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Posted: 3/17/2005 3:59:13 AM EST
I went in my local base supply and I am not sure if the Army does it or not but in addition to the BX/PX and clothing sales that has webgear and that kind of thing we have a store called supply.  It doesn't look like a store and does not accept cash but has only mission essential items like boots, helmets, cold weather gear, and safety equipment.  It has no mugs, novelty items, or PT gear like a AAFEE's clothing sales does.  Now, I will be vauge because I don't remember all the specifics from my trip there this morning but just to give you guys an estimate of the inflated prices civilians get charged for goods just to make you queston retailers a little bit.  A USGI M16 magazine new in wrapper with green follower costs $11.70 with no tax.  A berretta M9 magazine is less than $7 brand new.  All those fancy Gerber pliers and knives that are all the rage are about half the prices of a retailer.  A pair of Goretex "Bestdefence", waterproof, steel toe, steel shank boots cost $106.  

Now I have seen AR15 magazines new lately for $16 so that is only a 33% increase.  Berretta mags are what?  $16 at least?  That's well over 50%.  Gerbers can be $60 or more and knives can be crazy prices.  Goretex lately wants $160 for any boot with all those features.  The funny thing is that I hope that store makes no money but sadly they probably do because they do have civilians that work there and have to pay to have the manufactorer shipping on the products shipped to them so that means these items can be procured from the manufactorer for even less.  So take that AR15 magazine that is already 33% higher for a civilian at $11.70 and add in whatever profit this store makes and you probably pay well over 200-300% of production cost that manufactorers spend to make a product.  They're probably churning out those 30 rounders for $4 maximum and selling them to you for $20 or more.  If it is that bad on a simple magazine just imagine if you could pay $100 for a new Eotech or Aimpoint.  Supply and demand while the CEO's get rich and the guy running the production machinery gets poorer.  Sorry for the rant but darn.
Link Posted: 3/17/2005 4:03:58 AM EST
you might want to move this to GD.

Welcome to the USA, capitalism is how the economy here works.  Companies charge what the current market will bear; ever wonder why gas prices here are not like they are in Europe?  People here would drive less ergo less gas use and less profit for the gas companies.
Link Posted: 3/17/2005 4:32:18 AM EST
They can lock it if they want to.  I figured since it involved an AR15 magazine it was semi appropriate for this forum.  It just burns my hide to see something that could be sold for $12 sold for $20 or more.
Link Posted: 3/17/2005 4:43:38 AM EST
"Base Supply?"  Was this a "store" on a military base?

At Air Force bases, there's always something called "the LP Store," which used to stand for "Local Purchase."  It's where you get everything from letter openers to staplers, paper to shredders.  Office and cleaning supplies, just about anything that you'd need on an "as needed" basis.  Usually attached to this is the "Individual Issue" shop, where uniform items, boots, web gear and so on are issued.  All of this stuff is handled through the Government Purchase Card program-it's a credit card that is for mission supporting items.  I have outfitted offices with reams of printer paper, mops and buckets, calendars and pens.  And I've outfitted scores of troops with safety boots and almost a dozen airmen for deployments to the sandbox and other places, all through Individual Issue.

You can wander in and browse any time of the business day.  But the key is that you can ONLY buy with a Gov't Purchase Card.  In other words, this store is for BUSINESS (DUTY) PURCHASES ONLY.

It looks like a store (at Lackland AFB it's operation is contracted to a National Industries for the Blind organization), but it's really just an extension of the Supply Squadron.

Is this what you were talking about?
Link Posted: 3/17/2005 5:49:10 AM EST
Yes, it is just called supply here and anyone can buy the stuff with a credit card.  If they won't issue you the quanity of cold weather gear you want (which also comes from there) you can go back with your check card and buy a couple more out of your own pocket.  The only things I have personally bought are a sweater, undergarments, and some patches because I believe the Magazines should be issued for goverment use but nontheless I thought the prices were crazy.  People make money off the Government and yet these prices blew away civilian consumers prices.  You know that old homage about the government paying too much for everything?  I guess that doesn't apply to all areas and items.  I just thought it was ironic.
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