Ikea Will Buy Back Your Old Furniture. Here's How It Works

You can part with old furniture for some vouchers to buy more stuff.
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People looking to get rid of old Ikea furniture can earn pennies in the process, as the Swedish retailer has finally launched its much anticipated ‘Buy Back’ scheme.

The initiative was originally scheduled to launch in November 2020, but was postponed due to the second national lockdown.

Ikea stores in England can now buy back unwanted Ikea furniture, with customers earning up to £250 per returned item. This will be offered in the form of a voucher to spend on more items in store.

The returned furniture will be resold in stores as secondhand items – meaning cheaper furniture for other customers, and a more sustainable model for the retail giant, which is working towards a goal of becoming a “fully circular and climate positive” business by 2030.

So how does it work?

The Buy Back service is available in full-sized Ikea stores nationwide, excluding order and collection points in Tottenham Court Road, Norwich and Aberdeen. Buy Back will launch in Reading and Belfast on May 17.

But before you scramble to your nearest branch with a chest of drawers hanging out of your boot, listen up. Customers who want to sell back their furniture will need to go to the retailer’s website first and submit items for consideration by filling out an online offer request.

The tool will automatically generate a preliminary offer and customers will then be invited to bring the fully assembled product and preliminary offer to the Returns & Exchanges desk in their nearest store.

Once you’ve handed it over, you’ll receive an Ikea voucher which you can spend in store on new items. Depending on the condition of the furniture traded in, the voucher could be worth as much as 50% of the original price.

  • As new – no scratches: 50% of the original price
  • Very good – minor scratches: 40% of original price
  • Well-used – several scratches: 30% of original price

The voucher you’re given – or ‘refund card’ in Ikea terminology – will have no expiry date to encourage customers to buy items only when they’re needed.

The furniture sold back to Ikea will be available to buy as secondhand items in stores. These can be found in the As-Is Area of stores (previously known as Bargain Corner). Anything that cannot be resold will be recycled.

What items can I return?

Products that can be ‘bought back’ by the retailer include: dressers; office drawer cabinets; small structures with drawers; display storage and sideboards; bookcases and shelf units; small tables; multimedia furniture; cabinets; dining tables and desks; chairs and stools without upholstery; chests of drawers; and children’s products (excluding baby items and PAX accessories).

Ikea hopes the initiative will encourage customers to take a stand against excessive consumption. Hege Sæbjørnsen, sustainability manager at Ikea UK & Ireland, previously said: “Currently, 45% of total global carbon emissions come from the way the world produces and uses everyday products, so Buy Back represents an opportunity to address unsustainable consumption and its impact on climate change.”

Thousands of people in the UK throw away unwanted furniture each year – a survey by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) found 30% of people have thrown away items that could have been re-used, sold or donated. And 19% of people said they didn’t know how to donate or recycle furniture and homeware.

If you have old furniture that isn’t from Ikea, there are plenty of other ways to give it a new lease of life including: upcycling it, donating it to a charity shop (such as BHF or Emmaus), or finding it a new home through sites such as Nextdoor, Gumtree and eBay.

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