So what type of stock should you choose to sell as an antiques dealer? Firstly I would say choose to deal in what you are interested in, what you love and what you collect. You are going to spend a lot of time with your stock. To be successful you need to become an expert in your area, you need to have enthusiasm for your items to sell them. This would be quite difficult if you are trying to deal in something which you do not care for. When I first started I knew that I wanted to spend all day working with beautiful old things but was not sure what to specialise in. I had hear advice from long term dealers to learn about one or two areas and specialises but found it difficult to choose. I bought all kinds of stock from small furniture, textiles, glass, ceramics and even modern collectables. This gave me a great broad grounding which serves me well today however I would probably have been more successful sooner if I had specialised sooner. The choice is yours. Having said that specialisation is the best way to be successful as an antiques dealer there are many thousands of general antiques dealers who will just buy up any stock as long as it is cheap and then pass it on with a small profit. It can be great fun but it requires an awful lot of hard work and long hours to make a living.
When you are choosing your specialisation think about the requirements of the different types of stock. Furniture needs a lot of space and a Van, Ceramics need to be stored and moved careful so they dont break and high end Antique Jewellery requires a lot of capital and very good security. Paper ephemera needs to be kept somewhere damp free – just to give a few examples. On-line trading needs good computer skills and you need to be very organised if you are going to make a living that way . Think about the stock and how you are physically going to handle and store it and the special needs your stock might have.
The type of stock you deal in will also influence where you trade from. The average antiques and collectables fair tends to be full of stalls selling ceramics, glass, Jewellery, textiles and smaller furniture. High end antiques fairs which set up over several days have more furniture as do the larger trade fairs such as the Newark antiques fair. If you are selling small specialist items then the Internet is a good choice as you can reach a far wider international audience.