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Posted: 2/1/2010 1:48:51 PM EDT
Is it possible to contact some manufacturer, buy a pallet or two from the factory, and become a reseller?  
Or is this stuff sold from manufacturers only to recognized wholesalers?  
If so, how do I find the local wholesalers?  

I figure that some smaller manufacturers like Fiocchi or PMC may be more receptive.  Winchester would probably laugh at me if I called them.  

I can figure out the local laws, but I'm not certain about the BUSINESS process of factory to retailer.  

Thanks!  

Link Posted: 2/1/2010 7:00:16 PM EDT
[#1]
You could get an FFL, or at least a business lic/tax ID, and you might be able to get an account with acusports or some other company. But to get a deal from winchester, PMC, any of them, you would need to be talking about truck loads of ammo. Like ammoman, not that he is a good business model, but he put on his website that he just got in 716 cases of .308.

716. Times $350 a case? That's $250k for one ammo type. How many does he have on his site? 40 different kinds?
Link Posted: 2/2/2010 11:45:17 AM EDT
[#2]
Ammoman will probably sell all that 308 within the next month.  
If he paid $250/case, he's making $100/case.  That's $71k in one month.  
All he has to do is take the boxes off a pallet, slap a label on a box, and have UPS come and pick them up.  

That's why I'm looking for info here....
Link Posted: 2/2/2010 12:08:23 PM EDT
[#3]
Quoted:
Ammoman will probably sell all that 308 within the next month.  
If he paid $250/case, he's making $100/case.  That's $71k in one month.  
All he has to do is take the boxes off a pallet, slap a label on a box, and have UPS come and pick them up.  

That's why I'm looking for info here....


First off he is not making $100 per case, and neither are any of the online ammo dealers. Profit in the Firearms industry is very thin.At least on the e-tailer/brick and mortar stores.
Second there is a lot more to slapping on a label and shipping stuff out the door. I have an online business and trust me it is not easy. If it was, more people would be doing it. There is reason 70% of all new businesses fail within the first three years.
If you are not willing to put in a lot of your time and much sweat equity you will have just wasted your time and $$.
Link Posted: 2/2/2010 1:44:33 PM EDT
[#4]
roadside stand?
Link Posted: 2/2/2010 2:24:10 PM EDT
[#5]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Ammoman will probably sell all that 308 within the next month.  
If he paid $250/case, he's making $100/case.  That's $71k in one month.  
All he has to do is take the boxes off a pallet, slap a label on a box, and have UPS come and pick them up.  

That's why I'm looking for info here....


First off he is not making $100 per case, and neither are any of the online ammo dealers. Profit in the Firearms industry is very thin.At least on the e-tailer/brick and mortar stores.
Second there is a lot more to slapping on a label and shipping stuff out the door. I have an online business and trust me it is not easy. If it was, more people would be doing it. There is reason 70% of all new businesses fail within the first three years.
If you are not willing to put in a lot of your time and much sweat equity you will have just wasted your time and $$.


Damn straight.  If it was a no brainer, EVERYONE would be doing it.

There's no such thing as a free ride.

Link Posted: 2/2/2010 3:45:42 PM EDT
[#6]
Would an ammo company really require an FFL to buy ammo?  That doesn’t seem correct.  

Is it possible to contact some manufacturer, buy some minimum quantities from the factory, and become a reseller?  
Or is this stuff sold from manufacturers only to recognized wholesalers?
If so, how do I find the local wholesalers?
Link Posted: 2/2/2010 6:00:44 PM EDT
[#7]
Quoted:
Would an ammo company really require an FFL to buy ammo?  That doesn’t seem correct.  

Is it possible to contact some manufacturer, buy some minimum quantities from the factory, and become a reseller?  
Or is this stuff sold from manufacturers only to recognized wholesalers?
If so, how do I find the local wholesalers?


No. You are missing the point. I'm saying that ammoman likely bought $250k worth of .308 at one time. Do you have the capital to do that? If you went to PMC, winchester, who ever, you'd need to be placing an order for $500k at the very least to even get in the door. If you aren't up to that sort of number, then you could go threw a wholesaler, like Acusports. But its not like you'll be getting a deal. Just for an example. PMC .223. 20rd boxes. Dealer cost is $6.29 a box if you order in case lots. Add that up. All but $315 a case. And that's dealer cost on it. If you are thinking ammo man is making $100 a case, you are mistaken. Just being honest. The ammo he is selling for $489 shipped to your door, I'd be willing to bet he got at $400 a case. Plus shipping, so $25, so he is making $50 a case. Maybe a little more. But he has the contacts to get surplus ammo imported. That's the other thing. You'd need a lic to get ammo imported. Its not just, to use your words, "take it off a pallet, slap a label on it, and wait for UPS to show up". Otherwise lots of other people would be doing it.
Link Posted: 2/2/2010 6:24:52 PM EDT
[#8]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Would an ammo company really require an FFL to buy ammo?  That doesn’t seem correct.  

Is it possible to contact some manufacturer, buy some minimum quantities from the factory, and become a reseller?  
Or is this stuff sold from manufacturers only to recognized wholesalers?
If so, how do I find the local wholesalers?


No. You are missing the point. I'm saying that ammoman likely bought $250k worth of .308 at one time. Do you have the capital to do that? If you went to PMC, winchester, who ever, you'd need to be placing an order for $500k at the very least to even get in the door. If you aren't up to that sort of number, then you could go threw a wholesaler, like Acusports. But its not like you'll be getting a deal. Just for an example. PMC .223. 20rd boxes. Dealer cost is $6.29 a box if you order in case lots. Add that up. All but $315 a case. And that's dealer cost on it. If you are thinking ammo man is making $100 a case, you are mistaken. Just being honest. The ammo he is selling for $489 shipped to your door, I'd be willing to bet he got at $400 a case. Plus shipping, so $25, so he is making $50 a case. Maybe a little more. But he has the contacts to get surplus ammo imported. That's the other thing. You'd need a lic to get ammo imported. Its not just, to use your words, "take it off a pallet, slap a label on it, and wait for UPS to show up". Otherwise lots of other people would be doing it.





