How To Make $10k/Month Flipping Furniture

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TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read)

  • Finding Flea Market Gold: Fixing and flipping old furniture can result in reselling it for over 300% of its initial cost.

  • Identify Your Furniture Niche: First, identify a niche that aligns with both your capabilities and market demand.

  • The Initial Investment: Starting a furniture flipping business requires some upfront investment, typically $500-$1,000 for furniture, tools, and supplies.

  • Learning the Craft: To start, master basic skills like sanding, painting, and upholstery to transform furniture pieces effectively.

  • The Flipping Process: Ensure the furniture is structurally sound, clean it thoroughly, sand it, make necessary repairs, and apply finishing touches like painting or staining.

  • Marketing And Selling Your Furniture: Price your items based on similar pieces on eBay, advertise on Facebook Marketplace, and consider offering full sets to increase sales.

Finding Flea Market Gold

If you walk around your average flea market, you might see a bunch of junk.

But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Just by fixing and flipping old furniture into new furniture, you can resell it for over 300% of it’s initial cost.

For example, a dusty old coffee table for $40 could be refurbished and sold for $200+ with just 1-2 hours of work.

And all it really takes is some sanding, priming, painting, and replacing a few parts in most cases.

So if you’ve got a vehicle capable of hauling furniture, a few basic tools, and a bit of extra cash laying around, here’s how to make up to $10k/month flipping furniture.

Identify Your Furniture Niche

First, identify a niche that aligns with both your capabilities and market demand.

In other words, find something that’s easy for you to do, like basic sanding and painting for beginners, and make sure whatever you’re selling is something people will buy.

Start by exploring different furniture styles. Spend time researching various aesthetics, such as vintage, modern, mid-century, and upcycled designs.

Visiting furniture stores, browsing online marketplaces, and following interior design blogs can provide a sense of what's currently trending.

Understanding market demand is the next step. Investigate which styles are popular in your area or online. Tools like Google Trends, Etsy, and eBay can help you see what types of furniture are selling well.

It’s also essential to play to your strengths. If you enjoy woodworking and have a knack for detailed craftsmanship, vintage or mid-century pieces might be your best bet.

Conversely, if you love painting and creativity, upcycled and custom-designed furniture could be your niche.

Testing the waters with a small batch of furniture in different styles can help you find what sells best without a significant initial investment.

You can also just walk around the flea market or check Facebook marketplace to see the most expensive and most popular furniture for reference, then just copy what they’re doing.

The Initial Investment

Starting a furniture flipping business requires some upfront investment, but with careful planning, it can be managed effectively.

Begin by setting a budget that covers the cost of purchasing furniture, tools, and supplies. A modest budget of $500-$1,000 can be sufficient to get started.

Sourcing affordable furniture is key. Other than flea markets, you can try garage sales, estate sales, and online marketplaces like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and OfferUp are excellent places to find potential pieces.

Pro tip: Go to college campuses on their move out day, especially the more affluent campuses. You will find entire furniture sets barely even used that were likely bought for over $1,000, just sitting on the curb.

Next, investing in essential tools and supplies is necessary for transforming your finds.

You’ll need basic tools like an electric screwdriver, sandpaper, spray paint, primer, gloss, paintbrushes, screwdrivers, and upholstery materials.

Learning the Craft

To start, you'll need to master some basic skills.

Sanding, painting, and upholstery are the cornerstones of furniture flipping.

Sanding is a critical first step in the furniture flipping process. It removes the old finish and any imperfections, creating a smooth surface that allows new paint or stain to adhere properly.

Use a power sander for large surfaces and sandpaper for detailed areas. Always start with a coarse grit to strip off old layers, then move to finer grits to achieve a polished, ready-to-finish surface.

Painting can transform a piece of furniture from outdated to stylish. Using different techniques can enhance its appeal and increase its value. Chalk painting is popular for achieving a matte, vintage look and is easy to distress for added character.

Spray painting offers a smooth, even coat and is ideal for modern, sleek finishes. Stenciling and color blocking can add unique designs and patterns that make your piece stand out. Practice these techniques on scrap pieces before applying them to your main project.

