Furniture Flips Are Trending On TikTok, Should You Try It Out?

For some, flipping furniture can be a fun and profitable side hustle.


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Are you into DIY or crafting projects? Then you’ve probably noticed the trend of furniture flipping (#furnitureflip) on TikTok and Instagram. Think about it like house flipping, but on a much smaller scale. Here’s how flipping works: Furniture flippers find an old piece of furniture, fix any issues with it, and add paint, stain, or even new hardware. Then, they re-sell at a profit.

Here’s everything you need to know if you’ve been thinking about trying a flip for yourself.

How To Flip Furniture

To start out, hit up your local thrift shop or neighborhood garage sale and look for pieces to flip. “A quality piece of furniture is going to make the best flip," McKay Floyd, founder of DesignsbyMcKay, says. "For example, a piece that is made from solid wood, has dovetail drawers, and is heavy and sturdy [is a good option]. I ask myself if the piece of furniture looks cheap or is it a solid piece of furniture that’s just outdated.”

You can also get pieces for free by taking them off the hands of family and friends or checking local buy-nothing Facebook groups. Some flippers even find abandoned pieces on the side of the road. This was how Ashley Brandfass, founder of Studio Adash, fell into flipping as a hobby before turning it into a business. “My first project ever was my son’s dresser that my grandmother gave me," she says. "It was in such great shape but outdated, and we were very broke, so I decided to paint it and add new hardware to match our decor. I was instantly hooked. Finding free stuff and turning it into something people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for was such a thrill."

If you're hesisitant about getting started, don’t worry if you’ve never flipped furniture before. “Absolutely anyone can flip furniture," furniture flipper and TikToker Hannah Way says. "I’m personally self-taught and had no prior experience. I’ve only been flipping for two years but have mostly learned everything from research, step-by-step videos, and most importantly, trial and error. The skills can be taught and achieved by anyone willing to put the work and time into learning them."

At the same time, keep in mind, like any hobby, it might take a few tries before you get the hang of it. Floyd tells me, "Before you start selling flips, practice flipping a few pieces of your own. The more furniture you flip, the better you will get.”

How to Flip Furniture for Profit

Like anything else you're looking to sell, your furniture flip needs to be marketable. When selecting pieces to flip, look for furniture with maker’s marks on them. “Furniture that has a maker’s mark—usually found in the top inside drawer, or on the back of furniture—sells for a lot more than generic furniture," Brandfass says. "Some examples are Dixie, Bassett, and Lane."

She also recommends choosing sought-after furniture to flip. “Dressers, buffets, television consoles, and matching nightstands are in high demand and sell quickly,” she explains.

When selling furniture flips online, it's also crucial to take quality photos. Try to photograph each piece in good, natural lighting, and style it for the photo. For example, if you're trying to sell a dresser you've flipped, try styling it with a mirror hanging above it, and maybe a vanity tray and vase of flowers on top, so customers can better picture what it might look like in their home.

Furniture Items You Shouldn't Flip

If you love a good fixer upper, you may be tempted to pick up an item in less-than-poor condition, but this isn't always a good call. Floyd tells me if a piece “feels or looks cheap, has major damage that would be hard or expensive to fix, is super lightweight, has missing drawers, is wobbly or [made from] pressed wood,” it probably isn’t worth flipping.

Brandfass warns to look for “bubbling” surfaces. “When you see bubbles on the surface, this is water damage to the particle board," she says. "It can be fixed, but sometimes [it's] not worth the effort.”

But most importantly, Floyd tells me having patience when your creation hits the market is key. “Flips might not sell right away, so give it some time,” she says.

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