Ammo Price Gouging – Boycott

In general, I don’t consider myself a naive person. I understand how business works. I get the whole “supply and demand” thing. I also know that the demand for both firearms and ammunition have skyrocketed since last December but that’s no reason for companies to be killing consumers with the blatant ammo price gouging that’s been going on. Don’t get me wrong, they are not all doing it. And I expect some rise in prices just because ammo manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand. But, some retailers are really out of control with their ammo price gouging tactics and I hope people will stop buying from them.

Ammo Price Gouging by CheaperThanDirtLet’s look at some specific products and prices for an example. A couple of weeks ago I purchased a box of 50 rounds of 9mm PMC ammo from a local gun shop for $23. That works out to about 46 cents a round. More expensive than usual, but not terrible. Online, I found two retailers selling the exact same ammo for $15.99: Hyatt Guns and Bujco Firearms which works out to a more reasonable 32 cents per round. But, that same ammo is being sold by for $69.69! That’s a whopping $1.40 per round! That insane, and not insane like Crazy Eddie’s prices. It’s a complete ripoff and a should be a crime. Why would anyone pay that much?

This is not the first time riled me and others. Some of you might not remember, but in the days following the Newtown tragedy, CheaperThanDirt followed in Wal-Mart’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods’ pathetic footsteps by bowing to the liberal media who was (and still is) vilifying firearms. Wal-Mart announced a temporary freeze on selling firearms and Dick’s followed suit by halting all AR15 sales. No reason was given, but they clearly didn’t want to be lumped in with the “evil” gun sales industry. CheaperThanDirt followed suit by also halting AR15 sales. Again, no reason was given – it was a just a “temporary” hiatus on selling AR15’s. A day later, after backlash on Facebook and Twitter, CheaperThanDirt updated their message stating that the hiatus on AR15 sales was due to limited supply. But, the damage was done. Many of us knew they caved to the gun grabbers and many vowed to never buy from them again.

Well, clearly CheaperThanDirt didn’t loose their entire customer base because they keep on selling both guns and ammo online. However, their ammo price gouging tactics is causing a stir in the community again. People are not going to give in to there ridiculous prices just because they are one of the few online retailers to have any ammo in stock. I for one hope people will boycott them altogether as I find this kind of thing outrageous. They aren’t the only one, either.’s prices are way up from six months ago. The cheapest you can get 9mm rounds there is $40 for 50 rounds. Most of their boxes of 25 rounds are over $30. They’ve lost me as a customer, too.

So, who are the good guys? Well, as I mentioned earlier, both Hyatt Guns and Bujco Firearms have kept their prices low. I’ve found them local for good prices, too, it’s just hard finding them in stock anywhere. I also applaud MidwayUSA who have kept many of their prices the same as before the rush began. They say that in times of trouble or trials, that you can see someone’s true colors. In my eyes, both CheaperThanDirt and BulkAmmo has shown themselves to be opportunistic thieves whom I encourage any and all to avoid for their ammo price gouging ways.

107 thoughts on “Ammo Price Gouging – Boycott

  1. Kevin Campbell on said:


  2. J. Freeman on said:

    I know this thread is old, but am hoping to elicit some response…I am a gun collector, shooting enthusiast and doctoral student currently working on a paper on the price elasticity of small arms ammunition. Yes, I know…strange combination!

    My question for the community is this: did the ammo manufactures (and to a lesser degree retailers) that did NOT substantially raise prices during the 2012-2013 potentially do the shooting community a disservice?

    Here is what I mean: free markets work (when left alone) by prices being effectively negotiated between buyers and sellers. The stable price is the equilibrium point which maximizes profit. When prices stayed artificially low a home-grown secondary market was created where enterprising people figured out product delivery schedules and cruised every Wal-Mart in town buying every box of ammo they could despite the store’s attempts at purchase limits (or never made it to the shelves because the employees grabbed it). All of this ammo subsequently showed up at gun shows, GunBroker, Craig’s list and local bulletin boards, etc. at dramatically higher prices. Had the manufacturers raised prices the hoarders / scalpers would not have been able to do this, there would be supply at your local sporting goods store (albeit at a much higher price). In theory the extra profits generated could have been redirected to adding manufacture production capacity reducing the length of the shortage versus lining the pockets of the scalpers and extending it.

    My hypothesis is that most manufactures didn’t raise their prices dramatically because (a) they underestimated the huge demand and the length of time for the market to equalize, and (b) they didn’t want to damage their company and brand perception similar to the ire directed to Cheaper Than Dirt.

    I’m not writing this trying to “school” anyone, I am genuinely interested in your feedback to the theory. Moreover I am likely to post this same thing on several discussion boards, and apologies in advance if you end up seeing this in different places.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughtfulness!

  3. Yes, there were a lot of debate and negative reviews online in regards to what CTD did at the end of 2012. Most of the customers don`t trust this brand anymore and turned to other companies that offered similar services.

  4. I don`t really understand how CTD could still be in business after the events from 2012 when they suspended sales. Most of the customers don`t trust then anymore. At least this is what I get from many forums.

  5. Ryan C on said:

    I HAVE been emailing all ammo makers about .22lr gouging done online. PLEASE help on rafting these sites out ie stores that buy and then Auctions the ammo off this is done illegally and has to be addressed, this voids the sales contracts stores have with them

  6. Don Etchison on said:

    just got an e-mail from cheaper than dirt for remington yellow jacket 100 rd box $65.00 & bucket of bullets 1400 rds for $221.00.are they insane?2/10/15,7:00p.m.e.t.MAD AS HELL

    • Lucky Man Who Loves to Shoot on said:

      At least in the Midwest .22 is still very hard to find in the stores at suggested pricing but even if you resort to the gun shows and pay the premium most ammo is selling (key word selling..not asking) for $40-$50 per brick. I was at a gun show 2 months ago and one person had 500 rd of CCI Minimag (5×100) for $50 and they weren’t selling. I actually almost bought one but refrained since I still have about 600rds of MM in my ammo locker. Should have offered him $40 just to see if he would bite.

      I assume the bucket of 1,400 CTD had for $221 is Rem Golden Bullet since I know of noone else that packages it that way. I got one Sept 2014 at Bass Pro for $79. Wish I hadn’t because it is has performed very badly in my semi autos. I would laugh at anyone who would pay $221 for it and then have the problems that I have had with mine.

      People still paying CTD prices are fools because even the internet and gunshow prices are well below what CTD is still trying to charge.

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  8. John on said:

    I have gotten a lot of great deals from CTD but I have enough sense to shop around. I don’t buy everything from them. Political correctness runs a muck even here. If you don’t like CTD don’t shop with them. Personally I am smart enough not to pay $99.99 for a AR mag. But this overly aggressive lets put them out of business attitude is crazy. Many times over the last several years I have spent hours looking for the best deals on stuff. Sometimes it is CTD but not all the time. Why in the hell are you offended?

    • A Gun Guy on said:

      John, first off, I never suggested putting them out of business. I suppose calling for a boycott can be construed as hoping that they go out of business. But, calling for a boycott, in this case, was in hopes that CTD would see the error of their ways and do business WITH their customers, rather than in spite of them. Secondly, if you have to ask why I was offended, then maybe you should go back and re-read the entire article. I think I made my case. You don’t have to agree with me, but I believe I was thorough.

  9. aaronk1994 on said:

    Price gouging prevents shortages. You clearly *don’t* get the “whole supply and demand thing” if you think it should be made a crime. Cheaper Than Dirt owns ammo, and they have the right to sell it for whatever they want. No one is forcing you to buy from them. If you do buy a $60 box of ammo from them that you could’ve bought elsewhere for $20, that’s your fault.

    • A Gun Guy on said:

      With all due respect aaronk1994, I fully understand “supply and demand”. I do, however, agree with you that no one is forcing anyone to buy anything at inflated prices. Further, I also agree that Cheaper Than Dirt has every right to charge whatever they want. However, it is also my right to accuse them of ridiculously overpricing their supplies just because they can even if it hurts their customer base. While all companies are in the business of making money, I believe this company puts profits at such a premium that they don’t care if their policies negatively affect their customers. Therefore, I believe I have every right to call them out on it and propose a boycott.

