rm!! I completely agree with you and have also been bothered by some of the comments regarding what is and what isn't a fair profit...honestly those statements sound like they came from the White House! In a free market, the markets determine what is a fair profit...
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Old 01-23-2013, 9:15 PM
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That is utter and complete BS I just dont know where to start...so I won't.
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Old 01-23-2013, 9:29 PM
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Thank you!!!! Exactly my thoughts, but explained far better than I ever could. Let the free market work!
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Old 01-23-2013, 9:33 PM
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I totally disagree that inflated prices lead to no hoarding and that purchasers only buy what they need.

This is assuming an economic vacuum, a level playing field where all players have similar amounts of money to spend and have similar behavior profiles.

In real life, however, there are many wealthy people who have no problem hoarding at inflated prices. When someone has $400k to spend on guns and ammo vs $4k, there will be no rationing going on. You also have people who are not wealthy, destroying their credit and/or savings (401k, etc) in order to hoard. In other words, you can't say that a high price is a deterrent in itself. There are many other variables in play here.

On the plus side, this shortage/price gouging is causing many folks who were on the sidelines about purchasing an AR / ammo, to jump in, myself included. Bad timing though,... FML.

Last edited by hk_ashen; 01-23-2013 at 9:36 PM..
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Old 01-23-2013, 9:40 PM
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OP I agree 100%. Understanding economics is understanding human psychology. Its all about human emotion.
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Old 01-23-2013, 9:54 PM
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The day someone puts a gun to my head and forces me to buy something as a consumer then i will care how much someone is charging. Till then i will just not buy things that i don't value enough to pay the amount of money being asked. People that complain about price gouging are just pissed off they can't get something for less money, ya when is the last time out of charity and good will you made something way cheaper than needed, or asked for less money at a job.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:00 PM
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I agree with your premise of how it "should be" but that is not what has been happening.
Quote:
For example, during a natural disaster, the price of a bottle of water ought to rise to many times its original price. This serves the vital function of rationing. Thus, there is no hoarding. Rather than the first in line buying all the water due to the restricted price (per anti-gouging laws) and the rest going without water, purchasers only buy what they need. Price gouging serves the more vital function of insuring more have water. If you don't think this is so, see the chaos in the aftermath of the storm in New York. In addition, the vendor might not sell at a higher price, but the purchaser surely will. How many of the new AR purchasers, if the price was restricted, wouldn't turn around and sell it for 5x the price as soon it was freed from jail?
Using this example, look at what has been happening with ammo, people are hoarding ammo and buying more than they need. They are not stopping because prices have risen sharply, they are buying more despite it which drives prices even higher.

The same can be said of guns too. People who bought an extra one to sell to help pay for the first one aren't the problem, it's those individuals that bought several with the sole intention of selling them for profit and drying up supplies. That is illegal, but because they are getting away with it without being prosecuted, they have cleared the racks and caused prices to soar beyond belief.

This isn't supply and demand issues caused by a disaster or catastrophic event like you are speaking of - it is entirely made up by panic buying. This has nothing but a negative effect on the entire firearms industry. There is no optimistic upside. Prices will continue to rise and supplies will continue to be scarce at best for months to come. Once the dust eventually settles, prices will remain high and the new normal may very well put the cost of buying and shooting our guns out of reach for many Americans.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:08 PM
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It's not the normal price gougers as much as it's the people who take advantage of the situation for when stuff comes in stock they buy everything just resell it on here for a ridiculous amount more. (I do appreciate the shops who limit amounts people are buying though)

And with that being said, I'm really sick of the people that are willing to pay 900 for a stripped lower, 500 for a BCG, 1.00-1.50 per round, etc. Those are the people that are truly hurting everyone else.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:10 PM
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...what law are they breaking , doesn't really sound like price fixing ?
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKSOG View Post
I don't have a problem with people making some money selling stuff at what ever price they want to. However the individuals using the marketplace to run a tax free business by flipping items from vendors is a slippery slope IMO.
^This^

We have people coming in here with multiple uppers that they just bought from BCM for $529, and they are asking for $950. I don't mind people making a profit. But coming in here and trying to obviously gouge your fellow calgunners is just tacky.

