...to unfairly jump a queue and get product ahead of those who are waiting their turn. In this sense demanding prepayment for early delivery of a scarce product (one the dealer doesn't even have yet) is not only similar but identical to scalping.
Meanwhile, I'm attacking no one. I'm criticizing a business practice that I consider questionable no matter who indulges in it. It's not illegal or dishonest. It's just questionable.
Since you bring up the example of BarnesPneumatics - as I said earlier, requiring prepayment for priority access to a commodity stock retail item like the Marauder is different from doing so for a custom, made-to-order, "bespoke" item.
And your example of Crosman reallocating unclaimed rifles from the first 100 is totally irrelevant. Crosman didn't demand prepayment.
Air Conserving MSP 392
GTX Generation II 2-Stage Trigger
Crosman Custom Parts
Big Ed Airguns