Thanks for that bit, Z. Here in Maine we are about to experience Lowes in
competition with HD.
2 Lowes stores, one in Brunswick and one in Auburn.
The Auburn Store will be in quadrangle with HD, Super Wal-Mart, and BJ's
Wholesale Club. Another Big Box property on the same "strip" is yet to be
disclosed, was the former Wal-mart.
Simply put, I'm looking for the best deal on an Echo 210 Staight Shaft
Trimmer and the brush blade that goes with. HD has the lowest price in
Maine at the moment and I'm holding out at this point for end of season
If I were purely politically oriented, I'd not buy from HD. But when MY
budget is tested on a product or a project, I'll shop for best price (
choice is wonderful.
far away from anywhere.
Breeze ( sue burnham)
| Maybe this is much too off topic, but a friend of mine who is much more of
| political animal than I am told me HD is heavily supported by rich
| such as Arthur Blank, the
| president of Home Depot, who hosted a dinner
| in Atlanta that gave Bush $2.5 million. So any of you whose whole lives,
| including gardening, are permeated with their political convictions might
| to go to Loew's, etc. if you need to buy at a big chain store.
Be sure you are comparing apples to apples. Sometimes HD has products
produced to cheaper specifications that are sold only in its stores. The
Echo trimmer that you want may or may NOT be exactly the same at Lowe's,
Wal-Mart, and Home Depot.
Almost anything sold by any of these crap-o-mats can be found to have a
parallel product vastly better from Seers. I'm no huge fan of Seers, but
I'm far less a fan of products that break easily or don't even work, which
is what you get at (in order of crappiness) Home Depot & its ilk. And all
too often, the illusion of having saved a dollar by paying $10 at Home
Depot for what costs $11 at Seers, since the Lowes product breaks right
away it's actually $10 too much, & since the Seers version lasts for years
& years, it's the real bargain.
I've also gotten superior products at Ace Hardware & Fred Meyers, in some
cases after having to return unutterable junky versions to Home Depot or
Lowes. I have hardly ever set foot in WalMart, but the couple times I ever
got anything there (a garden light comes to mind) it was broken in a
trice, so WalMart slipped off my map entirely. I do still compare-shop at
Home Depot & Lowes, but anything that has two or more moving parts to it
is guaranteed not to work as well (if at all) as the equivalent from
Seers. It's just the way it always works out.
-paghat the ratgirl
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
I would add to that you will never get a ration of crap trying to return
something to Sears. I bought a fairly expensive expensive self propelled mower a
while back and I just didn't like the way it operated.
After using it twice I took it back to the store. The guy asked me why I was
returning it and I told him exactly why. They gave me a full refund without
batting an eye.
Apparently the new CEO of HD is quite proud of the new return policy. Of
course, he blamed, I mean credited it to some low level employee who said it
wasn't fair to take stuff back and give people cash while she could hardly
pay her bills. The logic escaped me and Wolf Blitzer didn't seem to be
troubled by the nonsense.
I'm not entirely sure. Blitzer mentioned that people always remarked that
"Home Depot will take anything back." That lead to the discussion about how
it wasn't fair to take things back and they were cracking down on people who
were abusive. Frankly, there are times that I don't know if I will need ten
pipe fittings or 18. I might need six of these and seven of those and
perhaps four of another. I don't want to run out of supplies and have to
drive to the hardware store in the middle of a project. I tend to buy more
than I need and return the rest. I haven't had a problem so far at Lowe's
or HD, but if there is some new stringent return policy at HD, that is yet
another reason to shop elsewhere. There have been time that I have had to
return things to HD because there were parts missing from the box. Once I
got a toilet and the take and bowl didn't match because someone switched
them in the box. Once I got a bunch of plumbing components recommended by
an employee that were the wrong parts and I had to return them.
On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 22:03:03 +0000, Vox Humana wrote:
The problem that these stores have is not with someone buying extra nuts
and bolts and returning what's not used, but with equipment. I know a guy
who's very proud of the fact that every fall he "buys" a ladder from
Lowes, cleans out his gutters, then returns the ladder. No worries about
cost, storage, etc. I have heard that HD (and others) are modifying
their return policies to try to put a stop to that kind of abuse. Hard to
fault them for that.
As with any policy, there will always be someone who figures out how to abuse
it, or circumvent it.
I saw a woman try to retun a 1/2 dead flat of annuals. It was very early in the
season and we had a frost. She had planted them and dug them back up
They wouldn't allow the return, because the flat was sold as a flat, not the
few individual plants she wanted credit for. I was glad HD stuck to their guns,
but, if I were a lawyer, I'd claim they did at the time, have banners all over
proclaiming "Satisfaction Guranteed or your money back." No conditions, no "*"
followed by fine print.
Taken to the letter, if I were to purchase a lawn mower and become dissatisfied
3 years into use, i *should* be able to return it, no?
It's very true that no matter how many restrictions you put on your
return policy, eventually someone will find ways to abuse it. The trick
is to find a policy that you can use as a selling point, without loosing
more than you're gaining with it.
A certain technology company offers paid support at $xx an incident, or
you can buy annual contracts for $xxx-$xxx, depending on how much you
want covered. The per-incident charge can't be reversed if they fix the
problem, but they provide a 30-day full refund for the annual contracts,
even if you've made a call to tech support every day.
