Home Business Cheaper Than Dirt (CTD) Circling The Drain? Business Cheaper Than Dirt (CTD) Circling The Drain? By - January 24, 2013 95 Facebook Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp Email Three weeks ago they were selling these for $99.97, and I didn’t think CTD could get any stupider. They did. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Smith & Wesson Says It Will Sell Thompson/Center Arms EOTECH Issues the Industry’s Most Boring Press Release Massachusetts Tries to Drive Remaining Gun Makers Out of the State 95 COMMENTS Wow! Just, wow! I talked to Pete Brownell at SHOT Show and thanked him for not price gouging. I realize they are having a hard time keeping up with demand, but at least they’ve kept their dignity. Of course, my favorite part of the above image is the “Our Low Price:” Reply Brownells is doing great… No integrity issues with them whatsoever. Cheaper than dirt is trashing themselves with all of this! https://www.facebook.com/BoycottCheaperThanDirt Reply Fvck CTD. Reply Are people actually buying at those prices? Reply If the prices are climbing I would have to guess, yes Reply Imagine being a first-time buyer of an AR who just paid 2.5x the normal price and feels this is the last chance he’ll ever have… See my post below on why price gouging is actually a good thing! Reply “Our low price” Reply i live about 3 hours from the retail store, i have bought stuff from them before at ok prices, they werent great, after this whole stunt ill never darken that door again. Reply As far as I know, the CTD retail outlet actually has very little to do with the internet store. Definitely not defending this, but I think it’s just a licensed name they use that has very little relationship between the two operations. Reply The retail store jacked up their brick-n-mortar prices days after Newtown. In fact, when the website listed mags as “out of stock” ( at a low, low price of $50 ea.) the store employees were dragging boxes out of the back to the sales floor and tagging them for $60+. Reply CTD can FOAD! I have emailed them telling them that due to their business decisions they have lost my business. C Reply Same here. Reply As did I. I then proceeded to order a bunch of stuff from MidwayUSA. Reply Just ordered from Midway, myself. Reply Spent over $1100 with them last year. Won’t get a dime this year. Reply I don’t think CTD is stupid for this (the whole situation earlier is a different story and they’ll not get my business ever), but rather those poor people who are obviously paying this price (since otherwise they would not have it listed as such) are the stupid ones. Supply and demand at work I guess. Reply Short-sided perhaps. But that’s the beauty of supply and demand. If consumers value an item that much due to it’s scarcity all power too them. That said I view this as a temporary market condition, and since I value at least some dignity in my retailers I plan on never using them again. Reply It’s called the pricing mechanism in the free market. I know it sucks but you’re blaming the wrong people (I hate CTD because of their 2A stance, not pricing). Please educate yourself on why price gouging helps exactly the right people by putting “price gouging” in the YouTube search box. The blame goes to the government for using it’s monopoly on violence to interfere in a free market. If they didn’t jack the price there wouldn’t be any availability at all on CTD. At least a new AR owner can buy one if he feels this price is worth it. Obviously, for those who have 40 mags, the price is not worth it. That’s the point. Reply +1 Reply amen on pricing… and why they can stick it Reply +100 It’s called the Free Market. (When the gov’t actually allows it to function.) If somebody HAS to have it, they’ll pay the price. If not, they won’t. “Gouging” is the disparaging term used by the enemies of capitalism. Don’t use adopt the freedom haters’ vernacular. Reply And if they *have* to have it but can’t afford the price? There’s no more dignity in getting screwed by the free market than than by gov’t. I realize it’s an inevitable economic reality, but being real doesn’t make it good. Getting gouged sucks no matter who’s inflicting the wound. Reply If they *have* to have it, they’ll find the money somewhere, they’ll borrow from a friend or whatever. The point is, there will be product available to those who *have* to have it, if “price gouging” (a slander term of politicians) is allowed to happen, as opposed to it not being available at any price if it’s not allowed to happen. From a perfectly selfish perspective, I’m glad places like Walmart and Academy have not raised prices much on ammo, that means I will buy even though I have plenty in stock. If they did raise the prices I wouldn’t buy at all. Walmart and Academy should become “greedy” “price gougers” so people like me stop buying and the truly needy can. > There’s no more dignity in getting screwed > by the free market than than by gov’t. Citizen/Consumer Ing, Please report to the Ayn Rand Re-education Center for proper attitude adjustment. +40 Reply Thank you, someone gets it! Reply James P. Hogan is a two-time winner of the Prometheus Award (1983 and 1993), for promoting libertarian ideas in science fiction. On February 05, 2002 he wrote (emphasis added): While I’ve written much over the years that promotes a free-market approach as the better way to tackle many things in life, I don’t buy it as the automatic cure-all that some people