I recently received a very nice email from Janet in London asking me what collectables I thought she should be looking out for with a view to selling them on later for a profit.
The answer must surely be to collect (and trade) in things that genuinely interest you. I mean, who would want to deal in any section of collectables if they bored you to tears.
She said an interesting thing about bricks and mortar antique shops too, when she commented that so many of them seemed quite unapproachable, so much so that she rarely ventured into them. She doubted too that bargains could ever be found there.
The thing to remember is that no antique dealer will know everything abut everything, it just isn't possible, and indeed many antique shop owners are newly in business and many are quite amateur too.
They simply do not always get their pricing right, a fact that was confirmed in spades when Charlie Ross recently bought a flatback piece of badly damaged Staffordshireware in a Scottish antique centre for £8 on a recent Antique Road Trip that promptly went on to sell that very same week for £2,550, so you see bargains can still be found and traded if you keep your eyes open.
It's always a good idea to study books on the fields that interest you too. No trader ever had too much knowledge, so concentrate on packing more expertise into your expanding brain whenever you can.
If you are looking for books on any particular section of collectables do please let me know as I have hundreds of books in this field still to list.
Visiting antique fairs can be a profitable source of supply too, especially the smaller ones that often seem quite quiet these days. If you go towards the end of the day one can often find unhappy traders who have done only a modest amount of business, and accordingly they often reduce their prices in the last half an hour, or are more open to haggling.
Always offer considerably less than the asking price, you simply never know when your offer might be accepted, you can always increase your initial bid if need be, and remember: cash is king. If you have the cash and the seller needs to raise some money to say meet their domestic overheads, you might be surprised at how much of a discount you could achieve.
There is no doubt that buying bargains through local fairs can often be turned over for a decent profit when selling online where the world is your oyster, so why not give it a try? You might be surprised as how successful you could be.