SHOP AT YOUR OWN RISK
Ikea stores attract hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide each year. It could be the intricate maze of cheap furniture, the fragrant Swedish meatballs, or just the calming effect of hyper-organized decor. But Ikea isn't for everyone. Here are 13 types of shoppers who might be better off staying away.
PEOPLE WITH BUSY LIVES
Everyone has errands to run, but those with truly limited time may be better off shopping at a store that delivers assembled furniture. Ikea trips can take anywhere from a few hours to an entire day from start to finish, and that doesn't include the time required to put a piece together.
Obsessed with home decor photos on Pinterest? Constantly daydream about redecorating? Stay away from Ikea. The store's stylish sets are put together by expert designers and are almost impossible to recreate. Plenty of Ikea shoppers have bought something that looked cute in the store but simply weird in their living room.
If you can't stand waiting in lines, don't bother going to Ikea on the weekends. Lines can wind back toward the self-serve furniture, and every barcode the checker can't locate will increase your impatience. Try going on a weekday for better luck.
Ikea provides illustrated step-by-step instructions, but people lacking in fine motor skills should proceed with caution. A small cube shelf is one thing, but larger pieces like bed frames and couches take more time, attention, and skill to build.
Two are better than one, Ikea agrees. Its instruction manuals suggest having a buddy builder who can lend a hand. Living alone and considering large furniture? Ask a friend or hire someone to help, and maybe scale back.
PEOPLE IN THEIR 'FOREVER HOMES'
If you have no intention of moving anytime soon, you might as well invest in more permanent furnishings. Whether you're building equity and claiming tax breaks or sitting pretty in a rent-controlled apartment, use the extra money to buy solid pieces that will last (and don't require assembly!).
PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN WALK-UP APARTMENTS
Buildings without elevators don't easily accommodate large pieces of Ikea furniture that come in sets of big, heavy boxes. People who live on the second and third floors may be able to manage, but anything higher is a strenuous workout without hired movers or delivery people.
PEOPLE WITH SMALL CARS
People with two-seater cars and sporty coupes won't get far at Ikea. To get larger pieces of furniture home, a truck, van, or SUV is required. Compare the flat $59 delivery fee to have bulky furniture delivered with the cost of renting a car for a day.
PEOPLE WITHOUT POWER TOOLS
Ikea provides tools for assembly, but hands start to ache from turning basic allen wrenches for larger pieces of furniture. A power drill and a proper set of tools make everything a lot easier.
FROZEN FOOD HOARDERS
For hungry shoppers, Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce at the Ikea cafeteria can inspire the purchase of bags of frozen meatballs in different flavors. Shoppers with freezers already stuffed to capacity should stay away from Ikea's tempting Swedish grocery section.
People with limited patience may have trouble with the Ikea experience. Going through a winding furniture maze just to get to checkout, only to be stuck at the end of another long line, can chip away at one's reserve. That's not counting the assembly time for the furniture, either.
PEOPLE WITH WEAK ARMS
Furniture is heavy, and Ikea staff help shoppers only so much. A rolling shopping cart takes care of the problem in the store, but be prepared to use your arms in the parking lot. Dragging and lifting heavy boxes into the car and then into your home is an unwelcome workout.
Many head to Ikea for essentials but leave with much more. Can't focus on shopping for necessities? Don't go to Ikea. It's possible to load up an entire cart with impulse buys, especially from the marketplace section near checkout.