Let’s get one thing clear… It’s obvious that there’s a bunch of cash to be made in purchasing and selling antiques. In fact, you don’t even have to be an antique industry insider to figure this out. You need not turn on a lot of cable TV programs or Pawnshop shows to actual antique buying and selling programs to get this message loud and clear.
There is money to be made in the antique trading industry.
It is a multi-million dollar industry and continues to grow year after year. There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to creating money with antiquities for sure.
But, if you wish to get started in this business, you shouldn’t fixate on the money. I know this seems counterintuitive. As the old saying goes “follow the money,” if you want to create a good living out of buying and selling antiques, you need to follow the money. Well, here’s the problem.
If making a profit is your only guide, it will probably make the whole antique buying learning process all that more expensive for you. There, I said it. Because when you fixate on the money it’s easy to make rookie mistakes that you would have avoided if you aren’t just focused on making a profit. That’s the real bottom line.
You have to understand that if you are trying to cut your teeth on any kind of industry, you’re going to have to take it slow. Take baby steps studying the trade. There’s no way around this.
If you want to make real money antique buying, I’m not talking about the hobbyist getting lucky from time to time, just by going to one garage sale after another and stumbling upon a Picasso, then you need to listen up. I’m not telling that going to a flea market or garage sale is completely useless, I mean, there are all sorts of stories of people picking up a painting that they thought was worthless or just looked nice, and they hung it up on their wall.
It turned out that a master actually produced that painting and it auctioned at millions of dollars. But let’s get real here, how often do you hear about that kind of story outside of TV?
It’s so rare that it’s the exception that proves the rule. For the most part, antiques that are worth every red cent of their value are actually already bought and handled by professional antique dealers. You can take that fact to the back. Just because from time to time somebody comes up with this Grand Renaissance masterpiece or something made on the side by Picasso, only serves to highlight the rarity of those situations.
If anything, they shine a spotlight on the more common situation, which is that people buy and sell antiques from antique dealers. So, don’t concentrate on the money. Don’t focus on getting lucky. Don’t fixate on being in the right place at the right time and all of a sudden, you’re a millionaire.
Again, I’m sure that happens, but it’s probably not going to happen to you. So, what should you focus on? How do you get started in the whole antique buying and selling game?
Getting Started in Antique Buying
Focus On The History Behind The Pieces
First thing that you need to do is to look at the antique pieces that have sold in your local area. Now, you may not necessarily care about the category of these antiques or the particular parts that were bought and sold.
Instead, focus on their history. This gives you a backstory and this kind of enables you to look at the big picture and how certain antiques go up in value while others don’t. This is your first substantial clue and you shouldn’t concentrate on the item itself, focus on the whole industry process that’s happening in the background.
The growing market for ‘tech antiques’ is a perfect example for you. Did you know that companies often collaborate to develop something, but it doesn’t always pan out? That’s what happened when Nintendo was originally brought on board to develop the first PlayStation. The had several working developer prototypes, but decided to scrap the project and build PlayStation internally instead. One of the devs kept a prototype, and guess what! It recently sold for a cool $360,000 because someone understood the industry and knew what they found was beyond valuable.
That is how you learn this game because if you disregard industry history, it’s going to be a tough time for you. Seriously. You will get some good deals and then lose all that money in a few bad deals, and then you have to start over again. It gets old very quickly.
And unfortunately, that’s how many people experience the whole antique industry when they focus on the money instead of the history of these antique pieces. It is really sad because they could’ve learned this lesson a long time ago, but instead they focus on trying to learn the wrong lesson. And that’s why they have to keep taking the lesson over and over again until finally everything falls into place.
Research Specific Antique Niches
When you reach this point, you know, you’re getting serious. Because now you’re not just focusing on different types of antiques and seeing their history and how well they sell. Instead, now you are drilling down into certain antique niches and you don’t stray from those niches.
This might seem counterintuitive because in the space of a year, maybe a few handful of antiques within a certain niche sell in your local area. That’s all the information you need.
Because, by paying close attention to the specific types of niche antiques that sell, you can begin to connect dots.
View Antique Selection Video Blogs In YouTube Channels
In addition to reading lots of specialized blogs on antiques, check out YouTube channels that involve video blogs of antique buyers. These are life documentaries of antique hunters and before you know it, you’ve got more information about your niche.
You’ll be able to connect the dots and figure out how successful niche antique buyers and sellers operate. They think a certain way. They’re able to see opportunity where most people would see junk and vice versa. So, look at all this information, learn what you need to learn and don’t be in a hurry to spend real money on your hobby.
Because at this point it’s still a hobby. It’s not a business… far from it. It’s not a profession, so view it as a hobby, but put in the time and definitely put in the work.
Go To Specialized Antique Shows
The next step, once you are confident that you have learned what you need to learn, is to go to specialized antique shows. Again, this focus on a narrow niche of antiques. They’re not wide ranging antique collections. They focus on certain types of antiques from certain historical period. You have to keep it as limited and as targeted as possible.
Next, pay attention to expert appraisers. When you go to an antique show, there will be appraisers there. Their job is to explain to the whole world why a certain antique item fetches the price tag it does.
They better be convincing! Right? They better base their opinion on hard facts that are verifiable. Do you see how this all works now?
Anybody can have an opinion but if you can back it up with facts and most people would agree with those facts, then you probably are standing on more solid ground as far as pricing is concerned.
This is how it works. If you don’t go through the steps above, it’s very easy for you to just go to different classified ads and waste a tremendous amount of money.
You maybe thinking that you’re just blowing a few dozen bucks here and there, but guess what? All that cash adds up and worse yet, you have to store all that junk. Because believe me, most of the stuff that you will pick up will be junk because you didn’t go through the right process.
So, instead of jumping in with both feet immediately into local classified, sales or garage sales, follow the process above. You’ll only have yourself to thank for it later.