If you’ve got an eye for a bargain and a love for trinkets, toys and memorabilia, you should consider turning this passion into a profession. Starting a collectables business can be a lucrative enterprise, but it requires a lot more than an eBay account and an attic full of junk. Careful planning will be critical to the success of your collectables business, so it’s important not to make your decisions lightly. Here are five tips to help you establish a successful collectables business.

Become an expert

The success of most collectables businesses depends heavily on the expertise of the owner. Knowing what to look for, how to find it and how much it’s worth are essential skills for generating customers and building credibility. So before you enter the collectibles business, you’ll need to gain a vast knowledge of the products you’re selling. It may be wise to pay particular attention to specific types of collectibles, in order to establish yourself as a niche seller.

Once you’ve gained the necessary know-how, try to strengthen your reputation by writing articles for industry magazines, or speaking at trade shows. Remember, the stronger your reputation, the more customers you’re likely to attract.

Find reliable sources

One of the biggest obstacles you’ll face when establishing your collectibles business is finding reliable and consistent sources of inventory. Since many of the items you’re selling will likely be unique or rare, you may need to seek out new suppliers frequently.  The best way to do this is by attending regular auctions, flea markets and trade shows, where you can develop a business network to help source your collectibles. You may also consider connecting with other collectibles sellers to develop mutually beneficial arrangements.

Pricing correctly

Pricing your items correctly is critical to the success of your business. It entails a fine balance between giving your customers a competitive price and maximizing your profits. You need to know what each item you’re selling is worth – a challenging task when it comes to rare and unique collectibles. Look through collectible pricing guides determine the average prices for specific types of items. If an item is damaged or tainted, you’ll need to know what kind of impact that has on its value. If in doubt, you should consult an internet auction or collectibles website to view the price of similar items.

How to sell

Once you’ve accumulated a sizeable inventory, it’s time to begin selling. There is a range of options available for collectors looking to sell their wares, many of which require very little capital. With the ever-increasing popularity of auction websites like eBay, online selling has become an essential part of any collectibles seller’s business strategy. Establishing a website and writing newsletters and mailing lists are also effective online selling options. For more traditional sellers, opening a store can be a costly, but potentially rewarding venture, while auctions, flea markets and catalogs will all help to generate extra sales.