Bought some construction material from HD yesterday. The receipt
shows the cost of each item and the refund value of each item. The
refund value is 10% less than the purchase price. Guess they're now
charging a 10% restocking fee on returned items. They've now lost my
There's a trick to getting good advice from someone in HD, and I'll
Stand close to the item you want help with, and wait till another
who is dressed WORSE than you are, starts looking in that area.. They
the people to ask, since they obviously have been working with their
more than yourself, and certainly more than HD salespeople.
they don't have cell phones that ring and send them on their way while
answering your question.
Sometimes, you just gotta think it thru...
Andy in Eureka, Texas
I was sitting on the floor at HD going through the boxes of mis-sorted
electrical connectors looking for the last one I needed when an
"associate" walked by and said (I swear) "That's why we call it a do
it yourself store. If you want to find something DO IT YOURSELF"
(South Ft Myers Fla)
I was in the right frame of mind to laugh since I knew they would not
have a clue what I was looking for in the first place.
I was under the impression they've been doing that for some time, I've seen
it on receipts before. I go to Hell Depot last, simply because it's so
difficult finding an employee who is capable of or interested in being
helpful. We have a terrific family-owned hardware store nearby (talk about
endangered species) and several independent or chain home-improvement stores
other than HD, so I can usually stay out of there for months on end. They
could easily get my business just by staffing the place with people who give
a damn, but they seem to have little interest in making shopping there a
pleasant experience. Oddly enough there is a new HD across town that is
full of helpful employees, maybe the management of some stores is a little
Not that I know if this is relevant in this instance, but over the
last few years I've seen reports of retailers starting to track
customers with higher than usual return numbers. In some instances
they are then taking specific action to compensate for those
customers. Do you have a large amount of returns at HD? Could that be
HD is one of those companies. They slammed a friend of mine with a
restocking charge but she actually took back more than she kept over a
6 month period. She would go buy 2 or 3 things, take them home and
look at them in her house and choose the one she liked best, taking
the others back.
Her name was on the abuser list.
I never had a problem but I return a very low percentage of what I
buy. That is one advantage of charging things tho. They know how good
a customer you are. If you pay cash for everything the only time they
know you is when you return something.
On Tue, 06 Oct 2009 15:26:41 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
When I was a boy, in the 50's, we lived in a small city of 50,000 in
western Pa. My mother usually had a car**, but still, when there was
a sale in the newspaper, like on purses, and she didn't want to go
shopping, she would call up the department store and tell them
approximately what kind of purse she wanted, and they would deliver
maybe 3 purses, with their own delivery truck. She would look at them
for a couple days and then call them to come and get the ones she
didn't want. If she didn't want any of them, that was okay too. My
mother grew up poor and didn't spend a lot of money on clothes, but
otoh, she never went out naked (she even wore clothes at home) and
there were only two department stores in town, maybe one, so whatever
she did spend, she spent with this store. And the driver probably got
paid bupkes (goat droppings).
Maybe your friend is the daughter, or granddaughter, of someone like
That's a good point. I pay cash in part because if I return something,
I feel obliged to watch my account to see if the return is credited,
yet I never do watch it. But if they ever give me a problem, I guess
I'll start charging everything.
**She had a car because my father almost always rode the bus to work,
or even walked I think. We lived in a nice pretty new n'hood but
downtown was only 1.5 miles away. In the evening he would wait for
the bus, but often a friend would drive by and give him a ride home or
at least up to our street, where it intersectw the main north-south
street. There was really only way to get to the north side. This was
in the days when the supermarket was only opend from 9 to 5 M-Sat.
Later it stayed open to 6. I don't know what my best friend's
mother, who lived across the street, did for a car during the day.
His father worked downtown too, and was 20 years younger than mine.
Maybe he walked too. I don't remember anyone having two cars, except
maybe one fairly rich family we knew, my mother's best friend. They
owned a dry goods store. They lived another 7 blocks north.
re: "I've seen reports of retailers starting to track customers with
higher than usual return numbers."
I return a fair amount of stuff to HD (and Lowes) sometimes with a
reciept, sometimes without. I'll buy extra fittings for plumbing or
electrical work or extra wood just so I don't have to go back in the
middle of a job. Been doing that for as long as I can remember. I
recently bought $250 worth of wood, had someone help me load it into
my trailer and then an hour later had someone one help me unload it so
I could return it!
I've only been flagged on a return once and it was because I returned
a bunch of plumbing fittings at one HD and then a couple of hours
later found a few more in the van and stopped at a different HD. When
I tried to return them, they had to get a manager's approval. When I
asked why, they asked me if I had just returned a bunch of stuff at
the other HD. I said yes but later found a few more that I didn't
need. The manager said "Fine" and processed the return. Bottom line is
that they are certainly doing some type of tracking.
