While receiving the money was undoubtedly a relief, flipping furniture is also a deeply fulfilling and sustainable side business. Why not make some extra money and save the planet at the same time? Continue reading, you will learn everything about furniture flipping including money and tips.
Is Flipping Furniture Profitable?
So, the question you’re probably wondering, and I was wondering the same thing when I started, is can you actually make any real money flipping furniture?
Yes, selling furniture for a profit is possible.
With the money I made flipping furniture in a year, I was able to pay for my wedding planner, my extremely expensive photographers, a portion of my venue fee, and the floral arrangement.
Furthermore, you can earn money by selling used furniture instead of paying for online courses that promise to make you a millionaire by selling specialized fitness equipment or esoteric medical supplies. If you’ve looked up any information about starting a furniture flipping business on Google, you’ll know exactly the kind of article I’m referring to.
What Types of Furniture Should You Buy for Flipping?
Generally speaking, you can start making money more quickly the quicker the project is completed. When compared to a large dresser or buffet, a small end table will move days faster. But it also won’t make as much money. Here are some ideas for quick-selling items in my experience:
- End tables
- Storage Chests (like old toy boxes or trunks)
Things that are practical sell more quickly. Additionally, items that are easy for one or two people to load into a truck or trailer. It might take a little longer to move heavier and bigger items like china cabinets and dining table and chair sets.
Traditional china cabinets are no longer widely used, and they are frequently unsuitable for homes with limited space. Although it again depends on your population, I’ve discovered that those are a little harder to sell.
Furthermore, you will probably have to pay more upfront for these larger items. So you must ensure that you can turn a profit. It will also take a lot longer to paint a dining table and chairs because it is more difficult. You must account for the time you spend.
Additionally, don’t disregard something just because it is dirty or smells bad. I can assure you that it is cleanable. Even a lifetime’s worth of cigarette smoke can be eliminated, albeit with a lot of work and ingenious solutions.
What Furniture Should You Avoid?
I wouldn’t advise you to never purchase any particular item. However, in my experience and in the region where I live, bed frames don’t sell well. Of course, bed frames are purchased, but they don’t appear to be as profitable to sell.
I didn’t enjoy installing dining tables because of the time commitment, but again, check your neighborhood. Grab one of those if they’re in high demand. Another item that doesn’t seem to do well here is the bookshelves, which seem strange to me.
In general, avoid these items for furniture flipping:
- Things that are broken and you don’t know how to fix them. If a dresser looks amazing but has three broken drawers, pass it up unless you can fix it or use it for something else without drawers.
- Furniture with drawers that don’t slide – this is the top question I get when selling furniture with drawers – “do the drawers slide well?”. Sticky drawers are undesirable to people.
- If you don’t want to strip the paint and start over, a piece that has been painted over too frequently. There’s no doubt about it; however, it will take time. It will be obvious if you attempt to paint over a poor paint job.
- If you’re flipping furniture, part of the appeal is that it’s typically older and of higher quality, which is why people want to buy it. However, cheaply made furniture is not desirable to people. Another popular question I get from buyers is “is it solid wood?”. They want to know if the product they are purchasing will last for many years.
- Unsteady or wobbly pieces: If you can’t set something on it without it shifting or wobbling, skip it unless you can fix it. Sometimes it’s a simple fix, but if it looks like it’s about to collapse, move on.
Where Can You Find Good Projects That Will Make a Profit?
Once you have your materials, you can begin flipping furniture. Where do you find them, and what price should you anticipate paying?
You cannot spend a lot of money on something that will take five days to complete and then not be able to sell it for a profit. This gig’s main goal is to achieve that. to generate some income by selling used furniture. Be choosy when making purchases.
Additionally, it depends on where you reside. Some things might be simpler than others. I happen to reside in a college town, which can occasionally be a gold mine for bargains, especially in May and August when students are relocating.
- Online Yardsales on Facebook – this is the most successful place To get the best deals, I’ve discovered, you must act quickly. Also, always exercise caution; never travel alone, and whenever possible, meet in a public area. These appear to have replaced Craigslist, but it’s possible that you can still find good deals there.
