Sydney shoppers will be able to sell on their pre-owned Ikea furniture at the Swedish retailer’s Tempe store, in an Australian-first program.
Used furniture can be exchanged for an Ikea voucher under the Take-back service that launched at the inner-south store on Wednesday.
Customers need to fill out an online form and email photographs of the second-hand furniture, in a useable condition aside from wear and tear.
Once the goods are assessed and a price is agreed on, the customer returns the furniture to the Tempe store for it to be re-sold at a discounted price.
The customer will be given a gift card of the same value.
The announcement comes with the release of Ikea’s People and Planet Positive report, which estimated Australians threw out up to 13.5 million pieces of reusable furniture over the past year.
It said 56 per cent of the population had tossed furniture, even though a quarter would keep it if they knew how to restore it.
Chairs, sofas and coffee tables were the three pieces of furniture Australians were most likely to throw out.
The furniture was broken 55 per cent of the time, while one-third said they no longer needed it, and 26 per cent were decluttering.
Almost two-thirds of Australians donate unwanted furniture to charity.
About one-third of Australians said they planned to buy furniture over the next 12 months, and 67 per cent were happy to use pre-owned furniture.
But 60 per cent of those who said they wouldn’t buy used furniture said they would reconsider if professionals restored it, if it suited their home, had easy purchase and delivery options, or could be rented.
The report said 60 per cent of Ikea furniture was based on renewable materials.
“We want to make it easier than ever for Australians to live the sustainable life they desire,” Ikea Australia sustainability manager Kate Ringvall said in a statement this week.
Tempe was chosen for the pilot program after consultation with the local council, businesses and residents.
Almost all locals (91 per cent) said they wanted a furniture take-back service, 69 per cent said they wanted to learn how to upcycle old furniture, and 65 per cent took responsibility for items they no longer wanted.
Ikea hopes the scheme will give people an incentive to recycle unwanted goods.
It will likely come as a blow to second-hand online marketplace Gumtree.
The annual Gumtree Second Hand Economy Report, released in March, said the second-hand economy was worth $43.5 billion.
The Ikea scheme is only available at the Tempe store.