Originally Posted by ScottA
I won't blame a retailer for reacting to the market.
Consider this... Demand spikes and supply is disappearing rapidly. You as the retailer decide to leave your prices the same and run out of your inventory very quickly at your regular margin. Now once you run out of the inventory you have on hand, the supply available to you may only be one quarter of what you had planned on if you can get any at all. So now your revenue has dropped to practically nothing, but your overhead expenses of running your business are still the same. You quickly run out of cash and must close your doors.
On the other hand, you decide in the face of skyrocketing demand to raise your prices and increase your margin. You are able to pull in more profit and bank the cash. You exhaust your inventory and your supply is limited so your sales drop. But you are able to weather the storm because you have the extra cash generated by raising your prices when demand spiked and you had inventory.
People are far too quick to scream "price gouging" without thinking through what the consequences will likely be to the retailer if they do not respond to dramatic shifts in the market.
I have no problem with prices going up reasonably due to restrictions in the supply chain. My issue is when a dealer is straight gouging. Like a brick of Rem .22s for $100. That is uncalled for. I could accept maybe a doubling of the normal price at a small LGS but not 5 fold. In this regard Wal-Mart has done very well with their ammo prices. They haven't had much in stock but I haven't seen more than a 10% increase in their pricing.
As for the actual guns, I can also see a raise in price but not well beyond MSRP. There are a lot of over-priced ARs out there right now that people have bought and haven't been able to feed. Those will be coming to market soon.