Antique dealers are gems – they are rare to find and you should consider yourself lucky if you find one who can help you with your antique buying needs. The basic work of an antique dealer is to find antique items, evaluate them and price them appropriately. But it is not as easy as it seems on the surface.
Not everyone can become an antique dealer. It takes a little more than just interest to become one, as there is a lot to learn in this business. You may have deep interest in this work but unless you have an eye for it, you will probably not succeed in working as an antique dealer. Contrary to popular belief, an antique dealer does not only work indoors, selling rare pieces to eager clients. He or she has to go out there and look for these rare pieces to sell as well. Auctions are frequent haunts of antique dealers, who love to bag a deal and then sell it for a good price to a customer who is eagerly waiting for the piece that you now have in your custody!
There are no formal requirements to work as an antique dealer – you do need a high school diploma or a GED though. If you have a good eye for detail, have some experience in determining the worth of items and are ready to do a lot of bargaining, then this is the right type of work for you. On any typical day, this is what you will be doing:
Antique Dealer Duties and Responsibilities
• Interview clients to determine their specific interests and knowledge about antique items
• Provide them with information on available items and assist them in understanding their worth
• Show clients available antique items and educate them about their histories and previous ownerships
• Research different avenues to determine availability of antique items and negotiate terms and prices with owners
• Attend auctions and gallery shows to acquire rare and valuable pieces and obtain ones that seem to be in demand
• Create and maintain inventory of items in stock and ensure that fragile pieces are stored in a safe manner
• Evaluate each received piece to determine its originality and write an evaluation report for each piece
• Price items according to their worth and market, and ensure that they are properly placed in dedicated display cases
• Perform restoration work on antique items to increase their market value
• Create and maintain records of all transactions and clients to whom antique pieces / items have been sold