8 IKEA Shopping Tips From A Former Employee

A former IKEA worker tells us how some tips for making your jaunt through furniture Legoland more enjoyable and efficient.

1. IKEA lives on add-on sales, and where they make their money. The stores are designed to get you though every department, but there are shortcuts. Use them liberally; ask for the fastest way to where you need to go. There’s a ton of cheap stuff along the way for you to grab, and it adds up fast. Before you check out, evaluate what’s in your cart and if you really need/ want it and you’ll save a good chunk of cash. Also, in the first showroom area, avoid what’s called the ‘open the wallet’ area- tons of small, cool, cheap stuff you can grab- it gets you in the buying mood, and ‘opens your wallet’. Everything there is duplicated later on, so if you see something really cool, write it down and look for it later.

2. The 30-day return policy is (sort of) a lie. IKEA will generally return stuff like wal-mart (but should not be confused with that evil place), so keep receipts if at all possible. And if anything is wrong with the product, take it apart and bring it backw. Be sure to check the boxes for damage before you check out.

3. Go midweek, even in the evening. Particularly if you’re buying a lot of stuff. It’s slower, and coworkers are going to be more available and willing to help.

4. IKEA sells tons of cheap crap, but the higher priced stuff is well worth the money, lasts for a long time and usually carries a warranty.

5. Just because something isn’t on the shelf doesn’t mean it’s not in stock. Note the article number shown on the tag, and find someone at an info station (or walking around) and have them look it up. If it’s out of stock, there is usually info on when it’s coming in. Note: most peons won’t know all of this, so if they don’t know or are confused, seek the almighty duty manager. They can find out (and might give you free stuff. Ask). If the item is truly out of stock, and there is no delivery info (which means it’s 4-6 weeks out, minimum), they can sell you the floor model, BUT at full retail price. At this point, be on your best behavior, and ask if there’s any way at all it can be discounted, because of that scratch or whatever (remember: be nice. If you’re a dick, they won’t help you after this). What can be done if you play your cards right is this: They’ll send you, item on flat cart, to the as-is department. While you’re on your way down, they’ll call and tell them Jane Doe is on her way with article 503.243.22 from the sales floor, and can you give them an as-is price on it? Once there, they’ll mark it down some for you and you’re good to go. NOTE: Once something becomes as-is, it’s just that- you can’t return it, no matter what, so make sure you want it.

6. If you’re buying lots of stuff (e.g., kitchens, home office, furnishing whole house): buy in stages. This way you can use your (friend’s) truck, instead of delivery (which is by the piece). Also, when pieces come up with missing parts or damaged, you’re already going back, so you don’t have to get all upset about making another trip. Also, when doing this, talk to a few people in (workIKEA, kitchens, whichever department) to get to know them and their knowledge of the product, so when you come back, you know who to talk to (when I worked in kitchens, a few customers asked my schedule for the next week so they’d come in when I was there. Not that I’m so great, it just meant I knew their order, what they were doing, and they wouldn’t explain every time they came in. It always turned out well for them).

7. Missing parts are the bane of everyone’s IKEA experience. The following steps are the best way to resolve this: A) Know what you need. Each screw, peg, etc, has a part number. This is found on the first page of the instructions. Also, each item has an 8 article number, printed right next to the bar code. Knowing these two numbers will save you tons of time.
B) call your local store. Do NOT speak with the operator; they usually won’t do you any good. Ask for either the department it’s from (Living rooms, kitchens, etc) or the recovery department.
C) Tell them the article number and they’ll look up the product, and can pull up its instructions (if you’re missing the instructions, they can also print them out and mail them to you), and the part number you need. They can then mail it to you.

8. If you’re having problems with a CSR (‘coworker’) politely ask to speak with the duty manager. They have to call them. Managers at IKEA usually live and breathe IKEA and will do anything to keep you happy. So get the manager, explain your situation, and they’ll bend over backwards for you.

