How to Make Extra Income Flipping Furniture

Interested in flipping furniture? This fun, beginner-friendly, low-investment hobby can be surprisingly lucrative.

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These days, it seems like everyone has a side hustle. Some drive for ride-share apps, others sell their art and some even offer services like dog-walking. If you’re a DIY enthusiast looking for a lucrative hobby, restoring and flipping old furniture might be the perfect match. With a few basic supplies and a little elbow grease, you’ll be rewarded not only with extra income, but also with the satisfaction of making something beautiful. While you’re at it, you might want to look at some tips to make moving heavy furniture easy.

How You Can Make Money Flipping Furniture

The concept is simple: find or purchase old furniture for a low price, fix it up into something desirable, and resell for a profit. The key to maximizing income is to develop a keen eye for which pieces are likely to sell, ensuring that whatever you pick up is able to be refurbished and fits your target market. Looking for options? Here are a few tips on where to sell furniture.

How to Find Furniture to Flip

First, you’ll want to scout for the right pieces. Your business acumen will grow over time, but to start, focus on finding cheap or free furniture made of solid wood or metal. Low price points encourage the highest profit margin and these materials are the easiest to rework. Plus, now that pressboard has become so standard, solid wood and metal tend to be more desirable for purchasers.

Additionally, make sure that any furniture you purchase is within your capabilities to refurbish. Intensive restorations will cut into your profits, so stick to pieces with easy fixes, like scuff marks, small cracks, wobbly legs and missing knobs or feet. All of these issues can be addressed in a timely manner.

To find these flippable furniture pieces, check estate or garage sales, flea markets, Craigslist or Facebook “Buy Nothing” groups. Over time, you may develop relationships with specific sellers which can help ensure you’re getting quality pieces. Don’t want to flip it? Here’s how to get rid of old furniture.

How to Flip Furniture

Mixed race woman refinishing chair inside homeJose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

Now that you’ve acquired your pieces, it’s time to get flipping! The best ways to breathe new life into an old piece are to fix any preexisting issues, try a coat of stain or paint and give it some new hardware. Follow your creative instincts and consider which styles of furniture you’ve seen selling elsewhere.

To make these changes, you’ll need a few basic tools. These include:

The first step should always be to clean the piece. After that, you can patch any cracks, fix wobbles or replace missing feet.

The next step is to decide if you’d rather paint the piece or refinish it. If painting, remember to always sand and prime your surface. If finishing, assess the existing finish before applying a new coat.

After your paint or finish dries, attach some snazzy new hardware—and if needed affix new upholstery—and you’ve got a totally unique piece to resell.

Here is the cost of reupholstering a couch.

How to Sell Flipped Furniture

There are a few online resources that can help sellers vend their creations. OfferUp, Etsy, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Bonanza are all great beginner options. With more experience, platforms like Chairish and Shopify can help sellers locate specialty markets.

To ensure the best return on your investment, price your pieces reasonably, comparing them to similar posted items. Also be sure to take quality photos with good lighting and composition to showcase your hard work. Add any unique details, as well as measurements and materials in your description. Finally, if possible, covering shipping costs can be a tempting incentive for prospective buyers.

Good luck and happy flipping!

Van Van Cleave
Van Van Cleave (they/them) is a California-based journalist, environmentalist, and artist. A graduate of Brown and Oxford Universities, they specialize in environmental news coverage and sustainable home and garden solutions. When they're not writing, they are typically tending to their plants or experimenting with home design trends.