Did you know that there is a serious market for antiques? In fact, people are willing to spend decent money on vintage items and collectibles ranging from furniture and coins to jewelry and paintings. Like any business venture, it will take time and effort to build an inventory and find a target audience interested in purchasing on a regular basis, but in the end, just one sale could be worth the investment. If you’re interested in starting an antique store (online or brick and mortar), here are some things you’ll need to know.
Select a Legal Entity
The first step would be to get the legalities out of the way. This starts with registering your company’s name and deciding on a legal entity (i.e. LLC, LLP, Corp, etc). Inquire with your state or county clerk’s office to find out if you’ll also need any necessary licenses or permits.
Online or Physical Store
Next, you want to decide whether you’re going to open a physical antique store or if you prefer to start an online shop. There are pros and cons to each, however, if you’re working with a limited budget, an online shop is much more affordable.
Unless you already have vintage and antique items you’d like to sell, you’ll need to find sources to purchase items to resell in your store. There are several options you can consider:
- Garage Sales – Oftentimes, people are trying to get rid of things they don’t want in order to earn a quick buck by selling them. If garage sales are prevalent in your area, you may want to browse around to see if you can find things at a low rate that you can either sell as-is, or make minor repairs to and then resale them at your shop for a profit.
- Flea Markets – Essentially a larger garage sale, a flea market is a marketplace where individuals come to sell items new and used for a profit. You can shop flea markets in your area and negotiate reasonable prices on great finds for your store.
- Thrift Stores – Thrift stores get donations all the time from people getting rid of things they don’t need. Some of those items may appear old and cheap, but with a little elbow grease and the right buyer, could be worth a pretty penny.
- Online Stores – If you’re looking to attract a target audience with deep pockets, you’re going to want to have collectibles and antiques that appeal to their interests. You can look for online antique stores for items like antique opal earrings, necklaces, or fine paintings. You can make a purchase and resell them at your shop for a nice return.
- Auctions – Auctions are another great place to find affordable antiques to sell at your store. Often items from people’s estate or collectibles people are looking to get rid of for cash are sold here. With the right bid, you could get something of great value for a fraction of the cost and resell it.
Set Up a Shop
Once you’ve accumulated enough items to sell at your antique store, you’re ready to begin setting up shop. If you’re starting a storefront, you’ll first need to find the ideal commercial property for sale. If you’re going to start an online shop, you’ll want to find the best eCommerce platform to begin selling your products from. Whichever option you choose, it is important that you create a space that is inviting, aesthetically appealing, and customized to meet the needs of your target audience.
Let the World Know
The final step would be marketing your new antique store to the world. It is highly recommended that you utilize both digital and traditional marketing mediums to get the word out. This can include creating a website and social media page, starting a blog, attending in-person events, and distributing print materials like flyers, business cards, and brochures.
The antique industry continues to gain in popularity as people are willing to pay a decent amount of cash to own something of significant financial, historical to their ancestry, or emotional value. Though it can take some time to start generating the big bucks, with a steady flow of valuable items and interested customers, you can succeed.