Furniture Flipping: What Is It and Can It Make Money?

You have undoubtedly heard of the concept of house flipping. This is where someone buys a distressed house, fixes it up, and turns around and sells it for a profit. But here’s another take on the same kind of idea: furniture flipping. If you’ve never heard of furniture flipping before, rest assured that you can make money at it. It is not easy, but you can do it.

Furniture flipping is based on the same fundamental principle. You buy old pieces of furniture, repair and restore them, then turn around and sell them online, at a flea market, or whatever. The thing about furniture flipping is that you don’t necessarily want to make your pieces look brand-new. Sometimes you actually want to make them to look old. It really depends on your customer base.

Repair vs. Restoration

One of the things that house flipping and furniture flipping have in common is the need for repairs. House flippers go ahead and repair structural and mechanical defects prior to selling. They have to. The market demands it. Likewise, a furniture flipper will repair structural defects that would otherwise make a piece unusable.

Where the two disciplines part ways is restoration. In most cases, house flippers upgrade distressed houses so that they include modern appliances, flooring, window treatments, etc. A new coat of paint in a modern, neutral color scheme is also the order of the day. That is not necessarily how it works in furniture flipping.

There are times when a piece of furniture is restored in such a way as to make it look new. But there are other times when flippers want to make it look older than it actually is. The folks at Jami Ray Vintage, in Lehi, Utah, do this all the time. They purposely distress furniture so that it looks like it dates to the turn of the 20th century.

Knowing Your Customer Base

A big part of succeeding in furniture flipping is knowing your customer base. You have to know who is most likely to buy the furniture you sell. Then, you have to make sure you repair and restore accordingly. If your customers are millennials with a flair for the modern, refinishing a piece to fit the vintage farmhouse look may not result in a quick and profitable sale.

A lot of furniture flippers specialize in one particular type of furniture, at least in terms of style. One flipper might specialize in arts and crafts while another is big on the vintage farmhouses. Still another flipper might specialize in coastline vintage.

A Minimal Investment Required

Compared to house flipping, you can get started in furniture flipping with a minimal investment. You don’t have to put tens of thousands of dollars down. You do not have to apply for a loan. You just need enough cash to purchase a few pieces of old furniture and the necessary supplies to repair and restore.

It is not hard to invest a couple of hundred dollars on your first project and earn twice that much when you’re ready to sell. However, not every project will double your money. Sometimes your profit margin is quite strong. Other times you barely break even. But you learn as you go.

Furniture flipping is a solid business. It boils down to the fact that there will always be people looking to buy secondhand furniture that has been repaired and restored by a skilled craftsman. It does take some talent and a bit of learning, but you can make money flipping furniture. There are certainly worse ways to earn a living.


Sudarsan Chakraborty is a professional writer. He contributes to many high-quality blogs. He loves to write on various topics.