TPM’s Collection of Ikea Woes

We’ll cop to sort of being taken aback by Ikea, as our first experience with the Scandinavian furniture superstore was just a couple years ago. We’re still somewhat in shock at how much appearance of good furniture one can get for such a small amount of money. Plus, as we are legally required to mention, meatballs.

But apparently lots of people have had problems with Ikea, which isn’t really that big of a surprise considering how much poorly-built furniture they sell. Lefty blogger Joshua Micah Marshall has been collecting readers’ complaints about Ikea, and we’d be as guilty not to mention them as Ikea was for thinking you could build a sturdy bookshelf with balsa-wood pegs.

So after waiting a week after taking the order, my IKEA rep called back, left a message on our voicemail that said something to the effect of “Oh, we forgot shipping. That
ll be another $700 because it has to all go freight. [click]“

Oh, god, never get it shipped! Ikea’s shipping is horribly expensive, because their wooden trucks always fall apart on the road. (Thanks, Gari!)

Ikea Horror Stories [Talking Points Memo]

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  1. Tonya says:

    Um… hello? People. You get what you pay for. The end.

  2. Papercutninja says:

    At the same time, most furniture that has some sort of design theme to it is way too expensive.

    My solution? When you buy Ikea furniture, spend an exrta buck or two at the hardware store and buy some extra screws/nails. That way when you’re spending your Sunday afternoon putting that armoire together, you can throw some extra nails and screws into it for reinforcement. Doing that will ensure that it’ll last much longer than it was going to.

  3. Andrew W says:

    I’ve got a bedframe, endtable, and coffeetable from IKEA and never had a problem with the quality. Papercutninja’s right–it’s inexpensive (and a good idea) to have backup hardware. And definitely budget enough time to put things together right.

    BUT, their service is ridiculous. For the aforementioned bedframe, at no point was it indicated that I needed to buy a midbeam and slats separately. While I got them to comp the shipping, I slept for a month with my mattress within the frame on top of six unpacked boxes of books.

  4. Josh Cohen says:

    Long ago in days of yore
    It all began with a god named Thor
    There were Vikings and boats
    And some plans for a furniture store
    It’s not a bodega, it’s not a mall
    And they sell things for apartments smaller than mine
    As if there were apartments smaller than mine

    Ikea: just some oak and some pine and a handful of Norsemen
    Ikea: selling furniture for college kids and divorced men
    Everyone has a home
    But if you don’t have a home you can buy one there

    So rent a car or take the bus
    Lay your cash down and put your trust
    In the land where the furniture folds to a much smaller size
    Billy the bookcase says hello
    And so does a table whose name is Ingo
    And the chair is a ladder-back birch but his friends call him Karl

    Ikea: just some oak and some pine and a handful of Norsemen
    Ikea: selling furniture for college kids and divorced men
    Everyone has a home
    But if you don’t have a home you can buy one there

    Ikea: plywood, brushed steel
    Ikea: meatballs, tasty
    Ikea: Allen wrenches
    All of them for free
    All of them for me

    I’m sorry I said Ikea sucks
    I just bought a table for 60 bucks
    And a chair and a lamp
    And a shelf and some candles for you
    I was a doubter just like you
    Till I saw the American dream come true
    In New Jersey, they got a goddamned Swedish parade

    Ikea: just some oak and some pine and a handful of Norsemen
    Ikea: selling furniture for college kids and divorced men
    Everyone has a home
    But if you don’t have a home you can buy one there

    (“Ikea”, by Jonathan Coulton)

  5. mrscolex says:

    I had an interesting experience at one of their Ikea supercenters. I was buying a bed-frame too, and I found the entire process a bit hard to wrap my head around because you have to buy a veritable puzzle worth of parts to make the entire thing fit together.

    That being said, despite being the lightest bed frame in the world (god i could probably lift it up with one arm and it slides all over my floor) its pretty damn sturdy. No extra parts required.

  6. lgf says:

    I agree with papercutninja, andrew w and mrscolex. I bought a kitchen table, and while the hardware was a little flimsy and needs some extra screws to reinforce, the table itself is solid wood so heavy I can hardly pick it up. It will last me years.

    The couches I bought are not as solid, but hey, they look good, were super cheap, and with two small kids, I need something somewhat disposable. I’d cry if they spilled juice over my $2000 sofa, but not on a $300 one.

    BUT buying the items was a different story. We had to wait 25 minutes for someone to show up to help us and then they didn’t have them in stock, so we had to wait.

    Really bad service. I guess it’s because you don’t pay for it (service or low prices, you choose, can’t have both)

  7. Joel Johnson says:

    Jonathan Coulton is a god damned hack!

    A hack!