065 Buy, Refurbish, and Resell Used Furniture

Buying and reselling old and damaged furniture, refurbishing it, and then selling it for more money is a perfect idea for all DIYers who want to make money. In this article, we will see what exactly it is and how you could start this business successfully.

What is it all about?

It’s very simple, you look for second hand furniture from any era for sale, but not just any furniture either, the ones with real potential, on which you could make a profit, of course. Then, you rework them at your ease and above all with great care, and you sell them with a more or less high profit once the restoration work is completed.

So this idea is mostly for those who already know how to tinker and use various tools (if you’re that kind of person who gets hurt as soon as they use a screwdriver, forget it), but even if you have “two left hands”, you might be able to take the time to learn how to work with wood, leather, metal, etc. You’ll see, it’s a lot of fun. And who knows, you might discover a new passion for crafts.

If you’re efficient and productive, and have a knack for sniffing out bargains, you could turn it into a job. But if not, know that it can come with time and practice. But in the worst case, it will bring you a variable but potentially very interesting additional income.

Where to find used furniture?

The first places you can start looking are private or public second-hand fairs near you as many people prefer to sell their used furniture to artists like you, and earn a little money in the process, rather than throwing it away. Also check out flea markets and yard sales, where you can sometimes find real gems.

But wherever you are looking, try to buy your furniture rather from individuals because professionals know the value of the things they sell, so it will cost you most of the time more, even if antique furniture stores remain good spots to find unique and rare pieces.

The Internet is also a good place to look although it can sometimes be more difficult to find furniture not too far from your home. It’s best to search local classifieds sites but also on platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay and even Amazon. You can also type “used furniture” + the name of your region on Google and see what is proposed.

Avoid ordering online, however, as the photographs displayed are often insufficient to see the exact condition the furniture is in, and they are sometimes even misleading, so it’s always best to go and see the furniture up close before you decide. And if you spot a piece you really like, but it’s on the other side of the country, contact the seller and ask for as many details as possible about its condition, as well as other photos taken from different angles and in good light.

Keep an eye out for it when you are walking down the street as well as it is not uncommon to find abandoned furniture on the sidewalk, and it may even be in good condition, or not too damaged at least. And if you have spotted one that interests you, don’t delay in picking it up because it may not stay there for long.

Finally, you can also find furniture through your friends and family because it is very likely that they have old furniture that they want to get rid of. So don’t hesitate to tell them about your project, especially those who are planning to move soon. Not only will they be happy to help you, but you will certainly be doing them a favor!

Pinterest screenshot You will find inspiration on Pinterest

What types of refurbishments?

The work that you will have to do on furniture varies in nature and complexity. Some will be relatively simple to do (just a coat of paint or varnish, for example) and others more difficult (filling a hole, repairing damaged wood, changing the locking mechanism…). Each case will require a specific treatment (type of maintenance, specific products, particular techniques…), so you will have to use all your DIY talents to get the job done properly.

But be careful not to start work that could cost you more than you could earn. Concentrate on the furniture that is really interesting and on which you are almost certain to make a profit at resale.

Note that you may sometimes encounter some difficulties with certain pieces of furniture and the work you will have to do on them, especially at the beginning. If you are not sure how to do this, take a look at YouTube, where you will find a lot of tutorials on restoring old furniture, wood treatment, painting and varnishing techniques, and other DIY topics that will certainly be very useful.

And if you’re an artist, this is the perfect time to let your talent shine through and customize furniture to your imagination! The “classic” market is full of furniture that all look more or less the same, so proposals for original and unique furniture will not fail to delight potential customers. You could paint the furniture in shimmering colors, even psychedelic, or on the contrary more sober but still original, add unusual or evocative patterns, add materials and embellishing elements, improve some functional parts, increase their sturdiness, etc.

Where to sell your refurbished furniture?

The answer to this question is quite similar to the question of where to find them (except for the curb, of course) but with some nuances. So you could be lugging your furniture to local or national flea markets, looking for potential buyers, but it will be much easier to take a few pictures of your furniture and put it up for sale on local classifieds sites, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Amazon, but especially Etsy. Etsy is also a marketplace, but it specializes in handcrafted, handmade, and vintage creations. This American company attracts several million visitors from all over the world every month, so it is one of the best platforms to sell these kinds of items.

When you choose the site where you will put your piece of furniture for sale, make sure you know the commissions they take, the possible transaction fees, the accepted payment methods, etc. Don’t hesitate to compare them if you are not sure. Here is a little comparison table that should help you.

When you publish your ads, remember to include all relevant information (complete description with sizes, colors, materials…), the type of work you did with before/after pictures, add nice photos taken from different angles that show off your furniture well, purchase and delivery terms, etc.

