Selling old furniture can be a profitable side hustle to earn some quick cash. If you’re venturing into flipping furniture, I’ve got a few tips to help you get more money into your pocket! These are 5 tips to help you get the maximum profit from your unused furniture!
And don’t think you have to be an expert at painting or refinishing furniture to start selling old furniture. Sometimes a good cleaning is all you need to do to list it for sale.
But first, where are the best places to look for projects or pieces of furniture you can sell?
- Thrift stores – a perfect time is during yard sale season and after the weekend is over. So many people will load up anything that didn’t sell and drop it at a thrift store after their garage/yard sales are over.
- Vintage store/Junk stores – it depends on the type of store you’re searching in because these stores are also trying to make a profit. But I’ve scored some great deals that I was able to flip and sell.
- Your own house – there’s a good chance you’ve got some old furniture sitting around that you don’t need or want anymore.
- Friends and family members – it never hurts to ask!
- Estate Sales – don’t let the word “estate” deter you from going. There are plenty of deals at estate sales. It’s essentially someone’s entire house for sale and they usually want the stuff gone!
- Online marketplaces – online selling has evolved since the days when Craigslist was the only option. Using your local Facebook marketplace can be a great place to find deals on old furniture. There will often be a local option as well as searching farther away from your location. Of course, be safe about meeting and pick up!
So now that you know where to score your deals, what do you do with them to get the most profit possible when selling your old furniture?
5 Tips for Selling Old Furniture
Stage Your Furniture Perfectly and Take Good Photos
If you want to get top dollar when selling used furniture, you want to make sure it looks desirable to buyers.
Just for an example, pull up your local Facebook marketplace and check out the listings for “dressers”. See which ones jump out at you and for what reasons you are noticing them.
If you leave a pile of clutter or block the view with tons of other items, the chances of getting your item sold decreases. If it looks dirty or if it’s piled into your stuffed garage, your picture is less likely to be appealing to buyers.
When you stage your items, try to make it the major focus in the picture. You don’t want any confusion as to what you’re selling.
If you’ve got a cute little end table that you can sell, try staging it with some pretty accessories (make sure to note in the ad if the accessories are included or not).
If you make your item look desirable, other people will get that vibe too and want it for themselves.
You don’t have to get fancy. Add a lamp or a pretty vase filled with flowers. Wrap a stack of old books with twine and set on the table. Or you can add something to show how it would be useful in a particular area. You want to present your item to buyers in the hopes that they actually buy it.
Take A Good Photo
If your photos are garbage, they are likely to skip right over your add. If your selling photo is dark, blurry, or crowded with random crap around your house, people are less likely to even give it a second glance.
Here’s a handy little tip – get a mobile app like Lightroom. It’s free and it works wonders for sprucing up your iPhone pics. You don’t need to know how to be an expert editor either. The simplest way to do this is to get the app, upload your pic, go to the “light” settings and adjust the exposure. Quick and super easy. It will make your pics look so much better. Don’t overdo it on the editing though. You don’t want people showing up to purchase something that looks nothing like what you advertised.
Price Your Old Furniture Appropriately
When you’re selling old furniture, particularly, something that belonged to you or a family member, it’s sometimes hard to price it correctly.
You can’t confuse your sentimental value for the actual worth of the piece.
In addition, you need to price the items according to your local markets. Check out similar items and get in line with those prices. It doesn’t have to be exact, but if people can find a dresser all day long for $100, yours might not stand out at $300.
And I’ve been in that situation where all you can think about is what you paid for an item. Sometimes if it’s just not selling and you’re coming close to being negative in profit, it might be good to hang onto it for a while and try again later. You never know when interest might peak again.
List All Details Including Delivery/Pick Up Options
This has more to do with the worth of your time than the actual price you get for an item you’re selling.
Your time is valuable. Every minute you spend haggling about prices or answering questions that could’ve been easily listed is a minute you could be working on your next project.
If you can list all the necessary details when you’re selling, it will save you a ton of questions and back and forth conversations. Here are a few things to make sure you include in your listings when selling used furniture:
- Dimensions – It never fails that every time I’ve skipped this part, the first message I receive is “what are the dimensions?”
- Condition – If an item has drawers, add a description about whether they slide good. It sounds odd, but this is another question I’ve received many times when selling furniture with drawers. Also, be honest when describing the condition of the furniture. Don’t say it’s like new if it’s not.
- How will your buyers get the piece? State whether you are willing to deliver, arrange for pick up at a neutral location, porch pick up, or if buyers must pick up.
- Is your price negotiable? Make it clear in your add if your price is firm. Then you hopefully won’t have to deal with too many people offering you half of your listing price.
Choose Your Items Carefully
If items are broken or damaged, it’s best to pass those up unless you’re skilled at repairing furniture. Or if an item is going to cost you most of your profits to get it in good shape again, you might pass on that one.
And if you’re new to this – check out this detailed guide to painting wood furniture. It can help you get going in the right direction!
I painted a dresser once that took me entirely too much time, it needed too much work, and I ended up having to repaint it. By the time it was all said and done, the price I got was not equal to the money or time I had invested.
When you’re selling old furniture, check out what goes quickly on the online marketplaces. Pop in a couple of vintage stores and ask the owners what the most valuable pieces are. Then keep your eyes open for things that you know will sell.
Factor in the cost of your supplies, the cost of the item, and the value of your time when you’re considering buying a piece of furniture to flip and sell.
Consider Becoming a Vendor
Selling old furniture can be a lucrative side gig. If it’s something you enjoy – hunting bargains, refinishing, painting, and selling, you might consider becoming a vendor at a consignment store.
Keep in mind they will take a percentage of your sale and you will likely pay a booth or rental fee. However, becoming a vendor has a lot of perks if you can devote time. They handle all the transactions, advertising, and pickups. Once it’s in your booth or rental space, you can just sit back and wait for a sale on that piece while you’re searching for the next great one.
Of course, you need inventory and you have to devote enough time to making your space look good and keeping it stocked. But you can make some good money doing this if you price your items right and keep good pieces stocked.
Making money selling old furniture is a great way to earn extra cash. You can supplement your income and get paid for a hobby you enjoy. For many people, it even becomes a full-time gig and their sole income!
Feel free to share any tips you have for selling old furniture – what works, what doesn’t? I’d love to hear it!