Quoted directly from Ikea's website: "If you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, simply return the unused item in its original packaging within 90 days unless noted below. A receipt is required for all returns and exchanges. Refunds will be issued in the same method of payment as the original payment."
Over the last five years I attempted to return three separate items. On all three occasions, I made my way to the return counter where a poster of a fluffy red heart with outstretched arms reassured me it was ok to change my mind. In all three cases, the return process was difficult time consuming and ultimately resulted in the need to get a manager to approve the return.
Unlike other posters here, I followed the rules. Returned within 90 days, in its original packaging and had an original receipt. No where in the policy does it say the item can not be opened.
Incident 1: Lights, returned. Like many others here, the initial answer was no since the package was opened. I ultimately won out.
Incident 2: A bed, which after assembly, came crashing down. Oddly, not due to my assembly, but to a factory bracket that gave way. This was even identified by the Ikea return person. However, since it was damaged, it was not returnable. Again, after an hour talk with the manager, I was able to get a store credit. Although Ikea is cheap press wood furniture, you would expect it to last more than 90 days.
Incident 3: My most recent. Purchased an area rug, took it home, rolled it out, and found the color was not right for the room. Put it back in the plastic wrap, which was carefully preserved (I know Ikea) Upon return, the employee took it to the back and presumably cut the plastic, unroll the rug and inspect it. She then proceeded to tell me they couldn't take it back because it was covered in dog hair. I found this odd since I had purchased the rug right at closing, it had been unrolled for less than five minutes on my floor, then repackaged. I was back at the Ikea at the opening the next morning, and oh yes, I don't own a dog. I asked to see the hair that covered the rug. She then said, that she would make an exception this time, but scolded me like a child saying, next time, they would not be able to take it back.
Refund firm in hand, I then let her know, she had nothing to worry. I would never bring anything back again. I have kids going off to college. Ikea is not on my list anymore.