Assembly Required; Why so Many Items are DIY

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Remember the days from long ago… when you actually bought new furniture and it was delivered to your door, already assembled. Most likely it was all in one piece, which was better quality or at least a solid piece of furniture; so what happened? You can still purchase items that don’t need some type of assembly, but it’s either hard to find, or very expensive.

A popular store which offers furniture items among other types of gadgets is IKEA. It’s actually a wonderful store, and one could spend an entire day there just looking around, not to mention having lunch while browsing their showrooms; but with floors filled with such a variety of furniture items, I’m pretty sure the customers don’t think about having to put it together themselves. Yes, that’s right… it’s all about DIY (doing it yourself) these days, and IKEA isn’t the only one, however… they say their pieces are designed to assemble quite easily, and if you don’t want to try it you may purchase their service to do it for you then. Even Overstock.com has sofas and loveseats that require some type of assembly when it arrives at your door, but I’m sure you will be on your own for those. Another store is Crate&Barrel, though I do appreciate the fact that many of their pieces are made in USA. The idea here is that these places can ship items more conveniently by packaging items in slender boxes and whatnot. Also, many of the retailers will tell you it’s cost effective, offering you a better price if you assemble it yourself; “Say What??!” I don’t believe any of that malarkey…but to-each-their-own; believe what you want.

Recently while reading an article posted on ‘MoneyWatch’ I found it interesting when discussing IKEAs Effect and the concept behind it; it’s similar to the shop ‘Build a Bear’, where the consumer picks out their own items in order to build this teddy bear… the way they want to, revealing it with the sense of proud ownership, making it more lovable in their eyes. IKEA feels that the consumer reacts this way to constructing (which I call assembling) their own pieces of furniture and then reflects the “Labor of Love” so-to-speak. Again I say “What??” I don’t know about you, but I’m not thrilled when I have to assemble anything these days. I had to assemble a vacuum cleaner once, and it wasn’t fun for me, in fact I became frustrated. Someone I know recently purchased an outdoor swing, which required assembly. Some of the hardware was missing in the box, so they called the retailer and they were happy to send the part out, which was nice, but let’s face it… it took nearly a week. Also, keep in mind you must have tools to assemble most things. So if you don’t have them, you must purchase them; once again raising the cost of what you just purchased.

One of my pet peeves about assembling these days are the instruction sheets, as many of them have three languages on them now. Not always do they make sense to me when following the diagrams pictured on the paper, in fact… I’ve had instructions that made no sense at all. It took me nearly a half an hour to make sense out of them. Sometimes frustrations set in before you get started. The easiest assembly I’ve had would be a bookcase purchased from Big Lots. It looked nice, was inexpensive and easy to assemble, thank goodness! Heck, even if you purchase a tower fan today there is always some type of assembly. I sure hope this won’t be the way of the future. If you think about the trickledown effect, the more they stock, the more room they need, and I’m pretty sure they don’t want to spend more money on expanding warehouse space, so they disassemble items in a fashion that makes it cost effective for them, not so much the consumer. Well, whatever you purchase in the future, keep in mind that most likely some assembly is required, and don’t forget to see what tools you might need. Oh yeah, and don’t forget batteries… every household needs batteries; just saying.

Make your week count.

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