IKEA Is Now Buying Back Furniture in the U.K. — How the Program Works

Sophie Hirsh - Author

May 5 2021, Published 11:37 a.m. ET

IKEA Buyback Program Expands to U.K.
Source: Getty Images

Don’t leave your IKEA furniture out on the curb next time you move — you just may be able to give it a new life. IKEA’s furniture buyback program just expanded to the U.K., with a goal of reducing IKEA’s environmental impact and waste output. 

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The program has been tested and rolled out in a few other countries, but U.K. residents are certainly excited that they can now sell their furniture back to IKEA — and shop for secondhand IKEA furniture directly from the source. Keep reading to learn more about IKEA’s furniture buyback scheme.

IKEA store
Source: Getty Images
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IKEA’s buyback program just launched in the U.K.

In early May 2021, IKEA announced that its furniture buyback program is expanding to the U.K.

To participate, customers who have IKEA furniture at home that they no longer need just need to fill out a request form online. IKEA will respond with an offer for the product, which will be an IKEA store credit worth up to 50 percent of the item’s original price, at a maximum of £250 ($348), as per Yahoo! News. They then just need to drop off their assembled items at their local IKEA store in exchange for their voucher. 

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IKEA will then sell the used, assembled furniture in select IKEA stores, as well as through secondhand websites, including Gumtree. IKEA did not immediately respond to Green Matters’ request for comment as to which U.K. stores will sell the secondhand furniture.

For the program, IKEA will only accept the following IKEA products: bookcases, chairs and stools (without upholstery), desks, dining tables, office drawers, shelving, sideboards, and small tables, as reported by The Guardian.

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“All retailers have to take this movement seriously. We have to remain relevant,” Hege Sæbjørnsen, sustainability manager of IKEA U.K. & Ireland, said in a statement, as per The Guardian

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“Companies that don’t really follow this and work with customers and the movement will find themselves not providing the services or needs that customers are asking for. It is also the right thing to do,” she continued, adding that this program is one way IKEA is working “to move away from the linear model.”

And in that shift, IKEA is working towards a circular, closed loop model.

“Through buyback we hope to make circular consumption mainstream; making it easier for customers to acquire, care for and pass on products in circular ways,” stated Peter Jelkeby, retail manager for IKEA U.K. & Ireland, according to The Guardian.

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“As we move towards our goal of becoming fully circular and climate positive by 2030 we will continue to take bold steps ensuring that, by then, all products will be made from renewable, recyclable and/or recycled materials; and they will be designed to be re-used, refurbished, remanufactured or recycled, following circular design principles,” Jelkeby added.

IKEA first launched this buyback scheme a few years back, with initial trials running in Australia, Japan, Portugal, Spain, and Scotland. The program has slowly expanded over the past several years, and it is also currently operating at IKEAs in Canada, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden, as per Yahoo! News. Additionally, IKEA ran the program temporarily in 27 countries in November 2020 for a Black Friday promotion — but unfortunately, the U.S. still has yet to participate.

Considering IKEA’s goal to become fully circular in nine years’ time, it won’t be a surprise if IKEA soon expands the program to its stores all over the world.

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