Ikea to launch new scheme to buy back unwanted furniture from customers

‘The climate crisis requires us all to radically rethink our consumption habits,’ says Ikea representative

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 13 October 2020 10:00

Ikea has announced a new initiative offering customers the chance to sell unwanted furniture back to the retailer, where it can then be sold again second-hand.

The new scheme, titled “Buy Back”, is set to launch in Ikea stores in the UK and Ireland on Friday 27 November, to coincide with Black Friday.

The aim of the scheme is to encourage members of the public to “live more sustainably” by thinking about “what they don’t need rather than what they do need”, the firm said.

When Ikea customers decide they no longer want an item of furniture previously purchased at the store, they will be able to sell it back in exchange for a voucher, the quantity of which will be added to an Ikea refund card.

The refund card won’t have an expiry date, which is meant to encourage customers only to buy new items for their homes when they really need them, Ikea said.

The value of the voucher they receive in exchange for their returned items will depend on the condition of the furniture.

If the item is as good as new with no scratches, the customer will receive 50 per cent of the original retail price.

If the piece of furniture is in “very good” condition, with only minor scratches, the customer will receive 40 per cent of the original price on their refund card.

Meanwhile, if the product is “well-used”, with several visible faults, they will receive 30 per cent of the price they paid for it.

Once a piece of used furniture has been returned to an Ikea store, it will be placed in the “As-Is” section, formerly known as “Bargain Corner”.

If an item cannot be resold second-hand, then it will be recycled.

Peter Jelkeby, country retail manager and chief sustainability officer at Ikea UK and Ireland, said that “sustainability is the defining issue of our time”, adding that the retailer “is committed to being part of the solution to promote sustainable consumption and combat climate change”.

“With the launch of Buy Back we are giving a second life to many more IKEA products and creating more easy and affordable solutions to help people live more sustainably,” he said.

“It is an exciting step forward in our journey towards becoming a fully circular and climate positive business by 2030.”

Hege Sæbjørnsen, country sustainability manager at Ikea UK and Ireland, explained that “being circular” is both “a good business opportunity as well as a responsibility”, adding that “the climate crisis requires us all to radically rethink our consumption habits”.

“Currently, 45 percent 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,” Sæbjørnsen said.

Some of the items of furniture that are eligible to be returned through Ikea’s Buy Back scheme include dressers, bookcases, small tables, dining tables and chests of drawers.

To sell back unwanted items back to Ikea, customers will need to visit Ikea.co.uk and submit a return request.

They will receive their refund card in store once their fully-assembled product has been brought to the retailer’s Returns and Exchanges desk.

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