Incendiary Image of the Day: CheaperThanDirt Edition by Nick Leghorn | Jan 02, 2013 | 105 comments facebook twitter linkedin email That would be a 30 round magazine with an asking price of $99.97. Standard asking price of a metal 30 round magazine before the insanity began? Less than $20. comments William says: January 2, 2013 at 14:05 Does anyone else think CTD has any future in the firearms business? Reply Hmm says: January 2, 2013 at 14:08 Given people’s attention span?…Probably. Reply Chewbacca Defense says: January 2, 2013 at 14:12 History and studies have shown that politically, gun owners are the largest demographic willing to be single issue voters. They have good memories when it comes to elected officials and what they have supported. I suspect the same is possible for the businesses they support. Reply ready,fire,aim says: January 2, 2013 at 15:09 why do we keep giving these asshats press time we know they are theifs we know that they are going too lose business we need to quiot beating a dead horse and let it go…. Paul Rain says: January 2, 2013 at 15:26 Given the realities of just-in-time logistics, one would certainly hope so. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you can still buy standard AR-15 mags from CTD.. which likely wouldn’t be the case had they not raised their prices. The real culprits for the demand increase are the moochers, and to a lesser extent all who should be feared by the moochers, but haven’t proven their willingness to do to them what they wish to do to us. Reply Hal says: January 2, 2013 at 15:41 ????????????? JimD says: January 2, 2013 at 15:54 That made no sense whatsoever……… James says: January 2, 2013 at 20:58 WTF??? int19h says: January 2, 2013 at 22:56 >> I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you can still buy standard AR-15 mags from CTD.. which likely wouldn’t be the case had they not raised their prices. Oh, really? So guys at Mako must be doing some kind of magic, then, still selling 30-rounders for less than $20/mag, and fulfilling orders? http://www.themakogroup.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=EARM30+W JimD says: January 2, 2013 at 15:33 Damn you and your infallible logic! Reply Pulatso says: January 2, 2013 at 14:09 I don’t. I hadn’t given them much business due to their shipping policies, but they get nothing from me now. Reply Bob says: January 3, 2013 at 07:22 Jesus, Nick, you’re embarrassing. Get a friggin education. Do a search on YouTube for ‘price gouging’. Reply Chewbacca Defense says: January 2, 2013 at 14:10 I hope not. They demonstrated how much of a backbone they have when they temporarily suspended sales of firearms. People talk about boycotting businesses that are not 2A friendly all the time, well here’s a company that does not fully support the 2A and sells firearms and firearm accessories…. Reply Air Force TSgt says: January 2, 2013 at 17:37 CTD along with Dicks will never see another dollar from me as long as I live…I have a very long memory and have many friends that I will press upon to do the same. F, em Reply Joseph says: January 2, 2013 at 18:01 That is a sentiment and course of action which I can get behind. It does not help their case, at least with me, that when I attempted to post a comment critical of this policy, as well as the policy of attempting to shift blame for THEIR BUSINESS’S decision to stop selling firearms it was repeatedly deleted by their mods. I ended up posting the whole thing in the comments section on TTAG under the post which linked me to CTD’s blog in question. Rob says: January 2, 2013 at 15:05 Probably. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the gouging the company did in 2008 in the run up to the election, I’m sure people swore to never buy from them back then as well. Personally, I was not around for the 2008 debacle and only in the last year had placed a couple of order with them. During that time I had not even heard from anyone about the 2008 price gouging issues, only now after this most recently problem. It would seem that there are plenty of people, over time, that may return given that there is something that they need and the price is right. There are also a lot of people that will be first time purchasers who won’t know their prior history, like I was. Reply Culpeper Kid says: January 2, 2013 at 16:03 Didn’t Nick just say he’d unloaded a spare AR for double what he had in it? Is he to be shunned and hounded from the club now? Reply Hal says: January 2, 2013 at 17:46 I am at peace with that. Reply In Memphis says: January 2, 2013 at 16:49 “Does anyone else think CTD has any future in the firearms business?” Is Recoil magazine still selling? Are people really paying $1200+ for $700 ARs? If you answered Yes to my questions then I will say yes, CTD has a (immediate) future in the firearms business Reply Ensitu says: January 2, 2013 at 16:57 I e-mailed them 2 weeks back, along w/Sportsmans Guide I’ll buy from other sources Reply William says: January 24, 2013 at 17:34 Folks, I just got Troy’s 30-round poly mag. It’s reputation is great – special forces, etc) and I was torture test pics where they shot 6 AK rounds through one, and a 20-gauge slug through another. BOTH continued to function (they weren’t, ahem, LOADED). And only $25. SCREW CTD. Vampires. Reply Greg says: January 24, 2013 at 17:55 Not from me, they are off my supplier list for good. Reply gringito says: January 2, 2013 at 14:09 History teaches that a crisis is ALWAYS the best opportunity to make money! Reply Lucas says: January 2, 2013 at 14:09 After I saw the 25 dollar PMAGs and 20 dollar Armscor 223 which is usually 7 bucks, i swore never again to buy from CTD Reply justin says: January 2, 2013 at 14:34 or the 500 dollar beta mags Reply Lance says: January 2, 2013 at 14:11 New company name: More expensive than Gold???????? This panic buying is killing our cause. Time to call your Reps and Senators instead of wasting money and making normal people life buying guns miserable, guys! Reply Jeremy Knauff says: January 2, 2013 at 14:12 Cheaper than Dirt might as well start advertising in Recoil Magazine. Reply stateisevil says: January 2, 2013 at 14:12 Y’all are a bunch of economic ignoramuses on this forum. Reply JR says: January 2, 2013 at 14:18 Exactly. Don’t want to buy from them. Then don’t. Do you not already have an AR mag, and need one? Then you will pay what the market will bear. As I said before, CTD is genius. In a few weeks when