-Mb
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuchaka View Post
...what law are they breaking , doesn't really sound like price fixing ?
If you buy with the intent to sell, and you don't have a reseller or business license to do so, that is illegal.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:26 PM
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OP I agree 100% gouging something that is not a necessity is impossible. Capitalism is a little different that gouging. When the zombie hoards appear, then we can start talking about gouging.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:50 PM
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That is utter and complete BS I just dont know where to start...so I won't.
Please explain
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:16 PM
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another price gouging thread...

In the center fire section. sweet.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:24 PM
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In real life, however, there are many wealthy people who have no problem hoarding at inflated prices.
You're assuming that most wealthy people would hoard in the first place.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L4D View Post
another price gouging thread...

In the center fire section. sweet.
"" agreed
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:11 AM
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Not price gouging here but I need to sell my AR to fund my new 2014 Stingray. So all free marketers, here's your chance to perpetuate the current buying climate (and help a brother out). And yeah, I will be the old white guy zooming by you.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L4D View Post
another price gouging thread...

In the center fire section. sweet.
agreed x 2
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Old 01-24-2013, 1:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L4D View Post
another price gouging thread...

In the center fire section. sweet.
+1

OT OP.
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Old 01-24-2013, 5:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hk_ashen View Post
In other words, you can't say that a high price is a deterrent in itself. .
The only time high price would be a deterrent is if the person buying was thinking logically not just raw emotion. its easy to buy when you have a lot of extra cash laying around OR you are using someone elses cash to buy your desires. I have known people who really did not have the money, go out and purchase a $56,000 truck without batting a eye ( I know some of these people personally) and they make about $2500 a month always screaming they have no money. And they just added a $800 car payment to their already hefty monthly expenses. And they complain when the insurance went up compared to their other truck. Lots of people are running in the red these days using credit cards to stay afloat. Yet they still go out and buy that MB or BMW or fully loaded Chevy 4x4 crew cab. With the justification of I NEED it because of xyz.
At one time OP was right. High prices were a deterrent and to some people it still is. But to the I want it now instant gratification crowd money is no object even though I really cant afford it i gotta look good so I have to get it.
people talk themselves in buying more crap they do not need. Hell I have done it myself. I just don't do it very often.
I have known people who were literally dead azz broke making $300K a year and all their income went to the debt they were in. Paying through the nose to maintain a lifestyle that the only people who gave a crap about it were the same idiots in the same financial boat as they were and they were all trying to outdo each other on who has the appearance of more money.
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Old 01-24-2013, 5:31 AM
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Old 01-24-2013, 5:59 AM
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Not everyone buys in bulk with the intention to resell. I would put good money that nearly every Veteran member of Calguns has a few extra lowers being safe queens. And even though we'd love to build them all out (which is why they were bought to begin with), something else comes up (like needing to pay taxes, having a kid, or wanting to finish a rifle rather than have 3 incompletes taking up space) that makes selling 1 or 2 of them necessary.

If someone is asking $600 for a stripped lower, be sensible, hit the back button and don't buy. The current prices are only sustainable right now because of a potential ban coming in CA, manufacturers being backed up for OVER a year, and because some people will pay anything as they're afraid it is their last chance to buy (one most of them kept pushing off for years).

This is America. Stop complaining about Capitalism and sounding like a Socialist.
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Old 01-24-2013, 7:18 AM
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The problem I have is with the politics, not the economics. The more people out there who are able to purchase an AR or AK (or other evil black rifle), the less likely that the gun banners will be successful.

I have no problem with people making money, but feel it is short sighted to take an extreme profit today when it will make it more likely that our civil rights will be infringed tomorrow.

BTW: high school Econ/Gov't teacher here....I focus more on the Government aspect.
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Old 01-24-2013, 7:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hk_ashen View Post
In real life, however, there are many wealthy people who have no problem hoarding at inflated prices. When someone has $400k to spend on guns and ammo vs $4k, there will be no rationing going on. You also have people who are not wealthy, destroying their credit and/or savings (401k, etc) in order to hoard. In other words, you can't say that a high price is a deterrent in itself. There are many other variables in play here.

