Kel-Tec KSG for Sale IRL; Optimistically Priced [pics + bonus]

Saturday (1.07.12) at the GRB Gun Show I saw a Kel-tec KSG for the first time:

A genuine bona-fide KSG in real life

Yes, it is priced a whisker shy of $1800.  The price of $3999.99 for David *name withheld* is a friendly jab at another dealer at the show.

As if that wasn’t the find of the show, look what was sitting next to it: the SRM 1216

Kel-Tec KSG and SRM 1216

And it would appear that for $2500 you don’t even get a recoil pad.

BTW, at the same show another dealer had very lightly used (no wear on action bars) Remington 870 Police Magnums for $325-$375.  Hmm, which to choose…

Somewhat off topic musings: I don’t know about you but I have a slight internal conflict with regard to scalper’s prices on guns.  On one hand, I am a red blooded capitalist and understand and appreciate supply and demand.  If the dealer thinks that they can make an extra $1000 above and beyond the MSRP of a gun (the KSG), hey, more power to them.  No one is forcing anybody to buy the gun and besides there are millions of other shotguns to choose from.  [Maybe you remember the ridiculous prices people paid for Miatas and PT Cruisers when those first came out too.]  Furthermore, if the dealer with the KSG had put it out for sale at MSRP, another dealer would have most likely bought it only to attempt to resell it at an inflated price.  If you want one at MSRP, then you can wait for supply to increase.

The dealer today was friendly and upbeat and had no problem with me picking up the gun to look it over.  I enjoyed talking with them and learned that the KSG was one of the first factory shipment of 250 guns.  This one had a three digit serial number starting with ‘1’.  So to be clear, I don’t have a problem with the price I saw on the gun today.  In fact, I chuckled and wished the dealer well saying, “I hope you get it!” (referring to the asking price) and left happy to know that the KSG is in the pipeline and also happy to have had the chance to finally inspect one up close.

The twinge of conflict I experience is when demand skyrockets (say, for instance, due to a particular person getting elected) and prices increase for the short term that approach the level of gouging.   As I’ve stated before, I whole heartily endorse supporting local business whenever possible, however, with the Clinton Gun Ban having sunset only four years prior, in 2008, some local dealers had AR magazines double in price overnight following election returns.  On most you could still the the original price tags under the hastily applied new ones.   Ammo and gun prices also soared.  On one hand, current inventory has to be weighed in the cost of replacement in order to maintain stock.  Example: If gas prices increase, the stations instantly raise prices even if they won’t have a delivery for days because the gas in the ground has to be sold at a rate that will fund its replacement in order to stay in business.  On the other hand, I have enough friends with FFL’s that told me in the months following November 2008, most prices from manufacturers and wholesalers did not substantially increase.  The producers were playing the long game, while some retailers were playing the short game.  Unlike gas stations, gun dealers won’t be charged with price gouging in ‘times of crisis’ (hurricanes, etc.) nor do I think they should be.  Was the post election price hike a case of simply “making hay while the sun shines” or was it “taking advantage of peoples’ fear”?  Neither really, to consider it is just letting emotion get in the way; it’s still just supply and demand and it’s still just business.  The dealers might have thought there would be forthcoming legislation that would put them out of business or at least severely restrict there earning potential and needed to stockpile capital for a coming downturn.  Even though prices eventually came back in line with most other local shops, the long term result has to do with the customer’s perception towards the business.  Not every customer may feel this way but, every time since seeing 11/08 price increases, I remember it when I walk through the door of that shop.  I still shop there on occasion (and have directed business there too), the sales guys are knowledgeable and friendly, but I have no illusion of the owner’s ‘friendship’ with customers.   When I’m there, I shop based on price only since that’s the rule established by the owner.

What do you think?  Is that justified or just petty?

13 Responses

  1. When a dealer establishes the rule-of-thumb for their business. Then that is how business is done with that dealer. After 11/08 I had dealers that artificially raised prices. At the same time they worked and fed into the rumor mill to prolong the artificial panic about ammo being banned or taxed out of the market. Gun bans going back into effect, etc. I remember those dealers and unless I’m stuck I don’t deal with them.

    Those that fed the mill, gouged and took advantage of the irrational fears that were abounding have a special place in hell. Next to pedifilles and those that talk in movie theaters.

  2. While this issue I tend to lay at the feet of Kel-tec. the #1 producer of gus you can’t buy, a dealer who gouged to this extent would never get my business. I can understand a premium for the ‘latest thing’, but not doubles.

    As to politically driven sales, that is more understandable, cause when they are gone, there is no more product to profit from.

    As for Kel-Tec, I’ve written them off. I consider them a botique manufacturer who could care less.

  3. I recommend reading “Basic Economics” by Thomas Sowell. It is an easy read, and although a bit on the thick side, explains economics in plain language.