There are lots of advantages to the 30-day return policy. Most people
who call weren't even aware that these programs were available, and
haven't had a chance to evaluate whether the price is worth it. But they
have an immediate problem they need solved. The return policy gives them
the chance to make what could be considered an impulse buy, but they now
get a 30-day cooling-off period.
Of course you already know what happens. People call in and buy annual
contracts to avoid paying an charge for the single incident.
When the company rolled-out the return policy, they knew some people
would do that. The policy wasn't created by idiots. But the numbers they
ran said that the additional sales of annual contracts they could make
because of the policy outweighed the amount of revenue lost to people
who find the loophole.
Retail stores that have the "no questions asked" return policies know
that they're going to spend more giving money to people who should have
been asked to justify their returns, but they believe that they are
making additional sales because of the policy.
This is especially good for hardware items. Some people will still
return that extra nut and bolt they grabbed, but many people won't. And,
more importantly, given the choice of going someplace that'll take back
the excess bought, and someplace that all sales are final, people will
go to the place with the better return policy -- especially people like
contractors who can be repeat customers.
People returning using and ladders could be a problem. The guy who
cleans out his gutters, and brings it back is a sale lost. But the guy
who bought a 14' ladder, got home, got the job halfway done, and
realized he needed an 18' ladder instead is different. A store credit,
allowing the guy to buy that 18' ladder, might be a good solution, but
what if the store doesn't have 18' ladders? Who's going to decide which
customer has a valid reason for returning something, and which doesn't?
What criteria will they use? How much will it cost to train people to
apply the standards fairly and consistently? How many sales will be lost
because potential customers won't buy because the return policy isn't
liberal enough? How many customers will walk out the door scared away by
an angry customer complaining (loudly) that the store won't take a
Sometimes the bottom line is served best by having an outrageously
liberal return policy that is obviously abusable. Sometimes the bottom
line is served best with a "no returns" policy. The bigger the company,
the more they've likely pondered the return policy, and it's big-picture
effects. And it is the big picture that counts whether you're Sears,
Home Depot, or Joe's Dollar Store. You can't focus on that guy who just
left the store with a refund he didn't deserve.
Good point. I'd love to chat, but I need to run to HD and buy a conduit
bending tool for a once in a lifetime outdoor electrical wiring project.
Sure hope it's not the wrong color or I'll have to return it. :)
Seriously, I understand your point. I guess that HD and others have
evaluated their policy and decided its just too darned liberal.
The blame is squarely on the shoulders of those who abuse the liberal
policy, not those who are forced to rescind it because of jerks.
There is another consideration. All product in HD is placed there on
consignment by the manufacturers. Returns do not hurt HD's bottom
line, they affect the manufacturers who supplied and bankrolled the
product. I suspect that quite a few are bitching. Worked for one who
was placing product from Canada, heard all about, had to design
packaging for a situation where people need to touch the stuff, but we
don't want too many opened.
Costco indulges in similar practices.
"A liberal is a conservative who's been through treatment."
- Garrison Keillor
After six months of using an electric Ryobi trimmer, I returned it to Home
Depot. I was given store credit, no questions asked other than what was wrong
with it. NO receipt.
Need a good, cheap, knowledge expanding present for yourself or a friend?
They all do the same thing. One of the biggest fish-heads they use to lure
people into the store is "exclusively at such & such" or "only at HD".
It's a fact manufacturers will not sell to discount stores the exact same
item the authorized dealers sell.
Same goes for their garden plants/shrubs, they sell the items wholesale
nurseries can't sell to re-wholesalers. They are rejects or lesser quality
than you purchase through a wholesaler or retailer. I know this because I
work for the largest re-wholesaler in the nation.
I am probably more thrifty than most people. Still, I realize that the
price on the shelf tag or sticker isn't the only consideration. Plants from
a big box store aren't necessarily the bargain that they appear to be.
Often they have wilted over and over again. Items may be dumbed down,
look-alike products that are cheaper than what you might find for a little
more elsewhere. Sometimes the help you get from knowledgeable sales people
adds value to the product. From a political standpoint, you have to
consider if the money you pay for an item will eventually be used against
you or contrary to your values. Will you buy cheap now and then use tax
dollars to clean up a toxic waste site left by that company. Will you buy
cheap now and pay for the food stamps of the poorly paid employees? Will
you buy cheap now because the store receives generous tax breaks when the
established store in town goes broke and stops paying taxes. Will the
store ship all the profits back to a distant headquarters, or worse, will it
ship jobs overseas. Knowing that the top guy at HD earns $22 million
dollars sort of disturbs me when I see people working in the stores who are
obviously a paycheck away from being homeless. Knowing that a chunk of the
money goes to a political movement that is unpinned by a philosophy of cheap
labor also troubles me. Given that knowledge, I will shop elsewhere when I
can. I'm not suggesting that anyone else should follow, nor am I ignoring
the fact that people of other political conviction make purchase decisions
using the same logic. The religious right has avoided Disney products for
years. Others mount boycotts against media outlets like CBS. Political
shopping isn't a practice owned by any particular group.
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