Flipping furniture is a great way to earn $100 to $500+ in your spare time. And, best of all, you don’t need much experience.
In today’s guide, like my many flipping guides, I’m going to talk about how you can flip furniture, how much you can make as well as provide you with a free blueprint to get started. If you love the idea of finding furniture and then selling it for a profit or even refurbishing a piece you found on the side of the road, I will cover it all.
As always, I’m 100% honest, so with that being said, let’s jump and see how you can make a few hundred dollars in your free time.
How to Start Flipping Furniture
Before you hop in the car and start looking for or buying furniture, there are a few things you will want to know before you become successful. In this guide, I want to answer a few questions to help you make as much money as possible as well as find the right pieces that will help you turn a profit. Let’s start with the first one…
What is the Best Furniture to Flip for a Profit?
In my research online, some of the best furniture to flip for a profit are often your older pieces, maybe 20+ years old. You will want to find something with character that stands out from the basic pieces you find at Walmart or IKEA. And, as long as it’s a piece of furniture, it doesn’t really matter what you flip, again, as long as it’s something unique. Yes, it can be a bed frame, a dresser or even an end table. If it’s defined as furniture, it’s worth taking a gamble on, again, as long as it’s unique and old.
So, what I recommend is that you ask yourself: Have I seen this anywhere? Does it have character? Is it unique? Most pieces you’re going to find using my strategy won’t be in the greatest shape, but again, it doesn’t require much experience to bring a piece of furniture back to life, especially with YouTube.
In my experience, end tables, dressers and chests seem to do the best on the market.
What Should I Pay?
This is a tough question as there are so many pieces of furniture on the market.
To figure out what you should pay, I would recommend taking a look at your local marketplaces (see below) to see what other people are charging for a high-quality piece. Again, your goal is to take a piece of furniture in bad shape and turn it into something looking new.
So, I will give you an example.
Let’s say you found a nightstand made of oak that needs some work. If I check out Facebook Marketplace, I’m seeing some nice, solid pieces selling for $160 to $220. So, it’s safe to say a nice, polished oak nightstand could net you $150, at least, maybe even more. Again, research is your friend.
Now, you have to ask yourself what your time is worth.
If you bought a slightly beat-up nightstand for $30, and it took you 8 hours to polish it up, would you be happy with a $120 profit for 8 hours of your time? Don’t forget the time you had to research, the tools/supplies and picking up the furniture.
If you’re having fun doing it, then why not, right? But, if you’re saying that’s way too little, then you need to find a different piece of furniture.
This is only a question you can answer, but I can offer my advice…
- Stay under $150~ for dressers
- $40 or less for end tables
- $200 or less than buffets
Overall, I recommend buying pieces for less than $50 to start out and then comfortably increasing your budget as you gain experience.
What to Avoid
Before I tell you where you can find furniture to flip, I wanted to let you know what you should avoid to increase your earnings.
Too much restoration. You will find flipped furniture on the market on occasions, and in these circumstances, what happens is that they just want to get rid of it since they can’t make money. In this case, you may find the piece has been painted too many times. While you can strip the paint, the many layers can take a lot of time. If you’re willing to invest your time, then sure, go for it. If not, skip out.
Can you repair it? If it’s broken and you don’t know how to fix it, you may be getting yourself in trouble. While there’s nothing wrong with purchasing something broken, just make sure you know how to fix it.
Bad drawers. I have found that sticky drawers don’t sell well at all. If your drawers don’t slide well, they can be fixed, but again, if you don’t know how to fix the drawers, a sticky drawer situation won’t sell.
Don’t be cheap. There’s a lot of cheap furniture online. Think IKEA. If you’re going to flip, go for the older, more durable wood products. Solid wood is something that lasts for years and is often in great demand.
Where to Find Furniture
If you’re interested in flipping furniture, then let it be known that there are a lot of places you can check out to find both free and used pieces. Listed below are a few of my favorite places to find furniture that can be flipped.
Craigslist can be hit or miss, depending on where you live. I usually like to check out the “free” section to see what’s available, but the for sale section can have some gems as well. If you go the freebie route, good pieces go fast, so you will have to quick. Most of the time, what you will see is that it’s a “curb alert,” which means it’s at the curb and it’s first-come, first serve. It can get annoying to deal with some of these, but one freebie score can make your day.
Every day, I like the Facebook Marketplace more and more. It reminds me of Craigslist at its peak, only that you can see who you’re dealing with. This just doesn’t happen with Craigslist since you never know who you are dealing with. The Facebook Marketplace offers a variety of options, from free to paid, and best of all, you can message right within the platform. Again, keep your eyes peeled as the good stuff goes fast, especially if it’s free.
Garage or Yard Sales
These are some of my favorite options as people just drag their unwanted furniture into their driveway and then hope someone will take it off their hands. If you go early enough, you may be able to snag some slightly used pieces at a good cost. Depending on where you live, check out Craigslist or even local Facebook Groups to see who’s having a garage sale this upcoming weekend. If you live in a busier suburb, then just drive around on a Saturday morning and look for the garage sale signs. You may be amazed at how many you find.
