If you are planning on returning an item to IKEA but cannot find the receipt, do not lose hope. There are ways to return your item without a receipt and even other ways to get your money back.
After examining IKEA’s return policy, the receipt, among other items, is necessary to bring with you when you go to the store to return the product. However, some stores will accept substitutions for the receipt under certain circumstances.
IKEA can accept returns with a receipt, but they are not obligated to do so. Items more likely to be accepted are recently purchased, in stock/popular, unopened/in good condition, clearly defective, and/or under warranty. Alternative proof of purchase is required. Cash sales are unlikely to be processed.
Official Return Policy Requires Receipt
As with most store return policies, to return your item successfully, the official IKEA position is that you will need your receipt.
A receipt is important to your return because it is the easiest way of proving and providing vital information.
First of all, it gives the date on which you purchased the item. The date on your receipt will determine if the item you wish to return is within the deadline IKEA sets, although exceptions can also be made on late returns.
A receipt also provides information like the price, item name, and what mode of purchase was used.
This is used to prove that you did, in fact, purchase the item in question and what the reimbursement amount should be.
IKEA’s return policy also dictates that the customer must be refunded in the same mode that they made the purchase. This would dictate whether you are reimbursed with cash, a refund to your credit or debit card, or a gift card.
If you used a card or if the receipt has your name on it, the receipt can also prove that the correct person is returning the item and getting the refund.
With a valid government-issued ID (another requirement for returns) and the correct credit or debit card, the receipt can be proved to be yours.
Each of these parts of a receipt makes sure that IKEA policy is followed to ensure that no fraudulent returns are carried out and that you get your proper refund.
Sometimes IKEA Will Accept Receipt-less Returns
Depending on the store you go to and even which person you talk to, you may be able to successfully return an item even if you don’t have a receipt.
Although a receipt is required or highly recommended in the official IKEA return policy, different stores, managers, and employees may have their own policies for returns.
The receipt is the easiest but not the only way to verify certain information. So, the stores and employees are not doing anything shady in accepting these returns; they are just working a little harder to help you.
The fact that it is not official policy means that there is no guarantee that all IKEAs will accept a return without a receipt, but there is a chance that some will.
Other factors can determine the success of a receipt-less return:
- Time since purchase. The return may fall outside of the return period, in which case, whether or not you have a receipt becomes a moot point.
- Whether the item is still in stock. Processing the return of an item that is no longer carried by the store will leave IKEA with one individual item, which is always harder to sell. It also means that the item is more likely to be out of date, replaced with newer versions or options.
- The condition of the item. The ideal is to resell a return. IKEA cannot do this if the item is in bad condition. They might stick more to their guns about receipts being required if they know that they will struggle to sell the item.
- Whether or not the item is in its original packaging. Repackaging takes time and money. It also means that the item was opened and exposed to potential damage, making the risk of accepting the return greater for IKEA.
- If the item is assembled or partially assembled. Assembled or partially assembled items are not going to sell for full price. They might be able to be placed in the as-is section, but these are sold at a discount. Partial assemblies will also have to be completed in order to be sold as-is.
- How you paid. Cash purchases are a lot harder to verify, and it cannot be proved that you were the original purchaser, so these returns are most unlikely to proceed without a receipt.
Returns You Are Likely to Have the Most Success With
Certain types of returns are more likely to be successful:
- Items purchased only a few weeks previously. Less time away from the store means less time to get damaged. It also falls into the standard return periods and makes it more likely that the item is still in stock and actively selling.
- Items that are still in stock. It’s easy to add another item to a shelf of lots of those items. It’s easier to market than something alone on a shelf or looking like someone didn’t want it and put it back on a random shelf with other items.
- If the item is popular, then having just one last one left could make it a highly desirable piece, guaranteed to be sold.
- If the item is in good condition, then IKEA can resell it more easily (or even at all). However, if the damage is easily shown to be a manufacturing error, these damaged items are also more likely to be accepted without a receipt.
- Items in their original packaging are more likely to be accepted because restocking them is less work, and if the item is unopened, then there is a much lower risk of it being compromised in any way.
- Unassembled items are also more easily resold and, thus, more likely to be accepted without a receipt. Unassembled items are also less likely to have actually been purchased second-hand online or inherited from a friend who was moving.
- Items under warranty may also have more of a chance, depending on the allowable reasons for claiming against the warranty and if they can otherwise verify the purchase.
Other Options to Help Prove Purchase
As mentioned, a receipt is not the only way to prove the information necessary to verify the purchase and return validity.
Some IKEA stores will bend the rules and allow proof via the credit, debit, or gift card you used to purchase the item or even the order number and a bank statement.
If you can present the card used for the purchase, whether that was a debit card or a credit card, and the name on it matches your ID, then the return should be able to proceed.
IKEA will be able to find the transaction on their system (particularly if you know the date on which you made the purchase, which should reflect on your bank statement). Then the date, store, price, etc., can all be verified without the receipt.
Gift cards are a little trickier, but if you have the gift card number, then the transaction can be located. You will only be refunded in the form of another gift card, so you can’t get cash from this return, limiting the possibility of fraud.
If your IKEA item was picked up in-store or delivered to you, you would have an order number, most likely given to you with a confirmation email. Showing this number/email might be a valid way to prove that you were the original purchaser in some stores.
