If you’re someone who spends a lot of time browsing sites like Pinterest, you’re probably no stranger to pictures of beautiful ‘shabby-chic’ furniture.
The “shabby-chic” or “upcycled” look is super popular right now, but it’s actually quite hard to find this style in high street stores, at least not without paying over the odds for it.
The truth is, the best way to get that gently-worn look into your furniture is to do it yourself by refurbishing old pieces.
If you’re interested in making a bit of money from this, you may want to try furniture flipping.
Read on and we’ll show you how to do it, how much you can make, and some gnarly inspirations to get you started.
What is Furniture Flipping?
Furniture flipping is the process of taking old furniture, making it look great again and selling it for a profit.
It may sound like a pipe-dream but, done right, furniture flipping can actually be an extremely lucrative side hustle.
Rob and Melissa Stephenson from Flea Market Flipper made $133,000 in 2016 flipping furniture and making sales on eBay! I’ve tried flipping myself. I never made more than a few thousand dollars. These guys are legend turning it into a full-time income!
They even created a super affordable course on how to duplicate their success called Flipper University. It’s risk-free and they offer a 100% satisfaction guaranteed for this 6-week workshop with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Furniture flipping can encompass anything from woodworking to metalworking and everything in between. Some of the most popular furniture flipping tasks include:
- Wood furniture revamps (refurbishing and refinishing wardrobes, chairs, and tables)
- Reupholstering sofas and armchairs
- Creating furniture from recycled materials such as car engines and glass bottles
For some, the idea of any sort of DIY can be daunting, but the skills required to flip furniture are actually very simple.
Wood furniture refurbishing is the most accessible trade and, in some cases, it doesn’t take more than a bit of sanding and a lick of paint to get old furniture items ready for market.
How Much Money Can Flipping Furniture Make?
From $0 to $10,000 a month but most hobbyists don’t make much besides a few hundred dollars per month. Success stories like Rob and Melissa flipped $17,000+ in just one month with their seasoned experience. The amount is completely up to you and your skills.
The lower figure is for hobbyist and the higher figure comes from the local furniture sellers that pull their numbers from marketing on Craigslist or other online platforms. Local small businesses around us buy and source their furniture (for free often from Craigslist) and spruce them up, breathe in new life, and sell it again on the same platforms for much more.
Some resellers focus on only armchairs and sofas but some resellers do it all, even commissioned furniture projects.
For most projects, the upside is nice cash because flips go for $100-$400 dollars profit. If it’s done right, you can source an old wardrobe for free and sell it for $300.
$300/week of income to some people who work 8+ hours a day at some soul-sucking job!
The downside is that people can be flaking and they will low ball you for a dollar off. But flipping furniture is where easy and fun money can be made using your creative talents.
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The Costs of Furniture Flipping
I highly recommend Furniture Flipper University if you want to take this hobby full-time. The investment for the cost of the course makes up for the upside most definitely.
If you’re new to furniture flipping or woodcrafts, then you may have to make a small investment in order to buy the tools you’ll need to start. For simple furniture flipping jobs, some sanding equipment and a tin of paint are all that is really need – and a piece of furniture of course!
If you don’t want to spend money on your first piece of old furniture, you can use a piece that you already own or, alternatively, check out online community groups, freecycling websites and flea markets to source them for free.
In order to make money from furniture flipping, it’s important to find a bargain where you can and get good quality pieces for low prices. Here is a small list of places besides flea markets and local thrift stores (most recommended) to get you started!
Places to Get Low-Cost Furniture to Flip
Donation and furniture thrift store chain from Habitat for Humanity selling used furniture, home goods, building materials and more at a discount. Shoppers at Restore put profits back into helping local communities and other communities around the world.
You can get the location hot spots of any garage sale spot near you or host a garage sale by advertising yourself on Garage Sale Finder easily. Garage Sale Finder has over a million subscribers so you can find the best sales. It’s a completely free tool.
Craiglist is a goldmine for declutters. We have listed furniture items on Craigslist multiple times and we have accepted discount haggled prices from prospective buyers. It’s a terrific place to find free (or near free) discounted furniture to flip.
One of the best things about Facebook is an ability to reach out to your immediate community of neighbors. The local “Buy Nothing” groups on Facebook goes by your neighborhood.
Every local group has different level of activity, our local Facebook group in North Seattle, Washington is lively and a gold mine for great grabs.
How Much Money Do You Need to Get Started?
Getting started furniture flipping is actually quite cheap, and can often cost less than $100 for the raw materials. What is critical here is really your time and profit.
The first thing you will want to do is find the right item of furniture and secure it for a good price.
Then, once you’ve found a piece to work on, you can decide what tools you will need to create your desired look.
Once you’ve completed your revamp, you can then sell the piece on with the hope of covering your costs and paying for your next project.
