How much money did I make from flipping furniture in the month of March? Unfortunately, not a lot. Let’s get into a breakdown of my March furniture flips and why I made less than $200 flipping furniture this month.
In the month of March, I completed 2 furniture flips- a coffee table and a tv stand.
It took me forever to strip the paint off of this coffee table. Now that I’ve gotten some feedback, I don’t think it was totally necessary to remove all of the paint from the base, since I was just going to paint it white again anyway. I also learned some great strategies, like using a heat gun, that I will be using next time.
I ended up painting the base white and staining the top kona. Since I spent over 15 hours working on this piece, I posted it for $325.
The other piece I flipped this month was this tv stand. This was another two- toned look where I stained the top and painted the bottom black. I actually have yet to post the tv stand because I don’t feel like the black paint looks right and I haven’t decided what I want to do about it yet.
So I’ve posted the coffee table, but it hasn’t sold and obviously I haven’t posted the tv stand yet, so there’s no way it could have sold.
So why aren’t my furniture flips selling? I think there are a couple things contributing to my lack of sales.
Why I’m Not Making Sales
1. I’m not posting them right after I finish. I tend to get in my head about whether or not a piece is good enough, how much to sell it for, and stress so much about a customer being happy that I don’t want to post it unless it’s absolutely perfect.
Obviously I can’t sell pieces if I’m not posting them, so this is a constant mental battle I go through when I finish a piece. This is also why I try to share the imperfections and mistakes that happen with furniture pieces so that you know furniture flips aren’t always perfect.
Something else I’ve been doing to try to combat this is I’ve been trying to look at flipped pieces differently. Instead of thinking of them as something nobody wants that just has some new paint and will therefore be viewed as a used piece by a customer.
I instead try to view it more as a custom art piece. As furniture flippers were transforming what was once discarded and viewed as unwanted but are now giving it new life. That means they won’t be totally perfect, and that’s the beauty of the piece.
It’s been tough trying to wrap my head around this way of thinking of it, but it has helped me just go for it when it comes to posting flips and being more transparent with my customers as well.
2. I’m spending too much time on my flips, which means I price them for more and I think those prices might be a little high for my market. I’ve mentioned before how every location is going to have a different rate that people are going to be willing to spend.
Where I live, that rate isn’t very high, which means I have to be more strategic about the materials I’m using and the time I’m putting in. And, honestly, I really haven’t been strategic about it.
The beauty of trash flips is that they’re free, so no upfront cost, but they can be more time intensive. It’s something I’m definitely still learning and working with to try to improve how quickly how I can flip pieces.
I also need to be more mindful of how much money I’m spending on paint and other supplies. As much as I love mineral paint, it is more expensive than paint I could get at the hardware store.
3. Patience. I have to remind myself that it’s unrealistic to expect a furniture piece to sell the same day I post it. Most of my furniture pieces have taken at least a couple of weeks to sell.
It’s just hard for me to leave it be and not feel the need to lower the price or change something on the post. I find myself needing to constantly remind myself to be patient. It’s a challenge.
4. Because I flip most of my furniture from the trash, they’re rarely the more desirable furniture pieces in my area. I’ve found that dressers sell pretty easily in my area, but they’re also much more rare to find out for trash.
In a way I’m limiting myself by only picking up furniture pieces from the trash, but for now it’s helping me keep the costs low and also causing me less stress with finding less items to flip.
I’m not opposed to flip store thrifts at all. I just find that I’m much pickier about a thrifted piece versus something out for trash. When I find something for trash, I’m not as concerned about messing it up or putting money into it since the initial cost is free.
So if I didn’t sell the two furniture pieces I flipped in March, how did I make money?
Well, a couple of weeks ago I posted a video called Selling 5 Flips In Two Weeks. It was my last ditch effort before the month ended to try to get something to sell. Unfortunately, 4 of the 5 pieces did not sell. But one did! It only takes one sale to make a profit.
The furniture piece I sold was… the sage green dresser. If you guys remember, this was a trash find. That base had water damage and was falling apart. It was definitely an outdated dresser. So I removed the base, build a new one, painted the dresser green, added new handles. And it was a completely new dresser.
So I posted this dresser for $225. This was enough to cover my expenses plus 8 hours worth of time put into it. I actually had someone reach out just a couple hours after posting asking if I’d take $200.
I was really debating on the price, but ended up accepting because I thought it was covering my time spent, until I realized I did my math wrong…
Totally fine though, because it still gave me a profit of $140, which is only $20 short of my $20/hour rate that I’m working with right now.
While I’m happy to get any sort of profit flipping furniture, it’s definitely far from the profits I want to see and that I’ve seen from other furniture flippers? Why am I not bringing in thousands of dollars each month from furniture flipping? Why can’t I pay my mortgage with this side hustle yet?
1. There’s just one of me… Flipping is a lot of work. And while my boyfriend, John, helps out every now and then, it’s just with little things.
I’m the only one around here doing the flip, while also filming and editing the flip. and it’s a lot.
2. I’m prioritizing filming over flipping. I’m not only flipping, but I’m also filming the journey. And I know it probably doesn’t seem like a lot to film and edit these flips, but it is.
If I didn’t film and post my furniture flips, I could probably get at least one other flip done each week. But the reason I flip, is because I want to share these experiences with you guys and help teach others and really share this journey.
And I also recognize that this could turn into an additional revenue stream over time. So, it takes away from making money in the short term, but I’m hoping it will increase my flipping income significantly in the long term.
3. It takes time to build up inventory and reputation. Over the last couple of months, I’ve really only been averaging about two flips per month, which really isn’t all that much.
The more I have posted, the more likely I’ll get a sale and right now I don’t have a lot to post. I’m also totally new to this thing which means I haven’t really built a reputation in my area yet, so that makes it challenging to get repeat customers and commission pieces.
4. I’m still learning. The best flips for my area, how much I can sell a piece for, where I should post a piece. There are a lot of variables that go into what will sell and what won’t.
It can depend on your area, trends, styles, types of furniture, where you post, when you post. I feel like every time I post something, I try something new. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
But it’s hard to keep up with what works and what doesn’t and what people will like and what they won’t. There’s just a lot of variables, which means there’s a lot of learning involved.
I feel like I’m still in the learning phase of figuring out what furniture pieces my community wants to see and what they’re willing to spend.
5. Distractions… as you guys know, I work a full time job and flip furniture on the side. And it is hard to come home every night after 10 hours at work and then put the next three hours of free time I have into flipping furniture.
Some days I’m super excited and I want to jump into it. Other days I really have to convince myself and other days it’s just a no. And it’s a struggle! Of course, I want to prioritize flipping furniture but I also want to have some sort of a life.
I’ve tried different scheduling scenarios where I only flip on the weekends, but that adds it’s own challenges. I just haven’t figured out a schedule that works well for me yet, which has made it hard to be consistent.
Overall, I’m happy to make any sort of profit while flipping furniture because I really enjoy it. As you guys know by now I am trying to save $22k for grad school in the fall and these numbers seem really small compared to that, but I’m trying to not get discouraged and keep pushing.
I’m getting closer and closer to getting monetized on Youtube and I’ve even started making a couple of sales through affiliate links which is super exciting, so I’m getting there, it’s just of course happening slower than I would like it to.