Sunday, March 29, 2009

IKEA Sunday Morning Shopping – Pain By Choice

A week ago I made it to the College Park IKEA 15 minutes before opening only to see two lines of about 1,000 people at the front door. Uh oh. It looked like we weren’t the only ones thinking of getting first dibs on floor-level pallets. Figuring we were ahead of the game, we parked in the garage where no line existed at the entrance. We were the smartest folks in town.

That is, until an employee told us the long lines were for a free breakfast and a $35 pot on sale for $10. It’s ridiculous to stand in line for a good hour for a free breakfast that normally runs you all of one—freakin-dollar! I wouldn’t wait in line for a free IKEA lunch of 2 hot dogs and drink that costs $2.50, so to save a dollar on breakfast is hardly worth the Sunday morning hassle.

Now about this pot. I was expecting it to be some copper-plated large soup pot, figuring that’s the only thing worth waiting in line for to save $25. Being that its original cost was $35 at IKEA, I should have known better.
Don't get in the way of IKEA shoppers and this pot on a Sunday Morning

Turns out the pot was only 11 quarts and stainless steel, and definitely not non-stick (yeah double-negatives!). Proof positive that when you make something appear to be a great sale that the lemmings will surely follow.

The employee who told us what the lines were for also suggested we lineup at the return door. We were third in line there, but it didn’t really matter because most people were, in fact, returning things. At 10 AM the doors busted open and we sprinted to Aisle 3, Bin 7 for our MALM dressers and plunked two boxes on our cart.

The cordoned line that snaked through the entire store for the pot ended at the warehouse aisle we were running to so many folks yelled at us not to cut the line. Of course we didn’t, but we saw plenty of people who tried to circumvent the one-hour (!) wait for the pots by cutting in line.

They were promptly yelled at and marked as line cutters (sounds like an elementary school class), and denied pots when they got to the end. Finally an IKEA employee made it to the area and helped ward off other ill-gotten folks.

Checkout this IKEA in Shanghai...20 person lines at 20 registers.

After grabbing our dressers, we managed to get everything, but the 6-drawer dresser that was out of stock. We pulled up to the register and rang ourselves a nice total of $1,992. That’s impressive for IKEA furniture. Instead of hauling things in our big’ol moving truck, we paid $79 for them to be delivered later that day.

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