How to Start an Antique Business Using These Tips

June 22, 2018 667 views

An Overview of Owning and Running An Antique Business

The business of buying and selling antiques is a wonderful experience for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit.

For many, “antiquing” begins as a hobby that can quickly evolve into a passion. Many collectors develop a true “love” for certain collectible items.

All antiques have a story and often the story is far more valuable than the item itself was in its prime.

People shopping at antique shops are often quite knowledgeable. Customers will ask a lot of questions, and you’ll want to prepare yourself to meet these people’s needs by having a good, thorough knowledge of your inventory’s manufacturers, trends throughout the history of the industry, and so on.

You can keep up to date with what’s doing well these days visiting antique conventions and by checking sources like kovels.com. This way, you’ll be informed as to what would be a fair price for any given item.

Keep in mind that while we all like the idea of having our own shop, you can actually do quite well by selling online. This can cut your startup costs, as you won’t need to rent a shop or hire employees or pay for monthly overhead that comes with running a shop.

Skill Set

  • Knowledge of antiques
  • Antique Picking
  • The ability to do research and distinguish authentic items from fakes
  • Knowledge of pricing
  • Research experience
  • Care of antiques, including what and how to clean, and what to leave as is
  • Photography skills
  • A good eye for the authenticity of products
  • Common Business Skills

Hours of Operation

If your antique shop is online, it can be open every day. If you have a brick and mortar storefront, your hours will be average retail hours such as 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 or 6:00 p.m.

Equipment and Supplies

  • Display cases
  • Transportation
  • Specialty Cleaning Equipment and Supplies
  • Digital camera
  • Inventory log system or software
  • Variety of camera lenses
  • Essential Office Equipment

Expenses and Operating Costs

  • In addition to our list of common business expenses, your antique business will require a budget for the ongoing cost of acquiring antiques
  • Common Monthly Expenses


See Our Page On Business Licenses and Permits

Approximate Minimum Startup Cost

Your startup costs will depend on the amount of inventory you need. If you have been actively collecting antiques, you may already have some of the inventory you need to open and this could drive down your startup costs.

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