If you want to start now, I highly encourage you to check out your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. As long as it’s a thrift store, you should be able to get a decent deal on some furniture. What I have found with thrift stores is that almost all furniture is pretty beat up, but it isn’t always the case. As I mentioned above, it’s important to do your research to know what you can expect if you plan on flipping it. Again a lot of factors are involved, but thrift stores will almost always have something worth investing it. Just plan on getting your hands dirty.
Restoring the Furniture
Most of what you find will need some work, of course, and, while I don’t want to go into detail as to how to restore this furniture, YouTube has plenty of options to help you restore just about any piece. And, yes, they have plenty of videos for beginners as well. It takes some time, but it’s not as hard as you think. All you will need is some space to work and the tools necessary to complete the job.
What I recommend is the following supplies if you were to focus on wood furniture
How Much Should I Sell For?
I touched on this prior and I will touch upon it again.
It’s going to depend on what the market is willing to pay.
Again, check out Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and even local selling apps such as OfferUp. See what people are selling for a similar piece but in great condition. This is what you can get for it more oftentimes than not.
As a general rule of thumb, I would say you should at least be prepared to mark up your furniture at least three to four times the amount. If you invested $35 in a nightstand, including your supplies, then I would want to get at least $120 for it.
There’s no right answer here since there are so many pieces of furniture, but with the right research, you can get your answer relatively quick.
Where to Sell Your Furniture
I did a whole post on this very topic listing more than 20+ options, so I recommend you check it out to see where you can sell both used and new furniture. There are a lot of options, including the following:
These are your best online options, but you can also consider selling to a local consignment store or even holding a garage sale. All of these options should allow you to sell your furniture in person and avoid the hefty shipping fees. As you can imagine, it’s wise to stick to a local meetup as shipping fees can get outrageous, seeing any furniture can far exceed 50+ pounds.
How Much Can I Make?
This is only an answer you have, as it will depend on how hard you work and which pieces of furniture you decide to flip for a profit.
Let’s say you find three pieces a week and it takes you an entire day to refinish each piece of furniture you find. If you were to, say, profit $100 from each piece at a minimum, that’s $300 or about $1,200 for the month. But, as you can imagine, it’s a lot of work, seeing you will have to invest about 24 hours to see this profit.
However, as you gain experience and work faster, you can refinish furniture much faster than this and earn a higher hourly rate. You can also get good at knowing where to go to find slightly used furniture.
Again, there are a lot of factors involved, but with the right amount of work, I would say you could earn anywhere from $50 to more than $500+ in profits, may more or who knows? Maybe less. It’s going to depend on how well you pick out your pieces and where you sell. So many factors are involved.
How to Maximize Your Earnings
Be patient. If you get an offer right away, that could be a bad thing as you priced it too low. In this case, don’t haggle any if they come in offering less than what you put the furniture up for in the first place.
Know trends. Over the years, I have learned some trends that work for me. For example, during the college move-in season, usually during the later summer months, college students love to buy furniture second hand. During this time, dressers and night stands fly off the shelves. This is one example, but it’s important to pay attention to these to capitalize on the demand.
Experience pays. This goes along the lines of being patient. Don’t expect to hit a home run with your first flip. In fact, maybe you will only break even, who knows? Like anything, it may take a few attempts before you get good at it.
Take Great Pictures. This can be said about any online marketplace. Always make sure you’re taking great pictures with great staging. Don’t just take a picture in your workshop or garage. This means great lighting and paying close attention to detail.
Be Descriptive. Always make sure your descriptions are as detailed as possible. This should include measurements, the dimensions of drawers, etc. The more a buyer knows, the better.
Research. In your free time, do as much research as you can. Browse Facebook Marketplace, look at Craigslist and see what’s popping up. Then, compare these pieces to what they are selling for in good condition. After a while, you will get good at what particular pieces can go for without having to devout much of your time.
Watch Supplies. Your supplies can really add up over time, such as paint, brushes, etc. If you plan on flipping multiple pieces of furniture, then it’s a good idea to purchase in bulk or research additional retailers to make sure you’re getting the best price. Amazon.com and eBay.com can often yield some great results, but Google Shopping may find some hidden gems as well.
Test the waters. While this guide can get you excited, don’t overdo it and go out and purchase five pieces. This is just going to overwhelm you and stress you out. Focus on one piece at first to test the waters to see how the market works.
Avoid the crazy colors. Even though you may think a bright orange is a new and trendy color, simple sells. While there’s nothing wrong with your thought process, you will want to appeal to the masses, which means being neutral. While you can attempt to do something crazy, I have found that it can take up to four times longer to sell the furniture in comparison to something basic.
Don’t be cheap. Don’t rush out your restores as fast as you can. Instead, take your time as buyers will notice when you cut corners. Dust off the furniture, remove any hardware before your paint and pay attention to all of the little details. Trust me, your buyers will love it.
If you love being handy and enjoy the hunt for finding a good deal, whether it be at a local thrift store or online, then furniture flipping may be for you. Why not try to purchase a piece of furniture and see what you can do with it? You never know where this adventure can take you?
If you’re going to flip futurize, then let it be known that it can be a great way to earn $100 to $500+ a month, depending on how hard you work at it. I would definitely consider it as a side hustle.
That’s going to do it for now.
As always, feel free to add to what I have written already. You can do so in the comments section below.
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