- Goodwill or other thrift stores – Just because a store needs to turn a profit doesn’t mean you can’t find a good deal. That inventory is something they don’t want to keep. Due to the large number of donations they receive over the weekend, Monday mornings are frequently one of the best times to visit.
- Friends and Family – Contact your friends and family if you’re just getting started. You’ll be surprised at the number of people that have “junk” they can’t wait to unload and often for free! Post a request asking if there is a neighborhood Facebook group. Never be afraid to inquire! Or do you know a relative who has a basement stuffed with things they don’t need? Ask if you can take some of it off of their hands.
- Yard Sales – this one is kind of obvious, but cruise around yard sales, especially when they’re winding down for the day. If it hasn’t already sold, chances are the owner has no desire to lug it back inside or haul it away, which means you have the opportunity to score some incredible deals.
- Estate Sales – Don’t think just because you see the word “estate” that you can’t find amazing deals. I’ve gotten some amazing projects from all the estate sales I’ve visited. Even though they were ugly to begin with, I managed to find two end tables for my bedroom for only $25 each! They look amazing after just two coats of paint. To find sales in my neighborhood, my go-to website is estatesales.net.
What to Avoid When Flipping Furniture?
Now that you have everything figured out and are prepared to begin, there are a few tips that may enable you to increase your earnings. You want to turn a profit, so that’s why you’re doing this.
Avoid crazy colors. You might have a thing for bright yellow. There is nothing improper about that. The truth is, however, that neutral colors tend to sell more. Although I don’t have anything against strong colors, you want to attract customers and are trying to appeal to a broad audience.
You have a better chance of making money off the sale of your furniture if you can win over the masses. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of experimentation; not everything needs to be white, but the vibrant colors might not be as popular. So just be prepared.
Don’t attempt to handle more than you can. Although it can be difficult to resist a good offer, if your garage or basement is stuffed with unfinished projects, focus on those first. It can quickly spiral out of control. Ask my garage or my husband, please!
Stalk your online yardsales – see what goes fast and then start searching for similar items. When students in this area move into new apartments, dressers are very in demand.
Avoid using shortcuts that compromise the quality of your work. Take pride in your furniture flips. I know that sounds obvious. Clean out the drawers, sweep the cobwebs from underneath, and take off the hardware before painting—all the little things that set your work apart from the competition will boost your earnings.
How Much Should You Spend?
What price can you anticipate paying and still making a profit, now that you know where to look and what to buy? There are no absolute laws. Much of it is based on where you live. A lot of people move and sell their homes because I live in a reasonably populated area right next to a large university.
When you find something you like, start by accounting for the cost of your materials and your time. For instance, even if you pay $150 for a dresser that is in excellent condition—the drawers slide smoothly, there are no broken pieces, and it’s sturdy—you are still likely to make money. I’ve previously sold dressers for prices ranging from $175 to $325.
If you aren’t keeping the current pieces of hardware, you might also need to account for their cost. I found some excellent deals on Amazon that would make great ideas for new hardware!
Grab an end table if you can find one for $20. It will be sold for perhaps $50–$60 after being painted a gorgeous color. Consider a time when you looked for furniture.
In a store, there aren’t many end tables of good quality for $50. It’s worthwhile if you can turn someone’s unwanted yard sale item into a treasure and make $30. I realize that a $30 profit is not a lot, but it adds up over time.
Where Should You Spend Money On?
Quality Paintbrushes – Purdy and Wooster are a resource I frequently use. Both are high-quality, reasonably priced brushes that last for many years. Both Purdy and Wooster—my husband prefers Purdy and I prefer Wooster—will do just fine to give you a great finish. Start with a few sizes; to get started, I’d buy a set of brushes like this one in a combo pack. You’ll spend more time picking out tiny brush hairs from all of your projects if you purchase the cheapest brushes available.
Paint Pail and Liners – These pails and liners have been my lifesavers when painting furniture. You don’t have to lug the can around and run the risk of spilling all your paint or hurting your back trying to hold it. The handle makes it incredibly easy to hold, and you can add a small amount of paint at a time. Your brush is kept out of the paint by a magnetic strip on it. You won’t paint without them ever again after giving it a shot.
