Without any written words, the instructions are very clear on how to assemble the furniture.
If you pay attention when reading them, it is not possible to make a mistake.
On the other hand, I have also bought from other RDA furnitures and have encountered some obscure instructions.
Ah, that's the problem. We all know that users never read the manual. :)
Seriously, at that time the instructions came in gibberish with extremely weird illustrations and you were usually wondering why you had surplus screws.
The design of IKEA furniture at that time was, let's just say, a lot more rustic too.
Otherwise, it's quite relaxing. I find it enjoyable. The times I see people struggle is when they eschew the instructions.
Unless you get one of the few pieces that are all steel (eg their kitchen wall shelves are quite good) or the even rarer solid timber pieces, its not really that great, it's just cheap (by western standards)
However I also find it weird that there are people who can't put together IKEA furniture. Then again, in Thailand everything that needs assembly will get you a "would you like that assembled (for free)?", usually in-store. This goes for furniture, gardening equipment, you name it.
It's not hard! It's perfectly within the realm of accomplishment! I have already built my IKEA desk, bed, table, and bookshelves. I just really disliked every minute of it.
Reminds me of a marathon I ran. Did it give me a feeling of accomplishment afterwards? No, just really, really disliked the whole experience. Every min.
Maybe a cultural thing. I always got the impression IKEA is more respected in other countries, while in Sweden it is seen as cheap furniture owned by everyone.
At some point, McDonalds here (ass end of Eastern Europe) was a place where well-dressed grandparents took their well-dressed kids on Sunday lunches.
Right now Ikea is something people aspire to, as a mark of getting into the middle class. There's A LOT of cheaper, crapier local stuff, with bleached pine wood you can leave a visible dent on if you drop a plate on. (Funny thing is, many of the same furniture factories also work for Ikea.)
I had a ikea desk, which is simply not deep enough - when i sit on it, my hands palm are on the border of the desk. You can not work this way.
Huh? Do they have instruction leaflets where you live? I live in Germany, about 80% of my furniture is Ikea, and I've always found the instructions to be very precise. I was never confused about what to do.
(I won't argue that some furniture needs an additional pair of hands to assemble just because of the weight, of course.)
(More if you want colour, of course...)
So, for furniture I try to use smaller local places that either sell direct or at least are selling locally built stuff (this works in my favour when you consider the above - shipping assembled solid-timber furniture isn't cheap). This obviously doesn't work everywhere, but I detest living in the city so it hasn't been a problem for me so far.
For general housewares like kitchen utensils/etc I don't see a lot of difference between IKEA/<Name your local shop with homewares: Kmart, Target, etc> so it's just whoever has what I want, but IKEA's constant focus on low price also makes me a little wary of anything that isn't obviously just solid steel/wood (e.g. anything with a steel 'head' and wood/plastic/rubber handle, is basically guaranteed to fall apart) because in my experience these items embody 'you get what you pay for'.
Personally, IKEA fits my lifestyle pretty well as a young urban-dweller. I don't really anticipate having my furniture for more than 5-10 years and their aesthetic definitely matches my preferences.
I've actually looked at some more "premium" stores and really disliked a lot of their merchandise unless it was obscenely expensive (ie. 10x the price of IKEA).
But in furniture you get what you pay for - but it has to work with your life (if you are changing your place to live every year or so I don't see the point in buying expensive furniture).
If you stay in one place (or at least are planning to do so) quality furniture which matches your rooms is great (at least for me).
In the states, it is $49-$99, but don't even ask about assembly.
I enjoy building Ikea products. It is adult LEGO for your home etc.
But, smart play by Ikea I would have to say.
I bought a closet from IKEA and arranged the service through them. They sent 3 dudes who couldn't speak a word of english. On top of that, the 3 dudes got mad that there was no parking in San Francisco and left. So I had to call IKEA again and get them to come on a Sunday (free street parking).
The actual assembly was also sloppy. The doors weren't aligned properly, some screws were missing (making the door weaker). The left door started to come off after 2 months. Rather than call IKEA and have some other stooge come and make it worse, I looked up youtube videos on how to fix door screw holes (you use glue and wood chips) and fixed it myself.
If the trip is worth your time.
"The boy didn’t show an interest at first, noted Mark, who stresses his son isn’t an 'autistic savant.'"
As an aside for anyone else that wants to try this next time they strip a screw hole, I find it easier to cram a bunch of toothpicks in the hole, with wood glue, then snap the toothpicks off flush with the surface.
I once had an appointment through Ikea for a few items to be delivered. It took 4 different missed appointments for them to finally deliver it. It was a nightmare. First one they never contacted us when they arrived (I live in an apartment building, no way in for non-tenants). Second one was apparently never put in the system. Same with the third one despite me calling the night before to confirm that everything went through, they even confirmed with the third party delivery service. Fourth time it finally showed up.
Would not recommend.
My wife was 7 months pregnant and my daughter had a broken wrist, so I had to carry a king size mattress up a flight of stairs by myself so we had somewhere to sleep that night.
