Friday, September 12, 2008


you see those terms thrown around a lot as if they're interchangeable...they're not.

there's a good illustration of this over at sailor curt's.

price is easy enough; for most things including the ak-47's at the heart of curt's post, it's the wholesale replacement cost, which is a pretty fixed amount...for instance decent clone ak's at bangers are under $400 to ffl's...anything extra is blue sky, and like i said at curt's, ain't nothing wrong with that, but how much?

well then you're talking about value, and there's nothing fixed about that...what i normally did was charge a $50 markup to order any firearm on a prepaid basis, so about $450 plus nics and tax; dealers who price their inventory at normal retail might use a 50% markup for a price of $600...though they may not sell to legal buyers in no hurry and with a dozen competing gun sellers in town the value would probably be $450-$500.

but throw in an "exigent circumstance", (cops aren't the only ones...heh...who face those) and well...if i was in new orleans in '05 or maybe in houston today, the stores were closed and i didn't have a gun? that value shoots right up there to about whatever i had to pay.

or if i was an illegal-immigrant dope-ganger i guess the value would be what the evil, criminal p.o.s. with a "not-prohibited status" charges me to buy it and resell it to me.

and if i was lieutenant spokesperson of the hometown sheriff's office? well, i'm going to grab onto the highest figure i hear anybody within a mile of the investigation mention...'cause that makes us look good and goes over real big when the sheriff is beggin' for tax money to fund the new ninja squad...them's $700 ak's by gosh, that pot plant's worth $5000 of pot, and the mangled gold chain with a true melt value of $200 looks a lot better on the recovered-property sheet at the $2000 jacked-up-500% retail tag price down at mayor's jewelry...

price is easy...value is a whole 'nother thing.



Sevesteen said...

I misread part of this as "clone AK's for gang bangers are..."

It surprises me that people were angry with a local gun dealer because he was selling Ruger LCP's at list. He was usually cheaper than average, but in this case he was the only one who had LCP's, and even at full retail he was only keeping them a few days. I'm not a businessman, but if I can only get a fixed supply of something, and my choice is to sell it today at a discount, or 3 days from now at full price...

There was a proposal here that when gas prices went up, stations would have to sell off their "cheap gas" bought at lower wholesale prices before they could raise them. Oddly, there was no proposal requiring consumers to buy up the leftover expensive gas when prices went down...

the pawnbroker said...

expect a lot of that kind of proposal if the socialist regime gets in in november, sevesteen.

but left to its own devices our ol' friend supply and demand does a pretty good job of setting values...$70 sks's became $300 and $20 magazines became $100 real quick under the 90's ban...i was the serendipitous beneficiary of a lot of that.

if stock replacement is just a matter of picking up the phone and calling the wholesaler, competition will demand a slim margin...but if an object of desire is scarce (or perceived to be), the market will decide.

and if circumstances like i mention in the post are involved, all bets are off.

the pawnbroker said...

"...but if an object of desire is scarce (or perceived to be), the market will decide."

and apparently today the market is deciding that regular gas is "valued" at about five bucks a gallon...