IKEA plans to launch its delayed ‘Buy Back’ scheme in the UK - here's how it works

Everything you need to know about the Buy Back scheme (Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)Everything you need to know about the Buy Back scheme (Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)
Everything you need to know about the Buy Back scheme (Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

Furniture giant IKEA has revealed that it plans to launch a previously announced “Buy Back” scheme in the UK, which will allow customers to return used items they no longer need.

The beginning of the scheme had been postponed in November due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

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‘Support customers to lead more sustainable lives’

Hege Saebjornsen, country sustainability manager for IKEA UK and Ireland, said: “Last year, IKEA was piloting Buy Back in our Edinburgh and Glasgow stores to explore how we support our customers to lead more sustainable lives, step by step.

“Irrespective of the trial being shorter than planned due to store closures, we believe strongly in the idea and moreover, believe that providing customers with more convenient ways to give their products a second life is the right thing to do.”

Saebjornsen said that the scheme would launch as soon as possible after lockdown restrictions on non-essential retail are lifted in the UK. In England, the Government has said that this will be some time after 12 April.

In Scotland, IKEA stores could reopen after 26 April, and in Wales, some non-essential retail may begin reopening from 15 March. Northern Ireland has not yet released a roadmap for reopening.

How does Buy Back work?

The IKEA Buy Back terms and conditions explain that the scheme works by having IKEA buy back your used furniture items in return for an IKEA refund card.

From there, your second hand items are resold via the bargain corner where it allows someone else to purchase it at a lower price.

An IKEA staff member will assess your furniture in person, and will give you a final agreed value as an IKEA refund card.

This is the pricing structure that IKEA follows for the scheme:

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  • As new - no scratches: 50 per cent of the original price
  • Very good - minor scratches: 40 per cent of the original price
  • Well-used - several scratches: 30 per cent of the original price

“If we are unable to sell your second hand IKEA products, we will dispose of them responsibly and recycle them wherever possible,” IKEA explains.

What products are and are not accepted?

Acceptable items include:

  • 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 (excluding upholstered or leather chairs and stools)
  • Chest of drawers
  • Children’s products (excluding baby products)
  • PAX accessories

These are the products that IKEA is unable to accept:

  • Non-IKEA products
  • Hacked or modified products
  • Non-assembled products
  • Products that have been used outside, including outdoor furniture
  • Mattresses and bed textiles, such as blankets and mattress toppers
  • Sofas/armchairs
  • Other soft goods, such as pillows, towels, curtains etc
  • Items containing glass
  • Kitchens including worktops, cabinets and fronts
  • PAX wardrobes
  • Other oversized items
  • Appliances and other electrical items
  • Baby products such as cots, mattresses and changing tables
  • Upholstered or leather products
  • Market hall products
  • Non-furniture items