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Complete Guide To Flipping Furniture [May 2022]

By Forrest | Last Updated: May 15, 2022

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 $150. This makes it one of the best side hustles that you can start today.

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 woodworking, furniture flipping can be a great side hustle for you!

In this post, I'll explore how to flip furniture, how much money you can make furniture flipping, what you can do to make more money, how to start a furniture flipping business, and the best tips to help you get started!

Registration is open for The Furniture Flipping Summit! It was created to help you grow your furniture flipping business and help you make higher profits on your pieces.
Claim My Seat!
Disclosure: This link is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

How to Flip Furniture

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 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. 

  • 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:

  • Dressers
  • China cabinets
  • Baby furniture
  • Buffets
  • Coffee tables
  • End tables

Best Places to Find Furniture to Flip

Some of the best places to find furniture to flip are usually thrift stores or garage sales but there are many places you can look. You’ll find that when someone wants to get rid of furniture, they’ll oftentimes let it go for free as long as you can haul it away for them. Below is a list of places to start your search:

  • Garage or Yard Sales
  • Estate sales
  • Thrift Stores
  • Craigslist
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • eBay

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.

Finding furniture to flip is half of the process. You'll want to dedicate some time to finding pieces. You can spend a few hours each week driving to yard sales, or browsing the web to find a few pieces.

Another secret place that can often have valuable furniture you may not think of is your friends and family. Ask them if they have any old furniture they're looking to get rid of and you might be surprised how often you find a piece worth flipping. 

Looking to make money flipping? Check out my complete guide to flea market flipping  or thrift store flipping to get started.

How Much to Pay for Furniture

You should judge the level of wear on your potential furniture before making any offer. Traditional negotiating suggests that you always make the initial offer so that you can set a low reference price and negotiate around it. We 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.

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.

Transportation

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.

If you don't have a truck or SUV to transport your furniture, don't give up! In most cases, you can hire a moving company or find someone local to deliver your pieces for under $100.

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.

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!

Check out my list of helpful tools to flip furniture! These tools are great options to start making money flipping furniture.
Buy Now!
Disclosure: This link is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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.

For a limited time, you can join the free Furniture Flipping Summit to learn how you can start a profitable furniture flipping business today! Register below!

Registration is open for The Furniture Flipping Summit! It was created to help you grow your furniture flipping business and help you make higher profits on your pieces.
Claim My Seat!
Disclosure: This link is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Next, make any repairs or changes to your furniture. Consider swapping out the legs of your furniture or making other adjustments.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Related: 31 Profitable Business Ideas for Anyone to Start in 2021

Facebook Marketplace

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.

Craigslist

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.

Garage Sales

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.

Antique Stores

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.

Related: How to Make $100 a Day

eBay

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.

Website

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.

Sign up for SiteGround now!

Social Media

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.

Related: How to Start a Painting Business

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 used furniture for cash.

  • Craigslist
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • LetGo
  • OfferUp
  • Garage Sales
  • eBay
  • Sell.com

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 $15,000 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!

Have $100 to invest? Check out these easy ways to turn $100 into $1,000!

Make Money Furniture Flipping

How to Make More Money Furniture Flipping

If you’re new or early on in your furniture flipping business, there are a few things you can do to make more money.

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!

Lower Costs

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.

Check out my list of helpful tools to flip furniture! These tools are great options to start making money flipping furniture.
Buy Now!
Disclosure: This link is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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.

Registration is open for The Furniture Flipping Summit! It was created to help you grow your furniture flipping business and help you make higher profits on your pieces.
Claim My Seat!
Disclosure: This link is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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.

Follow Trends

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.

Painting Furniture

How to Start a Furniture Flipping Business 

To take your side hustle to the next level, you might opt to start a furniture flipping business.

This is a great idea if you want to feel the benefits of entrepreneurship and escape the rat race.

Follow the steps below to start your own furniture flipping business!

Create a Business Plan

Having a business plan is critical for any business, big or small.

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.

TIP: You might also want to check to see if your business name has an available domain name so you can build a website for it.

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.

Tips for Flipping Furniture

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!

Want to make money doing nothing at all? Check out these ideas!

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.

Related: How to Make $2,000 Fast

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.

Don't Overcharge

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.

Where Can I Donate Furniture?

If you have a piece that didn't turn out quite how you wanted, you could choose to donate it instead. Below are some of the top places you can donate furniture!

  • The Salvation Army
  • Goodwill
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • The Arc
  • Donation Town

Final Thoughts on Making Money 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.

Looking to make more money flipping? Learn the best ways to flip money, how to make money flipping domain names, or the best items to flea market flip!

Looking for more ways to make money? Check out how you can make money with a 3D printer, how to start a car detailing business, or ways you can get $20 instantly!

Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing enthusiast dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He owns several different blogs and is also passionate about health and fitness.