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Cheaper than Dirt: Price Gouging Extraordinaires

December 28, 2012

Under free enterprise, Cheaper than Dirt has every right to charge what they want for their products.

And we have every right to advertise their price gouging to Americans, so they may make an informed decision about doing business with that company in the future.

$100 for a USED milspec magazine?

That’s insane.

Folks, if you’re feeling anxious that you don’t have enough magazines, relax.

Take a deep breath or ten.

This will pass and in the springtime, you’ll be able to buy brand new GI mags for $10-12 apiece again, delivered.

And folks, if you’re still doing business with Cheaper than Dirt…  you’ve got dirt in your head.

Hat tip to Endo and Miguel for this.

30 comments on “Cheaper than Dirt: Price Gouging Extraordinaires

  1. MrApple on said:

    Those price gouging bastards will get theirs when they are forced to shut down due to the lack of business.

  2. Just goes to show exactly what CTD thinks of their customers. I’m more than happy to spend my money, as I have for 25 years, at Midway USA. In in that time they’ve never even so much as screwed up an order. Great folks.

  3. This is simply the market at work. Prices transmit information. The message here is clear, magazines are scarce, demand is high. The current high prices incentivize manufacturers (possible even new businesses) to make more magazines to reap the current windfall. Consumers will buy fewer magazines at the inflated prices. This combination of increasing supply and lower demand will bring the price back down. This is how markets work and it is a good thing overall, even if it pinches now and then.

    • Almost – but this isn’t the same as a classic example like hotel rooms after a hurricane. You’re quoting classical economic theory here, while we’re talking about one set of bastards.

      This is a short-term, panic-induced surge and these bastards are taking crazy advantage of it – unlike just about everybody else in the industry. They pulled the same crap when the Devil was elected for his first term, and I haven’t spent a penny there since. Sure they’re free to do it, just like Kmart was free to have Rosie as a spokesperson. And they’re free to reap the rewards, just like John said. Screw these clowns.

      Gunbroker is the proper place for the supply/demand lunatic prices like you mention. A legitimate brick and mortar store (or online giant) like this just shows poor form when this happens.

      Their replacement costs aren’t going up (unlike gas stations jacking up prices after an oil spill) – it’s just them maximizing profit. Again, free to do it – but I think their short term gain should net them long term pain from us 2nd amendment folks when we take our business to Midway USA or Brownells. There is no extra incentive needed for the mag manufacturers to add capacity (they’re already working 3 shifts all week) since they aren’t the ones raping people with high prices. We’re talking about ONE retailer and some clowns on gunbroker … no market information is getting back to the distributors or manufacturers! (In terms of price, anyway. Backorders pushing up to a year’s production in some cases have certainly passed along economic feedback – but with the uncertainty of coming gun laws, don’t expect any additional capital investment to add manufacturing lines.)

      I’ll pay a bit more for good service, or proper ethics.

      • Higher prices do NOT lead to a drop in demand, they merely decrease the quantity demanded. Technicalities aside, CDT is free to charge whatever they wish and we are free to take our business elsewhere. I canceled my account in response to their shameless PR moves following the shooting.

  4. Concerned Parent on said:

    I am a legal gun owner who submitted to background checks, completed the appropriate training, and take gun ownership seriously. As law-abiding citizens we are expected to navigate the labyrinth of conflicting state laws regarding firearms and we do successfully everyday. Although many of these laws are conflicting between neighboring states, we still respect them and abide by them everyday. Let’s make it easy for everyone (including David Gregory) and develop a basic framework across the United States.

    With 300 million firearms in private hands (one-third of them pistols), the overwhelming majority of gun owners ARE responsible, law-abiding citizens, which is why these horrific massacres are not commonplace, but rather horrific outliers that can never be legislated away (e.g. DC, Chicago, and “Gun Free Zones”). We need teach personal responsibility to our children, family, friends, neighbors and politicians and hold them accountable for their actions.

    For several examples for the recent use of firearms for defensive purposes not typically reported by the national media please visit: http://www.equalforce.net and forward this address to others to whom this information may be useful. @forceequalizer

  5. RokShox on said:

    How do you know how much CTD paid for that used magazine?

  6. Anybody who does business with CTD is retarded!
    They will never have mine again.

  7. when the dust clears remember this site and help close it down by takeing your business elsewhere..

  8. Cheaper Than Dirt, should be called, More Expensive Than Gold,
    Just wait in time the prices will drop just like the customers that will drop CTD for their ridiculous price gouging.
    If you really need these magazines gun broker is selling for $40 to $50 each. Good Luck

  9. Certainly CTD is free to charge whatever they want for their inventory. Just realize this: Free market principles don’t stop at the retail level, wholesalers are raising their prices on average of $2-3/box. As CTD and others drive their prices up, the wholesale market is following suit which means, in the long run, everyone is going to be paying inflated prices for ammo and other accessories for quite some time.

  10. One disgusted LEO on said:

    I will never buy from CTD ever again. It is one thing to raise your price to refelect the demand but this takes it to a whole new level. They are also asking $399 for 300 rounds of .62 grain lake city 5.56 ammo. This is price gouging and I will not support a company that embraces this kind buisness.

  11. America at its WORST on said:

    Yes we all understand supply vs demand.
    Double your prices OK fine I may grumble but I will bite. Triple or in some cases raise your prices 10 fold is insulting. Screw CTD. I will never shop with them again.

