Antique Store Business Plan

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Write the lot number of antiques on which you plan to bid on the back of your bidding card.

Beside the number, write the amount you're willing to bid for it, based on what you think you could sell the antique for.

The first reason is to stake out a place up front close to the auctioneer, where it's easy to see the merchandise being auctioned.

Most auctioneers will let you reserve such a seat in some way.

If a Wedgwood vase, for example, comes up, the auctioneer will start the bidding by saying, "Who'll give me $500 for this vase? That's just the auctioneer's way of getting the bidding started.

He will invariably then say something like, "All right, who'll give me 0? They're the ones constantly checking the back of their bidding card as they bid.A few create instant inventory by buying the entire stock of another dealer who's going out of business. Consignment auctions are usually held regularly on the same day of the week or month in a large building owned by the auctioneer.Dozens of people may bring merchandise to be sold, and the quality ranges from good to abominable.The dealers just take their chances on finding quality antiques at this type of auction. Another type of auction is the estate auction, a one-time-only event held to dispose of the entire contents of a home. Auctioneers of these events usually place large display ads in newspapers advertising the sale, and they nearly always include a long list of items to be auctioned.You couldn't, for example, attend one with the express purpose of buying an early Victorian bed. You just might find that Victorian bed on the list, along with hundreds of other antiques. Regardless of where an auction is held, the procedure for buying is the same.Dealers always write the highest bid they're willing to go on every item on the back of the card.This is good insurance against getting caught up in what's called "auction fever."You bid by holding up your card.Being an auction addict, she asked the store owner how to get to the auction.He told her to go eight miles down the road and then five miles down another road before turning onto a gravel road. Pretty soon, she headed farther and farther into the hills. There were quite a few people milling around looking at the merchandise spread out in front of the beautiful country home, but not many dealers, so she was able to make some excellent buys.Also, each piece you sell must be quickly replaced with another.So, how can you develop a system that will provide you with a continuous, reliable source of antiques at substantial discounts? Some dealers, especially those who man-age their shops alone and don't have time for much scouting on their own, employ a small army of what are known in the business as "pickers." Many dealers take in antiques on consignment.

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