Start Your Own Antique Business From Home

by WorkFromHome on June 1, 2011

Are you fascinated by antique clocks, furniture and porcelain? Love to pick through flea markets and garage sales to find great prices on treasures like Wedgewood china or a Vienna Regulator wall clock? Then an antique business could be a great way to make money from home while continuing to enjoy your hobby. As you spend more time growing your new business from a hobby into a profit making venture your knowledge will grow, and your income will as well.

Use The Internet

The easiest way to make money from home from your knowledge of antiques is to focus on buying antique items at low prices from estate sales, garage sales and yard sales and then resell them at a premium online. There are a number of online marketplaces available that will allow you to sell your items to other collectors in exchange for a flat rate listing fee. They may waive that fee in exchange for a percentage of the sale or add a percentage of the sale fee to the flat listing fee. Check the terms of the website before listing your item for sale.

You also can create your own e-commerce website to sell your antique items. While there are a number of free to use website builders available online, it is best to invest the time and money into having a website that has been customized for your business. Someone who collects antique silver or furniture may be willing to spend a great deal of money on an item that is missing from his or her collection.

However, if your website is obviously the result of an amateur effort, bearing a strong resemblance to a school project or if it has ads denoting that it was free for you to build, then a serious collector is unlikely to take your website seriously. The result is that he or she will not click “buy” on that 1800s set of copper kettles for $1,000, and instead will move onto shopping at someone else’s online store. Spending just a few hundred dollars to have a website custom built or at the very least customized to your business’s needs ensures that you will have far fewer bugs, making it easier for your customers to use, and that it will have a much more professional interface, which will build your customers’ confidence in your antique business.

Restoring Furniture From Home To Make Money

Not all antiques come in pristine condition. To be considered an antique, an item must be at least a hundred years old. Often, however, the most valuable antiques are even older than that. Many people inherit clocks, tables, chairs and other pieces of furniture from relatives that are still worth a great deal of money, as well as sentimental value, but are in need of careful restoration.

If you have the skills to restore antique furniture, then you can work from home to bring these precious antiques back to their original lustre. These skills are similar to the ones used to refinish modern furniture, but may include needing to know how to use specialized tools or unusual shellacs or varnishes, so that you do not erroneously ruin the value of an antique piece of furniture by using a modern paint or stain. You can take courses at your local adult school or university on how to restore antiques.

Start your business from home by focusing in a specific area, such as wooden furniture from a specific time period, and expand from there. Since this is a service business, you can perform it fro your home’s garage or workshop. As long as you have proper ventilation and access to electrical outlets, you should be able to comfortably do your restoration work on a schedule that works for you.

Appraising Antiques As A Business

If you have a great deal of knowledge about antiques, then you can parlay that information into a successful career as an appraiser. As an appraiser, you will be providing a valuable service to clients as you tell them whether an antique is truly genuine or a fake. You also will be able to tell them the approximate value of an item based upon your knowledge of the sales of comparable items.

Customers may bring you items to appraise, such as antique jewellery or small items like tabletop clocks or porcelain, but you also may have the opportunity to do some local travel on a schedule that works for you. Clients may have the opportunity to purchase large items, such as dining room sets or grandfather clocks, and need you to look at them. Your verification of the items’ value will determine whether your clients are able to move forward with the sale, or if they decide to pass on it.

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