While I am not a huge fan of cheap furniture, I have to admit I have owned more cheap furniture than not in my lifetime. I'd personally much rather have a second hand bookcase made of real wood over the put it together yourself sawdust and glue model you can find in the same price range. I am also not a "fan" of made in China garbage that is sold so cheaply that you think how do they make it, ship it and sell it and make a profit when it's only 99 cents?? But all that said I have to admit I surprisingly LIKE IKEA.
I will be the 1st person to say, inspect what you are thinking about buying, but of the IKEA items I have purchased through the years, I have to admit they have been worth what I have paid for them. I am not saying everything is or has been of fantastic quality, but it was "worth" the price I paid.
My husband bought me a table and chairs more than 15 years ago, and the table was in the range of $200, and it's still fully functional, some minor damage due to our own fault, and the chairs that he purchased to go with it for $5.95 each is long gone. A $200 table should be expected to last 10+ years, but I think most would agree that a $5.95 chair won't be around as long, and if it were even the most thrifty of us would be shocked.
I enjoy the IKEA shopping experience, but my favorite is the "AS IS" section of the store. It's mostly markdowns on items that were previously in the showroom, or items that have been returned, as well as some great markdowns on items that won't be there next season. Now be forewarned, look carefully before you buy. This is non-returnable merchandise, more than likely it will have a ding/dent/scratch as well as a spot of adhesive where they had display tags on it. I also recommend reading the percentage of discount that is typically on the "as is" sticker and compare to the catalog.
Let me explain. A display cabinet that marked down from 45% of the retail but missing the doors and the shelves isn't a bad discount, when they sell the shelves in the store you can easily say that's a decent discount... But then once you have purchased this item you find the cost of 2 shelves is only about $12 less than cost of a brand new one with all the pieces. Now had I been smart, I would have looked this item up in the catalog first and found that the cost of the 2 replacement shelves were so pricey.
I still shop IKEA and I still shop the AS IS section, but I grab what I "think" I want, and then sit and look it up to make sure it's what I want at a price I want to pay for it. If it turns out it's missing more pieces or more damaged than I thought, I haven't bought it yet, I can still put it back. Always buy items you have seen, wiggled and inspected in the showroom, you will then have a better idea of what type of quality you are getting. Good Luck!
STOUGHTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I purchased $600 worth of flooring for my condo. I made my purchase at IKEA of Stoughton, MA. This was "click and lock" flooring and the product was supposed to be very easy for a DIY project. After hiring two separate people to lay the flooring, I decided that I needed to return the product. The people that I paid to help with the floor were knowledgeable "handy-man" types that had experience with many kinds of home projects. Both said that the product was deficient. As we laid a few rows of flooring, the first row would begin to pop up and come apart.
Since the store advertised that you could return this product for any reason, I did not think I would have a problem. I had $500 of my purchase on my credit card and paid the rest in cash. Therefore, I was only looking to be reimbursed for the $500 and was willing to take a loss of the other $100 that I had paid in cash. The reason: even though I had lost the original receipt, I had a print out from the bank that clearly spelled out the purchase that I had made - the date (10/19/08), store code, my credit card numbers, and even the exact time of the purchase, 12:20!
When I returned to the store, just two weeks exactly from the date I purchased the flooring, I was met with their "STORE POLICY" regarding returns. Without the ORIGINAL receipt you cannot get your money returned, regardless of any other kind of proof of purchase!
I spoke with two people in Returns & Exchanges. The second of the two was very curt and in the space of about 30 seconds, stated that without the original receipt I could only get a store credit for the returned merchandise and that, additionally, I could only get the "sale price" of 49/sq. ft. - that was the sale within the last 90 days. She did not even have to look up any price list or the name of the product, etc. That told me that this store was completely familiar with this defective product and had probably had several exchanges, which allowed them to be so familiar with its "sale price".
I had paid $1.99/sq. ft. I explained that they had no other product that worked any better than the one I had purchased, as they carry only click-and-lock flooring. They didn't even sell a carpet product that I could put down. I was stuck with cement sub-flooring in my home, with no money to be able to put another type of flooring down. They gave me a store credit for $228 and said that if I found the original receipt, I could bring it back to be exchanged for cash.
