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Why Are IKEA Shipping Prices So High?

02/08/2012 08:50 am ET | Updated Oct 11, 2012

When we rounded up our favorite online IKEA products, several readers brought up a major concern: Additional shipping costs that are more expensive than the actual product.

For example, reader one fiona wrote, "No ikea near me so i wanted to order the expedit bookcase. $129 bookshelf plus $299 shipping. no thanks ikea!" Additionally, we found it costs an extra $129 to ship a $119 Vika Gruvan/Vika Lilleby desk to Jersey City, NJ, (where there are three IKEA locations within a 15-mile radius) and an extra $349 to ship the same desk to Wichita, KS.

Why the expensive shipping costs? It turns out that shipping prices are based on flat rates geared to be more cost effective for customers who purchase in bulk. "IKEA wants to offer the best delivery rates to all customers," said Michael Witthauer, marketing specialist for IKEA Direct, via email. "In markets further from our store locations, we offer flat delivery rates that are higher then those in store markets; this is due to the cost to make these delivers. These flat rates mean that [the] customer can order an entire bedroom or living room set for one low cost."

Basically, if you're the single-item customer who lives farther from an IKEA store, prepare for expensive shipping costs. On the other hand, if you're looking to furnish an entire room with IKEA merchandise, this shipping model may be perfect you.

Flickr photo by mroach

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