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Thinking about becoming a dealer 522

Sr. Member Posts: 425 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Thinking about becoming a dealer
« on: January 01, 2021, 10:13:22 PM »
I'm looking into the possibility of becoming a knife and tool dealer, particularly on the gun and knife show circuit locally, and with internet sales.

Anybody have much experience with that? I'm tossing the idea around....haven't told the Missus yet that I'm thinking on it....

Any thoughts?

BTW, if I do become a dealer, I will be happy to see about some advertising purchases here on the MTO.  :angel:


Aspiring to be a multi-tool in the the hands of God....
Thread Killer 2019 No Life Club Posts: 4,295
Re: Thinking about becoming a dealer
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2021, 12:01:29 AM »
If you do this you should focus on internet sales. Gun and knife shows are expensive and time consuming and you'll have losses due to damage from packing and unpacking your stuff every weekend and pilferage. If you do outdoor events your stuff will get dusty and rusty or dried and faded due to exposure to weather or sunlight.

If you want to do this I'd advise you to become an authorized dealer for well known companies and don't just get caught up in the hype of the late night infomercials. However, selling the good stuff from name brands such as Buck, Gerber, and Leatherman has a very slim profit margin and you're competing against retailers such as Wal-Mart, but you do have to have some of the cheap stuff so the customers have choices.  Always have cookie jars of grab and go items for $1 because that's the stuff that parents will buy for their kids or some people will buy just to be nice because you took the time to talk to them.  Sometimes the $1 items made the difference between making a profit or not and some shows they were the only things that sold.

I bought close to $3000 worth of knives from those Cutlery Corner late night infomercials back in 2011. My average cost per knife in 2011 worked out to $1.87 each. That was $1 per knife plus shipping.  I sold folders for $10 and offered quantity discounts, small fixies for $10 and large fixies for $20.  They paid for themselves long ago so it's all profit now, but sales are few and far between and I still have a lot of the stuff I ordered 10 years ago.  I'd go to a church sale or flea market and be lucky to make $20 or $30 for the day, after expenses including fuel, meals, how much they charge to do the show, and the price of inventory.  However, there haven't been any shows for nearly a year.  Gun shows are $100 a table here and the last time I worked one I managed to pull a slim profit after expenses of about $40 but only because I split the cost of the table with a buddy who also had some stuff to sell.  The dealer packages at Cutlery Corner are more expensive now but the prices you can sell the knives for is the same.

Try to do some shows and internet sales and see how it goes, but don't give up your day job to sell knives full time. Just don't.
New User Posts: 1
Re: Thinking about becoming a dealer
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2021, 12:40:01 AM »
I don't have experience selling at shows, but as a retired CPA I'd suggest becoming familiar with the various business license / tax collection laws for your area before you make your decision.  In my state, anyone who wants to rent a table at a local show has to provide a sales tax certificate, which in turn means you need to report a sales $ amount to the state and send in the appropriate sales tax. I think most of the big internet sales sites take care of this for you, but don't know that for sure.
Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 63,188
Re: Thinking about becoming a dealer
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2021, 01:05:29 AM »
Welcome to :MTO: jch :cheers:

If you do decide to sell tools and knives, good luck :tu: If you want to advertise any here just contact Grant Lamontagne about it and discuss it with him first :salute:
Sr. Member Posts: 425 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: Thinking about becoming a dealer
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2021, 06:20:44 AM »
If you do this you should focus on internet sales. Yes, I plan to, thanks....Gun and knife shows are expensive and time consuming and you'll have losses due to damage from packing and unpacking your stuff every weekend and pilferage.Very good points. I would try it once or twice and see how it goes, if not well, I would be internet only/mostly If you do outdoor events your stuff will get dusty and rusty or dried and faded due to exposure to weather or sunlight. Eww yuck, good point

If you want to do this I'd advise you to become an authorized dealer for well known companies and don't just get caught up in the hype of the late night infomercials. Gotcha, not an infomercial dude myself. However, selling the good stuff from name brands such as Buck, Gerber, and Leatherman has a very slim profit margin and you're competing against retailers such as Wal-Mart, Yepbut you do have to have some of the cheap stuff so the customers have choices. I definitely plan on that.  Always have cookie jars of grab and go items for $1 because that's the stuff that parents will buy for their kids or some people will buy just to be nice because you took the time to talk to them. Definitely part of the plan. Sometimes the $1 items made the difference between making a profit or not and some shows they were the only things that sold. Having done some retail before, I can believe that for sure.

