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It appears there is a rather widespread misunderstanding these days that people who might hold an interest in various outdoor activities, live action military style gamers and the recently expanding population of “Preppers” and survivalists, need to acquire their gear brand new at high-priced sporting goods outlets. Of course it’s true that using brand new, top name-brand gear from the most prestigious manufacturers is desirable. But, is the added cost that comes with the prestige of using gear that sports manufacturing labels from highly regarded commercial suppliers really worth it? Especially when you consider that in this particular industry, a rather unique option is available which can provide the consumer with exceedingly high quality used goods at a much reduced cost.
I’m speaking, of course, about military issue surplus items and equipment. And, the items they offer as surplus goods should be well considered by preppers and sportsmen looking to add to their list of gear — especially if money currently happens to be tight. Military organizations, after all, really are expertly experienced ‘preppers’ themselves. Thus, the equipment they use for their own purposes are of the highest quality available. And, when those items become marked for surplus, they are often made available to the public at bargain prices.
Western military organizations specifically require the equipment they use to be of the most rugged stock available. In an active combat scenario, which military orgs must prepare for, if equipment fails then lives get lost. The stakes are exceedingly high. And so, very little expense is often spared when it comes to building their equipment tough. Military organizations spend an exceptional amount of money, expertise, effort and man-hours in making sure the items they equip their personnel with can endure the utmost abuse, harshest of conditions, and overuse. They make sure the equipment is simple to use or operate, is as unencumbersome as is possible, and is highly efficient at fulfilling the need it is required to fulfill. Military goods are engineered and designed to work, and to work well for a very long time.
Along with this, of course, is the added benefit that exactly this type of gear, when made available at surplus to the public, is almost always available at exceedingly low cost when compared to the same type of new commercial gear.
But, why should such well made gear be made available for such little comparative cost? There’s basically two reasons for this: The first is that the military is a volume buyer, and so they usually originally obtain their equipment through contract buys at the lower end of wholesale cost. Whereas a sporting goods store might be able to purchase an inventory of, say, camo rain ponchos at a wholesale cost of, say, $35.00 per poncho, the military, because of the volume discounts they enjoy from the manufacturer, might be able to obtain rain ponchos of equal, or even better, quality at a wholesale cost of just $15.00 per item. Now, of course, the commercial supplier will mark-up the new item by a certain percentage — usually 50% is the absolute minimal markup commercial retailers like to aim for. So, your price for the new item from the sporting goods store is a total of $52.50 at the lowest. Whereas, the military obtained their ponchos for a much lower price and does not mark-up their product. Instead of paying $50.00 or more, you’re much more likely to obtain these military surplus ponchos at a price closer to $15.00, or even much less.
The second reason is that the military are not retailers, nor distributors. They’re not in the business of selling off goods. They’re not in the business of making money in such a manner. Their incentive in selling off military surplus items to the public doesn’t lie in turning a profit for themselves. Their incentive merely lies in getting rid of excess items and freeing storage space, and associated costs, in order to make way for their new incoming equipment. The incentive, therefore, on the part of the military, to go after the highest possible price they can get for their surplus goods isn’t the same as it is for commercial dealers.
The military has their tax-payer funded budget that’s buying them new equipment — whether they turn a profit or not, or how much money they earn from the sales of their excess inventory — they’re still going to get their new gear, and they need to make room for it. So, their incentive is to get rid of stuff quickly, with the least amount of handling on the part of the military organization as is possible. And, the way to do that, of course, is to sell it off cheap.
In Canada, the organization responsible for overseeing the disposal of all Canadian military assets is the Department of Directorate Disposal, Sales, Artefacts and Loans, commonly refereed to as, simply, the DDSAL. The DDSAL is charged with the responsibility of offloading, through a number of means, all surplus items and most all other Canadian military assets that have fallen into some state of disuse.
