IKEA is Buying Back Used Items

Now you’ll get paid for your used IKEA furniture!

Nov 5, 2020
IKEA is Buying Back Used Items Now you’ll get paid for your used IKEA furniture!

IKEA is taking a beautiful idea off the shelf! The world’s largest furniture chain announced a “Buy Back” program that is being launched on November 24. They are also hoping to raise awareness about excessive consumption before the big buying frenzy of Black Friday on November 27. The program is a huge step in its goal to become a more sustainable company and to motivate consumers.

The Ingka Group, who owns IKEA Retail, has pledged to become a fully circular business by 2030, according to a Reuters video. This means that the company will become a positive climate business and will recycle its products. The Buy Back program is the first huge step in ensuring they meet their goals.

Launching in 27 countries, the company will give back 50 percent of the cost on items that are in good condition, 40 percent on furniture with minor scratches, and 30 percent on well-used pieces. Customers are paid for the returned furniture with an IKEA voucher that has no expiry date. All items must be returned fully assembled. The store will try to resell the used items, and if they cannot, the furniture will be donated to charity or will be recycled.

The program will be launched in countries including Canada, Australia, Germany, Russia, Japan, France, and Italy and will run until December 3. In Britain and Ireland, it will continue with no end date, according to The New York Times. IKEA is accepting bookcases, shelf units, dressers, dining tables, chairs, and chests of drawers. It will not take back furniture with upholstery.

Launching just before Black Friday is important to IKEA, who wants to teach consumers about unsustainable consumption. Stefan Vanoverbeke of the Ingka Group explained in a press release, “So, we are currently exploring new business models to develop commercially viable and scalable offers in the areas of how people bring things into their home, how they care for things they own, and how they pass on the things they no longer need. Rather than buy things you don’t need this Black Friday, we want to help customers give their furniture a second life instead of making an impulse buy.” 

IKEA has been testing their concept in several stores worldwide, looking for ways to create convenient circular consumption. According to a company press release, by repackaging and reselling used items, they were able to give 47 million products a second chance just last year.

IKEA Australia’s Buy Back service has been operating in all ten of its stores since October, 2019. It has already received 10,000 pieces of furniture which the company says has shifted 100 tons of furniture from being dumped in landfill. IKEA Retail in Belgium has offered consumers options of returning, donating to charity, or re-selling used furniture.

In the IKEA store in Reims, France, there is an area dedicated to educating the consumer about recycling and prolonging the life of products. And in Japan, more than 3,500 products have already been returned in the Buy Back program.

And this fall, IKEA will open the world’s first second-hand IKEA store in Stockholm, Sweden, according to a company press release. “At IKEA we don’t want to merely be a part of the sustainability movement – we want to lead it. If we want to reach our sustainability goals, we have to challenge ourselves and test our ideas. The climate crisis cannot be solved in theory, it has to be solved in practice,” Jonas Carlehed, IKEA Sweden’s sustainability manager said in the press release.

Pledging to have a second-hand section in every store worldwide by 2021, IKEA is indeed spearheading sustainability in the industry. Once IKEA’s message has inspired customers across the world, people may realize there is no place like a sustainable home.

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NICOLE NATHAN BEM, CONTRIBUTOR
Nicole is an editor, blogger and author who has recently left her urban life in order to be more connected with nature. In her spare time, she’s outdoors hiking in the forest, mountain biking or tending to her new permaculture garden.