What if you could make an extra $200, $500, or even $1,000+ working a few hours on your week nights and weekends? You would probably sign up right now. It’s a no brainer!
Flipping furniture is a great way to earn additional cash in your free time. Best of all, all it requires is a few easy to learn skills and you can start for as little as $100.
From kitchen tables to dressers and armoires, you can turn any piece of furniture into a masterpiece that someone might be looking for.
The “up-cycled” look is extremely popular among millennials right now making it a great opportunity for you to take advantage. If you have a few hours each week and enjoy DIY work, furniture flipping can be a great side hustle for women, men, and just about anyone who wants to make more money!
So if you’re ready to learn exactly how you can make money flipping furniture and some tips to help you become more profitable and possibly turn your side hustle into a full time gig, keep reading!
What Exactly is Furniture Flipping?
Furniture flipping is the process of buying a piece of used furniture for cheap, and reselling it for a profit.
Some flippers will choose to refurbish the piece for an even greater profit, while others might not want the additional work.
Most flippers spend their time browsing thrift stores, flea markets, and Facebook Marketplace to find their treasures that can make serious money.
Once you refinish the piece, you’ll list it for sale and turn a profit. Sounds simple, right?
Is Flipping Furniture Profitable?
Before learning how to flip furniture, it’s worth exploring if this creative side hustle is even worth your time.
Is furniture flipping profitable?
You can make tremendous money flipping furniture when done correctly. Some flippers make over 6-figures each year from this high paying side hustle.
How to Flip Furniture for a Profit
There are a few things you’ll need to know before you start flipping furniture to be successful. You’ll need to know which pieces of furniture make a good candidate, what materials you might need, and where to buy your furniture.
What Pieces of Furniture Should I Flip?
Some of the best pieces of furniture to flip are those that are older and come with a lot of character and imperfections. It could be a dresser or an old side table, or many other pieces. Your options are endless when it comes to flipping furniture.
You should look for high-quality pieces that show signs of normal wear and tear over the years. These pieces can be refurbished and sold for much more than your initial investment.
There are a few characteristics that can help you spot whether a piece is high quality. I always look for:
- Heavy Furniture. Heavy furniture is typically make of solid wood which is a telltale sign that it is high quality. Try lifting the piece up to see how heavy the item is. Solid wood furniture can be more profitable than other pieces.
- Dovetail Joints. If you can find real wood furniture with dovetail joints, this is another sign the piece was made to last.
- Scratch Resistant. Higher quality solid wood furniture will be more difficult to scratch.
Depending on your skills, you could consider purchasing pieces that are in greater disrepair, but for those just getting starting, look for more simple pieces to refinish.
To spot lower quality furniture, you’ll want to look for these qualities:
- Constructed with particle board, plywood, or fiberboard.
- Low quality joints that are nailed or stapled.
- Pieces that need a complete revitalization. These can take a significant amount of time and work to flip which can eat into your profits.
Types of Furniture to Flip
Some of the best pieces to flip include:
- China cabinets
- Baby furniture
- Coffee tables
- Dining tables
- End tables
Check out this chair flip!
Best Places to Find Furniture to Flip
Sourcing your inventory is often one of the more difficult steps when it comes to flipping furniture. I’ll take a look at some of your best options to find furniture that’s ripe for flipping!
My favorite places are yard sales and Facebook Marketplace.
You can often find pieces of furniture highly discounted and they tend to be higher quality because they cannot be easily moved.
For example, whenever someone is moving, they often don’t want to move all of the furniture and will sometimes sell some of their pieces for extremely cheap. This is the perfect opportunity for you to make money!
Just be sure you have a way to transport the pieces to your home.
For example, I found this awesome antique chest listed for just $100 that I can easily sell for over $300 after restoring it. Keep in mind that the asking price is $100, I’d realistically offer $50 to $75.
Garage Sales or Yard Sales
Garage sales are another great way to find pieces of furniture to flip.
The one downside is that sometimes you’ll need to spend some serious time browsing different yard sales to find pieces.
If you spot an entire neighborhood yard sale, this can be a tremendous opportunity. You can go to many different homes and you’re sure to find a few pieces.
How do you find yard sales? Check out YardSales.net to find sales in your area!
