This Hidden Section of IKEA Is a Hacker’s Paradise
It’s no secret: We love IKEA in all of its attainable, design-forward glory. But that’s not to say it’s the easiest store to shop in. In fact, we generally recommend you head in-store only if you already know what you want. Otherwise, prepare to be overwhelmed. That said, there is a somewhat secret section of IKEA that will change the way you approach the IKEA experience: the As-Is section.
We chatted with IKEA’s product placement specialist Christine Soner to get the inside As-Is scoop.
(Oh, yeah, did we mention you might need to take Monday and Tuesday afternoons off from now on? Trust us.)
Everything You Need to Know About the Ikea As-Is Section
Apartment Therapy: So, what is it?
Soner: The As-Is section is where you can view the selection of floor samples, discontinued pieces, and customer returns at a reduced price. IKEA has a certain amount of merchandise throughout the year that we retire, which ensures that we keep our selection of products up-to-date. That merchandise can end up in As-Is, along with seasonal products that are left over after summer or after the winter holidays.
Floor samples or merchandise that people have returned also end up here, like beds, desks, office chairs, sofas, and even kitchen cabinets. Each store’s As-Is selection varies, depending on what they have available at their location. Savings can be from 30 to 60 percent off, so a DIYer could get lucky if they happen to be there and find something they like.
AT: How do we score the best deals?
Soner: The As-Is department in any IKEA location is constantly being replenished because products are always flowing in for one reason or another. Monday or Tuesday afternoons are probably best to visit because of any returns that might end up there after the weekend.
Our new catalog drops in August, so you will see price reductions on merchandise we are discontinuing in June and July. Those items are often stocked within the As-Is area. This is your final chance to purchase these products before they’re gone forever.
AT: How good are the deals?
Soner: I can only speak for myself, having been with the company for almost 26 years. I’ve definitely found some bargains while I’ve been at IKEA, like an $800 sofa that I ended up getting for $130 when all was said and done.
I’ve even seen some of our top-of-the-line, over-dyed rugs from Turkey—which can run an upwards of $1,000—in As-Is. Maybe there was slight damage, so it couldn’t be sold at full price, or it was a floor sample that just needs a cleaning.
AT: Is it actually hidden?
Soner: I’m not sure why people refer to As-Is as hidden. Although depending on where it is located in the self-serve area of the warehouse at your local IKEA, it may seem hidden to some people.
I’m sure that all of our frequent shoppers are very aware that we have an As-Is department. It’s definitely not under the radar, as announcements are made periodically throughout the day, alerting people to stop by and check out the bargains.
AT: Wait, are there any other secret sections?!
Soner: We also have a spare parts area, but there’s no merchandise available to purchase. Spare parts is located in customer service, near the exit. If you are building and, in the process, find that you’re short on screws, washers, wooden dowels—whatever—or if you accidentally threw the hardware package out, you can come to the returns department and tell them what you need, and they can pull it for you. There is a wall of containers, which are filled with hardware, and it’s free of charge. But you can’t come to the store and get any hardware for non-IKEA merchandise, of course.