Obstacles in Selling Surplus Military Gear
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Obstacles in Selling Surplus Military Gear

Some tips for starting a surplus military gear business.

There are a number of obstacles you have to overcome when buying and reselling military gear. At its basic level, military gear sales is just like any other type of sales: profit equals revenue minus costs. Also like other sales, you may find a lot of unanticipated costs that detract from your profits.

In acquiring gear, you must factor in your transportation costs. Military gear is liquidated from a purpose-built liquidation location; for convenience, these sites are on every major military post and many minor ones. Unfortunately, that is often not convenient for you, the dealer. At the time of this posting, there were absolutely no military uniforms for sale within 400 miles of Georgia. With a local haul of 100 miles or less, it might be cost effective for me to run to Fort Jackson, Ft. McPherson, Ft. Gillem, or Ft. Gordon, but the long trek to Ft. Lee, Ft. Polk, Ft. Bliss, or Ft. Leavenworth would not be worth the money.

If you do plan on making a long haul cost effective, then you have to consider making some business investments. I normally drive a 1991 Honda Accord, and this vehicle does not have the storage capacity or the pulling power to haul large amounts of gear. For a small haul, I can cram it full of items and run back and forth, but this simply isn’t cost effective for a very long distance (it also takes a great deal of time). If you have a truck, you can rent or buy a trailer (assuming you have a hitch). Ironically, you could also buy a massive military cargo truck from Government Liquidations for the purpose of hauling gear.

Do you have the capability of storing all this gear? If not, you’ll have to buy a storage locker…and add this to your costs. Once you add up the costs and what you paid for the items and divide it amongst them, you can then figure out exactly how much each item cost you. How much profit do you want? A smart seller will choose a low price that will cause his inventory to move quickly, but will preferably run at least double his operating costs. Check and see how much the items you are selling are going for, and then undercut that price by a bit, and you will have a good chance of making profit decent enough to talk about.

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