December 28, 2009

amber's tips for shopping at IKEA

Yesterday, Jason and I ventured out to spend some of that (not so) hard earned Christmas cash. Neither of us was feeling up for the gym, so we made up our cardio by spending almost five hours at Ikea! Let's just say, in those five hours, I developed some real good tips for braving Ikea on a holiday weekend. Hopefully, they'll help you too! In no particular order...

Amber's Guide to Surviving IKEA During the Holidays

Make sure you have time to spare.
Keep your sanity! Don't go to Ikea expecting to be in and out in 10 minutes. For one, there's too much eye candy. For two, the store is usually crawling with people, and any power walking results in banging into people with your cart (like I have--oops!). Now, obviously, you don't need to dedicate five hours to Ikea like we did (that's just how long we like to soak it in); but give yourself at least an hour, especially with the holiday crowds.

Ikea inventory is online for a reason--use it!
This is one thing I wish all other stores would implement (just like I wish they'd all adopt Home Depot's customer service button in each department). Each item online gives you the opportunity to check its availability at your local Ikea.

Which leads to my next tip...

Hit the "Market Place" and "Self Serve Furniture" areas first.
Depending on what the hot item is, you may or may not have to worry about your desired piece of furniture still being there when you make it down to the warehouse. However, unless we're just on a browsing and accessorizing trip, we always hit the pick-up floor first thing, pay, load up the car, and re-enter Ikea with the knowledge that our coveted items are now safely ours, and we can take our time browsing the rest of the store.

Know what you're paying for.
As you can see above, the Allak chair is going for $70 online. When we picked it up from the bins, it was marked as $80. Not a huge difference, but we were disappointed in the $10 mistake--after all, that can buy a lot at Ikea! While we were browsing (after our first round through the cash registers) we came across our chair to find on the display floor it was also $70! We marched right over to an associate and whipped out our receipt. Turns out, it was a mistake and we received the $10 difference back.

Enjoy yourself!
Have some lunch, take in the sights! Ikea is meant to be a delightful experience...until you get home and have to assemble everything that is! ;)

Stay tuned for the goodies we came home with!

1 comment:

  1. 5 hours at Ikea is very impressive! I plan on tackling them tomorrow! I got the same chair a few weeks ago- in black! The only thing I don't like about the chair is that the wheels lock (I guess as a safety feature) so you can't roll around in it freely- (like I could in my old one on the carpet). It is soooo comfortable though!
    Thank you for sharing the availability checker- I should have used that for the item I've been missing out on each trip for the past 6 months, LOL!


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