As soon as you’ve sold one or two pieces, you will hopefully start to see some good profits as you can re-use paints and tools for more than one project.
Tools and Materials
When you’re getting started furniture flipping, it’s important that you have the right tools for the job. Using the right tools and applying the right technique (which you can get help with on YouTube) will help you to ensure that you make a profit.
Let’s take a look at some essential tools for wooden furniture flippers:
For most flipping projects, the existing paint will need to be removed from the furniture before a new coat can be applied. That’s why paint stripper is essential for any first-time flipper. There are different types of paint strippers available depending on the type of paint, so make sure you purchase the right one when you go to the hardware store.
Sanding is also an essential part of any upcycling process. It will help you to achieve a great paint finish and is also useful in creating that worn look that is so popular right now. For smaller projects, sandpaper may be sufficient, but power sanders are also really useful, especially for large items.
Once your furniture is stripped and sanded, you will then move on to creating a stylish and marketable finish. Whatever your choice of design is, you will definitely need stains or paints and, of course, a brush to apply them with.
So now we’ve covered the essentials, let’s have a look at some tools that can take you from amateur paint stripper to pro flipper:
Tack cloths are a furniture flipper’s best friend. Using a tack cloth can help you to create the perfect smooth finish by removing any dirt or particles from the smooth surface that you may not be able to see – and the great news is they only cost around $3!
Painter’s Pyramids are perfect for people who are upcycling and painting small items. They are basically small pyramid-shaped stands that can hold up the item with minimal contact whilst you paint, allowing you to access all corners and edges with ease.
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Online Places to Advertise Furniture for Profit
Ok, so you’ve successfully sourced and refurbished your item. Now, you’re probably asking yourself, “where can I sell it and make the most profit?”
Selling the furniture for the right price is probably the most important step in the process. Luckily, people love furniture that is vintage, upcycled, chic, retro, [insert any other overused adjectives here], which means that making a good profit on your furniture isn’t that hard if you know where to list them.
Below is a list of some of the other best places to sell your furniture
Jumbo size sites like these are usually full of people looking for a bargain but they’re good if you’re in a pinch and want to sell your items fast. You can also use these sites to source old pieces for flipping.
Sites like Craigslist, Gumtree, and Facebook Marketplace are all great places to make an easy sale but they may not necessarily be the best place to make a longterm profit because they don’t have your own brand/store to it.
Are you ambitious and niche enough? If you are, a well prepped e-store could mean
A really good example of this is The Good Mod, they are an amazing web-based furniture store based out of Portland that specializes in mid-century era furnitures.
Vintage markets can be extremely good places to make a profit on furniture – the other thing? Vintage e-Stores! Shipping will be a necessary expense but a large customer base can mean they will foot those shipping costs, especially if they’re shopping online anyways.
Although it’s often easier to sell for higher prices on vintage markets than it is online, getting enough customer and traffic is out of your control. It depends on your local market but with an e-Store, the entire world is your customer base.
For what you can profit in $100 from a vintage market (after setting up fees and booth fees), you can get much higher by appealing to a specific online market and niche down.
Other E-commerce Platforms:
A favorite for selling locally. OfferUp requires identification, phone number, and TrueYou verification system from all users. There are no fees.
E-commerce platforms like eBay and Etsy are also great places to list your items. Etsy, in particular, is a hub for handcrafted and vintage items. Upcycled and second-hand items can pull a great profit here.
Pretty much the exact concept as OfferUp but a little less known
Everybody on VarageSale has to be confirmed and identified so safety is a high priority. If you are nervous about meeting online and selling then VarageSale would be a great fit. VS vet highly for safety. You can sell anything locally including any range of clothes.
Furniture Flipper Tips and Tricks
1. Snap great quality, accurate depicted photos.
2. Work on copywriting skills and draft up a descriptive sales ad including measurements and materials.
3. Niche down to a specific era, aesthetic, and style so when people are looking over your furniture, they will find even more of their interest in other pieces of your designs.
4. Allow and expect haggling – when you are selling furniture, people will come check it out before final purchase and they’re already there – most people will ask for a discount of some sort. If you agree to a small amount off, you will definitely make the sale and the customer will be happy.
5. List dimensions, material, and preferred payment methods.
6. Find room to store your furniture. It’s not
Recycling furniture for the benefit of the planet and your pocketbook will leave you feeling more than inspired.
Amazing Furniture Flip Examples:
There you have it, that’s all you need to know to get started with furniture flipping. The rest is up to you. Here are some amazing flip examples to get you inspired!
- 1970s TV Stand -> Modern Pop Bar Trolley
- Thrown Out Coffee Table ->
- Old Round Table -> Faux Marble Table Top
⭐ You can see so many more impressive, real furniture flip examples over at Rob and Melissa’s Flipper University workshop where they make flipping their passion and livelihood.