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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If I had a retail sales license and wanted to sell prep. supplies- who would I talk to? Can someone suggest a wholesale supplier?
More info: we live in an area in NE WA where people are more increasingly aware of their need to be prepared for SHTF issues.
A young couple we know are trying to expand their small engine/ 2nd hand shop to sell some SHTF supplies retail- we are trying to help them, thought people here might either have that sort of business, or perhaps could suggest what they would like to see in shops to purchase. We are 3 hours from major shopping- 1 hour from a Walmart- in a remote area. (no stores locally offer anything of the sort.
We are thinking of freeze dried foods, lifestraws, flints, mylar blankets- that sort of thing for purchase.
We are also thinking of offering classes on survival skills at their shop. Sort of a value added thing....

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I'm thinking most all the freeze dried manufacturers sell wholesale. Honeyville, etc.

If they have storage room bulk grains, beans, etc. can be hard to come by in some areas. We drive 60 miles to get wheat berries and oats bulk.
 

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Please consider this: if you open a retail prepper's-type supply (with a physical storefront address) you may be setting yourself and your family as hot targets for a world of hurt when the Stuff Hits the Fan. By then, a LOT of people will know what you have... When the store's inventory is depleted, then...tag, you're IT.

On the other hand a 100% online venture could be a lot safer, if you structure it right, and maintain strict discretion on a local level. Loose lips sink big ships.



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I 'd go with bulk foods too. The Mennonite store near us is always packed with people. It seems when I'm there, most of the people are not buying in bulk, but smaller portions. It must be the plain packageing and more that the shoppers like homecooking.If one wants say a smaller package or larger package one just goes to the counter and it will be done for you by one of the Girls working. They have gotten a nice canning/preserving (equitment) section now. Tho alot of it is made in China.
 

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"Retail license"
Where I live in Bama I have had a retail license for more than 10 yrs.
and have never had a brick & mortar store just used my home address which only cost <3.00, it would be more for a phys addi.

The only time you have to worry about taxes is if you sell within the state the license is held, although some states have already or are trying to get taxes on every Internet or mail order sale. Just keep good records, your friends with shop can help with that.

As for when the SHTF any and all stores and anything else that looks interesting will be a target.

As for wholesale , 95% of suppliers will sale to you at wholesale if you have a license. As to getting certain SHTF supplies, find out who the local sport/bait & tackle stores get there supplies, if its like down here most of the suppliers for mom $ pop stores will carry sporting inventory, as for everything else look online and call the co. and ask if they do wholesale and if so ask them what their criteria is or check the site map of that co, on the website to see if there is a wholesale link.

Good luck
 

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Prices have got to get close to or better than big stores, as they'll buy in bulk anyway, and make a buying run when they run too short.

Provide space for locals to sell their own in-season fruit and vegetables off their own truck-beds. It will pull people in, build goodwill, but no liability. Out-of-season, try to provide enough so the customers won't feel compelled to go to the big centres.

Offer a bare-bones barn building as a community centre (scouts, guides, 4H, FFA, square and line dancing), rent sale space in limited hours, $1 an hour conditional on them leaving it clean and in good condition and acceptin liability (the pay establishes a contract, like paying a dollar to a lawyer - talk to your insurance broker about this).

Almost everything you can sell will have dual or multiple markets. Make sure that your advertising reaches all markets, isn't restricted to just what your initial thoughts are. For instance, "Lifestraws" aren't just for preppers, but for campers, scout groups, etc.
Whole grains can be sourced locally from farmers, can be sold to preppers and livestock owners.

If you're selling bulk items, set a high lower limit - e.g. 50 pound bags of cereal grains, 25 pound bags of legumes.
Bulk-items - do a limited "half-case market", include dog and cat food (canned and dry).

"Veterinary" supplies.

Snacks and nibblies.
Take-away food and drink.

Strictly limited range of bulk generic goods - one brand, plain label - e.g. "Black&White" or "Black and Gold" or "Jeneric" or similar - rice, pasta, packet soups, limited canned goods, soaps and detergents, garbage and freezer bags, paper goods, el cheapo vinegars and sauces and flour and cereals and sugar, writing pads, pens, pencils, diaries, notebooks, batteries, that's all, folks.

Pre-packaged frozen meats.

Local free-range eggs on consignment.
Take orders for week-old chicks.

There is a clay product sold in bulk for soaking up oil spills in garages, but it is exactly the same thing as kitty-litter. Don't cheat on it, but just resell in bulk.

Bulk hand-cleaners for greasy hands, bulk laundry detergents.

Best things to sell are things that initiate sales of other items. Again, if bulk grains, also sell (at least on consignment or order on indent) grain mills (ideally expensive on their own, and as a kit with discounted bulk whole grains and bulk yeast), again offer on-consignment bread-makers.

Fuel and lubricants (of course), and Pri-D and Pri-G fuel conditioner products.

Limited range of mid-range and ex-mil firearm products.
e.g. Savage (Stevens on indent) longarms in .22LR, .22WMR, .17HMR, .223, 243, .270, 30/06, maybe Ruger Ranch-rifle and 10/22 and hand-guns, air-rifles and handguns, H&R shotguns, Hornady or Speer and Sellier&Bellot ammo, Burris telescopic sights, Mosin-Nagant and SKS rifle and ex-mil ammo, ex-mil CZ handguns. Be prepared to indent other firearms and ammo on deposit, display other goods on consignment.

Motor vehicles on consignment.

Re-conditioned power tools.
 
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