Collect and Cash In: How to Start Your Own Online Antique Store

how to start online antique store e-commerce shop collector items business

It's not hoarding if it's for business, right?

If you love collecting but you need an excuse to have all of your things and you want to make money, starting an online antique store might be the best option for you.

While brick and mortar stores are a big investment, if you start your store online, you have very little overhead. As your inventory grows, you might have to have storage space but you won't need a big storefront.

Continue reading this article to learn how to start your antique business on the web.


The 411 on Starting Your Online Antique Store

Whether you're selling coins like this company, tables, and chairs or other valuables, there are some basics you need to know before you get started.


Decide What You Want to Sell

Deciding that you want to sell antiques isn't enough. While you can branch out later, you need to hone in on what your business is going to focus on selling. If you think you're going to sell all things old, it's not going to work out so great for a shop that's just starting.


Outline & Write Your Business Plan

Once you know what you're going to sell, you should outline and write your business plan. While you might not think you need a business plan with an online business, that's not the case.

An online business is just as serious as a brick and mortar company. You need to have your business plan to guide your future decisions. A business plan is also important if you plan on trying to secure funding for business expansion in the future.


Secure Web Hosting & an eCommerce Platform

Now that you know what you're going to sell and what your plan is, you need to get it started. Webhosting and an eCommerce platform are a must for your online business.

Make sure you use hosting that is quick and secure. You should also the eCommerce platform you're using safely stores your customer's information and processes their queries quickly.


Build Your Brand

Your branding is going to allow you to stand out from the crowd. Building your brand and creating relationships with your customers is key when you want to have a successful online antique business.

The more people want what you have, the higher the price you'll be able to sell your antiques for. While antiques have a pretty concrete valuation, if people really want something, they are more than happy to pay extra.


Know Where You'll Source Your Stuff

If you don't know where you're going to source your antiques, your business can go out of business quickly. Getting antiques from your local area might not be enough when your new business picks up.

Larger towns might not have what you're looking for because people just like you have been there looking for great finds. If you can find smaller towns with little shops, you can find some great finds for a good price.


Keep Your Investment Small in the Beginning

When you're starting out, you might want to dump a lot of cash into your company but you shouldn't invest too much in the beginning. If you buy a lot of antiques but they don't do well with your brand, you might be stuck with them or have to take a loss.

Find out what is selling first and then invest more money into your inventory.


Restore Your Products as Appropriate

While antiques are old, they shouldn't look like junk. Learn about antique restoration and figure out what is best to do for each of the pieces you're trying to sell.

If you aren't an expert in this area, you might want to take a class so you make sure not to harm the antiques.


Take Great Photos

When you're selling online, you have to have great photography. You can buy a simple white background to take photos against. If the antiques are a light color, you can change it out for a black or gray background when needed.

Lighting is a big part of what makes a photo so get some lights to go with your backgrounds as well.


Price It Right

Check what the antiques you're trying to sell are going for. You don't want to overprice your products or they are going to sit in your inventory and collect dust.


Offer Free Shipping

Free shipping makes people feel good. Even if you have to markup your products a little bit -- offer free shipping. People don't want to pay to get their products shipped to them but if you tack $5 or $10 onto the price, they won't notice it.


Deliver Top-Notch Customer Service

Always offer the best customer service. If someone contacts you and asks questions about a certain antique, answer their questions to the best of your ability.

If you don't know the answer to their question, consult someone about it and get an expert opinion so you're giving them the proper information.

You should also have an easy to understand return policy or even a no return policy. As long as you're upfront with your customers, they are going to be thankful for the amazing customer service.


Grow Your Business Smarts

Now that you know more about starting your own online antique store, you're likely ready to go after it. If you still have questions about different business topics, look through our site and find what is helpful to you.

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