More Insider’s Secrets about Military Surplus

And the Military Retail Industry


Military Surplus


In my last article I gave many facts about the military retail industry and a few insider’s secrets about military surplus.  Six of the biggest tips I provided were as follows:


1.       Be aware that there are no official sources or standardized guidelines to help people evaluate the condition of current issue surplus items.

2.       Keep in mind many businesses in the private sector tend to over exaggerate the quality of the military surplus they’re selling. 

3.       With these facts in mind it’s wise to place a premium on purchasing high quality surplus that is “serviceable” or “CIF clearable.”  When soldiers return military gear back to CIF, the Central Issuing Facility sets high standards on what they’re willing to accept back.  Therefore, if surplus is deemed serviceable or CIF clearable you know it’s in good condition.  (*Note: Read my last article if you want to know more about CIF’s strict standards.) Stuff

4.       Soldiers are being thrifty if they request a price quote from CIF to determine how much a “statement of charges” will be.  This offers soldiers an opportunity to look for a better deal elsewhere.  If you can find serviceable surplus that is less expensive than CIF’s pricing you have found a good deal.

5.       Another option is to visit eBay and determine what the best market prices on military surplus.  This is a valuable piece of advice for anyone to follow.

6.       Soldiers should insist on receiving a guarantee that any surplus items purchased will clear CIF.  Likewise, a civilian shopper should receive a 30-Day 100% satisfaction guarantee.  I believe this type of guarantee is reasonable, and it protects the best interests of the customer.  If you can’t find anyone who is willing to make such guarantees contact (800) 503-4954, and speak with Bradley’s friendly staff.  Either we will help you, or we will guide you to someone who can.


Surplus Today:

The last pieces of information I will provide you about the military surplus industry is targeted at the serious military enthusiast.  If you love military equipment, surplus or camouflage gear you may be interested in reading a magazine called “Surplus Today” and visiting their webpage at   Typically people who subscribe to this magazine or visits their website tend to be military surplus wholesalers and retailers.  This is where many in the military industry go to find sources for new and used products.  Although this source of information is targeted at businessmen, I’m sure the hardcore military enthusiast would love what he or she reads.  Here is some of the information you will find:


Regular articles about the military retail industry.

Many advertisements from the leading military wholesalers and retailers. Surplus

Manufacturer and wholesaler’s pricing.  (*Note:  This type of information will be very useful in determining what is a good deal or not.)

Highlight articles on many businesses in the military retail industry.

Reviews on many new or popular military products.

Many sources and more access to a wider selection of military products and services.

Information about ANME or Army Navy Military Expos.  (*Note: For more information about these military product shows contact  You can also find regional information about gun shows at and  Don’t let the term “gun show” confuse you.  You can find many military surplus vendors at these types of events.)


Summarized Information:

                HelmetsBy reading my blog articles, subscribing to Surplus Today, and by visiting ANME shows you gain much more knowledge about the military retail industry than other customers.  You will be able to find better quality products at incredible low prices.  Furthermore, with continued exposure to these 3 valuable sources of information you will eventually become a military surplus expert yourself.  Becoming knowledgeable about the military retail industry isn’t overly difficult, it only requires being exposed to the right sources of information and building your level of experience.


                Hopefully this information is useful for you.  I encourage you to call Bradley’s toll free number at (800) 503-4954 if you need further information.  Good luck searching for what you want.  With the information I have provided you I’m sure you will be able to find a good deal in the near future.




William G. McKinney

Bradley’s Military Enterprises