Home Depot (Rant)

Jun 13, 2000
23,100
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#1
In my 20 year history of adult home/apartment dwelling, I've shipped at HD and Lowe's. There was a distinct difference in staffing at the stores that I noticed. At Lowe's, staff are available and engaging throughout the stores. This has been observed at 4 stores in different cities I've lived in. HD, on the other hand, has all of their staff visible in the first half of the store, but when I need help.... it's like they all take a break. (3 stores)

I got annoyed yesterday because I needed a diamond cutoff wheel for my DeWalt angle grinder....4.5". I go to the tool aisle and see 3 brands....Rigid, Avanti, and Diablo....but for tile cutting the only option was a $23 Rigid. I didn't see any options for DeWalt branded blades. I quickly checked Lowe's website and found the $11 blade I expected in stock there....1 mile away. I feel like they do this on purpose so they can carry less inventory and yield bigger profits.

I notice though there are typically far fewer people at Home Depot here than Lowe's.... I go because it's 1 mile closet to my house and only 2 traffic lights away. Anyone else notice distinctions between the big box stores like that?
 

kn51

Senior member
Aug 16, 2012
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#2
I find they both suck. One of HD closed several years ago and still sits empty.

I'm a Menards person myself. Something to be said of having more than one checkout lane open and having helpful employees.
 
Nov 30, 2004
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#3
I don't like HomeDepot. Aside from commodity stuff like nails, they never seem to have what I want. Haven't been to Lowes enough to compare, but I haven't been super thrilled with my experience there either.
 

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
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#4
Seems to me that, in general, Home Depot is cheaper than Lowes for the things I have bought. I try to avoid Lowes and go to HD instead.
 

RLGL

Golden Member
Jan 8, 2013
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#5
As far a staffing is concerned I find HD in my area is the one with the most people on the floor. Menards has the lowest staffing level and Lowes is in the middle. I hate all 3 of them but each does have its strong points.
 
Jun 13, 2000
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#6
As far a staffing is concerned I find HD in my area is the one with the most people on the floor. Menards has the lowest staffing level and Lowes is in the middle. I hate all 3 of them but each does have its strong points.
I always feel like they have lots of staff in the front of the store, but little assistance and signage when trying to find specific items. That's my biggest gripe.
 
Feb 14, 2002
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#7
I'm in Atlanta which is Home Depot country and Home Depot here are packed with contractors and customers while Lowes are like ghost town. If you want to find something at Home Depot, just Google it and it will tell you the price, quantity, and which aisle and bay its located at that store. Biggest difference I see is that Home Depot caters more to contractors than Lowes which caters more to homeowners.

I go to Lowes to buy Pit Boss pellets and Home Depot for everything else.
 

allisolm

Elite Member
Administrator
Jan 2, 2001
22,856
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#8
If you want to find something at Home Depot, just Google it and it will tell you the price, quantity, and which aisle and bay its located at that store.
This.
 

Ajay

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
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#9
I shop at our local Ace Hardware first - very helpful and knowledgeable staff. If I go to HD or Lowes, I make sure I have the isle and bay info so that I don’t need to interact with their hard to find, semi-knowledgeable staff.
 
May 24, 2003
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www.uovalor.com
#10
Home Depot tends to be my goto place, it's like Toy's R Us for adults. Actually they should build a Toys 'R Us next to HD... parents could send their kids there while they go to HD. :p

Though oddly I have to pass by Home Hardware to get to it, I should start going to Home Hardware more, at least it's a bit more local. They have weird hours though, they close at like 6 or something, and don't open on weekends. One thing I do like about HD vs Home Hardware is that you can pick your own lumber too.

We used to have a Rona which was great since it was close to my house, then it changed into a local store (owner's name) and they stopped stocking anything. You go in there and it's a ghost town. He's somehow still open. I think he only deals with big contractors now.
 

MtnMan

Golden Member
Jul 27, 2004
1,957
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#11
Unless it is something that Lowe's or HD are the only options, I go to ACE hardware stores. For tools, plumbing, electrical, etc., they have it, will help you find it and 1000 times friendlier, and at least my local stores have a 10% veterans discount (Lowe's also a 10% veterans discount)
 
Feb 26, 2006
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#12
The local Ace Hardware store is horrid and seriously over-priced. They have plenty of staff...most of whom know jack shit...and I think I have more hardware stock in my garage...

As for HD/Lowes...the last two cities in which I lived, Home Depot had more/better stock of actual building supplies and employees who knew at least SOMETHING about their departments...Lowes had more/better stock of "junk" like decor kitch...and kiddies who knew nothing about their departments.
 
Nov 30, 2004
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#13
My favorite hardware store is about 50 miles away, so I don't go often, but it's an Amish owned store that caters heavily to the Amish. They usually have what I need. The Ace near work is run 100% by family. They have a lot of stuff, and know where it is, and how to use it.
 
