…the company boasts of illuminating its stores with low-wattage lightbulbs but positions outlets far from city centers, where taxes are low and commuting costs high—the average IKEA customer drives 50 miles round-trip. Cleverly, IKEA transfers transport and energy costs onto consumers, who are then handed the additional burden of assembling their purchases [source].
I’m a self-professed fan of Ikea but everything cited in this article is true. Consumers often fail to judge the true cost of their purchases; just because it is cheap doesn’t mean it costs less. Even to the consumer (assembling time is an opportunity cost).