How to Start an Antique Business

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How to Start an Antique Business Business Overview:

If shopping for antiques is your favorite pastime and you often find hidden gems, you might want to consider learning how to start an antique business. Not only can starting an antique business be great fun for someone who truly appreciates all that is vintage, it’s a business idea that can prove very lucrative. If it sounds like an enterprise for you, here’s more on how to open an antique store of your own. Among the first things you’ll need to work on is finding the right location and space for your shop. While diehard antique seekers will search your store out, it’s nice to be in the heart of town or in a quaint shopping district so that you can lure in curious passersby and make sales that you otherwise might not make. So real estate should be one of your top priorities. Next up is your inventory. You’ll want to have a nice variety of high-end and very affordable antiques, in addition to unique items that will draw in shoppers. Some antique shop owners sell their goods on consignment to curb their investment costs, and you can consider doing this too. In this case, you offer other people’s antique goods for sale in your shop, and if they sell, you get a percentage of the revenue. It’s a great way to increase your inventory without breaking your budget. You will also have to decide on your sales policy—are your items returnable? Do you negotiate prices? You’ll want to have a clear idea of your rules before you open your doors. Of course, there are a number of tasks that must be completed on the business side of things, including licensing, permits, and insurance, as well as bookkeeping and employee payroll.

A Day in the Life of an Antique Business Owner:

This article brought to you by Business Ideas! If you enjoyed this article, make sure to subscribe to the Business Ideas Newsletter to get ideas sent straight to your email inbox.Since you’ll be running a shop, you’ll likely spend some or all business days in your store, checking on inventory, maintaining the atmosphere, and keeping the records, even if you have employees working for you. These daily activities will take up a good portion of your time. When you’re not maintaining what you already have, you will likely be shopping for items to add to your antiques inventory. Your shopping might be web-based or it might be that you go scouting for new goodies at estate sales and thrift stores. If you choose to sell items on consignment, you’ll want to ensure you have your client’s items properly tagged and logged so that there’s never any confusion about how much your business earned and how much your consignment client earned. Finally, you will want to spend some of your time interacting with your customers. They likely share your passion for antiques and might have some interesting stories to trade—a most enjoyable aspect of your new business!

About Your Customers:

Customers of an antique business will be in the market for acquiring new items to add to their own collection of antiques. They might be serious collectors or just dabblers—you can learn more about them when you strike up a conversation. You will likely find some customers who are just browsing the unique or reminiscent items you have for sale, or customers who are looking for the perfect gift for a friend or loved one. If you and your sales staff are there to answer questions and explain why an item is unique, you will be more likely to find success at the sales register.

What You Need to Start:

  • A storefront in a good location
  • Business license, permit, and insurance
  • Antiques inventory
  • Sales and pricing policies
  • Employees
  • Financial-tracking software

The Good:

  • This is a passion-turned-business type of venture where you can truly enjoy what you do each day.
  • You can build your inventory slowly and even open a second shop or online component if you find initial success.
  • You’ll meet likeminded hobbyists who enjoy learning about and discovering antique items and the stories that go along with them.
  • It’s a trendy business that continues to gain popularity.

The Bad:

  • The initial investment can be steep, especially the real estate and inventory outlay. You have to be well-prepared with savings or a small business loan.
  • Your revenue might grow slowly—as you start out on some days you might only sell a couple of antique items, though you’ll also likely have some highly profitable days.


Start This Business Today:

To start an antiques shop business today, we recommend you purchase Become an Antiques Shop Owner.  This invaluable guide outlines everything you need to know to start a successful antiques shop. For more information, or to purchase this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED guidebook, click here.

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