http://terrafirmarealestate.ca/tag/buy/ I recently stumbled into a fun side hustle. I learned how to flip free and cheap furniture for profits. A “side hustle” is something like a hobby, something like moonlighting, and it helps if it is something that you can do to make money. But beware, many side hustles can be money pits. In this series I am going to share some money-making tactics I have used to sell used furniture. I will show you ways to find good deals to buy, discuss how to refinish furniture, and how to sell it for top dollar or move it quickly for fast cash.
Is there a market for vintage and refurbished furniture?
It is amazing how many people are buying, selling and giving away furniture. I hadn't thought much about it until I decided to repurpose our dining room. I needed to get rid of the dining set, a table, six chairs, and a big hutch. My initial thought was that if we were done with it why would anyone want it? Using that logic, I was ready to give it away. I decided to check Craigslist to see what similar sets were selling for and I saw that people were selling used dining room sets and hutches. So I put a reasonable price on the dining room hutch, a solid wood buffet with a lighted display top. As soon as I posted it I was overwhelmed with responses to the listing. At first I was sceptical because I had listed items before and had a lot of response but no buyers. Then I had people saying they could be right over and sure enough it sold in hours.
With the hutch sold, I thought that maybe we could sell the dining table and chairs too. I listed that and it also sold in no time at all. Both pieces sold at prices I was satisfied with, I didn't make a ton but I didn't feel like I got ripped off either. That is one of the keys to this market, the pricing is market driven on a micro basis rather than competing on a nationwide furniture market and the manufacturers recommended prices. People buy and sell at the price point they are comfortable with. In a market like that, you have sellers who, like me, just want stuff gone and buyers who want to pay less than retail. Often the difference between the "I just want it out of my house" price and the "just under retail" price can be pretty big if you find the right types of furniture. And that got me thinking about fro flipping furniture for profit.
Next I wanted to see how big this market could be so checked the furniture listings on Craigslist and saw that there were around 200 listings per day in the category. That is pretty busy compared to other categories on Craigslist like Bikes with just 8 listings a day, Jewelry with only 6 and Computers, which I expected to be busy, only having 22 new listings per day. (see How To Find Busy Craigslist Categories) I next took a look at Amazon listings for antique furniture and found over 20,000 results returned - no surprise there. So, I took a closer look and found some listings for mid-century modern furniture that were similar to some of the listings I found on Craigslist and found that these were some of the top sellers in the category.
I next went to Ebay and researched the prices on vintage furniture, mid century modern dressers and used furniture. The prices listed on Ebay are crazy high. But most of what I saw on Ebay was real classic furniture in excellent condition from prestigious brands like Bassett, and Drexel Heritage. I realized I was not going to 1) refinish to that level or 2) deal with freight shipping to find the buyer for my furniture. Some people might do that but it's not for me. What Ebay shows us is that there is a market for the furniture and people are willing to pay for quality construction and reputable brands.
So now that we know there is a market for vintage furniture, where does one go to find vintage furniture to flip for a profit?