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Back in a previous life, I was the national sales manager for a company selling to retail chains, including Ace, True Value and Wal-Mart.

We were making housewares items, not power equipment, but to hit a price point, we would periodically modify an item (by making it less expensively). The old joke was that Wal-Mart would make you cut off the teddy bear’s ears and make him skinnier so they could sell him for $3.99.

I’m not sure if this is the same case here, but those item numbers may be different because one retailer put the squeeze on, and had the manufacturer cheapen the item in some way. You periodically hear that a power tool’s bushings are plastic or some other substitution has been made in the big box store’s version, and that’s why the stock number is different.

A client of mine selling lawn and garden equipment to Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Lowe's told me that they reduce the cost of the item by using lower quality parts for their giant customers' custom versions.

The best approach is to call the company and ask if there is any difference at all between the different item numbers. Often you have to call more than once to get someone in tech support (not customer service) who knows the difference. Or stick with your smaller dealer.
 
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