Starting sports collectible business involves gathering of sports treasures, memorabilia, team jerseys, sports equipment and autographed celebrity photos at cheap prices and then selling them to sports fans and collectors of sports items for a profit.
Sports fans and collectors are not the only ones who patronize sports collectible shops; people looking to purchase gift items may also consider purchasing sports memorabilia as gift items. This is a very good business that could be done either part-time or as a full-time business. If you are interested in this business, this short but detailed guide would give you an idea of what you need to start.
Starting a Sports Collectible Shop – Sample Business Plan Template
1. Decide on your sales strategy-: First, you would need to decide on how you would be selling your collections. You must be careful when making this choice as some sales method may make your collections look cheap and priced cheaply. You should generally refrain from garage sales or selling at flea markets. Instead, you should adopt one of the following sales strategies.
- Selling Online-: When you sell your collections online, you are likely to meet more sports collectors and fans who appreciate these items. You could list your wares on e-commerce platforms like E-bay, Amazon. Craigslist and several others. You can also consider creating your own online store for sales but you would have to spend money promoting and increasing the visibility of your website on the internet. Selling your sports collectibles online makes it possible to run your business as a part-time business and also reduce overhead costs like rents, electricity rates and other related costs.
- Set up a sports collectible store-: Another option is to set up a brick and mortar store for selling your sports collections. However, you would have to put much planning into the location of your business. Shopping malls, stadium malls and fitness centers are some of the very good places to consider locating your sports collectible stores.
2. Decide on how you would get your stock-: This is the most challenging part of the business as you would need to find ways to get genuine and interesting sports memorabilia. There are a lot of fakes around which may jeopardize the reputation of your business if found out by your customers; therefore, you must be careful enough as to always ensure that you source for, and sell only genuine stuff all the time. One way to source for inventory is through the internet. If you do a proper research, you would be able to find reputable sellers who would be willing to sell to you at wholesale prices. Again, you can check places like Craigslist and EBay for this. You can also check sports magazines for events where sports celebrities would attend and sign autographs. This allows you to get your stuffs directly and make more profit instead of buying from other people.
3. Decide on the prices you would sell your items for-: Since these are not regular everyday items, you have to decide on the prices of your goods especially the ones you collect yourself. For the ones you purchase from others, it’s easy to just add a mark-up and then settle for a sales price but when you collect items yourself, the sales price decision is solely yours to make. You can settle for a price for your products by researching other sellers to find out how similar items are priced. You can also use the demand-supply techniques to set a price for your goods. You can set the prices of highly demanded goods higher than others. However, you must not forget to factor in all your expenses and costs of handling when determining your price.
4. Learn how to spot fakes-: In this business, there are many fakes floating around; from fake items to fake signatures hence, you must be careful in order to avoid falling for buying fakes. The first way to avoid fakes is to always buy from reputable dealers. These dealers have extensive knowledge and would even teach you how to spot fakes. Another thing is that you should avoid buying items that may be considered as too cheap; avoid buying items that are too cheap to be true because most times, it’s a fake. Avoid private bidding or sellers who ask for privacy; most times, they are only trying to protect themselves from being called out by knowledgeable experts. You can also learn how to recognize false signatures. You can identify a printed signature by feeling the item with your hands, the texture of the ink would let you know if it is a printed signature or not. Another tip is to search for exact duplicates of a signature on item. You can also identify fake signatures with a magnifying glass.
5. Ask Vital Questions-: When sourcing for products, you must always ask questions to help you determine authenticity of products. First, you must ask for money-back guarantees if the item turns out to be a fake. This would help to protect you as well as your clients. You should also ask questions as to how the item was obtained and the circumstances surrounding the event. All of these details can help to prove whether an item is a fake or not. You can also request for a certificate of authenticity to show that the product is genuine.
6. Learn how to display products properly-: If you opt for a brick and mortar store, you must learn how to display your products in such a way that it would be appealing to potential buyers. Avoid displaying your products cheaply and carelessly; display them like the masterpiece that they are and make them look as valuable as they are to collectors. Try to invest in some beautiful display cases that would not only make your product look appealing but would also protect them from dirt, wear and tear.
7. Join the Universal Autograph Collectors Club-: This is like an umbrella body for collectors. Becoming a member of this club would guarantee your easy access to items that you can sell.