Military Surplus Stores: How They Work And What They Sell

A military surplus store sells a wide array of supplies, clothing, and accessories relating to military and sporting use. Most stores receive their inventory directly from the US military when those items are no longer officially issued to troops, sailors, or soldiers. There are many of these stores throughout the United States, and most offer a wide array of products at reasonable prices.

How Military Surplus Stores Obtain Merchandise

When the military no longer needs or uses a certain item, they will offer these items to a wholesaler at a discounted price. The military surplus store owner can take a look at the current available inventory and choose to purchase them for their store to sell to the general public. They are able to obtain these items at a really low cost, passing the savings on to their customers. Almost everything purchased and sold has never been issued or used by anyone prior. In some cases, soldiers may sell items directly to the store, but the items have to be retired and no longer issued as official military tools or other items. In addition to military related items, these stores also sell an assortment of sporting goods, knives, hunting equipment, and self protection items.

What Military Surplus Stores Sell

Military surplus stores may sell firearms and ammunition, but they must be properly licensed to do so according to the laws in their individual state. They have almost everything one can imagine in a store of this type. Here are some examples of the most popular items you'll find at your local military surplus store:

  • MRE's, or meals ready to eat
  • A wide variety of camouflage clothing including pants and jackets
  • Knives of various sizes and types
  • Military uniforms and patches
  • Canteens and "mess gear" used to eat and drink
  • Collectibles
  • Flags
  • Self defense items such as pepper spray 
  • Survival items like waterproof matches and emergency drinking water
  • Paintball guns and other supplies
  • Helmets and hats
  • Combat boots, sunglasses, rucksacks, and other accessories

The Purpose of Military Surplus Stores

Many people who shop at military surplus stores are hunters, sportsmen, collectors, ex-military members or fans of military memorabilia and equipment. Some people like to purchase items there for personal use such as survival tools and even clothing for everyday wear. The prices are often fairly low since the store owner is able to obtain their merchandise at a wholesale cost. These stores make a great choice for anyone who enjoys any hunting, shooting, or sporting activity and wants to find gear at an affordable price. Check out a store like Andy and Bax to get started.