Today I would like to share our experience shopping with IKEA. We have just bought a new flat in Singapore, since our baby is almost due. The next logical thing was to buy some furniture. Our choice of vendor came down to IKEA, since they offer reasonable prices. After going back and fro several times to their website and store. Here are a few tips which we consider will be useful.
1. Make a floor diagram of the flat
You will find this useful along with step number two. It will help you visualise the flat you are trying to furnish. We used OmniGraffle for this purpose. Because it has a feature whereby you can create the diagram, objects with specific measurements and put it in the diagram to see roughly how it will fit. The diagram is displayed as 2D. We considered using CAD, but it would be an overkill. You can get the measurements of the items from their website.
2. Make a list and checking it twice
IKEA has this custom of naming an item by series and numerical code. Go to the online site, do a search of all the items you are interested in. Note the item’s series and code. To make things simpler IKEA has provided this as a nice feature at their website. We didn’t know about this until later.You will need to:
- Create a profile and login to the online website. This profile is different from the IKEA family option. Though I am not sure why. Remember, while creating your profile you will need to create your password as an alphanumeric, IKEA will not mention this or show it in their error message. I realised this by intuition.
- After creating your profile and you login, click on the link My Shopping list. Then create your shopping list
- Remember the item’s code and add it to the list.
- After finishing your list, remember to select the shop you are going to check the items availability, we didn’t do this the first time, and we missed several items. Yes it seems a bit strange, we are able to create a shopping list but we can’t shop online, but it will make sense in the next step. Click the print button, it will create a comprehensive shopping list for you.
3. Go to the store and see the items
Once you have made your list, remember to check the store at least once. We changed several items in our list once we say that the items were not to our expectations, such as being too small.
4. Buy containers to put small items together
Since carrying bags of small items using the public transport is not a convenience (The taxi queue at IKEA stores in Singapore is notoriously long). It is better if you buy some containers in the store, put the small items in there, and ask for IKEA to deliver the items along with the bulky furnitures you have bought. It will cause you extra 10 SGD per box. But we found this worthy.
5. Be an IKEA family
It is totally worthy, I got a 30 dollars voucher, and they treat us nicely when we want to exchange a bag which was broken only a week after purchase.
Being an advance stage of pregnancy it would be nice if only IKEA would provide an online shopping option in Singapore. It is available to their US store. They only provided the means to create a shopping list online, but there is no check out button there. Plan as much as you can before going there, because the store is really big, and it can take hours to finish if you don’t make a shopping list.