You can make money doing almost anything these days, but have you ever considered flipping used furniture for a profit?
This is one of the best side hustles you can do for a few different reasons:
- It only requires a few hours per week to be profitable (in your free time)
- You can start with very little upfront investment (or zero investment)
- Prior experience is not required
- Almost anyone can do it
So, if you are interested in a simple, lucrative side hustle, furniture flipping may be for you.
This comprehensive post explains how to get started flipping furniture, where to sell it, and tips to maximize your profits!
How to Start Flipping Furniture
Before we discuss how to get started, you may be wondering, “what is furniture flipping, and how does it work?”
The process is fairly straightforward.
As a furniture flipper, your goal is to find cheap, used furniture that people donate or are looking to get rid of on their own. Then you can buy it, fix it up, and sell it for a much higher price.
Now that we know what furniture flipping is, let’s look at where to find furniture to flip and how to get started.
Where to find furniture to flip
Finding used furniture is easy if you know where to look.
Luckily, there are a ton of places to find re-sellable pieces for a very low cost.
Some of the best places to look include:
- Thrift stores
- Garage sales
- Estate sales
- Flea markets
- Antique shops
- Facebook Marketplace
- Other online reselling platforms
Another thing you can do to find more furniture is to ask around on apps like Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up, or Nextdoor.
Create a post letting people know that you are looking for used furniture. Some people might message you first about their furniture before they create a listing for it.
Most of the time, these people just want to get rid of their unused furniture as quickly as possible. The quicker they can find someone to take it, the better.
Flipping free furniture
On the other hand, some people don’t want to go through the hassle of listing their used furniture online or driving it to a thrift store.
In this case, they will either throw the furniture out or put it on the corner for bulk trash to pick up. These items are great for resellers to get started flipping free furniture.
You can typically find used furniture by searching through trash-cans, driving around neighborhoods, or searching in the “free” section on Craigslist.
As unflattering as dumpster-diving sounds, finding free furniture can really maximize your profits. This is because you are not spending any money upfront.
Keep in mind that not all free furniture is worth grabbing either.
Most of it is garbage.
But if you look hard enough, you will be able to find some items that are easily repairable and worth good money.
Flipping furniture ideas
It takes time figuring out what types of furniture to buy for resale and which ones should be left behind.
When you are first getting started, it is best to find cheap, simple furniture items that don’t require a lot of refinishing.
This will help you learn what items are most profitable.
It will also give you practice fixing up simple projects before you purchase larger pieces.
Once you gain some experience, you can begin searching for larger, more profitable pieces to restore and sell for a much higher price. Overall, it’s best to look for high-quality pieces that you know you can repurpose and sell quickly.
Materials to get started flipping furniture
To start flipping furniture successfully, you will need a few materials to get started.
The amount of materials you will need depends on what type of items you are reselling and how much you are willing to invest.
Here is a list of some materials to consider:
- A large area to work in with good ventilation for painting
- A large vehicle or a trailer to transport bigger items
- Wood stain
- Paint tools (brushes, rollers, tape, etc.)
- Wood glue
- Nails, screws, and bolts
- Electric drill
- Staple gun
- Any other tools or materials to help you refurbish old furniture
Again, not all of these items are necessary. You may even have most of them laying around your house already.
Try to start small and gather materials as you need them to avoid burning a hole in your wallet upfront.
How to Restore Used Furniture
How much restoring you do depends on the piece of furniture and how much you are willing to put into it.
Some pieces will require a completely new paint job while others will only need some screws or other small accessories.
In some cases, you may even need to find large replacement pieces such as table legs, shelves, or drawers.
For advanced projects, I recommend searching on Youtube for videos on how to restore wood, reupholster furniture, and restore old furniture pieces.
How to Sell Non-Restored Furniture
If you aren’t very handy or don’t have money to purchase all of the necessary materials upfront, you have other options.
For instance, you can gather used furniture and sell it right away without fixing it up or restoring it.
