IKEA: Evil Empire - Part 2
Ikea keeps its prices down by having its goods made in countries where wages are extremely low and there is less oversight of working conditions. As Shell points out, a US carpenter could not get the raw materials for a table for the price that IKEA sells the table. While part of IKEA's lower costs are due to their buying raw materials in bulk, their cheap labor also keeps costs down.
In addition, IKEA deliberately designs its items to be ephermeral. Buyers are paying for the attractive design, not for the quality of the workmanship. As Shell correctly notes, IKEA furniture does not move well (I've heard this from other people) from apartment to apartment. Most IKEA products end up in the trash and ultimately in landfills. It does not reuse or recycle well.
On the other hand, in the current bedbug plagued NYC, cheap and disposable furniture may be necessary. Is IKEA furniture the forerunner of an era when we must be prepared to throw out our furniture (or burn it)?