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Reupholster?

Reupholster?
« on: February 09, 2014, 12:55:42 PM »
A bit of a noob here, and question on furniture.

I have purchased two lockers now and they contained some furniture including a couch and loveseat combo, plus a smaller rocking/swivel chair.  They don't look to be in horrible condition, but kind of dated look and fabric is somewhat worn.  Honestly, I think if I were shopping for this kind of furniture myself I would not likely give it a second look, unless the price was a steal.

Anyway, interested in your thoughts...are there buyers out there that invest the time and money for fabric/tools to reupholster the furniture they find?  Do you find it a worthwhile process to make furniture more salable and/or at a higher price point - or do you find you spend too much time/money to make a worthwhile profit?  If you do this work, do you worry about going from taking "generic furniture" to one so unique that you limit your potential customer to those looking for a "niche" or custom product (so more difficult to sell)?

Honestly, if I can flip more quickly I'd lean that way but curious on to the way to a larger profit and/or greater ability to sell (such as everyone, right?)

Looking forward to your thoughts!

Offline Travis

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Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 02:43:53 PM »
If it's a quality piece of furniture, I might roll the dice and have it recovered. For example Victorian sofas, antique chairs or high quality modern furniture. However, if it's just run of the mill, I'll just sell it at a good price to get it gone. I used to have a contact who owned an upholstery business. He would buy all of the old sofas and chairs I could get him. I didn't make a whole lot off of them ($20-30 a piece) but anything is better than nothing.

Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 05:57:38 PM »
Upholstered pieces are tough. I have recovered a few but most I just sell or give away. Like Travis said if it is an unusual piece or very old than it is worth it otherwise just flip it and move one.

Offline dbr831

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Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 06:44:54 PM »
I just don't think you would get enough to make it worth the time and expense. I don't even paint stuff. The extent of my refinishing is wiping the wood stuff down with a wood restore product to get rid of surface scratches or maybe a little gorilla glue here and there....

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 07:56:37 PM »
I just don't think you would get enough to make it worth the time and expense. I don't even paint stuff. The extent of my refinishing is wiping the wood stuff down with a wood restore product to get rid of surface scratches or maybe a little gorilla glue here and there....

I agree. Of course I never was much into buying lockers with furniture anyway, but when I did get a nicer piece I would do just what dbr said above.

Once I did get an old (newly upholstered) Victorian couch that I made good money on, but I didn't have to do anything to it.

Then I got a little settee (old wood frame in good shape) and it TOO had been reupholstered...in what I called "cathouse red" material...but it sold !


Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 10:45:34 PM »
Thank you for your thoughts, everyone!

These pieces certainly do not appear unique or old - pretty everyday run of the mill.  The consensus really seems to be move them along, so in the absence of people saying it's worthwhile (at least in general for general furniture), I expect I'll just flip them for whatever $$$ I can find. 

On that particular locker, I've already sold two other chairs in it for more than I paid for that locker.  I have yet to recover the cost of the second locker and "cost of doing business", but there's still a fair amount there to move - so wish me luck!

By the way...anyone in the Dallas area looking for some couches or other furniture and items?   ;D


Offline Cobia

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Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2014, 06:15:06 AM »
I think the cost to reupholster furniture has overrun the selling price of furniture even nice antique furniture over the last 5 years. I recently came across two very nice antique sofas and my re-upholstery guy quoted prices of around $700-$800 each to rehab them. In todays' market, even with good antique styles, that kind of price can put you at break even or easily a loss. Just going to send them to auction as-is and hope some do-it-your-selfers are there who want to reupholster the furniture for themselves and will pay a couple of hundred dollars, otherwise they are $20-$40 pieces.

Offline Travis

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Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2014, 08:50:04 AM »
About 4 years ago, I found an incredible antique sitting chair. Gorgeous hand carved wood chair from the 17th century. My wife and I fell in love with it even though the fabric was in rough shape. Around the same time, we purchased a unit that had about 50 rolls of high quality fabric. My wife selected the best roll and we took it and the chair to our upholsterer. We were excited and couldn't wait to get it back. Hadn't heard from our upholsterer in a few weeks, so we went by his place to check on it. His wife answered the door and told us that he left her, moved out and changed his phone number. She also said that he took the chair with him. Never heard from him again.

Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2014, 01:04:26 PM »
Other than antique or vintage upholstered furniture, I would also consider reupholstering dining room chairs if they need it. Only upholster in plain, neutral colors. It's super easy and cheap to do dining room chairs and a new covering could add a pretty penny to your potential sale.

Offline Travis

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Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2014, 12:16:44 AM »
Other than antique or vintage upholstered furniture, I would also consider reupholstering dining room chairs if they need it. Only upholster in plain, neutral colors. It's super easy and cheap to do dining room chairs and a new covering could add a pretty penny to your potential sale.

I agree. Although, if the fabric is in good condition and just has some stains, I've found that Resolve carpet cleaner and a plastic bristle scrub brush works miracles.

Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2014, 11:13:43 PM »
I don't agree with not painting. I have found that a piece freshly painted will bring at least twice as much as not newly painted. I don't spend a lot of time painting. Maybe half and hour on a small side table or an hour on a dresser. Just my experience with painted wood pieces.

Offline rulesforrebels

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Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2014, 11:43:57 AM »
My attitude is if something is an easy fix I'll fix it, however if it requires lots of time or lots of money spent on materials I won't, everyone wants to lowball you on everything so why put more money into it just to get lowballed. Unless it's a high end piece of quality furniture dont waste your tiem take what someone will give you for as is condition. Thats my take.

Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2014, 04:27:11 PM »
time and space is money. Unless I can get cash for furniture as is it goes out on the curb for free. There will be better furniture in the next unit. The only exceptions for me on this are real wood pieces that are beat up. IF I have a little extra time I will quickly refinish these(found a horrible looking antique mahogony bedside table redid it during my slow week last week and put it  in my shop) Point is, if i could have been out getting more units i would have been. We had a 1 1/2 week auction dry spell here. I also painted the bathroom, refinished the deck and took the kids to the water park lol. I am chomping at the bit to hit an auction tomorrow.

Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2014, 10:42:51 PM »
It depends on the furniture. If it's something unique, uncommon or very old, I'd get it looked at. A number of years ago (20ish; I was 4-5 when it happened), my mother picked up a chair at a fleamarket for $5 - only to find it was a 400-year-old french piece. Needless to say, it went to get some new fabric and a new life. More recently, I have been given a victoria era sofa that's worth a pretty penny despite its rough shape, and worth far more repaired.

If it's just generic, new or junk though - toss it, give it away, or sell it cheap.


Offline rulesforrebels

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Re: Reupholster?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2014, 08:27:29 AM »
It depends on the furniture. If it's something unique, uncommon or very old, I'd get it looked at. A number of years ago (20ish; I was 4-5 when it happened), my mother picked up a chair at a fleamarket for $5 - only to find it was a 400-year-old french piece. Needless to say, it went to get some new fabric and a new life. More recently, I have been given a victoria era sofa that's worth a pretty penny despite its rough shape, and worth far more repaired.

If it's just generic, new or junk though - toss it, give it away, or sell it cheap.

I'm on the same page, I don't like things sitting around especially big things that take up space. A quality piece or real wood piece and not particle board I may set aside and restain as I'm trying to get better at woodworking and find hte work enjoyable when I have some freetime but something like reupholstering or putting money into an item generally doesn't happen with me.