I bought close to $3000 worth of knives from those Cutlery Corner late night infomercials back in 2011. My average cost per knife in 2011 worked out to $1.87 each. That was $1 per knife plus shipping.  I sold folders for $10 and offered quantity discounts, small fixies for $10 and large fixies for $20.  Well that's some decent margin...They paid for themselves long ago so it's all profit now, but sales are few and far between and I still have a lot of the stuff I ordered 10 years ago.  I'd go to a church sale or flea market and be lucky to make $20 or $30 for the day, after expenses including fuel, meals, how much they charge to do the show, and the price of inventory.  However, there haven't been any shows for nearly a year. We are still having them here in SC, so far.... Gun shows are $100 a table here and the last time I worked one I managed to pull a slim profit after expenses of about $40 but only because I split the cost of the table with a buddy who also had some stuff to sell.  The dealer packages at Cutlery Corner are more expensive now but the prices you can sell the knives for is the same.

Try to do some shows and internet sales and see how it goes, but don't give up your day job to sell knives full time. Just don't. Thanks, I have no plans to give up my day job, this would be an additional source of income. (I do Ebay now in a small way)

I don't have experience selling at shows, but as a retired CPA I'd suggest becoming familiar with the various business license / tax collection laws for your area before you make your decision.  In my state, anyone who wants to rent a table at a local show has to provide a sales tax certificate, which in turn means you need to report a sales $ amount to the state and send in the appropriate sales tax.Definitely. I did retail once or twice before and had a sales tax number. I would be starting fresh this time, though.... I am aware of what's needed and plan on getting legally squared away if I choose to do this. I think most of the big internet sales sites take care of this for you, but don't know that for sure. Ebay does.....

Aspiring to be a multi-tool in the the hands of God....
Sr. Member Posts: 425 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: Thinking about becoming a dealer
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2021, 06:23:35 AM »
Thanks for the input, y'all. If I do this thing I will plan on selling some good name brands and also some cheapies and a lot of used knives.

I probably will also do some military history books, as they seem to sell well and I am familiar with the topic.

 :2tu:

Aspiring to be a multi-tool in the the hands of God....
Sr. Member Posts: 425 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: Thinking about becoming a dealer
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2021, 03:12:00 PM »
Well I ordered some bulk lots of used stuff....so I guess I need to get my tax id stuff squared away and start advertising! Although there's not much point getting my advertising going until my inventory begins to arrive.  :D

Aspiring to be a multi-tool in the the hands of God....
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,376 Oxygen and magnesium toghether?! OMg!
Re: Thinking about becoming a dealer
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2021, 05:02:54 PM »
You could try to get some items listed in free internet sales sites. It could give you an idea of prices people are willing to pay.

It also gives you a global display window, to literally thousands of prospective buyers.

If you provide a good customer service, it's another way to build a good reputation. You can go on to get your own site.

Good luck!

 :cheers: :tu:

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Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 51,232
Re: Thinking about becoming a dealer
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2021, 05:13:41 PM »
It's a tough business to be in. There is a lot of competition out there both from businesses and private sellers on ebay.
Sr. Member Posts: 425 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: Thinking about becoming a dealer
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2021, 07:00:05 AM »
It's a tough business to be in. There is a lot of competition out there both from businesses and private sellers on ebay.

Yes. I've done a good bit of Ebay selling already, so I know the system somewhat. I suspect the majority of my sales will be on there. Not saying it's easy.

Aspiring to be a multi-tool in the the hands of God....

 

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