On the plus side, this shortage/price gouging is causing many folks who were on the sidelines about purchasing an AR / ammo, to jump in, myself included. Bad timing though,... FML.
I think great timing...dumped my WASR at the local gun show for $1K...that helps fund another AR and part of another FAL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enfield47 View Post
People who bought an extra one to sell to help pay for the first one aren't the problem, it's those individuals that bought several with the sole intention of selling them for profit and drying up supplies. That is illegal, but because they are getting away with it without being prosecuted, they have cleared the racks and caused prices to soar beyond belief.
Not illegal, no more so than buying/selling parts prior to Zero's last election.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gun toting monkeyboy View Post
^This^

We have people coming in here with multiple uppers that they just bought from BCM for $529, and they are asking for $950. I don't mind people making a profit. But coming in here and trying to obviously gouge your fellow calgunners is just tacky.

-Mb
A willing buyer may not look at it as "gouging".

-hanko
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Old 01-24-2013, 7:37 AM
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Why dont we just take from those who have the most guns and ammo and Share them with those who dont.Then maybe they will stop Pissing and Moaning.
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Old 01-24-2013, 7:46 AM
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Old 01-24-2013, 8:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKSOG View Post
I don't have a problem with people making some money selling stuff at what ever price they want to. However the individuals using the marketplace to run a tax free business by flipping items from vendors is a slippery slope IMO.
So be the person that buys from the vendors and not the flippers.

Should everyone that bought gold at $300oz sell if for that just to be 'fair' to fellow CG'ers?

NOBODY can be gouged unless they let themselves be GOUGED.

And it's not gouging anyway, as has been said about a billion times.
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Old 01-24-2013, 8:15 AM
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I was really trying to be interested in that, but by paragraph 3 or so I felt like I was in an economics class listening to a lecture.

That's when I realized I don't have to go to school ever again if I don't want to, so I ditched.
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Old 01-24-2013, 8:41 AM
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Originally Posted by olhunter View Post
So be the person that buys from the vendors and not the flippers.

Should everyone that bought gold at $300oz sell if for that just to be 'fair' to fellow CG'ers?

NOBODY can be gouged unless they let themselves be GOUGED.

And it's not gouging anyway, as has been said about a billion times.
I do when I can, and refuse to buy from the flippers. However people are buying retailers out of stock for the sole purpose of reselling amongst the craze. I would argue that they are running a business at that point.

Also I don't agree with your comparison of comparing a market priced commodity to current conditions. The market price of gold based on supply and demand conditions. But I would be curious to go back and see how many individuals here calling for free markets, were doing so when gas was $5 a gallon.
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  #37  
Old 01-24-2013, 8:44 AM
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I didn't say it was illegal. Just tacky.

-Mb
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Old 01-24-2013, 8:49 AM
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Don't worry BHO will fix that too, then you won't be able to toot your horn

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I am new to calguns. great site. been getting back into shooting/reloading after some years busy with other things. anyways...

I teach economics in high school and used to in college. yes, there are teachers out there who are so fervently pro-2nd that feel if you support banning bazookas you're a fascist motherf***er. and legal would include that which I can tow behind my car.

my NRA sticker is proudly displayed on my car in the staff lot. thank you very much. that being said -

I am a little upset to hear people carping about "price gouging". c'mon guys, do you believe in liberty or not? here's the thing, cf. Hayek, Block, et al. And by the way, Walter Block, who has written extensively on price gouging, is as libertarian/anti-state as you can get.

Prices serve a most vital function in a society/economy. They simply reflect current market conditions. At this moment in time, demand for guns, ammo, reloading supplies, mags, etc. clearly is far greater than the supply. So prices rise. It's called a shortage. Prices send signals to consumers and producers. And they regulate market activity. There is no such thing as a just or fair price, and that's been fully well explained since the Scholastics in Salamanca, Spain.

When you restrict price movements you cause market distortions (look no further than the disastrous fed policy with interest rates and the housing collapse) which only make things worse. In fact, the "price gouger" serves a vital purpose.