Once this is done, you can share your ads on social networks, and why not also launch some advertising campaigns on Facebook/Instagram Ads or Google Ads. Small investments of 10 or 20 dollars are often enough to reach your goals, as explained in my article on online marketing.

And later on, if you get a taste for what you’re doing and the business is doing quite well, you could even open your own online store. With “website builders”, it’s very easy and fast nowadays—no need to learn any computer language. I wrote an article on how to create a website and another one more specifically on how to create an online store. Don’t hesitate to read either of them.

Etsy screenshot Etsy is an excellent marketplace to sell your furniture

Some tips for success

Let’s end this article with some tips that will help you find and sell your furniture successfully and make money in the process.

  • Find affordable furniture: To maximize profits, you need to find affordable furniture to refinish or customize. You’ll get the best deals from individuals whose goal is often to get rid of the furniture rather than to make money.
  • Restore furniture professionally: Take the time to repair, sand, paint or varnish the furniture so that the work you do looks professional and high quality. This will also allow you to get a better price.
  • Find a style: Whether your work is artistic or just aesthetic or even practical, find an original style of your own that will allow people to know immediately that you are the creator. Keeping a certain consistency in your creations will make them recognizable, which can attract a community of fans, and thus add value to your work.
  • Take high quality photos: Take high quality photos of your reupholstered or custom furniture, staging it in an attractive way for potential buyers. Also, make sure the light is nice and properly oriented.
  • Set a fair price: Set a fair price for your furniture, taking into account the cost of purchase and materials used, the time you spent restoring or customizing the furniture, and the profit you want to make. Try not to be too greedy or too modest. Strike a balance between offering a price that is reasonable for you and attractive to potential customers. Remember that customers will be willing to pay a little more for unique, quality pieces.
  • Be creative: Don’t be afraid to be creative and experiment with different styles and techniques of furniture restoration or customization to set yourself apart from other sellers and attract the attention of potential buyers. Also, don’t be afraid to be quirky and original if you wish. There is a market for every style, after all.


I think I’ve covered everything that is important to say on this subject. We have seen that there are all kinds of ways to find furniture to reupholster or customize, such as flea markets and classifieds platforms on the Internet, that it is better to already have some DIY skills to start this activity or to learn via YouTube tutorials, and that the best way to resell your furniture is through an online platform such as Etsy or other. So there you go; all you have to do is get to work now. What is your opinion on this idea?


Environmental and climate change issues are more than ever at the heart of the concerns of this 21st century, which is why I am proposing a few ideas that will enable you to limit the negative impact that the implementation of this idea could have.

These solutions that I suggest are sometimes largely insufficient to compensate for these negative impacts, such as carbon offsetting. Unfortunately, there is not always an ideal and 100% efficient solution, far from it. And if you have others, please do not hesitate to share them in the comments below.

I’d almost be tempted to say that this idea is 100% eco-friendly, since this activity falls under the circular economy, a sustainable economic model that’s being talked about a lot right now and that aims to minimize waste by recycling and regenerating existing materials and products as much as possible.

This will be the case if you don’t use (too many) chemicals during your restoration or customization work. I’m thinking in particular of varnishes, paints, glues, etc., but also of synthetic materials that you might need to work with. There are often natural and more environmentally friendly alternatives for each of them, so don’t hesitate to do a Google search, which should help you find them.

But the biggest downside I see here is the need to use a motorized vehicle such as a pickup truck, van or car with a trailer to transport the furniture you’ve found, but also to deliver it to the customer’s home. There are not many alternatives to this, but I would still advise you to rent this vehicle when you need it rather than buying it (unless you are transporting furniture every day, of course). It will also save you money.


  • A creative, stress-free and enjoyable job.
  • You participate in the circular economy because not only will each piece of furniture not end up in the landfill (at least not immediately) but the buyer will not have to buy a new one.


  • A workshop may be needed to work properly, but also to store the finished furniture until it is sold.
  • The initial investment may be more or less, depending on what you need to work with. Consider looking for second-hand tools and machinery to limit expenses.

Disclaimer, please read this Legal and administrative aspects of the ideas you'll find on Sweekr are rarely discussed because they vary greatly depending on the country you live in. I would advise you to check with your local government before starting any business. Keep in mind that if you make money, the state will ask for "its share" in order to guarantee the proper functioning of schools, hospitals and other public services. Therefore, you will probably have to acquire a micro-entrepreneur status, or any other similar.
Also, be aware that this post may contain affiliate links, and I may get compensated a commission at no extra cost to you if you click on the affiliate links and subsequently make a purchase. This will help maintain the site, so thank you.

This article could be completed or improved with your help. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any question, a relevant remark, a feedback, additional information or spotted any error.Go to comments


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