Ron Shore started selling metal detectors in 1985 from his basement in Chicago. About half a decade ago, he almost closed the business with the price of an ounce of gold going for $650. The shop had limped for over two decades.
Today, gold fetches over $1,600 per ounce. And, now aged 66, Mr. Shore is on track, raking in $1.2 million in sales. According to the businessman, “It’s been gangbusters.” He explained that his retail business has doubled each annually for three years of operation, selling detectors going for anything from $150 to $25,000.
He quit his day job with a graphic-arts company in December, 2011. He said, “I couldn’t keep up with his day job anymore.”
The price of precious metals is ever on the rise and the economy is stuck in weak recovery, making for a booming metal-detector business.
According to Mike Scott, First Texas Products of El Paso’s sales director, “It’s the get-rich-quick mentality, or finding some additional change to place in the gas tank.
The company sold gold-prospecting metal detectors worth $15 million in 2010. This marked the third year it tripled its sales, consecutively.
Kellyco Metal Detectors, a top U.S. retailer, based in Winter Springs, Fla., experienced growth in sales from 2005 at 63% to $24.8 million in 2010. Its sales projections in 2011 was $26 million.
The business phenomenon is worldwide and aren’t restricted to the U.S. only. Minelab, an Australian company that retails high-end metal detectors sold products worth $118 million in 2010. With each detector going for as high as $5,600, the company experienced double sales in 2009 worth $46 million.
Minelab attributes the increase in sales experienced to a gold rush in Sudan. Many modern-day prospectors with gold fever traveled to Sudan to search for a fortune. The company continued to project growth in sales throughout upcoming years.
According to Stu Auerbach, the founder of Kellyco at the onset of the 1970s, metal detectors were initially designed for military use. When he founded the company, metal detector were simple in design and cost-effective.
Sales of such military device remained consistent for several years before they spiked in the recent years. They create an excellent business opportunity for you.
Metal Detectors are Versatile in Use
Metal detecting is a fun outdoor hobby. It gets you to interesting outdoor environments. What’s more, it has the potential to earn you money either as a money pit or potential money maker.
According to Metal Detecting Hobby Talk, you’re prohibited from using metal detectors in any of the following areas:
- National historical sites
- National parks
- National recreational areas
- National monuments
- Archaeological sites
- Native American lands
Many states lands are also off limits when it comes to using metal detectors. However, laws vary from one state to another. Check your local laws to proceed with great caution.
With no active archaeology sites under progress, some Federal Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management land tracts allow metal detecting. However, make sure that you’re permitted to do so before visiting the lands with your metal detector.
Get express permission from private property owners prior to gaining entry into their premises or land to engage in metal detecting.
You can freely engage in metal detecting in any of the following places:
- Parking lots
- Public park areas
- And other public areas, especially post an outdoor concert or festival where potentially drop jewelry or coins.
It’s recommended that you cover holes that you dig up while treasure hunting or metal detecting. This ensures that you don’t leave the environment littered. You’re also advised to pick small rubbish other people may have left behind in such areas.
Different Metal Detectors are Available in the Market
The metal detecting equipment is key to running a successful business. You’ll need a good entry level detector and a small shovel if you’re just beginning your business or starting metal detecting.
According to ToughNickel.com, you can spend anything from $100 to $300 on an entry level metal detector. Some recommended metal detector models include:
- White Prizm II
- Garrett ACE 250
- Bounty Hunter Tracker IV
- Minelab Muscateer and other minelab’s choices such as Equinox 600 vs. 800
You’ll find the Garrett ACE 250 at Walmart.com going for about $212.45. On the other hand, the Tracker goes for $79.99 with free shipping on Amazon while the Bounty Hunter Tracker IV is almost half the price of the Garrett ACE.
The Tracker is popular despite its low price, having over 1,200 previous customers and enjoy a high star rating. However, if you’re keen on saving money, opt for a used metal detector in good working condition.
According to ToughNickel, you can save anything from 50% to 75% off the price of a new detector if you opt for a used device. Check out Leisure Head for reviews of other high-end metal detectors, including XP Deus vs. Minelab CTX 3030.
Is Metal Detecting Profitable?
You can invest 4-5K in metal detecting, according to the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum, equipment for diving and other accessories for metal detecting. The post by Zofchak states that you don’t need detailed records of your finds, but you can barely yield anything above $1,000 within 3 years of business.
This doesn’t include the money you spend on traveling and lost income you get from failing to work during your traveling hours. However, one of the most profitable ways of running a successful metal detecting business involves finding jewelry that swimmers lose in water.
Your job earnings in comparison to what you can get from metal detecting is higher. It’s important to enjoy metal detecting, making your finds merely a bonus. Otherwise, you’re bound to easily give up on your dream business.
Growth Opportunities in the Metal Detecting Market
The metal detector market has attractive growth opportunities in the future. It’ll span the commercial, government, food and beverage
Consumer, textile and pharmaceutical industries. The market will hit $1.6 billion by 2022 and growth at a CAGR of 5% from 2017 to 2022. The major market growth drivers foster expansion in infrastructure terrorism activities, and government stringency compliances in different sectors for improved safety and security.
Increasing advancement in metal detector technology for increased used of metal detectors in new applications such as medical and sports and superior performance directly impact the metal detector industry’s dynamics.
- Metal detectors also prevent losses
- Come in various sizes for different purposes
- Prevents entry into buildings with guns, knives and other potentially harmful metals
- They’re user-friendly and colored to match your décor.
- Offsets costs