How to Start an Antique Shop Business


An antiques shop is a specialized store that sells only antiques. The business format is applicable online and offline. You need lots of money to run an antique store because antiques are very costly.
Important considerations in the antique business are initial capitalization, lease agreement and sourcing channels. The business is inventory driven and needs proper accounting to break even.
Cash flow and overhead costs should be properly monitored. Because there are many facets to the business such as utility bills, restocking, lease agreements, permits and staff salaries.
You need to have total control of your expenses to succeed. Another major challenge is pricing your antiques to offer reasonable prices and make profit.
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By Skitterphoto via Wikimedia Commons
Learn the Trade
How are you going to trade in antiques without learning the trade? You can study at a higher institution or become an apprentice.
Gain valuable knowledge trough books, seminars, symposium. Learn from online sources and art and craft fairs.
You also need the help of highly qualified professionals to help in valuating some items.
Buying Stock
Regularly stocking your store is important especially if you make bisque sales. Your store should offer a huge selection of antiques at all times.
To replenish your stock attend estate sales, flea markets and garage sales.  Network with antique dealers and source your antiques from auctions.
Some store buy directly from individuals or other stores. Stock both high quality antiques and moderate items. The location and business template dictates the type of antiques you prefer.
Some antique stores deal only in high quality items while others prefer a moderate approach. There are other major considerations when purchasing your antiques.
 Most of the time antique dealers need to travel to other places to buy goods. When purchasing the items you need to factor lodging, transportation cost, cost of item and feeding.
All these expenditures add to the price you reach for each item. The difficulty is getting a balance and offering your customers a fair and competitive price.
Location
You have the option to locate your antique store in a highbrow area or middle class environment. Highbrow areas attract hug rent fees and quality items. The antiques are usually very expensive to cover the cost of lease.
There are also government designated areas where antique stores cluster. Locating your store close to other antique stores has its benefits.
Such designated areas are known to tourists and trophy hunters. Other locations are within a popular shopping mall or an international airport.
Sell Online
Antique stores have found online commerce very valuable to their business. Build a website and include photographs of items on offer. Add the image, price, description, location and shipping.
Provide a payment platform for credit card payments or PayPal. Promote your website using social media, and classified advertisement. You can sell antique directly from your website or use eBay.
Cost of Antiques
A very important aspect of the antique business is cost of the item. To figuring out the cost of each item is very challenging because you need a balance between the true value of the item and profit margin.
The only way an antique dealer makes any money is through the sales of inventory. The dealer needs to have a full grasp of antiquities, treasures and cost. 
The money you make from each item solids is used to pay staff wages, utility bills, lease, reinvest in more inventory and profit. You also need to grow your inventory and purchase better antiques.
You have to make more than initial investment to cover the overhead costs. This is the major challenge because antiques items are not sold in mass but attract singular sales.
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 Profit Taking
Antique business is seasonal and has its highest customers during certain period. Although the dealer makes sales throughout the year they have peak period.
To take profit they factor inventory cost, transport, utility, staff wages, and the cost of an item. It is not uncommon for items to remain in the store for several months.
So dealers need to have a comprehensive accounting system that factors all theses variables while providing room for restocking.
The traffic you get depends on your location. If your business is located in Africa summer is peak period. Antiques are a luxury not a necessity so keep that in mind.
Marketing
Traditional methods of marketing such as newspapers publications have their merit. However creating a newsletter full of fun facts and discounted items is more effective. Offer discounts not more than 15% to breakeven.
Use your website to push your business by gathering a mailing list. This method is effective and attracts actual people interested in antiques.
Avoid spending cash on newspaper advertisement rather use FaceBook advertisement to target a specific demography. Do a yearly clearance sale for inventory that has stayed long on your shelves.
 If you have a good auction house in your area you can place some of your stock for auction. Don’t forget using Google Places, directories and yellow pages.  
You also have to network with hotels, tourist destinations and tour guides to get you customers.
Conclusion
Antique business is a highly competitive market and covers a wide range of objects. Source your items from antique fairs, auctions and individual sellers.
To get ahead in the game concentrate on a niche and specialize. There is nothing wrong in have a general purpose store.
 Lastly do effective marketing, spend cautiously and targeting real antique buyers.

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