they start selling their guns again, no one else will have any. They will charge STUPID high prices. People will complain. And they will still sell EVERY ONE. And in a year when things are back to normal, and they have lower or competitive prices, people will go back. Money talks. It’s capitalism. Get over it. Reply William says: January 24, 2013 at 17:38 Sorry, pal… PRICE-GOUGING is not “capitalism”, but rather some twisted version of it. Tell me you’d use that “capitalism” crap if you had to buy gas at $30/gallon. You’d be pissing and moaning about “crooks”. You can’t have it both ways. Reply Merits says: January 2, 2013 at 14:20 False market. They did not become more valuable, just very temporarily more scarce. Value and scarcity are related but not the same thing. You can charge 6.50 for a movie soda only when you restrict me from bringing my own. This is a short-term supply bubble (NICS up 50% in December vs. prior record November) and many people, including me, will remember who sold $100 magazines ‘just cause they could’. Reply JR says: January 2, 2013 at 15:12 Temporarily more scarce does mean they are temporarily more valuable. Reply m.ia says: January 2, 2013 at 14:22 There is market price and there are morals. Brownells is still selling mags at pre newtown prices. Ctd is a shady company that never has or will get my business Reply Mr Pierogie says: January 2, 2013 at 14:44 Why are you invoking morality here? They’re not doing anything illegal, and if you don’t like the price then don’t buy from them. They are in business to make money. When you apply very high demand to very low supply, prices go up. If other companies want to ration their stock, that’s fine. You can get two magazines at low prices and that’s as much as you’re probably going to get. Although those companies are not responding correctly to the market. They shouldn’t be telling you how many you can or cannot buy. Instead, that should be signaled by the item’s price, depending on current demand. That alone should dictate whether or not you see enough value there to buy or not to buy. Reply matt says: January 2, 2013 at 15:03 Why are you invoking legality when someone else is bringing up morality? Since when was legality more important than morality? If it is, do you always obey the speed limit, and engage in adultery whenever possible? Mr Pierogie says: January 2, 2013 at 15:22 Are you serious? Wow…Ok, let’s say you have person X, to whom rape and murder are not immoral. But those acts are obviously illegal. Well, should this person’s moral views trump the law? Can you tell me what’s so immoral that CTD is doing? If somebody does not understand the rules of a free market, that’s fine, but don’t call it morally wrong either. I don’t like these prices either, but that’s how a free market works. matt says: January 2, 2013 at 16:13 Somebody doesnt understand that we don’t have a free market, or anything even resembling one. If there was a free market there wouldnt be a Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Products Safety Comission, Federal Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Reserve Bank, etc. If we had a free market, all the banks would have gone under, you would have lost everything in your bank and retirement accounts. If we had a free market, I could have slaves if I either paid the market price for them or captured them myself. What CTD is doing is exploitation, which is what makes it immoral. Just as jacking up the price of food and gas during a natural disaster is exploitation, which coincidentally happens to be illegal as well. Mr Pierogie says: January 2, 2013 at 16:48 I can certainly agree that our market is not totally free, unfortunately, and the various government agencies are preventing it from optimal functioning. But I don’t see how CTD’s prices are immoral in a section of the market that is working properly. Who’s being exploited here? The people who are willingly paying the higher prices? If everybody can buy elsewhere at lower prices, then CTD’s price will not last at all and it will have to go down. Nobody is under any obligation to buy from them, whether they’re charging $100 for a mag or $1. Don’t like it, don’t buy there. Oh, and I’m not sure about that whole slavery thing you’re advocating would be ok. In a free market, people exchange labor for wages (or barter), nobody owns anybody. Joseph says: January 2, 2013 at 18:17 I have to agree with Mr. Pierogi on this issue. Morality is irrelevant, it is not the onus of CTD or of any other entity or individual which provides either goods or service to act in a “moral” manner. Rather it is the obligation of the customer to refuse to support companies which do not act in a “moral” manner IF and only IF that consideration overrides the customer in question’s need/desire for the good and service. As Mr. Pierogie points out, if you are morally outraged by CTD’s current business practice then do not continue to support the business. Simple. On a further note, Matt: Your crass attempt to play the emotional trump card of slavery in your argument does not in fact support your point but rather undermines it. Specifically “I could have slaves if I either paid the market price for them or captured them myself.” The argument is fallacy for two reasons. First slavery is currently illegal, the fact that it is considered immoral here in the United States is a secondary consideration as there are many cultures who still practice various forms of slavery, therefore tacity condoning the morality thereof. The fact that slavery is illegal in the US means though most importantly that there exists no market for slaves. Therefore you could not own slaves. Removing governmental interference from the free market would not override the myriad of other laws which do not infringe upon business practices. Secondly and also important since no fair market value exists for slaves by virtue of the non-existence of a market for them you theorize that you could “capture them myself.” Once again your argument fails to hit its mark. Even if slavery were legal “capturing them youself” would also be illegal, and would have been even under the legal conditions which allowed slavery to exist into the 1860’s in America. int19h says: January 2, 2013 at 23:04 “Secondly we may speak of buying and selling, considered as accidentally tending to the advantage of one party, and to the disadvantage of the other: for instance, when a man has great