My wife raised hell and got the delivery fee refunded but wtf.
A table top got damaged so they had to get me a new one and they said I should call them to reschedule. It was impossible to reach anyone. Even talking to IKEA CS on the phone was clueless as to what to do.
I finally just sent a DM to IKEA customer service on Twitter and they got everything sorted out. So if you need help just message them on Twitter.
* Day 0: order a bunch of IKEA stuff with delivery
* Day 15: get message saying all items ready for delivery, on Day 30
* Day 20: I call shipper and ask if we can reschedule for Day 37 -- no problem
* Day 35: shipper calls and says oops we actually only deliver to my town once a month so it'll have to be on Day 60
... many phone calls with contradicting info and "check with manager" ...
* Day 40: I pay a local contractor to pick items up from shipper's warehouse.
(No refund on shipping because it was "my fault.")
And then tracking that, so if one group of contractors has consistent problems, they can be fired.
(e.g. the walls in my (rented) apartment are mostly really solid. Some parts won't even yield to my hammer-drill. Putting up my projector was easy (hollow wall) but I spent 2+ hours putting up my projector screen on the opposite wall (even though only 2 screws).
The hard part is to measure and plan appropriately (they offer an online 3D tool as well as free in-store consulting here with 3D modeling), but the assembly of the pieces is a cakewalk. I say that as someone who's literally in the middle of some IKEA kitchen assembly right now.
IKEA's kitchen modules are also brilliant for non-kitchen applications. They work for any kind of storage. Skip the fronts (limited selection, cheap-looking), countertops (mostly fiberboard) and handles, and use the modules as "hulls" dressed with better materials. Third-party vendors include:
Superfront — https://superfront.com/
Semihandmade – https://www.semihandmadedoors.com/
Kokeena – http://kokeena.com/
Dunsmuir – https://www.dcabinets.com/
Reform – https://www.reformcph.com/
Ikea has grown a ton based on having widely appealing products at extremely low prices. Their growth over the past decade has been driven by expanding their physical retail presence on the one-giant-store-per-city model. The store build-out on this model may be done, at least in the US. Still, many potential buyers aren't willing to make the pilgrimage to Ikea because it's far, or simply because you can get an OK entertainment center at Target instead.
Key to Ikea's brand is the memorable in-store experience. If they can match that in their in-home shopping apps and in delivery/assembly/install services, they could grow significantly. If they believe this, expect them to leverage TaskRabbit not just to streamline delivery/install but to offer new Ikea-branded services. A few ideas:
* New apartment? Use our app to pick and place furniture, our designers to get advice, and our people to deliver and install everything.
* Remodel mockup services. Not sure how your kitchen layout will look? Have us block things out using cardboard boxes to you can walk through and feel it out.
* Organization & storage. Have someone go through your basement and inventory everything. Use our app to route each item to donation, resale, or storage. Once stored, app helps you find an item whether it's in your basement (shelf 3, bay 12) or retrievable by delivery-on-request.
It most definitely is NOT. For instance the nearest Ikea to the Raleigh/Triangle area is over 2 hours away.
There are 24 US states without a single Ikea store.
They could even extend it to offer more services like ordering delivery and install services.
It also makes a lot of sense in their current system.
They tend to be a lot slower than cashiers, lead to more theft, and few people like to use them anyway.
Edit: according to an international study theft increased from 1-2% to 4% but 60% of the people polled said they only stole it because the item wouldn't scan. This seems to be a technical and UX problem. There is a lot of room for improvement with the machines and from my experience it varies by store.
Otherwise 75% of people said it made their experience faster.
I wasn't able to find any evidence of 'lots of stores removing them' though...
IKEA is phasing them out in Germany, and all German store chains that had self-checkout have since removed them, or are in the process. There is not a single chain that is actively deploying new ones, or keeping them.
Our biggest pharmacy (Shoppers Drug Mart) and dollar store (Dollarama) both with thousands of stores are going to be deploying self-checkouts soon. Various grocery stores and big box stores all over the city already have it.
Ikea only has 2 stores in the area so even if they remove it it won't be that noticeable in terms of deployment...
It may be Imea is trying more of a customer service thing for certain stores ala Amazon's focus on human interactions vs actual ROI or popularity.
Not to mentioned Ontario, where I'm from, just passed new minimum wage laws ($15CAD/hr) and a bunch of retailers are responding by investing in self checkout for the first time.
Cashiers are much faster than self checkout, and you still need to employ one person for every 4 self checkouts to prevent theft.
I have less of a problem in convenience-type stores but I'm usually not buying much stuff and rarely produce.
They could double or triple their prices, and they'd still be much cheaper than the competition. :-(
Maybe now it's clear Ikea has a long-standing place in American retail, so in addition to expanding the giant-store footprint they want to invest in other forms of access.
remember, ikea is expanding globally. on my last vacation, i saw an ikea identical to the one by my house in california, in southern germany. that's really sort of unprecedented at the scale of an ikea store.