(Photo: Ben Popken)

Comments

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  1. adrock75 says:

    Any tips on how to put together this SAAGMORT bookshelf?

  2. sleze69 says:

    Good little article. Kudos on not calling it “Confessions of an Ikea CSR.”

  3. Fuzz says:

    @adrock75: Duct tape and crazy glue.

  4. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    They do have some cool stuff, but god almighty the assembly instructions suck. I still have scars from putting together an entertainment center I got from there years ago.

  5. Lordstrom says:

    I love Ikea. I’ve bought a lot of furniture and small stuff there and never disappointed.

  6. Thrust says:

    He’s missing a couple…

    9. Bring a tape measure. Some items list their dimensions in Metric, others in Imperial. Unless you wanna do on-the-fly math to make sure things fit, just bring a Imperial/Metric measure. A sheet of paper and a pencil help too.

    10. If you buy a lamp, stock up on spare bulbs. Many of Ikeas light fixtures and lamps take custom or hard-to-find bulbs, and if it gets discontinued before the first bulb goes out, you’d wish you spent just a couple more bucks for the spare bulbs.

    11. Always field-test the floor model. Look for what parts are breaking/broken or worn out. Floor models tend to see LESS use and abuse than what you’ll put yours through, so if the couch sags or the desk drawer’s finish is peeling, it might not be a good buy.

    12. For the love of whatever god(s) you believe in, keep your kids out of the childrens’ section. You will not get them back, at least, not without buying a whole bunch of junk they won’t let go of.

    13. Shop on an empty stomach. The Ikea restaurant actually has really good stuff, and a full meal is likely to run you $4 or less (canadian). $0.50 hotdogs! I’d move into one of the showrooms if I could, just to be able to get cheap hotdogs all day.

  7. loudguitars says:

    I will say, the part about the more expensive stuff being worth the money is true. I’ve bought a lot of cheap crap from them, and the $80 entertainment center was held together through college with duct tape and prayers.

    But I bought a nicer entertainment center when I got out of college for about $200, and four years later it’s still going strong despite going through three moves.

    The key is to look for the stuff that’s made entirely of real wood, not pressboard. That’s where you get your money’s worth.

  8. Thrust says:

    Has anyone bought their BILLY shelf system? I’ve worked out a design to use them in my place but I wanna know if they’re any good before I drop $1000 on em.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Thrust:
      My husband has outfitted his entire home office with the BILLY shelf system … it’s sturdy as heck, and holds hundreds of books and thousands of CD’s, in addition to a ton of other stuff. His only complaint (and it’s probably more the fault of the room than the shelf system) is that the shelves don’t sit against the wall and things can fall down behind.

  9. ancientsociety says:

    IKEA is excellent.

    I don’t agree that everything that’s cheap is “crap” though. Every single thing I’ve ever bought at IKEA has always been in good condition and useful YEARS later! I bought a little $5 desk lamp 5 years ago and it still works. I’ve never even had to replace the bulb!

  10. swalve says:

    Most of the “cheap” Ikea stuff can not take being moved. Keep the instructions and take it apart when you’re moving.

  11. SuperJdynamite says:

    “They do have some cool stuff, but god almighty the assembly instructions suck.”

    On the one hand I can appreciate that they have to design a manual that has no text so it doesn’t have to be translated into a thousand languages.

    On the other hand there’s usually one page that’s trying to describe the orientation of some component or illustrate that one hole is larger than another and I almost never understand what they’re trying to communicate.

  12. joopiter says:

    @Thrust: Yup, my roommate and I built an entertainment center out of Billy bookshelves (plus a few other components from other IKEA lines). They look great, certainly not cheap, and have held up even during a move. I’d defintely recommend them. We’ve gotten many compliments on the set-up and lots of people who’d like to recreate our “wall of entertainment” for themeselves.

  13. afrasso says:

    Re: BILLY shelving.

