Why The Price Difference?

Why The Price Difference?

This is a discussion on Why The Price Difference? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I want to support American made holster (and gun) companies so I go to their company websites to shop and get prices. However, I find ...

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    Why The Price Difference?

    I want to support American made holster (and gun) companies so I go to their company websites to shop and get prices. However, I find wide disparities in their prices vs. buying the same products from retailers like Amazon and gun sites like Brownells, etc. Colt WC LW Commander from Colt's website? $1299 and currently out of stock. Bought it from Bud's in stock for $1150. The Milt Sparks Summer Special II holster for my Commander was listed at $135 on the Sparks website. It was $119 w/ free shipping at Brownells for the exact same holster, so I bought from Brownells. Yesterday, I wanted a Galco Concealment Special OWB for the same pistol. $131 + $12 shipping on the Galco website with a 10 day wait. I paid $104 for the exact Galco holster from Amazon -- free shipping and delivery in 2 days.
    What's up with this? I would rather buy from the guys themselves than go through a second party, but I can't afford to just throw money away.
    What are your thoughts on this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavygravy View Post
    I want to support American made holster (and gun) companies so I go to their company websites to shop and get prices. However, I find wide disparities in their prices vs. buying the same products from retailers like Amazon and gun sites like Brownells, etc. Colt WC LW Commander from Colt's website? $1299 and currently out of stock. Bought it from Bud's in stock for $1150. The Milt Sparks Summer Special II holster for my Commander was listed at $135 on the Sparks website. It was $119 w/ free shipping at Brownells for the exact same holster, so I bought from Brownells. Yesterday, I wanted a Galco Concealment Special OWB for the same pistol. $131 + $12 shipping on the Galco website with a 10 day wait. I paid $104 for the exact Galco holster from Amazon -- free shipping and delivery in 2 days.
    What's up with this? I would rather buy from the guys themselves than go through a second party, but I can't afford to just throw money away.
    What are your thoughts on this?
    I generally shop for the best price without paying much nevermind to the other details.
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    Senior Member Array halem1's Avatar
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    I'll support local businesses/USA made when possible. A few dollars difference in price, I'll go local. Everyone has their sliding scale of what is practical vs what is too much. Some retailers have more overhead than others I guess.
    Me: "..and that brings us back to the age old question, how much ammo should you carry or how much is enough, doesn't it? Lol "
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    The age old questions answer is carry more, not less. For if more isn't enough, less surely won't be. lol"

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    If manufacturers discounted their products to what their vendors sold them for they wouldn't have any vendors buying from them. They have an agreement. Just like it's cheaper to walk into a Bose store and buy some speakers than buying them direct from Bose. At least it used to be. You'll find that with almost everything, but lately there are a few makers offering sales or other incentives to be pretty competitive with even online sources. Especially if that maker is also selling on Amazon, yet has a store on their website, too.
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    I guess it was a stupid question and I shouldn't have started the topic. It just seems to me that it would make business sense for the manufacturer to sell it to me cheaper from their own website than going through a second party. Obviously I'm no businessman, just a piano player.
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    You would think.
    But if I could take a plane to Detroit and buy a car for $10,000 less than the dealer's price 30 minutes away and drive it home, there wouldn't be any car dealerships.
    It's just the way things work.

    Not a stupid question, you just didn't know.

    Internet sales followed the same mold. But like I said, I see it slowly changing with some items. Or you see the manufacturer also selling on online merchant sites.
    I've got some steel targets arriving tomorrow I bought from the manufacturer off Amazon with free shipping. They cost more and shipping is extra on his site.