say it is, based on the premise that price automatically indicates the worth of anything. The fallacy, it seems to me, lies in the claim that the market caters to majority needs as indicated by price, whereas in reality it caters to the whims of those most able to pay. Eventually the have-nots get angry or desperate enough to try and take, with all the consequences we’re familiar with. A reader by the name of Hassan Masun agreed in a letter, part of which reads: Absolutely. Any study of market prices, and their drastic change given relatively predictable events, puts paid to the strong efficient markets hypothesis using market prices as an indication of underlying value (or of long-term value for uncertain futures) is clearly stupid in many cases. Examples include every bubble (and subsequent crash), high volatility, sudden market movements without good exogenous causes, and the myriad of mismatches between monetary valuation and physical / environmental / social well-being. Reply yup and somehow many think that businesses owe them cheap prices. its such a american thing: getting something for nothing. Reply BINGO!!!! +100!! Reply How expensive is dirt now? Reply Heh, you beat me to that comment… 🙂 +1 Reply I can understand the shortages and the need to drive up the price a bit. But for a retailer, the trust of a customer base is easy to loose and hard to get back. I have enjoyed CTD in the past and hope to in the future. But reliability and consistency is important. To be fair, ammo and mags are in short supply at all mail order and local retailers and the local gunshows also. I assume all mag mfg are running multiple shifts to build inventory before the AWB goes into effect. After the congressional hysteria goes away, one way or the other, prices should come back down closer to where they were. So take care of the mags, accumulate what you can before the AWB. Donate to the NRA and other advocacy groups, write your legislator. The reason for the 2A is to resist tyrannical Government! Reply I’ve had no problem finding USGI 30 rounders for $15 lately. I’ve passed on them because i’m more of a Pmag person. But why anybody would pay $50, yet alone $130 is beyond me. Reply ^^^This For the price CTD wants for one GI mag, you can hop on gunbroker and buy multiple new in package p-mags. I agree with others when they talk about how gouging is a pricing mechanism in a free market and the benefits that it has. With that said, CTD isn’t gouging. They are going WAY further than that; they aren’t even in the ballpark for what price point the market is currently supporting. However, the market is also self correcting. If no one buys from them at their ridiculous prices, CTD will be forced to lower their prices down to the current market level or be stuck with unsold inventory. One way or another their prices don’t concern me; I don’t buy anything from them and never will. Reply Being “stuck with unsold inventory” seems to be precisely what they are trying to accomplish. They want to actually _have_ some inventory, and increasing prices in time of shortage is how you keep the shelves from going bare. Reply Got off their mailing list yesterday. Waited 15 minutes to talk to a nice lady. I poltilely asked to be removed and my account deleted without saying why, as she seemed to know why. Reply Instead of ‘Our Low Price’, why don’t they show some balls and say, “Today’s Gouge” or “Everyday Price Hike” or “Taking More of Your Money Everyday” or “Bargain? Not on your life!” or “When we absolutely positively have to screw you overnight”. LGS had Canadian-made 30rd mags for $35 two days agao. Reply I really don’t think this is a person controlling pricing. Most often, an algorithm of some sort is used by their web sales system to determine the price. They look at the number sold in the x amount of days, the number on hand, and increase as a percentage based on past sales and related items past sales. Reply What about 30 round magazine rebuild kits. How much cheaper than dirt are they? They should change their logo to the Jolly Rodger. Reply But everything on the Pirate Bay is free. Reply If they are selling them at that price, you can hardly say they are circling the drain. They are circling the foolish. Like sharks. Reply I can understand the shortages and the need to drive up the price a bit. But for a retailer, the trust of a customer base is easy to loose and hard to get back. This x 1000. What CTD seems to have forgotten is that they have competitors. And after this current kerfuffle blows over, those competitors will still be out there and those of us who were customers will not forget what CTD did. Of course, it may be that CTD thinks that hi-cap magazines and mail order ammo are going to go the way of the dinosaur, and if that’s the case, there is no future customer base for them to offend, and they might as well make hay while the sun shines. That way when they close shop they do so with their pockets stuffed full of the cash of foolish buyers. Reply “Cheaper than Shirt” — that is the one off your back Reply Companies like Brownells, Midway, Midwest Gun Works, and Natchez to name a few are awesome..CTD canceled my back-orders like others, only to find the same items in stock again at higher prices than I had initially ordered them. Complete slap in the face to all customers. And their prices, total gouge. If thats what the market supports, great. Their in stock e-lander magazines sell for about 40 bucks, twice what the Mako group sells them for on their own website. The Mako Group website indicates that they are in stock and still coming in, but are backed up in shipping like everyone else. But they are still taking orders and have not doubled their prices. Again, CTD is just asking buyers who may not know or have done research, to bend over because thats the way it is now. No it is not, and CTD will hopefully pay dearly in the end by going out of business. Hopefully a new owner could take over and fix their shitty attitude towards the 2nd Amendment. And their customer service?