(78) Start a Antique Business
If you love historical treasures then you may be very interested in beginning a home business as an antique dealer. In this business you will find, appraise, buy and sell antiques from your home. You can do it directly by advertising your business and showing your antiques to customers or have a small brochure or catalog printed up to give customers an idea of what you have in stock.You can also set up a website and advertise and sell your products and services over the internet. It has been estimated that of the 36,000 antique dealers in the United States, more than half of them operate their businesses from home. A home business as an antiques dealer combines the freedom and flexibility of working from home with the excitement and fun of dealing with things from the past.The best way to get started as a home business owner in the antiques industry is to begin finding your antique products. Flea markets, estate sales and even yard sales and garage sales make excellent starting points to build up your antique inventory. This business does require some startup cost as you will need to purchase antiques to get started but when you check at local flea markets and other low cost resources you can cut your beginning capital down considerably. If money is a problem in the beginning you can start by offering consignment services with other antique collectors. For this you would only need the space in your home in which to store the products before sale. You would simply contact collectors or anyone who may have antiques that they want to sell and offer to sell them for a fee. Once you sell the antique then the owner would pay you a commission.
For added knowledge of how antique dealers conduct business there are several publications that you can find at your local library or online to give you a good idea of pricing ranges for specific antiques and how to specialize in specific areas if you choose. You can also learn how to properly appraise antiques if you want to offer this service to your potential customers.
Be sure that you check about any specific licensing requirements and always keep updated and accurate records of any income or expenses from your home business. You may also need to check on specific zoning requirements depending on the area in which you live. The absolute best way to begin is to start with just a few items and reinvest your profits as you continue to grow your business. Larger items that typically cost more should be avoided while your business is just beginning. It is much better to choose items that are less expensive and easier to move in the beginning. You can add larger items after you have begun to turn a profit. You will also need to organize and keep track of your inventory. Keeping a logbook with the items’ descriptions, a catalog number, cost and sale price is the best way to keep your inventory organized. Also be sure to note down any interesting information about the historyof the items that you are selling.
Learn how to start an antique business with a minimum of investment capital.
The business of buying and selling antiques is a wonderful experience for anyone with a spirit of entrepreneurship. And surprisingly enough, it takes far less investment capital than one might think.
For many, "˜antiquing' begins as a hobby that can quickly evolve into a passion. Many collectors develop a true "˜love' for certain, collectible items. All antiques have a story and often times, the story is far more important than the item was in its prime. It has often been said that "there's a collector for everything and something for every collector." Therefore, the entrepreneur can safely assume that there's a buyer for everything under the sun. But how does one find these buyers? What of start-up cost and overhead? Should you advertise? And how does the "˜collectible' market compliment the antique market? As with every new project, you need a plan. Let's examine some ways to break into the antique and collectible business with a minimum of investment.
First, you should do your homework. Most new antique dealers wisely begin with a modest inventory, selected after first testing the local markets. You need an idea of what sells and what doesn't. Now, keep in mind that just about everything will sell, eventually. But you need a product that's fairly accessible and moves quickly. Where do you find such a product? For starters, check your local newspapers and find auctions in your area. Household and estate auctions are excellent sources of information on the relative value of an item in your area. Pay close attention to the numbers of people that bid on a particular type of item. Glassware may be a hot commodity in your area. Or it may go "˜dirt cheap.' You need to be aware of the local supply and demand before you settle on a given item line. This doesn't mean you should restrict yourself to only a few items. It just means that by keeping you inventory to a few product lines, you can become more knowledgeable in less time. And to the antique dealer, product knowledge is everything.