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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Traditional Product > Start a Memorabilia Business from Home

Start a Memorabilia Business

What you will be doing.  Collector’s items are fad items or other things that were once big news but have long faded away.  Owning a piece of history is a popular pastime for collectors of all ages.  As a memorabilia specialist, you will be providing items that people are interested in buying.  Higher prices will come for items that are harder to find.   

Do the homework first.  Join collector’s forums and search online auctions to see what kinds of items are the hottest sellers to date.  You don’t want to spend your money buying things that you can’t sell. 

How to start.  In order to have a successful business, you will need a big inventory of memorabilia.  Your first job is finding them.  Search out yard sales and attics.  People give things away at yard sales that can be worth a lot of money.  Estate sales also sell prized items at low prices to get rid of them.   

Flea markets and local trade shows provide an avenue to add to your inventory.  Some of the items will cost a bit so you will have to decide how much it is worth before you spend the money.  Popular memorabilia items are old baseball cards, lunch boxes, knick-knacks, toys, and games.  The popularity of your collection will depend on the condition of your finds.   

Starting costs.  Depending on what you want to sell, the price could go as high as $5,000.  This includes inventory, advertising costs, tables for market setups, computer, printer, fax, telephone, cases for items, sleeves for cards, and etcetera.  Cleaning tools are also needed to make your finds marketable.  If you already have the equipment, you are ahead of the game.  Your inventory will still cost, but choosing a niche within the memorabilia market can reduce the costs. 

There will be costs for booth rental at shows and flea markets.  Business cards and flyers will cost to have printed.  A catalogue of your offerings is good for customers to look at during your time at the market.  Setting up an online store and website will help the business to reach wider markets. 

Skills needed.  A love of old stuff is needed.  Learning the history of the items you buy adds an interesting sidebar to your conversations with customers.  A love of the public is good, too.  This is a people oriented business because you need to interest them in what you have to sell.  Attracting folks to your website and your table at markets will take a go-getter attitude. 

Marketing.   Marketing is important.  Collectors need to know that you are out there.  Taking out ads in newspapers and trade newsletters are a start.  Getting into the habit of carrying business cards wherever you go gives you an opportunity to talk about memorabilia with everyone you meet. 

Set up your flea market table in order of price.  Have impressive items out front, but even better ones further back on the table.  This way the customer has to peruse the entire stock to find what they are looking for.  They may even buy a few things they weren’t necessarily searching for. 

Online sales at auctions such as eBay, give you a chance to connect with collectors all over the world.  What may be marginally popular in the United States at this time, may be popular in other countries right now.   

Memorabilia is always in fashion.  What’s popular now, will be a collector’s item in the future.  Finding a particular market and promoting it heavily will yield big profits.

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