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lucky gunner – hypothesis confirmed

It turns out we were right – Lucky Gunner, Ammo.net, BulkAmmo.com, AmmoforSale.com, GunsForSale.com, and Military Ballistic Industries (the brand of bulk reloaded ammunition Lucky Gunner sells) are, in fact and truth, the same exact limited liability company: 

LuckygunnerLLCTennSOS1

LuckygunnerLLCTennSOS2

(LuckySurvival.com just redirects to Lucky Gunner and does not appear to be a separate storefront.) 

You can read the Tennessee Secretary of State Filing Information (though it is just the *.pdf of the above information), or run the search for yourself

So now the only question is why the proprietors of Lucky Gunner (now that we know that storefront is the “master”) are keeping the various internal interconnections quiet…?  But, really, I think we already know that answer

To clear up some confusion that was expressed in Gunblogger Conspiracy, I do not mind any of these companies being “drop shippers” – in truth, being an industrial engineer, the concept of drop shipping appeals to me greatly on a variety of levels.  As I tried to explain in the previous post, my bone of contention with Lucky Gunner is that they operate multiple, separate, disjoint storefronts as if they were competitors, and do not make the fact that they are all the same company publicly known anywhere – I, personally, find this to be rather misleading, manipulative, and deceptive.  All they needed to have done was include a, “BulkAmmo.com is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lucky Gunner”-type disclaimer at the bottom of their pages, and I never would have had the slightest bit of motivation to write these posts. 

Likewise, these two posts were only written to present information I thought my readership might be interested in (and, judging from the traffic, they were – the 11th will go down as my busiest day ever), as well as to question why Lucky Gunner felt compelled to hide such easily-discoverable ties between the various storefronts.   

Something tells me they do not much want to talk to me at the moment, though… 

(Courtesy of reader Westczek, whose day job lets him in on little-known secrets like “entity searches”…) 

21 comments to lucky gunner – hypothesis confirmed

  • Well, that certainly makes things interesting.

    Last fall, I made these two entries about spam I’d gotten from bulkammo looking for free linking. I replied in no uncertain terms at that point.

    I just went to the range and did some ammo testing/reviews for LuckyGunner. That post will be up sometime today… with a commentary on the above as well.

  • Erm … second entry mentioned above.

  • Blatant sneakery on top of using bloggers for SEO games.

    Do not like.

  • breda

    @ alan:

    You said it, Alan. I’m currently counting down the days until I can remove their ad from my blog. Had I known about this stuff previously, I never would have accepted it in the first place. (I know salesmen have a tendency to be sleazeballs, but c’mon. Sheesh)

    Also? SO glad I never ordered anything from them, either. ;)

  • Considering they even went so far as to send ME spam from bulkammo.com after I put up my first gun post (on an air rifle…..), and I only barely qualify as a gun blogger….yah, all those company links just went on me “do not buy from” bookmark list.

  • @ ZerCool: Thanks for the shout-out on your site – I cannot say as though I completely agree with your decision (as evinced by the crapton of ads here), but I understand why you are doing it. However, your situation is a perfect example of why I wanted to bring this information to light – you had a bad experience with one of their incarnations, and vowed never to do business with them again. But, little did you know, you were, through their deception, doing business with another incarnation, and supporting the identical company all the same. That kind of “sneakery”, as Alan puts it, is just unacceptable.

    @ alan: Do not like at all, but I am rather surprised at how many people just do not care. I guess honesty really is overrated these days…

    @ breda: On the one hand, it sucks that they bound you into the agreement… But, on the other hand, I give you a metric crapton of credit for abiding by the terms of that agreement, even in light of this blatant deception on their part.

    @ Ruth: Same boat as ZerCool it would seem… I suppose I should give them credit for sustaining the farce as long as they have, but, dang, pepole, did no one sit back and think, “Y’know, we might just get caught at this…”?

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  • Jon

    Shocked, I am. to find out you were right about this *g*.

  • “I cannot say as though I completely agree with your decision (as evinced by the crapton of ads here), but I understand why you are doing it.”

    I have no problem with you (or anyone else) accepting ads from anyone. And it remains, of course, my blog and I retain the option to change my own damn mind anywhere along the line. ;-)

  • Dave H

    I am rather surprised at how many people just do not care.

    Well, for most people the only question is “did I get my money’s worth?” so that’s not surprising. I personally don’t care that they’re operating under multiple names, with out without disclosing their relationships. (As I think someone pointed out at your earlier post, there are jewelry stores that do the same. Also book and music clubs.)

    What I do care about, enough to deny them my business, is their SEO spamming. I don’t have much tolerance for network abuses.

    I guess this might be a good place to encourage everyone to support their local gun shop. At least you can see who you’re dealing with there.

  • Westczek

    Dave H,

    I think you may be missing the point. Aside from spam and the use of bloggers for marketing, this is really an issue about how people use the internet to shop.

    If I’m a guy trying to buy some ammo, and I want to shop around, I do a search for ammo and check the quoted prices of the sellers that pop up. Or maybe I click-through on ads from my favorite bloggers. If I see all these different sellers and believe they are all offering independent quotes, I may buy without looking looking any further. If I knew they were one seller using different names, I would look for other sellers and more price quotes.

