Selling Fireworks out of a Tent for Beginners

Spirit of ’76 Fireworks Tent manager Brannon shows us the ropes on how to set up shop and sell fireworks out of a retail tent.


Your location ought to be accessible to your customers. People will go to the location that is most convenient or prominent for them. Consider having your tent close to an intersection or a highway exit.

Traffic Flow and Parking

When planning out your season, it is important to make sure that the location of your tent is not only easy for your customers to find but also has good traffic flow. Make sure your entrance is clean and wide enough for cars to enter and exit. Remember the traffic you have on the 3rd and the 4th of July will be much heavier than opening day. For first  year tents, test out the flow of traffic at the beginning of the season to prepare yourself for the peak of sales closer to the 4th. This can be done by making sure that your parking lot is well marked with signage and banners.

Curb Appeal

The outside of the tent is the first thing that your customers will see. Make your tent stand out from the street with inflatables such as sky dancers, branded flags, and lots of color. Another way to get your customers to the tent is to have your big sales and specials easily seen from the road. This could be a banner on stakes, a digital board, or an old-fashion billboard. If your tent accepts credit cards, be sure to have a sign that can be seen from the road. Credit cards are one of the most popular payment methods in today’s world.

The Entrance

Be sure to have an open and clean entrance. Having your baskets and cards ready to go at the front of the entrance is key. Look into getting flat carts for your customers to use. By giving them a larger cart rather than a basket, they are likely to purchase more items.

Customer Flow

Wide aisles are essential to having your customers flow throughout the tent. Be sure to make your aisles wide enough so they are accessible for all of your customers. Keep in mind that customers who are wheelchair users, customers who use a walker, and customers who have a baby stroller have enough room to navigate through the aisles.

Create the flow of the tent to take your customers throughout the entire tent before heading to checkout. By doing this, your customers will see more product and will be more likely to purchase more.

Price Tags

Having price tags that are easy to read are a must. Your customers have to know how much the product costs before they decide to buy it. Consider having an image and description of the product in addition to the price on the tag. This will make it easy for your customers to know what the product does. It will also make it easier for your employees to explain the effects of each product. When you buy your products from Spirit of ‘76, we provide you will printable price tags! Click here to learn how to access the printable price tags.


Each section of your tent should be labeled with signs to help your customers find what they are looking for. This is a great way to add color and personality to your tent. Have each section of fireworks marked by category with a sign large enough to read from across your tent.

Cashier Area & Registers

A strong POS system is key for getting your customers through the checkout line quickly. In our own tent we use Clover, but there are other reputable POS systems at varying price points. With a POS system you can set up a royalty program for your customers.This is one way to get your customers to come back to the tent. POS systems can also track which of your products are selling the best. This added feature can help you to purchase the best fireworks for the next season.

Staff Training

Having a well trained staff will help you sell more fireworks. Especially with seasonal staff it is difficult for them to know every product and its performance. A good place to start is having your staff know the difference between the different product categories such as 500 Gram Cakes, Missiles, Tubes, etc. After they know each category that you carry in your tent the next step is knowing what the products do. This is another time that your price tags descriptions may come in handy. Having the description of the firework’s performance on the price tag will help your employees become more knowledgeable of each product.

During downtime at the tent have your staff watch videos of the fireworks you have in stock. You can find the full catalog of videos here . Having a knowledgeable staff will help your tent run more smoothly.

Be sure to have plenty of staff able to work over the 4th of July holiday. It is also important to have an overnight person who stays to watch over the tent.

Product Placement

Where and how you place your products is very important. The first step is making sure that each product is within its own category. This makes it easier for your customers to find what they are looking for. Another strategy

Place impulse buys, such as novelties near the registers. While your customers are waiting in line they are more likely to pick up an extra item or two.

Make sure you know where the sun hits the inside of your tent. While most of your product will be covered there will be times the sun creeps in. Stay away from keeping your large assortments in this area. The heat from the direct sunlight will cause moisture within the package.

