Thinking about setting up a shop selling supplies

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by ChuckD, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. ChuckD

    ChuckD New Member

    Hey guys,

    I'm thinking about setting up a small shop selling reloading supplies and eventually firearms and firearms transfers. Mind if I ask at what volume do you purchase supplies? I'm trying to figure out what a purchase might look like so I can figure out how many transactions are needed to get to a break even point.


    Chuck Draper
  2. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    Chuck, that really depends on your clientele and what they are in the market for.

    As an example, when we buy flip up scope covers, we order 3 or 4 in most sizes, but we order 6 or 8 for the really popular ones ( like 30mm ). So, we have a full rack that we have in the shop when someone needs some covers right now.

    By contrast, we stock, MAYBE, three slings all together and we never stock 2 of the really premium leather ones, because they just don't move that much.

    Scopes? We never "stock" any of them. We buy those based on purchase for the customer. The reason is, the mark up isn't there, with the internet available, to be able to tie up a vast amount of money for a small shop in valuable optics.

    When we buy, say, Remington 700 replacement parts, or 1911 kits, we generally buy at least ( 2 ) full kits from some place like Brownell's. This gives us a box of springs and clips for various needs, when we need them.

    Cleaning Rods? People rarely think of these, and chamber guides, even when they are getting a custom rig done.

    We always have a couple of longer barreled, large bore rifle rods. We have 5 or 6 for shorter barreled "hunting" caliber sizes and we always have 4 or 5 for the AR folks.

    Chamber guides we order in, unless they are very common calibers. In this area, the .308 is a constant, so we always have some of those kicking around. 5.56/.223 is another one we stock several of. However, transversely, for the WSM or the WSSM mag, those are on order only. There just isn't enough of them to warrant tieing money up in them.

    Same goes for shooting bags / sand bags / rests, things like that. To order only, with a small mark up. We just don't have the kind of money to tie up, say, $5000 in shooting aides.

    It's really going to depend on how fast you can turn stuff around. If you have high volume, you order more, if not, you are just hanging money out there....

    Good luck.


  3. 1hole

    1hole New Member

    "Thinking about setting up a shop selling supplies "

    Fun to think about, difficult to make it work.

    Doing it outta your home runs into BATF problems for a seperate store front entry and having a commercial location is expensive. Getting componets at dealer cost isn't cheap - even if you can get them. Mail order outfits and local retail shops in many areas normally make the market competition intense. Selling cheap and still making it profitable requires a LOT more volume than small shops can typically attain. With small sells volume, you would have to limit your stock and having limited stocks will fail to attact many customers; a vicious circle thing.

    Quite a few small dealers used to exist, twenty years ago. Clinton, Inc. 'fixed' that. Our liberal federal masters greatly increased the hassles and costs of holding a FFL and made it impractical for many of them to continue, which was the gov.'s intended effect of course. (They actually presented the vastly decreased numbers of license holders as proof of their "anti-crime" sucess.)
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  4. KRAGGY69

    KRAGGY69 New Member

    i agree with all the above,i tried to start a small buisness not gun related right before the economic crunch,set up my own website on my own,did part design,and milling on my own,packaging on my own,sent the anodizing out,had a really good solid product and learned its next to impossible to do it all on your own hopefully you would have some help.things i didnt figure in were lost time with family,all the tax and other paperwork every month,and most importantly you need some really good personal networks in place before you even start.i dont consider my 4,500 dollar investment a waste just a reality check,that evilbay and other large volume dealers always can undercut you and a buisness man im not.but if you have all of that covered i personally wish you all the best because i dont like the gandermountain/walmart senario that seems to be taking over.
  5. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    I just ordered 10k primers.

    Most everyone buys powder in 1# cans. Some like bench rest guys or IDPA or IPSC guys will buy 8# at a time or more. Because they are looking at constancy and like to shoot one lot of powder till they have none left ever.

    I buy nothing any more local. Because a box of 50gr V-max bullets is going for $40 and 1# of powder can be had for $35+ in my area. If the bullets say nosler then they are made out of gold and the cheapest are the 50 ct boxes for $45 to $50. Primers local are $70+ for 1k of CCI 400 or 200 and if you want the Benchrest BR4 or BR2 they are going for $80 for 1k.

    If I were going to start a gun type business right now. I would get me a small wherehouse type shop with good security and sell everything over the internet at gun broker and guns america. You will make money faster I think by selling on gun broker for 20% mark up and transfer fees as on there it is ok to charge extra to pay by credit or pay pal. This way you can keep your overhead very low all you really need is a space, a computer, and the FFL. If you can and have the land to build you could build a small bunker type store front. Then you do transfers for $20 or $25 and that right there is 100% pure profit. They pay shipping and you get it in then they pay you to get the gun.

    Another thing you have to worry about is advertising. Gander Mnt Bass Pro and Cabales all have rather large advertising budgets. You can't compete with that. So you need to find a niche market in your area and fill that niche and you will be good to go.

    I wouldn't stock anything other than guns. offer to order anything your customers may want and they will wait if your price and customer service is better than gunmega mart.

    Insurance is going to be your single biggest reoccurring expense I am sure. If you have 40 or 50 K worth of guns all the time that is a lot to cover. Offer to give local LEO's good discounts on firearms and stuff.

    You have to do a lot of feeling out and asking questions. go to the guns stores and watch what people are buying a lot of.

    Black rifles are all the craze right now. so you may want to sell DPMS, RRA, Colt, ect..... you may also want to put together parts kids and sell them as a one stop do it yourself first timer build kit.

    I know one thing you are going to go a few years before you really start to see a profit. as before that you are going to need to pump every last dime into the company to get it off the ground and get it going. To many people start up going good and makes good money then they start buying cars and houses and all this crap they don't need then when it comes times to pay all the bills they are crap out of money.

    YMMV As I am just a thinker in this stuff not a action.

    A buddy of mine found a great location for a indoor shooting range out to 100 yards. Had a larger store front for a good area to sell products like 5.11 gear and what not plus guns he is a trainer for govt security and police forces. He is NRA certified for many things. I thought it would have made a great business. indoor pistol and rifle he can do CCW classes and other self defense classes and I could run the gun/BS counter. But some one made it into an indoor sports park.
  6. crossfire

    crossfire Member

    What are the BATF laws concerning primed cases? Primed once-fired brass wouldn't qualify for Hazmat, would it? I would think saving the reloader a step, not to mention time and money, might generate some business.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
  7. Shooter

    Shooter Administrator Staff Member

    How much is liability insurance alone for a gun shop?