Military Surplus Businesses
By Steve Gillman
I was recently reading a Forbes magazine article (December
5, 2011) which profiled a few military surplus businesses. These
were not the usual army/navy stores that sell to the public,
although those can do well too. These were the more unique businesses.
Liquidity Services, in Washington, D.C. does over $300 million
in annual sales. They buy excess and used military equipment
in bulk and sell it through a collection of online auction websites.
They are sometimes called the "eBay of the Pentagon."
But don't think you have to be a big corporation to get into
this market. The article also profiled a man in Colorado who
bought flatbed rail cars from the military for $3,000 each. He
makes a living installing them as bridges over ditches and small
streams for ranchers and others. Then there was the young man
who bought a military bus for $1,800 and used it for a taxi service
that makes around $100,000 annually.
How Much Can You Make?
There are too may different types of potential businesses
based on buying and selling or using military surplus to put
any numbers on this.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
There are already many people and companies buying and selling
military surplus. The areas with less competition are those that
use the surplus goods in new ways. For example, the Forbes article
profiled a fish hatchery owner who bought 12-foot-long missile
shipping containers and used them for raising fish. He bought
them for $100 each instead of paying the usual $3,000 for regular
tanks. The opportunity here might be in buying them and selling
them for $500 to hatcheries. That makes for big profits, and
still provides a huge savings for the customers, versus traditional
Qualifications / Requirements
You can start with very little money if you try buying from
one of the liquidators, since they will sell single items. You
might find a buyer on eBay or locally, and then parlay your profits
into bigger purchases.
Check out the resources below.
Liquidation - A retail liquidator of military and
other government surplus, where you can buy in smaller quantities.
Government Surplus - Federal Government site;
you can buy things online here and find out when and where the
auctions of military equipment are taking place.