    I’ve been pretty happy with mine. They are cheaper and more configurable then a lot of the CD/DVD/Tape/Bookshelves that I’ve seen. One caveat: I couldn’t get them to sit together all that well. The little hook things that you use to keep the cd shelf solidly next to the bigger deeper bookshelf didn’t work that well and was loose. I ended up buying some woodworking bolts that were flat on both ends to hold everything together; came together real nice.

  14. Edge101 says:

    Yeah, I’m happy with the Billy bookshelves as well. Go for it.

  15. dextrone says:

    @Fuzz:Lol, but anyone buying furniture from IKEA, be prepared to do a bit of handy work.

    ….Other Thoughts: We need more things from Europe!

  16. Mary says:

    We’re pretty much redoing our entire apartment in IKEA one piece of furniture at a time. It’s about the only place where my husband and I both can easily agree on the design and style of what we want. We’ve never had a problem with the quality of the goods, but when it comes to buying furniture we do tend to concentrate on getting quality rather than cheap.

    I did have an experience where I bought a lamp with them that didn’t come with a vital piece used to plug it up. That was annoying, but they let me take it back without any problems. Nothing but good experiences at that store.

  17. Greeper says:

    At least in DC (College Park and Springfield) shipping is flat rate 69 or 79 (dependiong on distance) for as much stuff as you can haul. THey delivered a truckload to my weekend cabin 3 hours away for a flat rate.

  18. ElizabethD says:

    I lost my IKEA cherry last month and loved it. We didn’t buy any really big furniture items, although if I’d known how solid some of their chests and bureaus were, we would have gone that route instead of our local unfinished-furniture place. Bought two wonderful desk chairs for really cheap, and tons of stuff to organize drawers, etc. And a great rug. I’m a believer!

    And let me say that when it comes to assemble-it-yourself furniture, few things suck worse than the (you guessed it: made in China) “wood” crap that comes from the JC Penney web site. … including missing-part snafus.

  19. Thrust says:

    Once I re-floor my TV room, I’m planning on using the Billy shelves to cover the entire length of my wall had it measured out that it will fit 8 of the large width units (80cm) and one CD tower (20cm) and cover end-to-end on the wall.

    Gonna go with the CD tower in the center, then from each side it would go
    40cm width full height with glass door
    80cm width full height, no doors
    80cm width half-height with wood doors
    80cm width full height, no doors
    40cm width full height with glass door

    Gives me four large shelves, two enclosed cabinets with space on top of them, and four narrow tall cabinets which I’d replace the shelves with glass ones to store my collections.

    Just didn’t wanna sink a fortune into them if they were cheap.

  20. DoctorVenkman says:

    Good list. I worked for IKEA for 3 years. Technically, the display furniture should be either repaired or switched out as soon as there is a tiny nick/dent/scrape/peeling of any sort. Departments that are on top of things will switch them out before a customer has a chance to even glimpse at the damage, however slight. Therefore, the display model’s condition is not necessarily indicitive of the product’s quality.

    Also, keep in mind that IKEA workers are trained to make customers do most of the hard work. Which is why they hate when shoppers A) refuse to write down the name of the item they are asking questions about, and B) force the coworker to walk across the store with them so they can point at an item they wish to purchase. Trust me, the workers are less likely to be genuinely helpful if you make either of these fatal flaws. Just be polite and write down the name, and the workers will bend over backward for you.

    The store supplies pencils, paper & tape measures, so don’t worry too much about bringing your own.

    And for the record, as far as I remember, I NEVER saw an item made entirely from real wood. There is always particle board in there somewhere, trust me.

  21. Eilonwynn says:

    14. ASK THE AS-IS PEOPLE. There is a doorbell, ring it, and if there’s something you want very badly and do not care at all if it *is* as is, they may have it in the back, at an as is price, just not out on the floor.

    15. YELLOW TAGS: The stuff that is *actually* on sale or clearance has a fully yellow banner / sign on it, not just a yellow rectangle on a white backdrop. These items can go down in price if there are a lot of them, but if there aren’t, they may never return. If you like the item, grab a few.