need of a certain thing, while an other man will suffer if he be without it. In such a case the just price will depend not only on the thing sold, but on the loss which the sale brings on the seller. And thus it will be lawful to sell a thing for more than it is worth in itself, though the price paid be not more than it is worth to the owner. Yet if the one man derive a great advantage by becoming possessed of the other man’s property, and the seller be not at a loss through being without that thing, the latter ought not to raise the price, because the advantage accruing to the buyer, is not due to the seller, but to a circumstance affecting the buyer. Now no man should sell what is not his, though he may charge for the loss he suffers.” Evan says: January 2, 2013 at 15:38 +1 most of you know nothing about economics. Price gouging is not a real thing. Reply Merits says: January 2, 2013 at 15:50 You’ve never had a car breakdown in the middle of nowhere I see. Reply Mr Pierogie says: January 2, 2013 at 17:26 Let me try this analogy: A bottle of water is readily available to you and me at this time, the demand does not change much and supply is also plentiful. Therefore, prices will be low. However, let’s say you’re in a desert, dying of thirst. If I was walking by, and had an extra bottle of water to sell you, how much is it worth then? If you don’t drink something soon, you will die, and this bottle of water is your only chance. All of a sudden, you should be willing to pay a lot for it, no? I know this example may be a little extreme, but it illustrates a simple point. Supply and demand. The price is set at whatever the market will bear. Bruce says: January 2, 2013 at 19:56 Growing up 50 to 60 years ago, we lived on a small farm located on a state road. I remember three or four time someone running out of gas at our drive. My father usually had a small amount of gas which he gladly gave the person to get them to a gas station. All of them offered to pay for the gas but dad would refuse. The one time he didn’t refuse is when the person stuck a ten dollar bill in my shirt pocket (gas was often 25 cents a gallon or lower then). My dad was retired military but he would never think if taking money from someone who was in need. Nor did any of the people ever forget to offer to pay for both the gas and the trouble. I guess we lived in a different world then. WLCE says: January 3, 2013 at 12:03 in the middle of nowhere and car broke down? thats why you have emergency money and dont live life paycheck to paycheck. i swear most people are masochistic that way. Joseph says: January 2, 2013 at 18:46 Evan don’t be absurd. Of course price gouging is a real thing. What would you call “retail markup?” Price gouging occurs all the time, in fact you might say that supply and demand well… the whole idea of capitalism is predicated on price gouging. Price gouging, or retail markup becomes even more important as a society advances technologically, as ours has, which tends to be accompanied by an increase in professional specialization, which means that each sector of the market may charge exactly what in their experience the consumers will pay. They may lower their prices as far as they want or conversely they may increase them as high as they can and still have enough people consuming to remain profitable. Typically this is balanced by supply and demand, except in cases of mass panic buying, or times of emergency. What prevents gouging from occuring in a normal scenario, aside from laws designed to do so is geography. If a hurricane is headed straight for the town I reside in then emergency supplies and bottled water will be bought out rapidly. Myself and my fellow panic buyers are prevented from turning this into a national run on bottled water via the internet by virtue of the expectation that by the time the products would arrive the stimulus causing the panic will have passed. These panic buyers see no way in which to acquire the supply which they are demanding quickly enough save for going inside their geographical area. Price gouging in this scenario is further inhibited by the lack of forewarning on the part of the business owners. The situation firearms owners and prospective owners currently find ourselves in however is different. There is no impending event, there is only fear of one and nationwide demand for a product which can be acquired via the internet with a waiting period. We logically assume that any legislation passed will grandfather in existing High Cap mags or Scary Black Rifles, in which case the wait for them caused by living in say PA and having ordered from AZ is irrelevant, what matters is proof of purchase, a reciept showing for instance that I or someone else purchased the rifle in question before any legislation was passed. Therefore as Americans do their damndest to deplete the stock of firearms nationwide price gouging may, will and has been occuring. I should probably clarify though that I don’t support the lengths to which CTD is going to, which along with their decision to suspend sales on firearms, most likely in an effort to price gouge later, I will no longer take my business to them even after firearms prices go back to normal. Capice? Reply Hal says: January 2, 2013 at 17:43 CTD has the right to charge whatever they want for products. Supply and demand. Currently there is a reduced supply and a greater demand. If the market can bear it, those who have the means will pay it. However, I have the rights afforded to a consumer. I have stockpiled many magazines for a couple of years. While I believe you can never have too many I am not desperate and the price increases on CTD are based on speculation; they are exploitative in nature. Part of the art of doing good business is in cultivating and retaining good customers. This is an area of business that transcends the black and white of supply and demand economics. Where supply and demand is the mathematical element, customer service and customer retention are the human elements. The capitalism purists can defend CTD until they are blue in the face. They are quantifiably correct in what they are saying. Unfortunately it’s tough to quantify the impact of good customer loyalty but it DOES translate into profits. Do you think Larry Potterfield sends out customer appreciation emails periodically for his health? What he is doing is branding, which is another important part of business which ties into customer