  10. Lucky Man Who Loves to Shoot on said:

    Everything seems back to normal for ammo except of course .22LR and the fact everything else has gone up a dollar or two per box.

    Not seeing CTD even listing much .22 anymore except high end target stuff. It really makes me wonder where their normal .22 ammo is going? Have the manufacturers quit shipping it to them? Have they taken their regular ammo to online auction sites?

    As this shortage (at least still for .22) drags on I have lost faith in another retailer….Sheels. They couldn’t avoid the temptation of gouging and in my eyes are no longer a business I’ll deal with. Went into one yesterday for the first time in months and saw large quantities of practice 9mm ammo for $19.99/50 rd box. Crazy when 9mm is readily available at most places and the highest I’ve seen is $14.79/50. Walmart has 100rd packs of the same stuff for $25. Bass Pro $27. Sheels also had some .22 Remington Yellow Jackets for $6.99/50. Bought some at Bass Pro several weeks ago for $4.99/50.

    Had a Sheels retail associate tell me last year that they decided to disregard suggested pricing and price in between the suggested and what the online secondary market was selling for. He then told me that was strickly to make their ammo price unattractive to resellers and make more available to shooters. He then tried to act remorseful that they had to start charging over suggested. Could be some truth to that BUT they obviously turned themselves into a gouger in the process.

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  13. James on said: is no worse than any other online retailer. They are all out to ride the wave just like the oil industry. Sadly, they are the only ones that carry anything close to what I use for the lowest price. If anyone else knows where to still get 300 RUM power level three or its equivalent in 150-180 gr in the $55 range please let me know.

    • Btawes on said:


    • bob 44 mag on said:

      “ is no worse than any other online retailer. They are all out to ride the wave just like the oil industry. ” I would like to return the favor to all of these companies that have been taking advantage of all of us and this is why and how. Recently the prices on certain ammo has dropped significantly like .223 for example,also certain AR 15 rifles have also dropped because tons of them were made and not that many were buying. So I believe that if we ( I already have) just plain quit buying from Cabela’s,cheaper than dirt,Natches,Walmart,Kmart BassPro etc.etc.etc. Prices will come down a lot. Quit buying . You really can wait . Its a matter of demand and supply and if there is no demand these sellers will have no choice but to sell for a fair price.

  14. In addition to the obvious price gouging at Cheaper than dirt, I am always bewildered by their business model. Consider what I received from them today: In today’s mail, there was a small catalog from CTD. there were several ammo offerings on the front cover. I immediately checked their website, and found (AS EXPECTED!) that not one of the items was available.

    Looking further, I found the usual barrage of ‘product’ descriptions ending with, “We’re sorry, this product is not available”. I simply cannot comprehend how a business based on printing/mailing catalogs, hosting a web site, etc. with essentially ZERO product for sale can function. Not only are their prices out of line, simply trying to shop their bogus business is nothing more than a distraction and complete waste of time.

    What’s more, I am bewildered by their firearms ‘bargains’. The prices offered are comparable, in most cases, with offering from local dealers. In order to get the item from CTD, one must pay shipping to a local FFL dealer. Further, the buyer will have to pay that local dealer for handling the transaction. (Which only makes sense; Why should he handle someone else’s sales for nothing???) The end result is that one not only pays the usual charge for the firearm, but shipping and service fees on top of it. WHY would anyone do this?

    Bottom line: While I wholeheartedly agree with the assertion that they are (or are attempting to) price gouge, I question the business as a whole. They have, in essence, NO PRODUCT. They set excessive prices for merchandise if should merchandise actually exist. I do, and will continue to, avoid CTD because I cannot figure out how such a ‘business’ can function.

    • Lee Alan on said:

      I tired to buy a RPG training round as a collectible from them. MIL-1400 item is non firing and cannot be made to fire. Said they will not ship to NYS. I asked them and they said they cannot ship to NYS. So why even do business with a company that refuses to do business? I say boycott them!

  15. MickeyG on said:

    Cheaper than dirt = dumb as dirt. No thanks.

  16. we are give us a try we have never price gouged one of the cheapest on the web

  17. john Grey on said:

    Lets start by understanding this whole issue. We have a President who is mindlessly for repeating a failed social experiment to decrease violence & a VP who is actually not that bright. So we have a “gun control scare”. Then we have the SAME issue as the gas crunch during Carter’s administration as independent’s gouged prices. These are the SAME people and companies who will charge you a gouging-price if (God forbid) we had a serious problem in this country & the population needed food, water, electricity, etc.
    We have the “Hoarders”! These are the people who wait till a store opens and brings the family to buy up what’s on the shelves. “Hoarding” becomes self perpetuating! If one guy does it another and another will because they fear the worst. I apologize if I am hurting someone’s feelings but it’s simply a proven reality of human nature. We ALSO have a copper crunch becasue of some serious projects in both Europe and the USA that has driven up copper prices & you can’t make brass without copper. Added to that the ammo companies have added 3 shifts & invested in new or more serious machines. These companies are NOT artificially jumping prices but they HAVE to raise prices due to an economic reality that in 6 months to 2 years the supply will catch up to the demand and those machines will either sit idle or be sold off to a small start-up company. These machines ae computer controlled and electronics drop in price faster than ANY other single piece of hardware. Each rim-fire machine can cost 3-9 million depending upon their construction & their ability to withstand upgrades, etc.
    The “hoarders” are also giving ideas to those who WOULD halt production or demand sky-high prices for ammo due to gun-control agenda. The hoarders biggest fear is that they MAY get stuck with that $600 tin of AK ammo and no one ata gun show will buy it at that price IF & WHEN supply meets demand. Some (of course) thin there is some vast NWO conspiracy started by Masons from Jupiter but most realize this is simply a self fulfilling prophecy gone “mob-think” wild.
    In all likelihood this next election will be the conservatives to loose. IF they run the right men or women, they WILL win due to this president’s destruction of his real base. IF however they “RINO-Up” or choose some idiot then we WILL possibly loose the 2nd Amendment the way it was written. We will also loose a 65 billion dollar industry & the country will not only become a NAFTA “service economy” with much less manufacturing, but we will have a debt with NO ceiling & (possibly) go the way of the USSR. The USSR self destructed due to it’s stupid practice of using most every cent to mfg AK’s and RPG’s , etc which it THEN GAVE AWAY!
    We MUST stop HOARDING! And the sooner the better! We can easily become our own worst enemy. With close to 300 million firearms an 7 million tons of ammo in the USA, firearms are NOT going away. BUT if made illegal we will create an outstanding buffet for Organized Crime & the actually intelligent economists know it.
    The divisiveness that some politicians play with to get re-elected may grow out of control & our freedoms will become Eric Holder’s playground to spy on American’s phone calls.
    STOP HOARDING! Not when you have a room full of Russian 5 MOA crap ammo but NOW! We NEED to start taking responsibility for GIVING pieces of dirt like Cheaper Than Dirt the fear mongering to GOUGE!
    YES…. Remember those who gouged! They will be the SAME people who take “free market doctrine while charging you $20 for can of chilli if SHTF. But we also need to recognize that ammo companies are also running on fear. What happens when all this blows over & they have 150 employees they don’t need? What happens when the supply & demand meet & they have $90 million worth of machinery that is used & half electronic? Have you ever sold a computer you paid $1500 for and got lucky to get $500?
    Wise up people The Masons from Jupiter are looking at us through the mirror!

  18. screw-cheaper-than-dirt on said:

    I have also boycotted cheaper than dirt over this.. .22 ammo is scarce still.. natchez had some cci stinger 50rnd boxes this week at 6.99, cheaper than dirt 24.99… .50 cents a round for .22!?!? crack kills..

