On Allocation - what it means and why...
A widespread standard industry practice to help manage demand
If you've been anything of an observer lately, you've seen what's happening in the firearms industry. The demand for firearms, accessories, and ammunition has reach unprecedented levels. While we pride ourselves on the extent of our inventory, even Gallery of Guns has had to take extreme measures in order to service our customers. Very large orders were placed with our vendors the last few days to replenish our inventories. We're in good shape right now but you may notice over the coming days and weeks more instances of seeing *A* next to the stock status of an item you're viewing. While many of the longer-term Gallery of Guns customers know what this means, a lot of you are new to both the firearms world and Gallery of Guns.
What the *A* means is: Allocated
Well, then what does "Allocated" mean? Read on...
As a distributor, the vast majority of our customers are federally licensed firearms dealers (FFL’s); the hometown shop where you get your guns, ammo, and accessories. As both an additional marketing service to these dealers as well as a way to give the end-consumer access to our inventory, we began the Gallery of Guns website with its unique feature the Gun Genie. This allows the consumer to order directly from our $40 million inventory as well as helps the dealer by sending customers to their doors. Due to federal regulations, we obviously cannot sell to the consumer directly. However we can allow them to shop our inventory(which no dealer can reasonably afford to stock) and have the firearm shipped to the local Gallery of Guns dealer of their choice to complete the transaction following all local, state, and federal regulations.
Now, imagine you have tens of thousands of dealers as customers with varying amounts of money spent on an annual basis with your business. You also have the most unique feature in distribution – the ability to allow end-consumers to access your inventory directly. You want to be fair with all of them because you are one of the distributors that value all of your dealers and end-consumers –large and small. How do you do this?
Let’s take a look at an example. If you owned Store A and spent in excess of half a million dollars a year with Davidson’s, you would think that you could snag that brand new, hot on the market, BoomStick2000 fairly easily. You have purchasing clout,right? Except that due to the very high demand of such a product, even the distributors can only obtain a limited amount of the BS2K. Pro tip: Guess what? There is allocation even at the manufacturer level.
You’re manning the counter of Store A and one of your customers comes in. “Hey Charlie– Davidson’s tells me I’ll get a few of the BS2K’s in any day – I know you’ve been wanting one and I wanted to give you a heads-up.” Charlie tells you “Oh,that’s ok. I found one at Store B down the street.” WHAT?!? Store B has only been open for six months and I’ve been here for 15 years! What’s going on?
Another example – again with the owner of Store A. You’ve been trying to obtain the unobtainable BS2K for weeks and your distributor tells you – “Patience, we will get you some as soon as we can”. The next day, in comes an order for an end-consumer for a BS2K that was bought by them from Gun Genie and is on the way for you to complete the transaction for them. Wait a minute! I can’t get them and I spend $500K a year with these guys. How did you get one?
I am sure you can see where all of this is going. Consumer frustrated with dealer, dealer frustrated with distributor and/or other dealers. Not good for anyone.
So what do we do? That’s right – allocate. What allocation amounts to is as fair a method of distribution among all of your customers as one can devise. When product is flowing freely, everybody gets some. When product is tight, you have to tighten the distribution so that as many of your customers as possible get some of that product pie, but no one or two get it all. We’re all in the same big gun family– and we all like pie. If we only have fifty BS2K’s and we put them on the Gun Genie aren’t we keeping our dealer customers from getting them? Or, if a dealer goes on Gun Genie and buys all of them, doesn’t that keep the end-consumer three states away from getting one? Thirdly, if we let the big guys get all of the allocated product how are we going to be able to help the small guy?
The fairest way we know, and it’s a very standard industry practice, is to allocate based on purchasing history (see the second example above). If we have ample supply,and before the craziness hit we did, then we can also open it up to end-consumers via Gallery of Guns and Gun Genie. Since the launch of GalleryofGuns.com we still have never allocated everything, but for the firearms that are limited in supply, or greatest in demand, we have to maintain a fair and just method of slicing that oh-so-tasty pie.
So when you see that a firearm you’re looking for is ‘ALLOCATED’ on GalleryofGuns.com, just remember – we’re not trying to keep it from you, we’re not trying to sit on them and raise all of the prices, we’re trying to be as fair as we possibly can. Talk to your local dealer, talk to area dealers – if they are a Davidson’s Gallery of Guns dealer, chances are they will be able to get one for you just as soon as they can. You’ll still enjoy the Davidson’s Lifetime GuaranteeD replacement warranty and you’ll still have a great relationship with your local gun dealer who will be there for you when you need them – as we will.
Keep checking GalleryofGuns.com as well. We have thousands of items available to the end-consumer and when supply and demand balance out a little more, we’ll have thousands more.
Thank you sincerely for your support. We appreciate it.