The Do's and Don'ts of Opening an Antiques Shop
Do you have a knack for collecting and studying antiques? If so, you should consider opening your own antique shop. This will allow you to leverage your knowledge and expertise towards creating a profitable, lasting business. And while other retail industries come and go, antiques are here to stay. To help you get started on the right foot, we've compiled a list of the top “do's” and “dont's” of opening an antique shop.
Don't: Blindly Purchase Antiques Without Researching
One of the biggest mistakes new antique store owners make is blindly purchasing antiques without doing the necessary research beforehand. Sure, you'll naturally get excited when you see a rare antique item in person. Whether you are at a local yard sale, thrift store or antique convention, you should never make a purchase without researching the item first. This will give you the opportunity to determine exactly how much money it's worth, and using this information you can decide whether or not it's worth purchasing for your store.
Don't: Open In a Low-Traffic Part of Town
The reduced lease rates of shops and building located in obscure industrial parts of town might seem alluring to some store owners. After all, leasing expenses are a heavy financial burden that will reduce your store's overall profits. However, you have to think of it as an investment that pays off in the long rug. Opening an antique store in some hard-to-find location may initially save you money on the lease, but it will also reduce the number of customers walking into your store. The bottom line is that you shouldn't try to save money by choosing a poor location for your antique store.
Do: Focus on Customer Service
I can't stress enough the importance of building strong relationships with your store's customers. The antique/vintage industry is build around customer relationships. After being in business for a while, you'll likely have the same loyal customers purchasing items from you. If you want to keep their business, you should go out of your way to provide exceptional service to them. This means greeting them with a friendly “hello, how are you,” and taking the time to answer any questions they have. It's the small things such as this that will set your antique store apart from your competitors.
Do: Find Reliable Antique Dealers
Antique stores are a rather unique type of retail industry in the sense that your product isn't manufactured from some factory or warehouse. Rather than purchasing product from a manufacturer, you'll have to find dealers and individual owners to purchase product form. Of course, you can always purchase antique products from customers, but you should also visit conventions, trade shows and other antique related events. These are just a few of the top sources for locating antique products to sell in your store. Once you've established a strong relationship with a dealer, you'll have a constant source of new antiques coming into your store, and that's a highly valuable element that will increase your chances of success.