Cheaper Than Dirt

Cheaper Than Dirt stays in the gun game (with new, high prices)

by Max Slowik,  |  published on December 29, 2012

Cheaper Than Dirt recently shocked the gun community with their post-Sandy Hook announcement that they were suspending future firearms sales online. They would continue to sell sporting goods and shooting supplies online, but only sell guns at their retail location.

The outrage was palpable. It should be mentioned, for those who do not know, that online sales do not circumvent any gun laws or background checks. It is functionally no different than buying from a dealer in person, except you have a larger number of options with wider product availability and price selections.

Guns bought online must still be transferred through a gun dealer and the buyer goes through the same process as everyone else. There was, on the surface, no reason for Cheaper Than Dirt to quit selling guns save for the elephant in the room, Sandy Hook.

With everyone’s jimmies thoroughly rustled, Cheaper Than Dirt either changed their position or finally clarified it, saying that their system could not handle the volume of sales they were facing, and it required renovation before they could begin selling firearms online again (which, at the time of writing this, they have not yet resumed).

This isn’t unbelievable, as the massive spike in sales has caused even larger companies’ checkout systems, including Brownells, who sold more magazines in three days than they did in the previous three years. The sales boom caused many customers to purchase products that were already sold out, causing confusion and frustration.

But the other thing that Cheaper Than Dirt did was raise prices. Even before the availability of guns, accessories and in particular, magazines dried up, they raised their prices. Normal prices for PMAGs then were about $12-14, and they had them marked up to $60.

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