This video will either end up being the greatest thing I’ve ever done, or the worst decision I’ve ever made.
I haven’t figured out which yet.
The other day, I got called a price gouger.
Why was I called a price gouger?
Well, perhaps a little background is in order.
I currently have three auctions on GunBroker. These three auctions are for two stripped Spike’s Tactical lowers, and one complete Spike’s Tactical lower. On Wednesday (the day I put the auctions up), I immediately started getting calls from all over the country from people who wanted me to pull the auctions and sell to them. In each case, I politely declined, explaining to the callers that I kind of wanted to see where these auctions would go, and that it was more out of some morbid curiosity than a desire for a big payout. I described it to one guy from Tennessee (who was super cool, by the way) as some sort of bizarre social experiment.
Most people who’ve called have been understanding about it. Some, not so much. I’ve been called every name in the book this week, had people from 1500 miles away threaten to kick my ass (Yeah, you’re 1500 miles away, and on the phone, and you’re going to come kick my ass. SO BRAVE), been yelled at, and cussed out. None of that bothers me. In 8 days, I’ll be 40 years old. In my almost 40 years on this planet, I’ve been called worse things by better people, so being called names, being threatened, being yelled at or cussed out by some entitled assclown on the phone doesn’t even begin to phase me.
But then, someone called me a price gouger.
That bothers me, and I’ll tell you why.
First, it’s wrong. Plain and simple. AR-15 lowers are not staple items. They are not necessary for your every-day survival. They’re a luxury item, plain and simple. They’re not food, or milk, or clean water, or medicine, or gasoline, or home heating oil. You can live without having a stockpile of stripped lowers in your bunker, you absurd prepper. This isn’t a natural disaster like Katrina. This is a panic buy by people who are afraid of the possibility of some sort of AWB at some point.
Second, and possibly more important than the first point, I’m not setting the prices. The bidders are. There are no reserves on any of my auctions. None. So that means if nobody bids, or if only one person bids, they win the item at that low starting bid. If I’m not setting a price, how the hell am I price gouging?
What a lot of people seem to not understand is that the firearm retail industry is pretty screwed. Once I sell these lowers, that’s it. There are no more. Manufacturers can’t keep up with demand, distributors can’t get any from the manufacturers, local dealers like me can’t get any from the distributors, it’s done. The wholesale stream dries up, I can’t get inventory to sell, I’m out of business in less than 6 months.
So, while I may be making a few bucks extra this week, it’s unsustainable.
And who’s fault is that?
It’s your fault. It’s the panic-buyers fault. Your actions over the next few weeks are going to be responsible for putting a great many local gun stores out of business. Which is only going to drive prices even higher.
So enjoy it while it lasts, guys.
And don’t come crying to me when you no longer have a local gun store with a knowledgeable staff to go to with your questions, and your only option is the 18-year-old high school dropout working the gun counter at your big chain store. You know the kid I’m talking about, right? The kid who only cares about the guns he “uses” every day when he plays Call of Duty. Yeah, that kid.
Have fun with that. And remember who’s to blame for it.