One of the shopping staples for many households across the country is IKEA. That's all well and good unless you're one of the sad souls (myself included) who doesn't have one nearby. The closest one to me is a solid 6 hours drive and although I've done it in the past, recently more eco-friendly options have surfaced.
1. Craigslist: What can't you find on Craigslist? Even if you don't have an IKEA near you, there's a good chance someone is still selling something from the blue and yellow retailer. They might have ordered something and it's the wrong size or moved to town and no longer need such items. Although some might try to take advantage of there not being in IKEA nearby and attempt to sell you used items at full price, they'll usually be willing to bargain to get the items in question out of their house and put cash in their pocket.
If you're willing to take the time to look in other cities for a specific item you might be after, an internet search is a great way to get the job done faster. All you need to do is type in— site: www.craigslist.org *insert item here* — and hit search! Recently a family member went hunting for a high chair that's no longer carried online. She located one in Canada and contacted the seller and they were willing to charge her shipping and sent it down! How's that for extra-awesome?
2. Amazon: This was a shocker to me. Go ahead and head over to Amazon and type the word IKEA in the search bar. It's ok, we'll wait for you..... On any given day there's 4-8 pages of IKEA goods from re-sellers. The best part is that most aren't looking to get rich and if inflated at all only have a small upcharge for shipping or convenience. Mainly I've found smaller items like lighting and silverware, but in addition I've also come across beds, linens and more. Be sure to check it often to see what's new.
3. eBay: This is the go-to source for most items that you can't find in store or in person. Most folks know how it works and have probably used in the past. You can find discontinued IKEA items, used and well cared for items, and last but not least, new items from folks looking to make a buck or two on those who don't have a store close to them. Forget those looking to charge double the price and search out users who are competitive in pricing.
4. Twitter: Although Twitter is still a baby in the realm of social media, that doesn't mean it hasn't found it's place. It's good for many things, but in the past I've used it to shop at IKEA. Ok, not literally, but when I put out a call for curtain hardware, a friend two time zones away volunteered to pick some up for me next time they were in and shipped them over. A single paypal transaction later and I had my hardware! The same obviously works with Facebook, but either way it's a great system to utilize your friends in far off places!
5. Local Delivery Services: In my neck of the woods there are folks who spend their weekends making the long drive to the closet IKEA. They charge folks a flat fee/scale free based on dollar amount being purchased for delivery of goods and it's always far less than standard delivery is when shopping IKEA online. Check Craigslist or newspaper ads near you for those doing the same thing! Here in Kansas City, Blue Box is an option, make sure to leave a name or website in the comments below for similar companies near you.
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Re-edited from a post originally published 6.2.11 - JL