This doesn’t just mean that the DDSAL only handles surplus items via Canadian military sales. In fact, they do much more. If the Canadian military holds any sort of tangible asset or item that they wish to get rid of, it is the DDSAL which oversees the entire process. The DDSAL will assess the particular item (or items) which have been marked for disposal, calculate the best mode of disposal for those items, and oversee the process of their disposal. Depending on the particular items in question, this may mean destruction of the items, donations of the items to various individuals, entities or organizations, or sales of items through private or public means.
The DDSAL works on behalf of the Canadian Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, otherwise known as the DND/CAF and is charged with the responsibility of managing the disposal of military goods and items, creating the policy which directs such actions, and creating the official documentation which governs those actions and processes.
When surplus Canadian military vehicles fall into a state where the DND/CAF decides that they are no longer of use in the service of the Canadian military, the DDSAL will asses the vehicles and determine the best course of action for their disposal. Depending on a number of specifics, this might mean the destruction of such military vehicles, their donation, or, quite often, they will be put up for sale, usually via a surplus auction open to the general public.
When Canadian military vehicles, and other surplus military items, are marked to be put up for public surplus auction, the DDSAL will use the services of the Government of Canada Surplus service — commonly known as GCSurplus. This is the Canadian governmental organization that is charged with conducting the sales of most surplus crown assets.
GCSurplus currently maintains a total of ten offices and eight warehouses which are located throughout Canada. Most of the sales open to the public, which GCSurplus conducts, are now being executed through the GCSUrplus website located at GCSurplus.Ca. Members of the general public are able to bid on items made available through that website — items which include surplus Canadian military vehicles for sale — but pre-registration is required before a person may enter a bid. There is no cost to register with GCSurplus in order to bid on surplus items that become available, but a registrant will be required to have a valid credit card on file with GCSurplus before their registration will be approved.
At the time of this writing, the GCsurplus website is currently listing a total of 105 government surplus vehicles up for auction. Only a small portion of these, however, are actually Canadian military surplus vehicle auctions. The bulk of government surplus vehicle auctions handled through the GCSurplus website are crown asset surplus vehicles sourced through a variety of non-military governmental agencies. So, if using that service to search for Canadian military vehicles for sale, some searching through the listings will be required.
If you’re searching for surplus Canadian military vehicles for sale, you might also want to consult our live surplus vehicle auction listings located at this link, as surplus Canadian military vehicles do appear there from time to time.
It’s a bit of a fad (for lack of a better term) in the popular culture right now — people are gearing up for the end of the world. The television reality series “Doomsday Preppers” on the National Geographic channel is currently enjoying a period of fairly immense popularity. There’s no doubt that a good number of people appear to be quite sure that the proverbial doo-doo is about to hit the fan — and they’re getting ready for it. The interesting thing is that this trend is translating into hot markets in the military surplus industry.
Recently I ran into an old friend who had an interesting story to tell. He had recently happened upon a notice for an upcoming military surplus auction that would be taking place in the next state over from his own — the exact location of which happened to be less than a two hour drive from his house. He decided to spend the day checking out that auction. While there, he bid on, and won, an entire pallet full of military surplus ALICE packs (ALICE – All-purpose, Lightweight, Individual, Carrying Equipment) He managed to achieve the high bid with an offering of just $180.00. Turns out, there was just over 160 ALICE packs boxed up on that pallet. That’s a per unit cost of less than a buck and a quarter. Not bad!
So, he loads his purchase onto his truck, hauls it home and starts looking to move it as a complete lot. He was hoping that he might be able to move the entire lot for somewhere around four times what he paid. He figured that if he could unload the whole pallet for around $700.00, he wouldn’t have any complaints at all. And, at that price, a buyer would still be getting each pack for a little more than $4.25 — which should have been quite attractive for any buyer looking to again resell the packs individually to individual buyers. However, at first, he experienced some difficulty in trying to locate a buyer for the whole she-bang.
