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Living With Climate Change: IKEA will pay you to return its old furniture for resale

You finally mastered the assembly from the cartoon instructions and organized your books by color for the greatest visual punch, but that IKEA shelf keeping your work-from-home space tidy no longer fits your needs.

The good news is select IKEA locations will take it back and reward you for this sustainable gesture, the global retailer announced Friday.

The IKEA buy back and resell option was launched late last year as a pilot and is now available permanently for 37 of its U.S. stores. IKEA is highlighting local actions, like the buy back and resell service, to kick off Earth month April 1.

But there are restrictions to the program, so it’s best to do your research.

How does it work?

To start, fill out this form on IKEA’s website in order to receive an emailed quote of the buy-back value for your gently used furniture.

Customers are asked to bring a copy of their quote, buy-back number and fully assembled furniture to a participating IKEA store where a staff member will give a final assessment of the value. 

In return, customers receive store credit and the used furniture gets a second life in the As-Is department. Already, this section of the store can provide an affordable option for many people and keeps less-than-perfect furniture and accessories out of the dumpster.

Read: Lower-income consumers will start tightening their belts by trading down to private label goods in 2022, analysts say

Keep in mind

According to IKEA, the following categories of products are not currently eligible for the buy-back service:

Non-IKEA products

Home furnishing accessories, including lighting and textiles

Add-on units and components

Products that have been used outside, including outdoor furniture

Mattresses and bed textiles (such as blankets and mattress toppers)

Kitchen storage, including bench tops, cabinets, and fronts

Modular wardrobes and accessories

Electrical appliances and products

Chests of drawers

“Hacked,” modified, or painted products

Non-assembled products

Market Hall products (including small kitchen goods, art, rugs, and picture frames)

Upholstered or leather products

Sofas or armchairs


Items containing glass (including mirrors)

Children’s and baby products (such as cribs, mattresses, and change tables)

Beds and bed frames

The retailer said on its website that large quantities and commercially-used items were also exempted.

Earth month

April is Earth month, an expansion of the April 22 Earth day observed since 1970. It has drawn attention to efforts to curb climate change and slow global warming, as well as educated consumers on reuse and protecting potentially scarce resources. 

Read: Recycling is confusing — how to be smarter about all that takeout plastic

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of furniture and furnishings taken to a landfill rose from 7.6 million tons in 2005 to 9.69 million tons in 2015, and the rate of increase is accelerating.

The IKEA chain has also added a rooftop solar array

to nearly all stores, and includes features like electric-vehicle (EV)

chargers, LED lighting, geothermal systems as an alternative way to heat and cool its stores, fuel cells, solar car parks and EV trucks to move its stock.

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