6 Secrets to Reselling Furniture Flips

There's a trick to selling furniture flips, and we've got the secrets.
Before and After Graphic Print Chair

Before and After Graphic Print Chair

Try this DIY from HGTV Magazine's Flea Market Flip Blowout!

Photo by: Marko Metzinger

Marko Metzinger

Making money off buying, flipping, and reselling furniture can get tricky, but there are key strategies that can help. HGTV Magazine tested the waters in this unpredicatable business and found a few secrets to selling success.

It's all in a name.

All sites require a seller ID — give yours a catchy name and logo to draw more attention. Then create a logo that conjures up the stylish, DIY look you're after.

Grass Cloth and Nailhead Dresser

Grass Cloth and Nailhead Dresser

Grass cloth wallpaper: Yangtze Landing grass cloth wallpaper in YAN110, $47.50 per single roll, americanblinds.com; Trim: French Natural nailhead trim, $20 for a 10-yard roll, diyupholsterysupply.com; Knobs: Martha Stewart Living Classic Hardware 1 1/4" beehive knobs in Bedford satin brass, $4 each, homedepot.com; Paint: Claret Rose by Benjamin Moore

Photo by: Before: Philip Friedman; After: Alison Gootee

Before: Philip Friedman; After: Alison Gootee

Sell on more than one site.

Expand your reach by setting up shop in multiple places, such as online marketplaces ebay.com, etsy.com and furnishly.com (a Craigslist-style site for furniture). Or go offline and try local flea markets.

Price it right.

Look up what sellers with products similar to yours are charging. Listing your items too high could get you passed over.

Your description is key.

When providing info about your products, offer plenty of details, including dimensions, finishes, and materials. If you don’t tell potential buyers up front, they’ll ask later or just move on.

Before and After Chair Makeovers

Before and After Chair Makeovers

These brightly colorful chairs were made over by HGTV Magazine

Photo by: Marko Metzinger, Crafting by Thomas Eberharter and Madeline Jacobos, Styling by Karin Olsen

Marko Metzinger, Crafting by Thomas Eberharter and Madeline Jacobos, Styling by Karin Olsen

Post at least five photos.

And make them good! That means clear, well-lit photos with plain backdrops and different angles, including close-ups.

Be patient.

It can take months to make your first sale. Use that time to tweak your listings to attract more buyers, and eventually you'll sell everything you rescued and rehabbed.

Rescued, Rehabbed and Resold Furniture

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Flip That Furniture

You can turn almost any hopeless flea market find into a pretty piece of furniture — and maybe make a little extra cash! HGTV Magazine posted the "afters" from their projects on eBay, Etsy and Furnishly. Some sales proved tougher than others. Find out what they learned, and earned (after deducting original costs and materials), and how you too can turn a profit selling your DIY creations. All profits from HGTV Magazine’s sales were donated to AmeriCares, which delivers medicine and aid to people in need.

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

The Before

This piece was in pretty good shape, except it had some stubborn old stickers on a drawer. Goo Gone was used to remove them, and any nicks were concealed with a wood conditioner (both available at hardware stores). To play up the desk’s midcentury-modern style, the drawer fronts were painted lemon and lime, and satin nickel pulls were added. Original price: $20

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

The After: Retro Painted Desk

The desk was originally listed at $225, but it didn’t get any bites. The price was dropped to $175 and, voila, it sold on Etsy in six days. Total profit: $115 Paint: From top: June Day and Sassy Green, both by HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams; drawer pulls: Sumner Street 1 1/4" satin nickel symmetry rectangular knobs, $3 each, lowes.com

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

The Before

After filling nicks and holes with spackling putty, the piece was sanded. Using sample jars of paint — just $5 each — it was given a fresh coat of white around the sides and top, then the shelves were color-blocked with three bright hues. Original price: $12

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

The After: Color-Block Bookcase

It took almost a month for this bookcase to find a buyer. Once the description was updated, suggesting it would be “perfect for a kid’s or teen’s room,” more inquiries started coming in — and eventually it sold on eBay. Lesson learned: Give potential customers ideas about how to use a piece to draw them in. Total profit: $10 Paint: From top: Cloud Nine (white), Rejuvenate, Exuberant Pink and Gulfstream, all by Sherwin-Williams

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

The Before

Simple white chairs: There wasn't much more to say about this pair. A modern paint treatment made these traditional chairs feel totally fresh. First, most of the chair was painted a sunny yellow. After it dried, the editors marked 7 inches from the top with painter’s tape, and then painted everything above it gray. Original price: $14

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

The After: Two-Tone Chairs

Thanks to their cool color-dipped look, these seats flew off eBay in five days. Selling a pair, or a set of four, is a good idea, since people are often on the hunt for more than one kitchen or dining chair. Total profit: $61 Paint: From top: Midnight Blue and Cheerful, both by Benjamin Moore

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

The Before

The campaign-style drawer pulls and brackets on this chest of drawers were keepers, but the rest needed a major update. After coating the wood in orchid-hued paint, the front drawers were decoupaged with textured paper and coated with a clear sealer. Original price: $40

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

The After: Patterned Dresser

Willingness to negotiate really paid off on this transaction. The dresser was first listed for $225, but didn’t have many bidders. After a few weeks, the price was dropped to $150 — which led to a bidding war on eBay, and one lucky buyer! Total profit: $125 Paint: Orchid Kiss by Behr; paper: Flocked Aubergine Khazana fine paper, $5 per 22" x 30" sheet, paper-source.com

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

The Before

A dingy paint finish and missing hardware hid this two-door cabinet’s high style. To bring it out, the outside was painted teal and the inside a slightly lighter shade. Brass ring-shaped pulls were also added to glam it up. Original price: $25

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

The After: Faux Bamboo Cabinet

This cabinet’s fancy hardware and versatile size made it the most looked-at piece. (All the sites used track product views — very handy for sellers.) Because of its popularity, the price was never dropped, and it sold for the full amount in about a week. Total profit: $99 Paint: Baltic Blue (outside) and Sunwashed Blue (inside), both by Ralph Lauren Paint; pulls: 3" Mission solid brass rings, $13 each, lookintheattic.com

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

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