Originally, he tried offering the lot of ALICE packs around for a price of $900.00, with the intention of being willing to haggle down to his goal price of $700.00. But, he couldn’t find anyone that was interested. So, he dropped his offer price to $800.00 and intended to accept a counter offer as low as $600.00. But, again, no takers. He dropped his price again to $650.00 and resigned himself to being willing to accept $300.00 if it was offered (less than twice what he paid.) Still, he could find nobody who was interested in purchasing the lot — even at that price.
He wasn’t giving up yet, however. He kept trying to locate a buyer for the lot. But, in the meantime, he put one of the ALICE packs up for sale on Craigslist with an asking price of $10.00 for the single pack. Within about an hour of the ad being published he received an email from someone who was interested in taking a look at the pack. They made arrangements for the interested person to go by my friend’s house on his way home from work. The guy showed up, took a look at the pack and immediately pulled out a $10.00 bill and handed it to my friend.
“You got any other military stuff you’re looking to get rid of?” The guy said as he handed my friend the money.
“Just more ALICE packs the same as this one.” My friend replied, “I’m sitting on a whole pallet full of them that I’ve been trying to move.”
“Really?” The buyer answered back, “I’ll take four more, then.”
And, with that, he pulled out two twenty dollar bills and handed them to my friend.
A pretty good deal. He’d just sold five ALICE packs for $50.00 and his cost for those five packs was about $5.50 — he sold them for close to ten times what he paid for them. He quickly went back inside and put another add on Craigslist, this time listing one of the ALICE packs at $15.00 instead of $10.00. Again, within a very short time, someone interested in buying one contact him. That guy showed up and ended up buying two packs. My friend had just made another quick sale, acquiring $30.00 for what cost him a total of about $2.25 — a mark-up of more than 1300%
My friend told me that, after that, he kept putting up ads, and people kept buying the packs. He experimented with different prices, but ended up finding that they seemed to sell best at $15.00 per pack. He sold out of his entire lot in just under four weeks — pulling in a total of more than $2,000.00 in gross sales on his initial purchase of just $180.00.
My friend reported that, over and over again, when conversing with the people who were buying the packs off of him, the people would mention something about the show Doomsday Preppers, or something about being prepared for catastrophe. It became apparent that a good number of people were interested in, and buying these military surplus ALICE packs as part of their own doomsday preparations. This current trend in the popular culture — perhaps because of the TV show, or perhaps along side of it — had created a hot market in the surplus industry.
My friend with the ALICE packs, ever since, has been sourcing other such military surplus gear that would also appeal to the same sort of buyer, and he’s been making a small fortune doing it.
In the surplus business game, as with in any industry, it’s important to have an eye for marketplace trends. Hot markets pop-up sometimes seemingly out of nowhere. If you can recognize them, your pocket-book can benefit greatly. My friend sort of happened to luck into this current trend that’s going on in military surplus equipment. But, if you can keep your eyes and ears open, you can learn to recognize trends like these as they’re happening. You don’t need luck — just a keen sense for emerging market trends.
When thinking of picking up some real bargains on items such as camping gear, items of furniture, various tools and construction materials, high-quality, well made clothing and many other types of goods, a lot of people tend to immediately think about visiting an army shop surplus outlet. And, for very good reason. Army shop outlets truly are one of the best options available to you if you’re looking to acquire very high-quality, well-made goods when you’re on a tight budget.
Of course, it very well might be that you’re experiencing some level of difficulty in trying to locate a good army shop outlet. When and if someone finally does locate one of the better army shop military surplus outlets that are out there, however, their first visit can be a true revelation. Many people, upon their first visit to such an army shop, are stunned to see the wide array of high quality merchandise available at such incredibly low prices. Practically anything that the army or military in general issues to its own personnel, at one time or another, eventually makes its way into an army shop outlet as surplus goods. Such items might include military issue clothing, military grade tools, gear and other hardware, military vehicles, and often even some military weapons.
