You've been doing your Ikea shop all wrong – four tricks to help you bag a bargain

SHOPPING at Ikea can easily turn into a whole day affair when you're on the hunt for a bargain.

But if you're not taking advantage of some of the "hidden" discounts at the store, you could be forking more than you need to for your flat-packed goods.

There are a few tricks you need to keep in mind next time you visit.

We're not talking about how to score extra meatballs in the restaurant, or navigate your way out of the labyrinth that is the display rooms – but there is a knack to getting your furniture at a fraction of the cost.

And as a cost of living crisis means the price of everything is going up, it's worth cashing-in on bargains where you can.

The budget home furnishings store is known for its already low prices but you can save even more through sales, the store's very own loyalty scheme, and more.

We reveal how you can bag all the best bargains at Ikea:

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Get your money back

Before you splash out at the store, there is a way to equip yourself with some spends.

Ikea lets you trade back your unwanted furniture in exchange for gift cards and vouchers to use in-store.

The scheme launched in May last year and could help you get as much as £250 for your old stuff – perfect to put towards the new flat packs you've been eyeing up.

It's got to be Ikea furniture you return, and how much you get back depends on what condition it's in.

Products described “as new” and without scratches can be traded for a voucher worth 50% of the original price.

That goes down to 40% for items that are “very good” with minor scratches, and 30% for “well-used” goods with several scratches. 

The good news is that the vouchers have no expiry date either, so there's no rush to cash-in and end up buying furniture you don't really need.

In January one shopper shared their experience with the service.

On Facebook page Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK one user revealed they had: "Sold back a shelf, a table top, four table legs and a child’s chair, and came away with a £30 Ikea voucher."

Save the sale date

Ikea doesn't often host sales – but when it does, it goes big.

Most Ikea items are already listed at low prices so unlike other retailers, the store only runs a couple of sale events each year.

There's usually one in the summer and another in the winter.

Last year, the summer sale started in the second week of June, and the year before that on July 13.

Typically the sales last for around a month – and you should get advance notice if you're signed up to Ikea Family (more on which below)

The sales used to only really appear in-store, with just a few items would maybe be discounted online too – but in 2020, the store started launched a massive online sale too.

In many cases you can get as much as 50% off, so it's worth adding a note to your diary on when the sale launches so you can cash in.

In with the old

Ikea runs an scheme both in-store and online called the Circular Hub, which aims to fight waste while also offering you products cheaper than usual.

It's the rebranded "bargains corner" of the store, where old and returned stock is resold at a fraction of the price.

So if you don't mind furniture that's been in another home or out on the shop floor, you can save up to half on the price.

On Facebook page Money saving hints, tips and ideas, users raved about the set up in-store.

One user said: "Next time you need to make a purchase, check out their Circular Hub.

"It's the ex-demo items from the room sets and returned items sold at cheaper prices. My local store does it and you can reserve the item."

You can check online for your nearest participating store.

Part of the same scheme is the "As is" section, which hosts ex-display items, which might already be constructed too – great if you're not confident with DIY.

Some of the furniture might have a few cosmetic imperfections, but all items should be functional and safe to use. 

Family Matters

It pays to join Ikea Family too – this is the store's version of a reward scheme and it's free to join.

You just have to sign up online and fill in a few details including your address, and preferred store.

You can get a FREE hot drink during the week as part of the scheme, as well as exclusive discounts that are tagged up with a blue label – a bit like how Tesco operates its Clubcard scheme.

"Family members" can also get a free tea or coffee from Monday to Friday at any Ikea store in the country, apart from the Hammersmith location.

What else should I know?

It would be hard NOT to find a bargain at Ikea, but it's not the only budget retailer out there.

That's why it's always worth having a shop around before you commit to a purchase.

You might find an even better deal at a rival like B&M or Aldi.

If you're buying online, check cashback websites such as Topcashback or Quidco to see if you can get any money back on your purchases. And it's always worth looking for voucher codes too.

And if your favourite part about visiting the store is the restaurant – you can get the Swedish retailer's famous meatballs for a fraction of the price elsewhere.

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