Read this before you toss any old IKEA finds

By Katie Holdefehr
May 18, 2017 12:46 PM
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Today, IKEA may be your go-to store for a $30 BILLY bookcase or a $10 LACK side table, but if you’ve been a loyal IKEA shopper for decades, your early investments could now have a big pay off. Online auction sites such as Barnebys are seeing an increased demand for vintage IKEA pieces and the elevated prices to prove it, according to the Daily Mail. Oftentimes, the furniture now worth the most are short-run designer collaborations or were “flops” that were quickly discontinued.

The limited numbers available make these rare finds even more valuable. If you have any of the prized pieces listed below collecting dust in an attic or sitting in a storage unit, you could own a collector’s item and not even know it.

Verner Panton “Vilbert” Chairs, 1993

This colorful, minimalist chair (top) is really just four MDF boards screwed together, and yet a set of four of these seats is currently selling for $5,046 on 1stdibs. Created in collaboration with Danish designer Verner Panton, only about 3,000 of these chairs were produced between 1993 and 1994, making them a highly coveted item.


Photo credit: 1stdibs

Karin Mobring Amiral Easy Chairs, 1960s

Dreamed up by IKEA designer Karin Mobring, this pair of chairs is fetching high prices ($5,046 for two) on 1stdibs, in part because of the continued popularity of mid-century modern style. These sturdy chrome-and-leather chairs have held up well over decades of use, proving that they just don’t make IKEA products like they used to.


Photo credit: Pamona

Bookshelf by Gillis Lundgren, 1950s

Another mid-century modern piece, this teak bookshelf by IKEA designer Gillis Lundgren was spotted on the online marketplace Pamona for $6,593. While The Mail reports that Lundgreen inspired IKEA to start flat-packing furniture after he was forced to saw the legs off a table to fit it into his car, shipping this vintage Lundgren piece from Germany to the U.S. will set you back $799.


Photo credit: Pamona

“Kroken” Christer Blomquist Lounge Chair, 1970s

Designed by Christer Blomquist, this lounge chair was featured as a cover model on an IKEA catalog in the 1970s. Now, a set of two chairs is listed on Pamona for $2,305.


Photo credit: 1stdibs

Niels Gammelgaard “Moment” Sofa, 1986

While this sleek sofa from the 1980s doesn’t look that different from the pieces we find at IKEA today, it’s currently selling on 1stdibs for $1,581. Niels Gammelgaard has become one of the most popular vintage IKEA designers, and his wire Jarpen chair that resembles the iconic Bertoia chair is still in demand today.

The Best Sources to Shop for Vintage IKEA Furniture Online

If you’re looking for classic IKEA finds (including options at much more reasonable prices than those listed above), these are the top places to shop.

1. Etsy: In addition to vintage and previously-owned IKEA pieces at lower prices, you can also find handmade IKEA “hacks,” like a floral slipcover for your POANG chair or decals for a RAST dresser.

2. eBay: Whether you’re searching for used finds from IKEA’s new AVSIKTLIG collection or hope to score a KLIPPAN sofa in a vintage patterned slipcover, eBay will likely have it. To help narrow down your search, look up the exact product name and the original designer of the item you’re hunting for.

3. AptDeco: If you live in NYC or DC, AptDeco is the best online market for previously-owned IKEA pieces. Flat-rate delivery options for small, medium, and larger items will save you from having to rent a truck to transport your new EKTORP loveseat home.

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