It’s important to understand that while selling non-stored furniture is possible, it definitely is not preferable. Here is why:
- You miss out on a lot of profit by not fixing the furniture
- Items that are in decent-enough condition to sell are hard to find
- You may have to sell a lot more furniture to make it worth your time
- You will need to price your items a lot lower than if they were restored
- The furniture may sit in your inventory for a while before someone is willing to buy it
On a positive note, selling non-restored items can save you a ton of time by not having to paint or upholster the furniture. It’s also great for beginners to help avoid large upfront costs on supplies.
To start, you will need to search for furniture that is already in decent condition or requires very minor fixes.
Then you will want to create a listing for the furniture right away to get it sold quickly.
Where to Sell Upcycled Furniture
Now that you know where to find used furniture and how to restore it, it’s time to sell it.
There are dozens of options to choose from to sell your furniture. You will need to decide which one works best for you in the long run.
Let’s take a look at each one.
eBay has been around for a few decades and is a great way to sell your used furniture.
Most buyers are looking to purchase items to be shipped to them, but shipping large items through eBay can get tricky.
All you need to do is set your listings for “local pickup” only to avoid shipping hassles.
Facebook Marketplace is a great place to sell your items because they do not currently take any fees.
This means you can list and sell your products without having to give up any of your profits. Facebook Marketplace allows you to sell locally or you can ship your items as well.
Craigslist is also a great option to sell your restored furniture.
It is quick and easy to make a listing and there are a ton of people on the app searching for used furniture to purchase.
Consignment shops are similar to thrift stores.
The difference is consignment shops sell items for the owner whereas thrift stores take the items to sell for themselves.
If you choose to sell your used furniture at a consignment shop, keep in mind that the shops typically take a major cut of your profits for selling the item for you.
If you have social media accounts, you can offer your items on as many platforms as you would like.
The downside to this is that you would only be offering your furniture to friends and family who are “friends” with you on your account.
However, some social media platforms allow you to set your posts to “public” so that your items will be seen by more than just your “friends” list.
How to Price Your Furniture
It’s important to list your prices fairly for both you and the buyer when flipping furniture for a profit.
If you aren’t sure how to price a piece, consider how much money you initially spent for the item and the amount of time it took you to fix it up. You will also need to consider your vehicle mileage (gas money) and the cost of materials you used to restore it.
The price of each piece will vary based on the factors above. However, you typically want to earn double, triple, or quadruple the amount you spend on the item initially.
For example, if you bought a chair for $25, spent $25 in materials, and then worked on the project for 5 hours, you could easily list your item for $100-$200.
Before listing an item, check what other similar items are being listed for in your area and price your furniture similarly based on its condition.
You can also start by listing your item a little bit higher and if it doesn’t sell sell after a few weeks, you can lower the price.
Is Flipping Furniture Profitable?
Flipping furniture is profitable if you know how to properly choose items to restore and price them fairly for both parties.
If you are not skilled in fixing up furniture, it may take a while to learn how to restore pieces that will sell for a high price.
It will also take some time to learn where to find the best items to sell, how to fix them, and how to price them.
But once you get the hang of it, flipping furniture can be extremely profitable.
How to make money flipping furniture
Learning how to make money flipping furniture is simple.
You start by purchasing a cheap piece of furniture, fixing it up, and then selling it for a much higher price.
The goal is to find items for the lowest price possible and fix up them as quickly and efficiently as you can.
Then you can create listings online for your items to attract buyers. Once a finished product sells, you will be paid immediately.
How Much Can I Make Flipping Furniture?
The amount of money you make flipping furniture depends on a few different components:
- Where you live
- How much time you spend flipping furniture
- Your ability to fix up furniture
- How you market the pieces to buyers
Someone who can put in 20 hours per week flipping furniture will most likely make more money than someone who can only put in 5 hours per week.
Similarly, your location plays a huge role in how you can find items. If you live in a big city where a lot of people are discarding their old furniture, you will have a lot more supply than someone who lives in a rural town.
How much money you can make flipping furniture also strongly depends on the furniture you can find to resell.
For example, say you pick up a chair and a side table and spend 3 hours repairing each. You may be able to sell the chair for $200 and then only get $50 for the side table.
Even though you spent the same amount of time working on each one, you earned a lot less profit on the side table because it wasn’t worth as much.
