My point is that people blindly shop at the big stores and assume they have
the lowest prices and best selection. Far from the truth. They may be
lower on exterior doors, but when I replaced my slider, instead of buying
Pella at Home Depot, I bought Pella from the dealer across the street. He
carried the full line and had models that HD does not even order.
Same with appliances. HD sells the same brand I bought from the guy around
the corner. To answer your availability question, I could either drag it
home or wait a week for delivery. For about the same price, the local guy
delivered and set up the new one and hauled away the old one. I've never
been able to figure out why a sane person would want to take home their own
refrigerator and drag it into the house to save maybe $10.
In spite of the size of the big box stores, they carry a limited selection
of brands of some items. There is much more to chose from in this world.
Variety mostly. For a single item like your pump, you go to the "real"
plumbing or HVAC supplier. For a big project you quote out to the
various plumbing, electrical, building matl., etc. suppliers. But for a
small project like perhaps a bathroom semi-remodel, the convenience and
savings in gas and time you get by finding everything in one location
may exceed the higher price.
I haven't found that problem for smaller projects, and the Depot and
Lowe's here are 1/4 mile apart. For larger projects I find that there is
always 30% of what I need that can't be found at Depot, Lowe's or any of
the local "real" supply houses that I always end up having to special
order and / or truck 75 miles to get myself.
Maybe the difference is that I don't have a Lowe's to give HD any real
competition. The nearest Lowe's is 20-some miles away, and I will go
there rather than to HD if I do have a small project where I think I may
have a fighting chance of getting everything I need at a "big box."
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Coming in late on this, there seem to be 2 to 4 times as many HDs as
there are Lowes in Baltimore, but until last summer, the closest to me
had a pair only a half mile from each other on the same street.
Yet I sometimes have to go 5 more miles to an ACE hardware. I posted
here about the time I needed a square U-bolt, and iirc neither HD nor
L had any, but the ACE had 7 sizes.
But it's not cheaper, afaict. Easily 20% more on a few things I know
the price of. OTOH, they sell window screening by the foot or a 4
inch piece (and I trusted them not to charge too much so I don't know
how much they charged, but HD and Lowes would have charge much more
for a minimum of I guess 6 or 8 feet. I would go to the ACE a lot
more if it were closer. OTOH, the last remaining small hardware store
on this street doesn't have very much at all, and they make a living
repairing lawnmowers and renting construction equipment.
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