My pet peeve is the fact that they always give me cash for returns
when I made the purchase with a debit card. I don't see why they can't
credit the debit card like just about every other store does. A couple
of dollars here and there is no big deal, but I didn't need $250
burning a hole in my pocket when I returned the wood mentioned
I find it simply incredible folks want the absolute rock-bottom cheapest
initial price and still think that owes them the "right" to take stuff
home, let it lay around a construction site for a month or two and then
take the culls back for full credit/refund. Often I even see folks take
tools for a weekend job, use them, then claim some "defect" and return
But, as for HD policy,
Nothing about 10%; I'd suggest asking local store management about what
the deal is specifically if it's that bothersome but my real suggestion
is as above--you buy it; it's yours unless there is an actual defect.
Don't buy stuff if the intent is to return it; what's the point anyway???
On Tue, 06 Oct 2009 13:13:22 -0500, against all advice, something
I bought a garage door opener from them. On the box it said that
if my door was taller than some measure, I'd need a rail
extension. I didn't know the dimensions of my door, so I bought
the extension, figuring that if I didn't need it I'd bring it
I didn't, and they accepted it with a refund and a smile.
Don\'t worry about people stealing an idea. If it\'s original, you will
have to ram it down their throats.
cabinets and counter tops, signed the paperwork for design. $100
deposit. The sub who does the measuring came out, measured the kitchen.
When we next went in to speak with the kitchen planner, she told us
there was a problem with the drawings. One wall went off on a wild
slant, obviously either an error in measuring or perhaps entering
figures in the computer. The room is rectangular and assumed 90o angles
at corners. She didn't suggest any solution, which really bothered
me...it would have taken a few to just contact whoever did the measuring
and get the plan corrected. Because she didn't suggest a resolution,
there was no way we would have proceeded...figured the $100 was a
cheaper way of finding out they did lousy work than to find out after
the full cost was incurred. We didn't ask for the deposit back. About
a month later, we were in the store for a small purchase, she saw us and
flagged us down - she wondered if we wanted our deposit back and
insisted we take it. Strange experience.
The point is that when building something, it can be difficult to
estimate exactly how much of certain items you may need. An extra roll
of felt, an extra box of nails, 20 extra pavers, a couple of pipes and
fittings. It is a long standing custom with places that sell building
supplies that many jobs will have some returns at the end. It has
always been considered part of the deal, and not some kind of devious
way it worked when I was a wee boy- for regular customers, raw stock in
resalable condition was taken back with no fee, and special order stuff
was a 10 or 15 per cent restock charge, which I have absolutely no
heartburn with. Makes me do my homework up front. IMHO, tools and such,
and 'decor' frou-frou, should only be returnable if defective. (My
sister proudly told me she buys BIL's clothes that way online- shotgun
purchase on styles and sizes, and returns half of it.) I dearly wish
there WAS a ma'n'pa traditional lumberyard near here. The only survivors
had to morph into boutique door and window shops, or custom trim mills.
Rest of them went belly up when the chains moved in.
It's all related to the automobile, and also to the two-car family.
People got used to driving farther for things they want, and a store
with little service can be cheaper to run, lower prices are possible,
or at least a bigger selection of parts.
Although the ACE hardware I like is only a fifth the size of an HD.
Much space is saved because it doesn't have lumber or many building
matterials, it doesn't have home appliances, etc. just hardware and
things pretty close to that. (It does have phone, cable, and some
other electronic accessories.)
Except that it isn't an answer to the original question.
I have no idea what "'decor' frou-frou" is. Some new type of
electrical wall plate perhaps? Tools might not be defective but may
not explain on the literature, box, etc., exactly how it works and
allow you to assess the quality. For example, that huge adjustable
wrench for that once-in-a-lifetime clean out plug nut removal might
turn out to be just 1/16" shy of the right size. Or sometimes the tool
so violates the merchantability concept (i.e. does not do the job)
that used or not the retailer deserves to take it back and take a bath
on the returns (a water pre-filter for drywall sanding dust springs to
Ignoring this whining... My version: the world would be a whole lot
better if contractors and other grunts would tug their forelocks when
I approach them. They should be very happy to work for a bowl of rice
a day, and keep quiet in the presence of their betters especially on
As to the original question. If HD are running a sale or some kind
(e.g. 10% off your next purchase) they will deduct the 10% from the
total and show all the individual items with a refund value of 10%
less than the actual retail shelf cost. When you return one of the
items you only get back the reduced price. Nothing wrong with that.
You only paid the reduced amount! Lowe's does the same thing. I
suspect this is what's happened with the OP. He needs to read the
receipt more carefully.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.