With these factors in mind, most furniture flippers can typically earn anywhere between $100 and $1,000 per month. Some experienced flippers even make $20,000 or more per month flipping furniture full-time.
Tips for Flipping Furniture
Flipping furniture for a profit is fairly straightforward, however, there are some tips to help you get started.
Buy low, sell high
One of the best tips for reselling is to buy low and sell high.
You want to keep an eye out for cheap furniture that you can buy for a very low cost that you can sell for 2-4 times what you bought it for.
If you find a piece that you want to buy, consider your profit margins before purchasing the item. Some furniture is not worth buying and can end up costing you time and money in the long run.
Don’t spend too much time on one item
In a business like this one, your time is money! The more time you spend on each project, the less money you earn per hour.
You want to spend as little time as possible on each item to maximize your profits.
Keep your prices competitive
Your profit margins are very important when it comes to selling furniture.
But the only way you will sell a lot of items is if you price your pieces fairly for both you AND the buyer.
If you price your furniture too high, no one will want to buy it or even bother to negotiate a price with you. You will end up storing large pieces of furniture way longer than you expected and won’t make nearly as much profit.
To avoid overpricing your pieces, consider checking around to see what similar items are selling for in your area. Then price your items accordingly.
Don’t hold on to items too long
Another mistake to avoid when selling furniture is keeping items in your inventory too long.
You want to keep pieces moving out of your inventory regularly to make room for newer pieces to sell.
If a piece does not sell within a few months and you have lowered the price a few times already, chances are it probably won’t ever sell.
In this case, you can either lower the price to what you bought it for to potentially break even, or you can simply get rid of the item.
Be willing to negotiate
Most buyers that are looking to purchase an item from someone else will want to negotiate on the price.
If you are not willing to negotiate on your prices, you may lose out on some sales.
You do however still want to earn a solid profit.
When pricing your pieces, consider the lowest amount you would be willing to take for each item. This way when a buyer wants to purchase a piece of furniture, you will be confident in your negotiations.
If you decide to ship an item to the customer, you could also offer “free shipping” to help the buyer with their decision. Just make sure to factor in the cost of shipping when pricing your items.
Take good pictures
In this post, you learned about where to sell your refurbished furniture.
When you list an item on any online platform for sale, you want to make sure you are taking good photos.
Surprisingly, good photos in a listing can be a large deciding factor on whether your item sells or not.
When purchasing an item, sellers want to see clear, bright photos that prominently showcase what they are buying.
Never try to hide anything either. If an item has a scuff, a dent, or any type of damage, make sure to clearly photograph every angle of it. Try to take as many pictures as possible.
Write detailed description
Along with taking good photos, you also want to write a detailed description of each piece you sell.
You need to include as much detail on your items as possible including their:
- Any damage
This will help avoid any confusion from the buyer and will show them exactly what they are getting.
When you first start flipping furniture for a profit, you will want to start small.
For example, you could start by purchasing 1 or 2 items and when you sell them, use your profits to buy more items to flip.
If you keep reinvesting your profits back into your business, eventually you will become profitable and can build up your inventory even quicker.
You can also start small by not purchasing a ton of materials upfront. After all, you may not need much at first.
Just buy what you need as you need it and then store leftover materials for other projects.
The Bottom Line: Flipping Furniture for a Profit
Whether you are looking to make some extra money on the side or are ready to start a full-blown business from home, flipping furniture can be extremely fulfilling.
Almost anyone can start this lucrative gig and make a solid profit each month.
Hopefully this guide provided you with all of the tools and knowledge to successfully create your own furniture flipping business!
Hey there, welcome to my blog!
I’m Swati, a mom, a personal finance enthusiast, and the owner of TheBlissfulBudget. My work has been featured in major publications including Fox 10, Credit Cards, Cheapism, How to Fire, Databox & Referral Rock.
I help busy budgeters like you save and make money by utilizing simple yet effective methods that can create wonders.
My Mantra: You are entitled to live the life you desire, and financial bliss should be simple to obtain–check out my blog for helpful tips on acquiring wealth easily.