With the opening of another store recently, Ikea seem to be staking their claim on our lifestyles and our landscape - if not our lives - and so it amazes me to see that Ikea are yet another perpetrator of what appears to be unreasonably high prices. Yet Aussies still gullibly go there for a Sunday shopping day out, walking kilometres and wielding credit cards at the checkout only to end up being ripped off. 

Here are some examples.

The popular "Expedit Desk" retails in Australia for $180.00. Incredibly, we're paying 210% more than the Swedish pay at $58 and over 267% more than Americans pay at just $49!

When it comes to drawer units, once again Australians don’t seem to be getting a fair go. The Helmer Drawer unit at Ikea retails in Australia for $129.00. For the same drawer unit in the U.S., Americans pay a low $39. We are paying 230% more!  And in Sweden, the drawer unit costs $43 – we're paying 200% more compared with Swedish.

To add "insult to injury", the Storsele Rattan Armchairs that retail in Australia for $249 are made exclusively for Ikea in Indonesia, so why are we paying 109% more than the Americans who can buy this armchair for $119. Indonesia is much closer to Australia than the U.S. therefore the shipping costs are not an issue, so how do Ikea justify charging more than double.

Take a look at the price difference with the Levanger Mirror, we pay $477, which is 119% more than the Swedish who pay $218 and 220% more than the Americans pay a more $149.

If we are in a global market, why aren’t we paying global prices? 

Because we are having the wool pulled over our eyes!

Okay, we know that in the U.S. the typical retail shop assistant earns a lot less than their counterparts in Australia. And yes, we agree that wages are generally higher in Australia than in the USA. Also, Australia has a 10% GST (compared with the various equivalent sales taxes across the U.S) and there is, of course, a freight cost associated with bringing goods from Sweden to Australia.  However, these factors might explain a 12% or 15% difference in price, but we can’t work out why the price would be in the range of 100% or 267% more. 

Come on, Ikea, we know you are a generous company who donates large amounts of money to charity.  Unfortunately, many Australians believe you are ripping us off because the prices are so much higher here than in the U.S. and Europe. How about giving us an explanation with a costing of why prices are dearer here.

Or, better still, why not bring the prices down so they are competitive with prices that you sell for in other countries!

When we receive a reply from Ikea we will publish it on this site.

* All prices are in Australian dollars

This article was sponsored by Dick Smith Foods - return to DSF website

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