…yeah right..it was basically FOAD if I did not want to buy from them.I believe any company can charge whatever they want or the market will take. But when they cancel orders to re-stock themselves to sell at higher prices, that is just taking advantage of customers..a rip-off. And their cancellation of gun sales..another spineless act. They are not a Pro-Second Amendment business. Go Midway,Brownells, Midwest Gun Works, and all the other awesome Pro-2nd Amendment businesses. CTD, FOAD. Reply Oh, but those mags are made by COLT so they are so totally worth it. ** SARC** Reply Why don’t we all have the same reaction to overinflated stock prices?? Prices go up cause people BID them up. TTAG readers don’t obviously….but folks out there are. Hate to say it but this is just natural capitalism at work…. ethics and morals aside. Reply Don’t forget limited supply. As an item becomes more scarce and demand goes up, price will go up. There’s a lot more money chasing fewer goods, so it’s only normal for price to increase. Sadly, judging by many comments here, people have no idea how a free market works. So even though CTD isn’t doing anything wrong, many customers will refuse to buy from them in the future simply because of their own ignorance. If you can find the same mags for less somewhere else, and you don’t mind being limited to 1 or 2 or 3 mags, then by all means shop elsewhere. Nobody is making you buy anything from CTD. But wishing a company ill just because they’re following free market principles? Don’t like it? Don’t buy there, stop crying already. Reply Canceling orders at $20 and when they are available again they are $100? Yeah, they did nothing wrong, and no one will care. Reply If that’s what happened, then I can understand why people are upset. But my comment was addressing the price increase as it relates to market changes only, not what CTD may or may not have done to existing orders. Wow, the price of dirt must have skyrocketed while I wasn’t paying attention, of course I have always thought that CTD’s evaluation of the going rate for dirt was pretty high to begin with. Reply CTD = Close To Dieing… Reply I have a mag that came with, some of you have 25. If $100 stops you from buying ten more, then at least I get a chance for number two Reply Because if they are reasonably priced you wont be. If you walk into a store and see a new shipment, you’ll buy them out from under those that are short. Let me buy them aty a price that shuts you down. Lets say I bought the last M&P sport in the store, it came with one Mag. Give me a chance to buy another one, let me decide if it is to much $’s. no 556 either. Do you think my 60 rounds is enough, would it be enough for you. Hoarders hate gougers. The starving like availability. Reply I lived in Ft Worth fro many years and was a frequent customer of their store out on the loop as well as online. They will not receive another dime from me, now. Reply I’ve been to this store. The gunshop, website and “special catalog” are all different entities. I don’t know about the gun shop but I just got the “special catalog”, the small one with all the same china made junk in it and freaking thermold mags were 17 dollars or something like that. And I’m refering to the latest issue of it that I received like a week ago. Reply KCK, its the bait and switch that is the most disturbing. CTD canceled back-orders to resell that product at higher prices. And then canceled non back-ordered items (like they did to me) claiming to be out of stock after the order went through a few days earlier. But on their website, the same items were in stock at nearly double the price. So when they decided to raise they price, they basically went retroactive on existing orders, by canceling them then offering them back to customers at the higher price. This was after my card had already been charged. They can charge whatever they want or the market supports. But the bait and switch is just plain wrong. And I do not think CTD or anyone has the ability to have leftover stock for others on their minds in this case. If they did, they could simply limit the quantities per customer. Their purpose is profit as it should be. But screwing your customers after orders are placed and payed for, thats just not good business. They also caved on gun sales. They needed time to plan.. Reply Your right, that’s a different story, I was talking Macro Econ. CTD knocking you off a backorder so to get the new price and not honoring the original price is way different. So I hear ya. If they charged your card, I believe they made a contract. They could be sued for damages (maybe) At least most companies don’t charge till they ship. I think DIRT is the key word in their name. Reply For what it’s worth I ordered 1,000 loose Fed .223 for $399.00 in December. It arrived after New Years & then a week later a duplicate shipment of another 1,000 rds came