    • Mario on said:

      Cheaper than Dirt is a rip off..just looked up .22 LR…they want almost 40.00 for a 100 rounds. Unbelievable. We need more people to boycott them.

  19. Will on said:

    I stopped buying from cheaper than dirt altogether about 6 months ago because of their price gouging. I sent midwayUSA an email and commended them for keeping their prices the exact same and then emailed CTD’s customer service with a letter telling them how disgusted I was with their business tactics and that they lost a customer for life. In that email I also sent a copy of the one I sent to Midway. I can see raising the prices, not getting 2-5x the normal price.

  20. Daniel on said:

    I’ve decided to boycott all the companies that are gouging prices. Lucky Gunner, treat you like dirt(I mean cheaper than dirt) and the like. I understand supply and demand but what they are doing is crooked. I would encourage everyone to make a statement to them by telling them to stop sending emails and catalogs. Thats what I have done.

  21. Stan on said:

    Midway and Cabelas sell at their normal prices but sell out super fast. They are the only ones I know that are not gouging….and I am going to remember that for all my future ammo and gun purchases.

    Cheaper Than Dirtdiamonds gouges like crazy. They accidentally posted a pre shortage price for some new inventory of 22 LR. I was lucky to see it minutes after they posted but it was taken down before I could complete the order. 325 rounds at about $20, but quickly taken down and posted at almost $120!!!! Six times!!!!

  22. I’m with you all this is out of hand as Obama and his super high dollar vacations he and his wife take & really p. o. me off when his wife peels out in the other air force 2 cause she wants to leave 45 mins. early. this be why everyone feels like what the get what you can while you can like our kids these days don’t work for anything. this world go to shit one day with just no electric to run our stuff e.k.r.

  23. Mike on said:

    I went on to a website that stated the retailer was out of 22lr the price when stocked is $19.95…then went to cheaper than dirt and found the exact match ammo for $119.19 and they stated they had 90 packs in stock. I guess they should change the name?

    • j on said:

      as of DEC 04 2013 ( please always date comments)
      cheaper than dirt 22 Ammo the cheapest price per round advertased: 500 round brick for $90 ! thats 17 cents per round. But yesterday I bought 3 boxes of ammo at a local retailer (40 round boxes) for $2.25 per box. Thats 5.6 cents per round.

      Please somebody post the senior corporation name/title.
      Eventually prices will fall. and CTD will/might probably change its name to try t get rid of the stink…. so when the name changes WE REMIND EACH OTHER OFNTHE NEW NAME FOR THE WORST SUPPLIER.

      • no thanks on said:

        i realize that this is slightlymof topic but still valid for discussion

        two years ago i bought a Smith & Wesson 15-22. at the time i was told that the s&w factory magazines were readily available. so i didnt buy extras. although i see a few after market versions i prefer to buy the originals. but i cant find them

        so i contacted. s&w directly and they said that. “items that are out of stock can be back ordered…,” mynresponse to them…

        ” are the mags really out of stock? and if so, then how will you support my original components if they fail? …… repair/replace?….. ”

        Either they really ARE out of stock which means that they wont support the platform, or they DO have stock but are waiting…… for what? another scare?

        Tell all ofnyour friends to communicate their concerns to S&W and DO NOT BUY UNTIL S&W steps it up.

  24. James on said:

    My question is why did the price go up at all? The ammo companies have made statements that they have only increased prices accordingly like every year, a small percent. Like 3%. So how can places increase prices by 75% or more? It’s just greedy price gouging.

    • Bill on said:

      You have to blame Washington every time some big mouth like Musbama the ammo goes up The only way to control these people in Washington is to get them out of Office but until this can happen ammo prices will keep going up The Federal government wants gun control and since they cant get it the best way is buy up all of the ammo.

  25. B hwk on said:

    I know this is a old thread but a website I see that I buy from now is they have real time inventory and they ship it as quickly as possible. For instance they had 20-25 rd packs of golden saber 9mm for 16.00 a box. A lot of other places sell that same box for 30+. They also sell 50 rd packs of 9mm jhp for around 27$ a box!!!! Hst… Critical duty… Speer… When they have it they sell it at great prices compared to other places. Fmjs go pretty quick though. Their 45 jhp are reasonably priced too. Get a a group of guys together to help offset the cost of shipping and start saving. I’ve bought 9mm, pmags and 5.56 and will continue to use them until they do me wrong. Palmetto state armory is another good website too. Best of luck to anyone who reads this.

  26. Lucky Man Who Loves to Shoot on said:

    Just a late followup to demonstrate that Cheaper Than Dirt has not learned anything and is still in the “screw em while we can” mode. Probably everyone has noticed that at least here in the midwest this fall there is much, much more ammo available including practice 9mm and .223, This last week I was doing some traveling and stopped at 8 places selling ammo and at 6 of those places found 9mm and .223 practice ammo (not defensive or hunting stuff) available all the way up to 250 rd value packs at reasonable prices (but still a couple bucks a box higher than last year). Unfortunately no .22LR to be found. .22LR has suddenly dried up the last 6 weeks. I’m glad I have a great supply of 9mm and .223 and even a nice stock of .22LR but am a little nervous about shooting too much .22 ammo if I can’t replace it and my stockpile is getting smaller. My usual sources have informed me that they just aren’t getting much.

    Yesterday for the first time in a long time I looked at the CTD website not to purchase .22LR but to see if they were now attempting to charge more for their .22LR. Guess what? They were. The 375rd pack of CCI AR which should retail for $26 CTD is now asking $99.53. This has been an interesting item to follow because this summer they were asking $149 then in 1 day time dropped the price to $35 when .22 was becoming available 2 months ago. But now that the supply has tightened again they have jacked the price back to $100.

    I’ve also now noticed CTD is become deceptive in their on line advertising. They have CCI Stingers listed for $29.19 in what appears to be a 100rd plastic pack. Not interested in buying them from anyone at this price but was curious because I never knew they made Stingers in 100 rd packs. They don’t. CTD had taken one box and set flat and then taken another box and set upright on the edge of the bottom one. Unless you look carefully, roll over script, or click on the item it gives the appearance you are buying something that looks bigger than a 50 rd pack. When in fact what you are seeing is 2 boxes cleverly arranged to look like a 100 rd pack. I don’t believe that this is an accident on CTDs part.

    Gotta give Walmart a big thumbs down on their 3 box limits including value packs. This is only hurting the situation. I have given up on getting 22 at Walmart but was in one the other day and noticed they had everything but 22 (like everyone else). There was a person at the counter so I inquired about .22 (as usual in case they have some in back). She informed me they had none but that morning had 8-1,000 rd Winchester cartons. She then informed me the first person to hit the counter after opening got 3 cartons, the 2nd got 3 cartons, and you guessed… the 3rd person got the last 2. I informed her that I really didn’t appreciate Walmarts policy since it only encouraged the people purchasing it to resell on line to come in and did nothing to at least spread the ammo around a little. All the other retailers have restricted Value Packs sizes over 100 rds to only 1. I can honestly say if I were the first person at the Walmart that day I would have left a very happy man with 1,000 rds of .22ammo not 3,000 and hoped that those behind me would followed my example.

  27. Justin on said:

    At one point in time i was a CTD promoter. I told everyone i knew to buy from them. And i probably spent around 2k a year on ammo, accessories, and whatnot. I know this is an old article but almost a year after they started price gauging, i have not spent a single penny at CTD. I have also made it a point to tell everyone i once sent to them for business to stop spending money there. I spend my money at AIM now (even though they have a much smaller inventory). My opinion is that CTD spit in the face of the very community that made them a successful business.

  28. eric fuson on said:

    Bulkammo is price gouging also..22 ammo is cheap.they have remington buckets for 215.00 wow u can get these by buckets for 65.00 all day here in Ohio.bulk ammo can go get bent.

  29. P&G on said:

    I have been looking for reasonably priced .38 spcl and .40 s&w –

    Walmart prices are not bad but good luck ever finding in stock. I stumbled on your article and noticed you recommended 3 other companies.
    So I went out onto each to see if I could find anything reasonable for that criteria.