Upholstery may seem challenging, but with practice, it becomes manageable. Start with smaller, simpler projects like dining chairs before tackling larger pieces like sofas. Remove the old fabric carefully to use as a pattern for cutting new fabric.

For a basic upholstery job, you can just use a staple gun to attach the new fabric tightly, ensuring there are no wrinkles or loose areas.

Adding new padding or foam can greatly improve comfort and appearance. Over time, your skills will improve, and reupholstering will feel like second nature.

The Flipping Process

First, when you find the furniture you want to flip, make sure it’s all there structurally.

If it’s a dresser for example, make sure it’s not structurally broken, or missing drawers, or has a giant crack in it, or a hole in it.

Once you bring it home, begin by cleaning the furniture thoroughly. Use a mixture of warm water and mild soap to remove dirt and grime.

If the piece has any sticky residue, a mixture of vinegar and water can be effective. Or you can try using some Goo Gone.

Once clean, sand the surface to remove old finishes and smooth out any imperfections, starting with a rough grit. Sanding is also crucial for ensuring that new paint or stain adheres properly and provides a smooth, even surface.

Next, tackle any necessary repairs. Tighten loose joints or broken legs, replace old screws, and replace missing or damaged hardware with new or vintage pieces that match the style of the furniture. You can head to Home Depot to grab some nice new parts like hinges, knobs, handles, etc.

For upholstery projects, remove the old fabric and padding and replace them with new materials. Choose fabrics that are durable and align with current trends to increase the piece's appeal. Remember, YouTube is your best friend here if you want to learn more advanced upholstery skills.

After repairs, focus on the finishing touches. Apply primer before painting to ensure a smooth, even finish.

Use high-quality paint and brushes to achieve a professional look. If you prefer a stained finish, choose a stain that enhances the natural beauty of the wood.

One highly effective yet simple DIY trick for making old furniture look like new is using furniture wax. 

After painting or staining, applying a layer of wax can add a rich, smooth finish that enhances the piece's overall appearance. It also provides an extra layer of protection and can bring out the details in wood grain or carved designs.

Marketing And Selling Your Furniture

Find similar pieces on Ebay and see what others are paying, then price your items similarly at your local flea market.

You should also put them on Facebook marketplace and advertise them in local community or neighborhood groups.

You’d be amazed at just how fast buyers will come out of the blue if you’ve done your job right.

You can also create full sets of furniture, which you can offer to a buyer if they’re interested in one particular piece initially.

For example, if you someone is interested in a dresser, you could sell them on the matching night stand and make even more money.

Now, to make over $10,000 a month flipping furniture, let's break down the numbers.

If you purchase each piece for an average of $50 and invest another $20 in materials, your total cost per item is $70.

By reselling each piece for $400 to $500, you make a profit of $330 to $430 per piece.

To reach $10,000, you would need to sell about 23 to 30 pieces per month. This equates to flipping roughly 6 to 8 pieces per week.

It’s a lot of work, but if you did it full time and have access to a decent home workshop, this could be your new primary gig.

Incorporating higher-end pieces and smaller items can further boost your income. For example, if you refurbish high-end dining table sets, costing $300 each, and resell them for $1,260, you make a profit of $960 per set.

Additionally, refurbishing smaller items like side tables, which cost $30 each, and reselling them for $168, yields a profit of $138 per piece. Selling 10 side tables a month adds $1,380 to your income.

Combining these:

- High-end sets: $4,800 (5 sets at $960 profit each)

- Standard pieces: $7,590 to $9,030 (23 to 30 pieces at $330 to $430 profit each)

- Smaller items: $1,380 (10 side tables at $138 profit each)

All in all, this diversified approach totals $13,770 to $15,210 per month, or roughly $175k per year.

The BMM Takeaway

Quality furniture is something that people will always want. And if you refurbish items effectively enough, it’s like turning garbage into gold.

That’s what makes furniture flipping another great example of a business idea that doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel. It’s tried and true.

However, keep in mind that your stuff won’t always sell like hot cakes. You could make a ton of finished pieces, but it doesn’t mean they’ll all get sold.

But if you need some extra cash, it’s worth trying. Head to your local flea market and start doing some prospecting. You should also inquire with the management while you’re there about becoming a vendor, which is usually a cheap and simple process.