Then, we go and let our guard down when dealing with organizations that offer great value and awesome customer service.
Well, we shouldn’t.
It’s fun picking on those who engage in shady business practices. However, we have to be just as skeptical of the good guys.
Today, I’m giving the Bank of Americas and Comcasts of the world a break and turning my loving frustration on a store I adore.
My apologies if I offend thee, dear, sweet, Ikea.
If you’ve never heard of them, Ikea provides a low hassle shopping experience and decent quality home furnishings at an affordable price.
There are many ways Ikea keeps prices low, but one of the biggies is by selling furniture unassembled.
Within the first 30 minutes of entering an Ikea store, customers have been known to suffer feelings of delirium or euphoria.
These are natural reactions when you realize you can create a beautifully mature living space for half of what you’d spend at a traditional home store.
Unfortunately, such maniacal excitement makes you vulnerable to foolish spending.
Before subjecting yourself to the seductive marketing tactics of Ikea, a little self evaluation is in order.
Shopper, know thyself.
There are three standard varieties of Ikea customers.
Which one are you?
You buy only what you can install or assemble.
Ikea doesn’t showcase disassembled furniture – only fabulous, completed products which are often displayed in a professionally decorated room.
A naive buyer doesn’t understand what it takes to get from a fragile mess of wood and metal to a finished masterpiece.
The Genius, on the other hand, knows she’ll need basic tools such as a stud finder, leveler, screwdriver, drill, tape measure, motor skills, dexterity, flexibility, agility, and cat-like reflexes.
For people who don’t enjoy or who’re mentally incapable of putting things together, pass on buying furniture from Ikea.
You never get around to installing or assembling your purchase.
Now, I don’t have access to the raw numbers, but I suspect this is the largest group of Ikea shoppers.
With Ikea stores being located miles from civilization, the high of a purchase generally wheres off during the 45 minute drive home.
As a result, you’ll likely toss aside your treasures and promise yourself you’ll get to them tomorrow.
But you won’t.
Three years later, you’ll stumble across a dusty bag of Ikea goodies you vaguely remember buying.
You’ll break your new Ikea purchase during assembly.
A well-read, Celtic Sea Salt eating scholar like yourself should be able to follow simple pictorial instructions. Yet, you get your ass handed it to you by an end table and an L-wrench.
You’re either too lazy, too busy, but, mostly, too embarrassed to return it.
Whenever I go to Ikea, I’m surprised at the number of people who’re returning items they’ve destroyed.
For every person who returns a broken product, there are probably ten with a pile of sad, mangled furniture pieces sitting in a dark corner of their garage.
Still, I’d hate for you to miss out on the Ikea experience.
Here are some helpful tips.
a) Clean your house and rid your place of crap you’re not using before a field trip to Ikea. During the process, you might find that bag of mysterious Ikea goodies mentioned previously.
b) Measure the areas you’re going to organize, furnish or decorate. With prices so cheap, you’ll be tempted to take a chance on an item that might fit.
c) Pick a color scheme. Don’t throw a bunch of random articles in your cart. When you get that hideous yellow lamp home you’ll wonder what you were thinking.
d) Take pictures. While under the hypnosis of Ikea, your memory is unreliable. In order to know whether a particular item will work with your existing decor, you need photographic evidence.
Have you purchased anything from Ikea or a similar store that required assembly that you didn’t use?