It’s no secret around here that we love discovering new IKEA hacks but for the real insider secrets, there’s no better source to turn to than IKEA employees. And now, thanks to the perennial fountain of wisdom that is Reddit, we have the inside scoop on how to get the most out of your shopping experience.
Reddit user algren123 (and longtime IKEA customer relations employee) hosted an AMA for people to ask their biggest questions on all things IKEA. Full disclosure: This employee works in a U.K. branch of the Swedish furniture company and has never been to an IKEA U.S. store, but these tips seem to ring true regardless of which IKEA store you visit. Here’s what we learned from the discussion.
There actually is a best time to shop in order to avoid lines.
It seems like common sense, but the earlier the better. According to algren123, people come in even before the store is open and create a rush —to avoid the massive lines at the checkout, your best bet is to arrive 30 minutes to an hour after opening. Oh, and avoid the weekends at all costs. It’s when the stores are the most crowded.
Use social media to voice a complaint.
The power of Instagram transcends pretty pictures of your finished IKEA furniture: the IKEA employee suggests contacting your respective IKEA branch via the social networking app (@ikeausa, for example) for help solving a problem or submitting a concern.
There is a place you can go to get those missing screws.
It’s called “Spare Parts” in the Returns/Exchanges section of the store, and apparently it’s a fairly common request. “In around 6 hours, we have 8-9 cases, which range from 1-3 screws to a whole bag,” writes algren123.
You need to try the meatballs.
When asked what to order at the restaurant, our source was a staunch advocate for the meatballs, stating that for £5 (around $6) you get 15 meatballs and fries. It’s worth noting that here in the U.S., the meatballs are even more of a bargain at just under $5. Plus, the restaurant has a ton of great deals on food throughout the day —such as kids eating free on Tuesdays or gratis coffee for all IKEA FAMILY members— that make dining-in affordable and delicious.
Yes, the employees really do recommend IKEA products.
Specifically, the Hemnes line. According to algren123, the price/quality ratio is second to none. We’ll take their word for it.