More lucrative than most would imagine, flipping furniture for profit may just be the ticket for extra or even full-time income for savvy flippers. While buying opportunities will always be available for the picking, there are certain qualities and assets that will make you better suited for making profit with this business and working with Craigslist buyers.
First, you must be a tough cookie with a thick skin, willing to deal with people face-to-face and on the telephone. If you are not-so-patient with marketplace rules and answering emails, flipping furniture on Craigslist for profit may be just the business for you, but do be prepared to deal with no-shows and sometimes difficult people. Online sellers can remain relatively private, dealing only with buyers via e-mail, but if you are selling furniture on Craigslist, you better be ready for anything as you will be dealing directly with the general public. The trade-offs are enormous! First, you do not need to pay marketplace fees, which means you pocket all of the profits, as per your terms, more often than not in cold hard cash. Craigslist has taken the place of the free and paid classified ads of days gone by and guess what? Placing your listings on the Craigslist marketplace is free too!
How to make a profit flipping furniture will be determined by several things. First, you need to either be willing to open your home or garage or backyard to strangers, or be have access to an acceptable meeting place. Second, you will need to have a vehicle that can haul the items you intend to purchase and sell, obviously some kind of truck will be best. You can command extra profits for your items if you are also willing to deliver! Flexibility is key – if you are home-bound, that’s good because prospective buyers may want to check out your items at all different times of the day and the more flexible you can be, the more potential furniture buyers will come and shop your items.
Furniture flippers, like any flipping business must to be willing to make an investment in the products they intend to re-sell. Yes, there are bargains and freebies to be had, but more and more people have the ability to educate themselves about the value of their item. That said, be willing to walk away where the purchase just does not make financial sense because the buyer’s emotional attachment or financial expectation is too great to be overcome.
It’s important to have a good eye for quality, to know the local trends as much as possible, while understanding that some items may require more time and investment before a sale will be made so you need to be willing to be patient in some cases with your furniture flipping business. You can start small, but whenever you can invest a little more for a quality item, it is more likely to pay off in a big way. Some items may take more patience than others before the right local buyer is found. Those furniture flippers with restoration and refurbishing talent are sure to earn more for their items and may even attract repeat buyers. Those in the flipping furniture business must be willing to do a little clean-up when it’s worthwhile to do so for a hot flip item. If it’s your thing or you are open to learning, check out the Step-by-Step guide to Upholstery and Design for ideas about upgrading furniture finds.
You may be surprised at how few people are furniture flipping on Craigslist. That said, you can stand apart from any potential competition by taking multiple quality photos, providing accurate and complete descriptions, being available as much as possible to buyers, and offering creative bundling options wherever possible. Bundling takes some creativity – but think about it, if you can offer a table with chairs as opposed to just a table alone, more potential buyers will be interested in the former. If you are uncertain about larger furniture purchases, start with smaller ones, or appliances, or sporting goods or whatever items you ‘know’ where to spot good quality and then work your way up from there. Don’t neglect to scout your neighborhood for freebies people may leave out and do sign up for your local freecycle group where you can score some free goods and help someone in the process.
Flipping furniture is no different than flipping any other items – you must buy right! In order to get access to the best buys, you will be shopping during off-hours and weekends, so make sure you have an open schedule. That said, it’s your business so make flipping furniture for profit work for you; be open to flipping thrift store finds and flipping garage sale finds as well.