    I found the first two (Hyatt and Bujco) to be a bit high also and added fees for credit card or state sales tax for a state I don’t live in / shipped to another state – and shipping was very high on one – the other had virtually noting in stock.

    But that Midway – I found to have good prices, decent shipping (not great – but decent) and pretty good in stock / availability.

  30. Steve on said:

    you are not the only one disgusted with them cheaper than dirt they have put out an ad saying one thing then make you pay three times the amount then say they write them 3 months prior and it has gone up but yet they will not honor ther add if you ask me the working with Obama so take my advice stay clear from cheaper than do not buy from someone who will rip you off and it’s not just amo it’s everything they sell

    • George on said:

      If I really needed ammo I would be glad there was somewhere I could buy some even at an inflated price, than not be able to buy a box at a reasonable price.

  31. nothanks on said:

    This is REALLY simple…
    Cheaper than dirt Can leagally ask whatever they want for ammo.
    and we can tell them no thanks…. but they sold a bunch of ammo to nieve buyers anyway.
    hopefully when supply comes back strong and prices fall….there will be many sources for great prices and we will remember… and via peer pressure will remind
    our friends to remember… but then…. CTD WILL change its name…. so we keep track of the transfer of assets to the new name….. and make sure the stink follows the skunk

  32. Lucky Man Who Loves to Shoot. on said:

    I’m not interested in buying any ammo from CTD. I too noticed that on Wednesday CTD still had 375 pks of CCI AR for $149 and yesterday 1 day later they dropped their price clear to $34.59. A DROP of $115 in one day for a meager box of 22 that should be selling for $26.00. If you look today that item is no longer listed on CTDs website (it’s not even listed as an out of stock).

    I’m not that forgiving and even if I were I think .22 ammo is becoming readily available at least here in central Iowa. Just last Sunday I stopped at the local Bass Pro and got a 500 rd brick of Winchester copper plated HP for $29.99. On Monday on his way home from work my son saw the local Sheels stocking 80 bricks of Federal HP and CCI lead rd nose. Price $34.99. I told him we didn’t need any so we passed. On Thursday I was having dinner across from the same Sheels so I jumped in not to buy ammo but see if they had any left. They still had 20+ bricks of the CCI lead rd nose still at $34.99. Couple months ago I would have gladly bought the lead rd nose and put up with the extra cleaning time but now I don’t even need to mess with it. I AM ACTUALLY HAVING AMMO CHOICES. Sure you still can’t go into Walmart and find ammo but it is rapidly popping up elsewhere on a very regular basis and still cheaper than CTD’s new “reduced” prices.

    There has been a lot of people talking about being done with CTD even when the ammo comes back and the prices come down because of their gouging. I for one will do what I said and never oder anything again from CTD.

    If Cheaper Than Dirt is around a couple years from now it is because they will have changed their name (which is what I expect them to do) because they have soiled this one.

  33. PD on said:

    FYI………. I did see the 22lr CCI tactical 375rnds selling at CTD selling for $149.

    Doing my normal in stock check I notices CTD has brought their prices back in check. Still high but not bad for the market.

    The same 22lr that was listed at $149 earlier this week is down to $34.59 and in stock. I ordered 5 boxes. I still think .09 cents a round for 22lr is high, but I am happy to have almost 2000 rounds on the way.

    9mm was also prices decent for the market.

    I think Cheaper than Dirt has been paying attention to blog and comments and have decided to look into the future and still want to be in business 10 years from now.

  34. Lucky Man Who Loves to Shoot on said:

    I have actually found a way to use Cheaper Than Dirt’s bloated online prices against them.

    About a month ago ago I walked into a Cabelas and they had a modest supply of .22 100 rd CCI-Mini Mag plastic packs for $8.25 ea. Since the limit was 1 I had my wife also pick up 1. That was the first time in 27 yrs of marriage I’d asked her to buy ammo and she was a little reluctant but did do so. When we got back to the car I got her smart phone out and showed her CTDs price which was $69.59 at that time. We then had a conversation about what the prices should be for .22 and 9mm ammo and how much the gougers are trying to charge.

    Much to my surprise I’ve created a monster. She never goes out of her way but now has revised her shopping times to take her by places with ammo when they likely will be stocked with it (I helped her on that one). She has scored enough 9mm for myself and sons that I have told her to stop and even just a few days ago she came home excited because she had bought a 375 Rd bulk pack of .22 CCI AR Ammo from a Bass Pro (she happened to be driving by) for $25.99 and couldn’t wait to show me that CTD wanted $149 for the same thing.

    Our 2 boys and I have plenty of ammo to shoot thanks to my wife AND Cheaper than Dirt’s bloated on-line prices.

  35. Cheaper than Dirt is so incompetent that they sold a firearm they didn’t even have in stock. They stated that “its hard to keep track” funny, if you list 1 rifle, and it sells, then you have 0. Seems easy.

    Also, had to send it a bunch of trash, my first time in 11 years, because they “couldn’t validate” my address. I’m active duty military. I move a lot, duh.

    Thanks for failing to deliver a sale so that I can’t work with my kids on marksmanship on my vacation. I appreciate that. I really do. Great Service 😉


  36. bglmn on said:

    Thanks for starting this conversaation. I got on line tonight – specifically to write a complaint about Chaper Than Dirt’s blatant price gouging. I like your idea of asking them to remove me from their list. I’m done with their unethical business practices! I hope many will follow.

  37. Tony on said:

    A new shooter here. I understand the economics behind this, and I understand what they are doing is not illegal, But it doesn’t make it ethical. I would like to go to the range every once in a while and shoot. but when their is no ammo that’s difficult to do. Talk of anti-gun legislation, hoarders, scalpers, and people buying scalped ammo are all contributing to an artificial shortage. Market prices are great and all, but when you lose all your customers, because you’re marketing up your prices 200% or 300%,, “market prices” are kind of a moot point. Fellow gun owners, and the “industry” should really consider what’s good for gun community also, otherwise they will no longer have a business to profit from..

  38. Everett on said:

    Yeah I’ve bought ammo and other goodies from CTD in the past but since all this BS has been going on I personally will not ever buy from them ever again, those people or better yet morrons are screwing themselves in the long run,I wont be surprised if in the near future they’ll be a closed shop. I applaud the person who began this boycott cause this world is bad enough with all the thieves in the world, so you’d think a company who suppose to stand up to there name would do so,but in my eyes it should be called SCREW THE PEOPLE !

  39. chase on said:

    are you serious? Did you just bash a company for raising their prices (due to supply and demand) and then admit that they are the only one who has it in stock. NO STOCK = NO BUSINESS AND NO PROFITS. Clearly you don’t understand business

    • A Gun Guy on said:

      No, I bashed a company for charging way more than supply and demand warranted. Prices going up 20%, even 50% because they’re in high demand is understandable. Prices going up 400% is ridiculous. And I never said they were the only ones with the product in stock. Clearly you didn’t read the whole article. I was able to get the same product locally for a little over $20 while CTD was charging $69. This is a company that has historically backtracked on their consumer base over and over. They don’t care about customers or the 2nd Amendment, they care about making money. And if they want to be like that, that’s fine, that’s capitalism and they’re allowed to do it. I just choose to do business with companys that have more character than that.

  40. Target Shooter on said:

    I am in complete agreement that price gouging on ammo is out of hand. I just thought I could add to the conversation with a alternative idea to a boycott.

    To talk about the idea, I want to first define price gouging with a comparative example Recently several gas stations in NY were fined for pricing gouging during the hurricane. Granted this is a national emergency where people lives and livelihoods were at risk, so I have no intention to imply that this is a pure apples to apples comparison, but it does give us some basic metrics on where the courts define price gouging. These stations basically moved their profit margin from a typical fair market level of 4% to just over 25%. Ammo, like gasoline is a bit of a commodity, at least in the bulk markets, and thus it may be fair to gauge these ammo suppliers by a similar standard. For Example CCI 22LR 100 Rounds in a fair market conditions goes for $7.49 with a estimated 7% profit margin. Based on information from several aforementioned retailers, we are seeing margins at +900%. As everyone has mentioned, this is unethical . Now one can argue free market principles and freedom of choice and these are all valid, unfortunately these arguments conveniently avoid the ethical considerations of “exchange of fair value”.

