I have just moved into a new home with a 20 X 60 foot barn in which I
plan to build my dream workshop. During a recent visit to my local
Woodworkers Warehouse, I looked at all the new tools that I planned to
buy to outfit my new shop. One of those was the Bosch, 12", sliding
miter saw #4412. At $699 it was a lot of money, significantly more than
the DeWalt saw, but it sure was nice! Over the next few weeks I
returned to the store and had just about convinced myself to buy the saw
- after all, I had a lot of trim work to do in the house before I could
start on the barn. On my next visit to Woodworkers with credit card in
hand I found that the Bosch saw was now priced at $729. I know that $30
is not a huge difference but the "sticker shock" and the fact that other
tool stores in the area were selling the saw for $699 caused me to walk
out the door. I didn't buy the saw that day. A few days later I
received Woodworker's latest sale flyer in the mail and there was the
Bosch 4412 saw "on sale" for $699 - the original price and the same
price that other stores were charging. I complained to the sales people
at Woodworkers and they said that they had no control over the prices
and that the corporation set prices. My best guess is that the lead
time to produce and mail the "sale" flyer was well before the store
price was raised.
It seems to me that if the practice of raising prices just before a
"sale" is not illegal, then it is at least unethical. I could almost
understand it if all stores had to raise their prices due to a
manufactures increase but this is not true as even today the
Woodworker's web site lists the price at $699 with no mention of it
being a special sale. In fact, while shopping for this saw, I have
found prices as low as $640 and another that for $699, threw in a "free"
circular saw. Everyone is in business to make money and I'm sure none
of these stores are loosing money. The only thing that I can figure is
that Woodworker's Warehouse is intentionally trying to mislead
customers. In the past I have made many purchases at Woodworkers and I
planned to continue this while outfitting my new shop. I usually shop
around but often skip the low price guy in favor of the company that I
think is going to give me good customer service. Sadly, Woodworkers
Warehouse no longer fits into this category.
Has anyone else noticed this?
If you watch pricing at those other stores closely over the year, you will see
them doing the same thing. People like to buy things "On Sale" and the
retailer has to price merchandize for the sale. Some states require sales to
be made at the higher price before starting sales at so many $$$ off, but most
don't. That's the reason I am saying that if one is doing it in your area,
they all are, including the grocery, discount department stores and Macy's &
Tom J. pretty well summed up a whole lot of words on the FTC site (unfair
practices, etc.) which I searched about 6 months ago. In short, if you
never advertised and sold a product at a higher price, then you cannot
advertise it at a sale price - legally.
I also shop at WW and have a friend that works there. Pricing is done by
corporate and to say they're a bit confused at times is being kind. In your
situation, just ask them to do a price match (they will) and the store will
call corporate who will confirm the price at the competitions store and if
it's a valid apples to apples deal (not a close-out, refurb's or other
discontinuing line type of sale price) they'll match it.
So don't blame the poor guy at the store...he has absolutely no control over
the pricing and suffers with every mistake made a whole lot more than you.
Doesn't make it right but hey, stuff happens.
Other stores??? In the NE US I thought we are lucky to have WWW (Yorktown
NY), but after spending a lot of $$$ on rebuilding my workshop I quit going
there over a "floor model" issue on a Delta contractor saw (they stripped
some parts that only made the extension table work but they assured me that
they would get them for me). Two years and too many trips/phone calls/faxes
with schematics and parts lists later, I never did get resolution from the
Mutt and Jeff team that tore it apart to begin with.
In the meantime I found an alternate "local" (ToolNut), prices about the
same and I liked them. Guess what? Mutt and Jeff are now both working at
that place and after spending even more $$$ I have to give them up also.
The new Mutt (or maybe Jeff) at WWW disavows any knowledge of them ever
working there and I figured out a long time ago that I was the "screwee" on
So now we get to the Borg. Hate that place. Local hardware store has
prices in dollars that I can only envision in Pesos. Have bought my share
of stuff on-line and find the prices are in-line but then UPS et al kills
you. Thinking maybe time to take up some other hobby.
I think we must have the same local hardware store. Hinge I needed at local
hardware was $4, at Lowe's 20 miles one way away $1.40. Local's explanation
" if you go to the city to get it you will spend more in gas, get something
to eat and wind up spending more on it anyway in the long run". I needed 10
of the things so even with gas and eats it would be cheaper to go to town.
Local hardware has a mail flyer put out somewhere else and they never have
the items in stock, but can get them in next Thursday if you pay shipping,
only game within 20 miles so he stays open.
Sounds almost the same (for example my place gets $20 for a 3/4 Pony pipe
I don't worry about a few bucks here or there considering the convenience,
but when the list gets too long I suck it up and head to the Borg.
I can't WAIT for the new Latham Woodcraft. My local WW club advertised the
opening in the latest newsletter, and I'll bet that the whole club will be
there opening day. I'm looking forward to classes there.
Beats driving three hours to Boston anyway.
Here in CT, we've got Tools-Plus, (3) Woodworkers Warehouses and (2)
Woodcraft stores an hour's drive from each other. Then when you add
in the zero drive time Lee Valley, Rockler, Woodhaven, and Tool Crib
web sites, we've got some choices. <G>
WW's prices change frequently... corporate sends out new price labels for
the store shelves and they changed the color of the labels sometime this
year. It didn't take long for almost every price label in the store to
change to the new color!
That said, the easiest way to deal with this situation is ask them to do a
price match. I've taken in local newspaper ads, flyers, catalogs, etc. and
they matched with no problem. They've even matched Tool Crib monthly catalog
sale prices without hesitation--I got $300 off on my jointer at the local WW
store as they matched Tool Crib's sale price.
Ever really shop at Harbor Freight? I get their circular in the mail every
two weeks like clockwork. Each ad is good for four weeks, which means that
they always have two sale fliers that are good at any given time.
I have been shopping and lurking there about six months. Despite my qualms
about buying Chinese they do have good deals occasionally. I buy American
when I really can find a nice product that I would like to have, a
'heritage' tool that I can plan on passing down to my children. (And if I
can afford it.) Another thing is that the Sears stockholders must have
their ROI (return on investment). If you insist on giving the stockholders
15%-20% a year, your tool prices continue to rise faster than the rate of
inflation (and a darn site faster than the rate of my pay raises: 8%
increase in five years.) Anyhow I don't want to get into a flame war - back
to my original comment.
The HF store in my area is about the size of an old time hardware/tool store
sans lumberyard - meaning, with all the stuff they carry, it is jammed to
the rafters (and a disorganized jumble sometimes.) They have a certain
number of items that are on sale at any given time, and I would guess that
those items total almost 25% of the stock items in the store. So, by virtue
of the two advertisements mentioned above, 12.5% of the items go on sale
every two weeks, for four weeks. I would venture a guess that every stock
item goes on sale at least once every four months, going off-sale to the
regular stock price for the remainder of the time. Some items, like thier
$3.99 voltmeters, are almost constantly on sale - well over 50% of the
time. So is it fair to the chap who doesn't watch the ads and gets it at
regular price the day it goes off sale? Is the regular price the sale price
or the stock price if it is always on sale? It is a fact of life.
They used to send me their fliers every two weeks prior to the
reorganization. Never saw the best price for anything I wanted in their
catalog. They would, however, have "sales" which matched the price in
others' catalogs on the same item.
Guess they haven't changed.
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