“Sourcing is one of the most difficult but rewarding parts of the job,” Sean says. “We do estate sales online and in-person, digital marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, Craigslist, etc. We also have other furniture dealers from around the country we source from. We would say it’s definitely an every-man-for-themselves scenario, especially as more and more furniture dealers pop-up across the country.”
Zeus notes that fabric, size, and weight also greatly affect the price of furniture. “Reupholstery could be anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 or more for a sofa, or $500 for a single lounge chair,” he explains. “We do most of the deliveries ourselves for a small fee within the tristate area and use a delivery service for nationwide deliveries. That pricing can vary greatly depending on size and weight. For example a sectional sofa may be around $800 to $1,200 from New Jersey to California.”
Selin Naz, a full-time interior designer and owner of Studio 26, made around $30,000 from her side hustle in the first year. To help out with the business, she bought an SUV to curb some of the shipping and delivery costs. “As you know gas prices have risen significantly. There are days that I drive six or more hours and use up a full tank of gas in one sourcing trip,” she adds.
Budgeting for additional costs like renting a showroom is another expense that vintage dealers have to factor into their business model. Tri-State Modern pays $3,000 per month in rent for their showroom in Union City, New Jersey. Similar to Selin, they often store some pieces in their apartments to avoid extra storage costs, which makes their homes look like galleries.