retention. Most other retailers understand that this is a temporary bubble and that it will pass when the push for new gun control dies (which it will). As such, their prices have remained consistent even though the value of magazines has fluctuated. It isn’t morality that stays their hands, it is good business acumen. It is the art of keeping customers happy and loyal. It is the art of creating a trusted brand. As a consumer I value the goods and services rendered to me in exchange for capital, not CTD’s shrewd market adjustments. In a year when the price of magazines has stabilized, I will turn to Midway and Brownells because they understand business psychology. I will purchase from them even if they are more expensive than CTD. They have created brands that have pleased me as a consumer time and time again; when I think gun parts, I think of them. When I think of brands I can trust, I think of them. How will people think of CTD at that time? I for one will remember their exploitation of a false market. They have utterly failed to create a positive vendor-consumer relationship with me. I have never been pleased by their customer service and now their brand is synonymous with opportunism. And I am not alone. So they are absolutely creating a lot of profit for themselves in the short term… at the cost of massive sustained future profits. Business is not is not just a math equation; it is a complex human interaction and a lot of the Adam Smith wannabes on TTAG are thinking in a vacuum. CTD is not “brilliant.” They are short-sighted and incapable of processing the second and third-order consequences of their business decisions. They are playing checkers, not chess and Larry Potterfield will laugh all the way to the bank for decades. As well he should. He is the truly talented capitalist in this discussion not the owners of CTD. CTD will remain second rate at best and with fewer customers. I spend thousands a year on firearms and supplies and they will never get a dime from me again. I encourage others to refuse to do business with them as well. Reply cyrano says: January 24, 2013 at 17:10 You sir have jumped to some pretty big assumptions about some of the contributor’s credentials when it comes to economics. When CTD is charging higher prices than all other competitors then they will drive away consumers. I bought 4 Pmags from Brownells at preNewtown prices from Brownells while CTD was charging 200% to 300% of preNewtown. You can still find PreNewtown prices and mags around thus CTD is not charging market rate. Price Gouging happens when you are the only supplier raising prices when a perceived but not realized shortage occurs with a captive consumer. In CTD’s case, the consumer is not captive thus they aren’t price gouging, just poorly pricing their inventory in relation to its competitors. When a company is charging more than the other companies, its just poor business sense. You may sell some inventory but you will not maximize your revenue/profit on the demand curve. Reply Cellude says: January 2, 2013 at 14:12 I guess Econ. 101. Anyone want to sell me gas at $.10 a gallon? The price is set by what the market will handle. Reply Barstow Cowboy says: January 2, 2013 at 14:14 If a magazine has gone all the way up to $100, the price of Dirt must be through the roof! I just went there and amazingly they still have those $100 magazines in stock, I guess charging $100 is their solution on how to keep those things from selling out too fast. Reply Randy Drescher says: January 2, 2013 at 15:29 Yes, if someone buys it, it was too cheap, Randy Reply RockThisTown says: January 2, 2013 at 14:22 I love the “Our Low Price:”. They could at least have some honor and say something like, ‘Everyday Gouging:’ or ‘Our response to supply, demand & liberal politicians’ stupidity:’ Reply Cyrano says: January 2, 2013 at 14:22 Actually I have a few degrees and one is Economics with post graduate work. CTD is trying to leverage its position and network to sell magazines for maximum profit when it can. I believe they raise their prices the nearer they are to no inventory in order to slow purchasing and then lower it as they get stocked up. The problem with this system is the existance of competing sellers with large inventory systems too that can leverage their names in the biz. Brownells and Midway come to mind. The only effect the 99 dollar mag does is shift the buying over to lower priced competitors with inventory or fast back order filling. CTD has probably never heard of the economic theory of the dependable and the not so dependable soda machine. The first time the dependable machine breaks down for a week it will lose business even after it is repaired because it acted outside the of the expectations of the consumer. No matter if a sign is placed on the dependable machine saying fixed and will function perfectly for life, the not so dependable machine will see an uptick in biz because it continues to deliver what consumers have expected it to. customers will always ask, “what have you done for me today?” Reply Richard Bondi says: January 2, 2013 at 15:54 Yep. Basic market psychology. If CTD plays to those desperate to buy, they don’t need to build loyalty because a large group will always be desperate or impulsive. On the other hand, Brownells & a few others will weather bubbles & panic because they do build loyalty. Both strategies can work from a financial POV. But long term? My money & loyalty goes to places like Brownells. Reply aweds says: January 2, 2013 at 14:32 Prices on everything are just silly. I saw a DSA SA58 in the LGS for… $4200! A Colt 6920 was $2000. The rest of the guns… wait. There weren’t any left… Reply KnowWhatIamTalkingAbout says: January 2, 2013 at 14:44 DSA FAL – Just picked up mine with tax for $3K, and I did get the last one in the LGS. The price I paid was the same as a year ago. I know because that is how long I have been looking at getting one. Reply DamDoc says: January 2, 2013 at 14:34 Perhaps the business should change its name in view of its future, unless it starts selling candy: Deader than Dirt Reply jmk says: January 2, 2013 at 14:34 and these are *used* mags, to top it off. says, “issued” and “may show scuffs and wear,” along with the user reviews… so, a $10 surplus mag for $100… but i do agree that it’s capitalism at work. and i agree with the Soda Machine theory – they will be seeing less business as a result. Reply marc says: January 2, 2013 at 14:41 