Small Business

4 Ways Sortly Can Boost Your Vintage Furniture Upcycling Business

April 15, 2022 • 5 min read

If you have a passion for flea market flips and upcycling vintage furniture, you might dream of turning your hobby into a chalk paint and upcycling business. One important aspect of running a profitable furniture upcycle business is tracking your inventory. After all, you need to keep track of what pieces to be painted or reupholstered, where pieces are (in your studio, in consignment shops, etc), and when to re-order consumable supplies such as paint and fabric.

Sortly is easy inventory management software that helps vintage furniture sellers track inventory and consumables with a few clicks. It can turn an expensive hobby into a profitable furniture upcycling business.

Sortly Tracks Inventory for Upcycled Furniture

Repurposing vintage furniture by painting and reselling it leaves plenty of room for profit. You’ll have to carefully track all expenses, plus the hours you spend moving and painting furniture. Sortly can help with all of that.

furniture upcycle business

By setting up Folders and Items in Sortly, you can track what you have, where it is, and what it’s worth. Plus, you’ll always have your upcycled inventory to show clients on your phone or tablet. Three basic folders are all you need:

  • As Found: furniture in original condition that hasn’t been touched
  • In Rehab: furniture being worked on, out for repair, in the paint shop
  • For Sale: upcycled furniture that’s ready to be sold, or on consignment.

Once you’ve created the Folders, you can upload your furniture paint projects. It’s as quick and easy as posting on Instagram; each furniture piece becomes one Item in Sortly. Each Folder shows the total dollar value of the Items in it.

Organize Your Vintage Furniture in Sortly:

Sortly makes it simple to track your furniture upcycling business’s active projects. In the below example, we’ll show you how to add and track an item from start to finish.

Let’s say you want to add a vintage dresser to Sortly. Open your As Found furniture file, and click Add Item. Take a few photos of the dresser. You can also upload photos from your photo library. Sortly even lets you put arrows on the photos to point out damage.

If you have inspiration photos for upcycling or furniture paint finishes, add them to the Item listing too.

On the next screen is the Item Name. We’ll name this furniture paint project Victorian Dresser.

  • Create some Tags. Tag the type of furniture – desk, dresser, etc. Then add a style tag, such as Mid-Century, or Antique. Use tags to save any information that will help sort the items. Suggested tags might be be Dresser, Victorian, Shabby Chic.
  • You can create unlimited tags in Sortly, but to keep things simple, give each item 3-5 tags. You’ll find your Items easily in Sortly just by entering a tag in the search bar.
  • In the Price box, put the price paid for the Victorian Dresser – $55.
  • In the Notes section, type in the measurements of your Dresser, and any notable information like original hardware, or paw feet.
  • Still in the Notes section, create a project To Do list. Don’t forget your labor time, the cost of delivery help, and the supplies used.

Now save your Item.


how to upcycle furniture to sell

How to Track Chalk Paint and Repairs:

When you start to chalk paint the Victorian Dresser, update Sortly by moving it from the As Found folder to the In Rehab folder.

What if the dresser needs a drawer fixed? Use Sortly’s Lending feature to note that you sent it to the repair shop. Sortly will even remind you to check on it later. When the dresser is fixed and ready to paint, edit the Lent section to Paint, and choose a date. Sortly will remind you to chalk paint the dresser.

As you work on furniture, add your expenses in the Notes. The Victorian Dresser has a total of $198 in expenses, including labor. Add the $55 you paid, and update the Price in Sortly.

The Victorian Dresser now has $253 in time and materials invested in upcycling. If you sell it for $475, you get paid for painting and make $222 profit. Track costs and know how to set prices to ensure you have a profitable business.

Move the upcycled Victorian Dresser from your In Rehab folder to your For Sale folder. Take a finished photo for Sortly.

With the Victorian Dresser for sale, you can create Locations in Sortly to remember whether it’s in your garage or at a consignment shop. You can also quickly check a Location’s inventory, and even print labels.


Is Your Upcycled Furniture Business Profitable?

Inventory software is complex and time-consuming. Sortly shows you the dollar value of your inventory up to the minute. Add furniture as soon as you buy it. Update photos and prices on the go.

Bookkeeping is easy when you export your inventory from Sortly to a spreadsheet. With your inventory numbers on a spreadsheet, it’s easy to create a simple Profit and Loss Statement. Finally, you’ll know if your upcycling passion is a business or just a hobby. Either way, you’ll probably never stop rescuing vintage furniture!

Ready to get track your inventory and supplies for your furniture upcycle business? Start your two-week trial of Sortly today.