Good news for house flippers in some markets: IKEA will begin a "Buy Back" initiative to take back select pieces of gently used IKEA furniture starting Nov. 24. The secondhand items will then be sold, as is, in a dedicated part of their stores. IKEA will grant store vouchers -- amounts will vary based on the condition of the items -- so customers can shop for new furniture as well as appliances, tools, and more at the store. Though the campaign does coincide with Black Friday, the furniture giant hopes this will get people focusing less on consumption and more on sustainability, which is more good news.
The bad news? The United States is not included in the 27 countries where IKEA is rolling out the initiative. Still, there are other ways of cashing in on those old bookshelves and other home items.
What to do with your old furniture now
If you're inspired by IKEA's campaign, you can do your part to encourage sustainable living while also boosting your budget by selling used items instead of trashing them. Here are some ways investors can do it:
Sell items online
While eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) is usually one of the first sites that come to mind for selling items, it's also one of the priciest, thanks to steep listing fees and commissions. Here are some other options that will help you keep more cash in your pocket:
- Facebook Marketplace: The garage sale goes online with Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) Marketplace. It's easy and quick to list items for buyers in your area to browse, and there are no listing fees. There's a huge section just for furniture and home goods.
- Bookoo: This hyperlocal site allows you to list items for sale and then connect directly with buyers in your immediate area. The community is still growing, so check the site to see if there are online yard sales in your area.
- OfferUp and Letgo: These two secondhand online marketplaces joined forces as one app to create an even bigger community of buyers and sellers. It's free to list, but if you want to promote or "bump" items up in the listings, you'll have to pay. Still, with 3.8 million reviews averaging 4.8 stars in the App Store, it's something worth looking into for your used items.
Connect with other flippers
You might be in fierce competition with them over local housing inventory, but you can be downright friendly with your fellow flippers when it comes to selling or even trading used goods and tools. Check within your network to see who might be in the market for secondhand furniture or hardware.
Use it for staging
While virtual staging companies and apps make it easy to stage a property without having to deal with actual furniture, there's something to be said for having your own cache of items at your disposal to stage a vacant property for an open house.
Take a page from IKEA's book: If they can't sell a buyback item, they'll either recycle it or donate it to a local community. Check in with local schools, hospitals, and community centers to see if they'll take the furniture off your hands -- just keep that donation receipt for tax time.
Turning trash into treasure
Your unwanted furniture and other items don't have to end up with a one-way ticket to the landfill. To cut down on waste and score some extra cash for your next flip, consider selling your items to local buyers. It's a good way to boost your bottom line and expand your network within the community.