Skip to Main Content

Antiques and Art Dealers

The Job

The antiques business is never boring. Antique and art dealers spend much of their workday greeting customers and answering any questions they may have. When business slows down, they clean the store and price inventory. Sometimes people will bring in items for resale. It is up to the dealer to carefully inspect each piece and settle on a price. They rely on pricing manuals such as Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide and Schroeder's Antiques Price Guide, which give guidelines and a suggested price on a wide range of items.

Antiques dealers also go on a number of shopping expeditions each year to restock their store. Besides rummage sales and auctions, they rely on buying trips to different parts of the country and abroad to find regional items, and at times a dealer may be invited to a person's home to view items for sale.

Some dealers participate in several shows a year, in order to reach customers that normally would not travel to the store's location. They may also promote their business through their Web site and social media, advertising in local travel brochures and newspapers, and by direct mail campaigns. The schedule can be grueling. Stores are often open six or seven days a week. But the rewards are satisfying. Dealers love not only the social aspect, interacting with all sorts of people and situations, but also having the first choice of items for their personal collections.

Related Professions