  12. John Bowman on said:

    What everyone else seems to have missed was this salient fact: I’ve been watching CTD for awhile now. They went ‘out of stock’ on just about everything. Then – very mysteriously – they were IN stock on all ammo types, all bullet grains, FMJ, HP … ALL of it. And the price was 2.5 times what they had been selling it for. No, it’s pretty obvious that CTD was sitting on their existing inventory waiting for the other ‘nice’ retailers to run out. NOBODY is restocked on all brands and all types the same day – NOBODY. This company will never see a dime of my business again. I’ll be glad to pay 10 – 20% more to give my business to someone like Midway.

    • I’ve watched CTD for many years, and was a customer of theirs back when they had only a catalog operation. I went into their retail store once, and after looking around I decided that I’d never go there again (this was during a time of plentiful guns and ammo.. and their prices were higher than market even then). They are NOT a discount house as they advertise, although they do have loss-leaders on occasion, and in the old days it was often ammo. When I buy from a vendor and they advertise to be a “discounter” then I expect a low-market price. Unless you know what you are buying and shop it with other vendors, you’ll always worry about getting screwed by CTD. It’s just a fact.

  13. Danny Pelegroso on said:

    The average empty weight of an AR15 magazine is around one ounce. Exactly 15 years ago the price for one ounce of pure gold was $252.80. With those numbers that means a magazine today is worth 40 percent as much as pure gold 15 years ago. Cheaper Than Dirt needs to change thier name to “60 Percent Cheaper Than Gold”.

  14. What some of you armchair economists trained by the media don’t seem to understand is that during panic buying, people are buying goods that were already produced assuming a normal market price. When sellers raise the price of these goods, it IS gouging. If it were a case of a prolonged shortage due to increased demand over time, then the price increase is a normal market correction. In short term shortages, price spikes do not incentivize producers or make markets more efficient, because the net effect doesn’t last long enough. Think “stock market,” where short term changes in price are considered speculative activity, whereas long term trends are corrections to reflect real market conditions.

    • Danny Pelegroso on said:

      The magazines were already produced and aquired by CTD. They marked all products as out of stock but kept them in the warehouses.

  15. I will never buy anything from CTD ever again. I spent thousands of dollars with them over the years, $1 a round for bulk ammo, and $70 for magazines is just insane. Congrats you lost a loyal customer.

  16. Jeffrey Stroup on said:

    I filed a compliant with the BBB today. They did this when Obama was elected also. Feel free to file one also. I havent bought anything from them in 4 years. I also filled out a form for my state attorny general for price gouging. Not sure if the AG will be able to do anythign but I know that if enough people complain to the BBB we can get their rating down to an F

  17. devicemanager on said:

    I too remember when CTD was profiteering on ammo when Obama was elected for his first term. Since that time I have not placed a single order with them.

    Jeffrey, is right though. The BBB is all about ethics, and what CTD is doing is unethical. File a complaint with the BBB.

  18. Chris Williams on said:

    They are also selling the Magpul P-mags for $99 as well. I sent an email to Magpul telling them to not do business with CTD anymore. Don’t know if it will help but worth a try. Greedy jerks, makes me so mad. I don’t even need any mags just hate that they are doing this.

  19. Thomas on said:

    bulkammo.com has also taken advantage of its customers with outrageous price gouging.

  20. At CTD store in McKinney Texas I saw every AR double in price while local gun shop Bullet Trap and Cabelas never raised there prices. M’P was 900 now 1900
    –Bushmaster 900 now 1950–Windham 775 now 1599-
    -Black Rain 1500
    now 2500–MK 319 ammo 21.50 now 34.50 and they have tons of it WHY because your a bunch of the crooks and u lost customers. I was a very good customer. I Spent around 4500 in merchandise there in one year before price gouge. I will never buy there again. Thanks for taking care of your good customers CTD screw u!

  21. I ordered 20 Magpul 30round magazines back in early December at $12.05 ea. Then Mass hysteria and panic buying hit. CTD emailed me in mid January saying my order could not be filled due to lack of inventory and that they are canceling my order. Two days later the exact same magazines are in stock online selling for $59.95. Hmmmmm. I thought they were out of stock. Now I see them for $99.99. Nice price gouging. They will never see any of my money again!!!!!!!!

  22. Cheaper my ass, Colt 6920 Ar-15 for $3895, on site today. I will never buy anything from them again.

  23. Went to CTD today to buy extra magazines for my S&W 380 Bodyguard. They had them. I paid $29@ for them. Price on S&W Web site – in stock – $21. Price on other Web sites – out of stock – $20. Price for AR magazines – the same magazines I paid $11 for in November – $99. Insane. Will only buy from CTD if NOBODY else has the merch and I MUST have it going forward. Yes, we have a free market. Yes, there is supply and demand, and yes there are greedy bastards who think the customer has a short memory. Not this customer. CTD will be my last choice going forward for desperation-only purchases. Other posters are correct, in the spring the panic will pass, prices will normalize, and CTD’s chumps will realize they got fleeced and take revenge. Midway USA – great. Brownell’s – OK. WholesaleHunter – not bad. ManventureOutpost – great when they have stock. Manufacturer’s Web sites – surprisingly great in these times.

    CTD – greedy opportunistic bastards…but they have stock. You decide – stupid urgent money or patient reasonable money. Shoot safely!

  24. No need to get angry, let your wallet do the talking. Respect for the customer is what it boils down to for me. (Lack of it.) Free enterprise is a wonderful thing but they are seriously missing respect for repeat customers.

  25. I see the same thing in my business. Every time we have a huge ice storm most of my competitors locally mark up every chainsaw and generator that they have in stock trying to cash in on the huge demand. What do I do every time? I run an ad showing what MSRP is supposed to be for those items and tell people where to come and get them for MSRP…… My store!

  26. I will no longer buy anything from them. I hope other buyers will do the same. We need to let all our friends know about their pricing practices. Word of mouth is the best advertisement, good or bad!