You don't really assemble IKEA furniture because you want to, more because you have to. Sure, you could troll Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for some furniture deals, but that involves you having to arrange a pick-up time, and what happens when you go and see whatever it is you intended on picking up or buying and not liking it?
It's not like having to tell a faceless store you don't want to buy their wares: this is an individual. At their house. With a social media profile. You probably met their kids or their pets just by checking out their sofa.
With IKEA though, you can waltz throughout their labyrinthine store after eating some horse meatballs and sipping on cheap coffee and leave without getting a thing and not hurt anyone's feelings in the process.
And if you do decide to pick up something, transporting it to your vehicle is a generally fairly easy process, on account of the fact that everything is neatly packed into flat boxes.
It isn't until you get home and splay everything out on the living room floor that you realize you may have bitten off more than you can chew.
Well, either that or you just really, really don't feel like assembling furniture. This is where a guy like Waz comes in.
Waz Mahmood lost his job during the COVID-19 pandemic and is a DIY enthusiast. So he saw a chance for a potential new revenue stream: making his full-time job assembling people's IKEA furniture.
A number of people during the pandemic who had their jobs transition to work-from-home gigs probably realized that they needed to do a bit of remodeling around their home.
After all, their office space was brought into their living room, and it isn't until you start actually trying to work from home for a while that you realize what you need to make your life easier.
So there was probably a large influx of people who were browsing IKEA and other furniture outlets in order to get the pieces needed to make their home lives much more conducive to an existence in quarantine.
Since the pandemic, he's put together a staggering 500 different pieces uses an application called Airtasker. Before COVID hit and he lost his job, he used to score some extra cash using the application and when he saw that he had an opportunity to do it full-time, he decided to go all in.
Previously, he worked as a trainer construction site manager before ultimately being furloughed, but his new full-time gig gives him the opportunity to basically set his own hours and meet a lot of cool people in the process.
Waz talked about his previous experiences using the app, stating he decided to get on Airtasker in the past to save some extra money for a vacation with him and his friends.
"I would finish work at 4.30pm and go for a job at 6 pm, which might not finish until 9 pm. I'd do that a few times a week. I tried to work fast enough so that each job worked out to at least £20 an hour," he told LadBible.
It turns out all of his hard work on AirTasker has made him somewhat of a trustworthy name on the application.
"Now, of course, I'm a well-known name on Airtasker. I've been in the game for a while, so when I bid on a job everyone recognizes me." In the beginning, Waz, a Londoner, was accepting jobs from all over, which included a 160-mile five hour round trip job in Southampton to build a wardrobe.
"I'm not very good with geography, so I only thought the house was about an hour away - but my wife told me it was much further. I set out at 8 am and got home at 1 am the following day. I was there for so long I had a takeaway with the customers - it was madness."
And although Waz is basically a pro at assembling IKEA furniture at this point, there was one time he actually ruined a customer's piece - it was when he was putting together a wardrobe with his nephew and then disaster struck.
"I had just built a wardrobe with my nephew and was packing up when he tripped over and fell into it, busting a big hole in the back panel. At first, you could hear a pin drop. But then I was like, 'Tell me you didn't just do that!' I couldn't believe it."
The customer wasn't too bothered by the hole, however, as it couldn't be seen and it was covered by a shelf: "Thankfully, the customer saw the funny side and it was covered by a shelf, so they didn't mind too much."
Although Waz has managed to get a full-time construction gig, he still does enjoy taking the occasional Airtasker job in order to rake in some extra moolah: "I'm too busy now to respond to the job alerts quickly enough, but I enjoy putting flatpack furniture together so much that I do still take on the odd job here and there," he said.
IKEA's been in the news a lot as of late, not just as a purveyor of post-pandemic employment opportunities, but also for buying back unwanted furniture from customers. In some cases, the retail outlet will pay up to half of the original item's price.
If you're someone who's constantly sprucing up their living situation and are a bit of an IKEA addict, this could help you out big time. Instead of looking for family members and folks online to pick up your old pieces for a pittance, you can just bring them to IKEA
The move was actually instituted as part of an initiative from the company to help promote sustainability. The Swedish furniture monolith is hoping that more and more people will bring in their unwanted and old furniture for IKEA vouchers instead of just tossing them or using them as part of a backyard wrestling league.
On a totally unrelated note, if you have a backyard wrestling league please invite me to it.
When IKEA gets the qualifying items, they will then clean them up and offer them for resale for customers who are looking for a cheaper alternative to whatever items they're thinking about outfitting their homes with.
It's worth mentioning that the USA isn't participating in the buy-back program, however. The UK, Ireland, and other countries all joined in, but for whatever reason, IKEA retailer's in America weren't too keen on joining the initiative.
Maybe one could just chalk it up to negative experiences with buying used GameStop games, or maybe the nation's happy with its 35 out of 162 sustainable development ranking.