Bearded man with shopping bags with happy feeling isolated on yellow bacground
Bearded man with shopping bags with happy feeling isolated on yellow bacground

Clearing out unwanted items? These stores all have buy-back schemes

Some stores allow shoppers to return items they no longer need, in exchange for financial rewards. Vicky Shaw takes a look.

Vicky Shaw
Monday 17 May 2021 14:30

Looking to make your budget stretch further? If you have items that you no longer use, it’s worth knowing that some retailers will buy them back.

This isn’t just potentially better for the environment, but also for your wallet (although the financial rewards are usually vouchers, rather than cash).

So, as lockdown restrictions ease and you’re updating your wardrobe or redecorating your home, why not have a clear-out  at the same time? Here’s a look at some of the buy back schemes available…

1. Ikea

The furniture giant’s new buy back service encourages customers to sell back furniture they no longer need. In return, they receive a voucher to spend at the store.

Ikea says the furniture will be resold at affordable prices, giving them a second life and helping prevent them from entering landfill unnecessarily.


Eligible products include dressers, cabinets, bookcases and shelf units, small tables, dining tables, desks and more. Further information can be found on

Ikea says ‘good as new’ products will be bought for 50% of the original price. Items with minor scratches will be bought for 40%. Well used and scratched furniture will be bought for 30%.

2. Mulberry

Mulberry’s buy back programme means the brand will buy your Mulberry bag, repair it if needed, and help it to find a new home.

Mulberry handbag

Through the exchange programme, people could potentially receive up to 25% of the original purchase value of the bag back as a gift card. You may be able to boost the price if you can dig out your receipt.

Mulberry’s website says a quote would be equivalent to 25% of the last known selling price of the bag – or 25% of your original purchase price if proof of purchase is supplied.

3. Marks & Spencer

M&S and Oxfam have been running a ‘shwopping’ clothes recycling scheme since 2008. Clothing can be donated at M&S stores or Oxfam.

Customers can donate clothes from any brand in any condition at shwopping drops in M&S stores, including shoes, accessories and bras.

Shwopping was temporarily paused at the start of the coronavirus pandemic – but M&S says it’s since been made available to customers as its clothing stores have reopened.


Customers who take M&S clothing to Oxfam stores can get a £5 M&S voucher, subject to terms and conditions. You’ll also be supporting sustainability and improving the lives of others. The scheme has helped raise over £23 million to support people living in extreme poverty.

Clothing is resold by Oxfam and may also be recycled and used by businesses, such as for M&S’s mattress filling.

Carmel McQuaid, head of sustainable business at M&S, says: “We want our customers to be confident that the clothes they buy at M&S are made to last, but if they finish wearing their old favourites, we make it easy to give them a new purpose through shwopping.”