IKEA Online Ordering Fails

February 18, 2008

Last week, on Thursday, Sibylle and I pulled the trigger on a bookcase purchase from IKEA. As a full-time music teacher, Sibylle has a lot of music, and a lot of reference books that she’d like quick and easy access to. We also have lots and lots of books that we’d like to display.

Sibylle had researched many options and found one at IKEA that we both liked.  The size, the color options, even optional glass doors, which we though we might add later. I filled out the online order forms and was informed that we’d get an email within 24-hours with the shipping information and a phone number to call to provide the billing information.

24 hours have become nearly 96 hours, as I only just got the promised email this afternoon - Monday. In that email we are informed that our order will be held for 48-hours and then canceled unless we call to confirm and provide a credit card for the purchase. (I wonder if that is truly 48-hours, or 192-hours, to use IKEA’s interpretation of the length of an hour.)

The email also includes the shipping cost. The bookcase itself is $79.99. The shipping cost is a whopping $265.00.

Two-hundred-and-sixty-five dollars to ship an eighty dollar bookcase?!

I’ve been buying things, large and small, online since the mid-1990s, and I have never had an experience like this.  A part of me is tempted to call just to find out how they justify a shipping cost more than three times the original purchase price.  I understand that the book case has some weight, and that this weight, and or large size will impact the shipping costs.  Had IKEA posted even an estimated shipping cost with the order last week, I think we would have gone shopping locally this past weekend.  I strongly  suspect that we can get a very nice book case for less than the $345 combined price at IKEA, and probably avoid the 2-3 week wait for delivery.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.