to my doorstep. I had not been charged for it so I emailed CTD & said I’ll pay the same for the 2nd lot. They said fine & did so w/o charging shipping. A day later I go to their online catalog & that same lot is now $999.00 AND backordered. Did CTD do the right thing accidentally on purpose? Go figure. Reply I love (and hate) the utter irony of their name being “Cheaper Than Dirt” when they are anything but with this type of price gouging. Cheaper Than Dirt…more like Expensive As Shit! Reply Gentlemen, gentlemen… I’m surprised that so many who frequent this blog and presumably strongly uphold our Constitution and the freedoms it guarantees, are among the first jump all over a private business for “price gouging.” After all, nobody’s putting a gun to your head forcing you to pay $130 for a $20 AR-15 30 rd magazine. Last time I checked, we still had a (mostly) free market economy. It’s real simple: if you don’t like the price, buy from somebody else selling it cheaper. Ultimately, free market competition decides who wins and loses. If CTD — hardly the only purveyor of high-cap magazines — persists in charging higher-than-market prices, they’ll lose sales to cheaper competitors. Sooner or later they’ll be forced to eventually lower prices to be competitive. That’s how the free market works. Too bad too many people too easily forget. Reply I agree they can charge whatever they want or the market supports. Like I said in an earlier post, it is the back-order scam that has me upset with them. They will sink or swim on their prices, but they canceled my orders after having payed for them. Then offered the same items I was told they ran out of at higher price. That is bait and switch. Is it illegal, I don’t know. But certainly no way to run a business at any time, and even less now. But they can do whatever they want. Everything will even out. I hope no one forgets the bait and switch or the caving in on gun sales parts of the story. Reply But Powers, you’re making sense… None of the “Supply and Demand, CTD is A-Ok” folks wanna hear that. Nevermind that all other retailers raised their prices only a reasonable percentage based on what the distributor or manufacturer had passed on to them, CTD is the bastion of capitalism! Reply “I agree they can charge whatever they want or the market supports. Like I said in an earlier post, it is the back-order scam that has me upset with them. They will sink or swim on their prices, but they canceled my orders after having payed for them.” um, then do what a adult does and report them to the Federal Trade Commission. http://www.ftc.gov/ and stop bitching about the evils of “price gouging”. Also, dont buy from them. Reply “if you don’t like the price, buy from somebody else selling it cheaper. ” thats my point exactly. ill throw in a “STFU and shop somewhere else.” Reply I’ll never order anything else from them again (even after they stop gouging.) Reply These guys suck…and are on my wallet’s BLACK LIST. Reply I heard Beck advertising for them this morning. Somebody oughtta maybe fill him in on just how “committed” CTD is to the 2nd Amendment. Reply That is just ridiculous. The mako group is still selling AR15 mags for 19.95. http://www.themakogroup.com/product_p/earm30%20w.htm Takes a while to ship them out, but I just got my first two from them and they look very well made. I have 5 more on the way. Patience is a virtue. If you can wait awhile (several weeks) to receive the mags, this is the way to go!! Reply mako makes awesome mags. I find them to be a pleasantly less expensive alternative to the HK AR mags. Reply I thought they committed corporate suicide when they suddenly transformed into an ammo and gear store and said “we don’t sell firearms”. Now it wouldn’t surprise me if their customer base was even 1/5th what it was a month and a half ago. I’m glad I never gave them my business, and now I never will. Reply I threw their catalog away today and will NEVER be giving them a dime again. The internet is full of stores. They lost my business for life. Reply I hate to be the lone contrarian, but market prices is how demand is controlled. If it pisses you off to see the prices shoot up, by all means don’t buy from these guys, but I do not think so-called price gouging is immoral, or even particularly wrong. Reply Come on. Who is buying that. From 20 bucks a mag to 130? Give me a break. You would whine like a baby if gas went from 4 bucks to 70 for a gallon of gas. They should have just not carried the item rather than tick off all the customers. They will pay for their greed even if ( by your logic ) it wasn’t there fault. Reply dont buy from them then… Reply I wouldn’t “whine like a baby” at that. I would rejoice, because it would mean that every guy driving a tanker truck would be headed in my direction to benefit from the arbitrage opportunity created by the shortage. High prices are the signal for entrepreneurs to devote more capital to satisfying demand in a particular sector of the market, or in a particular, under-served geographic location. Reply Where I live there are at least 9 small gun dealers within 30 miles they are all charging 200 to 300% markup on any tactical rifles or shotguns and they either have plenty of inventory on hand or are getting inventory on a regular basis. I also have 3 medium to large chain stores that are still selling at regular prices, who do you think I will shop at when looking to make a purchase? How many customers will shop