Approaching a Return Without the Receipt
Although it may seem that returning an IKEA product with no receipt is pointless, I encourage you to try it anyway. If it doesn’t work out, you won’t be in any worse position than if you never tried.
Where to Go
Whether your purchase was made in-store or online, you will have to locate the exchanges and returns desk.
There should be a separate exchanges and returns entrance at the store, and it should be well-signed. Follow these signs to the exchanges and returns desk, sign up, and join the line.
Who To Talk To
Once it is your turn to approach the desk, the first person you will speak to will most likely be the employee running the desk.
If you have the item, the receipt, your ID, and the card you purchased the item with, the process should be smooth and the employee will most likely approve the return.
However, if you don’t have all of these items, specifically the receipt, the employee may imply that the return cannot go through.
If the employee at the desk seems to be implying that the return won’t be successful or outright says that it is against policy, then politely state your case.
Point out that you can prove the purchase and that it falls in the return period. You can also state all the other factors that make it more acceptable (original packaging, unopened or manufacturer-related damage, etc.).
Should the employee still say no, then you can move on to politely asking for the manager.
It is very likely that it is not in the employee’s power to do anything other than what policy dictates. Doing so would risk their job, so we can’t blame them.
However, the manager may be able to adjust the rules on a case-by-case basis, prioritizing customer satisfaction and allowing some things to slide.
It is important to be patient through this whole process.
Not only have the employees and the manager most likely been dealing with troublesome customers, but a good attitude can only help with a satisfactory return experience.
What to Bring
Make sure you bring all the other items required for a return.
- The card used for purchase/gift card number/order number.
- The item itself.
- A government-issued ID.
Since IKEA items can come in a range of sizes, some may be too large to be carried into the store for the return. In this case, multiple photos at different angles can work instead.
If the product is no longer in its original box, if you still have this box, it is wise to take it with you anyway.
All of these items are proof of purchase and will speed up the process as well as allow IKEA to prove that you aren’t trying to get an undeserved refund.
Offer to Take Store Credit
Some stores may be reluctant to give you a refund, even if you follow these suggestions.
In this case, if the item is damaged or just not what you were expecting, it would be wise to make it clear that you do not blame IKEA for this.
Instead, you can tell the associate that you have no issue with IKEA and that you will continue to shop there, but you just would not like to keep this item.
To push this further, you can mention that you would be happy to take store credit rather than a reimbursement to your card. This would indicate that you will come back to shop more and would like to keep providing your business to IKEA.
Returns That Won’t Be Accepted (Even With Receipt)
Even if you have the correct identification and receipt, and you’ve brought the item along, there are circumstances where the returns absolutely won’t be accepted.
IKEA’s return policy dictates that new and unopened products must be returned within 365 days of their original purchase. Open products must be returned within 180 of their original purchase.
If you do not return the product within its respective deadline, you will not get a refund. Now, I say this because of the policy, but technically, IKEA have been known to accept late returns.
However, if the return is late and you don’t have a receipt, then that’s asking a bit much of the IKEA staff.
There are also certain types of products that cannot be returned. These include plants, cut fabric, custom countertops, as-is products, and mattresses.
For plants, a likely reason that you would want to return them is if they are dying. Because a dying plant is more likely to be from user error rather than manufacturer error, IKEA won’t accept this return.
For cut fabric, it cannot be resold the way it is. Fabric is custom cut for each customer and cut fabric from another customer cannot be resold.
Custom countertops cannot be returned for a similar reason to cut fabric. Custom countertops were made specifically for you, so it is unlikely that another customer would want the same exact design.
As-is products refer to products that are sold with the customer fully knowing their flaws. It is often sold at a lower price to accommodate for somewhat lower quality.
An as-is product cannot be returned because the reason for the return would most likely be the flaws. However, these flaws were fully communicated by IKEA and were agreed upon by the customer.
Another customer may not want an as-is item, so it would not benefit IKEA to accept this return.
Used mattresses are often avoided as much as possible for health reasons. Because of this IKEA does not accept mattress returns.
Instead, the mattress can be exchanged for a new one once within a 365-day period.
For these items, you shouldn’t waste your time trying to return them, especially if you don’t have the receipt, since they are never accepted anyway.
Try Resell It
If your IKEA product is in decent condition but you just don’t want it in your home, trying to return the item without a receipt might not be successful.
However, if the product is in good condition, you can still make some of the money back as well as remove it from your home by selling it online.
Some good places to sell IKEA products, especially furniture, would be Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Offerup.
Each of these sites allows you to sell your product and either set up shipping or allow you to organize local pick-up or drop-off.
As far as pricing furniture, you will most likely not be able to sell at full price since customers would rather purchase a brand new item at full price than buy online at full price and get somewhat decreased quality.
Here’s a guide to help you determine how much your used IKEA furniture is worth:
- If the product is barely used and has been with you for only about a year, you should sell this product for about 60-70% of the original price.
- If the product has been used for a few years but has been well-maintained, you should sell it at about 50% of the original price.
- Furniture that has been around for a few years but is not exactly well-maintained or is slightly damaged should be sold at about 40-50% of the retail price.
- If the furniture is clearly in need of refurbishment, it should be sold at 40% or lower of the retail price.