    16. DELIVERY / ASSEMBLY. Some stores WILL both deliver AND hire an assembly service for you. It’s not cheap, but if grandma’s the one who wants it and you can’t spare the time to assemble it, it can be well worth it. However, some stores now also have a policy that they won’t deliver as-is items.

    17. WACKY WEDNESDAYS: Every Wednesday, each store puts an item on a *really* good discount price (who knew you could get a queen sized mattress for $100?). These update every week, are listed on the websites, and tend to rotate through an area (in Toronto, a chair will be on sale week 1 in Burlington, week 2 in Vaughan, week 3 in Etobicoke, and week 4 in north York (though not always in that order) – so if you live near several, you don’t just have a single chance to get it.

    18. BREAKFAST. Breakfast at ikea is 99cents. It includes scrambled eggs, sausage, a croissant, and potatoes. This can be a LIFESAVER if you’re in university. They also usually have a dinner at the same pricepoint. Some american stores (pittsburgh) also have an “all you can eat meatballs” night.

    19. EARLY OPENINGS. The stores open for breakfast a half hour earlier than the store proper. If it’s the beginning of a sale, get there, have a cheap breakfast, and then wait in line. Sometimes they may have as few as 20 of an especially good deal.

    20. TRUCK RENTAL. Some ikeas (in canada – not sure about the states) have a large van that you can rent – $20 for 2 hours. If you decide you want something big, it may be far more worthwhile to rent that than trying to put a wood-base mattress on top of your ’91 accord.

    21. AS IS, AGAIN: HANDYMAN SPECIAL: Some ikeas, some of the time, will bundle up an entire cart of wood, and charge a stupidly cheap price for it. If you’re good at building things, this can be a great deal. Also, they sell legs cheaply, and table tops can be picked up for next to nothing in as-is.

    22. AS IS A THIRD TIME: As well, there’s usually a rack filled with cupboard doors, shelves, even bits of flooring. If you’ve managed to scratch or ding something that you have, like a cupboard door, you might be able to pick up a single replacement for under $5.

    23. ADDENDUM to 7c – If you live near one, and go in, they will quite regularly give you any replacement parts you need, and print up the directions on demand. They’ll charge you if you ask for more than about 8 of any particular part, but if it’s something little that gets lost, having a few spare in a toolbox is a GOOD THING (ikea billy shelf supports, i’m lookin’ your way)

  22. mopar_man says:

    9. Bring a tape measure. Some items list their dimensions in Metric, others in Imperial. Unless you wanna do on-the-fly math to make sure things fit, just bring a Imperial/Metric measure. A sheet of paper and a pencil help too.

    Every Ikea I’ve ever been to has this stuff available as soon as you walk in the door.

  23. Thrust says:

    @mopar_man: Ours doesn’t supply tape measures. Forgot to mention yes they have pencils & paper at the enterance.

  24. magdelane says:

    Okay… I need some advice from some former Ikea employees, and there seem to be a few around. I’d like to draw on your experience.