Estate sales can be another common gold mine to finding furniture to flip.
The great thing about estate sales is that you can find some fantastic pieces for a fraction of the price. Because these sales occur primarily after the death of someone, you can often find high-quality pieces of furniture that need some TLC.
However, the not so great thing about estate sales is that you’re competing with other people who are looking for the same thing.
Thrift stores can be great alternatives to yard sales and estate sales.
A thrift store will likely have a much more consistent inventory than either of those two places but I’ve found that it can be more difficult to find good pieces consistently.
Craigslist is very similar to Facebook Marketplace when it comes to selling things online.
In my area, I’ve found that it’s much less active than Facebook, but in your area it might be the opposite.
You can browse through different items and filter by furniture to find pieces in your area. You might be surprised what you might find.
Offer Up is different than some of the other methods in that this is strictly an app based platform.
I’ve found that Offer Up is pretty good for finding things in your area, but it can be difficult to find furniture specifically.
Friends and Family
If you have any friends or family members who are looking to get rid of something, offer to take it off their hands. They’ll be happy to have it out of the house and you might get a great piece for cheap or even free. These can be the best pieces to flip.
Yep, that’s right. Moving companies deal with tons of furniture on a daily basis and, if damaged, they might be forced to keep a few pieces that their customers no longer want due to the damage.
This means you can usually get a great deal and get access to inventory no-one else has. All it takes is a few phone calls!
How Much to Pay for Furniture
You should judge the level of wear on your potential furniture before making any offer.
I suggest spending less than $100 for most of your pieces unless you have an extremely rare piece that could have a very high demand once it’s refurbished.
The quality of your furniture will also affect the price you offer. For solid wood pieces, you’ll want to offer more than lower-quality pieces.
By using platforms like Facebook Marketplace, you can often find free pieces of furniture that people are looking to get rid of. For example, I found this coffee table in my area for completely free.
I should be able to sell this piece for an easy $70 or more if I were to restore it.
Materials Needed to Flip Furniture
In order to start flipping furniture, you’ll need a few items to get started. Depending on the piece you plan to flip, you can expect to use at least a few of the materials below.
Depending on the size of the furniture you plan on flipping, you’ll need some way to transport it when you purchase and sell it. If you are flipping larger pieces, you might need a truck or SUV where smaller pieces might fit into a smaller car. You should know what pieces you plan to flip and arrange transportation accordingly.
Space to Work
This might seem obvious but you can’t flip furniture if you don’t have a clean space to work! It could be your garage, basement, or even spare room in your home, either way, you’ll need to find a clean area to work.
You should also be sure the space is well ventilated and free of debris so you can paint your pieces without having to worry about bumping into things.
Painting, Reupholstery, and Restoration Equipment
If you’re planning to renew furniture that requires paint or restoration, you’ll need some equipment that you can pick up at your local hardware store or using the links below to get started. Some of these items are considered optional but might help you (especially when just getting started). You can also check out my list of helpful tools here!
- Paint Brushes – opt for high quality brushes that will last.
- Painters Tape
- Paint Stripper
- Paint or Stain
- Sanding Materials
- Sewing Machine
- Staple Gun
- Wood Glue
- Steel Wool
How Much Does it Cost to Start Furniture Flipping?
Between finding furniture to flip, the equipment needed to get started, and some materials to paint and refurbish your pieces, you might be wondering how much money it will cost to start a furniture flipping side hustle.
For most flippers, you can expect to spend anywhere from $100 to $250 to get started. The good news is you can make much more than this with this side hustle. Furniture is one of the best items to flip to make money so you’ll surely recoup your money.
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How to Restore Old Wood Furniture
Now that you have all of the materials needed, it’s time to start “doing”. If you’ve never done any woodwork before, it’s probably a good idea to check out a few of the videos below to help you along the way. Being a capable woodworker can be very helpful, but it’s not always necessary.
How to Restore Wooden Furniture
- When restoring wooden furniture, you’ll need to first strip any of the old paint or stain from the piece. I recommend this paint stripper. It will make your job 10x easier! To do this, apply paint stripper to the furniture and give it time to dissolve into the wood.
