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How to Become a Knife Dealer

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Many people buy and use knives for outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing. People also collect knives because they like the way they look and feel. There are many kinds of knife dealers, and there are many kinds of knives. Knife dealers generally buy knives wholesale and then sell them at a store or at knife and gun shows. Other dealers sell knives over the Internet. All knife dealers must follow certain business rules and conform to specific standards for the industry.

Determine what kind of dealer you want to be. Some dealers sell knives from a physical store while others sell at knife an gun shows or at flea markets. Others run knife businesses online. Some knife dealers run their businesses as a combination of the various types.

Open your knife business legally. You will need to start a sole proprietorship, a partnership, an LLC or a corporation. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. When dealing with potentially dangerous articles such as knives, the personal protection that an LLC or corporation offers is worth considering. You’ll need to set up a tax account with your state so that you can collect and submit sales tax if applicable. You will also need to get a business license in the city or town you will operate from. More information can be found at the Internal Revenue Service website. You should also speak to an attorney about your responsibilities as a business owner.

Establish your market and which products will fit your market's needs. If you are selling at knife and gun shows you may want to specialize in exotic and collectible knives. However, if your are selling from a storefront, traditional practical knives might be your market. If are planning to sell online, high-end, premium products at attractive, Internet-only pricing might be the right choice.

Contact and form relationships with the manufacturers or distributors of the knives you want to sell. It can sometimes be difficult to establish accounts with distributors as a new business. Be prepared to pay cash or C.O.D. at the beginning. Additionally, some manufacturers will deal only with brick-and-mortar stores.

Market your product. If you have opened a storefront, you will need to advertise to your selected market to get the most for your money. If you are selling at shows, do some research to find the most promising ones by attending as a customer and talking to other vendors.


Mykal May has been writing professionally since 1992. She has published work in a number of print magazines including Brio and Pockets and for various Web sites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in writing and a Bachelor of Science in family relationships from Central Missouri State University.

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