Flipping Furniture: Ultimate Guide

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Last Updated on October 23, 2022 by Chris Panteli

Flipping Furniture

What if I told you that by simply working an extra few hours each week you could be earning an extra $1000 or more! Where do I sign, I hear you say!

Flipping furniture is an awesome way to earn that sweet extra cash. First of all, don’t panic! You don’t need to be the next Ty Pennington to make money from furniture flipping. That’s the neat thing about this project. Anyone can get started with minimal investment and by spending time learning a few basic skills.

In this detailed guide, learn everything you need to know about the flipping furniture process. Most importantly, you will learn the best ways to make the most money out of furniture flipping!

Guide To Flipping Furniture

Guide To Flipping Furniture

Flipping furniture isn’t about throwing chairs around! No, it’s about setting up a successful furniture flipping business. Taking tired or older pieces of furniture and breathing life (and profit) into them.

If you’re unsure about furniture flipping, consider this. By 2025, the second-hand furniture market in the US is anticipated to be worth a colossal $16.55 billion!

All you need is a little know-how on things such as what sells and what material to use and you can start earning your share.

How To Get Started Flipping Furniture

Start out small by buying a couple of pieces, restoring them, and reselling. Take your time to learn how to restore pieces to a high standard.

Keep doing this and in no time at all, you will have a great understanding of what sells for the most profit.

You could begin as a flea market flipper. Heading to the flea market when starting out is ideal as you can get a feel for how much things cost without spending too much. A furniture flipper needs to be able to negotiate to keep costs down. Negotiating skills can easily be practiced at the flea market!

Best Types Of Furniture To Flip

Older pieces of furniture that aren’t too damaged are ideal for furniture flipping beginners. This is because they won’t cost too much to repair and can be refurbished quicker.

A dresser, a coffee table, chairs, or other pieces of old furniture could all be profitable. Solid wood furniture is often great as it resells well. Once you’ve developed your furniture restoration skills, then you could start buying old furniture that needs greater repair work done. To start with, stick to high-end furniture that has minimal damage or just typical signs of wear and tear. 

These will be easier and quicker to fix which means you can start earning faster!

Where to Find The Best Furniture To Flip

Succesful furniture flipping means buying pieces cheaply and selling for the most profit possible. The good news is that there are lots of awesome ways to get furniture cheaply or even for free!

Look out for a yard sale or garage sale in your area. Don’t be afraid to bargain either as usually the people selling want rid of the stuff cluttering their home! They may be prepared to lower the price if you can take the item straight away.

Check out your local thrift store regularly. If you visit often, then note when new stock is made available for sale. You might have competition so getting to the store first means you get the best stuff!

Online you can try Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Craigslist to find quality furniture. Make sure to check out the free section on Craigslist as people often give stuff away to anyone that can collect it. 

You could also search online for local recycling groups. These are handy groups that people use to give stuff away for free.

Where To Sell Your Furniture

There are plenty of options to sell your furniture both online and offline. You should advertise on multiple channels to increase your chances of a sale.

Don’t forget that fees or shipping costs may apply when selling online. Take these into account when setting your prices.

Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Craigslist give you access to millions of potential customers. To save shipping costs you could advertise to those in your area that can collect. Remember to list the item as pick-up only.

Once you’ve established your furniture flipping business you can set up your own website. Websites can be set up cheaply and this means customers can buy directly from you.

Using social media to sell your refurbished furniture is possible if you have plenty of followers. For example, you could build an Instagram account documenting the restoration process. Add links on your profile for interested shoppers to buy the furniture when ready.

Hosting a garage sale or estate sale is another good option. Make sure to advertise it on local Facebook groups or neighborhood websites. You could also sell any other unwanted items you own to get some extra cash.

Flipping Furniture Process

Flipping Furniture Process

Flipping furniture is a straightforward process. First, find an item you want to flip and buy it. Once you’ve picked it up the next step is to restore the item as required.

When the furniture is ready for sale you must create a listing using quality photos and sell the piece for a profit. Easy! 

Now let’s break this down into more detail.

Buyers Guide To Flipping Furniture

Congratulations on starting your furniture flipping business. Now you need to buy some furniture! Will any old piece do? Definitely not! 

Ask yourself these questions when buying furniture to flip.

Is the furniture like new? Finding furniture in a flea market, thrift store, or online that doesn’t need much work is ideal. That’s because you can sell it quickly and make more profit! A coat of furniture paint or some new drawer pulls are all that some pieces need to be ready to sell. 

Can it be repurposed? Some pieces could be modified and sold as something else. For example, a cabinet could be changed into a bookcase. Repurposing furniture is sometimes worthwhile if the original piece won’t sell, but changing it to a more popular piece guarantees a sale.

