The Top 5 Mistakes I Made as a Furniture Flipping Newbie (and How to Avoid Them!)

When you first start flipping furniture, you may be overwhelmed by the millions of results you'll get from Google. Did I mention EVERYONE thinks they're doing things the only right way? So frustrating. Because I am completely self-taught, I made many mistakes in the beginning. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and avoid writing this blog in a year. :) 


  • SKIPPING SEALING
  •  

    “Do I really need to seal my furniture?” I get this question ALL the time and I can’t stress enough how important this step is. If anything is going to be touching the piece you are flipping it could damage the paint. Sealing the piece keeps it safe from chipping paint, water rings, grubby fingers, and more. Unsealed paint can also stay tacky especially in high humidity. Tacky paint can trap dust, hair, and fingerprints leaving your surface looking gross and can even transfer paint onto anything you set down. 


  • UNDERCHARGING (OR ASKING TOO MUCH)
  • How do I know what to charge for the pieces I flip? Research! Learn from my mistakes and do your research before you post your first piece.One of the first big pieces I sold was a buffet for 100 dollars. It sold within seconds of posting it. Selling a piece right away is exciting when you’re first starting out, but if it sells that fast you’re probably underselling. After researching my market I realized I could have sold that piece for 300 dollars! Researching your market is SO important. It can be scary to ask for what the piece is worth and I still struggle with underselling myself. Remember that you can always lower the price or accept an offer lower than what you are asking, but you can’t come back from pricing too low. 


  • NOT KNOWING WHAT TO FLIP (AND WHAT TO LEAVE)
  • You also need to research what sells in your area. Buffets are my favorite flips. They are big sellers in my area and they can turn a big profit. But if buffets don’t sell in your area, they can take up a lot of room in your workspace. Nightstands are easy to flip and store, but single nightstands are rarely worth the profit, so I will only pick up sets. 


  • NOT PACING MYSELF
  • When I first started I felt like I needed to finish the piece the same day I started. This wasn’t good for me or my pieces. If you try to rush the process you’ll probably end up skipping an important step. This is especially true when it comes to painting and sealing. A lot of the time in these steps is spent waiting. If you rush the process and apply too many coats at a time, you’ll end up wasting time when you have to sand it back down and repaint. People always ask me how I do this with a baby, and while I am lucky to have a good support system and lots of energy, the biggest factor is time management. 


  • NOT KNOWING THE DETAILS OF A PIECE
  • Sometimes trash is just trash. Before you pick up a piece, especially if you are finding things online, find out as much as you can about the item. In the beginning I went to pick up pieces that I couldn’t use. No amount of sanding will get out the smell of cigarettes and litter boxes.  

     

    Tell me in the comments: what is one mistake you've learned from... or which of these mistakes are you still struggling to fix?

    5 comments

    • These are great tips!

      How do you research the market in your area?

      Thanks!

      Tobey
    • Hi Maggie what about dressers where the drawers don’t pull out right are those worth buying and fixing.

      Thanks
      Regina

      Regina
    • Hi Maggie what about dressers where the drawers don’t pull out right are those with buying and trying to fix

      Thank
      Regina

      Regina
    • Good info thanks👍🏻

      Debbie
    • Hi Maggie! I’m 16 years old and I’m starting my first ever piece this weekend. It’s a white lingerie chest and I’m going to be giving it to my grandparents. I’m definitely going to be signing up for your e-course but I think the thing that I have been struggling with most is deciding what color to paint it. The inspiration. I just can’t decide and I would really like to know how you decide what colors and knobs you’re going to use. Thank you so much if you read this and I hope you know how inspiring you are! Have an amazing day! :)

      McKenna Slater

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published