Last week at Lowes while asking for assistance to buy a 14.4-volt DeWalt
battery a "Tool" person advised me to wait until the 30th of Sept, as there
was a two for one sale that day only! I returned on the 30th to buy 2
batteries. In the checkout line the clerk advise that I needed a coupon that
had been mailed out, I didn't have one. The sign clearly posted in the tool
section said nothing of that, nor did your salesperson when telling me to
wait and return on the 30th.
I went to the customer service center and spoke with a "manager". After a
brief conversation we walked down to the tool section where he looked at the
sign, then he offered that the sale was not for the general public, only for
contractors! He refused to honor the word of your tool sales person or
honor the sign as posted in the tool section. This particular manager didn'
t help matters in the least and was in fact somewhat belligerent and
argumentative. He certainly did not want to see my side of this matter as a
customer, in the least. He did offer to discount additional battery were I
to buy two, but that is not what the posted sign or sales personnel said! I
would expect he is new at his job, and hopefully will not last long at it.
I have always been treated fairly in Lowes stores in the past. While I am
certain their intent was to offer only to contractors, their advertisements
for the event should have been posted in the contractor's area, and not for
the general public in the tool section. Additionally sale personnel in the
tool department should know better than to be passing it off as a one-day
sale item. The sign does say it is a one day contractor sale, however we all
know sales event often carry labels that do not offer validity, I merely saw
it as a name for the event. As I often have seen DeWalt service reps in
Lowes I truly felt this was to be such an event.
As you can well discern I am ticked over this! I don't like being made to
look foolish or treated in any store as anything less than a valued
customer. While I would like to say I will not go back I am sure that will
not be the case, however I take every opportunity that comes up to not go
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Call the Customer Rep at HQ and tell them what happened. I had a problem of
a similar nature and what's good for a Contractor - applies to the general
public as well (try the word discrimination). As long as they publicly
advertised it as a sale, they can't have two prices for the same item for
Perhaps because some contractors spend $50,00 to $200,000 or more per year
with them, year after year?
I live 30 minutes from where Lowes was born. They used to give a
contractor's discount on almost every thing in the store. I almost NEVER
went anywhere else.
Then they went nation wide. That practice stopped. Too Bad. Now, even
though I still think Lowes is better than most other places, I don't shop
there exclusively any more.
So your dollars and cents spent there don't measure up. Sorry.
In His Name, be Blessed,
How long do you think Lowes would surive without Mr. John Q. Public. I had
the same situation with Sam's Club. I demanded a refund on my Membership
Fees and walked out. These BORGs needs to realize who butters their bread
and it ain't the contractors.
PS. Before you reply, remove 'remove-this-before-you-email'
from my Email Address please..
I don't know about that.
I stopped in Home Depot on the way to work this morning. The contractor ahead
of me in line put $28,000 on his tab this morning. That's a lot more butter
than I normally spread.
Buffalo, NY - USA
Aren't there better places for contractors to buy their supplies and tools
other then a borg?
If I were a contractor, I would certainly look for a more commercial place
then a store that is open to the general public.
Every commercial contractor's supply I've ever seen also sells to the general
public, but most of the GP ain't smart enough to bother with them.
"Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit
| Every commercial contractor's supply I've ever seen also sells
| to the general public
I've never had any supplier refuse me service or charge me a different price
because I wasn't a contractor. However, some have enforced minimum order
quantities or similar restrictions.
I deal with at least a couple of suppliers who won't even sell to
non-professionals. My hardwood supplier has a two hundred board foot
minimum if I pick up and a five hundred board foot minimum delivered.
I can buy for about one fourth to one third of what it costs at a
lumber yard, because the yards buy from this guy.
My sheet goods supplier will only sell to the trade and sends out a
salesman on the initial call to verify that you have working shop.
The discount is not as big as it is in solid stock but I have access
to products that simply are not available through yards. ie real
cabinet grade plywood, sequence matched and numbered.
When I bought from Sherwin Williams, I ran about twenty percent lower
than what Joe Homeowner could get the goods for.
