When you realize you don’t like a piece of furniture anymore, you actually have a 2-in-1 problem; you have to figure out what to do with this old piece of furniture, and you have to shell out the cash to get something better. Or do you?
Flipping furniture is an affordable and fun way to get make a statement with a piece you already know fits into your space. Furthermore, even if you’ve never used them before, many of the techniques for flipping furniture are simpler than you might imagine. Keep reading for some beginner tips and tricks you need to know and some inspiration to get you started on your own home DIY!
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What Does It Mean To Flip Furniture?
Flipping furniture is different from regular DIY. Instead of creating something from a bunch of materials, you’re taking an old piece of furniture and using those materials to turn it into something new. You can even make some money doing it while keeping your favorite pieces current.
Can You Flip Furniture For A Profit?
You may have a good idea if you want to turn flipping furniture into a side business. If you want to keep things cheap, shop at flea markets, and thrift shops, or just stick with used furniture. The less you spend, the higher your net profit will be. We love watching shows like Flea Market Flip on HGTV or YouTube channels like The Sorry Girls for inspiration.
Flipping furniture not only increases your income, but it also teaches you valuable skills that you can use later on to save money.
What Types of Furniture Can You Flip?
Any type of furniture can be flipped. I’ve moved bookshelves, end tables, multiple patio sets, grills, barometers, wall art, stools, vanity mirrors, Pyrex, coffee tables, and one ridiculously heavy marble entry table (never again). I’ve turned any piece of furniture you can think of.
Environmental Benefits Of Flipping Furniture
While receiving the money was undoubtedly a relief, flipping furniture is also a deeply fulfilling and sustainable side business.
Did you know that each year, NINE MILLION TONS of furniture end up in landfills? Moreover, did you know that the amount of furniture being dumped in landfills is constantly increasing? In our homes, furniture is the item that is least likely to be recycled.
What better way to earn money while saving the environment? Let’s start dumpster diving and release our inner little trash panda. For those just starting out, here are 25 tips for furniture flipping.
How To Flip Furniture?
1. Learn The Dates For Garbage Day And Moving Day
Did you just clutch your pearls? Let’s get to the point quickly and honestly. Your best option is to locate free furniture to resell if you want to maximize your profit, which you probably do. Flipping furniture that is destined for the landfill is the best way to make the most money, especially in affluent areas.
You can take advantage of finding free furniture to sell by being aware of trash day. You can score some great finds for nothing by looking for furniture at the end of driveways or on sidewalks while it’s being picked up by the trash truck.
Additionally, be aware of the date of the moving day. As mentioned above, I once flipped a marble and mahogany entryway table that someone “didn’t feel like dealing with” when they moved. They’ll be content that it is not on their curb. The free product will make you happy, and no one will think less of you.
Around the end of the month, when residents are moving out of apartment buildings, you can find fantastic furniture-flipping projects there as well. These dumpster dives could be gold mines if several people move at once.
You can also keep an eye on the “free” listings of But these are well-liked locations to find free items. Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace If you wait, somebody else might get there first.
2. Have The Fundamental Tools On Hand
Prior to flipping furniture, make sure you have a few essential items. To get organized, go through your garage or the hardware store. You’ll likely make frequent use of the following woodworking and building tools:
- sandpaper of various grit
- a drill
- paint and paintbrushes
- wood filler
- drawer liners
- Super Glue or Liquid Nails
- Tide pens
- stain or varnish
You’ll also require a ton of cleaning supplies. My friends were shocked by the number of items I sold that only required thorough cleaning. Remember to keep plenty of sponges or rags on hand as well as liquid soap in stock.
3. Power Tool Safety
You don’t need to be Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor, but you’ll want to be familiar with how a drill and sander work. Although it’s not necessary, I used a table saw for a few of my more complicated projects when I was flipping furniture.
4. Look For Easy Flips
It will blow your mind how many people drag brand-new and like-new items to the curb every day under the assumption that “The item will be picked up by someone.” My friend, you are that person. I’ve sold patio sets in excellent condition, brand-new Pottery Barn mirrors, and lamps that appeared to be unused from Restoration Hardware.
I sold several items that only required minor repairs, including a piano bench with a crease in the leather that I was able to iron out with a towel and an iron (yes, leather can be ironed), three tables that only required the tightening of a few screws, a wood file cabinet that was missing one of its wheels, and numerous pieces of outdoor furniture that only required a quick stain or power wash before finding a new home.
Jump on the brand-new item that someone has evidently decided they no longer require. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can make by doing just a little work if you also keep an eye out for items that just need a quick clean or minor touch-up.
5. Flipping Things Covered In Fabric Requires Caution
Furniture flipping with fabric can be challenging. You don’t know whether the item was previously owned by a smoker, had pets, or might be infested with bed bugs or fleas. I have flipped a few fabric chairs and a sizable ottoman (or pouf designed for Hagrid, a friend of Harry Potter). However, in these instances, I snagged them from the curb of my familiar neighbors.
A vinyl and fabric mid-century modern chair I once gambled on turned out to be a good investment after I gave it a spot cleaning. But flipping fabric fragments requires caution. They might end up being more trouble than they’re worth.
