Ikea launches buy-back scheme: swap old desks and tables for vouchers as part of furniture giant’s resale service

Meghann Murdock
·2-min read
<p>Ikea will now accept some assembled furniture returns, in exchange for store vouchers, as part of its delayed buy-back scheme</p> (Ikea)

Ikea will now accept some assembled furniture returns, in exchange for store vouchers, as part of its delayed buy-back scheme

(Ikea)

Ikea’s buy back-scheme is now up and running, with customers able to return old or unwanted furniture to stores in exchange for vouchers.

These range from 30 to 50 per cent of the purchase price and do not have expiry dates.

Products eligible for the scheme, which was delayed by the pandemic, include dressers, desks, bookcases, tables and chairs.

Ikea will resell the furniture from its circular hubs, previously known as bargain corner.

For example, an oak veneer Mörbylånga dining table costs £499, so if a customer returned it in “as new” condition they could expect a £249 voucher. When it comes to listing the second-hand items for sale, Ikea says margins will be between 16 and 32 per cent, so, in this case, customers would be able to pick up the near-perfect table for between £289 and £329 from the in-store circular hub.

Customers can estimate the value of furniture they would like to return with Ikea’s online tool. It determines the value of voucher available depending on answers to five short questions on topics such as category and condition. The products are also inspected when you take them back to the store.

All full-sized stores across the UK will be taking part in the scheme, while Ikea Greenwich and Tottenham are among those to trial ‘pre-loved labels’ attached to second-hand items with a short paragraph on their history and where they have been returned from.

Buy Back vouchers range from 30 to 50 per cent of the purchase price and do not have expiry dates to encourage people to shop for something they need — when it suits them
Buy Back vouchers range from 30 to 50 per cent of the purchase price and do not have expiry dates to encourage people to shop for something they need — when it suits them

“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,” says Peter Jelkeby, Ikea UK & Ireland’s country retail manager and chief sustainability officer.

“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 Ikea products will be made from renewable, recyclable and/or recycled materials; and they will be designed to be re-used, refurbished, re-manufactured or recycled.”

What’s included in the Buy Back scheme?

All dressers, office drawer cabinets, small structures with drawers, display storage, sideboards

  • Bookcases and shelf units

  • Small tables

  • Multimedia furniture

  • Cabinets

  • Dining tables and desks

  • Chairs and stools without upholstery

  • Chest of drawers

  • Children’s products (excluding Baby products)

  • PAX accessories

What is excluded from the Buy Back scheme?

  • Outdoor furniture

  • Any items including glass

  • Kitchens including worktops and cabinets

  • PAX wardrobes

  • Baby products such as cots, mattresses and changing tables

  • Textile or leather products

A guide to voucher amounts

  • As new – no scratches: 50% of the original price

  • Very good – minor scratches: 40% of original price

  • Well-used – several scratches: 30% of original price

Any items that Ikea cannot resell from the in-store circular hubs will be recycled where possible or disposed of responsibly.

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