I think there are four categories of people: folks who love IKEA, folks who hate IKEA, folks who like IKEA products, but not the experience and folks who have never been to IKEA and have yet to be sorted into one of the first three categories!
Both Chuck & I are in the “love IKEA” category. Yesterday we made the long trip to Stoughton, Massachusetts to happily experience all that is IKEA: the showroom floor, the Marketplace and the Cafe. We even hit pay dirt, for the very first time, in the “As Is” section near the checkout area. We only discovered “As Is” in the last year after I kept reading about folks who found great deals there and hacked various creative projects using stuff they had bought for amazing prices. “As Is” is really a crap shoot. I’m choosing my words accurately. Sometimes the merchandise dollied off to a corner of the warehouse is really crap. But yesterday I happened in there while Chuck was off at the men’s room. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There, in the back, was the very Karsten desk chair that we had been looking at upstairs in the showroom. Only instead of $79.99 it was $47.00. I promptly sat down on it and pulled out my cell phone to call Chuck. Luckily I had signal and I wasn’t catching him at an inopportune moment. He hurried over and we inspected the daylights out of the chair. Other than a bright yellow seat cushion, instead of the blue one we had been admiring upstairs, it was in fine condition.
We were just about to leave “As Is” when I spotted a lampshade I had been hemming and hawing about earlier in the lighting department. It was half price. Unfortunately it was presently in the hands of a gentleman who was examining it closely. Chuck sat in “our new chair” while I hovered near the lampshade. Lord love a duck! That man was thorough and he eventually dropped the lampshade into his big yellow shopping bag. Rats! Oh well. We rolled on over and checked out. That was actually our second trip through checkout. We had stopped in mid-shop to recharge our batteries and get a bite to eat. Our trips to IKEA are events because we live so far away. Pacing ourselves is the key to our success! So we were headed back in to finish shopping for what we had originally come for: a couple of replacement lamps and more compact fluorescent bulbs, when “As Is” had beckoned.
After our second trip to the car and stowing the chair, we headed back in for excursion number three. (I apologize to those of you reading along who hate IKEA and are probably feeling a little queasy at the thought of braving the big blue and yellow box again and again!) This time we found everything we needed to improve our home lighting and headed for the exit for the last time. Well, the last time that day! The new chair is comfy. Our home is now cheerfully lit. And hopefully our electric meter is spinning a bit more slowly. I’d expect nothing less from a trip to IKEA!