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horseonthefly 04-27-2012 12:48 PM

Are the big box stores losing their touch?
 
Has anyone else noticed the local stores being cheaper than the chains? When I need something, I either go to a local store (Community Lumber) or the blue place. The blue place is nice because if I need a variety of things it's all in one place. But nearly every time I buy something there, I find it cheaper at Community. Lumber in general is cheaper and will save me between $150 and $200 on my deck alone. Boards are sold by length so a 16 footer costs the same as 2 8 footers. #2 SYP is HALF the price at community. A 16' 1 X 6 is the same price as an 8 footer from Lowes. Community had a brown dryer vent, Lowes only had white. Masonry saw blades were a buck cheaper (3.30 vs 2.30). And the list goes on.

Oh yeah, and if you have a sizeable order community will deliver for free.

What is "white wood" anyway? Is that like "white fish"? We ain't real sure what kinda wood it is, but we're pretty sure its wood. Like school cafeteria wood...

Hardware's not all, seedling tomato plants were buy 1 get 1 at lowes which netted you two for the price of 12 at a local nursery. Appliances are $50 to $200 cheaper from a local store that has knowlegeble and helpful sales staff. <- Funny story on that one. A friend took their quote from the local place in to Lowes and asked them to price match. The sales guy copped an attitude and said they couldn't get close to those prices, very loudly. She and the five people waiting behind her all left for the local store:laughing:. Bricks/Pavers 1/2 the cost locally. Coutertops and carpet are also available locally for competitive prices.

Don't get me wrong, the store isn't worthless and we have spent more than our share of money there. A good example would be the engineered cork flooring we just bought. The cheapest a local place had was $7.50/sf, lowes was $3. Not to mention when I walked in the local places and said I wanted to do my own install all of the sales people dissappeared. The lowes stuff is not the be-all end-all but we aren't planning to be in the house forever and will foot the bill for better flooring in the house we hope to build one day.

But are the days of the big box stores being the default cheapest over? What do you guys think? Are the logistics of having to distribute/stock so much different stuff catching up with Lowes/HD and giving the local places a chance?

I'll apologize if this is a repeat or ranting post, nothing came up on a search of the site but "the googles are not strong with this one".

framer52 04-27-2012 01:02 PM

Big Box stores never were the cheapest.

Saying that, I have found they always are when I use the bid clerk system. Must have an order over 2500 to take advantage.

Why I use box stores for a lot of material is the policy that they don't question me much when I have a problem with something I have purchased from them.

DrHicks 04-30-2012 11:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by framer52 (Post 908846)
Big Box stores never were the cheapest.

Saying that, I have found they always are when I use the bid clerk system. Must have an order over 2500 to take advantage.

Why I use box stores for a lot of material is the policy that they don't question me much when I have a problem with something I have purchased from them.

Right. I've sometimes been surprised by how much more expensive the Big Box stores are on some items.

What has actually surprised me is how reasonable HD often is on appliances. Nebraska Furniture Mart is supposed to be the single most awesome place on the planet to buy anything, but I've always gotten a much better deal on appliances from HD. Go figure...

Ravenworks 05-03-2012 05:57 AM

I always try to support the local shops when within reason.

user1007 05-23-2012 12:46 AM

Box stores give absolutely nothing back to the communities in which they operate and some who negotiated deals to discount their property tax payments don't even pay what you do for basics like police and fire. In many places they caused net job losses and with them went real benefits for employees and employee families. Minimum wage and keeping people part time makes it possible not to offer decent health insurance at all. We pick up the tab as people who once had insurance transition to public health resources. And try to get t-shirts for a little league team or anything donated to the community out of a box store.

There is nothing in a box store I need or cannot get cheaper from a local. And the crappy quality of most box store stuff is insulting. I will go online before stepping foot in an HD, Menard's or Lowes. With the factors mentioned above their prices are not only higher, their cost to my community is staggering.


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