Interested in selling fireworks out of a tent? We at Spirit of ‘76 have been operating a fireworks tent for more than 30 years. Our tent manager Brannon has listed some key tips to consider before getting started.

Want more advice? We asked seasoned retailers what mistakes they’ve made and lessons they’ve learned over the years – read the post here .

In the area during 4th of July selling season? Check out the Spirit of ’76 seasonal tent for yourself in Columbia, MO at exit 121 off I-70, across the street from the Spirit of ’76 retail store and wholesale office.

Where You Should Sell Fireworks

One of the biggest questions people have when they want to start a fireworks business is ‘Where should I sell fireworks?’ or ‘How do I find a location to sell fireworks?’. This step may be easier than you think! Follow our guide below to help you choose and secure a location to sell fireworks.

Location is a very import consideration when determining where to sell fireworks – especially for seasonal retailers. If you don’t have any land or your land is remote – don’t worry. Most fireworks retailers don’t own the land where they sell. For seasonal sales it is usually better to rent a spot than to purchase land with the sole purpose of selling fireworks. 

So how do you determine the best location? There are four very important attributes to take into consideration when choosing where to set your retail location:

1) Traffic

2) Visibility

3) Ease of access

4) Cost

Traffic is something that you may be able to estimate if you are familiar with an area. You probably know which intersections in your town are the most difficult during rush hour, or where popular attractions pull a lot of cars. These are good places to start. Another option is to find a traffic count for roads in your area.

A traffic count is the average number of cars that pass a point in a 24-hour period. Most states record this information for planning and maitenance. For example the links below show maps of Texas and Missouri. For Texas, just zoom in on an area of interest to find out how many cars pass a spot each day. For Missouri, choose the region your are interested in and zoom in on the corresponding map.

Texas traffic counts

Missouri traffic counts

For other states, just Google “traffic count (state)” and you should find the right information on the first page. Other places to look are ArcGIS and Kalibrate.

Visibility should be your next consideration. Now that you have an area picked out take a look on Google Earth, or better yet, drive around to get a feel of traffic flow. This exercise will allow you to SEE what sticks out and were people will be able to see a tent or stand. Locations at an intersection typically have the most visibilty. However this can hinder ease of access.

Ease of access is simply how easy it is for customers to get to your location. A location may have great visibility, but if cars have to drive a mile past and come back, it will reduce the number of potential customers willing to make the trip. It may also mean that cars who see you first end up driving past to a competitor’s location. 

Parking is rolled into ease of access. If you can only park 10 cars, then you are unlikely to ever have more than 10 customers at a time. If there is a large field or shared parking lot for your customers, it will entice them to pull in. 

Cost can be a make or break decision for a location. If you have sold fireworks before, you may have a good idea of what a location costs. For new retailers, this is a big question. ‘How much should I pay for a location?’ is a very frequent question and one that is not easily answered. Here are a few things to consider:

 – $500 – $1,000 is a good starting place. This is what many of our customers pay for the busiest intersection in a very small town. 

 – $5,000 – $10,000 is not uncommon for high-traffic areas with a history of solid fireworks sales.

 – Liability is the largest concern for the owner. Ask your sales rep how we can extend insurance coverage to you and the land owner. 

Selling Fireworks In Iowa

Want to know how to sell fireworks in Iowa ? You have come to the right place! Spirit of ’76 has the information and the product you need to get started. Here are the things you need to start your fireworks business in Iowa.

How to Sell Fireworks in Iowa

Now is a great time to start planning for your Iowa fireworks business. For the first time since the 1930s, the state of Iowa is allowing the sale of fireworks to the public. Here at Spirit of ’76, we share your excitement and we are ready with the information and great fireworks to help you get started!

The Fireworks

Spirit of ’76 is the go-to place when you’re looking for a wide range of unique fireworks that are truly the best in the biz. While other wholesale companies are planning on opening retail fireworks stores in Iowa, Spirit of ’76 will not be doing so. Instead, we’re offering you the chance to sell products from some of the best lines available:

•      ’76 Pro Line

•      Brothers

•      Cannon

•      Firehawk

•      Mighty Max

•      Shogun

•      Sky Bacon

•      Winda

Each of our products include a description, packing, weight and most include a video preview. Choose a category to the left to start learning more about our products, call us at 573-447-1776 to discuss your fireworks needs.

