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5 Secrets IKEA Doesn't Want You to Know

These may just prevent you from having a meltdown next time you go to the furniture giant.

Known for its assemble-it-yourself furniture and tasty Swedish meatballs, there's no better place to find an affordable new couch, upgraded desk, or home decor than IKEA. As a household name, IKEA prides itself on offering accessible items and a unique shopping experience. But unique to some means super stressful to others. Who hasn't been overwhelmed by IKEA's endless options and maze-like layout when decorating after a recent move? Luckily, there are ways to face the furnishing giant with confidence and get what you need quickly. We've rounded up a few IKEA secrets to make your next trip as stress-free as possible.

READ THIS NEXT: 6 Secrets Home Depot Doesn't Want You to Know.

You don't need an IKEA credit card to get amazing discounts.

IKEA Family Card
NB Photo/Shutterstock

Many stores offer discounts when you sign up for their credit card and use it to make purchases. At IKEA, all you have to do is become a family loyalty card member and you'll get a bunch of deals without ever having to wrack up any credit card debt. It doesn't cost a thing and the perks are impressive.

Ryan Turner, founder of, explains that IKEA has one of the best policies for getting discounts and refunds due to price adjustments. Not only is the refund period three times longer than most other stores, you can also get money back if the item's price has gone down from the time you bought it.

"You can claim a refund up to 90 days after you've bought something if the product goes on sale during that time period," Turner explains.

If that is not enough, the in-store discounts that appear at checkout once you've input your member info might sway you. And if you can't make it to the store and want your items shipped, card carriers also save on the delivery fee.

You can skip the showroom all together.

IKEA Showroom Interior

IKEA is known for their unique layout and self-service model of shopping which can be intimidating and overwhelming if you're not prepared. While it does allow for a more hands-on experience, it can be easy to lose track of time.

"To navigate the store efficiently, it is helpful to have a plan and know what items you are specifically looking for," Muhammad Waqar, founder & CEO of says. The chain offers a floor map as well as tons of signs that can point you in the right direction. If you know what you need or want, you can skip the showroom all together and head right to the self-serve shopping area.

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Use the IKEA Place app before you make a purchase.

IKEA Place App on Phone
Tada Images/Shutterstock

Not all of us have the eye of an interior designer, but you can use the IKEA Place app (which is different than the IKEA app) to help you see what a room may look like with a new piece of furniture. You can upload a photo of your space and move an item you're thinking about buying around to see where it fits best based on its dimensions.

"Since you have to assemble all the furniture yourself, it's difficult to imagine how it will fit into your space," Raquel Kehler interior designer at tells Best Life. "Instead, use the IKEA app to create a virtual recreation of your home and your desired IKEA furniture pieces. This will save you both time and money if you ultimately decide that the piece of furniture isn't right for you."

Find the "as is" section of the store for great deals.

IKEA Sale Sign
Daria Nipot/Shutterstock

Shoppers should take note that IKEA's clearance section follows a "while supplies last" mentality. Waqar says that if you see a great deal on something, you should act fast before it sells out. However, the "as-is" section—which offers returned, gently used, and discontinued items, in addition to pieces that are discounted—gets restocked.

If you're at an IKEA store, this area is typically found all the way down in the warehouse. Since it is out of the showroom and gets missed more often than not, you may have a better chance of finding a hidden gem.

Kehler mentions that the "as-is" section is also known as the Circular Hub and has an online marketplace where you can filter by store to see what's available. "Be aware that many of these items come pre-assembled, so you'll need to arrange for a vehicle that can carry them away for you," she advises.

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Big Lots Employees.

Deals may vary from store to store.

Woman Looking at IKEA Price Tag
l i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock

Most IKEA stores are franchises, so they'll likely be running different sales and promotions. If you're in an area where there is more than one IKEA location, Kehler recommends subscribing to each store's email list or following them on social media so you're always in-the-know on when to buy something. If you don't want to deal with the subscriptions though, you can also call the store or visit their website to see what's available.

Though most people have had a trip to IKEA that ended close to tears, the chain is always trying to make the experience better for customers. "IKEA is constantly testing and implementing new technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, to enhance the customer experience in store and online," Waqar says.

Courtney Shapiro
Courtney Shapiro is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Before joining the Best Life team, she had editorial internships with BizBash and Anton Media Group. Read more
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