    Ammo is fairly near to being a commodity. It is bought based on prices and transparency in the market for any commodity is important for buyers to make good choices.

    At the moment the first google search page for “cheap ammo” or “bulk ammo” is not filled with Luckygunner sites yet, so we’re not to the point where it is a problem. However, the links through the blogs could be an issue, with the legitimacy that the bloggers lend to the advertisers.

    Westczek

  • @ Jon: As they say, coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous…

    @ ZerCool: Oh, I did not figure you were one of those, “If I do it, you have to too,” types, so no worries on that count… I just figure that disclosing any and all business/advertising relationships I might have keeps me honest with my readership, which is one of my personal requirements :).

    @ Dave H: Westczek beat me to it, but consider an analogy. Say GMC’s and Chevrolet’s relationship was not public information, and say you purchased a GMC pickup and discovered that it was the biggest piece of crap ever, enough that you swore to never purchase another of their products ever. So you shop around, and find that Chevy makes a similar product, at a similar price, so you snag one of those.

    Only to find that it is just as big a piece of crap as the GMC was, because they are one and the same.

    I imagine some people would be pretty peeved about being put in that situation through the companies not appropriately disclosing their relationship, and while it is just an analogy (and while they are, so far as I know, providing a good product for people’s money), something similar is going on with Lucky Gunner.

    So, yeah, while some people are only concerned about getting their money’s worth, and while I can completely understand that, a fair number of other people are interested in supporting honest businesses as well, and ensuring they are not supporting something they may not agree with. I mean, just imagine if the Brady Bunch owned an ammunition store, and people unknowingly bought from them?

    @ Westczek: At this point, I have little doubt that the entire scheme was hatched to flood Google’s search results, but the doctrine of unintended consequences is a bitch.

  • Dave H

    Linoge, Westczek:

    Point taken. I didn’t see where product quality issues would be relevant here since the products are manufactured by other companies. But a bad experience at the hands of one vendor’s customer service desk would be enough to drive me to another vendor. It’d stink to call up the new place and have the same troll answer the phone.

  • Does anyone know the marketshare numbers for the various online ammo dealers?

    If the aggregate marketshare of LuckyGunner’s various storefronts is not a majority of ammo sales, it is unlikely that the various storefronts are being used to manipulate consumers. It might be just a way for LuckyGunner to target different customer demographics. The name “LuckyGunner” would probably appeal to a very different consumer than the name “BulkAmmo”, for example. GM does that with its various (and now less numerous) brands.

    The fact that the ammo prices are nearly identical could support that premise. It’s not like GM rebadging a Chevy Cavalier and calling it a Cadillac Cimarron to charge more money. That was a fraud and a travesty.

    In any event, it really can’t hurt to ask LuckyGunner why they are doing what they are doing.

  • @ Dave H: Yeah, like all analogies, the “defective product” one fails here, simply because the LG folks are not providing a bad product, but the possibility always exists, and the possibility for something else going wrong always exists too.

    At any rate, there is scant little reason to not publicize the relationship, especially given how small the market is to begin with, and the likelihood that people are going to find out (like, say, me :) ).

    @ Gunnutmegger: Not sure if or how well those numbers are tracked – unless the companies are publicly traded, I am not sure there are under any compulsion to report them to anyone.

    And GM’s ownership of both those brands has never really been hidden, so far as I know.

    Anywise, a letter to LG is in the drafting, and any response will, of course, be published.

  • I’ve heard of people who were entirely satisfied with their GMC pickup, but hated the POS Chevy they had. I always thought it was a Ford/Lincoln kinda thing for the commercial side.

  • Was speaking mostly hypothetically… ;)

    Still, it came as quite a surprise as a kid when I realized that GMC and Chevy pickups looked the same because they were the same!

  • You know, I don’t have a dog in this fight, but as an attorney, the fact that they actually filed their DBAs in Tennessee strikes me as a point against them trying to deceive anybody other than, as noted, Google’s algorithms. And at least from my position next to Silicon Valley, finding the loopholes in Google’s algorithms is an essential part of doing business nowadays. Moreover, I’d guess LuckyGunner’s one of a very tiny minority of online companies that have chosen to follow the law and register DBAs in the states in which they do business. Just a thought.

  • On the one hand, you are right… but on the other hand, how many people honestly know that this information is made public by the state, or even where to find it? I can honestly confess I had no idea the data was out there, and never would have looked were it not for a pointer from another party.

    So, yeah, they get points for keeping their business legal, but I am not convinced this counts as “disclosure”.

  • @ Linoge:
    I’ve known about state business entity records for long enough, that I tend to incorrectly take it for granted that they are just something most people know about.

    In another life as a sooper seekrit spam fighter when I was but a PFY hoping to grow up one day to be a BPFH, I compiled a list of all the online Secretary of State search pages. I haven’t updated it in a long time, so some links are probably outdated. I am not opposed to updating the links, but unless someone submits an update, it will probably only happen as I find a stale one through personal use, which is pretty sparse these days.

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