By Natalie DeCoste

Swedish furniture giant IKEA is launching a new furniture buyback and resale service in the U.S. The pilot program, known as the Buy Back & Resell service, will be available at a store near the company’s North American headquarters in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, from Aug. 30 through Sept. 19 before expanding to more stores in the States. 

The program will allow Ikea customers signed up to the IKEA Family Loyalty program to sell back their gently used IKEA furniture in exchange for IKEA store credit. The furniture sold back to IKEA will get a second life through resale in the store’s “AS-IS” section, providing the company and its customers with more sustainable and affordable options.

The service is only available for fully assembled and functional IKEA furniture and all the products brought in for resale will be reviewed based on condition, age, and functionality. Customers will fill out a form on IKEA’s website and then will receive an emailed copy of the quote for their product’s value. They can then take the quote, furniture, and buyback number to the Conshohocken store, where an employee will assess the product’s value in-person.

The program has some limitations, with IKEA toting safety as a priority. All recalled products and specific categories of products, such as chests of drawers, outdoor furniture, and mattresses, will not be accepted into the program.

IKEA has already launched the new service in 27 other countries, including the UK, Canada, and Australia. The service is part of IKEA’s ambitious plans to become circular and carbon/climate positive by 2030.

“At IKEA, we are passionate about making sustainable living easy and affordable for the many, and want to be part of a future that’s better for both people and the planet. We hope the Buy Back & Resell service inspires our customers to live a more sustainable life at home while giving their used furniture another life and a second home,” says Jennifer Keesson, Country Sustainability Manager, IKEA U.S.

IKEA’s service helps the company further its sustainable mission but also meets growing consumer demand for more sustainable options through the secondhand market. In recent months, many retailers have branched out into the sustainable marketplace. Companies like Gap, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and J.Crew’s Madewell brand have partnered with resale platform ThredUp to test the secondhand market.

Piper Sandler’s spring 2021 Gen Z survey revealed many teens are using the secondhand market, with 47% of teens purchasing secondhand goods and 55% selling secondhand. The survey also showed that teens allocate 8% of their shopping time to secondhand purchases. The survey, conducted on a semiannual basis, gathered results from more than 7,000 teenagers with an average age of 16.1.