What is military surplus?
I very much enjoy summer Holiday gatherings with friends and family. There is nothing like a good bar-b-que cookout followed by a few spirited games of cards or corn hole. During the course of conversation with new family members or friends, inevitably the question will arise “So what do you do for a living”. “I work for a Military Surplus business”, I usually try to sneak out quickly. Talk about opening a can of worms! That is usually followed up by a series of rapid-fire questions that somehow get skewed into being an arms dealer.
Many of our customers and website visitors have similar questions so I thought I would address them in this blog post and write about what military surplus is and where it comes from. Most importantly, surplus represents value. You are getting very high quality goods at a fraction of the original retail price. In its most basic definition, military surplus are goods and materials that were used by a nation’s military and are no longer needed for various reasons. They may be used, damaged, or even brand new. Often times, as are the case with the U.S. Department of Defense, the surplus takes up space and is then sold in auction form to the highest bidder. This benefits the government in several ways. Mostly because they do not have to store the goods in valuable warehouse space. The warehouse space is more valuable than the product.
Military surplus has been around for centuries in different quantities and forms. When nations prepare for war, there must be supplies and materials to outfit troops. Military surplus in the United States did not really exist in large quantities until after World War II. After the following Korean War and Vietnam War, there was an exuberant amount of military surplus available to the general public. This led to a mom and pop “Army Navy” store popping up in almost every town across America. Logistically, we were fortunate because our location was located near a large military depot in Mechanicsburg, PA. One of the biggest reasons military surplus is desirable is because of the product quality. In most cases, the products were over engineered because failure is not an option on the battlefield. Other details that affirm the quality of these goods are that they are often domestically manufactured by companies that have been in business for many, many years. Military surplus is often unique and sometimes technologically advanced when compared to civilian goods. These are some of the reasons that military surplus is desirable.
Today there are many reproduction products available all across the web. You have to be careful that what you are buying is real military surplus. However, we do carry reproduction items. These items are picked very carefully, tested by our experts, and purchased only from trusted companies we have worked with. How can you tell what you are buying is real surplus from Coleman’s Military Surplus? We always name our authentic US military products “U.S. G.I.” Which stands for U.S. Government Issue. With European surplus, we always state in the description if it is authentic European military surplus. I hope this helped to shed some light on the wild world of surplus.