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Ikea to sell second-hand furniture online

Retailing giant Ikea will launch a section to sell used Ikea products with Swedish online classified ad site Blocket.

Ikea to sell second-hand furniture online

The idea will first be tested in Sweden, but the furniture chain is not against launching similar sites in other countries in the future.

“Time will tell,” said Peter Agnefäll, CEO of Ikea Sverige. “We have to start somewhere. We in Sweden are first and it is unbelievably fun.”

According to Agnefäll, the new site, which was launched on Saturday in conjunction with a giant flea market at IKEA’s store parking lots, is part of Ikea’s environmental work.

“First, it is about taking an environmental responsibility for how our products are used in the longer term and making it easier for our customers to do their part for their responsibility towards the environment.”

Agnefäll estimated that sales of used products will increase over time, regardless of Ikea’s investment in the area. However, he saw no risk in new sales becoming adversely affected with this new venture.

The new offering will not result in any major revenue for Ikea. Members of its customer loyalty program, Ikea Family, can advertise for free.

“We have in Sweden 2.3 million Family members, so I think that an overwhelming majority will advertise for free,” he said. “Besides, one who is not a member can become one for free. We will not earn much money from this.”

He repudiated suggestions that the launch is a way to take control of the second-hand market. He added it is not a way to prolong last year’s high-profile naming conflict with buying and selling site Iloveikea.se (now Billyandfriends.se).

In terms of how Ikea would respond if the site becomes inundated with rickety old furniture, Agnefäll said, “We would look into it. However, the vast majority would not bother to advertise something that is not in sellable condition.”

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IKEA

Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price

In the run-up to what would in normal times be the festive season sales rush, Ikea has vowed to buy back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price
Got any pieces of Ikea furniture at home? You may be able to get rid of it and get money back. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Ikea, the world's largest furniture chain, said Tuesday it would begin buying back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

The “Buy Back Friday” scheme, timed to coincide with the “Black Friday” pre-Christmas retail frenzy, will run from November 24th and until December 3rd in 27 countries.

“Rather than buy things you don't need this Black Friday, we want to help customers give their furniture a second life instead of making an impulse buy,” said Stefan Vanoverbeke, deputy retail operations manager at Ingka Group, Ikea's parent company.

To address concerns its affordable, flat-pack products encourage overconsumption and waste, the Swedish company had previously said it would start renting and recycling furniture as part of an eco-drive.

Under its buyback scheme, the group said that “anything that can't be resold will be recycled or donated to community projects to help those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“Some countries like Australia and Canada for example are currently testing different buyback services, but BuyBack Friday will be the first time that 27 countries do this together,” the statement added.

The Swedish giant employs over 217,000 people and has more than 50 outlets. Its annual turnover is around 40 billion euros ($46 billion).

The group did not specify how it would determine the price paid for second-hand furniture and customers will receive a voucher, not cash, for their products.  

As part of efforts to reduce waste, Ikea has already begun repairing and re-packaging products in every store that have been damaged in transit, as well as allowing customers to return products – including furniture – for resale or donation to charities.

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