Dec 14, 2012
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#14
I've calculated the time spent when you have to stop in the middle of a project to run to the home center or hardware store to get a part. It's usually a full hour- going there, finding the part, paying for it and coming home. The other alternative is digging through your storage in the garage to look for a part that costs five dollars or less. I just grab my keys and head for Ace first, then either Lowes or HD.
 
Feb 26, 2006
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#15
I've calculated the time spent when you have to stop in the middle of a project to run to the home center or hardware store to get a part. It's usually a full hour- going there, finding the part, paying for it and coming home. The other alternative is digging through your storage in the garage to look for a part that costs five dollars or less. I just grab my keys and head for Ace first, then either Lowes or HD.
Ace is less than 10 minutes away, Home Depot is about 30 minutes, Lowes is now 1-1/2 hours away. I still go to Home Depot if I need more than something small and cheap.
(and the local Home Depot is the worst one I've ever been in...like they hire the folks who couldn't make it anywhere else)
 

kn51

Senior member
Aug 16, 2012
478
37
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#16
Yeah, if I'm looking for some weird drain washer (which of course every plumbing job entails) or the odd item I'd rather spend an extra buck. Waltz in and have someone instantly point me to the right direction while parking 10 feet from the door.

Different business models.
 

snoopy7548

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2005
3,471
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#17
I'm in Atlanta which is Home Depot country and Home Depot here are packed with contractors and customers while Lowes are like ghost town. If you want to find something at Home Depot, just Google it and it will tell you the price, quantity, and which aisle and bay its located at that store. Biggest difference I see is that Home Depot caters more to contractors than Lowes which caters more to homeowners.

I go to Lowes to buy Pit Boss pellets and Home Depot for everything else.
Same here. I always make a list of what I need at Home Depot along with the aisle and bay #s.

I like that employees aren't around much anymore. I get annoyed if anyone approaches me while I'm trying to think if I really need that part/piece of wood and what I can use instead. Maybe it looks like I'm having trouble finding something, but I'm just turning the idea around inside my head. Sometimes I'll just wander around getting ideas or doing research for projects.
 
May 24, 2003
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www.uovalor.com
#19
I go to HD way too often I practically know the aisles off hand. It's kind of a good thing they got rid of the Subway there since I used to always get Subway on the way out too. The Subway diet high carb diet is not exactly healthy. :p

I personally don't like being bothered by anyone so I prefer staff to be around if I need them but don't want them constantly asking me if I'm ok.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
17,996
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#20
If you want to find something at Home Depot, just Google it and it will tell you the price, quantity, and which aisle and bay its located at that store.
You can do that at Lowe's too but that assumes they didn't screw up the location info. Out of 3 HDs and 1 Lowe's in my area only 1 HD can keep that info accurate. I'm not even talking about items with a low quantity. Lowes misplaced an entire fucking pallet
 

BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
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#21
I'm guessing it all had to do with the post SubPrime, Post Home Improvement Movement that ended about 2011-12. Not many were buying and those staying in their homes and willing to improve completed their work leaving a big dead span through 2017-now. The retraction of the massive home buying that took place with people buying above their means left HD and Lowes with little business and caused them to rethink their options on inventory. For instance, I've bought aluminum mini blinds from HD before but recently found out I cannot get them in the store. Only Vinyl now.

And I will second the Op's observation on staffing. But I will add a recent news report stating that Lowes is now in a staffing retraction mode so expect less people in their stores, too. BTW, I wound up ordering my special order aluminum mini blinds through the manufacturer, Bali, and used Costco Online (Yep!) to pay for it to get the best pricing. If the big box stores are not going to inventory stuff people need AND off options and thus forcing you to special order then I can just as easily special order from someone else.
 

Luna1968

Senior member
Mar 9, 2019
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#22
the only thing i buy at Home Depot is Paint. ACE is my preferred store, there is always somebody there to help and they stock just about everything i need including a very large assortment of singles like washers, nuts bolts screws, nails by the pound. i cant stand buying 10 of something when i only need 2.
 

thestrangebrew1

Platinum Member
Dec 7, 2011
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#23
HD is my preferred store where I live, but that's because it's the only game in town. Where I work, I'll go to either HD or Lowe's when I need to. Lowe's is busier, friendlier staff, but the HD by my work has more knowledgeable staff. The HD closest to my home is busy, and like OPs experience, their staff are nowhere to be found when you actually need help with something. I also look online first to find what isle/bay the item is in then go out to the store. It's actually accurate 75% of the time.
 
Jan 18, 2000
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#24
Home Depot>Lowe's>Menards>Ace.... everyone knows that. All of them located within a 5 mile radius from my place.

I like that HD has an accurate mobile app to show location (aisle/bin/quantity available) for a particular item. Lowe's... forget it, locations are mostly in another section of the store, asking for help varies by location. Not sure about Menards, since most of the time I tend to browse what they have. Ace too easy since it's such a smaller place to shop around.
 

eng2d2

Senior member
Nov 7, 2013
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#25
I went to Lowe’s for pipe leak and the guy showed me a tape that was supposed to work. I thought this guy (young) was dum for the suggestion but I was desperate so I bought it. It was the best advice I got. It was cheap and it worked.
 

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