Lockdowns have had us all looking for new hobbies, and ways to make some extra cash. This was the case for an Adelaide-based man who made approximately $5000 on Gumtree by upcycling furniture found on the street
When Brandon lost his job in COVID he used his love of design to give upcycling furniture a go. He started with a coffee table he found on the street for free, then progressed to drawers, then to dining tables, bedside tables and even beds.
He’s now upcycled nearly 50 pieces of furniture and often sells items for double his asking price.
Additionally, research from Gumtree reveals that the trading of pre-loved, unwanted or unused items in Australia could be worth over $48 billion, and has grown 89% over the past 10 years.
With that in mind, here are 6 top tips for upcycling and selling furniture on Gumtree:
Paint to perfection – A splash of paint can do wonders in upgrading a pre-loved piece of furniture and doesn’t have to break the bank. You can get sandpaper and a small pot of paint – often they cost less than $50 – and can liven up a piece of furniture perfectly. Spray paint is another good option. For example, that popular gold mirror everyone is looking for at the moment can be easily made with a pre-loved mirror off Gumtree and a can of gold spray paint, for half the price. Don’t forget the sealant either so your paint job stays intact!
Best pick: Wooden furniture is one of the easiest things to upcycle as damage can be easily sanded down and painted over. There’s generally more wooden pieces of furniture ready to be upcycled than anything else too, making it simple to find. Tip: antique white-washed finishes are always a big hit and probably the easiest style to replicate.
Picture perfect – A potential buyer will be more likely to be interested in a listing if there is more than one image. You can upload up to nine images on a Gumtree listing, so there’s no reason to not share every angle of your piece of furniture. Make sure you take the photos in a well-lit space and show any detail that the item might have.
It’s all in the detail – Don’t simplify your language or skimp on the details when putting your upcycled piece of furniture up for sale. Instead, you should describe the item you’re listing with unique phrases and words, like “French Provincial” or “perfectly imperfect”. See how other items are being advertised to get some inspiration from the language used.
Research is key – Do your research to see what’s currently trending in the furniture space both on Gumtree and online. See what’s currently for sale and compare your product to it. If you’re wanting to upcycle some furniture, do some research on the kinds of items getting the biggest bucks on Gumtree. This research is also great inspiration for what you might want to create, so start a vision board with items you’re eager to find and upcycle.
Timed to perfection – Aim to post your ad just before the weekend to maximise the views and interest you’ll get. With many people at work during the week, they might not be checking Gumtree as often. Buyers want something to do on the weekend and it’s when they’ll have the most time to look for something new to purchase for their homes. Do your best to respond quickly to potential buyers too; stay on top of interest by turning on notifications in the Gumtree app and be friendly and helpful in your dealings with fellow Gummies.
Want to learn more about upcycling, renovating for profit and more? Read more advice from our experts