Buyer Beware: Cheaper Than Dirt

This is a discussion on Buyer Beware: Cheaper Than Dirt within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I posted this in the Industry sub-forum for CTD over on AR15.com, but I wanted to post it in this community as well as a ...

View Poll Results: Would you do business with CheaperThanDirt in the future?

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  • Yes, through personal experience I would do business with CTD again.

    91 82.73%
  • Yes, through reputation I would do business with CTD.

    5 4.55%
  • No, through personal experience I would not do business with CTD again.

    9 8.18%
  • No, through reputation I would not do business with CTD.

    5 4.55%
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Thread: Buyer Beware: Cheaper Than Dirt

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array gdm320's Avatar
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    Buyer Beware: Cheaper Than Dirt

    I posted this in the Industry sub-forum for CTD over on AR15.com, but I wanted to post it in this community as well as a bit of a word of warning to folks considering doing business with Cheaper Than Dirt.

    It seems to me that CTD is "hit or miss" in terms of order quality. Some people have done quite a bit of business with them and never had an issue while some people have horror stories. By no means do I believe my situation is the case for 99.99% of CTD customers... but it has been so disappointing that I felt it worthy of sharing with the community.

    To be fair I thought it might also be worthwhile to open a simple poll in this thread asking if from personal experience or reputation, you would do business with CheaperThanDirt. I'm sort of curious to see what the perception of them is.

    As Posted on AR15.com
    "My wife and I thought it would be fun to order a few of those "Nothing Inside Is Worth Dying For" yard signs as Father's Day gifts. We searched around for the best price and found it at Cheaper Than Dirt. On Friday, May 11th I placed an order for three of the aforementioned yard signs and some ammunition.

    The order shipped promptly and shipping was pleasantly quick for the cheapest standard shipping CTD offered for an order where ammunition was included. By Tuesday May 15th I had a box at my door. Only trouble was the ammunition was the only thing in the box.

    Thinking that perhaps the items were going to ship separately I checked my order status on CTD.com. There was no indication the items would ship separately, so I e-mailed CTD's Customer Service (CS) via the form on their website on Wednesday May 16th. Later that day I received a response, albeit a bit terse and surprisingly unapologetic, that the items should have all been shipped together and they would be re-shipping the signs for me. Now I'm not the type that requires a gushing apology for honest mistakes because they happen, I was just a bit surprised that a simple apology for the inconvenience was omitted. Certainly not a big deal, though.

    On Saturday May 19th, the signs arrived. However the items were not as advertised on the website. They did not include the mounting kits as specifically stated on the product page. Additionally, they did not appear to simply be missing the stakes as I could not see the correct holes in the sign to mount the sign to the stake at all. Something appeared amiss, so on Sunday May 20th I e-mailed CTD's CS again to see what the issue might be. They replied on Monday May 21st that they would have to check with the warehouse to see what the issue was. I did a bit of additional digging around their website and discovered that the same item was posted on the website twice. Exact same picture, description, SKU, price - everything. Only difference was the CTD Item # was ended in "7" for one and "9" for another.

    On Tuesday May 22nd another package of three of the incorrect signs arrived leaving me with a total of six. I was advised that the item I had ordered did not include the mounting kit but the "other" item did and it appeared the web team made a mistake posting the items with inaccurate information. I notified them of the additional signs I had received and asked how I could exchange the six incorrect signs with three of the correct ones. On Wednesday May 23rd, I was e-mailed a pre-paid FedEx return label to return the incorrect items. They were shipped at a local office that accepts outbound FedEx mail a few days later.

    On Wednesday June 6th I e-mailed to ask the status of my exchange and was told that the return had not arrived (or been processed?) and the replacement signs had not yet been shipped. I inquired again on Tuesday June 12th explaining that I had ordered them as Father's Day gifts over a month in advance and it was starting to seem as if that was not going to happen. I received a reply the same day that my return had still not arrived.

    On Thursday June 14th I received an automated e-mail that the order with my replacement signs had shipped. FedEx has the delivery scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday June 16th. We'll see if they're the correct units this time. Assuming everything is fine tomorrow, it will have taken 37 days to get my order completed as ordered. The only words of concern I've gotten in any of the communications I've had with CTD regarding this issue is one e-mail on May 21st where I was told "We apologize for the inconvenience."

    Frankly, I am only really offering this story as a word of warning towards potential CheaperThanDirt customers. I can't say that the experience has left me wanting to do any business with CTD again. Like I said: I'm not the type that requires a groveling apology for anything. I'd never ask for one. Having said that, though, I have dealt with many companies in the firearms industry over the years and have never had a buying experience like this. Generally speaking companies in this industry are very concerned with their reputation and can't apologize enough even for a simple thing. Perhaps this is a result of the "100,000 orders per month" that CTD explained in another post they receive and some mistakes will happen. True, but the mistakes should still be handled with some professional courtesy."
    "Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death." -- General Omar Bradley

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Inspector71's Avatar
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    Count me in the totally satisfied group. Never had a problem with CTD.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Array RightyLefty's Avatar
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    Never had a problem with CTD either.

