Ikea launches delayed scheme to buy back old furniture

Josie Clarke, PA Consumer Affairs Correspondent

Ikea has launched its delayed “Buy Back” scheme allowing customers to sell their old furniture back to the retailer.

The initiative, originally scheduled to launch in November but postponed due to the second national lockdown in November, is now available across Ikea stores in England.

Customers can earn up to £250 per returned item, which will be given to them in the form of a voucher to spend at the store.

The second-hand items will be sold at the store’s Circular Hubs as the retailer bids to become a ‘climate-positive’ business (CPG Photography/PA)
The second-hand items will be sold at the store’s Circular Hubs as the retailer bids to become a ‘climate-positive’ business (CPG Photography/PA)

Used products returned as good as new with no scratches will be bought for 50% of the original price, items with minor scratches will be bought for 40% and furniture that is well used with several scratches will be bought for 30%.

Products eligible for Buy Back 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, with the exception of baby items.

Customers can submit items for consideration by filling out an online form on the company’s website. The tool will automatically generate a preliminary offer and customers will then be invited to bring the fully assembled product and introductory offer to the Returns and Exchanges desk in their nearest store, where they will receive a voucher.

The voucher will have no expiry date to encourage customers to only purchase new items when they really need something.

Ikea will resell the items within their Circular Hubs, previously called Bargain Corner, in an effort to prevent them going to landfill.

The retailer is trialling a “Pre-Loved Labels” service giving customers information about a second-hand item’s past.

Ikea aims to become a “fully circular and climate positive business” by 2030. The group is investing four billion euros in renewable energy to reduce its climate footprint.

Peter Jelkeby, chief sustainability officer at Ikea UK & Ireland, said: “Households are connected to around 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions, consuming around a third of the energy and 10% of the water used globally.

“Therefore, small actions taken within them can make a significant difference, and why IKEA is so committed to making sustainable living more affordable, attractive and accessible. As one of the biggest brands in the world, we recognise our unique opportunity to help lead that change.

“Through Buy Back we hope to make circular consumption mainstream; making it easier for customers to acquire, care for and pass on products in circular ways.”

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.