I have always wondered how the local WoodCraft stays in business.
Everything over $50 is cheaper at HD or Amazon; and how can they make a
profit selling inexpensive odds and ends?
I needed 6 drawer slides and they are the only woodworking store in town.
Yesterday they only had 3 in stock and none on order. (What kind of stock
is 3 drawer slides?) I was told to call back today and the owner would put
them on the Thursday order.
I did and he told me he placed his order yesterday, so it would be two
weeks. No apology, no nothing.
I ordered from Rockler. If they hadn't mislead me yesterday, I would have
ordered them from Rockler yesterday. Next time I will not bother calling
them and order from Rockler immediately.
So I ask you. Do they deserve to stay in business?
business has nothing to do with words like "deserve". It's about the bottom
line. If they make enough money to meet the profit margins set forth in the
owner's business model and keep the business afloat, then they have every
right to be there and operate. That's not to say you'll like the way they
operate, but that's the way it is. The 2 woodcrafts I sometimes patronize
generally have things in stock, but the treatment I get is very respectful
and courteous which goes a long way.
Anyway, you giving your money to other entities is what will hurt them the
most. If enough others do it, they won't be in business long.
If there's only one woodworking store in town, maybe it would behoove
you to plan a bit further ahead. You could order from ANY distant
company that stocks the items you need. It's just a crying shame that
another woodworker beat you to the goods.
Rockler and Woodcraft have different business models. Rockler is,
generally speaking, a specialty fittings & finishes hardware store, with
books and basic tools available on a convenience basis. Woodcraft have
fewer fittings, and more tools, electric and hand.
My local Woodcraft has multiples of large power tools on display, and
reasonable backstock. And significant display and backstock on better
tools, like Lie-Nielsen. A choice of replacement blades for handplanes and
spokeshaves and the like.
The staff at the local Rockler are all familiar with these items. They
just aren't allowed to stock and sell them. The Woodcraft store is
franchised, locally owned, and so the stocking decisions are made locally,
to some extent.
Buy your tools and supplies where it makes the most sense to you.
Retail has never been an easy business.
I'm not sure "deserve" is the right term, but the free market will sort that
out and make a decision. Seems like they could have been a little more
Woodcraft stores are franchises so it is difficult to make a decision on the
entire chain based on one store. You could have ordered from the Woodcraft
web site and had them delivered in short order.
As for the tool prices, they are not the cheapest, but that does not stop me
from buying some of my tools at our local store. They treat me well, hey
offer good advice, they take the time to demonstrate something, etc. I'm
willing to pay a little premium for that. They will also go out of their
way to let me know that a sale is coming up for an item I'm buying.
I would have probably done a similar thing to what you did. I'd also let
the manger know that he lost some business and why. He may offer sincere
apologies and try better or he may tell you to F off. Then you can decide
if it is worth going back again.
You have hit the nail on the head.
I was in the hardware business (as a manufacturer) when Home Depot was going
expanding and driving others out of business. HD said that the other
companies didn't deserve to be in business; they were too expensive, poorly
stocked, and had poor service.
The companies that survived found the secret to competing was offering
better service than HD.
This Woodcraft store has high prices, inadequate stock, and lousy service.
They don't send me their advertising circular, even though I have complained
about not getting it. I just hope someone else comes to town before they go
That's the key...do you want someone in town other than Borg? If so,
they'll have to be patronized. If they don't meet up, they'll not be
long and it's unlikely anyone else will try, either, unfortunately,
unless it's a really large market.
My classic experience with a hardware/woodworking/home-center store is
going into a HD, picking out all of the PVC fittings I needed, and then
finding that they had no 1.5" pipe. On another trip they had the pipe and
fittings but no solvent in stock. Your 3 drawer slide story is along those
I shop at the local Woodcraft store because they provide good advice. I
did get a (sale) price on my DW TS that was close to Amazon's and they
helped me make my decision on which saw to buy. When I know what I need, I
buy "cheap". When I don't, I buy from the people who can advise me -- and
if I _shop_ at a brick store I will not buy from an on-line store unless
the price difference is truly _substantial_.
