Let's get Desk A to Point B
April 27, 2010 10:05 AM   Subscribe

I want a piece of cheap furniture, specifically this Fredrik desk from Ikea. Difficulty: I live around 280 miles from the nearest Ikea. Even if I wanted to pick one up, I drive a small car. What to do?

I really only want this thing because it makes an absolutely great standing workstation. I would be open to alternatives, but this is the best I have found for under $1500.

So what do I do? I suppose I could have someone buy the thing, but it weighs 92 pounds. Shipping could be a tad pricey at that weight. I suppose I could also borrow a truck, but I can't imagine driving four hours for a piece of furniture.

So what would the Hive Mind suggest? Am I out of luck?
posted by Willie0248 to Shopping (28 answers total)
How small is small? The shipping dimensions for this are:
Article number:60111123
Width:29 3/8"
Length:60 5/8"

So if your back seat folds down, you may be able to get it in your car. Or figure out a way to secure it on top of your car.
posted by BlooPen at 10:09 AM on April 27, 2010

You can almost certainly find a local store that has something similar.
posted by kindall at 10:14 AM on April 27, 2010

Where are you located?
posted by waxboy at 10:16 AM on April 27, 2010

How small is your car? Having moved an entire apartment (including a queen sized water bed) in a Dodge Omni once my motto is always "where there's a will there's a way!"

The site lists the larger parcel dimensions as:
Article number:60111123
Width:29 3/8"
Length:60 5/8"

Unless you drive a mini-cooper or smartcar, I'd venture a bet that you could fit the desk in your "small" vehicle by being creative. Figure out what the gas (and your time) would cost you to pick up the desk and weigh that against shipping costs.
posted by labwench at 10:16 AM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Where do you live? If you happen to be near a large-ish university, you might be able to find a used Fredrik desk on Craigslist (that is, if you don't mind used but in good condition). With the term year coming to an end fairly soon for US colleges and universities, it's a great time to find used desks and other furniture on CL. If you find one in good condition that's fairly close by, then you can rent a truck for a short amount of time, or ask a friend to help. I've bought furniture off of CL from people who had a car, and find that people are very willing to "deliver" it to you if you throw in an extra $20.
posted by raztaj at 10:19 AM on April 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

We live about 8 hours from the nearest IKEA (sniff, sniff) but someone told me recently about a local service that will bring back stuff from IKEA for people here. I guess they go once a month or whatever and load up a U-Haul. Genius. Maybe see if there's something like that in your area?
posted by pyjammy at 10:21 AM on April 27, 2010

You can get a desk for under ($150?) dollars almost anywhere online and have it shipped to you. Although you'll have to pay for shipping--and the sample desk that I looked at from Amazon cost $50 to ship--you would probably pay more than that for gas if you decided to drive over 200 miles to Ikea to buy the Fredrik desk.

Or, you can go to MapDispatch.com and try to hire someone to bring it to you, but I doubt that it would be much of an improvement price-wise.
posted by _cave at 10:26 AM on April 27, 2010

Most Ikeas will deliver/ship things to you, though I have no idea what their rates are -- why don't you call them and ask?
posted by brainmouse at 10:31 AM on April 27, 2010

4 hours is nothing. Get a buddy. Pick a Saturday. Go get it.

I drove 8 hours (each way!) from Denver to Draper last year a new desk from Ikea. It was well worth it.
posted by shew at 10:34 AM on April 27, 2010

What do you do?

Order it online and consider the shipping costs part of the cost you incur from living too far from an IKEA and having a small car.

Or, rent a larger car.

Or tie it to the roof of your car.

Or borrow a friend's larger car.

There are lots of options here. What you choose to do depends in part on your willingness to incur additional costs.
posted by dfriedman at 10:36 AM on April 27, 2010

Is there a craigslist for where you live? - You can often find IKEA stuff there. Also have you actually seen this desk? - Sometimes IKEA stuff looks great in the picture, but is flimsy crap in reality.
posted by carter at 10:41 AM on April 27, 2010

Best answer: IKEA stuff comes flat packed. Just strap it to your roof with bungee cords. I once moved the entire contents of my house, including sofa, dressers, and queen sized bed, on the roof of a 1974 Volkswagen Beetle.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:43 AM on April 27, 2010

In fact, it looks like the Fredrik replaced the Jerker, and people seem to like the Jerker more than the Fredrik. So maybe you can find a Jerker on craigslist (if you have craigslist where you are).
posted by carter at 10:46 AM on April 27, 2010

IKEA also has folding cardboard triangular-shaped roof rack substitutes for people without roof racks. And ratchet tie-down straps. Rack cardboard things are free, ratchets are pretty cheap and dang handy. I brought home the top of a full-sized computer table on my Cavalier thanks to these two bits. (I now have a full-on Yakima roof rack, which made the last trip easier...)
posted by caution live frogs at 10:52 AM on April 27, 2010

Some IKEAs have van and/or truck rental on-site. Of course, then you'd spend eight hours driving instead of four (one round-trip for each vehicle), but if you really don't think you can strap the thing into your car or on your roof, this might be an option. You can find out if your "local" store offers this by going to the Store Locator on IKEA's website, going to the "Store Page" for your location (a link should be in the list of results), and clicking on "Services @ IKEA [location]" in the sidebar on that page. For example, here's the appropriate page for the closest IKEA to me. It's conceivable that you might be able to get a one-way van/truck rental from them, too — if the Services page lists contact information for the rental folks, it couldn't hurt to call.
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:00 AM on April 27, 2010

