The question of who has the best prices often come sup here, it is Home
Depot or Lowes. Today, I had reason to be on both stores and checked the
price of an item I bought locally earlier this morning.
Taco circulator pump
Home Depot $86
Supply New England $61.48
I still wonder why people line up at the big box stores thinking they are
saving a lot of money. If it was Sunday and I needed that part that day to
get the heat back on, I'd have paid it, but given the opportunity to go
elsewhere, it pays to do so.
I think a few years back, they did have low prices, and subsequently put a
lot of small stores out of business. Since then it seems the prices have
crept up incrementally to the point that they are no bargain anymore
I am shocked that both Lowe's and HD were able to build a presence
where I am in Milwaukee, since, in general, their prices on nearly
everything is higher than Menards. As I have thought about it more, I
am coming to the conclusion that Lowe's and HD gear much of their
marketing towards the consumer, and Menards just doesn't. I am much
more of a "pro" and I often feel that my presence at Lowe's or HD is a
hindrance. I can't often move freely down the aisles because the have
piled up special order mechandise or other clutter that makes it hard
to push a big cart through. My mission is to get in, get what I need,
and get out. I don't need a central air quote, or a class on
flooring, and I especially don't need to look around the store for 20
minutes to find a cart big enough to carry 4 sheets of drywall.
I agree with the other poster who said that Lowe's and Home Depot
carry a broader range of SKU's. When they first came to town, I was
excited to see that they carried a much broader range of copper
fittings for plumbing than Menards, but they have whittled that down
quite a bit, and for the few fittings that they still carry that
Menards doesn't, it is cheaper to go to a well stocked small hardware
I also think that they miss out by not letting the dept managers and
store managers make decisions as to what they carry. I needed an A/C
disconnect with a built-in GFCI, which is necessary by code on
installations where there is no receptacle nearby. I asked the dept
manager why they didn't have them, and he told me that he would love
to carry them, and saw the need, but "Headquarters tells us what we
can and cannot carry". :-(
They also have a knack for getting rid of products that I really like,
but I could go on and on.
I think the whole big box diy model has changed over time. When they first
showed up, they stocked they exact same material and brands you'd find at a good
supply house. The convenience of being able to get that all in one location with
staff that knew what they were talking about was what led to their popularity.
Unfortunately, once they reached critical retail mass, they could start
demanding manufacturers provide consumer grade products that had better margins.
That and optimizing the product mix for profit instead of completeness make them
less useful stores.
It may have to do with the individual store itself. I've noticed that the
Lowe's in Bellevue, where I used to live, carried a smattering of plumbing
products that I needed. When I moved across the way I noticed that the
store nearest me carried lots of plumbing, but little electrical. Overall
it seems that each store carries what sells in their area rather than a
single product line across all stores. I don't know about HD, I only buy
Leviton switches and outlets from them - nothing else if I can help it.
In the Chicago area, I haven't found Menard's to be significantly better
on pricing, and their selection is often limited. When I can get what I
need, Menard's is okay. But having several Menard's stores within ten
miles doesn't reduce the number of times I drive ten miles to get to a
Lowe's or HD.
A lot of it probably has to do with convenience-- the box stores are
open 7 days a week, and til 9:00 on 6 of them usually.Dunno about your
area, but for probably half of the population of San Antonio, there is
either a HD or Lowes, or often both, within about 5 miles. Larry
Same in Sacramento I can drive to four HD and two Lowes in 20 minuets Two
of the home depot are about 3 miles apart. I also have a Ace hardware 1/4
mile but they are so expensive it's a I need one screw store.
larger selection of many items, such as light fixtures, but Menards
has more heavy building materials, adn less selections of the smaller
stuff. Menards is almost always cheaper, but there are exceptions.
Like any store, there are always some items that are cheaper at one
place over the others. Last week I wanted a flood light bulb for my
outdoor garage light. The local dollar store is usually cheap, but
they wanted $8 for a halogen flood light. I was not willing to pay $8
for a bulb and wwent to the local (normally expensive) hardware store
and got an indecesant of the same watttage for $3. Sure halogen is
supposed to save a little energy, but it will never make up the $5
difference and I have had halogen bulbs in the past that cracked from
the heat when snow fell on them, so I was not highly impressed. I
just wanted a bulb and not to spend a fortune. I probably could have
gotten it cheaper at Menards but my nearest store is many miles away,
so I would have spent all savings for gasoline. I normally have a
running list of needs to get at Menards, but for one low priced item,
it's not worth the drive, and I needed the bulb immediately.
I guess they don't, since Menards does a lot of business. I always
say that Menards is the Wal-Mart of home improvement. Lots of cheap
chinese made garbage.
They are cheaper than HD or Lowes though.
NewsGuy.Com - $19.95 Unlimited Bandwidth
I'm just glad there's not one in my area. Just one more choice and place
I'd have to go to price compare. I'd be better off if there were no Home
depot close. That way, I'd just go to Lowes (where I end up every time
anyway) and have it over with.
"JK" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
Sez you. Especially after having seen a show on PBS where a Wal-Mart
exec admitted that their prices are often not the lowest available, I
shop Wal-Mart the same way I shop Joe's Hardware; I check the price and
quality before I buy anything of consequence.
It's especially bad since Mr. Sam died. Practically before he was in his
grave, a quart of Pennzoil went from 97 cents to about $1.40 overnight.
There wasn't any change in the price of oil, there was a change in
Ever see those cards of cheapo stuff they sell in out-of-the-way gas
stations? Gizmos on a card that says, "Total value $9.57, your price ____"
and the price is filled in at $1? Where the station paid about $4 for
the card of 20 items? Shortly after Sam died, I saw one of these cards
in a Wal-Mart store in Northlake, IL, little kits of eyeglass screws
and a tiny screwdriver. It said, "Total value $8.57, your price _____"
and Wal-Mart had dutifully filled in, $8.57. That's when I knew Sam
was rolling in his grave.
I put a 5 1/2" MDF base board in my house Home depot $1.59 lnf local
lumber/hardware Meeks $.99 lnf.
If your buying just a little bit of stuff there convenient but any major
purchase shop around.One thing they do that just pisses me off Lowes and
Expo do it to they want $60 to come and measure you carpet. I brought a
detailed drawing to the 1/2" of three rooms door closets every measurement
you need, they said they have to come out and measure themselves. My answer
was if you can't give me a price from that drawing your to stupid to put in
my carpet. I've got prices on all kinds of flooring when I was in the
remodel businesses never was charged for an estimate. There the stores you
love to hate.
Yesterday I was trying to remove a Moen faucet from the sink. It reqires a
special tool to reach a nut that is way up on a thredded piece. The tool
comes with the faucet, but I don't have it because the builder's guys didn't
leave it. I stopped at my Local Ace. Nope they don't seel that item. They
would lend me one.
The deposit? Write your name and phone number on a file card. Tell us your
name so when you return it we can throw the card away. Try that at HD.
After I got the old fauct out I returned the tool. Then putting in the
replacement faucetI decided the old supply lines were too long and snaked
around the cabinet. Time for new supply lines. Did I go to HD to save a
buck? No way.
By the way This Ace is open Sunday morning and the folks there know what
they are talking about.
Price is not always the issue- availability is- A part may be a couple
$$ cheaper at a local store but will the mom and pop store have it in
stock? If I need something I will pay a bit more to get it quicker.
You used one item as an example. Some items like exterior doors are
cheaper at home depot than lowes. Yes the prices have gone up but are
more reasonable when there are lowes and HD near each other
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