ORLANDO — Ikea’s many options and low prices have made it a household name within the last decade. However, we think IKEA’s return policy is what makes it stand out most.
Since Ikea introduced their simple “One Year!” full refund policy, other home furnishing stores have taken notice. Still, it’s important to read the fine print to ensure you take advantage of everything the policy has to offer. In this article, we’ll explain the Ikea return policy, decode the fine print, and give you tips for maximizing the benefits. Read on for more info!
What is Ikea’s Unique Return Policy?
Anybody who’s spent hours creating the perfect look for their home knows what it feels like selecting furnishings only to discover it’s not quite the same outside the store.
Maybe the bedroom accessories don’t match the paint as you expected. Maybe the entertainment center is too big. The sense of letdown is huge because you were excited about your new home furnishings.
Ikea has maintained its popularity with shoppers because those with second thoughts know they can head back to the store and make a return; this includes furniture, housewares, and anything that isn’t custom. Even mattresses can be returned within 90 days in exchange for store credit! Similar to Costco, Ikea has a “no questions asked” policy.
What Is Ikea’s No-Nonsense Policy?
What’s not to like? For so many of us, our taste in home furnishing can switch with the blink of an eye, so that IKEA return policy is hugely appreciated. It’s called a “No Nonsense” policy. As IKEA notes, “It’s important to us that you’re happy with your IKEA purchase. If you’re not totally satisfied you can return it within 365 days.”
But all generous return policies have something in common: rules. Not knowing or following them means you could end up stuck with what you’ve got. And knowing the rules is the best way to avoid the nuisance of being told you failed to meet the criteria for returns.
Return Policy Changes
And keep in mind that in some countries, those rules are getting tighter. Last fall, Ikea modified its return policy in Germany, allowing customers to only return the unused item in exchange for store credit. Prior to that, customers in Germany were able to return IKEA products regardless of the condition and without a reason.
Ikea’s Germany supervisor, Dennis Balslev, noted that “By restricting the right of return to only unused products, we also want to ensure that customers do not dispose of furniture and other home accessories, but rather appreciate the value of a product in terms of the resources that were necessary to produce it.”
So what’s important to know about the Ikea return policy today?
Ikea Return Policy Exceptions
In the United States, the policy allows shoppers to return an item up to 365 days from the purchase date. However, there are two notable exceptions:
1. Mattresses: If you had purchased a mattress from IKEA and no longer want it, you won’t be able to return it for a full refund, but instead exchange it for another mattress. Shoppers can only do this once within a 365-day window.
2. Gift Cards: You also can’t return gift cards to IKEA.
Make The Most Of The Ikea Return Policy
Present the IKEA customer service representative with your receipt (or proof of purchase) along with your ID. If lost, IKEA can find it using your debit card, credit card, or gift card number
Refunds are given in the amount of the lowest selling price over the past calendar year
The original packaging is not necessary, but it’s a good idea to keep it for your own sake. You may return items marked clearance, bargain corner, or those sold “As-Is.” Unlike other home furnishing companies, Ikea will accept almost anything!
Tip: If something has been assembled or marked down, you’re not taking much of a risk by purchasing it.
The Fine Print of IKEA Return Policy
You can’t cover a return policy without diving into the fine print. While we’ve covered some of it above, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, items must be unused, which means it must in a condition to be sold.
1. Used vs new
If you assemble a bookcase, home entertainment center, or shelf and put items on it, it’s technically used. However, IKEA is very liberal in its interpretation of the term. Make sure it doesn’t show its wear but don’t hesitate to call the store to ask about specific items.
2. Returning items after a year
Unfortunately, you’re out of luck at this point and might want to consider another option, such as a yard sale or selling it on eBay. You can always try to return the item, and a friendly service agent may give you the pass. But we make no promises!
3. Returns by mail
If you’re returning something by mail, you’ve got 14 days after the online purchase for returns, otherwise, you need to return online purchases to the IKEA warehouse. This is a good example of why to keep the receipt or packing slip. And keep in mind that if you purchased something in the store, you can’t return it online or by mail. You need to take it back to your local IKEA store.
4. The return policy is subject to change
As we saw earlier, IKEA Germany changed their policy, so there’s no guarantee the policy will remain in place forever. However, it’s helped them gain a foothold in the US market and we believe it’s here to stay, at least for the near-term.
5. Payment Methods
The original payment method matters as you’ll be given store credit if you cannot produce documentation that you purchased the item. If you originally paid with a card, you’ll receive credit on your card. The same goes for gift cards, cash, etc.
Ikea Buying Guide
IKEA aims to assist customers in other ways, including through their Ikea Buying Guide, which offers a wealth of useful information on color options, exact size, hardware, and so on. More than a few shoppers have ended up changing their plans once they’ve read through it. The guide also allows you to find ways to customize the pieces and see exactly what’s available in terms of parts, sizes and colors for what you’re looking for. This helps ensure you have what you need so you won’t require a return down the road.
And you can also take advantage of the IKEA store map for The Showroom and The Marketplace, finding shortcuts to what you want and learning how best to navigate the store.
IKEA offers a lot of smart and creative ways to let you save a ton of money on home decor and furnishings, and it’s especially beneficial if you know how to make the most of it by having a plan in place for a successful IKEA visit.
Returning Ikea Items Today
It’s no surprise that IKEA has gained such a foothold in the home furnishing market in Europe, America, and Canada. With numerous designs, a large product family, and an industry-leading 365-day return policy, the company will continue to take market share from competitors globally.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the terrifying book “Bloody Rabbit”. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.