How to Make Money Flipping Furniture

In a nutshell

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You’ve seen people flip furniture on TV and social media from dusty old pieces to one-of-a-kind masterpieces. So how can you make money flipping furniture, too?

It’s true we’re obsessed with finding ways to make money but flipping furniture can be a rewarding pastime that brings in a few extra dollars a month. Many creative people have been successful at flipping furniture, and some even do it for a living. If you’re curious about how you can make money flipping furniture, you’re not alone. 

For anyone who’s ever wondered about how to flip furniture for profit, getting started is one of the hardest parts. That’s why we’ve put together this guide, which will lay it all out for you. From determining which pieces you should invest in, to the best ways you can set yourself up for success, our guide includes everything you need to know to start a furniture-flipping business.  

Are you excited to get started with flipping your first furniture piece? Let’s get started. 

How Much Can You Make Flipping Furniture

While many people might associate flipping furniture with side hustles for men, women can be just as successful at this endeavor. Besides picking up pieces initially, there are little to no heavy-lifting processes involved. At the same time, it can be useful to have two pairs of hands working on a single project, as well as two creative minds.  

Many successful furniture flippers make up to six figures a year. This level of success does indeed require certain skills and a certain customer base, but experience is something you can easily come by. All you have to do is start with your first piece of furniture. 

The amount of money you make flipping furniture depends largely in part on how much effort you put into the process. This doesn’t just include physical labor either. You’ll need to research what pieces to buy, what’s popular (think up-cycled), how much you’ll need to put into a piece to sell it, and how you’re going to improve a piece to make a profit. 

That doesn’t include finding a place to sell your flipped furniture or the process of determining prices. Both of these are critical to achieving long-term success when flipping furniture. 

How to Make Money Flipping Furniture

Flipping furniture can be a side hustle that pays well if you know what you’re doing. Many people make the mistake of misjudging furniture flipping as one of those hobbies to make money, but it takes a lot more than just your free time to gain success in the furniture flipping business. 

Determine What Pieces You’ll Flip

The first step in flipping furniture is to decide what type(s) of furniture you’ll purchase. This can include pieces such as baby furniture, coffee tables, dressers, china cabinets, and end tables, to name a few. You’ll want to look for something that has character, as imperfections can help a piece sell more than perfection can. 

The best way to protect your bottom line from the get-go is to invest in high-quality pieces that will get you closer to a finished piece. This can mean spending more upfront, but that may translate to savings in repair costs.

When seeking out potential furniture pieces to flip, look for:

  • Scratch-resistant woods that aren’t as susceptible to damage
  • Heavy furniture that feels solid and well-built
  • Dovetail joints that indicate a handmade or craftsman’s touch 

You should try to avoid the following if possible: 

  • Pieces in disrepair and/or missing critical components (such as a drawer from a dresser)
  • Inferior wood, such as particle board, plywood, or fiberboard 
  • Nailed or stapled joints that point to low-quality production pieces 

The quality of the furniture pieces you have to choose from largely depends on where you seek out those pieces. 

Know Where to Find Potential Profit

There are many places you can look to find your next furniture piece to flip:

  • Garage sales
  • Estate sales
  • eBay
  • “FREE” objects on the side of the road
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Thrift stores

Friends and family can also help you find furniture pieces to flip. In fact, they may even provide a few pieces free of charge. Just be mindful that they may want the furniture back once you’re done with it after they see what it’s become. 

Furniture flipping can be one of the more lucrative side hustles for college students who want to know how to make money fast without a job. Many students move out of their dorms and apartments and leave perfectly working furniture behind. If you can move quickly and scoop up this furniture at rock-bottom prices, you’ll have even more room for profit.  

Protect Your Bottom Line

You can certainly turn $1 into $100 by flipping furniture, but it’s easy to let your creativity take over the budget. Knowing how to successfully flip furniture means you’ve got to keep an eye on your bottom line so you end up in the black, not the red. 

Staying true to budget begins with paying as little as possible to purchase your furniture. This opens up opportunities to spend more on repairs and finishing the piece. Plus, it can also pad your profit margin once the piece is finished and ready for sale. 

Obtaining a piece of furniture for free is always the best way to protect your profits from the very beginning, but it’s not always realistic. Flex your negotiator skills as you pick up pieces and you can be rewarded with getting a piece for less so you can make more. 

Gather Your Materials

Don’t overlook supplies when it comes to flipping furniture. Here are some of the common materials you’ll need to get the flipping going:

  • Capital: No one’s saying you have to invest thousands of dollars in your furniture flipping business, but having some money to set aside for acquiring your furniture pieces, as well as restoring them, is necessary to get your side hustle going. 
  • Transportation: You will need to transport the furniture to your workshop. A truck or SUV works best, but you can also rent moving vans and trucks as well. 
  • Workshop space: As tempting as it can be to throw your furniture into the garage to work on, you may need to look for other workshop solutions. This can include a spare room, basement, or even an outdoor shed. 
  • Restoration equipment: This list includes things like paint stripper, sanding materials, steel wool, wood glue, gloves, and paint. 

