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Opening a Surplus Shop

#1
Good afternoon all,

I am in the thinking stages of opening a surplus shop, either online and/or market etc in the Southampton/New Forest area.

What I want to know is, with the introduction of the new uniform are people still wearing CS95?

Also what items would be good to stock as there is a world of surplus out there and a limited pot of cash for starting up.

Any help and replies would be gratefully recieved.

Thanks

Matt
 
#3
Just market your kit as "as used by the SAS" and it'll fly off the shelf, I've even seen issue green soap being sold this way.
 
#4
Does the army have surplus anymore? From what I can see, the days when squaddies would, on breaking some bit of kit, shrug and utter the immortal words, 'It's a big firm ain't it?' have long gone.
 
#5
Bandit - People are still wearing CS95, but they are few & far between, usually in some of the more remote areas that the army is in. This is usually because the G4 support isn't amazing in some places. The only area (that I am aware of) that wears CS95 as a matter of course still is in the jungle warfare school.

I wouldn't base any kind of business on the sale of '95 kit, its use is far too limited nowadays.
 
#6
Cheers Timble, I was thinking more CS95 for the civvy wearers (hunting, fishing, walting etc) and cadets. For the serving I wanted to know what type of things do you go to the surplus shop for. Like MPC shopping lists that kind of stuff. Unfortunately I have forgotten what I used to buy. Other than bloody twisters.
 
#7
You have two established suppliers to compete with in the Southampton area. Whilst nice to stock shelves with lots of chinese but green stuff, maybe you should look at their stock first. Your difficulty will be deciding whether to go for kit over the £100 mark, or have full shelves.
 
#8
My local store, Semma4, in Maidstone has good links with local cadet units & makes up packages of clothing, boots & webbing to get them started. He also does embroidered work wear for local traders & has an online site.
 
#13
Good afternoon all,

I am in the thinking stages of opening a surplus shop, either online and/or market etc in the Southampton/New Forest area.

What I want to know is, with the introduction of the new uniform are people still wearing CS95?

Also what items would be good to stock as there is a world of surplus out there and a limited pot of cash for starting up.

Any help and replies would be gratefully recieved.

Thanks

Matt
Have you done a feasible study/research as to your competitors?

One of the largest and well established that I'm aware of is Sabre Sales in Southsea (his stock is mahoosive)unsure within the Bournemouth & Weymouth area though, plus you have all the surplus market stall holders.

Good luck with your venture either way & seasons greetings.
 
#14
The only advice I can give you is do not buy from army surplus wholesalers; cut out the middleman and buy direct from the surplus army.

Good luck. Workware is a genuine good tip.
 
#16
I understand that when some traders attend Governement Auctions they have previously met and had their own mini auction from the catalogue. The "winner" then is the only dealer bidding for that lot number.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
Have you done a feasible study/research as to your competitors?

One of the largest and well established that I'm aware of is Sabre Sales in Southsea (his stock is mahoosive)unsure within the Bournemouth & Weymouth area though, plus you have all the surplus market stall holders.

Good luck with your venture either way & seasons greetings.
Excellent advice.

On-line you have to find a way of making your website stand out from the thousands of others on Google, plus develop a website that will attract and retain customers.

In a market you have to attract customers in the first place - difficult unless you have a regular stall and an eye for making your stock look attractive (aka visual merchandising).

One of the lowest cost options may be to sell via eBay for a while and see how you get on. If you shift stuff, look at setting up your own website.

Wordsmith

As a PS: if you are looking to get a website set up, I'd recommend looking at "Convert! Designing Websites to Increase Traffic and Conversion" by Ben Hunt. It's a good introduction to the subject.
 
#19
As a kit tart have a look at getting distribution rights to some of the US brands that you don't see in the uk.

HSGI
TAG
Mystery Ranch

However maybe its more to do with us mil export laws, having something know one else has would make you shop/website stand out
 
#20
As a kit tart have a look at getting distribution rights to some of the US brands that you don't see in the uk.

HSGI
TAG
Mystery Ranch

However maybe its more to do with us mil export laws, having something know one else has would make you shop/website stand out
A good idea, however from experience you will need a lot of cash upfront for such things ,minimum orders are often on the high side and you need few references for them to give you a trade order ,if your starting out this isn't easy if you don't already have a lots of credit accounts with a few other companies.

With surplus you really do have to get it for next to nothing ,pile it high and flog it cheap !
Internet surplus isn't great either as quality of the items vary especially clothing. people like to look ,feel and smell the old moth eaten Falklands Parker before they buy ,with the internet you really cant compete .
 

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