Starting a Vintage Shop

Do you have the interest and eye for picking out vintage items from garage sale, estate auctions, and flea markets? Turn that passion into money by starting a vintage shop.

You can sell vintage furniture, clothing, antiques, collectibles, old appliances, and house ware. See what your business options are depending on your budget.

Commonly, people throw what are old and buy new and modern stuff to keep up with the times. And yet, there are those who have the rare interest for things vintage. And usually, these people develop the keen sense of detecting what’s valuable and not and what’s a good buy from what seemed to normal people a pile of garbage. If you have this rare talent, a vintage shop will likely be the best business for you. That is, if you have the stamina to hunt down garage sale, estate auctions, and flea markets as well as the desire to own your business. Here are some ideas on how to start this business.

You can sell a mix of vintage items like furniture, clothing, antiques, collectibles, old appliances, and house ware. For this, you have to have a wide interest for an assortment of old things. You can also specialize in selling items from a particular era or of a certain type. The most popular vintage items for sale are clothing (frocks, ties, jackets, shirts, evening gowns, under things, costumes), accessories, shoes, bags, and hats. Specialize on clothing if you are especially good at it. An important point to remember - not all items that look like vintage or sold as vintage are vintage. Learn how to spot authentic vintage items. You have to be able to detect what is real from an imitation, especially concerning clothing.

Where to get the items?

  • Advertise that you buy vintage items for resale
  • Partner with senior citizen centers and thrift shops/second hand stores where some of such items will end up
  • Go to garage sales, second hand stores, estate auctions, and church sales, if you love the thrill of stumbling upon great finds. But remember that every trip is a gamble; you might go home with plenty of good catch or nothing at all. And you’d have to spend a lot of time hunting.

You can also explore the idea of renting out vintage clothing, especially costumes. Most likely, your customers would be production companies or performing groups, and people going to costume parties. You can decide to put up an upfront store, or rent a space. Refurbish your store such that it has the feel of a clothing store from the old era. Or if your budget is low, you can use a room in your own house to serve as your shop. Advertise that you buy and sell in directories, or yellow pages. Or, you can go online and do business selling vintage items on eBay.

1 Comment

  • Kimberly Hyde said on June 15, 2014
    Where can I find Real advice on starting a Vintage Rental business? This was informative for some one with out a clue but not for some one with experience on selling on Ebay.


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