Letter Re: A Bulk-Buying Solution–Form a Buyer’s Club

Hi Jim,
The bulk-buy solution I settled on was to start my own food co-op or buying club, as an associate of a bulk supplier. They send out a monthly price list and can deliver weekly in my area with only two days’ notice. My orders must meet a minimum of $350 each and I must be present when the truck backs down my driveway in order to properly receive and write a check for the shipment. The driver calls me an hour ahead of time so I don’t have to wait around all day.

My aim was to make the buying club available to other nearby preppers strictly for bulk orders of long-term storage items but so far I have been the only one to use it.

The great advantage I see in a buying club is that it permits large purchases that would seriously raise eyebrows in a grocery store if they even permitted you to clean them out of the items you sought. (Some stores at least have threshold policies.) It meets the needs of procrastinators who finally decide that now is the time to stock the bunker. Also, the supplier’s wholesale warehouse would not be mobbed as early as grocery stores would after TSHTF because few consumers would even know about it.

A downside of the co-op approach would be curious close-by neighbors witnessing you receiving scores of bags, buckets, and boxes, possibly coming over for a nosy visit while you are unloading. This has not been a problem in my location due to my long driveway but would present OPSEC concerns to many. Members of a buying club club who pick up their orders at the drop-off point might benefit from unloading their vehicle while the neighbors are gone or asleep. Another potential downside is that authorities or criminals could seize the bulk supplier’s membership list in a search for “hoarders” of food supplies, an excellent reason for creating off-site caches. – Jim McC.

JWR Replies: Thanks for that suggestion. Two more caveats: Depending on your locale, you might need both a business license and liability insurance. We now live in a very litigious society. It is sad but true, someone that merely strains their back while on your property might file a lawsuit. So if you decide to operate with liability insurance, I recommend that you do not open up the organization to anyone except your relatives and trusted friends.