Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit by a former employee. It turns out, there is a right time to shop at the store, ways to track down missing pieces and more:
1. Use the Website
Because being in an IKEA store can be overwhelming, take a few minutes to go through the IKEA website before you head to the store. The site also has lots of deals that you might miss when you’re physically in the store.
2. Enter Through the Exit
When you arrive at the store, enter through the exit door, which will put you in the warehouse. This tip has saved me countless hours and pounds in my pocket. Plus it allows me to bypass all the eye candy throughout the store.
3. Do you have to walk through the entire store to return an item?
Nope! As soon as you go in the store, after the Welcome Host desk (the person that hands out the yellow bags), there is a shortcut that takes you straight to the Customer Returns department.
4. Become an Ikea Family Member
The IKEA Family program is a no brainer because it offers exclusive (and often generous) discounts on select products.
5. When is the best time of day to shop?
If you want to avoid lines, showing up early isn’t the way to make it happen. “I work at a store in the United Kingdom, and I see a lot of people coming in before the store is open to be first, but the funny part is that they create a rush,” he says. “The best time to go towards the check out for no queue is 30 minutes to an hour after opening.” He also, of course, recommends avoiding weekends.
6. Do employees get a discount?
“Yes, we get a 15% discount on everything, which includes food, furniture, orders, distributions and so on,” he says. “Also during shift time, we get 15 meatballs and fries with a salad and drink for around a pound.”
7. Be Prepared
We make better spending decisions when we’re not distracted, so wear comfortable shoes, have a snack and a water bottle on hand. When it comes to bags, it helps to bring your own, since you’ll have to pay for them otherwise.
8. Visit the ‘As-Is’ Section
Another advantage of hitting the warehouse first, is the “As-Is” section, which is nearby. I suggest finding out when your local store restocks the “As-Is” section, which is usually on Mondays. If you are not familiar, the “As-Is” section contains discounted items that are already assembled. These items have either been used for display or were returned by other customers. The price is generally right and you don’t have to put the items together, but you do have to squeeze them into your car!
9. Consider Ikea Delivery
So many stores offer free shipping that IKEA’s delivery fee might seem pricey. But, if you are buying more than your car can hold, that fee is much more reasonable than renting a van. The fee can increase based on the distance from you home to the store, but it does not increase based on the size of your order.
10. Stay on the Straight & Narrow
IKEA is a prime example of a store that is designed to entice shoppers to buy, buy, buy. The winding path ensures that you see (and hopefully want) literally every item in the store. Instead of following this designated path, follow the “shortcuts” signs to get to the areas you need to visit more quickly. Also, consider putting the IKEA app on your phone because it provides a handy map.