Every now and then, I’m asked, ‘what’s with the name TSA Knives, LLC? I’ve been selling on the Internet through Ebay, Gunbroker and a website for a number of years. Back in early 2002, I started buying knives by the pound that had been confiscated at Airports around the US by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). Buying anywhere from 20-100 pounds of knives at a time, I was handling literally several thousand knives in a single shipment. These included the cheapest, crappiest imports to some of the finest names in the industry. There were also antique knives and custom knives all mixed in with the junk. Every shipment shipment was a virtual treasure hunt.
I started selling on Ebay under my own name. I decided I would have a bit more credibility with an ‘official’ name and TSA Knives just seemed appropriate!! After a chat with an attorney and the Secretary of State in Minnesota, I figured it’d be wise to form a small corporation, thus the name TSA Knives LLC came to be.
After a couple of years, I had around 3000 Ebay transactions and one week I received phone calls from both the Washington Post and the Sun Times asking if I’d agree to an interview. It seemed my name was coming up with great frequency as one of the primary dealers in this ‘merchandise’. My better judgement told me to say no as I had a feeling in no time there would be new buyers coming out of the woodwork to chase the same pot gold. Good guess!! A number of publications wrote articles on the disposal process of the confiscated items and the auction prices being paid through the GSA auctions went through the roof.
By that time, I had racked up close to 5000 Ebay transactions and established a solid following of customers. Requests had also started to come in for new knives and miscellaneous related merchandise. With a background in sales and having owned a brick and mortar sporting goods store, the time was perfect to enter into online retailing seriously and I launched the TSA Knives, LLC website. As the saying goes, the rest is history!