    Sorry about being long winded, but I don’t generally support boycotts because they tend to create false economies and tend to demonize and alienate people, but a positive branding campaign where suppliers can earn the right to display a “Gun Owner Friendly” brand or award, if they keep their profit margins under some target level during a market crisis, feels like a good idea to me. We might even consider asking the NRA to add it’s brand weight to the process. What does everyone else think?

    • jrOBERTS on said:

      Excellent reply. Were I to remember I am not only a seventy years of age red neck mountain man (which I am and proud of it!) but also a retired Marine and retired senior civil servant with three college degrees (UNY, UM, and UH) I would have answered much the same as you. The NRA should be on this like pepperoni on pizza. Oh, EXCELLENT idea also. So, let us all contact the NRA and see if they will support it!

  41. jrOBERTS on said:

    I quit buying from CTD years ago because of their price gouging. Apparently, not everyone is intelligent enough to understand that IF EVERYONE QUITS BUYING FROM these type A-Holes that do this THEY will go out of business or lower their prices accordingly.

  42. Mike Jarooky on said:

    Bought a 50 round box of Speer Lawman 9mm from Cabelas the other day for around $15
    CTD has the same ammo for $49.59

    How, exactly, is this “Cheaper Than Dirt” ??

  43. Support The USA on said:

    (Cheaper than Dirt) Needs to change there NAME because that not true?
    I will never purchase anything from (Cheaper Than Dirt) Again!!! There
    Greed will put them out of Business I Hope.

  44. Bnn on said:

    Omg I got the cheaper than dirt catalogue and I thought the price was a mistake or mis print charging 39.59 for 50 rds of 9mm Tul ammo steel. I bought the same ammo from Walmart for 9.47 a few months ago. Wow have ammo prices gone up good thing I stocked up a year agoz

  45. Joe America on said:

    LOL…..I left out where to purchase the high price ammo………..Cheaper Than Dirt of course.

  46. Joe America on said:

    June 26,2013
    Talk about gouging, today Natchez had 1 box of CCI 22LR,40gr,CPRN, 375 rds per box for $26.46per box. Today you can purchase that same box of ammo for a mere $ 199.19 per the box. I also know about supply and demand and then there is gouging the very people who keep you in business.Come on people and wise up !

    • Crazy, I called to check the price at 149 a box that’s crazy

  47. phil on said:

    i have to agree!!! cheaper than dirt is definitely one of the online suppliers that i will never buy from. not just because their prices are so high but more to do with the fact that they were for quite a while charging something like $30 for a box of tulammo but the charged more than double that (i may be wrong but i think it was around $80) for the 100 pack. not only do they want to stick it to ya, they think that we’re too dumb to realize it!!!!

  48. M Brown on said:

    johny5 must own a business and is used to gauging people otherwise he wouldn’t be defending Cheaper than dirt

    • johny5 on said:

      Regrettably, I am not a business owner. I am a unusually-old graduate student. I am not accustomed to gauging people. I suspect you meant ‘gouging’. My defense of Cheaper than Dirt is a secondary effect of my defense of free-market capitalism. As I stated in an earlier post; like many gun owners, I have a small amount of ammunition set aside. I would be unwilling to part with that ammunition at the price I paid for it. I suspect that if you were to be honest, you would admit the same. This would indicate that you assign a higher value to the ammunition now than you did at the time of purchase. When a significant portion of any market shares a similar view, the price in that market rises. Cheaper than dirt does not have the ability to set the market clearing price. They can only set the asking price. The market clearing price is achieved when there is an overlap between the minimum asking-price and the maximum bid-price. Any company that has an asking-price higher than the highest bid price will not achieve any sales. At that point, the only way for them to make sales is to lower the asking price. I find it interesting that there have been several dismissive remarks made about the soundness of my arguments and ad hominem attacks made with respect to the motives behind them. What I have not seen is a well-reasoned, economically-sound rebuttal. Furthermore, M Brown, your comment smacks of bigotry. Have you a problem with business owners?

      • A Gun Guy on said:

        johny5, I respect your perspective and how you make a point. But, let me offer you this. I agree that prices increase as demand increases and supply dwindles. No argument. Is ammo more valuable now and therefore worth more than one may have paid a year ago? Again, yes. However, When one company is charging two or three times what the average cost is at, say, ten other stores, that is what I call price gouging. Look at the screenshot above. The same product I purchased for $23 two months ago, CTD was charging $69. This was at a time when everyone was clamoring for ammo. Not that people aren’t still clamoring for it, but things are getting a little bit back to normal. And, now that there is a slight sense of normalcy in the ammo market, CTD has reduced the price to $29. Very close to the average price elsewhere. So, exactly as you said, they had to lower their asking price because they were way overpriced. They took advantage of a need and had people paying way more than the product was actually worth as long as they could get away with it. That, in my opinion is price gouging.

  49. Bruce Hudeck on said:

    It’s called free enterprise,…supply and demand.If you dont like their prices quit whinning and buy someplace else !!!!

    • M Brown on said:

      It’s called Rip-off Assmunch

    • Brian on said:

      It’s called the 2nd Amendment, and it isn’t much good to us if we can’t afford ammo. You’re blind faith in the invisible hand of the American brand of capitalism is unnerving.

  50. Tony on said:

    Why does a bananna cost .25 cents at the supermarket, but 2.00 at the Rio in Vegas during the WSOP. If you don’t like the prices don’t shop their. You have a choice. If you force a vendor to charge the price you perceive to be fair you are in fact a socialist tyrant.

  51. Shawn M on said:

    I bought a “bulk pack” of 9mm (350 rounds) a few days ago (6/14/13) at my local Gander Mountain for $120. Cheaper Than Dirt sold the same thing for $299!!! I thought $120 was bad!! I will never, ever, buy anything off of those crooks again!!

    I have spent hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars on goods/supplies at Cheaper Than Dirt in the last 10 years, but I am done with them!! Shame on them!!

  52. Troy Starks on said:

    Cheaper Than Dirt. Should be Expensive As Gold!!!! Hmmm $50 bucks a box for .22 magnum! The price says it all! I just bought 12 boxes of it at $10.50. Oh yea wait, there cost is higher….Not! What is higher people is the profit margin. How about the Armscor .22 lr 500 brick for $200! Oh and there’s no limit either! So give me 5 of em huh! Thats only a grand for a hundred bucks worth of ammo! Armscor. Never heard of that. Sounds like a cheaper version of already cheap american made bulk ammo. These guy’s aren’t stupid. They will increase prices until their product doesn’t sell. What’s their price again “well as much as you can stand”!!!! Ask all you want ctd. I ain’t buyin. I buy ammo from small gun shops, trade with private partys, I look to other places than walmart, and ctd. There are deals out there.
    Places like ctd make it convenient for hasty, simple minded or desperate people to buy now.
    I always buy ammo in my calibers when I find a deal weather I need it or not. That is the way I maintain a supply of ammo to shoot. Instead of the” I wanna go shootin right now so I’ll buy ammo right now wherever its available at “market prices” like ctd. It works but boy is it expensive! Instead of financial gain, people should base purchases and sales for the love of the sport. Not to make money. I buy ammo because I like the sport of Varmint hunting, and benchrest target shooting, Not because I can sell it on armslist for twice what i paid.

  53. brianpat on said:

    I’ve been getting regular 22LR orders from Cabela’s with very little markup !! The rest of their ammo prices look decent also !!

  54. Kiln on said:

    I’ll never purchase another item from Cheaper Than Dirt again. I was a good customer and spent several hundred dollars on their products but after seeing their price gouging I’ll never spend another dime there again.

