IKEA is Testing a Furniture Buyback Program in the U.S.—Here’s How it Works
One U.S. IKEA store is testing a buyback program that allows customers to exchange their used IKEA furniture for store credit. Here's how consumers can get the credit—and score big savings on buyback furniture.
IKEA is kicking off a new U.S. pilot project at their Conshohocken store in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. For a limited time—between August 30 and September 19, 2021—IKEA Family members will be able to test out a buyback program where they can return their gently used IKEA furniture in exchange for store credit. While IKEA has been using buyback programs in various markets around the world, this is the first time it’s being attempted in the U.S.
According to Jennifer Keesson, IKEA U.S. Sustainability Manager, IKEA’s motivation for the project is to reduce the company’s ecological footprint.
“As part of our People & Planet positive strategy, IKEA has committed to becoming a fully circular business by 2030,” Keesson says. “This means transforming the current linear business model and designing it to be more circular by offering products with reuse, repair, repurposing, and recycling in mind from the beginning, using only renewable, recycled, and recyclable materials, eliminating waste.” She adds that this includes “introducing services like Buy Back & Resell, which provide our customers with new ways to extend the life of their product.”
How will the program work?
To participate in the buyback program, consumers must first join IKEA Family, a program that’s free to join and gives members exclusive discounts and other perks. IKEA Family members then fill out an online form with details about the item they want to sell. According to Keesson, “the form will ask you questions about the condition of the IKEA furniture you would like to sell back.” Once the piece has been assessed by an IKEA employee, you’ll receive a quote via email. The store credit amount you receive will be based on the product’s age, condition, and functionality. All products must be returned in person to the store fully assembled so that an on-site employee can make a final assessment of its condition.
Which products are eligible for buyback?
Not all types of IKEA furniture are eligible for the buyback program. Some examples of those that are include:
- Dining and coffee tables
- Office furniture like desks, filing cabinets, and other storage units
- Chairs without upholstery
- Bookshelves and other shelving units
- Multimedia furniture
Items that aren’t eligible for the program include:
- Bed frames
- Products for babies and children
- Modular products, including kitchen cabinets
- Anything containing glass
- Outdoor furniture
- Bedroom textiles
- Upholstered products like sofas and armchairs
- Items found in the IKEA Marketplace like kitchen utensils, picture frames, and rugs
- Anything with an electrical component
For the full list of which products are and are not eligible for the buyback program, visit IKEA’s buyback landing page.
Where will the preowned products be sold?
According to Keesson, IKEA shoppers can expect to find previously owned items in a designated area of the As-Is section, which is typically located near the checkout. Used products will be in an area “indicated by Buy Back & Resell signage and furniture tags.” She explains that prices on used products will be based on their condition, saying, “Products will be sold at discounted prices depending on their condition: ‘new,’ ‘very good,’ or ‘well used.’”
While the program is currently only available at IKEA Conshohocken, Keesson says, “We plan to roll out this service to other locations in the near future.”