Ikea in Bloomington used to provide a referral for those who needed assembly assistance--a professional who could tackle the job in an hour instead of one long, beer and tantrum-soaked weekend for hackers. 

In May 2012, they realized that more than a few of us have trouble putting together their bookcases, cabinets and entertainment centers and decided to capitalize on it. Prior to that, they kindly gave out names of three unaffiliated subcontractors.

If you want to have a pro do the job now, Ikea combines the assembly cost with a delivery cost. In-store picking off the shelf is another option add-on. If college students want a Besta cabinet and more, they can take their shopping list to customer service, pay an extra $40 for having the items taken off the shelf, $59 for local delivery, and $79 for assembly if the purchases add up to $299 (additional fees apply for purchases to be assembled in excess of $299). 


Ikea added the service for efficiency, according to Brooke Nelson, a marketing specialist at the Bloomington store. They wanted their delivery staff to assemble the furniture in the customer's home to streamline the service, she said. "It's not only more efficient, it's a little more sensitive to carbon footprint issues," Nelson said.


It's also been a big blow to the three independent subcontractors who no longer get free referrals from Ikea. One contractor said that business declined 80 percent after ikea changed its program.

Customers who want to pick the items themselves and haul them home to save $99 can still hire the pros whom Ikea used to recommend. All of the following businesses that Ikea used to refer customers to are still in business charging about $50 to $75 an hour. The price includes travel time in the metro I-494/694 ring. The furniture is assembled in your home or dorm room. All will assemble furniture from retailers other than Ikea.

Assembly Repair Specialists (763-434-2735). Does Ikea kitchen assembly too.

Assembly Required (651-230-3997) Does Ikea kitchen assembly too.

Assembly Specialists (651-235-1050).

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