As you flip your first few pieces, you’ll realize what supplies you need in addition to this list. Just make sure you keep track of what you’ve spent so you can determine a final price later on.

How Much Does it Cost to Flip Furniture?

Speaking of spending, the total cost of flipping furniture can vary from one person to the next. In fact, it varies from one project to the next as well. 

In total, most people spend about $100-$250 flipping their first furniture piece. This includes expenses such as acquiring the furniture, repairing it, restoring it, and listing it for sale. Your costs will depend on these processes, as well as how much time and effort you put into your piece.

Experienced furniture flippers know how to flip money fast by spending only a certain amount of time on a piece. The more attached you get to it, the more it will cost you—especially if you can’t bear to part with it and keep it instead of selling it. 

How Much Can You Sell Flipped Furniture For

Despite what you may think, you can get rich in a small town by flipping furniture. All it takes is knowing your audience, keeping track of your expenses, and analyzing the market to see how your piece fits in. 

Most furniture flippers mark their restored pieces up by 200-400%. They’ll take the total amount of time they spent restoring the piece and add it to any supply costs necessary for repair. Transportation costs can factor into this calculation, along with the original purchase price. 

While that might seem like a large markup, consider a china cabinet that was purchased for $30. With around $100 in supplies and $50 spent renting transportation to pick up the piece, the total cost of flipping this piece of furniture comes in at just under $200. A markup of 200% would put the final price around $400, leaving you with $200 or so profit. 

At the same time, you will need to keep an eye on the markets in which you’re selling. If a china cabinet such as this one won’t sell for more than $300 in pristine condition, you might be pricing yourself out. It’s better to take a smaller profit to fund the next project than to be stuck with a piece you can’t flip. 

Where to Sell Flipped Furniture

Sourcing quality furniture to flip is important, but finding the right place to sell that furniture is just as critical. Picking the right platform to sell on can mean building an audience as well as a customer base. 

Here are some common places you can sell your flipped furniture: 

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Craigslist
  • Garage sales
  • Antique stores
  • eBay
  • Your website
  • Social media
  • LetGo
  • OfferUp
  • Sell.com

Now that you’ve got a better handle on how to run a furniture flipping business and what’s all involved, what’s stopping you from setting up shop? 

How to Start Your Own Furniture Flipping Business

To start flipping furniture to make some extra money, you’ll want to start with a business plan. Lay out what types of furniture you’re going to purchase, how you’ll fund those purchases, where you’re going to work, and how you’ll sell your finished pieces. Lay out a road map with goals so you can track your progress. 

Funding is the next step in any business, especially the furniture flipping one. Figure out how you’re going to pay for the furniture as well as supplies. Opening a business banking account can help you keep your expenses separate so it’s easier to reference later on. 

You’ll also want to choose a business name and structure. Be sure to register your business with any local organizations, as well as obtain any licenses or tax information necessary to operate your business legally. 

Tips on Flipping Furniture For Profit 

Here are some tips for establishing and running a profitable furniture flipping business: 

  • Follow furniture trends on social media, especially Instagram 
  • Learn how to showcase imperfections, especially in photos 
  • Your ability to find profitable pieces and flip them quickly will improve as you gain experience 
  • Promote your pieces on multiple platforms and never underestimate the power of a flattering photo
  • Buy supplies in bulk for lower materials costs
  • Charge for delivery and avoid shipping your piece 

If you know how to reupholster, this skill can set your pieces apart from your competition. It can be a time-consuming yet rewarding task that elevates your pieces to the next tier. 

FAQs

What’s the best furniture to flip for profit?

Handbuilt and sturdy furniture pieces of all kinds are some of the best to flip for profit. They’re durable and well-built, making them a desirable item for fine furniture seekers. 

Is it profitable for beginners to flip furniture?

Beginners can easily get into the furniture flipping business. In fact, by the time you finish your first flip, you’ll know if you want to continue in the business or just keep it as a side hobby. 

Is flipping furniture a good way to make money?

If you like to work with your hands and have a knack for styling pieces in a popular way, flipping furniture can be an extremely profitable way to make money. 

Are You Ready to Flip Furniture For Profit 

Flipping furniture doesn’t have to be a hard task. In fact, you can start flipping furniture in a short time and quickly build it into a profitable side hustle that allows you to express your creativity. We hope this article has helped you to see what you can do with a furniture-flipping business, no matter how much or how little experience you have. What piece of furniture will you flip?

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Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs
Brian is the founder of Gigs Done Right and has tried every side hustle under the sun. He teaches people just like you how to make money in the gig economy and has been featured in Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover and more. He normally shares the latest news, videos, and topics for gig workers so they can earn more money in the gig economy.
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