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Painting Contractor
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I heard a rumor that the reason Home Depot is cheaper than most other hardware stores is because they sell a mixture of good stuff and factory seconds. Any of you heard this? I've seen some evidence of this as well. There tools and hardware, no matter what brand seem to be a little crapier than the ones i have gotten from, say Ace or a locally owned hardware store.


(cross posted on the DIY forums)
 

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I believe that this is urban legend. The reason that large companies can sell at reduced prices is due to volume buying, in house manufacturing and proprietory products.
 

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There is some truth to this, but it isn't in regard to selling product XYZ at Ace and HomeDepot with the one at Ace being the exact same product but being of perfect quality where the HD one is defective or imperfect.

As I was taught by somebody here the same product sold may be one that is specially made for HD or Lowes. I think the example was Jacuzzi brand tub. What looked like the exact same tub at another retail outlet was priced much more but in reality they only looked alike, they were actually different and had small differences in specs. The one sold at Lowes was specially made for them to sell, not defective or a second, just made to different specs and in huge quantities for only them to sell. As far as tools? I don't think it applies.

If you look at bathroom vanities made by RSI you will see the exact same vanity at Lowes and Homedepot, but they are called different names and have different packaging, but are identical products. For example the oak colored 36 inch RSI vanity might be called "Willmington" at Lowes and "Monticello" at HomeDepot. They look identical, but would it be much of a stretch to think that RSI makes each one a bit different? They could use 3 staples in the draw slides in the Home Depot one and 4 in the Lowes one because that was how the product procurement team speced out the product with RSI.
 

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About a year ago, I had to return 3 Paslode finish guns in a row to HD, - - finally gave up and said I want my money back, - - went to my local lumberyard, - - paid $10 more, - - now I have a Palsode that works, - - how much did I save by going to HD? - - that's just one of many experiences, - - I'll never buy a tool there again, - - it's the local yard or the internet for me.
 

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I firmly believe the reason their return policy is so good, - - is because you're buying the tool that I already returned.
 

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Remodeler
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This may have no bearing on the discussion but I like to share the tidbits I learn over the years. I was told many years ago about records. Ya know those Vinyl type. They were pressed and the first runs went to the record shops while the end runs went to places like K-mart. The master would be wearing out so the quality was going downhill. Might apply to these box stores as well.
 

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ALL VINYL
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box store /supply house

I bought a mohen faucet for a customer 3 times i replaced it from hd . a friend in the bussiness told me that the one from the supply house was difrent so i tryed one 30.00 more same model but when you pick up the one from the supply house it weight a lot more .
 

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The big stores often spec there own price saving options.
Many years ago, I bought a lawnmower from KMart and after a while the carb had problems. I removed it and took it to the local repair center. I turns out that they had speced a plastic carb, something that the dealer had never seen before. I ended up buying a proper metal carb.
 

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Flooring Guru
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Grumpy (when he gets back) will probably be all over this thread.
 

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After reading this thread I asked a friend who used to work for black and decker and he confirmed some of the brands they supply HD and other hardware stores are spec'd differently. He didn't go into a lot of detail on which brands but he did mention that the dewalt stuff the specs are for the most part the same for all the stores.
 

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The extent of my knowledge on this subject is to agree with what MikeF and Teetor said above. Volume purchasing is the biggest reason, however custom items also play a factor.

I would have to think in the volume that home depot sells some defective items will get mixed in, weather on accident or on purpose by the manufacturers. Also what TomR said is true. I bought a lamp fixture for under my sink. The package was obviously opened and resealed but it was the last one and looked perfect for my kitchen remodel. After I opened the package I realized why it was returned. The bracket was shattered, but they resold it anyways.
 

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Sorry Grumpy, that was probably me. LOL

I return stuff to them on a weekly basis, I always tell them when something is defective, but I have seen what I know was the item I returned and told them it was defective end up right back on the shelf. I doubt it is a result of trying to resell it, but just getting lost in the shuffle due to the lack of responsibility of the typical employee they have.
 

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Bought their top of the line paint sprayer, it had problems while doing the second house. Took it to Graco service center, they wouldn't work on it. Said it was made with cheap parts specifically for HD. HD took 3 weeks to fix it, now I have to baby it more than it is worth. Wish I had spent the extra $$ to get the real deal.

Rich
 

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You should ask the service repair poeple about this. they will tell you that the model number is often one digit different. The tool is often made in a different country with cheaper internals. A Bostich rep recently confirmed this to me. A reason for this beyond low price pressure is HD easy return policy. The manufacturer has to eat it when Joe uses the tool then brings it back, no questions asked. The manufacturer even has to pay the return shipping. HD sucks.
 

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Marco said:
The tool is often made in a different country with cheaper internals. .
Made in a different country? Like a different country than China? So what country is the cheaper country than China now?
 
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