For many people, the lure of an assembly service is almost as strong as the pull of the low-cost furniture sold at IKEA. However, if you are going to pay as much for the item plus assembly as you would for a pre-assembled piece from another store, then the IKEA option doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
To be worthwhile, the IKEA assembly service needs to be reliable, affordable, and efficient. While it might be all these things under certain conditions, it would seem that the assembly service is not worth paying for in other situations.
The assembly service is worthwhile when the buyer has time constraints, the build is complex, or the item is popular. The assembly services are faster and more knowledgeable. However, they are not worthwhile for simple builds or builds that take less than an hour.
Independent Contractors for the Assembly Service
While IKEA does not have an in-house assembly service, where there are neatly dressed IKEA employees waiting to assist you in building your new bed frame, they do offer you the option to use their third-party assembly service.
IKEA partnered with TaskRabbit to provide its customers with affordable and reliable assistance for their assembly needs. TaskRabbit is the exclusive assembly provider for IKEA, but the company itself is comprised of numerous independent ‘Taskers’ who set their own rates for their services.
IKEA is simply endorsing the use of the service, having bought the company, but they have no control over who will show up at your door, except that the individual will be a registered and verified Tasker.
Each Tasker differs in what their experience and capabilities are and prices their rates accordingly.
If you simply need a basic bookshelf built but hire a more experienced Tasker, you may end up paying more for the service than if you were to hire a less experienced one. However, keep in mind that you do get what you paid for.
Cost of Assembly Service
Below, I have summarised just how much you can expect to pay for the IKEA assembly service. The cost will vary by contractor, location, and the country you are in, but there is typically a 1-hour minimum charge, and then you will have to pay for every additional 15 minutes.
The different contractors have different rates because their employees may be more or less experienced, and their company may be larger or smaller, with greater or lesser overhead.
The location makes a difference because you may be nearer or further to their headquarters. More travel means higher fuel costs and more frequent vehicle maintenance, which need to be offset in the rate that is charged.
Different states or countries can have different rules regarding wages and can have different costs of living.
|Saudi Arabia||SR 150 (or 10% of furniture order)|
This cost will be separate to the delivery fee as different companies deliver and assemble items for IKEA.
While the rates are helpful to know, they don’t really answer the question of whether the assembly service is worth it. To determine this, we need to look at what you will end up paying in total for an IKEA item plus assembly versus a pre-assembled piece purchased elsewhere.
So, let’s look at a few items.
According to the New York Times, the average cost of a three-seater sofa is $1,500. IKEA three-seat sofas cost, on average, $800.
According to research that I did for my article on how long IKEA furniture takes to assemble, sofas take about two hours to put together. If we use the $42 as a starting hourly rate, then the two hours would cost $84.
Adding $800 and $84 is still well below the cost of a pre-assembled sofa.
Note: the time taken to assemble IKEA furniture is an estimate based on basic skills. Professional assembly services may be quicker.
You can buy double bed frames already assembled for about $200. You can get better ones for $600 and upward, but these are less comparable to IKEA’s stock in my opinion. IKEA sells them for $300-$400 on average.
This means that IKEA double beds might not be the best choice for you straight off the bat. If we add in the fact that they take about one and a half hours to build, then you are looking at another $53 on top of this.
It seems that the cost of IKEA dressers and pre-assembled dressers is much the same. You can find both cheap and expensive versions.
So, the cost of assembly, which usually takes about three hours, might not make assembly worth it, but there is also the chance that it can save you three hours of frustrating work because dressers tend to be complex builds.
Mixed Reviews Online
As is always the case with such a large and established company like IKEA, the reviews of their products and services, including the assembly service, are mixed, with some people raving about it and others being very disappointed with it.
So, here are the pros and cons to help you make your decision.
- You don’t have to spend time on the build. The hour or two that it would take to build your new bed frame could be used to catch up on the ever-growing pile of laundry or some much-needed rest.
- You eliminate the frustration that comes with building a piece of furniture. While the trusty workers construct your new bookshelf, you can calmly relax with a cup of tea.
- The individuals who are sent out for this service are used to assembling a wide range of IKEA furniture on a daily basis, so your item is less likely to be built incorrectly (like it could be if you were to do it).
- If there are parts or components missing from the item, or if it has been damaged during transport, the IKEA contractors might come prepared for such situations, having extra screws, dowels, etc., with them.
- In the current times where everything seems to be getting more expensive, you may want to skip the assembly service as you will be paying for something that you can technically do yourself. It may take you some time to complete, but it will save you a significant amount that could be used on other necessities.
- You should keep in mind that not all assembly contractors are equal even though they are all hired through Taskrabbit. So, you might not have the great experience that your friend had.
- For builds that take under an hour, you are still charged for the full hour, so you will basically be paying for nothing.
- You have to ensure you are home and available on that specific date and time to supervise the assembly, which can conflict with your schedule.
Best Times to Use Assembly Service
When You Struggle for Time
Getting new furniture is great, but if it’s still sitting in the box or partially assembled weeks after you buy it, the project becomes a monster in your home. If you don’t have the time to assemble it yourself, then consider the service.
Only have an hour break between Zoom meetings? Schedule the assembly service for that time. Where you may have taken 2 hours to build it, IKEA contractors are known to get the task done in record time, so you will have your new table ready for display quickly.
Let’s face it, we aren’t all DIY pros, and even if we are, there are projects that are just so complex that we end up in tears and a hammer is thrown across the room.
It is normal to get overwhelmed by a complex project, particularly if you have very limited DIY skills. It may be in your best interest (mentally and emotionally) to pay the price and get someone else to do it.
These builds may also take more time, making the minimum one-hour charge worth it.
As the IKEA assembly service is actually a collection of independent companies/individuals, the people assembling the furniture are not necessarily “trained” to assemble IKEA furniture specifically. However, they are likely to be good at general furniture assembly, and can apply those skills to IKEA furniture.
IKEA is not going to be using wildly different techniques between different products, so the workers will be able to tackle the project with minimal effort.
However, your assembly is likely to go better (and faster) if the assemblers have built the item a few times before.
If you are really looking for a no-build, low-cost furniture option and you do not want to pay for someone else to assemble your item, then have a look at IKEA’s As-Is section.