6. Choose Two Or Three Different Product Categories
From clothing to fitness equipment, people flip everything. Because it is actually needed, furniture moves quickly, but storing and maintaining it takes up some room and work.
Moreover, I turned over some old Pyrex and Depression glass. It made sense for me to flip because I collect it, am extremely knowledgeable about the subject, and genuinely enjoy it.
If you try to flip everything, however, you will end up with bins and bins of random items that haven’t moved yet, and it will likely drive your partner or roommate bonkers.
7. Look For Free Materials On The Furniture
Did you come across a dresser on the curb that was obviously beyond repair and headed for the landfill? If you can think of a use for the knobs, wheels, or even the drawers, don’t feel bad about salvaging them. I once used drawers to create and sell a set of hanging shelves.
8. Use The Materials
Avoid wasting money on materials. It is better for the environment and your profit margin to use up materials you already have. Modge Podge or hot glue can be used to attach new drawer liners, craft stencils or partially used paint pens can be used to dress up an otherwise plain piece, Sharpies can be used to cover up scrapes, and even leftover house paint can be used on accents, well-sanded pieces, and edges. All of these techniques are perfectly acceptable.
9. Take Good Pictures And Style
For furniture flipping to go smoothly and quickly, having quality and pertinent photos are crucial. You DO NOT need to use a professional camera. You DO need to set up shop for your flips in a spot that’s tidy, well-lit, and free of clutter and other annoyances.
It also helps to style your item with “on-trend” accents. I once had a coffee table that was impossible to sell. Eventually, I styled the table beneath my macrame wall art with a candle, a snake plant, and modern coffee table books while taking fresh photos. By the time the day was over, that sucka was gone.
10. Utilize Several Platforms And Act Quickly.
Cross-list your items on various platforms in a number of groups on each platform where they apply if you’re really looking to make some quick money. Be prepared to respond to prospective buyers quickly as well.
Although Facebook Marketplace was my preferred selling channel, I also had success with OfferUp, LetGo, Nextdoor, and eBay’s local pickup options. Missed connections and serial killers predominate on Craigslist.
11. Join Facebook Groups For Specialized Topics
Is there a specific object you’re flipping? Join Facebook groups that are specifically for buying and selling. I’ve sold a lot of Pyrex there, but you must be ready to abide by the rules of each group and be well-versed in your subject, particularly when selling Pyrex. You guys, the Pyrex women don’t play.
12. Keep An Eye On The Latest Trends
Online, there are numerous articles detailing how someone was able to purchase a seven-bedroom, six-bath home in the Hamptons by selling a single, enormous piece of medical equipment. But let me ask you this: how long did that item gather dust in your backyard, guest room, or garage?
Choose flips that are in demand if you want to make consistent and reliable money selling furniture and other items. A cute kitchen cart, coffee table, or bookshelf is much more in demand than an instrument like a barometer (I’ve sold one) or a xylophone, which are both unnecessary items.
It’s also important to know what’s “in” and fits current trends when you pick what items to tangle with. I had immediate sales for my flips of mid-century modern, modern farmhouse, and bohemian furniture. Choose neutral paint colors that will look good in more people’s homes if you’re painting something. The majority of potential buyers might not be thrilled by lime green.
13. Seek Out Chances
It’s easy to express one’s creativity when one’s hobby is furniture flipping. I’ve constructed something entirely new out of recycled materials on a number of occasions.
The hanging boho stenciled shelves on one woman’s broken dresser are on another woman’s broken dresser. (I produced and offered them for sale.) Thanks to some recycled wheels, ingenuity, and a free wood pallet, three different rolling bookshelves were created from a single man’s enormous collection of vintage crates. A wood pallet and two sturdy wooden beverage crates were combined to create a farmhouse wine bar.
14. Give Accurate
What would be my best advice for a beginner flipping furniture? Be truthful and thorough when describing the specifics of the pieces you are flipping. The worst thing you can do is minimize any imperfections or flaws in your product. Your customers might reject the sale, be dissatisfied, and even write a negative review of you. Additionally, you will have disrespectfully wasted their time.
Take pictures of any dings, scratches, or flaws so that potential buyers can see them before enquiring. List as much information as you can about the brand and dimensions as a favor to yourself. If you don’t, you’ll have to send that information repeatedly via chat only to learn that the buyer is no longer interested because it won’t work in their home. Don’t waste your time or effort.
15. Sell A Variety Of Hardware, Including Drawer Pulls, Wheels, And Knobs.
This supports my suggestion to keep the parts from furniture that can’t be turned into money. Keep in mind that you are not the only person flipping furniture right now. Sets of drawer pull, knobs, wheels, and even lampshades will undoubtedly be purchased by consumers. If you can salvage the materials for nothing and sell them for money, that’s a nice profit.
16. Set Sales Are More Profitable.
It might take some time, but one bar stool will sell. I’ll sell two bar stools right away. Choose furniture sets when it’s possible, and look for chances to assemble sets from pieces that didn’t necessarily go together when you can.