I feel that this is outrageous. I know very well how businesses work as I am a Marketing Director for a healthcare facility. Their statement that they needed an original receipt was explained as the only way they could be sure that I had indeed purchased the merchandise at their store and how much I had paid, etc. Well, I feel that I proved that.
Additionally, I showed that actual cash had been released through my bank to IKEA, so that they had confirmation that they were actually paid for the credit card transaction. If the situation had been reversed and I had used a credit card that was not good and the transaction did not follow through, you can bet they would be looking for payment from me. In that case, the original receipt would mean nothing to them! I have a basement level condo and no flooring...it's getting cold.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Dear Readers, Used to a decent treatment by Ikea employees in other parts of the world. The experience in Charlotte is awful. Disrespectful, arrogant and a reason to stay away. Besides that Ikea has the attitude to let customers wait... and wait. Perhaps business is too good. Perhaps some lessons for the local management team would serve the customers. Including a crash course friendly customer behavior with a NC SMILE. And in case local management get angry... this is a opinion of a customer.
You need a suction cup to change a lightbulb? I purchased a set of 4 individual GRUNDTAL lights for over my wardrobe. When I got home, I found out that the lights required additional cords and device to connect them that was not indicated on the package. But the kicker is that because the bulb fits so snugly into the shield around it, it requires a little suction cup to change the lightbulb (which is supplied with the light). I tried and I tried, but I could not get the suction cup turn with the bulb. Despite being securely suctioned to the bulb, it came off every time. Thinking that perhaps just that bulb was stuck, I tried it with another GRUNDTAL light, but that did not work either.
This product, the GRUNDTAL light DOES NOT WORK. Save yourself the aggravation and DO NOT BUY IT. It is incredible how IKEA is able to get away with selling a light for which it is impossible to change the lightbulb.
RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- We purchased a Pragel countertop from Richmond, BC store only to discover on installation day that it had a 6 inch flaw on the surface. As we had the carpenter on site and a deadline, we had to cut out a large section and butt another piece to it to complete the counter. I now have a large seam with caulking just inches from our sink. We live on Vancouver Island and had the kitchen delivered so had to deal with IKEA by phone. IKEA made it very difficult to register a complaint: many 20-minute wait phone calls, e-mails etc. and about 7 weeks later IKEA decided to refund us for only part of the cost.
Customer service was rude and challenged me about the validity of my claim. I was left feeling humiliated and ripped off. Absolutely shocking service. Furthermore, our carpenter was appalled by the thinness of the countertop material, and the course chip board used on the interior. One little knife cut and the interior will be exposed to water.
SUNRISE, FLORIDA -- On 1/8/10, I went to IKEA, since they were having a sale, to buy the following product: DVALA Fitted sheet RED, at the Sunrise Store in Broward County Florida. They didn't have any but was told to come back the next day which I did since they would more merchandise coming in. Before leaving home, I went online and checked their inventory at the following web page: **. It read "This product will be in stock: Today Jan 9". As I write this, it still says they have 24 available. It's 1/9/10 at 10:44 ET. I also called on the phone to make sure of the accuracy of the online information. They confirmed it.
So I went to the store, 5 minutes away from my home, and when I got there I couldn't find any. I asked for help and a manager looked up the product in their system and it showed they had 16 available but no one knew where the merchandise was. After attempting for 20 minutes I asked for a "Rain-Check" as it is usual in our American stores, specially if it is their fault, and was told that "WE ARE NOT AN AMERICAN STORE" and that they had their own rules and policies, therefore I would not get a "Rain-Check".
This is not the kind of customer service we should get from a foreign company making a fortune in the American market. If we do not accept it from our own American stores why should we from IKEA? Let's start a campaign where they have to adapt to American values and habits, just as American companies have to do it in foreign markets. ENOUGH is ENOUGH!
DENVER, COLORADO -- While browsing their store, you will notice an abundance of signs stating "It's OK to change your mind", and "If you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, simply return the unused item in its original packaging within 90 days". Please know that if you remove any IKEA item from the original package what-so-ever, the item can be considered "used" & non-refundable.
Case in point: We attempted to return a brand new coffee table. There was nothing wrong with this table; we just simply decided it wasn't quite what we wanted. I called the store to inquire whether or not I needed to disassemble the table & repackage it before returning it. I was told, "We prefer you do not attempt to repackage the item to avoid damaging it, and we will need to inspect the item before refunding you". This seemed reasonable enough. After arriving at IKEA's returns/exchanges department, we were told "Because this item was initially removed from the packaging, this item is considered "used" & is non-refundable."
