Welcome to “Buyer Beware”. In this series, we will present concerns with vendors that may affect you as a gun/gun products buyer. In this article, we bring to light a recent discovery I made regarding Aero Precision’s marketing. This just seems slimy and icky. That said, a company has a right to do what they want. So, use this information to make up your own mind.
As many of my readers may know, I have been a big advocate of Aero Precision’s products. From a product standpoint, I have sold their products to a LOT of people, both directly and indirectly. Up until recently, I have used their receivers in almost all of my builds. I have been a fan of many of their other parts, as well.
And of course, I am on their emailing list. That would be a natural outcome given I have purchased so much from this vendor. I receive about 2-4 “sales emails” a day – “Deal of the Day, “Going out of Stock”, “In Stock”, etc. – pretty standard. Yesterday, on August 24, 2017, I received this email as their “Daily Deal”.
Notice the “Today Only: $79.99!
I was in the market for some AR-15 scope mounts and had reviewed the non-SPR version of these. I love them and thought that I might just have to get some. So, I click on the ad to go to the page to determine if it is available in just one color or if it had other options. Just as I am about to order, I had an errant thought to myself…
Go check Google.
Google: The Light Shiner On Bad Business
So, I “Googled” these scope mounts. At first, I was just interested to see if this was a “little” savings or a good savings – I had forgotten what the “normal” price was (I never trust what it says on the site – it is like MSRP prices on cars which is BS). Low and behold, look what pops up… Looky looky…
Now, there are a couple of things here I want to point out because you might not pick up on them. First, the vendor is Aero Precision, not someone else. See the “by Aero Precision” in the listing on Amazon? That is the vendor and not the manufacturer of the product. Second, notice the price of $64.25. That is not even a “sale” price. So, it is over $15 cheaper than the “Daily Deal” Aero Precision is directly sending to me.
But wait… There is even more bad-goodness in this scenario. In the ad on Amazon, note it says “free shipping with Prime”. Well, the cheapest shipping I could get on the “Daily Deal” was $8.35. That would make the “Daily Deal” final cost to be $88.34. The Amazon/Aero Precision “any day of the week” cost is $64.25. Let me do the math here…
The “Daily Deal” price is $26.09 more than the Amazon/Aero Precision store “any day of the week” price. That is 40% more than the “any day of the week” price that Aero Precision is willing to sell it for on Amazon.
Aero Precision, Stop!
Aero Precision, stop! That is false and bad advertising. TODAY, you need to stop sending out “Daily Deals” that are misleading your loyal customers. If your product can be sold at $64.25, then sell it at that price. Stop trying to get a few extra dollars from your loyal buyers who have made you what you are (those who subscribe to your “Daily Deals”). 40%?? In most states, that is usury and is illegal in many business models.
Readers, this is your lesson learned… Unfortunately, a lot of variable pricing happens in the gun product world. That said, this is a very egregious case where the product vendor is misleading one audience – particularly an audience that has been is loyal. This is just bad business!
Again, Aero Precision, STOP! I have removed myself from your mailing lists, as well as considering to no longer use your products.
We attempted to contact Aero Precision via their Facebook page (we have found this to be the best way for marketing things). I posted a message indicating the issue and asked them to contact me for input. I allowed 24 hours before posting this article. They did not contact me, but I did receive a follow-up, marketing email indicating I had forgotten to complete my check out. HA!! When I went to check my cart, the item had disappeared. Furthermore, when checking the price today, I found the price to be the normal $90ish price.
Out of curiosity, I went into Amazon and found that they had removed all of the options to buy this scope mount – only used ones were available “for sale”. Investigating a bit further, I found they had ONLY removed the black mounts per what their “Daily Deal” had been. They were still selling the FDE and other mounts at a significantly reduced price over their own online store (vs. their own Amazon storefront) prices. The FDE mount was $69 on Amazon (Aero Precision’s storefront) and $104 on their on store.
Wowsa! I guess Aero Precision thought by removing the black mount that they were solving this problem. It will be interesting if they put it back up.
Really Aero Precision?
Editor’s Update #2
Aero Precision responded after this post went public with the clarification that this was resellers who were actually selling these items at the reduced price. Before posting this, I attempted to get clarifications like this, both from Amazon and Aero Precision and neither responded. As it appears in the outer scope and inner scope of the ads (on Amazon) the storefront appears to be Aero Precision’s storefronts.
That said we did not take a screen shot of the most inner scope that Aero Precision has now provided, so we do not know if their pricing was different than what is being listed because overnight the presence of AP scope mounts on Amazon’s sights changed dramatically (see update 1).
Regardless, our question to AP is why would they let resellers undercut their pricing – especially Daily Deals – to create such confusion and harm their loyal buyer base? If a Vendor on their store front pimps something out as a “Deal” it should be a true deal. I should not find out later I was dupe into buying their inventory when it could be found 40% off elsewhere in their value chain.
Still bad business.
One final note… Aero Precision did not respond to us until this posting went live. When it did they suddenly responded rapidly in succession and even somewhat threatened to share this post on their own site so “others can weigh in on how off base we are…”. Just so our readers are aware, we have shared every positive posting and comment we have made about AP on this site (4 or more to my recollection) and never ONCE did it receive any response from AP.
We stand by our post AP. Please do what you feel is necessary. We won’t be bullied. The business model and value chain YOU have created is bad. If I had purchased your Daily Deal and then realized YOUR resellers are allowed to sell them 40% cheaper I would have rightfully been incensed.