- Next, you’ll need to neutralize the stripper by applying the proper spirit or polish remover and rubbing it into the wood in the direction of the wood’s grain. NOTE: The paint stripper you use should note what spirit or polish remover you will need.
- After rubbing your neutralizer into your piece, you need to check to ensure your furniture is clean of any paint or stain. If there is still leftover, reapply the paint stripper and repeat the previous steps. If it is clean, wipe it off and let it dry for 24 hours.
- Next, you’ll need to smooth the wood using sandpaper. If you find that there are many spots that are rough, use sandpaper to smooth them out.
- Next, make any repairs or changes to your furniture. Consider swapping out the legs of your furniture or making other adjustments.
- After the furniture is clean and smooth, you can apply your favorite stain as desired. After applying, wipe away excess stain and let it dry.
- After the stain has dried, you can apply a finishing oil or wax to add shine. After each application, you should let it dry before considering another coat. The more coats you add, the more shine your piece will have. Once you are happy with its sheen, let it sit for 24 hours to completely dry.
- The last step in restoring your wooden furniture is to apply the final coat of wax to your piece to add even more shine.
How to Reupholster Furniture
Another option to consider when deciding to flip furniture is to reupholster furniture. This involves repairing or replacing the fabric on your piece of furniture giving it a fresh look and feel. Reupholstering furniture can be very time consuming but it also can give you a unique opportunity to make money because of less competition.
How Much Should I Sell My Refurbished Furniture For?
After you’ve successfully refurbished your piece, you’ll need to determine how much to sell it for. It’s wise to first write down the amount of time and money you have put into the piece. This should include your initial purchase price, the price of any materials used, any transportation costs, and all of the time you have spent working on the piece.
Once you have determined the amount of time and money you input to the piece, you can oftentimes mark it up by 200 to 400 percent.
For example, let’s say you bought a piece for $50, used $50 in materials, and spent a total of 6 hours of your time on the piece. You could reasonably ask for anywhere from $200 to $500.
A good way to determine your selling price is to gauge what other similar pieces have sold for recently. If you notice that a piece similar to yours sold for more, you can raise your price.
You can always adjust the price of your piece after posting it. If you are not getting much of a response, you can always lower the price and adjust accordingly.
Where to Sell My Furniture?
After determining how much to sell your furniture for, you’ll need to find somewhere to sell it. There are many different options available, but some might offer better prices and ease of use than others.
Just as you can buy items on Facebook Marketplace, it can also be a good place to sell your revived furniture. You’ll gain access to billions of people instantly and there are no fees for selling your items. Check out some of these awesome tips to selling on Facebook Marketplace for more help!
Craigslist is a great place to list your items for sale. It will take less than 5m minutes to get your item for sale and users can easily reach out via an anonymous email address to input their offers or questions.
Sometimes a garage sale can offer you the ability to list your refurbished furniture for sale. The advantage of holding a garage sale is that you can also list other items around your house for sale as well.
If you’ve ever visited your local antique store, you can often find many pieces of revitalized furniture. Typically you will pay for booth space where you can display as many items as you’d like. Some antique stores will also charge a percentage of your sales.
eBay has been around since the early 2000s and offers sellers a way to sell items to millions of shoppers online. The downside of eBay? Many shoppers will be out of your surrounding area, making shipping and transportation a hassle. However, you can make your items as “Local Pickup Only” where the buyer will be forced to pick up the item themselves.
If you want to up the ante with your furniture flipping business, you could consider creating a website to sell your pieces. You can start a website for a couple of hundred bucks per year or less, but it gives shoppers the opportunity to browse your products any time of day.
If you’re looking to start a website, I recommend using SiteGround to get started. You can easily build a website and have it up and running in less than a day.
Anyone with a social media account can consider offering their items for sale as a regular post. If you have a large following, or numerous friends and family, they can reach out to you directly on the platform to make an offer for your furniture.
How to Sell Used Furniture for Cash
Sometimes you might not even need to restore furniture to make money. You can simply browse local classifieds to find furniture that is free with pickup and re-list them for a profit. Below are some of the best places to sell locally used furniture for cash.
