When it comes to flipping furniture, it’s key to know which pieces are going to give you the most bang for your buck. To snap the best furniture to flip for profit, first, you want to make sure you’re choosing pieces that are in demand and have a high resale value. Then, you’ll want to look for pieces that are easy to makeover or refurbish and don’t require a lot of time or money to fix up. You’ll be amazed by the number of individuals who discard to the curb brand-new and barely used items on a daily basis, believing that “someone will come and pick it up.”
So without further ado, let’s dive into our list of the best furniture pieces to flip for profit. Whether you’re an experienced flipper or just starting out, we’re confident you’ll find some great ideas and inspiration here.
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It depends on your audience! Research your local market
Identifying Furniture Items That are in high demand locally
One of the first things to consider is identifying furniture items that are in high demand locally. This can vary widely depending on the area you’re selling in. For example, if you’re selling in a college town, you may find that smaller, more affordable pieces like desks and chairs are highest in demand. On the other hand, if you’re selling in a more affluent area, you may find that larger, higher-end pieces like dining room sets and dressers are more popular. Obviously, if you live in an urban area where apartments are the norm, forget about large and difficult-to-move heavy furniture like wardrobes or TV cabinets.
Understanding Second-Hand Furniture Pricing Trends
You want to make sure you’re pricing your items competitively, but also making a profit.
It’s important to keep an eye on local trends and see what’s selling well in your area. Check out local furniture stores, estate sales, and online marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace to get an idea of what people are buying and see what similar items are selling for. Also check out local thrift stores and consignment shops to see what they’re pricing items at.
Keep in mind that prices vary depending on the condition of the item, so make sure you’re pricing accordingly.
You can also ask friends and family members what they’re looking for in furniture to get an idea of what’s in demand.
What Types Of Furniture Are Most Profitable ?
While virtually any piece of furniture can be flipped, some are more profitable than others. Here are some types of furniture that we have found in our experience to be the most profitable to buy for flipping:
1. Night Stands
Nightstands are small, easy to move, and often overlooked. They can be found for cheap at thrift stores and garage sales, and with a little bit of love, they can be turned into a beautiful piece of furniture that people are willing to pay top dollar for.
3. Small Tables: End Tables, Side Tables etc.
Small tables like end tables and side tables are always in demand. They are versatile and can be used in a variety of settings. Look for unique designs or styles that will stand out, and make sure to refinish them in a way that will highlight their beauty. If you find a pair of identical and good condition bedside tables, go for it. That’s what couples are looking for the master bedroom. A pair of bedside tables always has more value than two bedside tables sold separately.
Dressers are a staple in any bedroom, and a well-refinished dresser can fetch a high price. Look for dressers with unique designs or features, and make sure to refinish them in a way that will highlight their beauty.
Dressers are small pieces of furniture that are both beautiful and easy to move. They are popular pieces to flip.
5. Small Stools
Foot stools and small stools are another type of furniture that can be easily overlooked but can be quite profitable. They are small and easy to transport, and with a little bit of creativity, they can be turned into a unique and eye-catching piece.
6. Buffets, Hutches
Buffets and hutches are larger pieces of furniture, but they can be quite profitable if done right. They usually sold for a very low price and you can separate the lower part of the furniture from the top to create two new pieces of furniture. We did that several times and each piece sold very quickly. Look for unique designs or styles, and make sure to refinish them in a way that will highlight their beauty.
Desks are always in demand, especially with more people working from home. Look for unique designs or styles, and make sure to refinish them in a way that will highlight their beauty. You can also buy old sewing machine table and repurpose them into small cute desks like this pink desk below.
8. Storage Chests
Storage chests can be quite profitable if you find the right one. Look for unique designs or styles, and make sure to refinish them in a way that will highlight their beauty. They are great for use as coffee tables or end tables, and can also be used for their intended purpose – storage!
Couches can be a bit trickier to flip, but they can be quite profitable if you know what you’re doing. Look for couches with unique designs or styles, and make sure to refinish them in a way that will highlight their beauty. Be prepared to invest a bit more in these pieces, as they often require more work than smaller pieces of furniture.
10. Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor furniture can be a great choice, especially during the summer months. Look for pieces made from durable materials like metal or teak, with simple designs that fit a variety of outdoor spaces.
Most Popular Furniture Styles to Flip For Profit
1. Mid-century Modern Furniture
Mid-century modern furniture has been popular for decades and continues to be a favorite among buyers. To a point it’s still highly popular in contemporary interior design. This style from the 1950s and 60s is characterized by clean lines, simple shapes, and a focus on functionality. Pieces from this era can be found at thrift stores, estate sales, and online marketplaces. Look for pieces with simple designs, and natural wood finishes.
2. Vintage or Antique Furniture
Vintage and antique furniture can be a great choice, as these pieces often have unique designs and may be in demand in your local market.
Keep an eye out for pieces with ornate details, quality craftsmanship and materials, and unique features that make them stand out. But watch out for the condition! (see the what to avoid section of this article)
3. Rustic or Farmhouse-style Furniture
This style has been Christina’s staple from the very start! Rustic and farmhouse-style furniture has become increasingly popular in recent years, with buyers looking for pieces that add a cozy, homey feel to their space. Look for pieces made from reclaimed wood, distressed finishes, and simple designs that fit this style.
4. Scandinavian Design
Scandinavian design is known for its minimalist aesthetic, clean lines, and functionality. Pieces from this style can be a great choice for flipping, as they are often well-made and in demand. Look for pieces with light wood finishes, simple shapes, and a focus on functionality.
