An Ikea insider has revealed some of the secrets of making the most of the store on Reddit. In a session where users could ask him anything, he highlighted everything from the best times to shop, to the best deals in the restaurant.
It's a handy new addition to the secrets that have leaked out over the years, so we have brought them together to reveal 10 brilliant insider tips from the store - which will save you a fortune, and vastly reduce your chances of a quick trip to Ikea becoming an expensive four hour marathon - which comes complete with a blazing row in the sofa department.
See also: 10 insider secrets to guarantee cheaper online bargains
See also: Ikea orders teenagers to stop holding sleepovers in its stores
1. The maze is designed to make you buy more
The bendy route in the store is designed to stop you focusing on the end of an aisle and heading for it. You will therefore spend longer in each section, and are at risk of buying more. Beware of the temptation to pick items up that you found when turning a corner.
2. Beware the 'open wallet' section
One way the store gets you to spend on your way round the maze, is to put out piles of small, cheap items you didn't know you needed - like lint rollers, candles and flowerpots. These are known as the 'open wallet' sections, because they are how the store gets you to part with a small fortune you never intended to spend.
3. By delaying you in the maze, you spend more in the marketplace
Psychologically, the more time we have put into navigating upstairs, the more we feel entitled to reward ourselves by shopping downstairs. Try to separate the two i your mind. One approach is to set aside 45 minutes for waking round the maze, and consider that entirely separate to the time you spend picking things up.
4. There are secret shortcuts through the maze
You can spend far less time in the showroom, and beat these tricks to make you spend more, by using shortcuts. Some of these are marked on the store layout, but if your shortest publicised route seems inordinately long, ask a member of staff, try doors along the way, or check behind curtains for hidden doors. You should be able to get across the whole store in less than ten minutes if you find the right shortcuts.
5. Go in via the exit
There are two sections offering major discounts, and they're both near the exit. The first is seasonal reductions for the end of lines, and the second is the seconds, ex-display and damaged items section. You can find all kinds of goodies here - from furniture that can be dismantled to produce extra shelves and parts, to items that can be repaired and be good as new - for a fraction of the full price.
6. Get yourself an IKEA Family card
The perks are well worth it - and there are loads of them. Among the best are the fact that you get discounts on everything in the IKEA FAMILY range - plus the Swedish food market and restaurant. You also get discounts on selected products each month, 10% extra off sale prices, and free tea and coffee Monday-Friday.
7. Claim for accidental damage
With the IKEA Family card, you get free cover for any accidental damage on your way home or during assembly.
8. Don't be convinced by an enormous pile
The reason why Ikea has massive containers full to the brim with things like toilet brushes and cushions is to make people feel they are being piled high and sold cheap. Don't fall into this trap, check the price before you buy.
9. Don't get there for opening time
The best time to shop is between 30 minutes and an hour after opening. It's quieter in the mornings, but there's always a rush at opening time, so it's best to time your shop for just after this.
10. Eat the meatballs
The best deal in the restaurant is, unsurprisingly, the meatballs. Algren 123 said he usually goes for the meatballs, because 15 of them plus chips is around £5 - which is a huge amount of food for the money.