    I unsubscribed from their Email alerts and wrote them to let them know why.

  55. Airborne All The Way!! on said:

    I will not buy a single item from CTD again. EVER. I understand the whole supply & demand concept. I really do. I also embrace the concept of free market and capitalism. IMHO, this is just wrong. I called them and asked them to remove me from their mailing list. Did they ask why? Nope. Didn’t even care why.

    I will spend my hard earned money somewhere else. That is the beauty of a free market. If you don’t like it. You can take your business elsewhere. That is what I am doing. So keep up the boycott and keep being vocal about it. CTD doesn’t care. There are plenty of ill informed people who don’t mind being taken to the cleaners right now for them to give a rat’s behind. Maybe, hopefullly, someday, CTD will go out of business and Midway will buy them out.

    Thanks for letting me rant.

  56. Stan on said:

    CheaperThanDirt also ripping off on 22 mag ammo, charging just under $50 for a 50 round box that would normally go for about a third the price.

  57. Gary on said:

    74 dollars for 100 cci minimags shipped. I will probably buy from them again when this “shortage” is over . . . oh wait a min. . . . no I wont.

    • M Brown on said:

      They had CCI 22 stinger 50 rounds for 29.95 and now they are gone as long as stupid people with money keep paying these Rip-off prices they will never go down. I guess Obummer is happy about what he has done.

  58. Wade on said:

    I have a CheaperThanDirt location less than a mile away. I’m never stepping foot in that place again. They need to rename that ridiculous place. It’s June and their prices are still outrageous. More like CheaperThanDirtUnlessWeCanGougeTheShitOutOfYouBecauseWeDontCareAboutOurCustomers…. Yeah!!! Something like that…. CTD can die in a fire!!!!

    • Cletus Atwood on said:

      The WORST offenders for price gouging during the past six months have been CTD and Able Ammo. The ammo supply may recover in time — but the damage has been done. We won’t forget those who showed their true colors as dirtbag scalpers.

  59. Cougur on said:

    Cheaper than Dirt = Lower than Mud. They will never see one penny of money from me or my family. Wonder how many people supporting them were dumb enough to make them rich by buying at those prices? Since they still have stock it looks like many were smart enough not to buy.

    I ordered 2 AR15 Magazines at the regular price from MidwayUSA in October. They showed up in April. Good Job Midway USA!!!! Goodbye Cheaper than dirt and Lucky Gunner.

  60. gabow on said:

    I will never spend another dime with Cheaper than Dirt! They also doubled and tripled the price of high cap mags in Dec. Midway USA has always treated me good and that is where I will continue to do my online purchases!!!

  61. Jaz on said:

    I think it depends on the type of ammo, both the sites you listed are gouging 22LR. Cheapest I could find was $15 for 50 at Walmart it’s $2.18 for 50.

  62. Grammaphone on said:

    Please understand that I’m not trying to be ugly. I checked this morning and cheaper than dirt was the least expensive for .223/5.56. Granted, it was steel cased crummy ammo, but they were still the cheapest and they actually had it in stock. That’s more than I can say for wallymart. If I were you, I really would consider taking this post down. I share in your sentiment on pricey ammo, but publicly condemning a pro 2nd Amendment company because of market rates is at best irresponsible.

    • A Gun Guy on said:

      In all due respect, irresponsible is charging five times the market price for ammo. If Midway can sell 9mm ammo for $15 and Cheaper than Dirt charges $69 that’s not market rates, that’s price gouging. People keep saying Cheaper than Dirt is pro 2nd Amendment. That’s great. But they’re also pro-ripping-people-off. That does not gain my respect. So, my opinion remains that they would rather make a profit than support those who believe in the 2nd Amendment.

    • M Brown on said:

      Market rate is another name for Gouging

    • Mike Bair on said:

      CTD is NOT a pro 2nd Amendment Company!!!!!!!!!!! They actually supported restricting AR type sport rifles and magazines over 10 rounds! Get your facts straight before you rag on another poster. CTD sucks no matter what. They are the MOST EXPENSIVE AMMO SELLER ON THE NET for no reason. Midway and are developing customers for life by keeping their prices fair and not tripling and quadrupling just because they finally got ammo.

    • Richard on said:

      If they were pro 2nd Amendment then why did they take all their Ar 15’s down for sale right after Sandy Hook? If they are pro 2nd Amendment then why are they trying their very best to hurt gun owners with their prices? Just because someone says they are something doesn’t make it so.

  63. Tom on said:

    I agree that higher prices are “to be expected” by the crasy raise in demand, but what the cheapos do was enough for me – I will not buy there any more and asked them to remove my personal data from their system and to stop sending me their spam e-mails. Topic closed, there are plenty of other sources to buy my stuff and I rather support somebody making an honest living than somebody trying to rip me off.

  64. Grant on said:

    If they were price gouging to just stop the ammo buying craze, then why were they charging $100 for a ar mag? BOYCOTT!

  65. johnrobey on said:

    I am tempted to add my two cents to this argument. This reminds me of two occasions with similar consequences, which have resulted in price gouging and over pricing of commodities. In our society today there is that thing called “Greed”. Greed is a disease. It seems we want everything to be worth dollar, so we create circumstances which allow this to happen. Case #1: In 1999 and just when we were about to go into the year 2000, a false crisis called Y2K was created. It caused the public to go into panic mode. We were supposed to have dollars flying out of ATM machines at midnight of the year 2000. water would cease to flow from your kitchen faucet as well as airplanes falling out of the sky. some computer outfits were selling programs for huge sums of money saying you would need their program to fix all sorts of problems for Y2K. Of course, these were all fabrications which sent the public into a panic. People were buying millions of gallons of water to stock up at home. Causing the price of a gallon of water to double in some places and other places were sold out of water and other commodities, It’s called panic buying. Case# 2 The same was true in 2004 with the nationwide electrical blackout. It caused long lines of panic buyers at the gas stations. I remember at the time gas was a mere $1.35 or less per gallon for regular. Then because of panic buying caused by the blackout, it went as high as $3.99 per gallon. Well as we can see, it has stayed there since then. Now you have another contrived crisis. You are being told erroneously that your 2nd amendment is being threatened. Just another contrived crisis from which there is monetary gain again for the greedy. However, we cannot only blame Greed and the greedy among us, but also lay blame to those of us who are easily panicked. The greedy will always be looking for an opportunity to gain from any opportunity. Yes, you called them opportunistic and there are more of them than you want to believe but also there are many more of the panic driven consumers who help feed the opportunistic. An opportunist will rip you off given the chance and that’s just what panicked buyers do. A very long time ago someone coined the Latin phrase “Caveat Emptor” . In English it means “Buyer Beware”. I am all in agreement about boycotts etc, but if the high price of gas is any example you can see that the American public who are steeped in panic mode does not have the stomach or the will for any such action.
    I understand finance and Economics etc. but these examples are examples of total Greed in my opinion. It’s human nature and it’s in the DNA. Stop the panic buying and maybe this type of price gouging will stop. In the end we must remember there is good and bad every where and in everything. support that which is good and stay away from the bad or evil if possible.

    • MM on said:

      “You are being told erroneously that your 2nd amendment is being threatened. Just another contrived crisis…”

      If you really believe THAT, your head is in the sand DEEP. It has been threatened for some time and is still being threatened and will keep being threatened until they get what they want, an all out ban on firearms. Wake up!

  66. GB on said:

    Wow, a lot of opinions on this one. Well, I gotta agree with the author. I’m no economist, but taking advantage of people by charging three times the normal is price gouging and wrong. I agree, I won’t be buying from Cheaper Then Dirt anymore either.

  67. Den on said:

    Well, this has been interesting reading. Some good point on both side. I, however, will not do business with Cheaper Than Dirt and several others as well. They talk a good game for 2nd Commandment rights, but then turn on the very same group of purchasers they speak to in order to profit. They lost me for sure.