    Go figure, lol.
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    No it is not a stupid question, it is quite common for a big box store or distributor to approach a manufacturer and tell them I need X-number of trucks of this product and I will pay X-$ for each item. Generally if the manufacturer compares the offered price to the cost and can then still turn a profit the sale is made and the big box store or distributor can then offer the product at a discounted price to the public.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavygravy View Post
    I guess it was a stupid question and I shouldn't have started the topic. It just seems to me that it would make business sense for the manufacturer to sell it to me cheaper from their own website than going through a second party. Obviously I'm no businessman, just a piano player.
    I did not understand that either before I worked for a manufacturer, but the concept is really pretty simple. If as a manufacturer you undercut your dealers, you won't have any dealers. Some manufacturers don't care about that, but to some, having dealers in local places where people can walk into a store and buy that off the shelf is important. It just depends on your business model.
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    Quote Originally Posted by G26Raven View Post
    I did not understand that either before I worked for a manufacturer, but the concept is really pretty simple. If as a manufacturer you undercut your dealers, you won't have any dealers. Some manufacturers don't care about that, but to some, having dealers in local places where people can walk into a store and buy that off the shelf is important. It just depends on your business model.
    I understand that part about dealers in local places, car dealerships like PACanis mentioned, etc. I was talking about stuff you either get from Amazon or other online dealers as opposed to a manufacturer's website store.
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    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    No it is not a stupid question, it is quite common for a big box store or distributor to approach a manufacturer and tell them I need X-number of trucks of this product and I will pay X-$ for each item. Generally if the manufacturer compares the offered price to the cost and can then still turn a profit the sale is made and the big box store or distributor can then offer the product at a discounted price to the public.

    And then the big box store can mark up the product when there's a price increase, even though they still have old stock bought at the lower price.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavygravy View Post
    I understand that part about dealers in local places, car dealerships like PACanis mentioned, etc. I was talking about stuff you either get from Amazon or other online dealers as opposed to a manufacturer's website store.

    Pay closer attention when you are shopping on Amazon (if you aren't already). Some of that stuff comes from the manufacturer direct, some comes from third party merchants and some comes shipped directly from Amazon's hubs. Two out of three times there is a middleman who is stocking that stuff. Putting out his money upfront so he has the item when you are looking for it. And the manufacturer might be sold out and making more. IMO that's one of the reasons you will see these fluctuating prices on Amazon. They are keeping abreast of supply and demand. The holster you saw for 49 bucks yesterday might be 58 today.
    And the manufacturer is just happy to be selling it to someone, even it's at a discounted price. The bulk sale makes up for it.
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    VIP Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    Yep, and don't forget that the distribution system was established long before the internet came along. That has changed the dynamics a bit.
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    What is the Retail on the Sparks? I'm guessing it's slightly discounted at Sparks' site..... Brownell's probably may have a dozen or more, they paid a lot less for, and they have a "discounted" price on them, even though they are most likely making the same (if not more) than they normally would on a single holster purchase directly from Spark's. Same thing sometimes happens in Clothing and apparel. Last yr's stuff is discounted but the margin is the same.
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    There is an old joke used in Economics classes: "Buy high, sell low and deal in volume." That sounds nuts, but there is such a thing as the economies of scale. It costs money to tool up and set up production lines for the production of any given item. As others have stated, if a big box store offers to buy an entire production run for a lower "each" price than normal distributors pay, it does pay the manufacturer to devote most of a production run to immediate profit even if it is lower per item because the bottom line for that production run may be higher.

    My personal experience with Amazon is that sometimes you can buy a product cheaper on Amazon, but many times it costs less to order directly from the Amazon seller. And yes, Amazon prices do vary by the day or even by the hour.

    As far as to purchasing from manufacturers, I used to buy some food items direct from the manufacturers but most of them stopped selling direct because their cost per unit for the processing was prohibitive.
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    VIP Member Array Chuck808's Avatar
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    I have no issued going through a re-seller if its a better deal. Sure, maybe the manufacturer makes a little less if you buy on Amazon or Brownells or whatever, but that just means Amazon or Brownells just bought a bunch of those items to stock, benefiting the manufacturer. If a good group of guys like Brownells get to make a few bucks on the deal as well, even better.
    1gunsnowbird likes this.

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