I find it’s more and more common that when I am out antiquing, thrifting, or junking I end up in conversations with folks that tell me they are Pickers. I regularly receive emails from my online stores from folks identifying themselves as Pickers. I’ve only been involved with antiques and collectibles for a handful of years and have not heard the term PICKER as often as I do now. Perhaps we have mainstream shows and television networks like the American Pickers, HGTV, A&E, Cash and Cari, Storage Wars, Bargain Hunt, Auction Kings and Pawn Stars to thank. I was even recently contacted by a casting agent to be featured on a new type of Antiques/Collectibles/Pickers television show so this tells me being a “Picker” is a very hip and happening thing these days!
I am constantly researching and learning about antiques and collectibles and am honing my skills. Since I really have a passion for antiques and collectibles I can say I fully enjoy all the learning! I have written many articles right here on my blog sharing tips with my readers about selling online, selling at antique malls, buying and selling at flea markets, antiques and collectibles shops, thrift stores etc. The best tip I can share is for you to become an Expert in whatever it is you buy/sell. You almost must have a Niche and Specialize.
5 Tips for the novice Picker:
1. Research. If you follow my blog then you know I am always touting the term “Research” as the more you know about a variety of items the better Picker you will be and the better Seller your will be. You need to know what items are collectible, what items no one really want and what items to specialize in.
2. Getting Dirty. Don’t be afraid to get dirty. Sometimes you have to crawl around in an attic, basement, or out-buildings to Pick the treasure. No one said Picking was easy. Heck, even at flea markets and garage sales you will find dirty or grimy items, items in need of TLC. Also, don’t overlook dumpster diving especially when you see someone is moving or being evicted (good idea is to check to make sure you have permission from the people or landlord to go through the dumpster).
3. Learn to Negotiate. You must be respectful of other people’s stuff….they are attached to their stuff so if you want their stuff you need to learn how to negotiate. Remember “He Who Speaks First Looses” so you need to learn to get the owner of the stuff to first let you know if its for sale and then how much they want for it.
4. ReSelling. Pickers pick as a business and must have a way to off-load the merchandise. Make contacts with thrift shops, antiques shops, decorators, designers, dealers (jewelry, coin and stamp), flea market vendors, online sellers etc. You can re-sell to these folks and charge a commission. Once you develop a reputation for sourcing or Picking great merchandise you can certainly make a steady and very profitable income being a picker, re-seller or personal shopper.
5. Make sure you talk to a lawyer, CPA or account to get setup as a legal business with your state and learn all you need to learn about running a business as being a Picker is very hard work, demands many hours, and you don’t want to over-look any legalities.