Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Redux, but explained.

 Someone on social media was again talking about how their travels had been taking them to mom'n'pop gun shops in small towns, and he was surprised to find the stock and pricing in most of them to be pretty near normal. He speculated that ammo manufacturers were prioritizing small shops...

It’s not that they’re prioritizing deliveries there, it’s just that they don’t do as much business so they’re the last to sell out. As a matter of fact, those shops are the exact opposite of prioritized; when they do sell out, they’ll be the last to get restocked. Wholesalers and manufacturers prioritize buyers who purchase by the skid, not who buy a case or two a year.

 What happens with those smaller shops that are off the beaten path is that their inventory lasts about until one of their regular customers goes on social media or a gun forum and says "I don't know what all you people in big cities are talking about with this 'ammo panic'. Ain't nobody panicking here in Two Mules, Kansas. We've all got our guns, I guess. Why, I just stopped by my regular LGS, Billy Bob's Tradin' Post, and their stock and prices were all normal."
 Three days later, after the locusts have descended, Billy Bob's is sold out.

 Three months later, Billy Bob's....which was run by Billy Bob as a side gig to his regular welding business using his wife as a bookkeeper/office manager, a retiree to basically run the place four days a week, and a college kid as part time counter help...hasn't been able to restock and closes, behind on its mortgage because they had zero reserve capital to weather ninety days of sub-hundred-dollar gross sales.

(SOURCE: I have worked for three or four Billy Bobs and known dozens personally. Like most small businesses...and especially most hobby businesses...your typical brick and mortar gun shop is dramatically undercapitalized.)