My hardware supplier sells only to the trade and I can get solid brass
knobs, 1 1/2" for less than a dollar apiece when I buy a hundred. I
get Grass 180 degree hinges for about a dollar and a half each.
Being in business demands that you work your way upstream. You have
to find out who the supplier is for your current supplier and see if
that guy will do business with you directly.
It is amazing what paying cash upfront can do to open some of these
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker
Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania
Yup. For good reason, cabinetmaker's supply companies do NOT want to deal with
Joe & Jane Average (obvious reasons being the lack of volume, having to handle
a piece too many times, etc.).
As a woodworker, I've been lucky enough to have cabinetmaker friends willing
to add my order to their order for a slight premium over what they pay. Some
will. Some won't. It is not something to base a friendship on, but may develop
from a friendship over time.
That 200 bf minimum can be a killer if you don't have an near immediate need
for that much and don't have storage space, a common complaint among hobby
woodworkers. Thus, hobbyists end up paying 6 or 8 bucks a bf for semi-decent
red oak at Lowe's or HD or a similar chain.
I really cheat. I go around to small local lumberyards and find out what
hardwoods they've overcut recently. Take it home (not here in Parkersburg,
where I've got zip for storage or shop space). Stack & sticker & wait. Skip
plane at 6 months. Joint & one side plane after maybe 9-10 months, depending on
my need for the wood.
Finish indoors, in the shop.
Cost for the raw, green wood is usually around half a buck a board foot.
Finished out, it probably costs $1.50 for oak or cherry for the FAS stock and
maybe a buck for the log run.
"The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf."
The other consideration with discounts is the time involved. The pro knows
what he wants, places the order, loads, and is gone in a short time. Joe
Homeowner often has no clue, takes twice the time of the sales person and
the guys in the shop for a sale that is about 5% of the pro shop.
Where I work we discourage small pickups by customers. My crew can load a
53" trailer with a particular item in about 30 to 40 minutes with 2 people.
It consists of 26 large units. We have one customer that comes with his own
inadequate truck and picks up two of them himself. It takes the same amount
of time to get him loaded and tied down. Same amount of paperwork to bill
him $200 at it is to bill the big customer $5000.
On 04 Oct 2003 01:19:05 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Charlie Self)
I'd like t be able to go that way but it takes a tremendous amount of
space and time. I buy mostly FAS and #1 Common stock. I buy it in
quantities suited to the jobs in the pipeline and many times I make up
the difference in the five hundred foot minimum for delivery by
filling out the rest with poplar, which is cheap and is used up
quickly in millwork and secondary wood usage.
I've bought from small local mills in the past and found that the run
of the mill has too low a proportion of cabinet grade face wood to be
economical. You may only pay a small amount per board foot but that
price goes up when you consider culls and below grade slabs.
I pay about four bucks for cherry but ninety percent of it is useful.
I pay about a buck and a half for poplar and damned near all of it is
When I deal with an expensive wood like cherry or walnut, it is
sometimes worth it to buy less than FAS and deal with the time
involved in cutting out the defects. This is mostly true in library
jobs where I might have use for small widths of pilasters and edge
materials. When I have a dining room table job it means that I have
to go to the yard and select and this drives the price up by a great
I hope that in your upcoming book you explain the ins and outs of
hardwood grading, particularly in the case of walnut, which has rules
unlike any other domestic hardwood. The grading standards are so
various and flexible as to be nearly incomprehensible to someone who
has not been involved with it on a professional level for some time.
When I started out, I got pissed off that so much of the wood sent to
me was unusable. My waste factors, bids and profitability have gone
up since then.
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker
Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania
| I deal with at least a couple of suppliers who won't even sell to
I'm sure I'll run into that if I escalate my appetite for projects. I
haven't had any yet refuse me service because I'm not a professional, but
I've been put off myself by minimums I wasn't prepapred to satisfy. Maybe
that was their polite way of saying they didn't want my business, but I'm
usually the one who brings up the minimum.
I have some pipe organ builders who let me piggyback on their orders too;
it's just more convenient for me. It's not because I can't get materials
any other way.
It's fine with me if a supplier wants to decide who his customers should be.
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