Why not start off the year with furniture flipping? This is a great way to earn a bit of extra income in 2023. And if things go well, you can even set up a business out of it.
Granted, flipping furniture requires some startup costs, but it really doesn’t take a large upfront investment to get started. You only need a few tools, and a knack to find used furniture at low costs, or even for free!
So, ready to turn this DIY hobby into a profitable venture? Let’s see how you can start up, along with a few tips for flipping furniture for profit.
What is Furniture Flipping?
Furniture flipping is no more than restoring old furniture, and reselling it for a profit. You can make hundreds of dollars out of a single restored piece.
Think of it as retail arbitrage with an artisan twist. It’s about finding used furniture in your community, which you can then restore and resell for a profit. Here’s the full process in a nutshell:
- Source furniture and take it home.
- Upcycle and refinish the project.
- Take photos and upload them to social media.
- Create a detailed listing for each piece.
- Negotiate with buyers.
- Make a profit.
For example, you can buy from someone who’s updating their living room, or moving out of their house. Chances are they want to free up space, so there’s an opportunity to buy cheap and make it big.
Flipping furniture is also a great hobby to take on. You’ll use your hands, learn about restoration. You’ll also do some upcycling to protect the environment, and extend the life of your own furniture.
Related content: How to Start Reselling on Amazon
Is Furniture Flipping Profitable?
The big question is: how much money can you make flipping furniture? The short answer is yes, because this is a booming business.
According to the New York Times, Furniture listings increased over 40% on Facebook Marketplace in 2022. Plus, users following #furnitureflip on IG grew by 29%. And that same hashtag prompted over 18,000 videos on TikTok.
Plus, you don’t need a large investment to start off. In some cases, flippers only spend around 100 dollars in materials. Plus, they can get furniture for free at garage sales, thrift stores, or Facebook Marketplace.
That’s what furniture flipping is about: hustling old furniture for a low price. Then, you’ll need the proper refinishing materials (more on this below), and get to work!
How to Start Flipping Furniture
Let’s see what it takes to start a furniture flipping business. We mentioned the key steps above, but here we’ll dive more into the details.
As a side note, we recommend this Pinterest thread to find some excellent furniture flipping ideas.
Sourcing Furniture to Flip
First off, you need to choose the type of furniture you want to renew and resell. To do so, consider what you can transport to your home, and your restoration tools.
People with cars should deal with small nightstands and cabinets, chairs and ottomans. Some on a truck may consider dining tables, dressers, or bedroom sets.
You don’t want to spend several days working on a single piece, and then fail to make a profit. That’s why selection and size are key. But you should also consider where to look for furniture.
Go for pieces showing regular “wear and tear”. You’ll fix them in a short time and sell them quickly. This is a great strategy when starting out with furniture flipping.
Buying Furniture to Flip
Here are a few great ways to find furniture to flip:
- Facebook Marketplace. Many users rely on Facebook to declutter their homes. This makes it an excellent site to find old furniture at low prices.
- Thrift Stores. Excess inventory hurts sales. That’s why many brands donate a bit of their stock. Locate the nearest thrift stores to find furniture to refurbish and sell on your own.
- Family and friends. We all need to declutter our homes, and make space for new furniture. Why not help them take the load off? Plus, you’ll often get great furniture for free.
- Garage sales. Cruise around for yard sales around your home. You’ll find unique furniture at great prices. All you have to do is negotiate and take it back home.
- Ebay. This marketplace features many used furniture at a great price. Log in and look for pieces around your locality, negotiate and pick them up. You want to save on logistics as much as possible.
Now, there’s the question of pricing. How much should you pay for a piece of furniture? There’s no single answer. It all depends on the quality of each piece of furniture.
Also, consider your work costs. You’ll need supplies and transportation (sometimes) to find the best buying price for you.
Try and find pieces below $75 when starting out. For example, you can buy an end table for $35, restore it and sell it for $50. Or, say, a solid-wood dresser bought at $150, and resold at $325.
The trick is to leave yourself with ample room to make a profit. And once you get more experience, you can work with more challenging projects.
Supplies and Restoration
In some cases, the furniture may only need a proper cleaning. You can remove grime and dirt using warm water, dish soap, a soft cloth and a sponge.
Now, deeper restorations may need a few more materials. For example:
- Paint stripper, electric sander and sandpaper to remove scratches and old finishings.
- Brushes, paint and painter’s tape to give the furniture new life and color.
- Tools like screwdrivers to remove and add new hardware, if needed.
- Finishing oil and polyurethane protect the furniture.
You can find many tutorials that’ll get you on your way to become a successful furniture flipper. You can also watch this video to learn great furniture flipping secrets.
Where to Resell Furniture
We’re in the age of eCommerce. So, the best place to start your furniture flipping business is online.
You can set up accounts on many sites to resell furniture. Some great places are Shopify, Etsy, eBay and Facebook Marketplace. You can also improve deliveries using Amazon Local Selling.
The key is to create great listings that attract the right sellers. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Product title. State all the details of the furniture in the title. This includes type of furniture, building material, age, color and size.
- Description. Provide as much information as possible. List the furniture’s dimensions, fixed pricing or starting bid.
- Images. Make sure to upload well-lit and clear images to each listing. Let users see the work you’ve done, so they can decide if the furniture is right for them.
Once you make a few sales, try to get buyers to rate and review your service. Customer reviews will help you build a reputation. In return, more users will trust your listings, and you’ll also drive sales.
Related content: How to sell on Etsy
COVID-19 had many unexpected effects. One of them was flipping furniture. People had more free time on their hands than before. Some used it to restore old furniture, and a few others made a profit out of it.
Why not join them? Starting a furniture flipping business can be a great side-hustle. You can start small, and then build up a unique online store.
Furniture flipping takes time and work. But with the right mindset, there’s no reason why you can’t turn this hobby into a successful business. It’s a low-risk business with an increasing market base. So, there’s no harm in trying it out.
Esteban Muñoz is a content writer at AMZ Advisers, with several years’ experience in digital marketing and e-commerce. Esteban and the AMZ Advisers team have been able to achieve incredible growth on Amazon for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts, and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.