    I wonder what Johnny 5 and rayn have or had to say when lumber companies were we charging outrages prices after hurricane disastrous, or when gas prices were bumped up because of shortages. Some people and companies are simply opportunists. I have been wondering why Tim at USCCA, and others that speak so freely for our community have been so silent about unethical price hikes.

  68. North Idaho Rancher on said:

    The short answer. Cheaper Than Dirt has taken advantage of their customers by raising there prices on ammo by over 300%. I could live with a reasonable increase, say up to 20%, but this is disgraceful! I am fortunate to live in Northern Idaho and have several solid companies to buy ammo at normal rates, They don’t always have any but most days I am able to purchase a few boxes of 9mm at $19.00 a box. I will never purchase ANYTHING from Cheaper Than Dirt again.

    • johny5 on said:

      The correct answer – Cheaper than dirt is not setting the price. Companies do not set prices. Prices are set at the market level. Retailers that have ammunition in stock have found the appropriate price for current market conditions. Retailers with empty shelves have effectively abandoned their role as retailers and are functioning as secondary-wholesalers. Unfortunately, as I wrote in an earlier response, this perpetuates the current condition of panic purchasing by presenting shooters with empty shelves. I am a shooter. I have not been to the range for months due to the combination of shortages and high prices. I would like nothing more than to see abundant, affordable ammunition. However, as long as retailers maintain prices below the market-clearing price, we will not see an improvement in availability. Exceedingly high prices would also serve to draw participants into the market for the manufacture of ammunition. As the supply grew to meet the demand, the price would come down. It is easy to dismiss this as merely academic “mumbo-jumbo”. But, it is based on an immutable factor of human nature. People are driven by self-interest. If you want to see more of a behavior, create a financial incentive for it. Higher prices yield greater profit-motives. This leads to higher participation in the market which leads to lower prices. It is a free country. You are welcome to indulge your sophomoric notions about price “gouging”. If you do, you are part of the problem. I would also challenge you to think about this. In your post, you reference “normal prices”. Is it your assertion that these are normal times? Or, do you believe that normal prices should apply equally to normal and abnormal times? Also, I would challenge you to ask yourself; “Would I be willing to sell all of the ammunition I own for ‘normal’ prices”. If the answer to that question is not an unqualified ‘yes’, then you admit that the value of ammunition is higher than the price you refer to as normal. Does this make you a “gouger”. Are you not responsible of opportunistic pricing? I doubt that I will persuade you. Nor do I wish to attack you. However, when you advocate for a boycott against a company, you risk affecting the livelihood and wellbeing of the honest, hard-working employees of that company. I will state it again, I am not an employee of Cheaper than Dirt. I am not compensated in any way, shape or form for the opinions I am expressing here. I am an avid shooter and a champion of free markets. High prices are indicative of demand outpacing supply. It is no more than that. Much of the recent increase in demand has been the result of a tremendous increase in the purchase of firearms. This is a fact that should be celebrated by adherents to the Constitution, specifically the Second Amendment. Instead, some shooters focus on the immediate impact to their personal situation and seek out someone to blame. This reaction is worsened by a fundamental lack of understanding of and lack of faith in the free market system. So, use the short answer if you would like. I prefer the right answer.

      • A Gun Guy on said:

        Sorry, johny5, I don’t buy it. Are you saying Cheaper Than Dirt is paying 4 times their typical price and that’s why they are charging 4 times the typical price to their customers? Can’t be. If they have to pay more, so does everyone else. How can a local “wholesaler” – as you call them – buy ammo for $30 and sell it for $16? They wouldn’t. Cheaper Than Dirt is setting their price. One company sells it for $16 they sell it for $69. That’s their choice. They are taking advantage of a situation and that causes me to disrespect them.

        You said these are not normal times so we can’t expect to pay normal prices. I can accept that. So instead of $16, charge me $20 – but not $69. That’s insane.

        Also, you keep insisting that the only way to normalize the price is if everyone charges obscene amounts for ammo, then people will stop buying like crazy and prices will come down. How is that mentality working in the gasoline industry? A few years ago I paid less than $2 for gas, then it spiked to over $3. We all kept buying it and the prices stayed high. We all kept buying because we needed it. So what incentive did the gas companies have to lower price? They didn’t. They continue to rob us blind. Are you going to tell me that if you had a local gas station that sold gas for a third of another station you wouldn’t go there because they aren’t helping bring the prices back to normal? I doubt it.

        I have nothing against the hard working employees of Cheaper than Dirt. But I have something against their management that thinks they can charge 3 or 4 times the going price of a given item just because they want to take advantage of the current demand. They are being opportunistic and robbing people. That’s the real answer.

        • Johny5 on said:

          I did not state that Cheaper than Dirt is raising prices because it is paying higher prices. I stated that it is not setting the price in the market. The market determines the price irrespective of any individual player in the market. Any instance where an individual participant is able to exert undue pressure on the price of a commodity approaches monopoly power, which is the absence of a free market. As for your comparison to gasoline, it is inaccurate for a few reasons; 1. OPEC is a cartel that controls a significant portion of the world’s oil production. This is accomplished by a collusion among its members to fix prices. Ammunition manufacturers cannot function this way. If they did, they would be found guilty of violating anti-trust laws and would find themselves in prison. 2. Though gasoline consumption is highly inelastic, there is a point at which people will reduce their use. One oft-overlooked factor is the fact that price elasticity expresses itself differently in the long term and in the short term. Price elasticity for oil is nearly double in the long term for most countries as it is in the short term (as estimated by the US Federal Energy Office). It is difficult for me to address the specifics of your example because you do not provide timeframes for the prices you site. However, if you do a cursory search on the internet, you will find that as oil prices rise beyond a certain point, usage is reduced.
          Also, your point about not patronizing a gas station that is selling fuel for 1/3 the market rate; of course I would purchase my fuel there. I am a rational consumer. I do not condemn anyone for seeking the lowest price. I am frustrated by the cries of “gouging” coming from those who cannot separate sound economic from their own short-term benefit.
          Here is something to consider:
          If you were a single mother, living in a dangerous neighborhood, working 60 hour weeks, where would you get your ammunition? Consider that someone in this position does not have the need for hundreds of rounds of ammunition on a monthly basis (the amount most of us shoot under normal circumstances). However, she probably will not have the opportunity to stand outside of the local Wal-Mart waiting for them to open, hoping they will have ammunition in the caliber she needs. Someone in that position needs to find ammunition for the purpose of protection. She will almost certainly be willing to pay more, given that it is for personal protection. The only options available to someone in this situation is to purchase from a retailer charging the market rate, or to seek ammunition in the secondary market. Cheaper than Dirt and companies like it are providing the only opportunity people have to seek reliable sources of ammunition. I assure you, they are seeing less sales as a result. Also, I can guarantee that they are aware of the attitudes people have about so-called gouging. Regardless, they choose to keep their prices at a level that ensures that they will have reliable supplies for someone who places the highest value on it. Every LGS and Wal-Mart that is keeping prices low is doing nothing more than feeding hoarding and scalping.
          I sympathize with your frustration at the high prices. As a graduate student, I feel them as acutely as anyone. However, it agonizes me to see smart, well-meaning, gun-loving Americans fall for this tripe. The fair price for a commodity is set by the market. As long as retailers continue to sell ammunition at “normal” prices, the drought will continue. I recognize that this is all counterintuitive, but I assure you it is correct.
          While it is clear that we do not agree, I am grateful that you have remained respectful. You distinguish yourself by not resorting to calling those you disagree with names.

          Maybe we will meet up at the range someday. Till then, keep your powder dry and your sites clean.

          • A Gun Guy on said:

            I can’t keep my powder dry, I don’t have any because I can’t buy any!

            No, seriously. Fair points and back at you for keeping it polite. I don’t allow name-calling on this site, unless Piers Morgan might happen to comment, then I would let it fly. :-)

            We’ll agree to disagree. I’ll just reiterate a point I made earlier: I personally believe the buying frenzy will stop if and only if the politicians halt their attack on the 2nd Amendment. Only then will people start behaving rationally when it comes to their ammo buys.