5. Industrial-style Furniture
Industrial-style furniture has become increasingly popular in recent years, with buyers looking for pieces that add a modern, edgy feel to their space. Look for pieces made from metal, wood, and other industrial materials, with simple designs and clean lines.
Price is The Key Factor: How Much Should You Spend?
When it comes to flipping furniture for profit, price is the key factor. You want to make sure that you’re getting a good deal on the furniture you’re buying, so that you can sell it for a higher price and make a profit. But how much should you spend?
Our recommendation is to start small. Don’t go out and spend a lot of money on furniture when you’re just starting out. Look for pieces that are priced low, but still have potential like bedside tables, coffee tables. You can always work on improving the piece to increase its value. Curbside pickups are great options for beginners as long as they are in great condition.
According to Furniture Flippa, a good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 25% of the expected selling price on the piece of furniture. So if you expect to sell a piece for $200, you should aim to spend no more than $50 on it.
It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of supplies and transportation of the finished pieces should also be factored into your budget.
Ultimately, the key is to be smart with your spending. Don’t overspend on a piece of furniture that may not sell for a high price, but also don’t be afraid to invest in a piece that has the potential to be a big seller. With time and experience, you’ll learn how to make profitable investments.
What Pieces of Furniture Should You Avoid?
Not all furniture is worth flipping, and some may even end up costing you money. Here are some types of furniture that we recommend avoiding:
If a piece of furniture is beyond repair, it is not worth the investment. This includes furniture that is severely damaged or broken. While some minor repairs can be made, it is important to assess the overall condition of the furniture before making a purchase. If it cannot be salvaged, it is best to move on to the next piece.
Moldy furniture is not only unsightly, but it can also be hazardous to your health. Mold can cause respiratory issues and other health problems, so it is best to avoid furniture that has mold. If you do come across moldy furniture, it is important to properly dispose of it and not attempt to salvage it.
If the piece you are eying is bearing multiple coats of paint, move to the next furniture: it will take you a LOT of elbow grease to strip all that paint! Especially if you are a beginner.
Similar to moldy furniture, furniture that has a strong odor should be avoided. This includes furniture that smells like smoke, pet urine, or mildew. While some odors can be removed with cleaning and deodorizing, it is not always worth the investment. We recommend avoiding furniture with strong odors especially if you’re new to the furniture flipping business.
We recommend focusing on solid wood furniture, which has more value once it’s fixed up. Real wood looks better when it’s painted or stained, as compared to particleboard or anything manufactured. Particle board furniture is often cheaply made and not very durable. It is made from compressed wood chips and can easily break, absorb humidity, and rot or warp. While some particle board furniture can be salvaged with a fresh coat of paint or new hardware, it is best to avoid it altogether. So watch out for super lightweight pieces, or “bubbling” surfaces (means water damage to the particle board), all indicators of particle board.
Furniture with fabric?
Flipping fabric-covered furniture can present challenges. It’s difficult to determine if the item originated from a home without pets, was previously owned by a smoker, then potentially harbors bed bugs or fleas. Exercise caution when considering flipping fabric pieces as they might pose more complications than they’re worth.
Our Top Profitability Tips
Start small with inexpensive furniture items
When venturing into furniture flipping, it’s wise to start small by focusing on inexpensive items. It is important to strike a balance and avoid spending $500 upfront money on supplies for flipping a single dresser, only to make $100 and lose interest in the furniture flipping venture. Therefore, it is crucial to make wise choices when allocating your funds at the very beginning.
Look for affordable pieces at thrift stores, yard sales, or online marketplaces. Starting with lower-priced items allows you to practice your flipping skills, experiment with different techniques, and minimize the financial risk. As you gain experience and confidence, you can gradually move on to more valuable pieces and maybe aim for reaching full-time income.
Hone your craft on simple, inexpensive pieces. As you develop your skills and have a couple successful furniture flips under your belt, you can slowly increase the amount you are willing to spend.
Specialize in a specific type of piece or style
To maximize your profitability as a furniture flipper, consider specializing in a specific type of furniture or a particular style. By focusing your efforts on a niche, you can develop expertise in identifying the most valuable pieces, understanding market trends, and appealing to targeted potential buyers. Whether it’s mid-century modern, vintage farmhouse, industrial, or any other style, becoming a specialist can set you apart from the competition and attract dedicated buyers willing to pay a premium for your curated selection.
Our good friend Bruno from L’atelier Mado et Cie has decided to specialize in 1 specific style of furniture: mid-century French “Mado” style. And his choice of using black and raw wood furniture makeovers make his style instantly recognizable, so he can now command a premium over market rates.
Don’t forget startup costs
While flipping furniture can be a lucrative venture, it requires initial investment. You will need to allocate funds for acquiring tools and equipment such as sanders, paintbrushes, paint and upholstery supplies. Additionally, factor in the costs of transportation or renting a storage space if needed.
We evaluate the cost of getting you started to roughly $400~500 for basic equipment (a paint stripper like a sander) and supplies, including the cost of old furniture and transportation of both small and larger pieces from the yard sale to your workspace. While you don’t necessarily have to purchase the most expensive paint available, opting for cheap paint is also not advisable. Keep in mind that both paint and paintbrushes are significant components where the quality generally aligns with the price.
Check out our article on the top tools and supplies needed to flip furniture!