View Poll Results: Do you think TGS is offering guns "At Cost"

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  • Yes - I think their prices are reflective of the market.

    1 33.33%
  • No - I think they're being misleading.

    2 66.67%
  • Maybe - I'll explain why in a post to this thread.

    0 0%
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Thread: The Gun Source "At Cost" Investigation

  1. #1
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    Article by Pointman at OpenCarry.org
    April 29, 2008, Wisconsin


    I was at the Glock website looking at the new models, downloaded the 2008 brochure, and decided to download a price list to go with the brochure. I promptly forgot about it.

    Almost two months later, Eric is on CNN stating his company is selling guns at cost, and I thought it a good time to check on the price of a G21. Several people reported calling the TGS 800 number after seeing the "Call for price" image and no "Add to cart" button, and the representatives said "At Cost" prices were listed on the website. But which website? TGS runs several, and they have different prices. I tried calling the 800 number, but it was constantly busy. I looked at each TGS website for the lowest price on the G21, until I got to Glockworld, which offered to send me a price list, which I requested. When I went to save it I discovered I had saved a price list on 3/5/2008, well before Eric made his "At Cost" offer. I checked the source of the price list using the menu option View-Source, and it is http://www.glockworld.com/ViewEmail.aspx.

    I soon discovered the new price list they sent was higher than the "At Cost" prices, so I created a cart and added several items that were similar to the G21, all in .45 caliber, all Glocks, which Glockworld should specialize in and have at a good discount--or so I thought.

    Following is how I got the "At Cost" items added to my cart:
    http://www.glockworld.com/ Click on the Sold At Cost ad
    http://www.glockworld.com/Content.as...y=Guns_At_Cost Click on Handguns
    http://www.glockworld.com/category/130-Handguns.aspx Click on 45 Auto
    http://www.glockworld.com/Items-5883-1-45ACP.aspx Change "All Manufacturers" to "Glock"
    http://www.glockworld.com/Items-5883...P.aspx?Sort=19 Add items to the cart

    I then compared the At-Cost prices on 4/29/2008 with the previous month's price list from 3/5/2008. I found a $10 savings on the G21, which is a very common model. I found no savings on other guns, and an approximate $35 increase in prices on new models.

    That leaves me with a lot of questions. Obviously, some prices did go down by $10. Other product codes were discontinued, and the same item was offered under a new code for $35 more. Is this really "At Cost?"

    -----------------------------------------------------
    Supporting information:
    All web pages discussed were saved locally by the author for future reference. A full-size image of the 3/5/2008 price list is available by contacting the author. The "At Cost" shopping cart is also available.


    I checked with the Better Business Bureau, and found the following:
    http://wisconsin.bbb.org/WWWRoot/Report.aspx?site=28&bbb=0694&firm=44039424
    Name: Tgscom
    Phone: (866) 456-2522
    Fax: (920) 569-4252
    Address: 1449 S Broadway Street, Green Bay, WI 54304-3507
    Original Business Start Date: October 2006
    Principal: Mr. David Raymond, Manager
    Customer Contact: Mr. David Raymond, Manager - (866) 456-2522 or
    eric@tgscom.com
    TOB Classification: Guns & Gunsmiths
    Based on BBB files, this company has an unsatisfactory record Issues include advertising and sales practice.




    Here are the descriptions from the cart matched to the stock codes from the month before:

    42548 Glock 21 Pistol, Semi-Automatic, Double Action, Matte Finish, 45 ACP, 4.60 Inch Barrel, 13 Round Capacity, Trigger/Firing Pin Safety, Polymer Grips, Fixed Sights, 2 Magazines: Previous: $505.43 / At Cost: $495.43

    42551 Glock 21C Pistol, Semi-Automatic, Double Action, Black Finish, 45 ACP, 4.60 Inch Barrel Ported Barrel with Integrated Compensator, 13 Round Capacity, Trigger/Firing Pin Safety, Polymer Grips, Fixed Sights, 2 Magazine: Previous: $548.69 / At Cost: $538.69

    35883 Glock 36 Subcompact Slimline Pistol, Semi-Automatic, Double Action, Black Finish, 45 ACP, 3.78 Inch Barrel, 6 Round Capacity, Trigger/Firing Pin Safety, Polymer Grips: At Cost: $642.51
    ---no previous matching stock number, match by description:
    Glock 36 45 ACP Fixed Sights Slim-line Black 2-6Rd Mags Product ID: 3742: Previous: $505.43


    35845 Glock 30 Sub Compact Pistol, Semi-Automatic, Double Action, Olive Drab Green Finish, 45 ACP, 3.78 Inch Barrel, 10 Round Capacity, Trigger/Firing Pin Safety, Polymer Grips, Fixed Sights: At Cost: $507.86
    ---no previous matching stock number or exact color, match by description:
    Glock 30 45 ACP Fixed Sights Compact Black 2-10Rd Mags Product ID: 3719: Previous: $505.43


