Hey everyone! I'm soooo stoked to share this post with you. I truly believe that flipping furniture is one the most accessible side hustles out there, and is scalable enough to actually become a full-time gig. My good friend Virginia from paint-sell-repeat.com flips full-time and is here to walk you through the basics. Enjoy! ~M$M
Every time I tell a friend or family how much I sold a piece of my furniture for they are shocked and amazed that I can make that much money doing what I do from home.
I don't have a shop, I don't do consignment and I hardly ever pay for advertising. All I have is a Facebook Business page and a pole barn (which is a fabulous new development by the way! Prior to that, I had my mud room…) and I have 3 small children plus another on the way.
Trust me, if I can do this, so can you.
Four years ago (give or take) my sister decided to give this flipping furniture thing a try
Although I thought it was a great idea for her, I had no interest in it. Besides, I KNEW I had zero artistic abilities. I literally can't even draw a decent stick figure…
Fast forward a year or so, I painted a few pieces of furniture for a vintage themed baby shower that I threw for my sister, and imagine my surprise when I realized that not only could I paint furniture and not completely screw it up, but I really liked it a lot!
Anyone who flips furniture knows it's not only therapeutic, but it's addictive. You feel the greatest sense of accomplishment when you turn something ugly into something amazing.
My sister and I started working together out of our own homes selling on our Facebook Business page (you can check it out right here – Rustique Elegance) and business has only grown from there.
We currently have well over 5,000 followers and that's with 8 (going on 9) kids between the two of us and spending at most a couple of hours a week on advertising!
Here are the basic steps for how to start and grow a Furniture Flipping Business:
1. Create a Facebook Business Page
This is very simple to do and it's FREE. Don't be afraid of Facebook, once you figure out how it works, it's really pretty easy to use for growing your following and selling your pieces quickly.
You can see the instructions for creating a business page on Facebook here.
2. Buy quality furniture
You can find furniture at garage sales, auctions, Craigslist, thrift shops, the side of the road (yes, one man's trash really is another man's treasure!) etc. I look for unique pieces and don't just buy it because it's being sold for cheap and it's real wood.
Think about what your followers are looking for in terms of style, and if you don't know, take a poll! Create a Facebook post with several different styles of furniture and ask them to vote which one they'd prefer.
We also use this strategy when it comes to paint colors. This will help you determine what will actually sell and what will sit for a long time.
3. Avoid fake wood furniture!!!!!!!
The best way to build trust and gain repeat customers is to consistently put out quality products that customers will love for years to come. We always ask the seller if the piece is real wood (be prepared to have to check it over in person, some people have no clue and just say yes!), avoid buying particle board and/or MDF furniture. That stuff is worthless.
Trust me, it's not that hard to tell if a piece is real wood or not! We also ask if it's from a smoke-free, pet-free home. Although it is possible to flip, I avoid smoker furniture. It's a pain in the butt to get that smell out.
I've been known to actually get down and sniff the furniture. Better to look like a crazy person than to end up throwing furniture in the burn pile after spending days trying every product and trick to get the smell out (yes, I speak from experience)!
4. Use really good, high-quality furniture paint
My favorites are Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Fusion Mineral Paint! I started out on Annie Sloan and I still love it today. The price may seem high but I've been known to paint 3-4 decent sized pieces with one quart of that stuff (plus remember, you get what you pay for, quality over quantity is a great motto in the flipping furniture world).
There are so many great brands to try now, the options are endless! I recommend checking out my post on the Top 5 Most Popular Paint Brands For Flipping Furniture, it will definitely help narrow things down for you.
Try out samples and test out different brands. That will help you find one (or two or three!) you really love and feel confident using.
5. Post only well staged, professional looking pictures with detailed descriptions
Staging and photography are super important, but you don't have to be a pro to nail this step, I promise! Taking the time to make your pictures look professional is worth the time investment.
6. Stay active on your business page by posting interesting content, not only selling posts
Post tutorials, before and after pictures, meme's, sneak peeks, giveaways..etc. to keep followers engaged. You want to build trust and form relationships with your followers! They should feel like they know you.
7. Learn new painting techniques by watching tutorials
I learned how to paint from YouTube and Pinterest, and just practiced different techniques. The great thing about paint is that you can go back over it if it looks like crap! Practice makes perfect (said all of our moms).
8. Find Vintage Markets
Vintage Markets are a lot of fun, a good way to gain experience, and another way to get your name out there. Google them to see if there are any in your area.
9. Offer delivery and/or shipping options
You can keep your delivery within a certain number of miles if you aren't willing to travel far, or charge more and be willing to go further or offer to ship! This step is obviously optional, but I believe it's very important.
A lot of people don't have large enough vehicles to transport furniture, so they are more than willing to pay a small fee to have it delivered to them. Make it easy for customers to view, buy, and get your furniture; no one likes a complicated transaction.
10. Offer custom work to clients
Once you've gotten comfortable with painting and selling, you may want to offer custom work to your customers. This is actually the biggest money-maker in my opinion.
Almost all your followers have furniture that they want to have refinished. When they see what you can do to ugly old furniture, they'll start to ask about custom.
Don't be afraid to take it on. Custom work is guaranteed money in your pocket!
Flipping furniture is surprisingly profitable. In fact, you could make a full-time income no problem if you put the time in to learn the business.
Unfortunately, most Furniture Flippers don't make great money. It's not because they don't want to, but because they aren't sure how!
So, in my “spare time”, I started a blog to help fellow flippers learn how to start & grow their business and make great money. I have in-depth posts on the steps listed above that you can check out here > Paint-Sell-Repeat.
Thanks for reading & happy flipping!