- Facebook Marketplace
- Garage Sales
How Much Money Can I Make Flipping Furniture
How much you make flipping furniture depends on several factors. How much time you have, how skilled you are, and where you are located can all impact how much you can make.
When it comes to flipping furniture, the majority of your work is time. The more time you can spend searching for and selling your furniture, the more money you can make.
For example, you might spend 2-3 hours searching for a good piece of furniture to flip, but you could make over $500 on that piece. Or you might spend 1 hour searching for a piece you might only make $50 on. As with any business, the more time and effort you put in, the more money you will get out.
Most furniture flippers will make anywhere between $50 to $500 per month but some of the best have been reported to make over $20,000 per month with this hobby turned business.
The Flea Market Flippers have made over $100,000 flipping various items including furniture and they’re currently offering a completely free webinar so you can learn how to do the same. Join today to start making money flipping furniture!
Ready to start a furniture flipping side hustle and make extra cash? Check out the video below!
Some of My Favorite Furniture Flippers
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Tips to Start Flipping Furniture for a Profit
When you first start flipping furniture, you’re bound to make mistakes. We’ve gathered some of the best tips to help you get started!
Look for Quality Furniture
When it comes to flipping furniture, you should always look for quality pieces. After all, renewing a few year old piece from Ikea isn’t going to make you any money. Find pieces that are made of real wood like Oak and Cherry (Hint: they’ll probably be extremely heavy!). These pieces are more cherished and will be easier to sell when the time comes.
Take Time and Don’t Skip Steps
You’ll probably be tempted to skip certain steps that are time-consuming or seem “unnecessary”. To avoid mistakes, be sure to complete these steps no matter how unnecessary they may seem. This will save you plenty of time in the long run. The entire process can take some time so be sure to dedicate some time to doing it right.
It might take a little longer to do things the right way, but in the end it will be worth it because you’ll make more money per piece and people will be more likely to buy from you again in the future.
Understand Design Trends
Finding shabby chic styles can be key to maximizing your returns with this side hustle. Using chalk paint and the right paint techniques can give your finished pieces the look you want so you can sell them for a profit.
Have a Clean Dark, Open Space
Having a clean space to work will ensure that you do not have to repeat steps when refinishing your furniture because of debris or dust gathering on your piece.
It’s also a good idea to leave your furniture out of direct sunlight so that the wood does not bleach when being restored.
Imperfections are Perfect
The main reason people opt for antique furniture is the character that it holds. Over the years, the wood will change and imperfections arise. This is what makes antique furniture so sought after. When restoring your furniture you might want to consider leaving some of the imperfections it holds to keep its character.
Just because you put a lot of work into fixing up a piece of furniture doesn’t mean you can charge an outrageous price for it.
A good rule of thumb is to charge about double or triple what it cost you to fix it up (don’t forget to include your time as a cost!), plus any additional materials you had to purchase.
For example, if a dresser cost you $50 to fix up and you had to buy new hardware for it, you could charge around $200 to $300 for it after expenses.
This rule obviously doesn’t apply in every situation, but it’s a good place to start if you’re not sure what to charge.
Don’t Accept Your First Offer
Whenever you get an offer, you might be tempted to accept it if it turns a profit for you. But it’s better to either counteroffer or decline the offer altogether if it is too low. You need to understand the costs that went into flipping your pieces before selling your items and accepting an offer.
Become More Productive or Skillful
With any skill, the longer you flip furniture, the better you’ll become. This will make you a more efficient furniture flipper making your items less expensive. This comes with time and knowledge so be patient!
Promote Your Items for Sale
By promoting your items, you can sell them for more money. If you only list your item for sale on one location, you minimize how many people will see it and therefore make an offer. Promote your items on multiple platforms to maximize your exposure and offers!
The best way to make more money flipping furniture is to lower your costs. There are many different ways you can achieve this. Maybe it’s by purchasing supplies in bulk or reducing your transportation costs. Either way, lowering your costs can help you become a more profitable furniture flipper.
Spend Less Money on Supplies
Spending less on your supplies goes hand-in-hand with lowering costs, but we think this deserves its own section.
Between paint and materials, you can easily spend a large chunk of your potential profits on various items. Instead of purchasing your supplies at more expensive (but convenient!) specialty craft or home improvement stores, consider purchasing your supplies online through websites like Amazon or eBay to save money.
