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IKEA: Online Store vs Personal Shoppers. Who Wins?

BY Helena Varkkey

Updated 03 Dec 2019

Who doesn’t love IKEA, kan? This Swedish furniture phenomenon is doing really really really well over here. It's usually the go-to furniture store for many Malaysians, especially so for the first-time homeowners. After dropping a good amount of cash for your home loan, you’re probably not in the market for gila mahal solid wood antique furniture, amirite?

But being so popular does have its downsides. Shopping at IKEA can be quite annoying, due to the sheer number of hoomans there ALL.THE.TIME. Parking pun susah, tolak trolley pun susah, bayar pun susah. And don’t get us started about how we need to walk through the whole entire store even if we just want to get one darn thing! (Yes, yes, it’s IKEA's marketing tactic, we know!)

Because of these, a lot of people end up malas want to go IKEA. But still termimpi-mimpi about that POÄNG chair...


What's covered in this article?

But, should I let all my IKEA dreams die? Of course NOT!

When there’s a problem, someone will almost certainly figure out a way to make money solving it. In this case, a good number of enterprising Malaysians (who are much more sabar than you and me) have started their small businesses as IKEA Personal Shoppers.  

These personal shoppers are a godsend for us yang malas to battle the crowds, live too far away from an outlet (especially those in states without IKEA stores – we feel you, orang Sabah and Sarawak!), or just don’t have the time to go to the store themselves. 

There are two types of IKEA Personal Shoppers out there. The first are those who take orders on an ad-hoc basis, usually through unofficial platforms like Facebook or Instagram. The second are those who resell IKEA items on online shopping platforms like Lazada or Shopee.

Both charge a bit more than what you would pay at the physical IKEA store - durrrh. As for delivery, they will either deliver personally to your doorstep, arrange for COD pickup, or courier the item to you.

"But I heard that now we can order directly from IKEA online!"

You heard right! At lonooong last, IKEA finally caught on that so many people would just prefer to buy IKEA stuff online! Ikea launched its online store late 2018, and you could almost hear the collective cheer all around Malaysia. 

The prices on the IKEA online store are the same as the physical stores, but there are a few delivery options to choose from that will affect the end price. However, these delivery prices are the same as if you went to the store, paid for your items there, and then arranged for delivery through IKEA. 


Aaaargh!!! So which is BETTER?

The proper IKEA online store sounds *official* and safe, but are the unofficial personal shoppers better value for money, all things considered? Chill, geng! Don’t get overwhelmed. We at Loanstreet dah buat recce, and we’ve figured out which option yang paling value for your money.
Ad-Hoc Personal Shoppers Online Shopping Platforms Official IKEA Online Store
Small Items These shoppers usually apply a service charge on per item basis, and this can add up.

For example, one shopper charges RM3 for anything below RM5, and this goes up to RM10 each for larger items. This does not include regular courier rates.
The difference between the price in the store and on these platforms can vary.

For example, one seller charges RM79.90 for a LERBERG shelf, which sells in IKEA for RM69. Elsewhere, an ISTAD freezer bag goes for RM11.90, RM2 more than in the store. This doesn't include regular courier rates.
For smaller items totalling less than 24kg which can fit into a parcel, IKEA charges a flat rate of RM25 per parcel for West Malaysia and RM100 per parcel for East Malaysia.
Large Items For bigger items, some personal shoppers provide their delivery service right to your doorstep. One seller charges RM30 for delivery within the KL area.  Online shopping platforms don’t generally sell larger items.  Large items are delivered using IKEA trucks, and the charge is dependent on the zone in which you are located. This can vary from RM98 to RM258.

Delivery is available to the whole of West Malaysia and Kuching, Miri and Kota Kinabalu for East Malaysia.

And the winner goes to…

In conclusion, if you want to buy small small items je, IKEA’s parcel service is the most value for money, especially if you’re in West Malaysia. There’s no service charge, and the delivery is just RM25 , just as long as everything can fit into an 0.084 cubic meter box (that’s 84 litres of space)! 

For larger items, you’re better off going with the ad-hoc personal shoppers who can personally deliver the items to you. Depending on the size of the item and your location, this can be as low as only RM30. It’s quite a difference from IKEA’s minimum truck delivery charge of RM98!

But wait! Question time: are you Team DIY or Team Upah Orang Buat? 

If you looove putting things together, then sap sap sui la. Personal shoppers generally don’t provide assembly service. 

However, if you’re anti-DIY, just close one eye and cough up that truck delivery charge la (plus 10% of the price of the item). An expert IKEA personnel will do all the hard work for you. 

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About the Author

Helena Varkkey


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