A recent review of Ikea’s greenhouse packaging in South Africa’s capital city of Pretoria found that the average cost of a single unit was just $1,625, but the average price per sq foot was $1 and $2.10, respectively.
“The cost of packaging is really a proxy for the overall quality of the product,” the review’s author, Joanna Schmid, told Business Insider.
“So it’s not just a product with a price tag and a price point, but it’s also a product that will have to meet a certain standard in terms of quality, the type of material it’s made out of and the type it’s used for.”
The price difference in a single sq ft of packaging between Ikea and a comparable store was more than $2,000.
Schmid believes that Ikea should have done better, given the company’s reputation for low quality and high shipping costs.
Ikea said in a statement to Business Insider that it is “very concerned about the results of this study.”
In its response to the study, Ikea defended its packaging.
“We understand that some people may not like to have to spend so much money on a greenhouse, but this is how we do it and we are committed to delivering a better product to our customers,” the statement read.
“As we have said before, we have a very clear policy for packaging.
We use the most advanced packaging technology available to us.
And we will continue to do so, wherever we can, to provide customers with a more sustainable product.”
Schmid said that it was not surprising that a number of the products she studied had been found to be overpriced.
“You might think that it’s a case of price gouging, but if you look at the packaging that’s used in a lot of these products, they’re all overpriced,” she said.
“It’s a very cheap way to sell a product.
I think it’s one of the reasons why a lot more companies don’t make it a priority.”