And they're expanding mainly with their own money. They're a family-owned company without outside investors. Ingvar Kamprad is pretty economically conservative.
Are you aware that IKEA is a multinational company founded in 1943 and the world's largest furniture retailer, and not an SV startup?
One? Hamburg (1.5mio ppl) alone has 3, plus several more within of 1h driving distance.
Edit: Wow, you guys are touchy. For $20k you could get fully custom cabinets from a local shop made with cabinet-grade plywood for a typically-sized kitchen.
The guy ahead of me in line spent like $30k on a massive kitchen. It seems strange to spend that much, but if you lack the funds to build a super high quality massive kitchen, IKEA is good enough at bargain prices.
I suspect TaskRabbit never really made it big because of some combination of transaction costs associated with one-off only somewhat standardized tasks and the fact that, presented with a bill to assemble cheap Ikea furniture or to pickup their laundry, most people will decide they'd just as soon do it themselves.
If I don't have time to assemble the elaborate toy train set I bought for my kid, it will probably never occur to me that I could pay someone to drop in and do that task for me, even if I would happily pay someone if they offered.
That's the kind of problem nobody should ever have in the first place. The whole point is to work together on it, not just to give it. To have some stranger put it together defeats the purpose.
Point is, the purpose of toys is to have fun. I wouldn't regard my example to be any different than spending one's disposable income on a trip to Vegas or a VR headset.
But let's be honest: it's a rare, rare event that someone is going to pay $45 for non-skilled, essentially un-fuckup-able jobs.
If TR was "hire a spare set of hands for minimum wage when needed, with quality reviews", sure, I could think of lots of use cases. But paying more than triple minimum wage for a minimum wage task? It's just rare that the situation merits that sort of over-spending.
-- Big enough to be worth getting someone to do for me
-- A task that I can have someone do for me with fairly simple instructions
-- Something I'm willing to pay someone else to do for me
I already have a lawn service and an occasional housekeeper and borrow a neighbor's handyman [for brush clearing] from time to time. But most of the "wouldn't it be nice is this were all organized/cleaned" stuff around my house aren't really things I could delegate.
I also just don't seem to live in a critical mass area for TaskRabbit. Just did a search for a handyman and one came up at $90/hr and a 71% positive rating. I think I'll pass.
I am not trying to blame you specifically, as I'm guessing you meant it as an example.
I was a TaskRabbit user. I'd say that they had a problem with quality control and maintaining a really good user experience. Too many of their workers were kind of meh. This was especially apparent with moving. I would be unpacking and something from storage and think to myself, "She did that!?" I also made the mistake of using them to hire someone for a move-out cleaning. Their interface was seemingly designed to generate misunderstanding.
They need to partner with a physical brick and mortar store to ship and store product. Similar to what Amazon is going to do with Whole Foods. IKEA needs a partner like Whole Foods where users can pick up their product.
Currently buying anything on IKEA and having it shipped is super costly, and even the collection points don't service small towns/cities.
It's definitely a problem. I'm about 3-4 hours away from the nearest Ikea. And it would cost $250 to get any large items: http://ikeadirectcatalogorder.com (Yes, that is the official site).
Now, by day, I'm an engineer who builds large machines. I have a semi truck or lowboy in my parking lot weekly. I get that freight is expensive - $250 to have a truck to my door isn't great for one skid, but it's not bad either. But at home? I'm used to free shipping, and that's jaw-droppingly expensive.
Ikea is a strongly price-competitive seller. They can't afford to bump all their prices by 20% and offer "free" shipping, because in-store purchasers would mutiny.
My sister lives in Raleigh and the closest IKEA is Charlotte. It's a 3 hour drive and they are willing to make it once or twice a year when they can. But if they could buy online and have it appear in their local grocery store I'm sure their spending would increase dramatically.
It seems like there is an opportunity for IKEA, or someone else to help get product to these people. And as I showed above, it's not only people in small towns. Raleigh is a big city and yet people have to drive 3 hours to get to the nearest IKEA.
Interestingly, while checking to make sure IKEA hadn't launched in Raleigh, I came across this little biz http://www.ncmodernfurniture.com/ikea-delivery/
"The IKEA effect is a cognitive bias in which consumers place a disproportionately high value on products they partially created. The name derives from the name of Swedish manufacturer and furniture retailer IKEA, which sells many furniture products that require assembly."
What is more routine/systematic than assembling IKEA furniture?
EDIT: I usually pay $40-$90 for a metro Boston pickup/dropoff (about 1-2 hours of driving time). The app has an endless stream of sponsored promo codes (e.g. this week's 'The American Housewife' TV show $50 promo code) that almost always subsidize the service and ensures that I don't pay full price.
Lately, I've been thinking about the opportunity to create an Uber-like service that lowers prices by providing in-ride advertisements. Personally, I wouldn't mind a few ads if it means that I'll pay 50% less for my ride.