We don’t really think a lot about what happens to our old furniture after we set it out by the curb, but it’s filling up our landfills. According to the EPA, over 12-million tons of used sofas, tables, mattresses and such ended up in landfills in 2018 alone. So to cut down on how much furniture ends up there, Ikea U.K. is starting a new “buy back” program that encourages shoppers to bring in their old items and save money on the things they’re buying to replace them.
Here’s how it works: Shoppers use an online estimator tool to find out exactly how much money they’ll get back, depending on the item’s condition. Then they take that estimate and the fully-assembled furniture to an Ikea store to get a gift card for that amount. And it never expires, so it can be used anytime in the future. All kinds of products are eligible for the buy back program, including dressers, cabinets, tables and shelf units.
And Ikea is giving folks plenty of bang for their buck to participate. Used items returned as good as new will reportedly be bought for 50% of the original price, items with minor scratches will be bought for 40% and things with “noticeable damage” will get 30% back. The returned items will be sold through Ikea’s circular hub so someone else can fall in love with the pre-loved stuff. The program was supposed to launch last fall, but COVID delayed it and while it’s happening in the U.K. now, fingers are crossed it will expand to the U.S. so we can cash in.