Is the piece visually appealing? Occasionally you will see a piece of furniture and think WOW! If you think this, chances are there are lots of other buyers that will too. Trust your instincts when this happens. 

Knowing what not to buy is important. You don’t want to be stuck with pieces of furniture you can’t sell! Avoid buying anything that is severely damaged. Rotten or destroyed pieces will probably not be repairable. Even if they are it will be at your great expense and time. Not worth it.

Understanding The Market Before You Buy

Understanding what will sell is a vital tool in buying the right furniture to flip. Check local furniture adverts to get an idea of what is selling. Look online to understand trends and focus your efforts on furniture that is popular.

Vintage furniture, painted furniture, or real wood furniture are pieces that often sell well. Cheaply made furniture using fake wood or MDF is best avoided.

What Should You Pay For Furniture To Flip

When buying furniture to flip, always think about how much it will cost to refurbish. Your profit will be affected by both the purchase price and the cost of refurbishment.

Aim to pay no more than $100 for any individual piece. The only time you should break this rule is if you believe the piece would have a high resale value. A rare piece of furniture could be worth paying more for.

How To Negotiate For The Best Price

First, don’t be afraid of negotiating. Anyone selling a piece of second-hand furniture expects potential buyers to ask for a cheaper price.

Before negotiating consider how much it will cost you to refurbish the item and how much you expect to sell it for.

Think about this and set yourself a maximum price. If the seller won’t meet you, then walk away. Don’t waste money buying furniture that won’t sell for the price you want. That’s less profit for you!

How To Add Value To Maximise Profit

By approaching the project the right way, you can maximize your profit. Here are a few tips on how to achieve this.

The Materials You May Need

Running a furniture flipping business means you need suitable transport. Collecting and shipping furniture means you need to be able to move it. A car will be fine if you only work on small furniture pieces. To work on the big stuff you may need a truck or SUV.

You will also need room to work in! A garage, basement, or spare room can all be used as a workshop.

Gloves to protect your hands are a good idea. You could use disposable gloves or get a heavy-duty pair depending on the project.

Wood filler will fast become your best friend when refurbishing furniture. Use it to fill in those dents and gaps. Once dried and stained no one will ever know a chunk of wood was missing!

Reupholstery, Painting, Restoration, and Modifications

A furniture makeover could involve painting, reupholstery, or other tasks that require specialist tools. You may not need all these tools, but this list will cover most jobs. Check before buying to make sure it’s one you will use for the furniture you plan to work on.

  • Rags
  • Chalk paint
  • Paint stripper
  • Paint or stain
  • Painters tape
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sewing machine
  • Sandpaper
  • Staple gun
  • Steel wool
  • Tack cloth
  • Wood glue

Some flipped furniture can easily be upgraded using a stencil and some spray paint.

How to Reupholster Dining Chairs - DIY Tutorial

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Calculating Sale Price and Profit Margin

You’ve now used all your elbow grease to get some beautiful furniture ready for sale. How much should you sell it for?

Start by working out how much you’ve invested. Include the purchase price, cost of materials, transport costs, and the time you’ve spent on the piece.

Now you know how much you’ve invested, it’s time to add profit on top. The amount you add is your choice, but between 200-400 percent would be more than acceptable.

If you’re unsure, check how much similar pieces are selling for and set your price within that range. You can always amend the price anytime should you need to.

Flipping Furniture Success Strategies

If you’re starting out a new furniture flipping business, here are a couple of strategies that will help.

Promotion and Marketing

Your furniture won’t sell if nobody knows about it! Start by listing your items for sale on multiple websites. Use social media to share links to those sales pages and don’t be shy about asking friends or family to share those links with others. By promoting your items you will have a much better chance of a sale.

Presentation is key. Don’t post one blurred picture of your beautifully restored furniture in a dark room. Instead, take the time to take several quality photos. Make sure the light is right so potential customers can clearly see the piece. 

Staged photos are a great idea as it helps buyers visualize how they could use the piece. For example, you might restore a dining table. Take pictures of the table with a centerpiece such as a bowl of fruit and places set for dinner. Spending a little bit of time on marketing your items means a better chance of them selling and for a higher price.

Raw Material Cost Reduction

Spending less on materials means more profit in your pocket! To do this look out for deals on supplies. Bulk buys can often be a cost-effective way of reducing the cost of materials.

Buying materials online is usually a cheaper option than local stores. Sites like Amazon can help you save money on supplies by using their subscribe option for regular purchases.

Adding Additional Revenue Streams

Your newly acquired furniture restoration skills can provide an opportunity to earn extra money in other ways. Here are some suggestions.