Charge for Delivery
Boost your furniture flipping profits by charging for delivery. If a customer falls in love with one fo your pieces, there’s a good chance they’ll be willing to shell out some extra money to have it delivered. Charging to have your items delivered is an easy way to earn extra cash.
Showcase Your Items the Right Way
How your pieces are presented is highly correlated to how much you can sell them for.
For example, if you take a low-quality picture of your piece and list it on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, there’s a good chance you won’t get as much as you could by taking high-quality photos or staging them in a manner that boosts its’ appearance.
This doesn’t mean you need to have the most expensive camera, however. Do your best to ensure your pictures look appealing to potential buyers.
Flip a Few Pieces at a Time
To start a profitable reselling business by furniture flipping, you’ll want to be as efficient as possible with your time. To do this, try flipping multiple pieces at the same time. This means you’ll only need to make one trip to buy furniture so you can save on gas and transportation costs.
When selling your pieces, your response time can be critical to getting the most for your items. Whenever you first list your item, be sure to be available for a few hours to respond to any questions or comments that buyers may have.
Use Scarcity to Your Advantage
If you’ve restored an old, antique piece of furniture, there’s a good chance it has a vary unique appearance that cannot be found elsewhere. When selling your piece be sure to use this to your advantage!
This might mean pricing your item higher and explaining to potential buyers that they might not be able to find a similar piece anywhere else.
One big mistake people making when flipping furniture is not knowing what colors are currently in style and which ones to avoid.
Nobody wants a bright orange buffet or end table sitting in their home. Try to use more neutral colors that can fit in many different home styles.
Never Pickup Furniture Alone
When purchasing furniture from someone you don’t know, never go alone. Try to find someone who can go with you and always aim to meet at a public place during the daytime.
Watch Out for Scams
Scams seem to be everywhere nowadays, and that includes purchasing and selling furniture.
When purchasing furniture, never give out your credit card info or allow them to take your card where you cannot see them.
When selling your pieces, try to accept cash as your primary form of payment and bring a counterfeit pen with you to detect cash that’s not real. If you do accept other forms of payment, ensure the payment goes through before you help them take your furniture.
It’s worth noting that they can always dispute the charge with their credit card, so see if you can get a signed agreement to avoid this.
You should also never accept a personal check as these could get returned, which could cost you money.
For these reasons, it’s best to stick to cash when selling your pieces.
How to Start a Furniture Flipping Business
To take your side hustle to the next level, you might opt to start a business.
Follow the steps below to start your own business!
Create a Business Plan
Having a business plan is critical for any business, big or small and that includes when going full time flipping furniture.
Your business plan will help you map out the steps you need to take to start your business, as well as set future goals.
A business plan should have several components including:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Service or product line
- Sales and marketing strategy
You can check out this guide to making the perfect business plan.
Get Funding for Your Business
Thankfully, a furniture flipping business won’t cost much to start, so you won’t have to worry about this step too much.
But if you do need a little cash, there are several options. For example, you could ask friends and family for money or you could opt for a small business loan.
Be sure to understand any terms and conditions whenever borrowing money so you don’t get yourself into any financial trouble down the road.
Choose a Business Structure & Name
Next, you’ll need to decide the structure and name of your business.
For most businesses, an LLC or sole proprietorship is best. You can consult with an accountant or lawyer to help you decide which business structure is best for you.
When it comes to naming your business, try to keep it simple and easy to remember.
Register Your Business
Once you’ve landed on the name for your business, it’s time to register it with state and federal agencies.
This means getting a business license and tax ID number to ensure your business is legal.
Open a Business Bank Account
Keeping your personal and business finances separate is crucial for any business owner.
This will help you stay organized and make it easier to do your taxes come tax time.
Start Your Business
Finally, it’s time to start your business! You can conduct any marketing you plan to do, build your website, and start finding customers.
Final Thoughts on Flipping Furniture
Flipping furniture can be a great side hustle for anyone with a few extra hours on the weekend and can even become a full time income for some people. You might think that you need to be handy or a strong woodworker to be good at flipping furniture but that is not true. With the right tools and time, anyone can become a profitable flipper.
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