Because these items have fallen into the category of being surplus to current military requirements, the cost that these quality goods become available for at such army shop outlets is usually quite low. It’s very possible to find such army surplus items at these shops at savings of anywhere from 10% to 80% less than items of similar quality available at regular retails outlets. Sometimes the savings can be even higher!
It’s also important to remember that much of the goods sold through army shop outlets isn’t actually used merchandise. This is a common misconception among members of the public. Many people, it seems, appear to believe that a lot of the military surplus products available through such army shop outlets are items which have been used extensively by the military and are being sold off to the public once they’ve become worn out or have otherwise lived-out their usefulness. This, very often, just isn’t the case.
Mostly, military surplus items find their way into the army shop outlets because they are over-stock items of some sort (the military ordered, or were delivered, more than they needed) Or, the items had been warehoused and waiting for use by the military, but the military upgraded to newer, updated equipment before the items were able to be put to use. In short, while you can find very high quality used gear at these army shop surplus stores, much of it is actually brand new — never used.
If you’re interested in possibly buying some of the larger sized surplus items from these army shop outlets — items like vehicles and weapons — then you’ll most likely not be able to locate these items easily through any traditional means that people normally use to locate more conventional products. Good luck, for instance, attempting to locate such items by browsing the classified sections in your local newspapers!
If you are truly interested in acquiring such items, one of your best bets is to make direct contact with the nearest military bases in your area and try to build a friendly relationship with the personnel on those sites. Once you become familiar and friendly with some of the military personnel, a quick phone call now and then can alert you to any equipment they have that may about to be designated as surplus items. Some military installations even run a service that you can sign-up for where they’ll e-mail or mail out notices if they’re having upcoming surplus item sales or auctions.
Very often, the larger military surplus items are not available through army shop outlets. Instead, these types of items are often made available through specially held public surplus auctions only. And, you’ll need a method for determining exactly when and where these auctions are to be held. You can, of course, inquire at a nearby military base and see if they run any sort of notification service for upcoming auctions. But, not all military bases do.
There are other, easier methods, however, for getting ahead of the game, locating such bargains, and finding out exactly where and when these public surplus auctions are going to be held — methods that don’t require you to go to the trouble and put forth the prolonged efforts involved in attempting to build personal relationships with military personnel. There are government and military surplus auction locating services that, quite frankly, are worth their weight in gold. These services, such as the one located at this link, or the service available here, provide a highly valuable service that will give you the upper edge in locating these types of auctions and sales, while taking all of the troublesome footwork out of the equation for you.
With regards to purchasing the more traditional, smaller kinds of military surplus items, a good army shop outlet is really your best choice. And, most areas usually have at least one or two such decent army shop outlet surplus stores. A quick check of your local yellow pages, or an on-line search should be able to inform you of the location of these shops. Along with that, of course, there are now on-line army shop outlets on the internet that will allow you to browse or search for the items you’re interested in and ship those items nationwide or even worldwide. A great live, up-the-minute, listing of surplus vehicles available at auction, for instance, is maintained on this very website — you can view it by clicking here. We also have the same listings for general military surplus — available here. And, non-military, no-reserve surplus items — available here.
But, there’s little doubt that actually visiting a quality army shop outlet for military surplus goods in your area is likely to provide you with your best experience. Online shopping is great and very convenient at times, but, when it comes to such military surplus items, you’re likely to want to, and find great advantage in, actually being able to handle the merchandise and see and inspect it with your own eyes before making a purchase. When in the market for things like surplus camping equipment, military clothing and various types of military furniture, it’s always a good idea to inspect the items before purchase — something that you can’t really do if you buy via the online route.