Let Us Help You Sell Fireworks

The professionals at Spirit of ’76 have some of the best marketing tools available to help ensure your success selling fireworks in Iowa. We want to help you help your customers pick the perfect products for their needs.

A few of the things we offer are:

•      Price Tags – We have price tags that include a picture and description of each item.

•      Barcodes – We offer barcodes for your order to help program your cash registers and/or POS devices.

•      Advertising and Promotional Materials – Banners, table bunting, giant inflatables and even LED scrolling signs are just a sampling of what we have available to get your fireworks business noticed.

To find out more about these tools and the other ways in which we can help you sell fireworks, contact one of our friendly Spirit ’76 representatives .

Location, Location, Location

Finding just the right spot to set up your business is a crucial element of selling fireworks. In order to pull in customers, high visibility and easy access are two of the keys to success. Busy intersections, high traffic areas, and locations with highway frontage are prime spots to get noticed and sell your fireworks.

Start looking for a location as soon as possible. If you can find a business owner with extra space or land that can accommodate you during the selling season, they will usually rent it to you – if it doesn’t interfere with their own business and traffic. Don’t be discouraged if your first choice says no, your second pick just might say yes.

Fireworks Insurance

When starting a business selling fireworks it is important to protect yourself, your family, and your business from liability issues. Spirit of ’76 has the ability to extend our premises and product liability coverage to include your business and if necessary, the owner of the property where you’re selling fireworks. One of our account executives will be happy to tell you more about this feature.

Licenses Needed to Sell Fireworks in Iowa

In order to sell fireworks in Iowa, you will need to get at least two licenses:

•      Business License – Selling anything to the public requires you to get a business license and to collect sales tax. You can find the forms you need to start your Iowa fireworks business at this site: .

•      Retail Fireworks License – You must get a retail license to sell fireworks in Iowa from the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office. More information is available here:

It’s a good idea to check with your local city or county government as well. Make sure they don’t have any other regulations or required fireworks permits you need to have before setting up your fireworks stand.

Take the Next Step

With a staff who has over 50 years of combined experience in the fireworks business, Spirit of ’76 can help get you started. Want to learn more? Call us today at 573-447-1776 or email us now at [email protected] with any comments, questions or product needs. We look forward to hearing from you!

Click here to read more about Selling Fireworks For Beginners .  

Become A Fireworks Retailer: Selling Fireworks For Beginner

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. 

Selecting the Fireworks

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. 

Get Started Today

Want to become a fireworks retailer? We can help you get started – give us a shout .

Here’s why fireworks retailers choose Spirit of ’76 as their wholesale supplier…

Advanced online ordering on

  • Accurate online ordering system
  • Competitive pricing and downloadable  price lists  updated daily
  • Ability to save multiple shopping carts
  • Current product availability, and the ability to sign up for in-stock notifications
  • Detailed product descriptions and videos

Tools through your Spirit of ’76 account

  • Full order history
  • Downloadable invoice spread sheets (for inventory, pricing, profit analysis, etc)
  • Downloadable barcodes on invoices (to program POS)
  • Printable price tags with great product descriptions

Knowledgeable staff & fantastic customer service

Spirit of ’76 staff has over 50 years of retail and wholesale experience. Our account executives are ready to advise you at every step of the way, including advice on…

  • General business plan
  • Budget and retail location size
  • Product selection and  pricing
  • Marketing and advertising (old & new media)
  • Any topic listed on this checklist

Gain access to exclusive deals & resources

  • Our best wholesale pricing for your business needs
  • Further training on retail management
  • Promotional materials (banners, signs, etc) for your retail store
  • Full library of downloadable product performance videos
  • Attend live product demonstrations, which often include seminars on retail management and marketing