Starting Sports Memorabilia Business: A Guide

Besides playing for their favourite team in the big leagues, what's a sports fan's ideal job? There are probably several answers to that question, but a professional life immersed in sports memorabilia has got to be up there. But could you turn your passion for sport and the associated paraphernalia into a profitable business?

Many people have done just that thanks to the high number of sports fans out there who see collecting sports memorabilia as a long term financial investment or as a tribute to their favourite team. If you're a sports fan thinking about taking your passion to the next level, here's a guide to starting your own sports memorabilia business.

Find your niche

At the beginning of your venture, it's usually best to target a particular type or niche of memorabilia. For example, you may want to focus on selling autographed photos or merchandise, sports cards, hats, jerseys, or game balls. When you've established yourself in a type of memorabilia, you can start to expand your inventory gradually. Deciding which niche to focus on will be a key part of your business plan.

Create a business plan

In order to focus your business in the most profitable niche, you need to carry out some market research to discover where the buyer demand is. This will include analysing other memorabilia traders and dealers. Your business plan should then set out how you will fund, operate, and market the business as well as detailing your budget and financial projections.

Get licensed and insured

You will need to apply for the necessary licenses and permits to start your business and to take out business insurance to protect your business. For example, if you plan to run the business from home, you may need zoning permits. You will also need to register for tax and as an employer if you plan on taking on staff. Find out about permits here.

Find quality and reliable suppliers

Unless you have a warehouse full of priceless sports memorabilia, the chances are that you'll be needing suppliers and wholesalers which can provide you with an inventory of stock. It's essential to make sure that each item you buy is authentic and can be proved to be so. Occasionally you may come across private sellers, estate sales or auctions, but whatever you buy has to be genuine.

Choose your sales platform or venue

Next, you need to decide how and where you will sell your memorabilia. If you have the capital behind you, leasing a store is an option, but as a start-up business, it may be better to start as an ecommerce business initially. This means you can avoid the cost and commitment of leasing a property until you are confident you have a reliable flow of cash to make more long-term plans. You may also choose to sell your items at pop-up stores, social media platforms, and marketplaces, in which case you will need a multi channel ecommerce solution. You will also need to set up a merchant bank account so that you can keep your personal and business finances separate.