3 Minute Read

Buying and selling tactical gear has come under fire in the last couple of years. It’s one of those topics rife with controversy, and online sellers are caught in the crosshairs. According to Grand View Research, the global law enforcement and military clothing market are worth $2.8 billion. That’s huge, and growth continues. In North America, the tactical UAV market is expected to grow by 20% from 2020 to 2025.

With consumer demand for online shopping, more tactical retailers are trying to sell their products online. It’s no secret that there is a heated political debate surrounding the tactical industry, which makes it hard for retailers in this vertical to sell online. Platform choice, policy development, and payment processor choice all have high stakes for eCommerce owners.

Some banks and institutions don’t work with military and tactical gear retailers. If you own an online store that sells firearms, weapons, or anything else that is considered “tactical,” you need to tread carefully. Your profit is directly connected to a frictionless checkout experience. This means you need an efficient, industry-friendly payment processor.

So, let’s get real about how to list, sell and collect payment for tactical gear online.

Note, while the “tactical industry” sounds like a single group of products with clear rules that apply to everything, that’s hardly the case. It’s a jungle out there, and the following considerations will help your tactical business survive that jungle:

What are Tactical Products?

To the average person, tactical products may be firearms and anything with a camouflage pattern. Legally, there are product categories for tactical gear. Here are some of the items that fall under the tactical products category:

Self-defense items—these include items like tasers, collapsible battens, and even powerful tactical flashlights that can disorient attackers. 

Knives—includes all knives that are designed for use in extreme situations, regardless of the blade length. 

Weapons and weapon accessories—all types of firearms and their accessories are considered tactical products. 

Survival guides and information—all informational material that teaches people how to survive in difficult situations like getting stranded in the wilderness, or a sudden zombie apocalypse. 

Prepper tools, foods, and supplies—this includes canned food that will help people survive extreme situations like being kidnapped or in a hostile situation. 

If you sell any of the above products then, congratulations, you’re a tactical retailer. This means that you need to choose your payment processor carefully if you want to sell your products online. 

While all the products we’ve mentioned are considered tactical products, different restrictions apply for different products, even ones that fall under the same category. For example, PayPal will only process orders for knives under a certain length. 

Once you’ve matched your product categories with existing tactical gear categories, you need to check the guidelines that different payment processors have for tactical products. Or you can just work with an eCommerce agency that has tactical eCommerce experience.

Payment Considerations for the Tactical Industry

As you’ve probably figured out by now, there is no single piece of advice that’ll work for all tactical eCommerce stores. The rules are specific, and the best payment processor depends on your particular case. 

The following considerations are helpful for any tactical retailer that wants to sell products online. Cross-checking your payment processor with these guidelines will make it easier to sell your products online. 

Item-Specific Restrictions

While some payment processors support the tactical industry in general, there might be specific rules for certain items. For example, while Google Pay doesn’t restrict tactical products in general, they don’t process payments for “dangerous items”. 

Google specifically mentions guns and any other product that might be considered “dangerous” won’t be supported either. Before you use a payment processor for your tactical retailer website, make sure it supports the products that you’re selling. 

Credit Card Processing Limits

Most credit cards have a processing limit of $10,000. When a transaction exceeds this limit, the bank has to report the transaction to the IRS, making the transaction trackable. If you’re selling expensive tactical products with order values that usually exceed $10,000, you need to consider this limit.

eCommerce Platform Compatibility

No matter what product you’re selling, as long as it’s legal, there is a payment processor that supports it. However, not all eCommerce platforms support all payment processors. That’s why we recommend Adobe Commerce Powered by Magento (formerly Magento Commerce) for tactical retailers

Being an open-source platform gives you the freedom to do pretty much anything you want. Unlike Shopify, Magento won’t let you build your store on their platform then send you an email telling you that they will no longer support your industry and you have to close your store.

TL;DR

Selling tactical products online is no easy task and processing payment for those products is even more complicated. Unless you know what you’re doing, we’re talking time behind bars here. That’s why you should always work with an eCommerce agency with tactical eCommerce experience. 

Enlisting a skilled and trusted partner is useful to making the right choices to move tactical gear online. It’s mission-critical to enlist a payment processor that supports the specific tactical products that you’re selling, without unnecessarily limiting the payment options for your customers.