Fireworks For Sale: Selling Fireworks For Beginners

March 30, 2017


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Want to make money selling fireworks? This information should help guide you through the process of your new project. Below is a checklist for you to go through to help you plan and start your business. We also have a list of items that we, Spirit of 76 Fireworks will be able to provide including materials, advice and other items to build a successful fireworks retail business.

Finding a Location

The first rule of selling fireworks is location, location, location. Find a high-traffic area with easy access and egress, and plenty of parking for cars. Make sure it is legal at the state, county, and city level to sell fireworks at your desired location. You may have to search for areas just outside of city limits to comply with local laws.

If you already own a suitable piece of property, you are way ahead of the game. Most fireworks retailers are not so fortunate and sign a lease for the use of property during a given time frame. In this case, try to get a multi-year agreement or right of first refusal for future years so that competitors cannot take your location after you have built up a reliable customer base. 

Typical costs to lease a location for the 4th of July season varies widely, mostly based on traffic and income of the local neighborhood. A typical arrangement would be $1000 for the season plus insurance to cover the property owner (available through Spirit of '76), though premium locations could go as high as $10,000 just for rent. If you cannot agree to a price or have difficulties contacting the land owner, reach out to neighboring and adjacent properties. 


Buying product to fill your shelves is going to take up a big portion of your budget. The experts at Spirit of '76 would be happy to help guide you through the product selction process. Below are some general guidelines on the cost to fill a location

Minimal budget - $5,000 - $7,000. This is for low-risk, low-budget new retailers. This will give you a decent variety of products with a little bit of back up on popular items. Typical location size 20X30 tent or 8-16’ stand.

Middle seasonal budget $12,000-20,000. This give you more variety and back stock for promotional and popular items. Typical location size 30’X40’-40’X60’ tent or 16’-32’ stand.

Large seasonal location $30,000-50,000. This is for high traffic, high demographic locations. Location size 60X100+ tent and multiple stands.

Large year-round retail store - $50,000+. This all depends on size of location, but if you are thinking to have a monster store 6,000 sq ft or more you will need a large budget to fill the location for your year around needs. 


Before entering any business venture, you should get a handle on expected costs to make sure you have enough cash flow to cover expenses. Below are a list of costs you should consider when creating your budget:

  • Tent or stand cost (renting is typically the best situation for new retailers)
  • Land lease
  • POS (cash registers/scanners/cash drawers)
  • Tables and chairs
  • Shelving and displays
  • Employees
  • Security
  • Fireworks
  • Insurance  

Permits and Licenses

Most fireworks retail permits and licenses are ran through the state fire marshal’s office. You can call or visit the state fire marshal’s website to find out how to apply for your license.   Some states have deadlines and a process period. We recommend getting the permit process done as early as possible.  You will also be required to have a federal and state tax ID for your business.


Hire trusted staff. Family is a great place to start. Teachers are also a great source of staffing, They typically have summers and New Year’s off, and possess management and organizational skills.  Having a resident pyro on staff is always handy. Someone enthusiastic and knows fireworks will help sell more product. You and your staff can learn a lot about our product by watching videos on our YouTube channel or attending one of our fireworks demos

Hire staff that can work holidays. Typically your busiest days are the day of the holiday.  Train staff on all procedures, registers, floor sells, and fireworks safety.

Tent Rental or Buying

Fireworks Stands or roadside stands are popular in southern states like Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. They are also an option for states that do not allow sales from tents. Stands allow the retailer to fully close and lock up at night and lessen the need for overnight security.

Fireworks Tents are popular for areas that allow inside sales on a non-permanent location.

Renting a tent for first year retailers is advised. It gives you the option to test out the size of a tent, Renting a tent through a respected business also gives you comfort that the tent is set up professionally and it is insured if something happens.

Buying at tent is best if you are sure about the industry and size of the tent. This also gives you the option of renting the tent out for weddings and other events during the year.  Having a tent for retail will bring more of a need for overnight security. Many people sleep at their tent or pay staff to stay overnight during the season, while others opt to put all of their stock in a container overnight and restock each morning. 


What Spirit of 76 Fireworks offers retailers

Available through the Spirit of 76 Website:

  • Accurate online ordering system
  • Shows Order History
  • Barcodes on invoices to program POS
  • Printable price tags with great product descriptions
  • Ability to download invoices in spread sheet format for inventory, pricing, profit analysis
  • Ability to save multiple shopping carts
  • We can create a sample retail stock order in your account
  • Look up current availability in multiple warehouses
  • Detailed product descriptions and videos

What Customer Service can help with: 

  • Advice on any topic listed on the checklist
  • Including budget, retail location size, business plan
  • Advice on product selection, pricing, marketing and advertising
  • Tablets with your products video for floor sales
  • Live Product Demonstrations
  • Weekend of Demonstrations we offer seminars/discussions on retail management and marketing
  • Staffing with over 50 years of retail and wholesale experience


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