Billy: No more beech

Dammit, why does this keep happening? I figure out what I want to buy, and it vanishes.

After getting the Ikea Billy bookshelves setup, after some procrastinating, I worked out I needed an extra shelf. When I went back last time they were out of stock (I had checked the web site; it had lied to me.)

Now the colour I want has vanished from the web site completely.

So earlier this week I jumped on the Ikea online chat thingy.

IKEA: Hi there, how can i help you?

DANIEL: Hi there. Billy extra shelf 76cm wide used to be available in Beech, but this colour no longer appears on the web site. Is it still available?

DANIEL: (In the 36cm size it does appear listed on the web site in Beech.)

IKEA: What store is your enquiry regarding?

DANIEL: Richmond, Vic

DANIEL: The web site doesn’t just say it’s out of stock, it doesn’t list it in the colour options on the product page any more.

IKEA: The Beech colour has been discontinued.


DANIEL: Is there any way of getting an extra shelf from somewhere, or have they all gone?

IKEA: BILLY EX SHELF 36X26 BE VEN – We currently have 11 of them in stock at the moment.

DANIEL: No 76×26?

IKEA: No it has been discontinued.

DANIEL: Ah OK. Well thanks anyway.

Bllaaarrrggh. The whole damn point of buying a Billy was I knew I could get extras for it later.

Why did they have to discontinue Beech Veneer? It was a nice colour! Not as bright as the birch, not as horrible as the others.

So then I figured out a plan B whereby I could re-arrange the shelves a bit and get to Ikea pronto to get some of the remaining small shelves they have in stock before they run out.

Having checked and double-checked the web site, which claimed to have 14 in stock, this afternoon at lunchtime I headed over there on a surgical strike to grab a couple. (It’s about 25 minutes on the tram.)

Aisle 9, location 11.


Look around at the other locations. Nup.

Queue to talk to customer service guy.

All he can tell me is that they’ve been discontinued, and they’re not getting any more in. Why is the computer saying 14? Don’t know.

I checked the “As-is” section, which sometimes has discontinued stock, then departed empty-handed.


I don’t suppose anybody reading further north is headed to Ikea soon and would be kind enough to go look in the Sydney store (claimed to have 24) or Brisbane (claimed to have 10) and organise to post a couple to me? (Hmm, $8 each, plus postage of about $10-12 = about $26 plus something to wrap them in; not too bad.)

Perhaps I’d better just look again at the shelves and sort out a plan C.

Update 2/11/2021: I kept the bookshelf, and survived without the “missing” shelf. I’m only updating today because I found one on hard rubbish near home. Problem (eventually) solved!

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

12 replies on “Billy: No more beech”

aw NO! I have Billy bookshelf in beech. How annoying that they just discontinue a colour like that. If I ever expand I’ll have mismatched furniture! Good luck finding a shelf.

Daniel, I went to the Ikea in Sydney today. Afraid they didn’t have the shelf you are after. Have you considered the glass shelf? The price of the part was $18 too, not $8. Sydney dearer than Melbourne?

Theoretically the prices are the same in Qld/NSW/Vic. WA/SA prices appear to be covered by a different distributor or something and are higher. The long shelf is $18, the short $8. I could take one long one, or two short, depending on how I arrange things.

Yeah I’m pondering glass and other options, though anything will look odd against the existing beech shelves (it’s only got to fill 1-2 gaps).

I may just say bugger it, I’ll live with it. The gaps aren’t huge – it’s just a little irritating as I had in mind filling the space efficiently with CDs.

Thanks for looking!

This is not good news. We have half a house filled with Billy bookshelves in beech. Actually, if I count Mum’s (where 50% of my not inconsiderable library still resides) that’s *two* houses half filled with Billy in beech.

As far as I can tell from the (apprently unreliable) website, beech is still available here and there’s no mention of it being discontinued…….but then would there be until it happens?

Want me to get a few shelves and pop down with them? I’m overdue a tram ride and a pizza in Lygon Street. :-)

Ian, I know here they switch the annual catalogues over at mid-year, and that seems to have been when it happened. When do they switch them in the UK? It might be best to stock up while you can!

Rae suggested ebay, and even found a full bookshelf for sale, so I’ll look at those options!

If you are really desperate, go see a cabinet maker and see if they can cut you an offcut of a beech-y colour. This will only work if they have an offcut in a similar colour otherwise buying a whole sheet in beech is probably too expensive.

Failing that, I seem to remember beech-like Contact being popular in the 70’s/80’s – perhaps you could track one down and buy any any coloured shelf from Ikea?

I had the same issue with another model of combo shelf/cabinet … only this was 40cm deep or so, which made getting a home-built shelf for it next to impossible … ended up getting some MDF cut for it at a local hardware store[1] but definately not ideal …

[1] now, I know MDF is a really bad material to cut which is why I got them to do it … do you think the hardware store guy used any sort of face mask? feck no

I live down the road from Ikea at Rhodes (Sydney) and was planning on going there tomorrow. Happy to help you out, just let me know.


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