CTD can go to hell. They have a right to sell to the free market and I have a right to choose to shop elsewhere. They are dead to me and will never see a nickle from me again. Reply WA_2a says: January 2, 2013 at 16:21 +1. They betrayed us in a time of need, jumping ship and ending sales when Newtown happened, rather than standing by the side of loyal customers and other gun owners. Reply Justin says: January 2, 2013 at 14:43 I just received notice that my pending order with CTD for 15 pmags that I had ordered at $11/ea (before the price hike) had been summarily cancelled. The CS person could only say that they could not fulfill the order, even though the online status had shown “shipped” for more than two weeks. Those of you standing up for their American Capitalist spirit are ignoring the fact that they are either a very inept business (selling products they don’t have) or greedy liars (canceling orders so they can sell inventory at higher prices). I believe the latter. Reply Accur81 says: January 2, 2013 at 15:39 I had the same issue with them when when I tried to buy Remington UMC 55 grain .223 for $6.53 / 20 on sale about 10 months ago. Those were some great prices, back in the day. I was told by customer service that my order was “processing.” After a few days of no emails or shipment notice, I called back. My order was cancelled, and the product reappeared for purchase at a higher price. Canceling an order, only to re-stock at a higher price, is damn sketchy. Reply Spoons Make You Fat says: January 2, 2013 at 14:44 Maybe they saw the writing on the wall, realized their business is irreconcilably broken, and decided to maximize profits as they flame out while trying to build out a new website. Or not. There is a lot of speculation these days… Reply Pulatso says: January 2, 2013 at 14:45 It’s capitalism at work alright…and as they have no corner on the market, the artifically raised prices will cause them to lose their large market share. People who care about gun rights tend to care enough to not support fair weather friends. Reply Pro-Liberty says: January 2, 2013 at 14:47 There is no such thing as a “just price,” except whatever price a willing buyer and willing seller agree on. The sensible response to a shortage situation is to raise prices. In this instance, the shortage was caused by a tremendous uptick in demand based on speculation that a ban could be enacted in the near future. I have more than twenty 30-rd mags, so I am not a buyer at $100. Other people who did not plan ahead for this sort of thing and who have zero, one, or two 30-rd mags may be willing to buy at this price point because they figure it could be “now or never.” This is exactly how the market should allocate resources: the people that are desperate and willing to pay more should get the magazines, and the seller should be rewarded for putting his inventory of goods towards it best and highest use. Reply Mr Pierogie says: January 2, 2013 at 15:00 That’s right. People need to understand that if the high demand wasn’t there, prices wouldn’t be way up there either. Those with enough mags of their own will be discouraged from buying at high prices, because there’s no added value for them. That, in turn, will leave ample stock for those who have little or no mags at home. They are the ones willing to pay a high price and there’s plenty of them out there. Once demand subsides, prices fall. Reply Pro-Liberty says: January 2, 2013 at 16:46 What’s more, these high prices incentivize others to enter the market in order to receive a higher ROI than can be had elsewhere. Unfortunately, a lot of folks here think that CTD shouldn’t be rewarded for having assumed the risk and expense of maintaining an inventory of these items for sale. Every person here could have set aside a little more from their budget to buy magazines, knowing that another assault weapons ban would likely come around one day. Now, it looks like that day is here, and all the folks who procrastinated and didn’t acquire an adequate stock of the things likely to be banned are crying their little eyes out and saying that big, bad CTD should engage in charity and sell magazines at yesterday’s prices. Guess what? If you decided to spend your money on popcorn and movie tickets instead of stocking up while you had the chance, that is YOUR problem. There is absolutely nothing unethical, unseemly, or immoral about a private seller using prices to ration their inventory. This is a heroic move that results in the people in the most dire need being able to still get 30-rd magazines for a while longer, and I applaud it. The term “price-gouging” is commie drivel if ever a phrase deserved that label, and I say that as someone who was born and raised on the gulf coast of Louisiana, somewhere that has had its fair share of catastrophes. Jacked up prices signal that every guy in a tanker truck should turn South and head for the arbitrage opportunity. That is how the market coordinates emergency management activities, and it works a lot better that government intervention in the marketplace. Reply Mr Pierogie says: January 2, 2013 at 17:07 I don’t think I could say it better myself. Do I sense a fellow Austrian here? jmk says: January 2, 2013 at 17:19 +1000 (or is that approval gouging?) since nobody’s sick or dying over the short supply of 30 round mags, CTD is far, far removed from immorality and whatever degree of illegality might pertain around gouging. get a shotgun – you’ll save money over an AR and never have to worry about extra mags. AlphaGeek says: January 2, 2013 at 17:31 get a shotgun – you’ll save money over an AR and never have to worry about extra mags. That’s true, but on the other hand, if you take any serious shotgun classes you’d better get used to an instructor shouting at you to Feed that gun! Keep it fed! If you’re not shooting, you’d better be feeding your gun! Working a shotgun is just a fundamentally different operating practice than 30-rounds-drop-mag-reload-charge-rifle-repeat. I make that point because anyone choosing to pick up a shotgun instead of a magazine-fed rifle NEEDS to practice feeding their new toy on the fly until it’s muscle memory. Cyrano says: January 2, 2013 at 17:46 I being in the Economics and the service business, know you don’t raise your prices on your merchandise at your customer’s weak point unless your input prices go up significantly. Especially if you want future business. The time in which prices