Thrifty IKEA shoppers know the key to a good deal is to always check the As-Is section, where you can find items that have been returned or assembled and used for display for a discounted price. Even savvier shoppers know that you can negotiate prices for As-Is items, and that you can score better deals there at certain times of the year.
But, the As-Is section, as glorious as it can be, isn't the only way to save money at IKEA. If you're looking to save even more money on everything from meatballs to mattresses, here's how to take advantage of everything IKEA has to offer.
Sign Up for an IKEA Family Membership
Seriously, before you do anything else at IKEA, sign up for an IKEA Family membership. It's a loyalty program that anyone over the age of 18 can sign up for, it's free, and it can save you a lot in the long run, especially if you're a frequent IKEA shopper. You don't need to earn points or spend a certain amount to be eligible for the benefits, you just get them. Some of the amazing money-saving benefits the IKEA Family membership comes with include:
- Monthly Members-Only Discounts: IKEA puts a range of products on sale each month just for members,
- 90-Day Price Protection: If something you buy goes on sale within 90 days of your purchase, you can get a refund of the difference just by bringing in your receipt, as long as you're a member.
- Restaurant Deals: If you're a member, you get a free coffee or hot tea with your visit, and every month you get access to exclusive restaurant and food shop discounts.
- Monthly Gift Card Sweepstakes: Every month, if you make a purchase and swipe your Family member card, you get entered into a sweepstakes to win a $100 IKEA gift card.
Save Money When You Move
Before your next move, sign up with IKEA's moving program. They offer a helpful guide to get you through the challenge that is moving into a new home, but beyond that, you can get $25 off a $250 in-store purchase—and if you're moving (especially if you're searching for furniture for your new place) you're likely to hit that minimum easily.
Ask About Public Transit Delivery Discounts
IKEA encourages the use of public transportation, so in some cities—in Portland, for instance—you can get a discount on delivery if you take public transit to the store. You'll have to check with your local IKEA to see what their policy is—many simply stick with their regular flat fees that start at $59, but you might get lucky.
Call for Free Replacement Parts
Have a beloved piece of furniture with a now-broken or missing part? There's a chance you might actually be able to replace it for free. If you kept the assembly instructions, there's usually a helpline you can call—let them know the parts you're missing, and if they're still made, they'll likely send them to you for free. There might also be a spare parts section at your local IKEA, or a manager may be able to help you, so you can also try heading to the store nearest you to see if they can help.
Look for Weekly Specials at Your Local Store
Just because IKEA is a huge worldwide franchise, doesn't mean that all stores are alike. Your local IKEA store most likely has weekly specials that you could be taking advantage of, so be sure you're heading to the website to check your IKEA location's page for special offers regularly. Here's a link to the Brooklyn page, for example—just change the location in the dropdown menu to see specials at your local store. Also, many IKEA stores have twitter accounts (here's the Brooklyn one) so if you're a Twitter user, give yours a follow.
Try Buying Items on Amazon
IKEA may begin selling directly on Amazon as soon as next year, but for now the IKEA items you see there are marked up by third party sellers. But, if you don't live near an IKEA and are going to order an item online from IKEA.com (which can have high-ish shipping fees) — check to see if the same item is available on Amazon Prime (free shipping if you're a Prime member) and if the amount you'd save on shipping is more than the mark-up.
Shop with Kids on Tuesdays for Free Food
Truthfully, IKEA food is already incredibly inexpensive (employees have even posted on Reddit that the company doesn't actually make any money off restaurant items). Kids meals are already just $2.49, but if you go on Tuesdays, kids 12 and under eat free—and if you're a parent and a frequent IKEA goer, it does add up.
Work There (or Make Friends With an Employee)
IKEA employees get a 15 percent discount at the store (they also get amazing discounts on the food, but that's another story)—if you work there, you're definitely already taking advantage of it, but if you have friends or family members who work there, you can always see if they can use their employee discount for you to help you save.