1. Score savings with Ikea Family

IKEA Family card
mastrminda / Pixabay

Don’t be fooled by the name. You can sign up for a Family membership even if you’re single.

You don’t pay any monthly or annual fees for this loyalty program, but you do get access to some pretty sweet rewards and deals and even a monthly draw for a $100 gift card. Ikea Family gets you discounts on a range of furniture and food, so just check the offers page online or keep a look-out in the store for markdowns for members.

The program also includes free access to workshops and events, so you can get more inspiration on how to upgrade your home.

2. Check the As-Is section on certain days

IKEA As-Is section
mastrminda / Pixabay

Ikea’s clearance section is a trove of discounted treasures, including seasonal items, floor samples and customer returns.

Some furniture may even be assembled for you already, so you get to skip the hassle of building it yourself.

Mondays are the best time to visit since most people do their returns on weekends, according to Lindsay Weekes, staff editor for Brad’s Deals, in an interview with CNBC Make It.

3. Sell back old stuff for credit

Cropped image of a customer paying to shop assistant by a credit card at the cash desk
Dmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock

If your kid's outgrown their Mammut , or you simply don't have room in your new home for bulky furniture pieces, check out the Ikea Sell-Back Program.

With a free Ikea Family membership, you can apply to return old, gently-used items for store credit. Just send them some photos of the item to start your application process. If you're approved, you'll need to bring the fully-assembled item to your selected store, along with your IKEA Family card and code.

Ikea will provide you with store credit and either re-sell or donate your old item. Just be aware that you may have to wait for a while to take advantage, as Ikea Canada has paused its Sell-Back program during the pandemic.

4. Look out for yellow tags

IKEA faucets with yellow sales tags
Troy L. / Yelp

Keep an eye out for yellow tags when you’re wandering the store. At Ikea, this system is used to flag last-chance sales items.

Janice Simonsen, an Ikea spokesperson, told Good Housekeeping that the discount varies as it’s set by the local store, but items could go for 15% to 50% off.

Be sure to act fast, as these items are either being discontinued or they’re the last products in a limited edition collection.

5. Return items a year later

IKEA returns and exchanges section
Hoyman L. / Yelp

Yes, you read that right. Ikea has a 365-day return policy. That's almost as good as Costco.

As long as the item isn’t damaged and you’ve held on to your receipt, you can return it within a year of your purchase.

You can even exchange one mattress for another, within the same timeframe, although you’re not allowed to do this more than once a year.

6. Take a shortcut through the maze

IKEA showroom map
Jaysin Trevino / Flickr

It’s easy to get pulled in by the endless parade of fancy showrooms — that’s by design — but if you’re in a rush, you can take a shortcut.

Former employees told MentalFloss that stores have a number of secret routes through the maze, both for safety and stocking reasons. They often take the form of unmarked doors, but if they don’t say “Employees Only,” they’re fair game for shoppers.

Some shortcuts are marked on the map, while others aren’t, so you may have to ask an employee to find the quickest way through.

7. Save big with the sales events

IKEA red kitchen
Studio Sarah Lou / Flickr

Planning to redesign your kitchen? You may want to wait for the next Kitchen Event to roll around so you can maximize your money.

Ikea holds just a few sales events every year. During its summer Kitchen Event in 2019, you could get up to 20% of your purchase (of $1,000 or more) back in Ikea gift cards. That’s hundreds of dollars just for shopping at the right time. The last Bedroom Event in 2020 offered a range of bedroom essentials with 15% discounts.

Check online or sign up for email alerts to find out when the next event is happening at your store.

8. Pre-order for pickup

IKEA order and collection point
Elliott Brown / Flickr

If you want to skip the hassle of shopping in store, try Ikea’s Click & Collect service.

You can shop online, then pick up your items at an Ikea store or local Collection Point for a $5 fee.

Bear in mind that wIth COVID-19 complicating things and increased demand for home supplies, time slots are filling up quickly.