Offering Furniture Repair Services

Advertise your services in the local area using Facebook, leaflets, or local online groups. This can be extremely profitable as you don’t need to spend time and money buying any furniture. You can use your existing supplies to repair the piece and get paid!

Custom Orders

Custom orders could provide a great source of extra revenue. A customer may have a piece that needs restoring or they might request you find a specific piece of furniture that needs refurbishing to suit their decor. 

Keeping your pulse on the latest trends is an excellent way to stay ahead of the competition. Specific colors or designs may be popular. Certain types of furniture may be highly sought after. 

By tracking what people want, you can concentrate your efforts on creating those pieces. That way you can earn more!

Pros And Cons Of Flipping Furniture

Pros And Cons Of Flipping Furniture

Starting a furniture flipping business will take patience, elbow grease, and a willingness to learn. However, if you are prepared to put the work in the rewards can be worth it!

Here are the pros and cons of flipping furniture for you to consider.

Pros:

  • You will make money! Extra money is always welcome. Whether you want to spend it or save it, you need to have it in the first place!
  • Learn a new skill. Now you’ve learned how to restore the furniture you can earn money in several ways. Flipping furniture, repairing the furniture, or doing custom orders. You can also fix your own furniture now which means not having to buy new stuff for your own home!
  • The schedule is up to you. Starting your own furniture flipping business means you don’t have a boss! You can work when you want and for as long as you want. Flexibility to work like this makes it much more enjoyable.
  • Environmentally friendly. Upcycling means you are doing your bit for the environment. Rather than letting good-quality furniture go to the landfill, you are rehoming it. Some buyers are environmentally conscious and look for reclaimed furniture. This means more customers for you!

Cons:

  • An upfront investment is needed. However, how much you need to spend to get started could be less than $100. If you can source furniture for free, then you only need to pay for materials!
  • Location does affect earning potential. If you live in or near a city or large town, your chances of earning are much better. This is because there are more potential customers. There is also a much bigger pool of secondhand furniture for you to buy from.
  • No guarantee of income. If you are producing beautiful furniture, then it should sell. However, there is no guarantee you will sell anything. Alternatively, you may enjoy several months of good sales, then a month where nothing sells. 

This kind of side hustle means you need to be prepared that some months could earn nothing. By diversifying into custom orders or furniture repair, you can still earn in those months when your restored furniture isn’t selling.

Suggested Furniture Flipping Resources

There are lots of resources online that you can use when working on any DIY project including flipping furniture. Here are some of the best:

The YouTube channel Thrift Diving by Serena Appiah is packed with DIY advice and examples. Ashleigh Lauren provides fantastic advice for those looking to do affordable refurbishments. 

If you want to know how to take an old piece of furniture and make it look stunning, then April Bee could be for you. Her DIY home series uses time-lapsed shots to bring the transformation process to life.

Dashner Design & Restoration is superb for learning more about restoring mid-century furniture. 

Wood furniture will probably be the type of furniture you work on most. Ross Taylor Woodworks walks you through restorations from start to finish.

Check out this video, How to Whitewash and Distress Furniture. Great for beginners!
Book lovers can read The Furniture Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Identify, Restore & Care for Furniture by Christophe Pourny. This is a fantastic resource full of tips.

Flipping Furniture: Ultimate GuideFlipping Furniture: Ultimate Guide

FAQs

Can I sell used furniture for cash?

Yes! People often give undamaged furniture away as long as you can collect it. You can pick it up for free and resell it straight away. Sell it in a yard sale or online using sites like eBay.

How much money can I make flipping furniture?

Your skills, amount of time available, and location all affect how much you could earn. Earning thousands of dollars a month is possible for a few. Most furniture flippers earn up to $1000 per month. It just depends on how much time you can invest!

Is there any furniture I should avoid?

Avoid flimsy furniture such as items made using fake wood. These are hard to restore and prone to damage when transported. Antique furniture can be expensive to buy and intricate pieces that require hours of painstaking restoration are not worth it.

What furniture is best for flipping?

Solid wood furniture from the 70s and 80s is the most profitable.

Is furniture flipping profitable?

Absolutely, yes! How much you make is determined by how much time you can invest. Earning $1000 a month isn’t an unreasonable goal.

What makes furniture flipping a good side hustle?

Furniture flipping is accessible as no experience is needed. You can get started cheaply and work on projects whenever you want. This makes it a great choice for anyone that’s willing to learn. Oh, and you can earn $1000 a month or more!

Where is the best place to sell furniture?

Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are probably the best two sites. Selling on these sites gives you access to millions of possible customers. If shipping isn’t something you want to deal with, then these two sites are great for sticking to your local area.

Flipping Furniture

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