Is commercial ammunition a commodity? A box or two... we all trot down to our local shooting emporium.... but what about larger quantities?
When I wish a case or two of ammo, I don't buy it at a local gun shop. The markup is just too stiff. I believe in supporting the good folks who have local stores, but I simply can't afford to throw cash away like that.
So, the question stands. Is bulk ammunition a commodity? Do we shop solely by price, like we were buying heating oil?
Personally, I have dealt with SGAmmo and Widener's, and found both to be excellent to deal with. I understand Tam deals with Lucky Gunner... and that has to be a solid endorsement. MidwayUSA is a Go-To for all sorts of gear, components, and parts.... but I have never brought myself to pay their ammo prices.
Out of curiosity, I picked a staple ammunition and checked a number of sites for pricing including shipping. A 1000 round case of Blazer Brass 9mm Luger 115 grain FMJ. The results:
- Ammo.com 214.99/20.41 $235.40
- Ammotogo 214.95/19.92 $234.87
- BulkAmmo 209.99/20.43 $230.42
- MidwayUSA 259.99/17.74 $277.48
- Lucky Gunner 214.99/20.41 $235.40
- Widener's 229.85/19.93 $249.78
- SGAmmo 199.80/16.00 $215.80
That said, I have to wonder if there isn't something more to consider here. What value added is there to on-line ammunition sales?
(After comments begin rolling in :-)
So, issues besides price include shipping costs (which I lump into price), speed of service, and delivery concerns. What can an on-line supplier do to earn our business?
I'll use an example. In my real life job, I work on cars. Personally, I order and use about 100K a year in parts and supplies. When I choose a supplier, price is part of the equation, but it's not the sole deciding factor. Getting the right parts, of decent quality, and in a timely manner..... these things are important and will cause me to spend a bit more. All these factors are under the control of my suppliers, and easily balance out the cost issue. I choose to spend money accordingly.
Now, how does this translate when choosing an on-line bulk ammo supplier?