I live in a rural area and the nearest "shopping" town is 20 miles
away. The town has a Lowes and a Home Depot. The Lowes was there
first, so I got into the habit of shopping there and continued to do
so after the HD opened about 5 years ago.
Last week, on a whim, I decided to try the HD when I needed some
lumber for a barn repair I was working on. HD had two grades (higher
and lower) of the lumber I needed. Since this was a barn repair, the
lesser grade would work well, but there wasn't enough of it. I asked
the department manager if they had any more in stock. He checked and
said no, but they would have a delivery in two days and suggested I
come back then.
I told him that I was in the middle of a project and that it was a 40
mile round trip. He said "no problem", just take the higher grade
lumber and he would charge me the lower-grade price.
I was impressed with that. At Lowes, I wouldn't have been able to
even find a manager. I'm a HD fan now.
Lowes and HD may not be perfect, but they are way better than the "mom
and pop" rip-off store that they thankfully put out of business.
Mom & pop "rip off"? I can go to the local lumber yard and buy better
quality lumber for less. No need to sort through stacks of low quality
"utility grade" (or whatever it is called) at the big box. I asked the
local place why and she told me it isn't by accident. They order better
Last time I needed a quantity of lumber I emailed her my list. Next day
it was in the driveway at no additional charge and every piece was good.
Neighbor is a big box cheerleader and he saw the lumber and remarked
"you must have been all day at the "depot" picking this out".
In my neighborhood shopping complex HD and Lowes face each other across
a road. Often I visit both outfits same day browsing, comparing prices
and buying some things I need.
At HD price is lower than Lowes, staff members are friendly willing to help.
At Lowes most prices are higher than HD staffs often gather around
chit-chatting not paying attention to customers in need of some help.
Do not feel like spending money there.
I shop all over for materials, most times if I need any quantity, I often
buy at wholesalers rather than retailers.
Recently I wanted some Trex deck material, Lowes was $6.50 per 12 foot piece
more than our local Rona (a Canadian not so big box home center) for 18
pieces. I also needed some 12 foot pieces of 2 x 10 red cedar. HD and Lowes
don't carry 2 x 10s, a large local lumber yard had it, good price, but
better lumber than I have ever found at HD or Lowes. It was straight, hardly
any knots, no rough areas, no bark edges, plus delivered at no extra charge.
Home Depot in pittsburgh has rolled out the latest in security.:(
monitors with cameras every 20 to 30 feet, showing me on a monitor as
i walk down the aisles, flashing a red message on the camera you are
being recorded, with a annoying beep from the monitor and a small
strobe light flashing every 30 seconds or so....
of course the store has little help, this attempt to prevent retail
theft has added home depot to my select list of places not to shop
more employees would equal less theft
i now go to lowes.
the home depot would have less theft and better customer service if
they had staff in the store.......
My HD has "Help Needed" buttons. Not long ago, in the tool section, I poked
one. A red light flashed. A beeper went off. Everything by a steam calliope
playing the Star Spangled Banner! In a nonce a orange-bedecked employee
appeared! You won't believe what happened next.
He turned off the beeper and walked away!
That's exactly what he did; he turned off the beeper and walked away.
I follwed him to the key-making desk and asked what that was all about. His
response: "We are under strict orders to respond to calls for assistance
"I don't think you're grasping the bigger picture here," I replied.
No monitors in the Pittsburgh, pleasant hills store. Monitors says they
can't handle theft on their own.
I prefer Lowe's generally, but farther away.
Often I prefer the local Busy Beaver because they have stuff on sale, their
hardware assortments are lightyears ahead of The Home Depot. I get good
service, ands it's faster to maneuver. Security is minimal.
I've found the variances in customer service are due the management and
there can be a big difference in the same name store from one side of
the city/county to the other. A good general manager will cultivate a
staff that lives for customer service and those are the locations I'll
do business with. ^_^
you cant miss these at just below eye level beeping and flashing and
very irritating espically with no employees around.....
they need help buttons and more important the staff to respond to
HD here stocks only at night when closed, and has cut staff so low its
basically a big box saying please steal from us
I'm glad you are happy, but - - -
It all depends on the store and manager. I've been to a bunch of both
stores and some are good, others suck. I can't say that one is better
than the other overall.
As for the mom and pop stores, some were rip off, others are great.
Reasonable prices and great service. I used to live near one like
that. I'd go in and tell the owner "I'm going down to cut some pipe".
Half hour later I'd take my cut and threaded pieces to the counter and
pay a fair price. Try that at the big box stores.
We have a smallish regional chain of Aubuchon Hardware stores around
here (New England). The typical store size is probably 1/10th the
size of the big guys, but they always have the odd ball part you need.
Yes, I think you are right about that. I've only been to this
small-town HD and one down in Tampa FL. The Tampa HD was awful.
Also very true. Unfortunately our former local (one and only) family
owned store used it's only-guy-in-town position to charge outrageous
prices and provide poor service. At that time (15 years ago) the
nearest alternative was 40 miles away. When Lowes, and then HD, came
to town the family joint lasted about 1 year and then closed.
They hand never built customer loyalty.
Agreed, but it seems to be a regional thing (not just a single store). I shop
at the Lowes here more than 75% of the time.
When I was in VT, the local lumber yard left their PT lumber in the mud. Not
only was the stuff a mess to work with but it looked like pretzels. Some of
their molding was quite nice, since they kept it inside but it was *very*
pricey. The finally went out of business. No loss.
I never liked the (then) local Aubuchons, though they were the only game in
the neighborhood. A Lowes opened up a couple of miles from where I used to
live, so I doubt I'd ever go to Aubuchons, were I still living there. There
only choice here is HD or Lowes, though.
It damned well should have. They had crap and treated their customers like
Their store wasn't worth much before. I liked it a little better than the
Aubuchon's across the street, but not by much. Aubuchon's (neither one in EJ)
was "pushed out" by HD. Flanders and Gabby's deserved to lose.
Rice was outrageous and didn't like dealing with homeowners. It was too far
from me to be of use anyway.
It was the usual 72F here. It's been nice since mid-September and probably
will be for another six or eight weeks. ;-) Then well get whacked with
Winter (four weeks cold as bad as 35F-50F). The natives will be in their fur
My wife is not about to move back North.
It's the luck of the draw whenever you shop. The lumber is graded but
varies a lot, the employees, it's variable as to who shows up for work
on what day and what they had for breakfast and if their football team
won or lost the big game. And finally there is always the latest
company idea how best to serve their customers, whatever best might be.
It is what it is, nothing more. You don't get much in the way of
help when paying minimum wages with few benefits.
I don't know if they are still doing it but at Lowe's once the checker
had 5 or 6 people stacked up, and was looking through a catalog for some
kind of knobs or something, they had implemented a policy of the
checkers ordering special items or something like that, so the customers
wouldn't have to go to the service desk. Whatever.... it's the
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