Ikea is launching a furniture buyback program in the U.S.

When you now not want your Billy bookcase or Mörbylånga desk, Ikea would possibly purchase it from you. The corporate is launching a new buyback service in the U.S., starting with a pilot at a retailer close to its North American headquarters in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, the place used merchandise might be resold.

It’s one step in the firm’s bold targets to turn into round and carbon optimistic by the finish of the decade. “A part of that is taking a look at alternatives and providers to actually present our clients a approach to lengthen the lifetime of our merchandise, quite than them going to landfill in the event that they’re achieved with the product,” says Jennifer Keesson, the sustainability supervisor for Ikea Retail U.S.

Ikea has already began rolling out the service in different nations, from the U.Okay. to Singapore. When somebody desires to promote an merchandise, they fill out a type on-line and point out the situation, and Ikea presents an estimate of how a lot it will possibly pay. (The choice is restricted to sure forms of furniture, together with bookcases, desks, chairs with out upholstery, and a handful of different classes.) When the buyer brings the furniture to the retailer, an worker will confirm the situation after which give a retailer credit score. If the merchandise doesn’t qualify for resale, the buyer can both take it dwelling or Ikea might help eliminate it in “the most accountable method the native infrastructure will permit,” Keesson says.


After the firm takes again an merchandise, somebody from its “restoration division” will make any updates wanted to make it possible for it’s secure to resell, however gained’t attempt to enhance any beauty flaws. The used furniture will find yourself in the retailer’s as-is division, clearly marked to tell apart it from gadgets that have been retailer shows or common returns.

In fact, folks have already got the possibility of discovering a second life for outdated sofas on platforms like Craigslist or Fb. However as a result of some folks would possibly quite go to a retailer than decide up furniture at a stranger’s condominium, the new service might assist hold extra gadgets out of the landfill.

The pilot at the Pennsylvania retailer will assist Ikea decide what would possibly must be tweaked in the course of. One problem, for instance, could possibly be the undeniable fact that the furniture must be delivered to the retailer absolutely assembled (as a result of merchandise can get broken when taken aside and reassembled), and a few folks won’t simply have the ability to transport one thing giant. As Ikea’s product designers work to revamp gadgets which might be higher suited to the round economic system, they’ll be contemplating elements like this.

When the firm later rolls out the service at different Ikea shops in the U.S., it’ll additionally need to navigate native rules about secondhand gross sales that have been initially geared toward pawnshops, which require issues like protecting gadgets for a week earlier than they are often resold or fingerprinting all workers who work with secondhand items. (Ikea selected the pilot location partially due to a lack of those rules).

“This is a journey and a transformation for everybody,” Keesson says. “Not solely the retailers however clients, coverage, the authorities.”