How to Start An Antiques Business

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People’s abiding interest in antiques provides a ready-made market for a business in this fascinating field.

You could start off with just a humble market stall at weekends, or you may decide to sell to other dealers. Take time to visit their shops and find out who collects what, then you will know what to look out for.

But whichever way you decide to work, it is best to specialise, become an ‘expert’ and make it easier to spot those good finds. Remember too that while not officially antiques, there are loi other collectable items in which you could specialise; for example, posters, Matchbox toys or even pop memorabilia.
Where to find your stock? Mainly at auction. A few boxes of goods can be picked up cheaply enough and could produce some interesting pieces to start you off. The auctions you attend depend on what you want to deal in, and the level at which you want to ‘operate’: up or down market. They’re all listed in the weekly Antiques Trade Gazette.

So, if you like beautiful objects, are willing to put in a fair amount of learning, and have a good eye for a bargain, antiques could provide the opening for you into self-employment.
This will appeal if

– You have a good memory for facts, figures and faces.
– You’re good at research.
– You enjoy travelling around.
– You have a good eye for spotting saleable items.


– You can start off in a small, part-time way.
– You can build up your stock over a long period to avoid an initial, large investment.
– Lots of variety.
– Good mark-up on items.297744d5174d719790a3c08804bf1246


– Storage if you want to handle large items.
– Requires transport.
– You need access to funds to buy stock, even if you do spread it over a number of months.
– Sales may be intermittent at first.
Future possibilities

– Move into shop premises.
– Learn how to renovate pieces and ancillary service.
– Deal up-market, ie in more rare and expensive items.
– investigate international markets.


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