Please note that I had my original receipt, all original packaging, was well within the 90 day return policy limit, and yes, the table was returned in excellent condition. Further, we noticed a set of bath towels we purchased from IKEA became splotchy & quickly lost their color (bad dye perhaps?) immediately after their 1st use & subsequent air drying. We also attempted to return these (same trip as above to the Centennial location in Denver, CO) and we were told we could not return the items due to their condition. I reasserted that their condition was precisely why I was returning the item, and that I would also be content with an exchange.
Again, the IKEA associate insisted she couldn't exchange or refund the items due to their condition. She also made the most curious statement: "I've never seen anyone return towels for this issue." Followed by: "Some of the people who have tried to return discolored towels simply decided to give them away as gifts, and that perhaps you should consider doing the same."!? Moving up the ladder, we contacted the supervisor, and while initially polite he quickly became condescending & continued to apologize for my inability to understand their "simple" return policy.
Just know, once IKEA has your money, there's little chance of getting it back, period. You may get offered store credit if lucky, and that's assuming you'd be willing to return. IKEA's inability to resolve a relatively simple issue, simply left me leaving the store exceptionally irritated and with the conviction of never returning.
HICKESVILLE, NEW YORK -- The problem is with the delivery! I ordered some items from Ikea. Based on 2 emails and 2 voice mails, I was promised delivery between 11 and 3 on Saturday. I changed plans and stayed in my yard - all day. At 4 no show, we tracked down the number on the website - hard to find - and called. After being about half an hour on the phone we were told the delivery would be coming between 4 and 6 the truck was running late. We cancelled more plans. At 6:30... you get the picture. We call again. What was horrible was the customer service experience.
At 6:30 when we called since nobody had showed up - we were told, after being on hold for close to 20 minutes, that it was too late to deliver the merchandise. The delivery company claimed a failed delivery, i.e. that they had come at 5 PM and nobody was home. But we were here all afternoon along with a friend sitting in our yard right next to the phone... nobody showed. I tried to explain this to the supervisor... silly me! That wasn't half the problem. The supervisor, "Nicole", repeated the same thing no matter what I said. She clearly wasn't listening to a word I said and repeatedly berated me for not listening to her! (As a customer I had a strange notion she should be listening to me.)
After wasting my time - more than 7 1/2 hours did "Nicole" apologize for the problems? No! Did she listen to me when I tried to complain about my time being wasted and false promises made? No. I cancelled the order rather than have anything to do with Ikea again. Sunk costs - I had no interest in gambling on Ikea's promises. I love my yard but one full day being trapped here was enough! What's it they say? Fool me once... Bottom Line: Ikea, in other words, is "low end" in more ways than one!
WEST SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- My husband and I have been remodeling our home for six months now. We purchased many items from IKEA spending more than $5000 so far. Well my husband and I bought a TV last weekend and we decided to take a look at IKEA's TV stands. We purchased a $69 bench took it home and proceeded to remove the items out of the box to assemble it. My husband at that moment changed his mind and decided to mount the TV instead.
Well, two days after the purchase I drove 60 miles to return the item and buy another piece of furniture that would work better for our media boxes. While waiting for my number to be called, I got to witness a few frustrated people leave with their return items. I thought for sure mine would be returnable since I had my receipt and the product was placed exactly how it was received. Boy was I wrong. I was told that due to the fingerprints on the items it was clear to him the we used the TV stand (note: you must wear gloves to place items back in packaging or you will be accused of lying).
He would not accept the return. I then asked to speak to a manager, who turned out to be much more impolite than the employee that I dealt within the beginning. Anyway, I ended up putting the heavy box back in my car and called the number on my receipt. I was then told to get the name of the manager I dealt with and to call corporate.
Unfortunately, when I went back to get the name of the manager I lost my receipt. I am still calling corporate, but in reading many of the IKEA reviews I have a feeling I won't be getting any help. In the end it's only $69; they can keep it. They now have lost a valuable customer due to their poor customer service. I rather go spend my money, even if its more, at a place where customers are appreciated. I will never shop at IKEA again!