Do Lowes Sales Staff Get Commissions?

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I'm starting to do my homework for purchasing replacement windows and I thought I'd start at the bottom just to get some talking points down.
After I talked to the millwork guys at Lowes and HD, I asked if I should come and see *them* should I decide to buy from their store. (Just being nice.)
The Lowes conversation went like this:
- "Should I order from you? Do you get a commission?" - "I'm not allowed to say." - "You've help me with info, I'd like to return the favor." - "Thanks, I'd appreciate that."
The HD conversation went like this:
- "Should I order from you? Do you get a commission?" - "No, if you want to come in a see me, that's fine, but we don't get commissions." - "You've help me with info, I'd like to return the favor." - "Thanks, but you can place your order with whoever is at the millwork desk."
That certainly leads me to believe that the Lowes guys get some type of compensation for the windows they sell. Anybody know for sure?
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Go to Menards, they beat Lowes and HD hands down on most everything. The Lowes by me doesn't even sell lumber over 10 feet long so they are useless to me, and they just dont have all that much in the stores. The HD employees are starting to treat people like crap, and you know what happened to Kmart a few years ago when their clerks couldn't give a crap either. Whereas the Menards stores are huge, have a lot of new products always appearing, and have seasoned/friendly service, I'll take a Menards any day.
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On 08/08/07 10:10 am RickH wrote:

Don't generalize. The Menards here is tiny, with cramped aisles, and the ads often say "not available at <my store>" or "special order at <my store> in 2 to 4 weeks." Menards stores are, AFAIK, only in the Midwest anyway -- Wisconsin is home.
Perce
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I have to apologize for hijacking the thread with my little rant, I'm just saddened by the way HD has gone downhill here in Illinois when compared to Menards. I would go with the commission-free purchase, it's just construction commodities, there is no reason for anyone to have to pay a commission for materials.
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RickH wrote: ...

If a sales person is working on commission as a part of their compensation package, it is simply a part of the distributor labor overhead and the total cost is unlikely to be significantly different from a supplier with that business model than those with all-salary compensation plans.
It really has no bearing that I can see other than perhaps an unethical sales person pushing a higher-priced product for the commission advantage (which appears to be what the OP is concerned about). But, what's to say the salary-only sales person isn't pressured by his organization to push the higher-margin product because his year-end bonus may be tied to profit margins, at least in part?
The end line is you can't avoid the tendency for distributors/retailers to market what is advantageous to them in some fashion. After all, they're in business primarily to make a profit and doing that by serving a need is simply a technique to the goal...
--
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I don't disagree with anything you say, above or below.

I don't know about the OP, but I ask the same sort of questions he did sometimes, to glean whether they are on commission. Sometimes i just ask, "Should I look for you when I come back?"** and usually I only do that wehn I've taken up a substantial amount of their time, and I just want to think about it over night, and I want the clerk who waited on me to get the commission, if commissions are involved.
**And if he says yes, I ask what hours he is there. That doesn't mean I'll rearrange my whole day or week to get there when he is there, but if he works 40 hours a week, it's not hard to get there during those hours. Although I don't promise him that I will. I presume they get a reasonable base salary and commissions are only part of it (where commissions are used.) I doubt it is like when I canvassed for aluminum siding. Most of those guys only get paid, I think, when they find a sale.
Has anyone mentioned that the advantage of commissions is that it makes it more likely that a clerk will be eager to wait on you. We've certainly had complaints here about lack of service at these stores.
The disadvantage is that I like it when the clerks leave me alone, although if I were spending hundreds of dollars on something, I might look at it differently.

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mm wrote:

The other disadvantage it is likely (especially in the case of a big box store because their salary is low) they will try to push whatever has the bigger commission.
Two of my relatives kids got jobs at Best Buy during college. The intense training for their knowledgeable associates (thats what they claim in all of their adds) consisted of them having to show up early and being briefed in the training room about what items had commissions that day and the key points to sell them.