    I’m looking into an ikea Kitchen, specifically the Hallarum Eucalyptus series. The cabinets are going to run about $2200 and appliances another $2500. It is a decent kitchen, and not overlarge.
    Everything will fit, it has been measured, remeasured, and measured again, with reasonable tolerances, and all planning tools used. I’m ready to put down the cash, but I have a few rather pressing concerns:
    I live in Saint Louis, which has no Ikea of its own (alas!) And would be getting everything from one of the two Chicago stores–and that complicates things. For a purchase of this magnitude (price and size) I can’t just borrow a friend’s truck 5 times over the course of a weekend and drive up to Chicago and pay for gas on each round trip… I’m sure that would cost way more than any delivery charge…
    But what, really, would be my best option? Renting a U-haul/Budget truck from STL is silly, I’d be charged on mileage on a round trip. Would a one-way from Chicago be any cheaper than Ikea’s delivery charges? Would I be better off using a freight shipper such as Roadway? And when I would make the trip up, how would I know that what I need will be in stock, and not disappear in the course fo the 4.5 hours it takes to get there? Or do they just assume that Kitchens will be delivered by them, and don’t keep much in stock anyway? I’ve attempted to have these conversations with folks at the Chicago stores, but haven’t gotten any real answers because the reps want my items numbers, and want to create a quote… essentially sell it to me before I could find out if I could even feasably get it to my home, one way or another. They won’t tell me if it is per piece/flat rate outside the Chicago area, nevermind an example of what that charge might be, so until I go into the store, place my order, they won’t tell me how it will happen. I hate how cryptic it all is. I just want a kitchen that I can finally cook in.

    Any advice, insights?

  25. ribex says:

    @DoctorVenkman: You said “And for the record, as far as I remember, I NEVER saw an item made entirely from real wood. There is always particle board in there somewhere, trust me.”

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have IVAR shelving, as well as a kitchen table. They are ONLY wood (and a few metal bits, of course). I also have a coffee table and a corner shelf. Nope, no particleboard OR veneer there either. …your other comments are fine, but the last one didn’t make sense to me :)

    I looooove IKEA. Sure, there are some items that might have long-term reliability issues, but just about everything I’ve ever seen there is ridiculously more durable than the typical walmart/kmart furniture. I really like that so many items are modular, and sizing is somewhat standardized among product families.

    If I could have a good-paying job assembling other people’s newly bought IKEA furniture, I would take it in a heartbeat; I honestly don’t understand the negativity I’ve run across towards the home assembly process. Perhaps I’ve been lucky to have always gotten all the included hardware. The only minor trouble I ever had was a nightstand that didn’t have holes drilled for casters – that was the day I bought a drill, when I was not long out of college.

    The one improvement I’d like to see from IKEA is their online presence. The company seems quite resistant to online sales. Too many of their products are unable to be purchased online, and the shipping charges are exorbitant, and I’m not even referring to anything heavy or bulky. I don’t understand the current philosophy in that regard.

  26. ceejceej says:

    @Thrust: I have this system in my office. It holds my inventory. I’d say the shelving itself is a good deal, but the paper/cardboard backing is a bit on the cheap side. They only give you a few nails to secure the back wall, and it’s not nearly enough. It can pop out if you push a book or item too far back on the shelf. When you pick it up from IKEA, be sure to grab about 10 extra nails per shelf.

  27. heronswift says:

    Anyone having assembly issues — try calling Ikea directly. I got a Magiker storage unit a few years ago, and when I could not figure out how to get the doors attached, in desperation I phoned the only number I could find in their paper catalogue. Mind you, this was before noon on a Sunday; nevertheless, I got a live human being on the second ring of the phone, who promptly transferred me to a CSR who listened to me and then said, “Oh, yeah, I know exactly what you’re talking about, I had the same problem when I was putting mine together,” and proceeded to give me excellent directions for how to finish the assembly. I tell you, they won a customer for LIFE that day.

  28. magdelane says:

    @ribex:
    I agree about the online presence.. if they only could run this through a true online order, I won’dn’t be having the delimma about how to get my kitchen to Saint Louis.

  29. philipbarrett says:

    Admittedly some of their stuff is tacky/cheap but their bathroom fixtures are a total bargain. The faucets are very high quality and the basins are sturdy ceramics.

  30. ceejceej says:

    @ancientsociety: I agree, IKEA is FAR from cheap quality. I’m in my 30s now, and all my IKEA furniture has survived since college. The pieces have travelled thru 2 moves in Atlanta, 2 apartments in NYC, and 3 condos in LA.

    On the flip side, I have a $800 desk from Plummers I bought 4 years ago that cracked in half on the first LA move, less than a year after I bought it.