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array dawei's Avatar
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    Sorry for your difficulty. I have been a CTD customer since 2003 and will continue to be one. I have always received my order on time. The one time I had a back order I received it 10 days later. I will continue to be a CTD customer unless I run into some unforeseen problem.
    atctimmy likes this.
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  6. #5
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    I've mostly purchased from their Fort Worth, Texas retail store location but also by mail order with perfect satisfaction.
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  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array AZJD1968's Avatar
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    I also have done a lot of business with CTD and have had zero problems. I am vary satisfied with there products, service and deliveries. Will keep buying from them.
    Stop whining and go do something that makes a difference!
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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Have made many, many purchases from CTD and haven't experienced a single issue with order, fulfillment or service.
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  9. #8
    New Member Array archertom's Avatar
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    cheaper is the gimmick

    Quote Originally Posted by gdm320 View Post
    I posted this in the Industry sub-forum for CTD over on AR15.com, but I wanted to post it in this community as well as a bit of a word of warning to folks considering doing business with Cheaper Than Dirt.

    It seems to me that CTD is "hit or miss" in terms of order quality. Some people have done quite a bit of business with them and never had an issue while some people have horror stories. By no means do I believe my situation is the case for 99.99% of CTD customers... but it has been so disappointing that I felt it worthy of sharing with the community.

    To be fair I thought it might also be worthwhile to open a simple poll in this thread asking if from personal experience or reputation, you would do business with CheaperThanDirt. I'm sort of curious to see what the perception of them is.

    As Posted on AR15.com
    "My wife and I thought it would be fun to order a few of those "Nothing Inside Is Worth Dying For" yard signs as Father's Day gifts. We searched around for the best price and found it at Cheaper Than Dirt. On Friday, May 11th I placed an order for three of the aforementioned yard signs and some ammunition.

    The order shipped promptly and shipping was pleasantly quick for the cheapest standard shipping CTD offered for an order where ammunition was included. By Tuesday May 15th I had a box at my door. Only trouble was the ammunition was the only thing in the box.

    Thinking that perhaps the items were going to ship separately I checked my order status on CTD.com. There was no indication the items would ship separately, so I e-mailed CTD's Customer Service (CS) via the form on their website on Wednesday May 16th. Later that day I received a response, albeit a bit terse and surprisingly unapologetic, that the items should have all been shipped together and they would be re-shipping the signs for me. Now I'm not the type that requires a gushing apology for honest mistakes because they happen, I was just a bit surprised that a simple apology for the inconvenience was omitted. Certainly not a big deal, though.

    On Saturday May 19th, the signs arrived. However the items were not as advertised on the website. They did not include the mounting kits as specifically stated on the product page. Additionally, they did not appear to simply be missing the stakes as I could not see the correct holes in the sign to mount the sign to the stake at all. Something appeared amiss, so on Sunday May 20th I e-mailed CTD's CS again to see what the issue might be. They replied on Monday May 21st that they would have to check with the warehouse to see what the issue was. I did a bit of additional digging around their website and discovered that the same item was posted on the website twice. Exact same picture, description, SKU, price - everything. Only difference was the CTD Item # was ended in "7" for one and "9" for another.

    On Tuesday May 22nd another package of three of the incorrect signs arrived leaving me with a total of six. I was advised that the item I had ordered did not include the mounting kit but the "other" item did and it appeared the web team made a mistake posting the items with inaccurate information. I notified them of the additional signs I had received and asked how I could exchange the six incorrect signs with three of the correct ones. On Wednesday May 23rd, I was e-mailed a pre-paid FedEx return label to return the incorrect items. They were shipped at a local office that accepts outbound FedEx mail a few days later.

    On Wednesday June 6th I e-mailed to ask the status of my exchange and was told that the return had not arrived (or been processed?) and the replacement signs had not yet been shipped. I inquired again on Tuesday June 12th explaining that I had ordered them as Father's Day gifts over a month in advance and it was starting to seem as if that was not going to happen. I received a reply the same day that my return had still not arrived.

    On Thursday June 14th I received an automated e-mail that the order with my replacement signs had shipped. FedEx has the delivery scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday June 16th. We'll see if they're the correct units this time. Assuming everything is fine tomorrow, it will have taken 37 days to get my order completed as ordered. The only words of concern I've gotten in any of the communications I've had with CTD regarding this issue is one e-mail on May 21st where I was told "We apologize for the inconvenience."