FLOOD Floetrol – This item is an additive that you can mix with paint to improve leveling and reduce brush strokes. This will enable you to achieve the desired look if you’re going for a flawless finish that looks polished. This can be a lifesaver for giving your piece a smooth appearance, especially when you’re just getting started.
Sanding Sponges – Make sure your paint adheres properly if you desire a high-quality finish. To accomplish that, you must remove any previous top coat and smooth out any paint bubbles or chips. Coarse, medium, and fine sanding sponges all work well.
Nitrile Gloves – When working with chemicals like paint, stripper, and other supplies, you need to keep your hands covered. You’ll go through a lot of gloves! My favorites are made of nitrile because they are simple to remove after use and don’t cause excessive hand perspiration as latex does. Fortunately, their price has decreased a little bit since they also experienced a steep rise.
Quality Paint – You don’t have to invest in the best and most expensive paint available. But don’t buy the cheapest item. The quality of various paint brands and types will differ significantly. And you’re not required to order a premium brand or anything of the sort. Any home and garden store carries high-quality paint. Try some different things and see what you like. You can read some of my paint recommendations in my guide to painting furniture. If you want to try selling furniture for a profit, there will be a lot of trial and error and personal preference, but don’t just buy the cheapest item you can find.
Basic Tools – You only require a hammer, screwdriver, and pliers. You only need the most basic tools to get started when you need to remove furniture’s hinges, knobs, and other components. Grab a starter set like the one I have—it was the best Christmas present ever!) or get a few individual pieces to get you started.
Cleaner – Before you begin, the majority of used items will require a thorough cleaning. Nobody wants to purchase a stunning object that gives off a musty or smoky smell when the doors are opened. For years, I’ve used Zep 505, but any industrial-strength cleaner should work in most cases. Try not to paint over years’ worth of grime and oils. It’s not going to look good. Give cleaning some thought; it will be worthwhile. If necessary, take a look at the best techniques for eliminating smells from the furniture. When I used to flip furniture, I smelled some pretty disgusting things.
Optional – Electric Sander – Flipping furniture, such as dressers or tables, will be so much simpler with an electric sander. To send a large flat surface by hand can be laborious and taxing on the elbows. It’s not impossible, but if you intend to work on a lot of projects, it will save you a ton of time. However, don’t feel obligated to immediately spend the money on this one. Consider investing in one like this or this once you have some money from your first sale.
What Are the Tips for Furniture Flipping?
These were my rules of thumb when I was into flipping furniture regularly:
- Dressers – $150 or less if possible
- End Tables – $25 or less
- Buffets – $250 or less (buffets are a huge ticket item these days – the storage potential is amazing and they fit into the crazy popular farmhouse style if that’s the market you’re selling to. Buffets with new finishes have been listed and sold for more than $500. Even if you only spent $150, that would still be a sizable profit.
- Storage Items – $25 or less if possible
How to Market Your Furniture Flip
Okay, so you’ve found your ideal piece and have painted or stained it to perfection. You must now sell it to earn some money.
Online marketplaces are, of course, the most obvious places to sell. Consider creating a Facebook page if this is something you want to do as a side business on the side.
You’ll have a specific location to sell your goods if you think of a name. Post your ads on Facebook yard sale sites, your personal Facebook page, or local directories.
- People will ask if you can list every dimension. Include it in the summary.
- If you are open to negotiating the price, make it clear in your statement.
- Instead of listing your address on your post, specify the town where the item must be picked up or if you are willing to deliver, including the delivery charge.
- One of the most important secrets you should be aware of is how to stage your item. People won’t give your listing a second glance if you take a blurry photo in a dark room.
Is Flipping Furniture Easy?
Flipping furniture is a great way to supplement your income during downtime. Best of all, all it requires is a few easy-to-learn skills and you can start for as little as $100. You can create a masterpiece out of any piece of furniture, from kitchen tables to dressers and armoires.
This article should have demonstrated to you how simple it is to locate used furniture online that you can sell for a profit. Furniture flipping can be a great way to get where you want to go, whether your goal is some extra side money or to completely replace your current income.