can go up without lost customers is if you are dealing in a commoditized product with no differentiation associated with it. This is true with things like lead ingets, corn, wheat, etc. If you are selling the market price then everyone is charging the same with commodity. AR15 Mags are not a commodity and thus unique and priced by model through what is called differentiation. Differentiation can be determined by things like quality, service, convenience etc. The Gasoline example people are using on this forum is for a commodity. Enough talk about econ pricing, what counts is CTD is seen as charging more than its competitors thus can be seen as not customer friendly and likely not to see customers darken their door again. WLCE says: January 3, 2013 at 12:06 pro liberty, excellent post Mr Pierogie, you as well. its nice to see im not the only austrian follower here. this shit makes me want to rip my hair out. APBTFan says: January 2, 2013 at 14:51 The most salient point to me isn’t near as much the prices as it is the message they’re sending on how they truly feel about their customers. I’m a life long customer of Midway USA which by the way hasn’t raised prices at all. Reply Merits says: January 2, 2013 at 16:06 Bingo. Go ahead and charge what you like, it’s your choice. However, I know you didn’t need to charge $100 in order to run your business as of yesterday, because you were selling them for 5 times less, so you’re doing it because you want to exploit a situation and cash in. Capitalistic decision, fine. Maybe it will pay off, maybe not. I’m not even going to to judge and call you greedy, just be willing to accept the lost customers who you alienate. Reply Somac says: January 2, 2013 at 14:56 CTD did the same thing back in 08 after the election. I havent given them any money since then. It kind of leaves me sick to see them act that way even if thats how supply and demand works. Not everyone has raised their prices… Reply Chris says: January 2, 2013 at 14:57 I stopped using BofA ATMs when they threatened to pull the credit line of a gun-store owner in the midwest (Ohio or Illinois, can’t remember). I used CTD once, and actually have them as a customer – I will refuse to do business with them in any fashion for this act. It’s bad when the fudds act with knee-jerk fashion – it’s bad when so-called supporters do so as well. They’ve shown their stripes. Reply Missouri Gun Owner. says: January 2, 2013 at 15:08 I live in the state of Missouri and here price gouging is illegal “Price gouging refers to artificially inflated prices on necessities after a disaster, natural or otherwise, so consumers should be aware of products that have suddenly seen large increases in price. Price gouging is illegal in Missouri.” I would say the potential AWB is a disaster and those are defiantly inflated prices. I think ammo/magazines/rifles are necessities guaranteed by the 2A. What do ya think? Reference: http://ago.mo.gov/DisasterRecovery/PriceGouging.php Reply RightYouAreKen says: January 2, 2013 at 15:19 I don’t think an AR-15 mag is a “necessity of life” (wording from your link) as much as we might sometimes feel otherwise 🙂 Also, who’s to say what is gouging? How does one increase prices without feeling the wrath of the govt? Does one have to seek approval from the govt to raise prices? Feels like something the government should keep their noses out of to me. Reply Missouri Gun Owner. says: January 2, 2013 at 15:39 It might be if your life is being threatened with violence. Reply Chris Dumm says: January 2, 2013 at 15:09 CTD had built a reputation as a reliable and prompt internet vendor with decent customer service and generally reasonable prices. Other internet vendors (cough RGuns cough) don’t enjoy this reputation, which took CTD many years to earn. It has taken them less than a month to destroy this reputation forever. I may have been the last man in America to order (and receive) post-Newtown PMAGs from CTD for $12 each. I ordered them the afternoon I saw the news of the atrocity, and they showed up at my door a few days later. By that time Joe Grine tried to order some for himself, and discovered that CTD had raised the price to $60 each. That was a really stupid move, since there were still plenty of LGS’s around here with PMAGs in stock for $20 or less. But for CTD to breach their contracts and cancel existing orders is beyond stupid. It’s disgusting, and so is charging a 1000% panic premium for cheap and ugly GI magazines. Can you hear that popping sound, CTD? It’s the sound of air rushing in to fill the hard vacuum where your good reputation used to be. I guess I’m lucky that they actually shipped my PMAG order (perhaps it was because I only ordered three) but Cheaper Than Dirt has earned my lasting distrust for their antics since then. I’m calling them Cheaper Than Dirt-Bags from now on, and I won’t consider purchasing anything from them, ever, unless their price is far lower than that of any other vendor I can find. The Cheaper Than Dirt-Bags will feel only a tiny sting of pain from my individual decision, but shooters are a politically active bunch with long memories. CTD has built their entire retail model around guns and shooting sports, just like Recoil Magazine. They might make some short-term profits, but they’d better use them to pay off their employees and sell off their office furniture. Because I think, and I hope, that they’re dead in the water. Good riddance. Reply Chris Dumm says: January 2, 2013 at 15:10 And if you want AR magazines, try Centerfire Systems. They’ve still got some indestructible steel mags in stock. http://centerfiresystems.com/WWWmagar-kr30.aspx Reply Mr Pierogie says: January 2, 2013 at 19:44 Wait a sec… As a buyer, you shop around for the lowest price possible, yes? And just before the tragedy occurred, CTD had a fairly competitive price, right? As soon as you saw the news, you realized, correctly, that some X, Y or Z politician might want to exploit this situation and introduce a ban on mags, or perhaps other people might not feel safe enough so there would be a panic-induced buying in the immediate future, yes? So you made your purchase early, precisely in anticipation of rising prices and depleted stock? That’s exactly what happened, and on the other side was CTD who saw the same thing, and as a seller they want to get the highest price the market will bear, correct? And as we’ve seen, demand did go through the roof, thus prices (at