Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Opening An Antique Store

Tips About Opening An Antique and Collectibles Business

I have been receiving more inquiries from folks who want to start their own antique business. In the biz there are a few categories of shops. I will first briefly describe the kinds of antique businesses there are. Than I will offer some important ideas to think about when reviewing your antique store options. Remember, these decisions have to fit your lifestyle, budget, geographic location etc. There is no one right answer.

Types of Antique Businesses

Solo Antique Shop Antique Mall Online Antique Store

You can open a regular Antique store called a Brick and Mortar shop (retail store that people visit in person). This type of store can be a solo ownership or a group shop where you manage the sales of other dealers as well as your own.

Another popular way to sell antiques and collectibles is to lease space in an Antique Mall or Group Antique store. In this arrangement you rent a booth. In most places you have the option to rent a full booth or a half a booth. Some stores even allow you to rent a double booth if space is available.

And the last type of business you might consider is opening up an online Antique store on some of the many sites that are devoted to the buying and selling of antiques and collectibles. This way of doing business requires that you must be
responsible for shipping out all your merchandise to customers who buy from your online store.

So how do you make the decision which way to go? Here are some thoughts to keep in mind while you are sorting through the decision process.

What Type of Antique Business Should I Open ?

Solo Antique Shop

Will the shop get a lot of foot traffic or cars that pass by? Is it on a main roadway or in an area of similar shops? How many days will I plan to be open? Do I have a budget for help? Can I be available to be in the store on Saturdays and Sundays, the two busiest days for sales? Do I have enough inventory to fill a solo shop? Where and when will I get more mercahndise to fill my solo shop? Can I afford to have someone cover for me when I am unable to be at the store? Do I have an advertising budget? How will I plan to bring in new customers?

Antique Mall / Group Antique

Number one question is whether a booth (or showcase) will be enough space for me to sell what I have? If this is a full time adventure, is there enough space to make money? What price range is the stuff I have to sell? There is a big difference between selling high end estate jewelry and selling tag sale quality flea market finds.. How many dealers are in the Multi-Dealer Antique shop I am considering? What size are the booth spaces? How long has the group shop (or Antique Mall) be in business? Is this store conveniently located for me? If the store is a distance from my home, how often will I plan to come to the store to bring in new merchandise or organize my booth? What is the lease on this booth? Does the owner take an administrative fee? Do I have to do floor time?

Online Antique Store

Can I learn how to photograph objects so they will sell well? What is my plan for shipping out goods? Do I like packing antiques and collectibles? Do I intend to be home at the computer a good deal of the time? What kinds of antiques and collectibles do I want to sell? This business is usually better suited for smalls? Do I want to sell on an already existing site geared to antiques and collectibles? or start my own free standing website? How will I promote my online business? Do I have social media skills? (On I Antique there are many group forums geared to this topic.

Photos courtesy of Salmon Brook Shops, Granby Connecticut

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C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Society of Professional Journalists

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