This works particularly well with patio furniture! Try listing your unpopular Adirondack chair alongside the similarly unpopular small outdoor end table.
Used furniture purchases should be quick and simple for consumers. If they can purchase something in a set, it will be simpler for them to use it right away, and will be worth their time and effort to pick up because it has a higher value.
17. Avoid Challenging Projects
One night spent browsing Pinterest with my husband was the source of my biggest regret from the time I spent flipping furniture. We got the idea to try it out after seeing someone transform a vintage media console into a kitchen island. Although it is possible, the materials required were extremely expensive, and the process took far too long.
Focus on simple flips if you want to make extra money. If you enjoy flipping furniture as a sustainable hobby, you might like some of the more difficult projects but set a budget so that it doesn’t get out of hand.
18. Never Move Furniture After It Has Rained
Do not go to pick up the flip if the furniture becomes wet during a downpour. Particle board that has warped, molded upholstery, and rust are all a waste of time.
19. Prioritize Your Safety
Make sure your safety is a top priority while flipping furniture. Lifting heavy objects alone is not advised. When working with chemicals, do so in a well-ventilated area. Furthermore, put on the proper safety gear.
Furthermore, avoid meeting strangers alone. If you’re going to conduct a face-to-face sale, choose a busy, well-lit public area.
I restricted myself to porch pickups. I shut and locked my door, turned on the doorbell camera, and left my belongings outside.
I had faith that people would leave cash under the mat or send it to me via Venmo from outside. In all the flips I’ve done, I’ve only ever had someone undercut me on the price we had agreed upon, and I like to think that was because they didn’t have exact change.
20. Be Less Concerned With Accuracy
Before you flip the furniture, don’t get caught up in making sure every piece is flawless. People will purchase worn-out items, damaged goods, and flips with flaws.
People expect normal wear and tear because they are aware that they are buying used goods. However, as I already mentioned, it’s crucial to make them aware of those shortcomings before they arrive to pick up the flipped furniture.
21. Not Be Kept For Longer Than 12 Hours
The number of people who promise to arrive to pick up something but never do is what aggravates me the most about Facebook Marketplace and other online marketplaces. Asking the buyer to Venmo you half the fee in advance is the best way to avoid no-shows.
Set a deadline for when you’ll release the piece to the next buyer if they’re not comfortable with that, and have one or two potential buyers lined up. Keep in mind that flipping furniture is a business. I frequently messaged the other interested parties to let them know that someone had promised to pick it up at a specific time and to ask if they would like to be updated in the event that they didn’t show up.
22. Keep Selling Your Products
Avoid obsessing over minor details to the point of halting sales. Your furniture-flipping business will be put on hold if you engage in excessive haggling over money, refuse to lower your price, or respond slowly to customers. Around you, furniture will begin to accumulate, and you won’t be as motivated to finish your current project.
Although it can be annoying when a bidder offers three dollars less than your asking price, you’re still making money on something you dragged off the curb, and you’ll get that item out of your life.
23. Repairs Should Be Creative.
Minor wear and tear can be repaired or covered in a variety of ways that don’t require returning the item to its original form or functionality. Be inventive when repairing things.
Does the side of your bench have a hole in it? Select a decorative wood decal from Hobby Lobby, then Liquid Nail it over the hole. Does your coat rack lack a hook? Visit your neighborhood Habitat for Humanity Restore and purchase a decorative drawer pull to add as a finishing touch. Are there ominous stains inside the drawer? Over it, apply adhesive to some decorative paper, vinyl, or a drawer liner.
If you’re just starting out, you might have a few more concerns about the particulars and logistics of flipping furniture. Here are some more helpful responses to inquiries I’ve gotten about flipping furniture.
How Did You Transport The Bulky Furniture?
I avoided working with a lot of heavy furniture. There are many parts available; you don’t have to take anything that is particularly challenging. With the exception of the sofa we claimed as our own and had recovered, my husband helped with a few pieces, but I never went back home to ask for help lifting anything.
Did You Have A Specific Vehicle For Moving Furniture?
I operate a vintage crossover SUV, which served as our primary flipper. Near the end of our furniture-flipping adventure, my husband purchased a truck, but we primarily used my car.
Do You Have Any Unique Equipment, Ropes, Or Advice For Moving Heavy Objects Inside Your Home?
A table was once placed on top of a car being driven down our street by three people, and it was held to the roof by each person sticking a hand out the window. I don’t recommend it.
But no, straps or anything else wasn’t really necessary. I just slid my seats back and jammed the furniture inside, but if you have a truck it might be a good idea to keep some on hand.
How Did You Become Proficient With The Power Tools?
I traded him a bottle of Scotch for a morning of instruction on how to use power tools safely. He is a retired boat captain in his 60s. Look for a friend or neighbor who can share their knowledge with you. On YouTube, you can also find instructions for just about anything. Always remember the aforementioned safety advice when using power tools.
Where Did You Get The Furnishings From?
I found a lot of it in our own neighborhood and two nearby developments that were both less than three miles from our house. No shortage of brand-new or usable items is being dragged outside; in fact, it’s quite heartbreaking.