    I had problems getting a consistent product in the cart due to the way the website is laid out, so I chose two:
    3744 G-36 45ACP GNS SLIM: At Cost: $651.52
    3741 Glock 36 Subcompact Slimline Pistol, Semi-Automatic, Double Action, Black Finish, 45 ACP, 3.78 Inch Barrel, 6 Round Capacity, Trigger/Firing Pin Safety, Polymer Grips, 2 Magazines: At Cost: $641.22
    ---no previous matching stock number, match by description:
    Glock 36 45 ACP Fixed Sights Slim-line Black 2-6Rd Mags Product ID: 3742: Previous: $505.43


    41249 Glock 36 Subcompact Slimline Pistol, Semi-Automatic, Double Action, Olive Drab Green Finish, 45 ACP, 3.78 Inch Barrel, 6 Rounds, Trigger/Firing Pin Safety, Polymer Grips, 2 Magazines: Previous: $505.43 / At Cost: $505.43


    For Completeness Only, do not use for a price comparison.
    I tried adding this one without limiting the manufacturer list to Glock, to see if the price would change if unsorted. It just added another to the cart at the same price.
    42547 Glock 21 Pistol, Semi-Automatic, Double Action, Black Finish, 45 ACP, 4.60 Inch Barrel, 13 Round Capacity, Trigger/Firing Pin Safety, Polymer Grips, Adjustable Sights, 2 Magazines: At Cost: $515.00
    ---no previous match. The closest match has fixed sights for $505.43.


    54018 Glock 38 Compact Pistol, Semi-Automatic, Double Action, Black Finish, 45 GAP, 4.02 Inch Barrel, 8 Round Capacity, Trigger/Firing Pin Safety, Polymer Grips, Glock Night Sights: At Cost: $521.18
    ---no previous match. The closest match is not the same.
    Glock 38 45 GAP Fixed Sights Compact Black 2-8Rd Mags Product ID: 42992: Previous: $479.68


    3691 G-21 with night sights, nothing comparable.


    Customer Discussions:
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum65/10290.html
    http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=49581

  2. #2
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    I really have no idea. It's very possible that they only make about 10usd per sale. They do have alot of volume going through (The company owns about a gagillion firearm sales sites).

  3. #3
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    Thanks for taking the time to investigate, Pointman.

    I'm just not sure what conclusion to draw at this point though.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  4. #4
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    Now that the "at cost" sale is over, I thought I'd go back and check the prices again. I went to Glockworld, clicked on Glock 21 45 ACP under Fullsize, and item 42548 was added to the cart at $505.43. The rest of the sale items I looked at previously couldn't be found, and the original items were back at original prices.

    It is possible that TGS makes $10-$15 profit per gun, after all costs of doing business are paid. Online competition is fierce, and gun dealers make money by volume, not service.

    ------
    42548 Glock 21 Pistol, Semi-Automatic, Double Action, Matte Finish, 45 ACP, 4.60 Inch Barrel, 13 Round Capacity, Trigger/Firing Pin Safety, Polymer Grips, Fixed Sights, 2 Magazines: Previous: $505.43 / At Cost: $495.43 / After: $505.43

    42551 Glock 21C Pistol, Semi-Automatic, Double Action, Black Finish, 45 ACP, 4.60 Inch Barrel Ported Barrel with Integrated Compensator, 13 Round Capacity, Trigger/Firing Pin Safety, Polymer Grips, Fixed Sights, 2 Magazine: Previous: $548.69 / At Cost: $538.69 / After: 548.69


    35883 Glock 36 Subcompact Slimline Pistol, Semi-Automatic, Double Action, Black Finish, 45 ACP, 3.78 Inch Barrel, 6 Round Capacity, Trigger/Firing Pin Safety, Polymer Grips: At Cost: $642.51
    ---no previous matching stock number, match by description:
    Glock 36 45 ACP Fixed Sights Slim-line Black 2-6Rd Mags Product ID: 3742: Previous: $505.43 / After: $505.43



  5. #5
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    I hate to pull a Bill Clinton but "At Cost" can have several different meanings. If you consider at cost to be the actual cost the dealer paid for it then the dealer isn't going to be in business very long. The true cost is the cost of the item plus fixed overhead: rent, untilities, taxes minus profit and owners salary. This would be a fair price to call at cost. Some business and a lot ofebay dealersmake all of their profit on shipping and handling especially the TV infomercials.

    Then we have dealers like Buds that is basically selling wholesale to the public. Buds buys directly from the factory or at a lower pricebecause of volume and their cost is much less that what your local gunshop can possibly buy it at. When someone advertises something at cost or wholesale I pretty much ignore it and check it out just like I normally would. If it is a decent price in comparision to the competition then fine, if it isn't then Ibuy from the competition. I have run enough businesses to know that "At Cost" and "Wholesale" doesn't mean a whole lot. Many times I have bought items from a large store at their normal price, brought them back to my store and added my margin. Customers would come in a remark about what a good deal they were getting. If you will learn to not get excited about words such as, At Cost, Wholesale, Going out of business, Final Clearance, Below Cost, Sale, or anything similar you will be happier.

    Read the fine print.

    Read the actual ad, nothingmore aggravatingthan someone complaining about being ripped off because they assumed they were buying something totally different from what was being advertised.

  6. #6
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