For example, during a natural disaster, the price of a bottle of water ought to rise to many times its original price. This serves the vital function of rationing. Thus, there is no hoarding. Rather than the first in line buying all the water due to the restricted price (per anti-gouging laws) and the rest going without water, purchasers only buy what they need. Price gouging serves the more vital function of insuring more have water. If you don't think this is so, see the chaos in the aftermath of the storm in New York. In addition, the vendor might not sell at a higher price, but the purchaser surely will. How many of the new AR purchasers, if the price was restricted, wouldn't turn around and sell it for 5x the price as soon it was freed from jail?

In times such as these, "price gouging" also serves the function of spurring faster and greater increases in production. Why on earth would a producer act with any greater haste knowing they cannot sell at higher prices. Profits spur production, it's that simple.

Prices also reflect the future expectations of both buyer and seller. If you believe they're going to ban your mags or guns, then suddenly the PRESENT VALUE of the item grows exponentially, and prices rise to reflect that. It's also why gas prices rise so fast following (fill in the blank event) that interrupts future gas shipments. That gas in your underground storage suddenly is more valuable, plus replacing it is going to be far more costly, and in order to refill it, you'll pay more in the future, so you need more to cover that - TODAY.

It's also why prices fall much slower as the even though the supply catches up, it did so at a much higher cost.

What happened? Well, Hayek described it rather well, and it's called time preference. Most of the current firearms customers (pre-frenzy) were more future oriented towards their purchases. Events quickly turned many rapidly and overwhelmingly towards the present. This serves to only increase present values and discount future values. I haven't checked lately but I'd wager that prices for a Model 70 30-06 or a S&W .357 haven't moved all that much. It's not all guns, all ammo. .223 has vanished, but I'd bet I could go to WM or Big5 and find .270. I'll go tomorrow and double check

We can be sure those that support price controls are no friends of the 2nd amendment. I'm sure anti-gouging laws will not apply to firearms. And let's all be thankful for that. It's the surest guarantee that we'll get more of things we need, and quicker too.

I'll admit, I've got powder, primers, mags, and a few other things well stocked up since from the clintonista regime. Yeah, I go back a ways.

But before we criticize those for simply doing what they ought to do during this crisis, remember those who we ought to "punish". We need to remember those that caved to political pressure and stopped selling ammo, etc. In fact, rather than criticize the "gouger", we all ought to thank him/her for performing the vital service of responding correctly to market conditions, and sending the right signals to both producer and consumer. It is only because of the "gouger" that we'll sooner find those items again that we need and want.

Sorry for running long. Hope this helps...

and doesn't get me banned
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:14 AM
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I agree with the OP. No one is forcing anyone to pay out the nose for anything. I personally feel the problem is impatience. I'm pretty sure most of us will agree that should any kind of "ban" pass BCGs and uppers etc wont suddenly become illegal. Like last time around after the ban prices will come down. I feel the issue in the classifieds is all the newbs that joined in Dec or Jan wanting to build everything they can RIGHT NOW!!!! No one wants to be patient. No one wants to backorder. I had a spikes upper on backorder for almost 3 months before it showed. Could I have gone online to gunbroker or someplace and "over paid" to have it in a few days? Yup. That's what you pay for now.. immediate gratification.
I put a few K of lake city ammo on backorder on Black Friday. Paid a fair price for it. Do I know when it'll show? Nope. But I have no doubt it will. Can I pay a buck a round to have it now? Sure!
On a side note there are some people like me who would like to buy something now. I'm looking for a G19. If I want it now, I'll have to pay a "gouger's" price for it. To help fund the extra charge to get a pistol stat I'll sure take advantage of the classifieds for a little extra fund raising. Sell high, buy high. Sooooo anyone have a G19 for sale???
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKSOG View Post
Also I don't agree with your comparison of comparing a market priced commodity to current conditions. The market price of gold [is] based on supply and demand conditions.
Seriously? Did you think about what you just wrote?

The market price of gold is based on supply, demand and market conditions but today's gun/ammo prices are different because.........?
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