            Oh, and where I live, our Wal-Mart’s don’t sell ammo. The only place to get it is gun shops and they are very strict about limiting how much each person can get. I know there are ways around that, but like I said, I haven’t seen anyone blatantly hoarding it.

            Thanks for keeping it civil and intelligent.

            • My Walmart sells ammo. But 2 caveats: you gotta know when the delivery truck is coming and be prepared to line up early. There is a limit of 3 boxes so take the spouse with you.Prices are very good if you get there at the right time.

          • Jeremy on said:

            Kudos for making your points politely. Too bad the logic is completely erroneous. CTD will never get a penny from me. Really is too bad we can’t break them entirely.

            • johny5 on said:

              In what way is my logic completely erroneous?

      • M Brown on said:

        You mean GREED

  69. johny5 on said:

    @ “A Gun Guy” – Ryan does not make “a good point”. He makes the ONLY point. It is true that Cheaper than Dirt has raised their prices. It is also true that they are often the only place to find ammunition with any sort of regularity. The scalpers are engaged in arbitrage. The only way to slow down this activity is to remove the arbitrage opportunity. This is accomplished by raising the retail price to the point that it meets the market-clearing price. Once this is accomplished, demand will slow, shelves will fill to normal levels and shooters will be confronted with less incentive to engage in panic purchases. It is intellectually lazy to condemn Cheaper than Dirt with “profiteering”. Has it occurred to you that the companies you characterize as “good guys” are aware of the effects of panic-induced purchases brought on by empty shelves? Is it possible that they are keeping the prices low to perpetuate record-high ammunition sales at the expense of shooters who are unable to find ammunition at nearly any price? I am not sure what your credentials are concerning firearms, but you are clearly naïve with respect to economics. Try “Economics in One Lesson” by Henry Hazlitt as a primer. Till then, let’s try to keep from disparaging a good company that has done much to support the Second Amendment and introduce many to the sport of shooting. We are in unchartered territory here. Everyone is doing their best to find their way through it. Your failure to understand something does not make it evil or stupid, but your reckless condemnation does have the ability to cause real damage to a good company.

    • A Gun Guy on said:

      I’m not a finance guy, I fully admit that. I had to look up the word “arbitrage”. Let me just make sure I understand your point. Are you saying that the whole reason there is little to no ammo anywhere, is that these “scalpers” are buying all the ammo they can at low prices wherever they can find it and then reselling it at ridiculously high prices to anyone stupid enough to pay those crazy amounts?

      • johny5 on said:

        Clearly, the scalpers did not create the ammunition shortage. However, I assert that they are the primary cause of its perpetuation. Many ammunition suppliers are aware of the attitude you express in your posting about “gouging”. Though they recognize that a hike in prices would serve to cool the market and restore price-sanity, they are unwilling to temporarily raise prices due to fears of the damage it might do to their reputations. Additionally, as I referenced before, there is a profit motive for maintaining the current atmosphere of panic purchasing. These two factors coalesce to form a powerful incentive for ammunition suppliers to keep prices as close to historical norms as possible. For what it is worth, I am a student of economics and I have been studying this issue for the past 4 months. I have attended local gun stores and outdoor outfitters on the mornings they take deliveries of ammunition. Each morning the same, familiar faces line up to purchase the maximum amount of ammo irrespective of the caliber. Within hours, whatever ammunition has been bought can be found listed on gunbroker. Additionally, I have attended gun shows and seen the same faces behind tables of ammunition, selling it at outrageous prices. I am glad to hear you admit that you are not an expert at finance. At the risk of sounding harsh, this is not finance, it is economics. I believe that your heart is in the right place, but I encourage you to remember that when you attempt to foment outrage against a company (particularly one with such obvious pro-second amendment leanings) it is important for you to understand the motivations behind their strategies without immediately resorting to condemnation. As I stated earlier, these companies are all doing the best they can to arrive at the best strategy they can to serve their customers and restore a rational marketplace. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not, nor have I ever been employed by Cheaper than Dirt. I have never purchased one of their products. However, I know that they are a good company staffed with people who defend our second amendment rights and celebrate the sport of competitive shooting. Gun retailers (particularly those online) face a full complement of foes from all sectors. Must we find ourselves counted among their detractors? I admire your passion. However, in this time of national debate, would it not be better to employ that energy in a vigorous defense of the second amendment and all of its allies?

        • A Gun Guy on said:

          johny5, I appreciate your insight. I will admit, economics is not my strong suit. I respect your knowledge and opinions based on your perspective and experiences, however my experience has been quite different.

          I’ve been to many local gun shops and the attitudes of the people I’ve met and the people working there has been more respectful and sympathetic towards each other given the current plight we all share with the ammo shortage. I haven’t seen people buying up everything. That’s not to say I don’t believe you. I’m sure it is happening, and more than I would like to believe. What I can’t rationalize in my head, though, is your claim that companies that jack up the prices are doing a good thing. I’m sure there are statistics to back up your theory based on historic cases. However, I’m not sure there is any precedent that we can draw from for this current situation. Everyone I’ve talked to in the industry has admitted they’ve never seen anything like this before.

          For me, there are two opinions I would like to share. 1) I believe, the core cause of the ammo buying frenzy is the politicians who are threatening to destroy the firearms industry in America. I believe you would agree that the 2nd Amendment is in peril at this time. That said. until the politicians back off, I don’t see this trend coming to an end – no matter what prices people charge. Again, this is my opinion.

          2) I am not the only one that believes that Cheaper than Dirt is hurting their reputation by jacking up their prices. Google it, there are a lot of people sharing my sentiments. It could be argued that they are the very scalpers you loathe so much. If they always seem to have inventory and have no problem charging 3 or 4 times the normal price AND people are still buying it, I don’t see how that is a help to the situation. To me, they are being opportunistic.

          One last point. I know a lot of people will defend Cheaper than Dirt for being a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. They do have a track record of that. But they also are responsible for causing many to doubt their reputation when they flinched back in December and halted gun sales. To me, and many others, that was another emotional, knee jerk reaction to back down to the pressure. If they are such a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment and not opportunistic price gougers, their actions both then and now speak otherwise, in my opinion.

  70. ryan on said:

    I share the frustration, believe me I know this sucks beyond measure. But I take the exact opposite approach. I wish all retailers, Walmart especially, would jack their prices up through the stratosphere. There is no other way to stop panictards from buying all the damn ammo. You can thank cheaperthandirt and other “gougers” for bringing this ammo shortage to a swifter end. Where ammo prices are reasonable, panic stricken idiots rush to clean the shelves off in seconds. THAT is what needs to stop completely. Low prices at Walmart do one thing: Give ammo scalpers a field day and guarentee that sportsmen have little chance of getting their hands on that ammo. The scalpers wait in line before the truck arrives and clean the shelves off. They get around the box limit by having their friends and family memeber go with them. If Walmart raised their prices, these idiots would have no incentive to clean those shelves off because they would not be able to turn a profit on that ammo, and as a result, supply would catch up.

    • A Gun Guy on said:

      You make a good point, Ryan. If CheaperThanDirt were jacking up prices to try to end the ammo buying madness, I might applaud them. But, do you really think that’s their motivation? I don’t, that’s why I pushed to boycott them.

      I do share your contempt for people who are over-buying and cheating the purchase limits. They, too, tick me off. But I don’t know they are the the problem. First-time gun owners – and I’m one of them – are coming out of the woodwork. There are more and more people who now have a reason buy ammo. That coupled with existing gun owners normal demands, the over-buyers and the fear that ammo will soon be taxed or unavailable has got us all in a buying frenzy. But, I didn’t write the article to suggest a cause for the buying surge, just that it angers me that some companies will take advantage of it.

      Sadly, I think the only thing that will bring the buying frenzy to an end is when politicians stop talking about creating new gun laws.

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