  31. Thrust says:

    @ceejceej: Thanks for the advice. If all goes as planned, these shelves will be right up against the wall with no gaps, so hopefully the cheap backing won’t be an issue.

    Is it me, or do the just not make solid shelf backs anymore? everything from TV stands to bookshelves, to bloody desks are all cardboard backed. Not even cheap particleboard.

  32. latrevo says:

    Create your own unique systems…instead of buying a particular entertainment unit for a bunch, we took our existing ikea tv stand, bought two tall bookshelves, and then scoured the AS IS dept. for a shelf to run across the top. We found a twin bed frame (with the matching finish) for $15. Used the bed rail for our long shelf, and the rest of it to make shelves for another wardrobe in our house. Be creative, and you can make some cool stuff out of the super cheap “as is” materials!

  33. Zgeg says:

    I can’t begin to tell you how amazing IKEA is.. I lived in Norway for several years and (I am not making this up) 98% of everything in my apartment came from IKEA. This included every last utensil in the kitchen and every piece of furniture. The only thing I didn’t buy at IKEA was my appliances, but I could have if I wanted to. I never had a problem with anything that I bought, even the “cheap” stuff. Not only were the goods high quality but… I lived in a huge college town and like clock work every year three weeks before classes began the IKEA store was teaming with Norwegian Co eds furnishing for the coming year.. I’m starting to get a little teary eyed… Those were the days…

  34. Me. says:

    The key to shopping at IKEA is to buy the items that don’t look like IKEA furniture. The worst thing is walking into someone’s home and recognizing every piece of furniture! It can all be waaaay to matchy-matchy if you’re not careful.

  35. tozmervo says:

    Love my poäng chair
    Hate ikea.com
    Love my cheap-ass “tupperware” storage
    Hate Atlanta
    Love the Swedes.
    Hate that Charlotte’s won’t open til ’09.

  36. rmontcal says:

    A couple of things:
    1. ikeahacker is an awesome blog.
    2. in tip #5, the author mentions “free stuff”. Like what – TVs and stolen iPods? Details!
    3. I love Ikea.

  37. Landru says:

    I bought a kitchen counter unit that has been great for five years. I also have a wardrobe thing (PAX, I think) that is wood laminate on particle baord. It’s held up. One thing, when we moved to a new house, the movers made me sign a release of liability for the particle board unit. He said they get wobbly and often break when they are moved. Ours did get a little bit wobbly. I finally completely dissambled and and reassembled it and it tightened up fine. The missing parts thing can be frustrating.

    I don’t buy there much any more. Anything from Ikea stands out against anything else, screaming “Ikea”. I think you have to do your whole house in it for it to look right.

  38. Thrust says:

    A lot of you are feeling sorry for the lamp. That is because you’re stupid, and the new one’s much nicer.

  39. chooki says:

    How come all of the comment posters’ names sound like IKEA products?

    Thrust, Landru, Latrevo, Ribex…

  40. ElizabethD says:

    @chooki:

    And “chooki”! That sounds like a product, too!

    Love,
    ElizabethD (very unlike a product)

  41. Has anyone gotten a bed from Ikea? Are they good (mattresses too)?

  42. ribex says:

    @chooki: As much as I love IKEA, I am decidedly not an IKEA product. LOL… Ok, not 100% true, I do have a little Swedish heritage. Guess you got me!

    At least my name isn’t Jerker.

  43. Thrust says:

    My name originated from a Battletech Character I played years ago. He was of Clan Diamond Shark, not very sweedish. (Piloted a 50T Nova and attained the rank of Star Captain)

  44. lizzybee says:

    @Thrust: We have a bunch of Billy bookcases– three in our bedroom, and five for my husband’s books in the office. His set has survived about three years and a huge and horrible move without even a dent.

  45. telepanda says:

    Has anyone used the wooden slat mattress bases from IKEA? We recently moved into a townhouse with a very narrow stairway, and the box spring absolutely will not go up the stairs to the bedroom. We’re contemplating one of the mattress bases as an alternative, but I’d like to hear how they work first.