least at some retailers) went up, in search of that price-demand equilibrium. If somebody had a contract with them to buy at fixed prices no matter what, and that contract was broken, or orders placed at lower prices were indeed canceled, then I can understand your outrage. If their reputation suffers because of something like that, that’s fine (but are we sure that’s what happened?). But I’m pretty sure that all retailers have a disclaimer which says that “prices may change at any time without notice,” precisely in response to market conditions. And yet we all shop at places like that all the time. I know it seems like I’m some sort of CTD defender, but I’m merely defending the free market policies. I honestly don’t care if CTD goes out of business tomorrow, people will shop elsewhere. What I didn’t like about CTD on that day is that they ceased to sell firearms, which looked like they caved under pressure. If they didn’t have a good reason to stop, then by all means 2A supporters should not shop there. Reply Cyrano says: January 3, 2013 at 08:21 See my previous comments to see where your “free market” matrix went off the rails with CTDs pricing. Charging what the market will bear happens if all players are participating ergo the “market”. Other players are are and have been charging lower prices and again Magazines are not a commodity structured product so you have to treat not as a commodity but a mulitiered differentiated product. Reply Casey T says: January 2, 2013 at 15:25 While people are arguing economics and may be correct in their discussion of economic theory, they are forgetting two other subjects that pertain to business as well: Ethics and Marketing. Ethics state that raising prices because of a temporary shortage is wrong and marketing states that raising prices to astronomical prices because of a temporary shortage is foolish because you kill all of your loyalty. People will pay slightly higher prices for reliability and customer service and will stay loyal to a business because of that. It’s why large businesses pay people to strictly figure out how to retain customers. At least, that’s some of the things I learned when I got my MBA. Reply Paul Rain says: January 2, 2013 at 15:33 Yeah, have fun the next time your local area gets hit by a national disaster and I go out and buy all the food from your local grocery at uninflated prices. It would be unethical not to allow people the opportunity to pick up a standard mag while the spector of fascism hangs over them, because they’ve fully sold out. Reply Accur81 says: January 2, 2013 at 15:56 And yet many other companies are managing to maintain a much higher standard of ethics, and maintain market credibility. CTD is not the local store in the midst of a hurricane, and something tells me that they would not be very helpful if they were. Reply In Memphis says: January 2, 2013 at 15:42 Does anyone know if thoes AR magaines that the mako group is selling are any good? http://www.themakogroup.com/mobile/default.aspx#C119 Reply JPD says: January 2, 2013 at 15:44 This is real simple. I DO remember, and keep track of ALL the retailers, etc. that break faith, dishonest, etc. Luckily, lots of other alternatives to find everything I need. Also, in most cases, with better pricing and customer service. I have a DSG 5 miles from my house. Never found anything there I could get somewhere else cheaper/better. Same with CTD. Always found cheaper elsewhere. Reply Silver says: January 2, 2013 at 15:50 They can set whatever price they want. I can shop wherever I want. And it won’t be there. Given that the last vestiges of freedom in this country will be gone in a matter of months, I’d advise people here to appreciate the fact that this company has the freedom to set their prices and you have the freedom to choose where to shop. Enjoy it while you can. Reply JimD says: January 2, 2013 at 15:52 I love how all of these armchair economists (who will no doubt vomit all of their credentials onto this post to rebut me) are jumping at the opportunity to give all of us mouth breathers a lesson on economics. Sorry, but you don’t get to tell us what we can be pissed about. Price gouging is a fairly subjective thing and every customer has a right to boycott. Getting on here and talking to people like they’re stupid because they don’t agree with some little class you might have taken as an elective in college or whatever only makes you look arrogant and foolish. Nobody is saying that CTD has done anything illegal, they are saying that what they did was unscrupulous. They are saying that as a result of CTD’s actions they will elect to not do business with them in hopes that they will go out of business. That’s called a free market. You may have even heard that mentioned in your little classes, assuming you were actually awake. Reply WLCE says: January 3, 2013 at 11:55 “Sorry, but you don’t get to tell us what we can be pissed about.” theyre not, but a certain group seems to want everybody to join the “price gouging” bullshit bandwagon that has infected TTAG, AR15.com, and every other firearms forum like a bad case of herpes. “Price gouging is a fairly subjective thing and every customer has a right to boycott. Getting on here and talking to people like they’re stupid because they don’t agree with some little class you might have taken as an elective in college or whatever only makes you look arrogant and foolish.” You do have a right to boycott and, similarly, others have a right to spend their money however they see fit and businesses have a right to charge whatever they want (consequences aside, as the free market dictates what will happen to them). im sorry you feel stupid. Please, feel free to start up a business and sell products at the price you think they should be sold at. “Nobody is saying that CTD has done anything illegal, they are saying that what they did was unscrupulous. They are saying that as a result of CTD’s actions they will elect to not do business with them in hopes that they will go out of business. That’s called a free market. You may have even heard that mentioned in your little classes, assuming you were actually awake.” i think it is foolish to draw to conclusions (unless you own a business as large as theirs in the firearms realm…) and say they were “unscrupulous”. They are undoubtedly keeping a large inventory with their high prices for a reason… Reply Tim says: January 2, 2013 at 15:58 My issue isn’t that they