IKEA spare parts

Back in 2012, I paid IKEA to deliver and assemble some furniture. That led to the following Facebook post:

“You didn’t build that” (Ikea came to assemble some stuff starting yesterday at 1 pm. They left at 9 pm and here is the state of affairs…)

The two guys returned today at 945. We will see how far they get! So far I have not had to do anything other than watch in amazement at how much work is entailed even for two experts.

Friend: I don’t get it. Been buying IKEA stuff all my life. Always put it together myself, never any missing parts and always quick to do. A couple of hours at most for a complex wardrobe. Maybe these professionals aren’t that at all; bunch of random guys plucked off the street to go put together stuff for people?

Me: The guys seem to speak Portuguese better than speak English, but I wouldn’t say that this impairs their ability to unbox and slam the stuff together. They have electric screwdrivers and they have done enough of these before that they need not refer to the instructions in most cases. On the other hand, they put a Besta wall system door on a Stuva kids’ bookcase.

Folks: To close out this epic tale… IKEA sent two Mandarin-speaking recent immigrants from China back to the apartment today with a few boxes of spare parts. They were able to fix the remaining issues that I had not managed to fix on my own/with friends. IKEA customer service is amazingly well trained. I would call them and wait in a phone queue for about 45 minutes. The person who answered would invariably make me feel like the most important customer in the world. They’d promise to call back or send someone out. They never did these things, but I didn’t mind calling again because I felt so good after every conversation.

(One thing that I did learn from the experience, after attempting to sit in a dining chair after the two-day visit of the Brazilian crew, is that there is apparently no translation into Portuguese for “torque that bolt down”.)

Currently I’ve got a set of six IKEA chairs and enough hardware for perhaps three chairs. M4 and M6 machine screws/bolts have fallen out over the years and were apparently thrown out by the cleaners. I found an IKEA replacement parts site where screws and bolts are sent out “within a few days” for free, but it seems to be only for customers in the Netherlands. [Update: the Google couldn’t find the corresponding U.S. page, but a reader posted it in the comment section below.]

A lot of IKEA hardware isn’t standard. Where does one find replacement bolts for out-of-production IKEA stuff?

Separately, we visited IKEA recently. The 68 governor’s orders so far here in Maskachusetts have been boiled down by IKEA to “wear a mask at all times, even when outdoors and more than 6′ away from anyone else”:

(I personally disagree with this interpretation of what our laws would be if the Legislature had passed these restrictions as laws. The very latest from MA is that masks are not required outdoors unless you’re closer than 6′ from another human.)

The good news is that you can “do your part”:

Looking up an item’s warehouse location requires waiting in line to use one of the terminals that hasn’t been decommissioned, thus forcing you to spend more time in a crowded indoor environment (but bandanas and simple paper masks will prevent viral transmission!).

The CDC says that COVID-19 is not spread via surfaces, but the restaurant is closed for three days per week for a good scrubbing:

You’ll wait roughly 1.5 hours in the middle of the afternoon to be seated for lunch at this restaurant, from which many tables have been removed and the remainder are mostly vacant:

They’ve made special multi-tray trolleys so that a single authorized person from each group can go up to the cafeteria line.


11 thoughts on “IKEA spare parts

  1. All that (often chemically) manufactured wood products in IKEA furniture create unhealthy atmosphere inside, they may be on of the causes of allergies. I buy natural American-style wood furniture from local retailers for that reason and the fact that I like helping local economy. But I also helped with IKEA deliveries for friends, their furniture is a snap to put together. Some people just like IKEA .

  2. “Where does one find replacement bolts for out-of-production IKEA stuff?”
    Hmm… here is Germany, I would go to the CS counter. They are always helpful and even give out smaller replacement parts for free.
    There are also vending machines at the store for some of the more common parts. For the less common parts, Ikea ships many parts across Europe. That page also seems to exist in the US (https://www.ikea.com/us/en/customer-service/returns-claims/spareparts/). If you need something more exotic, like an out-of-production door for a closet, you can usually find it on eBay.

    • Thanks, Tim! Maybe the European Google sends searchers to the U.S. site while the U.S. Google was sending me to the Dutch site!

  3. Just go to O’Conners in Billerica. Their hardware parts has the best supply of nuts and bolts. Metric is not a problem.

  4. Try boltdepot.com, then mcmaster.com. Boltdepot is good because they are fairly comprehensive, and you can buy down to a single piece for a not exorbitant price. You don’t need to end up with a box with 99 extras.

  5. It’s sad to see IKEA laid low by the pandemic like this. I have a real soft spot in my heart for them. They opened one of their first USA stores in Elizabeth, NJ in 1990, and at the time they were quite a revolution in furniture shopping. Distinctly different in every way, and very pleasant to browse and shop. Also, just coincidentally, around the same time I was (briefly) dating a Swedish foreign exchange student and she was probably the sweetest young woman I’ve ever known. Tons of fun too. I didn’t learn much Swedish but then again, she didn’t learn much English, as the old Sean Connery quote (sort of) so we didn’t waste a lot of time on boring conversations. I did treat her to a half a dozen fun restaurants in the NYC/Northern Jersey area, and a few other interesting destinations she’d find memorable while doing our best to communicate via spoken word. That was real fun. Sometimes youth isn’t wasted on the young.

    I second @Jin Choi’s suggestion of the McMaster-Carr (www.mcmaster.com) website if you’re looking for bits and pieces and can’t find them anywhere else.

    • Yes, that Ikea in Elizabeth was one of the first stores to take advantage of a new New Jersey law that allowed stores to charge only half the sales tax in certain distressed areas (3% instead of the then 6%). Also, because of its location on the New Jersey Turnpike right across from Newark Airport, it didn’t even need to advertise.

    • @ScarletNumber: That 3% sales tax break made the difference for us when it came to driving to Elizabeth instead of shopping more locally. Well, that and the “oooh, lets’ see what this new thing is” factor. Later they opened the Paramus store, which was even bigger. I noticed right around the time IKEA opened in New Jersey, the “big hair” phenomenon started to wane. Connected? I don’t know. All that sleek, modern Swedish furniture….

      Anyway, as I’m sure you know, anything that qualifies for a tax break of any kind in New Jersey was a wonderful thing in 1990 and is even more miraculous today.

  6. Just reaching out.
    I am having a hard time finding IKEA replacement Akurum cabinet Lidi doors now that it is discontinued. Any suggestions of a who or where we can look?

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