In this article we will be discussing the many ways of selling antiques. There will be things for the newbie who is considering becoming an antique dealer. We will also discuss ways to make you more successful if you are already in the trade. Here is a brief history of our experience in the antiques business. We went to an antiques auction to buy a bedroom suite for my daughter. We had such a good time we went a few more times and started buying things we really didn’t need, but we thought they were good deals. So we decided to have a garage sale. And to our surprise, we made some pretty good money on the antiques we sold. I asked the guy that helped us load our things at the auction, where these antique dealers that you saw at every auction were selling their things. He gave us a few places which were basically weekend flea markets. This was before the antiques mall concept was popular.
From there we rented a tiny shop in a suburb of Dallas where we lived. Then antique malls started popping up and we took space in one of them. From there we started setting up at the First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas. We then rented a larger space where we refinished furniture in the back and sold furniture in the back. Later we shared a 10,000 square feet building with another dealer, and eventually took over the entire building after we started going to England in 1991 and importing our own containers. This was our home for many years. We had a workshop where we repaired and refinished furniture both for ourselves and others. We started hosting buying trips to England. During this time we had been in several antique malls and also did many antiques shows. This was a full time job for us and we had employees as well.
We finally moved to our dream store in a high end neighborhood of Dallas (see the article on Selling Antiques In Your Own Antique Store). A few of our friends who went on our trips shared the store with us, so it was a small mall. We counted among our customers, two former First Ladies, Rosalynn Carter, and Laura Bush. The Bushes new home in Dallas was about a mile from our store. We had a few other celebrities and were mentioned in the cookbook of Darren McGrady, former chef for the Queen and the last four years the personal chef of Princess Diana. So we have done about everything you can do including selling antiques online through several sites.
From these twenty five plus years of experience, I will tell you which ways I consider the best ways to sell antiques and why. Although honestly, all of the methods can work and be successful. Most people who sell antiques don’t do it as a full time income. We will cover how you can best do it part time as well as how to be a full time antiques dealer. In another section of this site I have discussed the many places to buy and shop for antiques and which ones I think are the best sources.
Finally I will be listing and discussing a wide assortment of antiques and collectibles. This list could go on forever, but I will cover some of the ones I had the most success selling. For example, when I discuss English transferware, I will give the description and history, as well as what sells the best as far as colors and patterns. Admittedly this will be from my point of view, and it varies in different parts of the country. In Dallas and Houston, European antiques are much more preferred than American antiques. In Alabama, where we have moved for semi retirement, American antiques are much more popular. I hope you will take the time to look at the different methods of selling antiques and you might discover something you haven’t considered before. My hope is this information will help your time selling antiques to be more enjoyable as well as more profitable.