Lightbulb Moment: How To Save Yourself a Trip to IKEA

If this looks like a great time to you, feel free to skip this post.

IKEA stuff is great. But sometimes a trip to IKEA is something less than great. This is especially true in New York, where going to IKEA means taking a subway, then a ferry, crossing a massive parking lot, navigating the labyrinthine pathways of the store itself, and then waiting in a freakishly long line, trying to resist the urge to cut someone while hoping and praying that you'll get through the line fast enough to catch the ferry before it leaves so that you don't wind up waiting 45 minutes, in the cold, for the next one to arrive.

Faced with the daunting prospect of doing all this just to acquire two wall hooks that inexplicably weren't available online, I considered just giving up and shopping somewhere else. But then I realized there was another way.

I will share my strategy with you so that you, too, can avoid braving the madness that is IKEA just for a lamp or a clock that isn't for sale on the website. Here's what you do: copy the name of the product (for example, IKEA BJÄRNUM) and then search for it on Amazon or eBay. Chances are good you'll find someone reselling just the thing you're looking for (this worked with several products I tried). The Amazon/eBay prices tend to be a bit higher than the ones at IKEA itself — but hey, maybe your sanity is worth ten dollars.

(Image credits: Alexander Leonov/Shutterstock)