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wrote:

Dang. Now that I know this, I'm going to continue with my current policy of only buying harddrives and floppy disks from them.
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No commissions for anyone at Home Depot. Hell, employees don't even get a discount!!
wrote:

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But it does appear that they get performance-based bonuses. I walked into my local HD soon after opening a few days ago when there seemed to be a staff meeting in progress by the Customer Service desk. I heard somebody informing people that the bonus was 24% (IIRC -- or heard correctly). I don't know whether bonuses are calculated for each store, for each region, or for the whole chain.
At Lowe's I am sure I have seen badges indicating that the wearers are "owners"; I forget the exact wording.
Perce
On 08/10/07 10:04 am curmudgeon wrote:

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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

stock they are an owner.
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mm wrote:

If a sales person is on commission and doesn't let you know that firmly in some manner, he won't be a sales person long...
--
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Thanks for the response. A few points...
First, I didn't say that I was planning to buy from either Lowes or HD or any borg...I'm just doing my homework.
Second, the closest Menards to me is 2 states and 380 miles away and while I'm usually up for a road trip, I don't think buying windows from a store that's a 6 hour drive from my is the way to go. ;-)
Third, while I appreciate the comparison of employee attitudes at the various stores, my question related only to whether or not Lowes sale staff received commissions on their sales. If they do, I would tend to worry that their pockets were a higher priority than my utility bills. I know that even independent contractors could have a "me first" attitude, but the Lowes millwork guy doesn't have any ownership in what he sells me, and isn't impacted if I'm an not happy. It's just another piece of data to consider when weighing my options.
Again, Thanks!
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Your conclusion is not always appropriate.
First, all employees are judged on sales. Even check-out clerks at Walmart are evaluated on how much retail is rung up at their register. A police supervisor knows how many citizen contacts (tickets or warnings) a trooper should be writing on a given shift. Sales is one way of evaluating productivity and is uniformly used.
Second, a good salesman looks for repeat business and recommendations. The worker at HD or Lowes is not repairing flat tires on the interstate - he wants you back!
Third, even if motivated entirely by commission, you may nevertheless get steered to the best possible deal. In other words, the commission may not be based entirely on selling price! The store may be overstocked on Acme Widgets and there's a bonus for pushing them. Acme may be running a special sales promotion. Who knows?
Point is, if you can, pick a product based on its worth to you, without consideration of how your selection may affect others.
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on 8/8/2007 12:08 PM HeyBub said the following:

My Acme does not carry widgets. :-)

--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Your are over generalizing. Both the HD and Lowes here in Pocatello are great. Customer service and product selection are great. A little store like Menards wouldn't survive here.
John
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Why would you want to rely on an 'expert' at the big box stores? If they're smart enough to guide you in your purchase, why are they working at next to minimum wage, instead of making real money in the field?
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You included a major point of my post in your response, and then (apparently) completely ignored it.
I said (and you quoted) "I thought I'd start at the bottom just to get some talking points down."
You asked "Why would you want to rely on an 'expert' at the big box stores?"
What in my post lead you to think I thought they were 'experts' and what lead you to think I was going to rely on them?
By calling both HD and Lowes, I learned a few things which gave me a chance to do a little deeper research. Prior to those calls I didn't even know what I didn't know.
Did I know that there was a difference in the spacing between the glass panes and why that matters? Nope. Did I know that foam filled frames were an option? Nope. Did I know that certain brands change their lines so often that the lifetime warranty might be worthless? Nope.
Now, armed with that information, I spoke to a few other distributors in a more intelligent manner. Since I now knew a few things about windows, the conversations went even deeper and I learned even more.
In fact, this morning a co-worker gave me the name of one of his client's who had just retired as a salesman for a local contracting supply house. I was able to discuss windows in a manner that led him to say "You sound like you know what your looking for. Call Brian at (his old firm) and tell him I sent you. I'll call him and tell him to treat you right." I can't be sure, but my gut feeling is that if I had stumbled through my requirements and desires, he wouldn't have been as willing to help out.
The bottom line is that I accomplished my goal: I started at the bottom, learned a few things, used that info to learn some more and I now feel that I am on my way to making an intelligent purchasing decision..
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Meanwhile, like the OP, I am still wondering about the original question: Does anyone know whether the sales staff at Lowe's are paid on commission or not?
Not buying windows or anything else at this time, just wondering....
Jo Ann
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- Meanwhile, like the OP, I am still wondering about the original - question: Does anyone know whether the sales staff at Lowe's are paid - on commission or not?
- Jo Ann
Jo Ann,
How dare you attempt to get this thread back on track. Shame on you!
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