Tired of your IKEA Billy bookcases but couldn’t find a buyer to pick them up? Do you feel guilty about the environment by throwing them away? Don’t worry anymore. Soon you will be able to sell them back to IKEA.
Known for selling cheap, disposable cabinets and sofas, the Swedish furniture giant is launching a buyback program in the US as it works to transform its company to be more sustainable and “climate positive” by 2030.
The pilot program will be available Monday through September 19 at IKEA’s Conshohocken store in suburban Philadelphia, with the goal of making it a permanent service and rolling out to more U.S. stores.
Customers who participate in IKEA’s loyalty program, which you can join for free, can sell their sparingly used IKEA furniture in exchange for store credit. Those items will be sold at discounted prices in IKEA’s “as-is” section.
“At IKEA, we are passionate about making sustainable living easy and affordable for many, and we want to be part of a future that is better for both people and the planet,” said IKEA US Country Sustainability Manager Jennifer Keesson said in a statement. “We hope the Buy Back & Resell service inspires our customers to live more sustainably at home and give their used furniture a second life and a second home.”
IKEA says it will rate used products based on condition, age and functionality. Some furniture categories, such as dressers, are not eligible for the program.
Americans dump 12 million tons of furniture every year, nearly doubling the amount in 1990, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. About 80 percent of that ends up in landfills.
Despite the fact that second-hand shopping has been gaining momentum in recent years, especially among younger generations, the trend is slowly gaining momentum in the furniture category for obvious reasons: shipping and logistics. A growing number of startups experimenting with online marketplaces to help buyers and sellers move used furniture, but most of them focus on trading high-quality pieces and making product management a major selling point.
IKEA’s entry into resale could change the game. The Swedish company promises to be a ‘circular company’ by 2030 by using only renewable or recycled materials in production. IKEA operates 52 stores in the US