The popular Swedish furniture store IKEA is known for having trendy, ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories for a very reasonable price. It’s the ideal place for those who are just starting out to furnish their homes or for those who are on a budget but still want to come home to a cozy house.
Today, however, instead of heading to IKEA stores to buy new furniture, people want to collect vintage IKEA furniture. Yep, vintage. And they’re willing to shell out a good amount of cash for what they want.
For example, take the Verner Panton “Vilbert” chair.
While the chairs retailed at just $77 a pop in 1993, an entire set is going for over $5,000 on the online auction site 1stdibs.
But that’s not the only place you can find these chairs selling for a high resale price. For just one Verner Panton “Vilbert” chair, expect to pay over $800 on Etsy.
While it is a fun design, the chair is made of multi-colored medium-density fiberboards. And ironically, some of the most sought-after designs are ones that flopped when they were originally introduced in IKEA stores.
But nevertheless, older IKEA furniture continues to remain in high demand. And Barnebys, an auction and art search engine that tracks sales around the world, confirms it.
“Our records show that there is a huge demand, greater than ever before, for vintage IKEA furniture,” Barnebys co-founder Pontus Silfverstolpe told Daily Mail. “There has been a big boom within the last year that has been felt in markets all across the world.”
It’s believed that the desire to purchase vintage IKEA pieces is partially due to familiarity.
Silfverstolpe also told Daily Mail that when a new generation (hello, millennials) dips their toes into the auction world, they generally buy what they know, such as the items they saw around them when growing up.
But before you jump to list your IKEA furniture on auction sites, know that it’s only select pieces that are selling for thousands and most are from designers who’ve gone on to become more recognizable.
For example, the chairs that are going for over $5,000 were designed by Verner Panton, who is now known as an influential furniture and interior designer in Denmark.