Just a couple weeks into my wait for the 6-24x50 PST I ordered.
Interesting. I got that story from OP and then called Doug at Cameraland and had one in 3 days....6-24x50 SFP/MOA, whcih BTW, I had at the range this morning, mounted on my Savage 111 LRH chambered in 338 Lapua. I took the 4-16x50 SFP/MOA off and mounted it on the Savage 11 Lightweight Hunter in 308 Winchester. I zeroed them both at 200 this morning and took the 338 out to 500 (as far as we can shoot here BTW). Both scopes are very clear. The 308 is running in Talley One Piece ring/base mounts and the 338 is running Warne Maxima Steel rings, both sets lapped. The 6-24 actually has more clarity than my spotting scope, well worth the asking price, in fact, both are worth the asking price.
On Vortex Optics in general, Vortex sets the price point that (authorized by Vortex) retailers can sell them for so across the board pricing from any retailer will be pretty close. There will be, at times, a sugar coated apple of sorts like a free set of scope covers or some other inexpensive trinket to lure the buyer.
Leupold just got done with a similar campaign, offering covers or a scope coat.
In as much as I'm not in this particular business but am in the retail business, I'd venture to say that the markup on these scopes is around 20% or better, but then again, Vortex sets the MAP (minimum acvertised price). If the retailer chooses to sell below that (and cut into their profit), they face censure from Vortex which is no different than Leupold, Nikon, NightForce, Sightron, Huskemaw or any other recognized brand and is why off brands such as Minox or Hawke are heavily discounted or cheaper than a comparable brand name scope and they most likely aren't any less quailty, they aren't as 'accepted' as the leaders. Always keep that in mind when shopping for optics ot anything for that matter.
Thats why scope prices are fairly stable across most retailers.
I believe that Vortex is actually running a deficit on shipment to retailers to insure demand. It's a very good business ethic and causes stabilazation of the price. Flooding the market and exceeding demand, only causes reduced value.
In my business, I ocassionally drop ship an item but most times I have the stock on hand...... makes for a much more seamless relationship with your customer.
Inventory is the cost of doing business. The key to inventory control is tracking sales agressively.
Third party (drop shipping) invites the 'pass the buck' attitude if something gets screwed up and the more fingers in the stew, the better chance of a screw up. The old he said that she said that you said just makes for an unhappy customer.