Blue (would be nice)
Red  (the honest truth)

Lurch, IM  or email me if you want pricing on bulk ammunition.

Link Posted: 2/3/2010 5:52:28 PM EDT
[#9]
Going into "business" to get wholesale prices on ammo is not a good way to get cheaper ammo.  Like getting an FFL to get "cheaper guns," you'll find that it's way more work and way less profitable than you think.  I had my FFL for one year, and never made a sale, in spite of trying hard.  Nowadays, you NEED a real store to convince the ATF you're not some "kitchen table" klutz that's out to subvert the system and sell guns for cheap to bad guys-or just not do the paperwork right.  Neither is a good thing in their way of thinking.
Link Posted: 2/20/2010 5:45:39 PM EDT
[#10]
Without a FFL most wholesalers will not even give you a price quote. They will want to have a copy of your FFL and your Business Tax License before they will even waste time talking to you.

If Ammoman is making 50.00 per case on the 308 (thats a Hugh profit margin on ammo) it would be surprised. Since most customers are paying by plastic that is about 15.00 so now he has 35.00 per case. Out of that 35.00 per case he has to pay all of his business expenses. The profit margins starts getting real thin by then.
Link Posted: 2/21/2010 3:05:01 PM EDT
[#11]
I only have some experience with shotshell ammo, but here goes my opinion:

1- The wholesale network is layered and where you buy depends upon on how much and the connections you have.
2- Most foreign ammunition manufactures have exclusivity with a US importer.  If you want to purchase from those, you are talking about purchasing by the container in terms like full or half.  
3- These importers will have a network of wholesalers who purchase in very large quantities, specialize in freight to get pallets to the regional wholesalers.
4- Most gun shops purchase from those regional wholesalers. Examples are Reed's and Coyote Valley Sporting Clays who uses the same regional wholesaler out in the central valley of CA.
5- Surplus sellers often have an importer license and bid for foreign countries surplus military ammo much like we do here. Most of the time, though, they are dealing with a local company in that country who handles the transition of ammo from the military into sea-going containers and ship to the surplus seller here.

There is good money reselling from sources listed in #2 and #5.  If you have the cash, you can expect at least a 2x margin up for starters. As you build up a relationship, the margin will grow.  Of course, this is skipping over the middle layers of wholesalers.  You will need serious capital investment this way. We are talking in the six figures and you are getting a severe restriction in ammo type.  So if you wanted to offer shotsells, .223, .308, 40sw, 9mm, .45auto, you are getting upwards of $1m invested.  They will not fill up a container to your specs of a wide range of ammunition.

We were running a club buy of shotshells for a very large club with skeet, trap, and sporting clays members.  We would purchase anywhere from a half container to a full one per year from the US importer of a European company investing anywhere between $100K and $200k.  The importer was willing to load the container with a mixture of 12, 20, 28 and .410 that we wanted (actually they would have the European company load the container that way for them).  The last run we had was 2007 and we were bringing 25 round boxes in at just under $3/box.  Easily could have sold those for 6/box and I think some local dealers must have slipped in.  Around the time our container would arrive, some local stores would have this particularly brand in stock.

Keep in mind, we had a very rich dotcommer front the purchase for us. He also had access to receiving docks and storage which is an absolute must for a freight company to deliver.  He had excellent contacts in the freight/rail industry.

But there are opportunities in this business.  I do not believe gun shops have not adjusted to the new business model demanded by today's younger shooters.  They still prefer to stock individual 20/round 50/round retail boxes in various calibers.  However, the younger shooters today have consolidated to where they are looking to purchase specific calibers in bulk quantities.  This fact has not gone lost on WalMart and is probably why local gun shops here raid WalMart to resell.

I think you can base an ammo business on bulk selling of .22lr, .223/55.5, .308, 9mm, 40sw, .45auto, 7.62x29, and the 12/20/28/410 shotshells.  You can do bulk brick&mortar out of a warehousing operations, internet sales, and the gun show circuit as well.

Right now, markup is running slightly under 2x from local wholesaler rates for Winchester AA shotshells.  The issue dealers had is getting a reliable stream of quantity in though. In order to maintain a sufficient quantity on their shelves, they are willing to hunt for wholesale purchases with a markup less than 2x for now.  Sometimes, they get so worried about the replacement cost being much higher, they do stupid things like 3x markups which only result in the product collecting dust and eating their capital.  We have one store out here that is selling WinAA 28ga. for $16/box right now.

ETA your answers:

Is it possible to contact some manufacturer, buy a pallet or two from the factory, and become a reseller?  Yes, the US importer/rep of the foreign ammo companies are more receptive.

Or is this stuff sold from manufacturers only to recognized wholesalers?  They will try and tell you that, but like everything else... money talks, others walk to the regional/local wholesalers.

If so, how do I find the local wholesalers?  Call the manufacturers and ask. They will actually help you get in touch with the local wholesaler who will try and take you to the cleaners if you are a new upstart business with big bucks to invest.  Your local wholesaler will want to qualify that you are a true dealer and not putting together a group buy.  They will want your FFL, business license info, and sales tax permit info.

Kemen is one of the best to deal with, imo.   Search on Kemen and container to get their price quote request webpage.
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