IKEA stuff comes flat packed.
posted by kimdog at 11:10 AM on April 27, 2010

IKEA stuff comes flat packed.
Before I accidentally hit enter, I was trying to say that you most certainly can fit this in your car. I worked for Pier 1 imports for many years, and became an expert at loading this kind of thing. If you really do have a small car, and the back seat doesn't open into the trunk, try this:
See if your passenger seat will recline fully, then angle the box into the front passenger door, so that it lays over the passenger seat stretching diagonally, pushing it as far back as it will go. You may need to lift the rear up so it sits on the top of the back seat and against your rear window.
posted by kimdog at 11:17 AM on April 27, 2010

I have a 2009 Nissan Versa hatchback and I was able to fit this exact desk in the back of my car. Yeah, it just baaarely fit but my car isn't exactly huge. If you or your friend has a hatchback, I think you'll be fine.
posted by Diskeater at 11:27 AM on April 27, 2010

I transported a flat packed Jerker desk on the top of my toyota corolloa with only two of those ratcheting tie-downs (no cardboard rack thingy). I had my sister walk on the roof of my car to ensure it would hold, I ran the tie-downs through the windows and then re-ran them when I couldn't open the doors. Just cranked those things down hard and drove home at 60 mph using aforementioned sister every now and then to gauge whether or not the desk was flying off the roof of the car.
posted by syntheticfaith at 11:27 AM on April 27, 2010

Doesn't Ikea ship most big items? It'll probably cost you a lot (compared to the price of the desk, at least). I bought a Mikael desk (I think) and a couple accessories, the shipping was half as much as the items I bought but still...it's Ikea, even with the shipping costs, it was cheaper then buying in any of the other furniture stores locally.
posted by 1000monkeys at 12:09 PM on April 27, 2010

IKEA stuff comes flat packed

During every visit to my local IKEA, I witness the same small drama in the parking lot: a person or more often a couple trying to wedge a large box into or on top a tiny car. Here's the thing they rarely seem to do: open the box up, take the parts out and distribute them around the car. You wouldn't think this would make a difference but it does: I can fit in two Billy bookcase boxes in my car (a mini-suv). Unpacked, I fit in six bookcases.

As long as you take care to leave no parts behind and do not plan to return the item*, there's absolutely no need for you to schlepp cardboard home. There's even giant recycle bins in the loading area.

*IKEA is resistant to taking back open box flat packed items and they will flatly refuse a return on an item that's missing its box.
posted by jamaro at 12:28 PM on April 27, 2010

Just strap it to your roof with bungee cords.

-1. Incredibly dangerous. You could kill the person behind you if it flies off.

Use ratchet straps, make sure they're rated for at least twice the weight of what you're hauling, and take care to ensure that none of the objects you're tying to your roof have freedom to move in any direction (including the tie-down points for the straps).

Odds are, you'll have to hit the brakes hard at least once during your 280 mile trip.

Coincidentally, Ikea happen to sell ratchet straps. You can get better/longer ones at the Home Depot, although they'll be a bit pricier. If you have a friend who has a set, borrow them, as you'll likely never need them again.

(That said, if you can fit it in the back of a Versa, you can fit it anywhere. I doubt you'll need to resort to this.)
posted by schmod at 12:36 PM on April 27, 2010

My method is to find someone else going to IKEA and give them an extra $20 to pick something up for me.
posted by yohko at 1:53 PM on April 27, 2010

I think a lot of us are missing the fact that the OP is 280 miles from the nearest Ikea, and probably doesn't want to drive that far since it's mentioned in their original question. Ordering online and paying shipping is probably your best bet.
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:02 PM on April 27, 2010

Last year they had a great sale on Memorial Day and we trucked from Rochester, NY to Pittsburgh's Ikea - 280 miles! It was fine! A fun day of shopping, eating out, and gabbing in the car. I say go for it!

And, it's nearly impossible to go to Ikea and leave with one item. If the OP doesn't want anything else, ask a few friends if they want anything. It's likely you'll get an "order" from a friend or two who might be willing to kick in a few bucks for you to deliver it back home for them.

About the big box - if you're really nervous about fitting it in, you could make a mock-up of shape of the box out of recycled cardboard or even construction paper and see if it would fit.
posted by Mrs_Eep at 5:30 PM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

My method is to find someone else going to IKEA and give them an extra $20 to pick something up for me.

It might be assumed from my comment that I live near an IKEA. I do not, the nearest one is a 6 or 8 hour drive away. Occasionally, I hear about someone going there with a truck or trailer. I suppose if it was not a person I actually knew, I might have to give them some extra money for their trouble -- even if it's $50, it will be cheaper and less trouble than going to IKEA yourself. I see periodic ads on craigslist from people planning a shopping trip who want to make some extra money off the truck space they won't be using.

Check online that what you want is in stock, and print out exactly what you want from the web site. Give your shopper directions on what to do if the item goes out of stock by the time they get there.
posted by yohko at 7:38 PM on April 27, 2010

Seconding schmod. ABSOLUTELY do not use bungee cords.
posted by BlooPen at 9:11 PM on April 27, 2010

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