    Also, does anybody have thoughts on what’s the best desk to get there? In theory, I’m ok with plywood, but would like to avoid particle board if at all possible. Solid wood would be best.

  46. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @dextrone:
    Very little of IKEA’s products are from Europe anymore. Most is from China.
    The wordless instructions are from Mars.

  47. cooper says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: I have a queen size metal frame bed from Ikea that is going on 6 years with absolutely no problems. It has now been through 4 moves and is like new. They unfortunately discontinued it right after my purchase!

  48. @magdelane: I’d probably do a one-way (I also live in St. Louis), although they do offer delivery through third parties (I used delivery when I lived in Boston and had stuff shipped from New Haven).

    I’m going up there next weekend, but I can’t fit a kitchen in my Mazda3. Sorry.

  49. DoctorVenkman says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    I worked in the beds dept., however that was a few years ago, and upon glancing at the website, they have a ton of new bedframes that I am not familiar with. A word to the wise…stay away from the super cheap frames (DALSELV comes to mind). Those things will fall apart in no time. MALM is OK, just don’t buy it in white. The white frame has a different coating than the wood veneers, and it chips VERY easily. An IKEA mattress should treat you quite well, just make sure to flip it regularly to avoid sagging. We were trained to tell people that when testing a mattress, you should lay down and allow your back muscles to completely relax on the bed (this could take several minutes of laying on a bed). Give yourself plenty of time to pick out the right mattress, because when I worked there, IKEA would rarely accept returns on an opened mattress, regardless of the circumstances.

    I would suggest going there on a weekday afternoon/evening, and befriending one of the coworkers. If you are really friendly, they will probably love you, considering how many jerks we dealt with on a constant basis.

    I hope that helps.

    On another matter: Earlier I mentioned that I didn’t remember any item from IKEA that was made from 100% real wood. As Ribex pointed out, I stand corrected.

  50. legotech says:

    IKEA Rocks. I have lots of furniture and bookcases from there…my suggestion is to use glue even when they don’t tell you to. Spread glue on every edge, even the ones you screw in rather than nail. Even our bookcases are still going strong after years of abuse :)

    reg

  51. Trackback says:

    Local · Judith Giuliani hearts T.J. Maxx [NY Post] National · Shopping in June and July is a shitty, shitty idea [Almost Girl] · Tips to help you maximize your trip to Ikea [Consumerist] · Private investors to make a ton of money off Samsonite sale [NY Post] · Hackers…

  52. eli_b says:

    I didn’t read all the comments…but since I live 4 hours from an Ikea, my M.O. has always been to look at the most current catalog, pick out what I know I’m going to buy, and when I go, breeze through the showroom just for fun. When I get downstairs, I go to the sections I want, and pick up what I came for. If I spot something else I like, it’s usually only a few dollars or so. That’s keeps everything well within my budget, and the last two times I went, cut my shopping time by about an hour.

  53. magdelane says:

    @ JEROME WALTON
    Glad to meet another Saint Louisan.
    Yeah, your Mazda3 certainly couldn’t handle it if my Subaru outback can’t. Wagons are good for so much, but not for bringing home an entire kitchen. :)

  54. megyay says:

    It is probably a little late to be chiming in, but, I have had my Billy bookcase literally my entire life. My parents bought it soon after I was born and I still have it 21 years and several moves later.

  55. Baly says:

    Telepanda, I bought the Lillehammer slat bed in 2000 and am still using it, 5 moves later. The veneer is coming up in a few places under the edges, but only where I’ve abused it by not carefully stashing and removing stuff under the bed. The slats are held together by staples on (cotton? linen?) ribbon tape, and some of those staples have come off, but that’s an easy fix. They don’t sell the Lillehammer anymore, but I’ll look there again when I’m ready to change up the look of my room.