to ikea or not to ikea...

>> 7.10.2009

I'm not sure what to do. Right as I'm trying to save money, this comes in the mail:

It would be perfect timing if I already had something in mind, but the only $100+ purchase I want to make right now is on outdoor furniture. I really want to be a good "thrifty" shopper... do I take advantage of a great coupon or do I stick to my budget and only buy the patio furniture?

In the meantime, I think I'll check out ikeahacker for some good ideas that might make my decision easier.


Lisa's RetroStyle July 10, 2009 at 4:07 PM  

NPR just did a segment on consumer psychology, pricing, discount buying and quality. It was very interesting. They specifically discussed IKEA. Ikea came up when they talked about quality and value as related to price. The expert, whose name I can't recall at the moment, talked about IKEA'a business plan and compared it to a Swedish WalMart. Their goods are meant to be disposable as are much of what is found in todays discount retail. They can sell you a trendy $100 table this year and when it wears out they can sell you another one, again trendy and "new", in a couple of years. They even market with the message that "new" is always better. When in reality their items are made to be substandard not better(same as most discount retailers...even some more high end), there by perpetuating your buying cycle. Manufacturers today think that we are gullible, and guess and large they are right.

What is the lesson here. I suggest you look at a chair from IKEA. I mean really look at it. What is it made of, real wood or pressed. Does it have veneer or is it solid wood. How is it joined. Is it glued or nailed. Are the nails real nails or barbs from a nail gun. Now go look at a flea market, thrift store or antique shop. Find a similar chair say pre-1960's (planned obsolescence came came into its own in the 1970's) and look at how it is made. You'll easily see the difference. That old chair has stood the test of time. That IKEA chair will be in the dump in 5 years...if it lasts that long. I think it is a no brainer as to how your money would be better spent.

What's more if you look around a bit you will find an old chair of far superior quality for the same price or LESS. You should be able to find a similar style to what you like at IKEA since styles are constantly recycled (there really aren't many totally new looks).

Lastly, if and when you tire of the look of that old will most likely be able to sell it at the same price or more than you paid for it. The longer you kept it the more "antique" it has become an the more its value will have increased.

So, pass on the coupon (you're smarter than to be pulled off track by that old ploy). Stick with your budget and plan and go find some well made quality vintage or antique outdoor furniture! Put the coupon in the trash and your real savings in the bank.

Can you tell you hit a hot topic for me:D BTW...thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! Always a pleasure to hear from someone new:D

Kasey at thriftylittleblog July 10, 2009 at 4:17 PM  

I've also heard that IKEA pulls you in by making you feel like everything is so inexpensive that you just HAVE to fill up the cart with stuff. It's the same "I can get anything I want" feeling that people get as they walk through the Dollar Spot at Target.

You are so completely 100% right about the benefits of vintage/ antique! I was thinking about using the savings to go and buy some of the things I'll need, but can't get at resale (like lightbulbs). Hmm, I might just throw out (or recycle ;) ) that coupon afterall...

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