“OldCoot” asks if I know why “imported guns are so”pensive.”
The short answer is because the gun must pass through so many more hands before it arrives on a dealers shelf, and each of those hands must make a profit in order to eat.
The long answer lies the business necessity of making a profit in order to stay in business. At its simplest, a manufacturer will typically take $50 in material and $200 in labor, to produce a product tht he sells to a “job lot merchant,” a jobber,” for $500, who sells to a wholesaler for $1,000, which sells to a merchant for $1500, and which carries a price tag of $2,500.
The amount of “markup” at each stage of the distribution the actual cost of operating the business, plus any taxes incurred by acting as a middleman. The nice Central European guns OldCoot refers to are made in a country with a steep “value added” tax that will add the equivalent of $90.– to an item designed to sell for $500.
The next link in the chain is the exporter, who pays both a value added and an “export” tax. The importer must make a living and pay taxes. The Wholesaler is in the same boat, paddling frantically to stay even. And the nest to last link in the chain, the dealer, is at the next owar. While the very last link in the chain, the purchaser is the lucky person who ultimate pays for everything.