It is by no means the cheapest place to shop in Beijing and the quality is not always what one might hope for, but Ikea has contributed to the home décor of many an expat and native Beijinger alike. Let’s face it, the place is a convenient one-stop shopping destination for all manner of household needs – and they have a great return policy on top of their selection.
Still, I’m not here to sing the praises of Ikea; the last thing I need to hear is another Abba song while shopping (cue the hate mail) and I don’t really like the maze-like interior. But I just can’t help feeling like the after-purchase service is hard to beat.
Specifically, I am impressed with the delivery and assembly services provided within such a big box store. Keep in mind that I live in Wangjing, within that sweet spot where they only charge RMB 50 for delivery. For most locations inside the Fifth Ring Road, that service will run you RMB 70 – a decent rate if you don’t own a car and your purchase won’t fit inside a taxi no matter how hard you try and stuff it in (my goodness, some cab drivers are sensitive).
However, it’s the assembly service that boggles my mind. For an additional RMB 100, Ikea will send a pair of guys to build out your purchase for you.
Why is that significant? On two occasions, I’ve watched two guys assemble furniture swiftly, calmly, and without swearing – and it still took them an hour to get the job done (and they had power tools). I’m certain if I had tackled these projects, I’d still be working on at least one, my fingers would be blistered from using that tiny Allen wrench they so “graciously” provide, and I would no doubt be curled up in a fetal position while pulling my hair out.
So yeah, I figure the serenity is worth an extra RMB 100.
You can shop online at Ikea at www.ikea.com/cn/en.