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Ikea launches 'buy back' scheme for old furniture - and you can get up to 50% of the item's original value

Ikea shop front image

Ikea has today launched a new scheme allowing shoppers to trade in their old Ikea furniture in return for vouchers to be spent in store – here's how it works.

The 'buy back' service, which is now up and running across most of Ikea's UK stores, pays shoppers up to 50% of their item's original value, depending on its condition. Items will then be resold in new 'Circular Hub' areas in stores (previously known as 'Bargain Corner'), and you'll also be able to reserve second-hand items for purchase online via classifieds site Gumtree.

The initiative was originally set to launch in November last year, but its roll out was delayed due to pandemic restrictions in place at the time. Of course, you may be able to make more money selling old furniture elsewhere (see below for more on this). Read our Ikea MoneySaving Tips and Hacks blog for help cutting costs at the Swedish furniture retailer. 

You can get a voucher for up to 50% of the original price paid for the item

If you want to sell back your old Ikea furniture, you first need to fill out an online offer request. This is free to do, and the tool will automatically generate a preliminary offer, which will be as follows:

  • 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

The offer comes with no obligation to sell. If you do decide to go ahead, you'll have to bring the clean and fully assembled product with your preliminary offer to the returns and exchanges desk at your nearest store. You don't need to pre-arrange an appointment to do this, though you'll need to visit within 30 days of receiving your offer as that's how long it lasts.

The item will then be evaluated by a member of Ikea staff – so you're not guaranteed to get the exact value of your estimated offer. Once the condition of the item has been verified by an Ikea staff member in-store, you'll get the refund placed onto an Ikea refund card to spend in store, which won't have an expiry date.

There's no limit on the number of times you can use the scheme and you don't need to know the item's original purchase price or have the receipt as Ikea will be able to tell you this. 

Only Ikea furniture is covered by the buy back scheme

Not all Ikea furniture will be accepted under the scheme. Ikea will buy back the following items only as part of its new initiative:

  • Bookcases and shelf units
  • Cabinets
  • Chairs and stools (excluding upholstered or leather chairs and stools)
  • Chest of drawers
  • Children's furniture (excluding baby items such as cots and changing tables)
  • Dining tables and desks
  • Display storage
  • Dressers
  • Multimedia furniture (eg, TV benches and storage units)
  • Office drawer cabinets and other small structures with drawers
  • Accessories for Ikea's PAX wardrobes (eg, clothes rails, shelves)
  • Sideboards
  • Small tables

There's no time limit on selling items back to Ikea after purchase.

The retailer won't accept non-Ikea goods, hacked or modified products or any non-furniture items, such as electricals, mattresses, pillows or curtains.

Most Ikea stores are participating

The buy back scheme is now live across almost all of the furniture seller's stores nationwide, with the following exceptions:

  • Belfast – launching Monday 17 May
  • Reading – launching Monday 17 May
  • Aberdeen (order and collection point) – not participating
  • Norwich (order and collection point) – not participating
  • Tottenham Court Road (planning studio) – not participating

Find your nearest store using Ikea's store locator tool. All Ikea stores across the UK have now reopened following various coronavirus lockdowns.

You could earn more selling the item yourself

Ikea's new initiative could be a good deal for some sellers as it allows you to get a return on unwanted items relatively quickly and – if you can transport the item – conveniently. Though remember the voucher will only be available to spend in Ikea.

Before selling on Ikea, it's worth checking if you could sell the item yourself for more money elsewhere – especially as you'll get cash in this instance, which you can then spend anywhere. See our eBay Selling Tips and Facebook Selling Tips guides for inspiration. These options may also be more convenient if you want someone to pick up the item instead of you having to deliver it yourself to an Ikea store.

If you're looking to buy Ikea furniture, picking up a secondhand item will be cheaper than buying the same item new. But you may be able to find cheaper secondhand furniture by going directly to sellers elsewhere – so it's worth checking the likes of eBay and Facebook Marketplace first. You may even be able to pick-up free furniture on sites including Freecycle and Freegle.

See our Cheap Online Shopping, 41 eBay and Second-Hand Buying Tips and Freecycle and Freegle guides for more information.

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