    High Prices do not cause scarcity – they are a product of scarcity. You don’t blame a thermometer for the hot weather. Rest assured, if nobody buys it, the price will come down (or the seller will keep it). Sellers do not control the price anymore than buyers do – there must be agreement before a sale can happen.

    It just might be that the guy has no real desire to sell the piece. He might want to keep it around for all the traffic it stops at his table, and all the conversations it starts. Some of those conversations lead to other sales. Lots of sellers at shows like having an unusual item on the table just to get people to stop walking.

    I see nothing illegal or unethical here. Move along.

    As to those who fleeced a few suckers out of their panic money, well that’s what suckers get for putting their decision off until everyone else panicked too. The dealers earned no friends, but maybe suckers wouldn’t make good friends anyway. However, it is somewhat revealing of the dealer’s ethics. On the other hand, how many times has that dealer spent an hour explaining and demonstrating a pump shotgun, only to have the customer running to Wal-Mart to buy an 870? Customers can reveal their ethics too.

  4. Double the price ??!! Hell…This guy is nearly quadrupling the price !!!! Several stores have a price in the upper $500’s for this gun !! If Gunforall can charge less than $600 delivered…then his price has got to make it around $500 or less. Just like you guys..I keep an eye out and remember the dealers who screw their customers….it’s BAD BUSINESS. By the way…Speaking of Grabagun.com or Gunforall.com they sell the stuff at a GREAT PRICE even if it’s a hard to get gun.

    Example…at Gunforall.com I landed a POF (Patriot Ordinance Factory) I paid $2286.59 for a AR in 308 that price is the best by far out in the hard to find POF market. Yes, that’s still steep for a AR…but have you ever seen or used a POF AR ??? They are Amazing !!

    • These Dealers that feed off the ignorance of others will get what’s coming to them….When I see they’ve stuck some poor slob 4 times retail on a gun, I chaulk them off my list & bad mouth them any way I can…..

  5. The stores that have them for $599.00 can’t get them! Bud’s Guns and all those other internet cowboys are advertising low prices and taking deposits on weapons they’ll never get, now whos the sucker?

    I have had three of them thanks to a KelTec connection

  6. Bottomline here’s is to take your business elsewhere. When dealers price gouge they hurt their own reputation and also that of the manfacture.

    I’ve talked to Kel Tec before and they’re completely oblvious to the gouging dealers and condone their actions. I’m done with Kel Tec and so are just about everyone of my customers.

    If this type of gouging keeps up, it will hurt Kel Tec sales and their own reputation and evenually cost Kel Tec dearly. There are price controls Kel Tec can use but they don’t seem interested. Kel Tec can put a conservative price ceiling on the products and ensure fair distribution but again they aren’t interested in the long term investors.

    So be it. We don’t have to stock it. It’s their loss and eventually if other dealers like myself and dealer networks take the same stance with the price it will come down or Kel Tec will go broke manfacturing products that no one will buy. The cowboy dealers aren’t the ones who are paying Kel Tecs bills.

    I’ve seen firearms companies come and go over the decades and Kel Tec is no different. A legacy of poor business practices with dealers and distributors, is not a legacy I would not want to endure. It can eventually cost you your business.

  7. Gun journalists got some kel tec shotguns and that is probably the source of any you see, I agree with your comments, well said, my dislike is for companies that waste our time with models that make too much sense to manufacture , try buying a naa ranger, kel tec shotgun, springfield xds, promises promises promises.

  8. Gun buyers and gun dealers seem to be more focused on “fairness” than any other retail customers. I find that ironic because they also tend to be more conservative. There is nothing more conservative than free market capitalism. It’s not really a “relationship”, it’s business. They set a price, you buy or not. Also lots of articles buy gun shop owners complaining about window shoppers taking their time and then buying on CTD or walmart. That is the market, adapt to it. My local range switched from selling retail to stocking and renting a broad span of guns, along with range fees and a stipulation of “their gun, their ammo”. Owner tells me profits have increased. Instead of slim margins on retail guns, now recoupes cost of rentals in less than an month. Buyers are happy becasue they don’t have to invest heavy money in a gun they’ve never shot, and can try multiple weapons before they buy. If they find what they like, they can either mail order through the shop or get it on-line, or go elsewhere. Owner says most don’t, because he charges less to order and most folks are OK not walking out that day with their gun. Down side is that he let go of some of his less skilled staff; but that’s what he said he had to do to stay competitive and keep his experienced guys around. That’s free market capitalism at work. Don’t like it, vote for… well… don’t vote for anyone because even the Democrats (once in office) are free marketeers. If you don’t like it, start a revolution; few guys named Lennon and Marx wrote a lot about alternatives.

    • Lennon? Like John Lennon?? LOL, I’m sure you mean Lenin….and Dems are union loving, communist coddling traitors who hate the free market(for the most part). Fairness if for 5 yr olds….

  9. Can’t stand price gouging. But as long as the free market exists, it will exist. Price gouging is a product of supply /demand. The last thing anyone wants or needs is governmental price fixing.

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