If you’ve been thinking about expanding your refurbished furniture business beyond your local market, your timing couldn’t be better. A recent consumer study, conducted by online marketplace Chairish, found that secondhand, vintage, and antique furniture is quickly becoming a big hit with one of the internet’s fastest-growing buying groups: millennials.
But why secondhand furniture? The survey found that both sustainability and unique style play a part in the trend. According to the results, 58% of millennial respondents felt that the resale market plays a big role in the future of sustainability, and 61% said that the hunt for one-of-a-kind pieces attracted them to pre-owned furniture in the first place.
But while the demand for refurbished furniture with online shoppers is high, the mystery around how to source inventory, sell finished products, and ship items safely still bewilders many furniture sellers today. Luckily, it’s way easier than it sounds.
Here we take a look at five tried and true ways to source affordable pieces, sell your refurbished products, and ship them to buyers near and far.
Need an easy, affordable shipping solution for your refurbishing or restoration business? Get instant, competitive quotes from feedback-rated carriers who deliver nationwide.
BECOME A REGULAR AT GARAGE SALES & FLEA MARKETS
Sourcing: When you want to source furniture fast and cheap, nothing beats a Saturday morning garage sale hunt. Our best advice is to plan your route ahead of time, start earlier than you think, and negotiate all prices. Oh! And don’t forget to bring plenty of cash.
Bonus Tip: Download the eBay app before you go so you can gauge prices and make informed counter offers on the fly.
SpaceLancaster on Instagram.
Selling: Depending on the flea market, you might be able to find a few deals on inventory, but it’s probably a better place to sell your finished products. Eager buyers travel all across this country looking for unique, one-of-a-kind items at flea markets. Yours could be one of them!
Have an out-of-town customer interested in one of your large pieces? Get them an instant shipping quote from uShip or offer free shipping to sweeten the deal and close the sale.
From Matt Greig Antiques on Instagram.
SHOP AND SELL VIA ONLINE MARKETPLACES
Sourcing: When it comes to sourcing cheap furniture online, nothing beats the local selection on sites like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and OfferUp. Not finding what you want locally? Expanding your location search on these sites can be a great way to find cheap and free materials. And if a piece is a few states over, simply use uShip to find a transporter going through the area who can pick up your item and deliver it right to you.
Upcycle Craigslist find on Instagram.
Selling: Established sites like Etsy and eBay are ideal for sellers looking to quickly list their refurbished furniture and make sales. The right selling strategy will depend on your business goal, but having a presence on multiple sites is recommended.
Pair of refurbished 1960s Italian Midcentury Reclining Chairs from Chairish.
GET SOCIAL WITH IT
Sourcing: Social platforms like Instagram can also be a great avenue for finding cheap inventory on the fly. Thanks to the “stooping” movement in New York, lots of big cities across the US now have Instagram accounts dedicated to finding free stuff on the street.
Don’t live close to the action? Get creative with your hashtag and location searches. You never know what you’ll find. #FreeStuff
StoopingNYC on Instagram.
Selling: Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are all great platforms for getting your refurbished furniture in front of a wider audience of buyers. Again, get creative with your promotion methods, and don’t be afraid to ask your followers to share your posts.
SOURCING ON THE OPEN ROAD
If digging through people’s barns, attics, garages, and abandoned buildings appeals to you, then you might just be a picker. While the guys on American Pickers make it look easy, this type of inventory sourcing can take years of talking to the right people and making connections, but it’s all worth it for the thrill of finding buried treasure.
From The Junk Ranch on Instagram.
Are you looking for a fast, affordable, and secure way to ship your refurbished furniture to buyers nationwide? Access instant shipping estimates and affordable rates from uShip’s network of feedback-rated carriers today.