We already know that IKEA items often cost more in Australia than anywhere else, but just how bad is the problem? A comparison of IKEA prices across 33 countries suggests that we are literally the most expensive place to buy IKEA in the world.
Picture by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Price comparison site Idealo compared the price for 40 IKEA items sold in 33 countries around the globe. The listing included 40 items, divided into eight categories of five each.
Poland was the cheapest country in the world on this ranking, while Australia came dead last, with the most expensive items in six of the eight categories (wardrobes, beds, TV furniture, chests, tables and children’s bedroom furniture). We ranked second most-expensive for sofas/armchairs and bookshelves.
Remarkably, we pay 26 per cent more for IKEA items than the most expensive Scandinavian country in the listing, Norway. That can't be explained away purely in terms of tax, either, since the rate of GST in Norway is much higher than in Australia. (Despite IKEA originating in Sweden, the cheapest Scandinavian stores are actually in Denmark.)
Asian countries overall (a regional grouping that includes Australia) had the highest prices overall. This again demonstrates that proximity to China doesn't necessarily translate into cheaper pricing, a point that often comes up when considering pricing in Australia versus the US.
By Idealo's reckoning, once you factor in a measure of GDP per capita in order to calculate affordability, IKEA items in Australia are 1.98 times less affordable than in the US. (That said, variable US state sales tax figures complicate that figure.) In terms of global affordability ranking, Australia ranks at #21.
When we looked at this issue earlier this year, I noted that for the cheapest items, IKEA Australia doesn't compare so badly. It's also worth pointing out that even though IKEA in Australia costs much more than elsewhere, it's still often the cheapest place to buy some items. As ever, careful comparison shopping is your friend.
Worldwide IKEA price comparison [Idealo]