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How to become an Antique Dealer

antique dealer careers

What does a Antique Dealer do?

Antique dealers buy and sell antique objects and collectors' items. They may deal in a wide range of antiques or specialise in a particular field such as jewellery, glass, furniture or china.

Antique dealing involves acquiring items from salesrooms, auctions, markets and trade fairs, and selling them to the general public from shops or from stalls in antique centres. Some antique specialist dealers may work from home, buying and selling to order. With usage of the internet increasing many dealers now buy and sell some items online. Minor antique restoration work may be necessary.

An important part of the work is researching the identity and potential value of objects. As antiques have no fixed price, dealers must be able to negotiate purchases and sales on an individual basis. They may also advise owners on the value of their antiques for insurance or sales purposes.

What's the working environment like working as a Antique Dealer?

There are no set hours of work. Antique dealers have to be prepared to work long and unsocial hours, including weekends and evenings.

A driving licence is essential as the work may involve a fair amount of travelling. Nights away from home may be necessary.

The work may also involve lifting and carrying.

What does it take to become a Antique Dealer?

To be an antique dealer, you should:

  • have a passionate interest in the items you deal in
  • be willing to research, study and learn from others
  • be interested in history and preferably a specific period
  • have good valuation skills
  • have strong nerves and negotiating skills
  • have good judgement and the ability to make quick decisions
  • have business ability and a good sales technique.

Antique Dealer Career Opportunities

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Antique Dealer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

British Antique Dealers' Association (BADA)
20 Rutland Gate
Tel: 020 7589 4128

London and Provincial Antique Dealers Association (LAPADA)
535 King's Road
SW10 0SZ
Tel: 020 7823 3511

Courses to help you become a Antique Dealer