6 Secrets to Reselling Furniture Flips
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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