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Does IKEA Accept Returns Without Packaging

IKEA is known for its no-questions-asked return policy. However, even the most benevolent policies have their limits. To save you from queuing in front of the IKEA’S return department only to find out that you do not comply with their return policy requirements, we set out to find answers to one of the common questions.

Now it’s your turn to find out how you can return an item without original packaging and in which cases IKEA can deny your request.

IKEA accepts returns without the original packaging within 180 days of purchase provided the item is complete and in good condition. Valid photo ID and proof of purchase are required. Typically, a full refund is given for returned items if they are in good condition even if the original packaging is missing.

Original Packaging Not Required for IKEA Returns

IKEA stores have a generous return policy that helped them establish themselves on the US market. Since they do not specify whether original packaging is required on their returns information page, it would be safe to presume that it is not a necessity.

To be entirely sure, we contacted customer service, and they confirmed that it is indeed possible to return an item without the original packaging. To do so, you need to bring the item together with all needed documents to your local IKEA store.

How come IKEA provides such a benevolent policy? Why is this not an issue for them?

Part of the reason is that the store has its “As-is” section, where they sell previously owned furniture that can often be already assembled, so the lack of original packaging doesn’t cause an issue.

Package It Yourself

So, we know that you don’t need original packaging and that you could even return the product as an already assembled item.

However, if you end up returning it unassembled without the original box, it does not mean that you shouldn’t package the item yourself.

Firstly, doing so is common decency towards the IKEA employees that will be helping you with your return (you have to do it in person). But on top of that, it is a safer way for you to transport the item.

Young Woman assembling a DIY furniture

Not only will it make it easier for you to ensure that you don’t lose any piece on the way, but it will also help protect the product from any protentional damage that could occur during transportation.

You can put the item into a box or boxes and keep the small pieces in a packet or a paper bag. And if any items are fragile or they could get easily scraped and damaged, you can wrap them in a newspaper or other recyclable wrapping option (amazon link).

Overall, it will make the item safe, and the return process will be more likely to go smoothly, fast, and hassle-free.

How Long to Return Open Items?

Stores return policy states that you are free to return any unopened item purchased in the store within 365 days. This window is a little shorter for any already open items, but you are still given a very generous time frame of 180 days.

If you don’t have the packaging anymore, it means that you have obviously opened the product already, and thus you need to manage to make the return within the 180-day period.  

What Do I Need for the Return?

  • Valid photo ID – You must present your photo ID for any return or exchange. Your information will be used only to authorize the returns, and it will be retained in the company-wide database.
  • Proof of purchase – To get a full refund, you will have to present your IKEA receipt or email order confirmation. You will only be refunded the net purchase price as shown on the receipt.
  • The item in question (in good condition) – Naturally, you need to bring the item that is in question, along with the spare pieces the kit included. It has to be complete and in good condition (unused). If you bought an item in a bundle, you should return the whole bundle
  • Credit or Debit card – This only applies if you have initially paid with a card. IKEA makes refunds in the same form of payment that you have originally made. Therefore, you will need to bring the original credit or debit card you used to make the purchase.
Items Needed for retuning an item to ikea

Will I Get a Full Refund?

If you manage to successfully present all the requirements mentioned above, you are authorized to get a full refund.

Again, it is good to note that IKEA will refund you the net price as shown on your receipt. That is the price you paid after all the taxes were added and any potential discounts were subtracted.

If you fail to present any of the requirements, you may still be able to get a store credit in some cases.

However, there are a few exceptions when you are not able to get a refund or when the refund is decreased:

  • Promotional item – If a promotional item was included in the transaction, you should return it as well. Otherwise, its value could be deducted from your refund.
  • Mattress – You are not able to return a mattress. You can, however, exchange it for another mattress within the first 90 days after your purchase, but you can do so only one time.

Reasons IKEA Might Refuse Return

You can return items without original packaging, but the return might still be refused if the product appears to be dirty, stained, damaged, altered, or somehow abused.

Generally speaking, the items you want to return should be unused, but since this is not always possible to recognize, you just need to make sure they are in an excellent  “unused” condition.

Close up exchanges and returns sign inside Ikea store

You will also not be able to return any live plants, cut fabric, custom countertops, As-is products, gift cards, or mattresses.

IKEA’s return department, of course, has a right to refuse the products if you don’t provide your ID and proof of purchase, if you miss the stated return period, or if you fail to fulfill any other of their return policy requirements.


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