I’ve owned a Black GR1 as long as anyone, it’s a great ruck and our single best seller now and forever. It’s priced at $295 and it’s not on sale now or on Black Friday. Here’s why.
We all have theories about what things should cost. This is expensive, that’s cheap. Buy a Coke in a grocery store in Florida it’s 99 cents, buy it from a guy with a cart on Wall Street it’s quadruple. The same Coke. On the interwebs though it’s click click search search is there a code somewhere – been there, done that, and still do. Everything should be on sale, a movie ticket if you’re in the military, or a senior, or in college. A matinee if you’re anyone who wants to see a flick in the middle of the day with the world spinning full tilt while you eat your $10 popcorn. Been there, done that, too. Extra butter, and mix in some Peanut M&M’s. I’ve even smuggled in the goods, and the better goods.
This is GORUCK. We’re almost 10 years old and we’re still an infant and dare I say a precocious one. 96% of the companies started when we did are now dead. I didn’t start this for the money, though I am all the richer for the time spent doing something I love. I saw a want in a marketplace way back when that became a need for a lot of us to be around people and do awesome stuff. I didn’t start this with a business plan, or because I’m a good businessman. I think I’m a shitty one, you can quote me on that. The more removed I become from the P&L of GORUCK, the happier I am and the better I am at doing the things I love, with the people I love, and love to work with – even on P&L’s. Yes, life’s a messy place like that. I revert back to spreadsheets when I must, and even sometimes out of curiosity, but not out of love. I love our people, and I love the people I’ve met through GORUCK. That transcends all.
Shopping as a hobby doesn’t interest me. I’d rather start an entire line of apparel than sift through trash on a mall rack, that’s how much I hate shopping. If you buy our stuff, you better put it to good use. Let it sit in the closet unused like a toy you never opened and the Gods grow angry, Ares style. Get out there and get after it. Mile after mile, adventure after adventure. And bring all your friends and eat some pumpkin pie if it’s Thanksgiving and drink a beer or ten. Life’s short this is all a gift.
I used to like Thanksgiving – it was my favorite holiday, in fact. No gifts, all people I love. Then I hated it because Black Friday was the next day and we have bills to pay, this is a real life business, people. Now I love it again because I stay on my island here in beautiful Jax Beaches Florida with our people – and you if you show up – and whatever happens on the interwebs, happens. The shift had nothing to do with where I am so much as how I am. Such is life, where you have to grow up from wherever you are, and you have to put a system in place to make it work for you. I’m a capitalist and I love working hard. I love the American way of life, and I love Americans. It’s an honor to be of my generation, here and now.
So Black GR1. It pays a lot dare I say most of the bills at GORUCK. We could discount it, though, if we had to. Supply and demand and price and if the price is lower, more will buy. I get it. Should I put more in all caps? MORE? And should I salivate? I hope not, that’d be kinda weird, right? Technically, I could lower the price in under 20 seconds. Go on the back end of the website, change one number from this to that, and poof it’s done. But the GORUCK brand. And then I hear the noise from our bean counters about how we could sell a lot more (all caps) if we put GR1 on sale, and I also hear that we need to raise the price on GR1. That kind of din makes a deafening silence so, so attractive. GR1 has been priced at $295 since 2010 when we launched it. But the lion is stalking a slow zebra on that one.
We have thousands but not thousands too many on hand right now. So why not just discount it? More in all caps, just think about it. Well, let’s try this one on. Because GR1 is the most versatile, most valuable piece of gear we build. And one of the best pieces of gear money can buy. A small part of me wishes we still sold only three rucks and a hat like the early days, and said take it or leave it. Like if you walked up to a restaurant and asked them what’s good and they told you that’s what the menu’s for. Yes, that happened to me once, in the great state of Arkansas. I didn’t haggle over price, didn’t even think to. I paid what he was asking, and I put a big tip in his tip jar, and was happy to do so with a smile.
But burgers and fries are not the same thing and Black GR1 and we believe our mission can grow significantly. We have a lot of other stuff on discount. But I’m fine to sell fewer Black GR1’s at full price and have you remember that we didn’t discount it. It adds value to everything we do because if everything is eventually worth less, then what’s it really worth and we’re back to our theories of what things should cost.
Black GR1 is the ruck, according to how you vote with your wallets, even at full price. And does anyone pay full price anymore? … yes, they do. It’s worth every penny, and if we sell zero this Christmas or we sell out, we’ll be OK. Santa will probably be wearing one down your chimney, maybe he’ll leave it, maybe not. It’s up to him. But here at GORUCK for a million more years we hope (and we plan), the lights will be on, and most importantly the light in the beer fridge shines bright when I pull a cold one out that you’ve helped us finance – and because you’re vital in all of this, because without you we wouldn’t exist, we have a cold one with your name on it, just waiting for you to claim it, whenever you show up.
Here’s our address, I’m serious:
415 Pablo Avenue North
Jax Beach, FL 32250
But dammit, Black GR1. Let me be clear, short on philosophy and succinct in text. Black GR1’s days at $295 are numbered. We might never put it on sale, ever again, as long as I’m part of GORUCK. So this might be the least you’ll ever be able to pay for it. What if we call that a sale? Would everyone feel better if we priced it at $355 and put a slashie through it and it cost $295? Maybe that day will come sooner than later. Probably without the slashie.
**Important** If you qualify for an Earned Service Discount, you get 25% off full price. If you don’t, you can buy someone who does a case of beer or something and you two can work out how to split the savings, if hustling is your thing and God Bless you. I made under $25K a year when I joined the Army but I still wanted the best gear, and it was life or death for me on that front so I figured it out. I’ll never forget those days, and I’ll always love them. And I would love to hear the story about how someone in the military, or a teacher, or a diplomat, got a case of beer from someone who bought them a case of beer so they used their Earned Service Discount and saved some $$ on a brand new badass Black GR1. Win win win. In fact, the first team of two who does so, and posts it on the Tough Group on Facebook — we’ll comp both of you a free event — any event you want as long as you do it together. GORUCK will always support those who serve with all our hearts, and we’ll always support building a bridge to all Americans, period the end.
Somewhere in there a great business will emerge, stay tuned it’s a good ride.
So that’s how the story goes, and one last important note: thank you for all the support, we wouldn’t be anywhere without you and your big mouths and your calloused typing fingers that you use to tell everyone you know about what we’re doing, together. We’re grateful.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and don’t wait in any lines the day after. Life’s too short.