9. Get deals on meals

IKEA Swedish meatballs meal
Lynn S. / Yelp

Everyone knows the food is worth it, but you might not be aware that Ikea Family members can get some exclusive deals, too.

Just scope out the cafeteria menu display for discounts and combos for cardholders. Plus, every time you buy 10 meals in the Ikea restaurant, you get one meal for free.

Don’t forget to pick up some snacks at the bistro on your way out. Ikea typically offers hot dogs and frozen yogurt for a dollar each, depending on the location.

10. Find your spare parts in one place

different screws in a pile
Guide Pst / Shutterstock

Let’s be honest. We’ve all lost a couple screws or an Allen key while assembling a Billy bookcase.

The good news is that you can find your missing bits and pieces all in one place. The “Spare Parts” bins at the Returns/Exchanges section should have everything you need.

However, if it wasn’t your fault this time and your package was actually missing a few pieces, just submit a request online with your product information. They’ll deliver the missing parts to your door.

11. Bring your own bags

IKEA bags
Steven Depolo / Flickr

Loading up on knickknacks, towels and candles? You’re probably going to need bags to carry them home.

Ikea doesn’t provide free plastic bags at checkout, so make a note to bring your own reusable ones with you.

Otherwise, you’ll be paying extra for the big blue and yellow totes.

12. Get a free cup of coffee or tea

IKEA coffee
Helena Jacoba / Flickr

A shopping trip to Ikea can take up the better part of your day, especially if you’re taking the time to peruse the whole store.

And even if that’s not the plan, Ikea has a way of convincing you to stick around. You’ll want to stock up on caffeine before you start.

If you’re a Family member, you can grab a cup of coffee or tea for free with every visit. Just swipe your Ikea Family card at the restaurant register.

13. Drop the kids off at Småland

IKEA Smaland sign
Yoonie L. / Yelp

Ikea may be a playroom for adults, but kids get tired of long shopping excursions when you’re not buying anything for them.

Drop them off for an hour of free daycare at Småland, where they can enjoy some colouring activities, watch TV or play in the ball pit. Family members get an extra half hour, as well.

Småland is currently closed for the pandemic, but once the world regains some normalcy, we’d definitely recommend taking advantage of the play area.

14. Start at the exit, not the entrance

IKEA warehouse
Atomic Taco / Flickr

If you’re in a rush and know what you need, just start at the exit.

The warehouse area near the checkout is where you pick up your items, anyway, so it makes sense to skip the showrooms when you know what you’re looking for.

And for those prone to impulse buys, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by avoiding the trap that is the winding showroom.

15. Test your designs with the Ikea Place app

IKEA Place app
Mark Hillary / Flickr

Not everyone knows that Ikea offers its own app — three, in fact.

The basic Ikea Store app lets you shop online and notifies you about special events and offers. You can browse products, check whether items are in stock and find out which stores carry the stuff you need.

Meanwhile, the lesser-known Ikea Place app offers some cost-saving virtual reality tech. Just select an item and hold your screen up to the area in your room where you’re planning to place it. You can see for yourself whether that Malm bed you’ve had your eye on is actually going to look good, or whether you should skip the purchase.

Ikea also has a Safer Home app for parents that lets you create safety checklists for your kids and offers some nifty home safety tips.

16. Get free shipping by buying on Amazon

Asian family using laptop sitting on floor among boxes, empty space
Prostock-studio / Shutterstock

Here’s a shopping hack that doesn’t require you to buy from Ikea at all.

You can find plenty of Ikea darlings, like the iconic Lövbacken, while browsing through Amazon, and get that free two-day shipping with a Prime membership. Buying through third-party sellers will allow you to dodge Ikea’s infamous delivery fees.

But keep an eye on the price tag. Some sellers will jack up their prices to take advantage of people without an Ikea nearby, so compare with the Ikea website and see whether the cheaper shipping is worth it.

About the Author

Serah Louis

Serah Louis

Staff Writer

Serah Louis is a staff writer for MoneyWise. She loves storytelling and research and was published in Ricepaper Magazine's 2019 anthology, Immersion: An Asian Anthology of Love, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction.

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