Make Money Flipping Furniture: Step-by-Step Guide

Flipping furniture can be a profitable side hustle. For some people, it ends up becoming a full-time job.

If you enjoy the idea of flipping furniture, it might be a good way for you to supplement your income. With a bit of work, it may even turn into a career.

How does flipping furniture work?

To flip furniture, you get furniture from people who are either giving it away or selling it at a low price. Then you put in a little work and some additional materials to make it desirable again.

Once the furniture has been restored, you can re-sell it for a higher price.

To make money flipping furniture, you need to keep your costs low while making a product worth purchasing for a higher amount. You can do this by painting, re-staining, re-upholstering, or otherwise giving new life to old furniture.

Potential Pitfalls of Flipping Furniture

Two main pitfalls may occur if you try your hand at flipping furniture.

The first is that it may not end up being profitable, especially once you factor in the time you’ve spent on a project. While this risk can be minimized by only purchasing inexpensive pieces, the time you spend and the materials you purchase all need to be factored in to determine your profitability.

The second pitfall is that this is a side hustle that takes a lot of time and labor. Because each individual piece will require a chunk of your time, a furniture flipping business is not as scalable as other businesses.

Finding Furniture to Flip

There are lots of places where you can get furniture to flip. To make sure you have enough pieces to work with, it’s important that you find furniture from various places.

A great way to get furniture cheap (and even free) is to let people know you’re looking for cheap furniture to flip. Put the word out on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, or any other social media you’re using.

If you let people know you’re willing to pick the items up yourself, many people will be willing to part with their items for free. When friends and family are looking to get rid of furniture, they will keep your venture in mind.

Online marketplaces are great for finding free or cheap furniture. Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and other online marketplaces are great places to find furniture to be flipped.

Second-hand stores like charity or thrift shops are great for finding used furniture. Because these shops are selling items, you’ll have to invest a little money in the furniture. However, lots of furniture items sell cheap and can be sold for a profit once fixed up.

Garage sales and estate sales are other options for finding furniture cheap. If you go to a sale near the end of the last day, people are often willing to haggle on the price more. This is especially true if it’s a large item with cosmetic damage.

Watch for furniture with “free” signs in yards or near dumpsters. These free finds can be quite profitable once you’ve put in the work to restore the piece.

No matter where you get your furniture, it’s best to look for real wood or metal. Pressboard is lower quality and is often harder to restore, making it a bad investment for a furniture flipping business.

Your First Few Flips

Before you spend a lot of money on furniture to flip, you should start with a couple of simple items to see how well flipping furniture works for you.

For these first items, it’s best if you can get them for free or cheap. Although free is best, an investment of $10 for your first few items won’t break the bank.

You will learn a lot about flipping furniture as you restore each piece. Because you have to start somewhere, you can start with any type of furniture. Look for something that only needs a few minor repairs. Fixing scuff marks, replacing missing feet, or refinishing are all easy tasks for your first few projects.

It’s best to stick with real wood and metal. It’s easier to restore pieces made from these materials since pressboard is hard to restore and worthless. Real wood will fetch a better price once the piece has been restored.

Once you have your first couple of pieces purchased, take the plunge and just start. Not everything you make will turn out how you planned, but most of what you learn will be through experience.

Learn Skills for Furniture Fixes

There are lots of skills to learn that can help you restore and flip furniture.

Replacing feet and tightening screws

These are quick fixes that don’t take much skill and often help with the durability of a piece. Plastic feet are inexpensive to replace, but many people fail to replace them.

Sanding and refinishing

Wood on old furniture may need to be sanded, especially if there has been some damage to it. Once sanded, stain and finishing materials may need to be applied to give the piece a completed look.


A fresh coat of paint can give new life to an old piece of furniture. Keep up-to-date on furniture trends to know what paint jobs will help your furniture sell.

Selling Your Furniture In-Person

There are some good options for selling your furniture in person.

Flea markets

Once you make repairs to furniture, you can haul it to flea markets for sale. Because people at flea markets are often looking for a good deal, you may not be able to fetch as high of a price at these locations.

Consignment shops

Reach out to local consignment shops to find out if they’d be willing to sell your furniture for you. These shops often take a significant portion of the sale price, but they can help get your furniture in front of more people.

Word of mouth

One of the cheapest ways to sell your flipped furniture is through word of mouth. As friends and family purchase your furniture pieces, their friends and family may be interested in what other items you have to offer.

Selling Your Furniture Online

With the increase in online shopping, finding ways to sell your furniture online is essential for building your furniture flipping business.

Marketplace sites

You can sell your furniture through online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Etsy, eBay, Shopify, and more. Items can be shipped, or you can offer delivery to homes in your area to maximize sales.

Social media

Create social media pages for your furniture flipping business. While you won’t share all the details (like how little you paid), your progress photos and behind-the-scenes peek at your business can generate interest. If you share photos of your pieces as you work on them, you may even sell a piece before the project is complete!

How to Maximize Your Earnings

There are many things you can do to maximize your earnings and increase your profit margins on flipped furniture.

Always be on the search

No matter what you’re doing, keep your eyes open for free or cheap furniture that you can flip. Check social media and watch for free items on neighborhood curbs to pick up free items as often as possible.

Find fixes that don’t require many supplies

You can maximize your earnings by investing as little as possible in supplies. If a piece just needs a few minor cosmetic fixes, you’ll invest less time and money in the project.

Buy supplies in bulk to save money

Once you know that you can turn a profit flipping furniture, you may want to purchase some items in bulk. That way, you aren’t investing as much money in each piece.

Step up your photography game

Good photos can be the difference between getting sales and missing out. Make sure your items are staged professionally and photographed in good light. If you’re relying on online sales, your photos need to be as good as possible to generate interest.

Create good item descriptions

Descriptions are important for selling items for a higher price online. List the features, dimensions, weight, and other critical information to help your customers decide.

Offer shipping or delivery

If you offer shipping or home delivery, you may attract more customers. For people with no car or a sedan only, delivery is necessary for them to be able to purchase your furniture.

Offer custom work

As you gain confidence in your ability to restore furniture, offer custom work. Let customers pay for your time and materials to restore a piece of furniture they own. This is great since you’ll know the piece is sold before you even start.

Whether you take on furniture flipping as a side hustle or a full-time gig, it can be a fun and profitable venture. Once you know how to get started and scale your business, you can dig in and enjoy the process each piece brings.

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