If you’re like most people, you very likely have, at some time in the past, been curious about how one might go about obtaining military surplus vehicles at the incredibly low prices you’ve often heard were possible. To begin with, exactly what type of vehicle are you interested in? Have you been thinking about perhaps purchasing a car, or a truck? Or, were you thinking about a Jeep? Are you looking for a vehicle that runs just as is, or are you a mechanic of some skill and you’re looking for something that you can maybe buy for an exceedingly low price and fix up? Whatever the case may be, the truly great thing about purchasing military surplus vehicles, is that no matter your intention, you can find military surplus vehicle which can be obtained at bargain prices.
How come, you may be asking yourself, military surplus vehicles are sold for such low prices? The fact is that the military always maintains a top standard when it comes to their vehicles. So, old military vehicles must be be sold-off in order to make room for new ones.
The military is known for taking extremely good care of their vehicles, and, as such, it’s not difficult to locate a really great bargain when purchasing military surplus vehicles — top quality military surplus vehicles which are in fine working order can often be found for very low prices — whether you’re looking for a Jeep, a service truck, car, motorcycle, or even a boat. Even military surplus airplanes, helicopters and hovercraft sometimes show up on the military surplus vehicles market! Military departments are almost constantly replacing their equipment, which means there is a fairly regular turnover of such military surplus vehicles.
It’s certainly not rare, either, for military surplus vehicles that you may be able to obtain to have all sorts of new technology in them as well. The departments of the military regularly receive quantity discounts on equipment when they contract for vehicles. Also, each of the military’s vehicles must meet the requirements of the operators. For this reason, most military surplus vehicles will usually either come without any features whatsoever, or they will come with all available upgrades already installed. The military itself appears to not worry a great deal regarding just how much they are able to resell these military surplus vehicles for. They are far more concerned with getting these military surplus vehicles sold in order to clear inventory and storage space, and make way for the new, updated vehicles they require.
How to Purchase Military Surplus Vehicles
The military, believe it or not, is beginning to catch up to modern technology in regards to how they handle the sales of their military surplus vehicles. Today, a large number of military surplus vehicles and military surplus equipment and good are being put up for sale at online auctions. Of course, the down-side of this — for the prospective purchases, at least — that the military surplus vehicles can’t be inspected or tested prior to purchase. Of course, the military is not in the business of scamming people with their military surplus auctions. They will attempt to inform buyers of any known issues the military surplus vehicles may be suffering from before the auction takes place. This information is usually to be found on the auction website.
However, if you happen to live near a military base, it’s possible that you might be able to actually attend a live military surplus auction. If so, you would then be able to fully inspect any military surplus vehicles that you may be interested in purchasing before the auction begins. In order to find military vehicle surplus auctions, you can keep an eye out for advertisements in your local paper.Or, you can place a phone-call to your local military base and ask them for information about when/where/if they hold military surplus auctions.
There are, also, a number of on-line military surplus auction services that you could use in order to easily locate upcoming military surplus auctions in your area. These services provide a great convenience. And, very often, the better ones will be able to inform you of exclusive auctions, the existence of which, might not be widely known to members of the public. One of the largest of these services is located at this website.
Finding Military Surplus Vehicles On-line
It’s really not very difficult to locate military surplus vehicle auctions. It’s fairly similar to trying to locate just about anything else on the Internet. Typing “military surplus vehicles” into any search engine is likely to bring up a good number of results. All you need to do is follow the links and investigate them for yourself. Look for which of these military surplus auctions appear to carry the particular types of military surplus vehicles that you’re interested in purchasing. When you do find one, however, it’s important to remember not to get too excited and jump in with both feet, placing bids on the first military surplus vehicles you come across. What you want to do is to keep an eye on the auctions for perhaps a couple of weeks or more. You want to see what these military surplus vehicles typically go for. You want to get an idea of what good price is for one of the military surplus vehicles at auction. You want to make sure that you have the information you need to make wise choices when it comes to bidding on military surplus vehicles.
The buying and selling of military surplus vehicles is big business for the military. And, it could be big business for you as well. At the very least, you may be able to obtain a new vehicle for yourself at a bargain-basement price.