at the smaller stores when prices come down and they realize that they were charged $2500 for a $900 Ar15 or $60 for a $20 magazine (the medium sized store, shoot straight, has 30 round magazines in stock for $20)? The smaller stores are also telling customers that the AWB is going to pass no matter what and that prices will never come down (exactly what they said last time) and that if you don’t buy a rifle today you will not be able to get one tomorrow. I could understand a 20 to 30% markup but I will not be a customer of someone who outright lies to customers and charges outrageous prices to first time buyers that are the future of the industry and who we need to fight for our 2nd amendment rights along with those of us that have been doing it for many years. Reply Couldn’t believe Glenn Beck still has them as a sponsor. Read the same ad he has for months. Apparently he isn’t aware they suck now. Reply That’s a contract negotiated by his sales staff. Reply But he’s completely ignorant of the stunt they pulled halting firearm sales. Mentioned the cancelation of American Guns by Discovery after Sandy Hook but CTD didn’t bend which is an outright lie. Reply I never bought anything from Lower than Dirt, ever. Why would I, when Midway, Brownells, Natchez, Optics and others were always better. Reply This one might be even worse. http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/MAG-056 Reply True, but I’ve heard reports of Beta mags being offered in that price range ($400-500) at gun shows in recent weeks. Don’t get me wrong — when CTD has gun-show-floor panic pricing on their website, they’ve clearly conceded any hopes of retaining the trust of the 2A community. Reply i bought several of the surefire 60 rounders before the election and it is my understanding they are worth considerably more now. i cannot believe people would drop that kind of money on utterly useless magazines. if they are not reliable, then mags are useless. Reply What they are doing is dumb with regards to the well-being of their brand image. No question about that. But what is really stupid, are the ones who click on that “add to cart” button. And I’m talking about the noobs who are causing this frenzy, and prolonging it. Over that last couple months, every store I’ve visited I’ve seen people at the counter handling and buying guns they have no understanding of. Not even basic understanding of firearms and the federal and local rules. Yet, in all cases, the shops are all willing to their money. It’s a two-way street folks. Reply Raising prices during a shortage? Fine with me. Raising prices 10x? Obnoxious, but honest. Canceling exists orders, breaking your word and breaching your contracts? Despicable. It’s time to get off their mailing list, since I’ll smoke a turd in hell before I do business with Circling The Drain again. Reply Ok, fine, but the point about CTD canceling existing orders placed at lower prices isn’t even addressed in the original post. I didn’t place any orders with them during that time so I had no idea. But in the original post only the high price is highlighted, as if it’s something wrong or evil to charge what the market will bear. Don’t like it? Stop crying and buy from somebody else. Reply I’ve got twenty Thermold 30-round AR mags for sale. Who wants them and how much will you pay? I’ll sell them for not less than one-half of what CTD is asking. [email protected] Reply Ammoman has been pretty fair-his prices have risen on certain calibers but not others,which makes me think it’s not gouging at all-it’s what he’s paying to get it.45 ACP went up since I bought some but 45 Colt has remained consistent-the Colt is in much lower demand. Reply This is NSFW (Not Safe For Wallets). Reply I’ve removed myself from their mailing list. Done wid dem forever. Reply John Boch has spent *many* thousands of dollars with CTD in the 90s and early 2000s. Found better sources in the 2000s for most stuff. The gouging in 2008 broke this camel’s back. I swore I’d never use them again. And now, I’m seeing the wisdom in my earlier decision. Just as they have the right to charge whatever the market will bear, this tiny little section of the market has said “no more!” to CTD. They could GIVE AWAY “issued” milspec mags and I’d keep on walking away. John Reply John EffN A Reply An ‘unforeseen’ benefit of the AWB attempt-Robert Gibbs really was right when he said, “There is no down side to this.” As we always hear, & may also apply to the Pro 2A constituencies, “democrats circling the wagons” and “republicans circling the firing squad.” Any time they can get us to turn on our own, it’s an asymmetric Win Win. Reply I was going to tell them to stop sending their catalogs but decided not to tell them that. Let them keep wasting their money sending them because i will never order from them again. Reply My main concern is that the market wont actually “self-correct”. Gouging will sometimes drive the price of things up to a point so that is considered the norm. Remember when you could get an AK for under $400? After Y2k and 911 you were hard pressed to find one for under $800, new or used. Now you have people buying AR15s for $1500 but really only worth $700 or $800. What will be the norm for AR15s next year? Fear is driving up these prices far beyond their worth. Reply LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Please enter your comment! Please enter your name here You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.