I will say that I often now shop from Woodcraft.com because of the stocking
"problem" and the fact that it is a bit of a haul to the store. But again,
if I want advice, I go to the store - and, IIRC, if the stuff is not in
stock they can arrange for the stuff to be shipped to me (and then, I
s'pose, they get a commission.) -- Igor
Well, ours has a huge field of cast iron to play with and choose from.
You don't get that with HD or mail order. Plus, their people are
really knowledgable about their stuff. A lot of our guild members
Well, FWIW - drawing broad generalities from single isolated instances
is always problematic. You got mad and you got even - hope you feel
better. But you needed more "revenge" so you took your beef over here.
Feel what you want about them, but so far they have been very good at
what they do; perhaps not in all cases but in enough that they are
surviving in a truly brutal industry.
Now here is a thought for you - if you achieve your goal of boycotting
them out of business do you really want to be a captive of the
"WalMarts" of online woodworking stores? Brings to mind an old Salada
Tea tagline that went something along the lines of "the sweetness of a
cheap price is soon lost in the bitterness of poor quality." If you
think you got poor service perhaps you have forgotten how convenient it
was to be able to pick up your drawer slides and see if they were what
you really wanted/needed. That in itself is a service and too few of us
ever think of it in that light.
Better luck with your next shopping trip and I hope your project is a
success . . .
Comparing Woodcraft (or for that matter any speciality store) to Home
Depot or Lowe's is like comparing apples to oranges.
I shop the local Woodcraft store at least 2 times a month and hit
their web page at least weekly. But I am not looking for the ordinary
run of the mill tool or hardware but quality items or tools. The
people at this store are knowledgeable, eager to please and willing to
take time to answer questions even if I'm not making a purchase at
I go to either Lowe's or HD at least once a week to pick up some
miscellanous hardware, finish or other commonly available products -
mainly for the price. Occasionally I can find someone at HD that can
answer a basic question. At Lowe's you are doing good to get one of
their clerks to even acknowledge your presence. And, for the record,
I haven't been in the local Wal-Mart in over a year.
And, if I want quality drawer hardware that isn't carried at the local
borg I usually go to Rockler or Lee Vally.
Just my 2 cents worth.
At the risk of beating a dead horse; that is not true at this particular
store. The people there are neither knowledgeable nor eager to please. If
they were, I wouldn't have posed the question.
I remember the first time I tried a dye. I asked the clerk some questions
what kind to use, and it was obvious that he didn't know any more about them
than I did.
Or the time I wanted to buy the rust remover on sale. They didn't have any;
only the three pack, with surface treatment and something else. "Hey, since
you sell all three, why not break open the pack and sell me the rust
remover; and put the other two that I don't want in stock?" Nope, it would
mess up their inventory. Heck, they would do that for a customer at HD, or
Well, in Woodcraft's defense, on the rust remover sale.
A lot of these sales are promotional in nature to get traffic into the
store. They make little or no money on the sale ("loss leader").
So, if you're not there the first day of the sale, you take the chance
that it might be sold out. That's just the way it is. It's happened to
me too, but I don't get upset, because I understand the process.
And yes, breaking open a 3 pack does screw them up. Now they have an
inaccurate amount of their inventory, and that leads to the
understocking (like the drawer slides you complained about).
I'm not defending everything Woodcraft does, but I can't see getting
angry at a store when a promotional item is out of stock. It happens.
The sale flyer probably said "While supplies last".
Also, depending on the exact circumstances, they might end up with wierd
items on the shelf that can't even be sold through conventional means.
Wrong UPC, wrong size, wrong color, whatever. Just because it says
"Crikey's Sput Wax" on the can doesn't mean it's the same Crikey's sput wax
they normally carry.
Wal-Mart won't do this either as a matter of course. This kind of thing has
been going on for at least 20 years, and it's no reason to get pissed off
and single out a particular retailer. Why, I bet even Lee Valley wouldn't
split open a three-unit promo pack under these circumstances.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
Ah, the joys of modern retailing. This wouldn't even have been a question 30
years ago, and probably not 20. The promo pack would have been opened, someone
would have used a pen or a slap printer to reprice the three items, two would
have gone back on the shelves, and...
The good ol' days may have sucked, but there were some good features.
"They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some
kind of federal program." George W. Bush, St. Charles, Missouri, November 2,
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