Take Full Advantage of IKEA’s Legendary Kitchen Sales with These Insider Tips

IKEA kitchen sales are legendary. 3-4 times a year, for about a month, the store has a department-wide sale for up to 20% off — a huge savings off big ticket purchases for a renovation. IKEA’s current sale goes until 11/19, so we hit them up for all their juiciest bits of insider intel, all to help you get the most out of the opportunity. Read on, then head to your local IKEA, or plan ahead and get all your ducks in a row for the next one.

For the current sale, you’ll get 15% off purchases of $1500 or more. This includes cabinets, appliances, and countertops —basically anything having to do with the construction of your kitchen.

Here’s what we’ve learned about shopping the sale:

Tip #1: Become An IKEA Family Member

Here’s something I didn’t know. IKEA Family Members get a 90 day price guarantee, which means that, as a member, you can purchase your kitchen parts three months ahead of the sale (and avoid the long lines and headaches). You’ll pay full price that day, but, if you keep your receipt and bring it back during the actual sale, you’ll be refunded the difference. IKEA tells us you’ll officially get notice about upcoming kitchen sales about a week in advance. But, since they happen about 3-4 times a year, you’re pretty safe to buy whenever you need to. To be certain, either pump the sales staff for clues about timing of the next sale (they might not know), or try to guess the best you can based on prior years. This is a great perk when your remodeling timeline doesn’t line up with IKEA’s calendar.

Tip #2: Go Prepared And Still Expect to Spend Time

Every IKEA kitchen sale story I’ve ever heard ends the same way: buyers were there longer than expected. This is what inevitably happens: either you spend time tweaking your design on their 3D planner, the kitchen department is busy (see next Tip #3), an inexperienced salesperson takes awhile to peruse and finalize your order, or —in the case of Chris Loves Julia —it takes two hours for IKEA to pull together all the items for you to pick up. So, even if you are the most organized person in the world, you can expect to eat at least one meal of Swedish meatballs before you leave —just go pay for your order first, so they can get started while you continue to shop and/or dine! To limit your time, go during a weekday morning if you can, and remember to put on your trusty hat of patience.

Tip #3: Don’t Wait Until The Last Day

Each time a sale gets announced, hopeful remodelers descend like locusts on their local blue box’s kitchen departments to build the kitchen of their frugal dreams. But some locusts are just a little slower then others, and don’t make it to the store until the final hour. Don’t be that locust. It’s going to take long enough (see previous Tip #2) without layering in all the extra people in between you and your new kitchen materials. Even though we’ve heard some stores put out cookies and coffee that final day, cheap treats just aren’t worth the extra large hassle and time.

Another reason to go early: as the sale winds down, there’s a greater chance that some items will be backordered. IKEA tells us that, if something is out of stock, they do try to accommodate latecomers, extending the sale price another week or so until the item comes in. But, since it’s up to the store to decide, once again, you’re better off going in early than risk paying full price.

Tip #4: Forget Something? Ask for The Discount Post-Sale

Even when you have the best intentions, things fall by the wayside and those toe kicks get left off your list. If you bought a full kitchen during the sale, but can’t get back to fill in your gaps until a bit later, we’ve heard from some people that IKEA will *sometimes* still give you the discount, even though the sale has ended. The Swedes are just nice that way, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Chris and Julia live about four hours away from an IKEA. When they bought a kitchen a couple of years ago, their load looked like this.

(Image credit: Chris Loves Juia)

Tip #5: Have Everything Shipped for Only $59

If you live in the area, IKEA will gather everything you need and deliver all those boxes to your door, all for under sixty bucks. They also deliver nationwide, with a max of $349 charged for shipping, even if you live ten hours away in the middle of nowhere. Which means you can save your sweat for all the unpacking and assembling you’ll do down the road. This also means no renting a huge truck, or cramming every last piece into the family station wagon.

Delivery does means a longer lead time: it might take an extra week or two for your boxes to arrive. But here’s the good news: the order will be inventoried piece by piece before it comes. If something is missing, IKEA will take care of you (versus you having to drive back to the store yourself). Best $59 ever spent.

Any special secrets you’ve discovered while shopping an IKEA kitchen sale? Let others know in the comments!

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