A little surprised nobody on here brought it up (that I noticed,
anyway), but HF now has and is actually enforcing a minimum purchase to
get most of the freebies from the pages of coupons most of us get. Not
sure if the old coupons are grandfathered or not- there was some sort of
sign taped to the counter about an error in the ads, but there was a
line behind me, and the type was real small...
Oh well, I guess 40 flashlights, 4 little meters, and 2 bar clamps, are
enough for awhile. Nothing good lasts forever. With a minimum purchase
of $19.99, I won't make the cutoff more than a few times a year there.
Today's coupon didn't have a minimum, but it was for those little
plastic scissors with the applied metal cutting edges. Not sure those
are even worth taking home- they look rather flimsy.
My area HFs are a bit far from me, but in an area I get to once a month
or so. There are actually three stores in that area not all that far
apart, so in the event they actually started caring that I made one set
of purchases, put them in the truck and came back for the next set, I'd
simply go to one of the other stores. I suspect they'll start dropping
some of the restrictions on the coupons anyway when they realize it
actually hurts their profits.
I've seen many of their products listed for as many as three different
"original prices" in their sales ads over a couple month period. They
sometimes have the same sales price, sometimes different.
I think HF is doing too many sales/%off ads. It's hard to take any of
their prices seriously when the stuff is always on sale for 30% to 70%
I think their bean-counters agree with you, hence the new minimum
purchase requirements. Sure, the freebies were bringing a lot of people
into the tent, but most were like me, only buying one or two trivial
items off their list at a time so as to not seem like they were JUST
there for the freebies.
IMHO, HF needs to cut back on the dollar-store stuff, and stock a better
quality of tools, and most of us would probably spend a lot more money
there. Even for casual DIY use, many or most of their hand tools and
power tools (with exceptions like the Twitching tool or same-as-Sears
compressors) are sub-par. I'll buy consumables and blunt instruments
there, but not anything that could hurt me or fubar a project if it
breaks. And for people who make money with their tools, to whom time is
money, there simply isn't a whole lot there for them. They need anvil
reliability and repeatable results. I like the place, and will keep
shopping there even without the freebies, but only buy there when 'good
enough' is good enough.
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