    Frankly, I am only really offering this story as a word of warning towards potential CheaperThanDirt customers. I can't say that the experience has left me wanting to do any business with CTD again. Like I said: I'm not the type that requires a groveling apology for anything. I'd never ask for one. Having said that, though, I have dealt with many companies in the firearms industry over the years and have never had a buying experience like this. Generally speaking companies in this industry are very concerned with their reputation and can't apologize enough even for a simple thing. Perhaps this is a result of the "100,000 orders per month" that CTD explained in another post they receive and some mistakes will happen. True, but the mistakes should still be handled with some professional courtesy."
    First let me say this about Cheaper than Dirt. They do have some really good pricing on some of their items. One of the problems that I have encountered with them however is, they are either always out of stock, or their sizing is weird and they have been really sad in their order delivery of items ordered. But the biggest complaint I have with them is their shipping and handling fees, those fees are simply unacceptable for me. I know they need to charge shipping fees or at least on some items but come on the handling fees????? They are in the business of shipping and their fees for handling is NOT acceptable for me. As an example of what I am talking about: I was going to order one of those Shemagh scarfs that are so popular now. Every movie that involves Soldiers now days have the players wearing them. Well anyway I too have worn them and they are great to have. But the day I saw what I was looking for on CTD they were running a special on them for 3.95. That is a great price so I put one in the cart and looked around for other things. I decided to just order the scarf, the thing weighs under a pound. The handling was 6.96 and shipping was 9.95. I hit the brakes and looked over on Amazon. They had the exact same pattern, length and everything. Their price was 9.25 with shipping being 3.95. Then I went back to CTD and thought maybe they have a set rate and if I added other items, that might help balance out the total price. WRONG, I found .50 ca. round BP Lead Balls and I forget the price on them now but, added to the Shemagh, handling was 9.95 and shipping was 12.99. So I thought what the heck. I ordered the items, it took them 3 weeks to get it to me(not a big deal) but when the items arrived they were in one of those USPS small shipping boxes that costs considerably less than what they were charging. On top of that, the Scarf was the wrong pattern and color and the round .50 cal lead balls were, lead free conicals. No notes about the exchange of items, no nothing.

    I though OK people make mistakes so I accepted it and went on with life. About a week after I got my items from CTD, I was going over Midway USA's catalog and low and behold there was an add for the .50 cal lead round balls. Their price was on sale so I won't even compare there, but their shipping was "free" if I spent 25.00 or more. That is including shipping. I happened to have a gift certificate for 25.00 from Midway so I shopped around through their site and found 68.00 worth of items and shipping was free plus I used my gift certificate which brought down the price considerably.

    Now if I am overlooking something about CTD, please let me know. I really like their basic pricing and they have a ton of useful supplies. So if I did something wrong in the handling and shipping pricing, don't hesitate to let me know what it was and I will alter accordingly.

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    I haven't bought from them yet, so I can't answer the poll. I have been watching their site and considering buying a case of ammo. I'm admittedly curious about their shipping and handling charges.

  11. #10
    Member Array JaySkiBum's Avatar
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    The handful of orders I have done through them has been shipped quickly without issue.....now if only they didn't charge an arm and a left testicle for shipping....

  12. #11
    New Member Array archertom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noway2 View Post
    I haven't bought from them yet, so I can't answer the poll. I have been watching their site and considering buying a case of ammo. I'm admittedly curious about their shipping and handling charges.
    I like many people have been bitten by the shipping costs after the fact. I utilize Ebay for a lot of my purchases and Midway for some and a couple other places. I got ripped a while back on Ebay because of the shipping so that is one of the very first things I check out before placing an order with anyone on line now. I was going to order a case of ammo from CTD but when I got to the shipping part for the case, I decided to look locally and found what I was going to order. Their base price was a little higher than CTD but tax and all was several dollars less than they were. I have ordered a few things from CTD but, I am very particular about their shipping and handling, I always add that to the item price and IF it still come up less than I can find it local or from another site, then of course I go with CTD. They have messed up a couple orders for me but anytime that has happened and I call them about it, they always ask if I want a refund or to return the items. Then they make it right which is a great thing except for when the correct items were needed in a particular time frame.

  13. #12
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    I am a totally satisfied Customer of Cheeper Than Dirt! Been using them a long time.

    I've never had any issues with them at all. And I'm talking big boxes with many mixed items, expertly packed and invoiced.

    BTY - I was thinking of buying those same signs, for the enclosed back yard (out of sight of the street or people driving by)... why advertise, let the BG get a supprise It would be more of a sight gag in the back yard than for deterrence.
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    I like Midway better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneshot View Post
    I like Midway better.
    Post a link to them, please? Thanks in advance.
    Socialism Kills! Time proven, with a very large body count! We are a Constitutional Republic....... not a Democracy, get it correct!

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  16. #15
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