Getting started flipping furniture can be scary and more difficult than you imagined (and scary and difficult sucks). But there is a solution that will help you overcome the hurdles and start making money. Read on.
My experience getting started flipping furniture
I refinished furniture for myself for years, saving money and creating unique pieces no one else had. But when Covid hit and I lost my job, I decided to take my hobby and turn it into a business flipping furniture and home décor. I have had other businesses over the years and felt I could make a go of furniture flipping.
The start-up process wasn’t easy – there was so much to do, setting up my work areas and acquiring the products and tools, then creating a website and social media platforms (not my forte, I must admit). I dove in and acquired the tools and products I felt I needed to refinish furniture.
Thankfully, I already had many tools, which helped with the start-up costs. (This topic is covered in the introductory course module Tools, Supplies & PPE). But there was still so much to do. I had to develop systems to streamline the processes like staging, writing descriptions, taking photos, posting, and updating those posts. With these systems and my commitment, I slowly built my business.
What you need About to know getting started flipping furniture (and why it sucks)
1. Huge Time Commitment
To make a go of your business, you must be committed to your vision and where you want to take it. Committing to spending the time setting everything up and keeping it running can be difficult.
We all have lives outside of our business. And when you run your own business, the lines between home and work get very blurry, especially when you work out of your home. The Advanced course module Finding Furniture to Flip covers these challenges.
The time it takes getting started flipping furniture is much more than you might initially envision. (This is another sucky part). Flipping furniture isn’t just about painting and selling for a profit. You have to be ready to market yourself and your furniture business. Learning the ropes (both the skills and the business side) can take a lot of time, especially if you are doing it on your own.
I created this website and wrote the Furniture Flipping 101 program for people like you. Those who need help with ALL of the steps, not just choosing a colour or learning one technique. By spending time learning the basics, you will save time on costly (time and money) mistakes down the road.
2. Not Knowing what You Don't Know
Learning the skills and techniques needed to create a desirable finished product is another (big) step in the process. When first getting started flipping furniture, everything can be overwhelming – what is the proper way to prep? What does latex or acrylic paint mean? How do I choose the right paintbrush? Why isn’t this finish sticking?? If you don’t learn the skills you need to know, you may quickly become overwhelmed, lose your mojo, and give up (more suckiness).
It is critical to learn the basics fast. Once you learn those, refinishing can be fun and totally not sucky! (Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with my Furniture Flipping 101 program!)
Unfortunately, there is also a lot of bad advice out there – do not assume because someone has answered a question on a Facebook group that they know what they are talking about. I have questioned advice before (that I knew was flat-out wrong), and been told, well, I was guessing but I’ve heard that might work… Following bad advice and making a problem worse is also a sucky experience! Often, what I find has happened, is they didn’t know the fundamentals behind the advice they heard, and they tried to make it apply to a totally different situation.
3. Fear of getting started flipping furniture
By now, you may wonder if you even want to flip furniture. I am not telling you all this to scare you, but rather to let you know what to expect so you can manage your business. If you aren’t prepared to put in the time and effort, you may wish to rethink your plans. But if you have a drive and want to run your own business and step away from the 9-5 world of working for someone else, then I have your back.
(*Did you know that a recent Gallup poll survey found that less than 25% or fewer than one in four employees felt their employers cared about their overall well-being? No wonder so many people are getting started flipping furniture and running their own business.)
Check out my article on 6 Types of Painter’s Block, which includes ways to combat the fear of getting started flipping furniture.
getting started flipping furniture successfully
The Furniture Flipping 101 program will walk you through the process – the three skills courses and one business management course cover everything you need to know. Even if you are already refinishing furniture, this program teaches you so much more than just how to scuff-sand and prime. The Furniture Flipping 101 program digs into the concepts behind the techniques – how sanding works, what the different types of primers do and how they are formulated, as a tiny example. The complete summary of what the program includes is found here.
Here’s an article on The Top 8 Beginner Furniture Flipper Mistakes and How to Avoid Them that you might find helpful too. Check out more getting started flipping furniture articles here.
Comment below with your thoughts. For those who are running their own business, let me know was starting out scary? What would you do differently now if you were just starting out? If you are new to flipping furniture, what are your biggest challenges right now?