Antique collecting is a very big business and one of the best ways to start building up your inventory of quality antiques is with the help of antique auctions and estate sales. Bidding in antique auctions or estate sales is a great way that you can find pieces you may not be able to find anywhere else. If you have a community of the right collectors or a great storefront where the item could be resold for a profit, you can start to make a healthy sum of money in the antique resale market.

Some top tips to get you started include:

Finding a niche: start working on some research for a particular niche within antiques that you are very passionate about. If you have some experience collecting sports memorabilia, furniture, jewelry, toys or clothing, stick to this as your main buying and selling category.

Look for only an established dealers: auctioneers and dealers that have an established reputation in the market are always the best to deal with. Choosing a company that’s very inexperienced could mean that you might fall victim to a potential scam or some low-quality items. Antique auctions performed by experienced companies will also run much more smoothly and they will know how to pack/care for the items while they are on the auction block or shipping to you.

Know the signs of fakes and restorations: training yourself to spot a fake or restoration is extremely important. Most collectors are interested in original pieces when it comes to antiques with minimal restoration. A botched restoration, partial replacement of an item or a complete re-creation/fake could be substantially less value than the original piece in great condition.

Consider auction costs: most auctions will have extra fees such as taxes, buyer’s premiums, auction fees and shipping. If you’re going to relist items at auction remember all of these additional fees. When buying items remember to leave a little bit of money in your budget for shipping the item and other applicable costs associated with the actual purchase of an auction.