IKEA's Rechargeable Batteries: Buy More, Spend More

IKEA's Rechargeable Batteries: Buy More, Spend More

Jonathan B.
Feb 25, 2008

IKEA's sold batteries for as long as we can remember, and we don't know much about their environmental impact other than 1) they are marked "mercury-free" and 2) they don't last as long as, say, a Duracell and 3) we can't help but buy them because they are cheap, cheap, cheap. But we've got so many gadgets at home that use batteries -- wireless keyboards, Wii remotes, you get the idea -- it's high time to switch to rechargeable. Fortunately, IKEA claims they're going green, and that means they now carry rechargeable batteries, so we thought we could scratch one more thing off the list.

But, really, who can say no to the price for the throwaways? At 10 for $2.99, that's about 30 cents per battery.

So this weekend, we were pleased to see rechargeable batteries at IKEA -- they're in the little green package on top of the literal mountain of throwaway batteries in the top image. But do they pencil out?

We certainly weren't enticed by the price: $18.99 for six batteries seems steep, even if it does include a charger. Think of the charger as worth, say, $5, and that works out to $2.33 per battery. If you think of the charger as free, those rechargeables shoot up to over $3 each.

But wait: we already have a charger at home, so we thought instead to buy the bigger pack of eight rechargeable batteries without a charger. But at $24.99, we'll still be paying over $3 for each battery. And if you include the charger in the price of the 6-pack, then the batteries in the 8-pack are actually more expensive.

That's not how buying in bulk is supposed to work, and we feel like IKEA tried to take advantage of us. Just because there's more doesn't mean it's a better deal. A better option? Surf over to Amazon and enter "rechargeable battery." We found lots of options, with well-known name brands starting at $14 for an eight-pack.

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