"This is a guess, but for BPL to keep everything in stock would almost amount to custom order prices for most things."
We already pay custom order prices on most BPL Gear. Stealth Nano Tarp, Hane, BushBuddy... The only stuff here sold at "nominal" value seems to be the Ti pots and other smaller items not "custom manufactured."
I think if it is part of the vision to see member dues used to create new equipment then it should be stated in the mission statement. After all many members here say they would like to see their dollars go to equipment R&D. Why not oblige them. In every case obfuscation or even the appearance of obfuscation is bad. Then is it any wonder that such "conspiracy theory" threads like this one pop up. Of course people want to know where their money goes.
I was a bit surprised to see that half of the 'M' tags on the main page had dropped since the last time I was on the forum.
Zpacks is still backordered and unable to fill any orders till June. I think the demand is there, but who knows I don't have any way to prove my conjecture. Yet its true the store is always out of everything. I was honestly surprised by how much the pulled out for their moving sale as much of it wasn't listed as being in the store yet the product was obviously in someone's warehouse.
I don't want to tell anyone how to run a business, I am just a customer. But I still think it is fairly obvious BPLs vision tries to accommodate too much for too many people for its investment of capital. The store being just one such manifestation. Others have pointed to the lack of the recent reviews of much of the equipment most likely to be purchased by the members here, another manifestation. I know the reviews of "members more likely to buy" equipment are here, just as of late most of them are in the archives (SUL Pack comparisons etc).
Don't take any of this the wrong way. We know things aren't easy for you, things aren't easy for some of us either. And if BPL want to end such "conspiracy theory" threads then they need to connect in peoples' minds just what exactly is payed for when you sign up for membership other then access to another part of the forums, and a few dollars off store purchases. Let me re-iterate, like I've said before I am only a customer and sometime forum contributor.