skyrocketed their prices to try and hold on to some inventory. Many places are doing that, just not to the extreme that CTD is doing it. I will cease doing business with them because, when the pressure was on, they cancelled all online firearm sales. Only after a massive backlash from the shooting community did they decided to potentially resume them. I prefer to spend my $ at places that will back the 2nd Amendment, not bow to liberal pressure. Reply Jay Dunn says: January 2, 2013 at 16:00 CTD has gotten their last order from me but (there it is again) get a grip people. If most of you are like me, and you probably are, we had a lifetime supply of magazines before this craziness. Reply Danny McBee says: January 2, 2013 at 16:04 “Cheaperthandirt”. Dirt has become rather expensive then, hasn’t it? Reply Joe Grine says: January 2, 2013 at 16:28 Oh, but its made by Colt so it is definately worth $99. (Sarcasm intended) Reply Swarf says: January 2, 2013 at 16:31 I keep reading here a TTAG that CTD is selling firearms again, but right on their web site it says they don’t: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/DealerInfo.aspx What gives? Am I missing something? Reply personfromtheinterwebs says: January 2, 2013 at 16:40 These are used magazines. Standard asking price before the insanity was less than $10. Reply CommonSense says: January 2, 2013 at 17:01 CTD has always been gouging slime. Will someone hack the site already and take it down? They’ve even removed the firearms categories from their side menus, now! Cowards! Reply Carl says: January 2, 2013 at 17:11 The price of dirt must be a helluva lot higher than I recall. Reply JWhite says: January 2, 2013 at 17:13 Mags where $8.50 before the nonsense, over at AimSurplus. I rebuilt some old pre-bans using new components that where shipped to Texas, disassembled, and brought into the state as “disassembled rebuild kits” – I used the “extra parts” to make California compliant 10/30’s” – I still need to put that darn Better Bullet Button Tool nubs at the base of the mag, ya know, for those super awesome bullet button reloads. *eye roll* – I’ve done this a few times, hell, mags where so cheap I bought some and had them shipped to Ohio for this trip I took out there. I left them behind with a friend. Mags where $9-12 a pop TOPS. Reply ken says: January 2, 2013 at 18:45 How much do they think dirt costs? Reply NotAFanBoy says: January 2, 2013 at 19:30 Being an ardent capitalist, I don’t care if CTD charges whatever, and I don’t care (though I respect and completely support) anyone who chooses to take their business elsewhere. I’m sorry, I don’t agree that whatever “price gouging”/”market pricing” CTD is engaged in is illegal, and I don’t agree that pending legislation would qualify as a legal “disaster” in regards to price gouging even if a large number of pro-gunners think it is. The current situation is being driven by fear and greed, period. Those are normally not illegal, though obviously in the case of natural disasters there are laws protecting people as there is an imposed limitation on local suppliers and a lack of alternatives. I think this situation is more analogous to the price of gasoline, and what happens when outside forces (real or imagined) effect supply, demand, and thus price. Situations in the past involving OPEC boycotts, government subsidies, and “windfall profits” by major oil companies all seem help distort the market and cause behaviour that is different than that expected by the majority of consumers. Enough of the economics. I’ve visited the CTD retail in McKinney, Texas several times since the Newtown atrocity, and it’s been crazy busy every time with lines formed for checkout. Yeah, it’s now the home of $2K .223 Bushmasters, $1700 Kel-Tec shotguns, and empty ammo aisles; hell, they even sold the new Barrett they had on the wall. One thing I’ve noticed is that they have continually restocked their guns on the walls throughout. Two days ago they had a great selections of new Glocks, and the walls were almost full of highly priced AR-15-types, along with .308’s and 300 Blackout AR’s, and business still looked ridiculously good. Maybe all the online sales were stopped to ensure they could feed their retail?? (I’m just taking a guess here, folks — I don’t know.) I can only conclude that many people don’t care what is written on the internet by other outraged consumers, are fine paying what is asked, and CTD is fulfilling a need in the current market. For me, the only question will be if they can survive after the panic has subsided, and I suspect that they will. Reply Patrick says: January 2, 2013 at 20:42 If mag prices were kept standard, they might (given a scarcity situation) sell out, selling to people who already have mags, but want more. With high prices, people with numerous mags will be less likely to buy more, and an upcoming new mag ban may cause new AR owners to buy a mag or two at the “exorbitant” price. The first and second mags are likely more valuable to an individual than the sixth and seventh. If I didn’t have a system already, and really felt I wanted to invest in the AR platform, I’d be willing pay $100 for a good mag. Adding another to the collection may not be worth $100. If there is a “high capacity magazine ban”, hiking prices will increase the chances of more people having one or two mags, rather than some people having a higher number of mags and some having none. Similarly, if there is a crisis, price hikes need to occur so that newly limited resources are more highly valued. High prices preserve supply. Price controls keeping prices low cause a resource to be depleted. If there is limited water, and prices are forcibly kept low, the first people to the water may buy a massive amount, and may end up showering in it while other people die of dehydration. I understand there is such a thing as customer loyalty, but obviously CTD had some reason for the price hike. I will definitely return to them for supplies if the price is right. Reply Stuart says: January 2, 2013 at 21:42 The chantilly gun show had great “deals” on 2nd gen pmags, only $40! Reply WLCE says: January 3, 2013 at 11:45 Mr Pierogie and others that truly understand free market economics, thank you! Kudos from a fellow Austrian economic follower. the rest of you, go back to school to scrub that keynesian bullshit out from between your ears. Reply Write a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.