Home Depot offers a wealth of materials, resources and a customer-friendly return policy. But there are a few secrets about shopping there that only the most savvy DIYers are aware of. Here are 13 of the best tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your trips to The Home Depot.
Price Tag Secrets
Most retailers is a series of codes and special prices to secretly label their products. Sales associates use them to sort and move merchandise, but shoppers who have broken the code can snatch up items when they are at their lowest price point. In the Home Depot’s case, look for yellow sales tags. If the sales price ends with .06, then there are six weeks left before that item is priced lower. If the sales price ends with .03, then that item will either be moved to clearance or donated to charity in three weeks.
When sale items move to clearance, you might think that the price is as low as it’s going to get. But there’s actually an opportunity to get them for even less. Clearance rack pricing is at the store manager’s discretion, and it never hurts to ask the price can come down a little. This is especially useful if you’re buying several clearance items at once. You may be told ‘no’, but you’d be surprised at how often managers are happy to see these items sell at all.
The Home Depot 110% Guarantee
A price saving tip that requires no negotiating at all is the Home Depot’s 110% price guarantee. If you bring in an advertised price from one of their competitors, the sales staff at the Home Depot won’t just match the price, thy’ll beat it by 10%. So keep an eye peeled for coupons and online sales. Bring that info in to the store, and you’ll get a healthy discount.
Drastic Discounts on Wood Scraps
Many DIYers know that The Home Depot will cut umber and trim to custom length. Better yet, when these items are sold by the board foot, you only have to pay for what you need. But what you may not now is that all the excess lumber and off-cut trim ends up as difficult-to-sell scrap wood. Ask and associate for the “cull lumber” or “scrap wood” rack, and you’ll find wood that sells for up to 75% off. If you need specific dimensions, you may not find what you’re looking for in the cull lumber bin, but you may discover enough materials to help you make something great.
The Home Depot’s paint department custom-tint thousands of gallons of paint each week. Given that volume, it’s no surprise that some of it doesn’t come out perfect, or is never picked up by the customer who requested it. Look for a shelf of “mis-tint” or “oops paint” for paint that’s priced so low it’s almost free. Much like the wood found among the cull lumber, you may not find the color or quantity you’d like.
Many of the items sold at The Home Depot come in heavy boxes and packaging material. If that outer packaging is torn or crushed the product becomes difficult to sell, even though the damage mat be only surface deep. But while the item itself may be untouched, the damaged package means that the retailer will likely be forced to place it on deep discount. Look for damaged packaging, and if there isn’t already a bright yellow sale sticker, ask an associate if they can give you a price discount.
There’s nothing more aggravating than finding that tool or material you need, then buying it and heading home only to see it go on sale the next time you visit the store. If this happens to you with a purchase from the Home Depot, don’t just grit your teeth and regret your purchase-head in to the store to claim your savings! This goes for anything you’ve brought in the last 30 days. Bring the receipt for your purchase and show it to customer service and your wallet will thank you. Be sure to keep an eye on sales events, especially around the holidays, and you can make recent purchases even better values.
Not sure what kind of garden loppers to buy? Get both, and bring back the one you don’t use for a full refund. This is also a great strategy should you get to the store and realize you forgot to get to the store and realize you forgot to get a measurement for a specific part. Buy multiple sizes and plan on returning the unused items. Bring a receipt if you have it, but even without one you can still make the return with a photo ID. Knowing that these returns are possible you can simply pick up a variety of sizes and colors of a given material, which is sure to help you move quickly on your next trip to The Home Depot.
One-Year Guarantee on Plants and Shrubs
At The Home Depot you can literally return a dead plant! The Home Depot’s Garden, sales come with a one-year guarantee. This means that if your tree or plant dies despite proper care, you can return it for a full refund, even after you’ve planted it in the ground. This guarantee is great for those DIYers who aren’t confident in their plant nurturing skills.
Be Wary of Warped Lumber
Chances are you’ve seen the massive stacks of lumber at The Home Depot, especially of common dimension like 2x4s or 2x8s. If you’re itching to start a project, you might be tempted to simply load up your cart and head to the check-out. But take the time to examine each piece of lumber as you select them. You’ll notice that many of them are warped., cupped, checked or otherwise damaged. Sure, you can always return bad boards, but why go through the trouble of hauling them out to your job site and back again?
Rental Tools for Sales
The aisles of The Home Depot are filled with tools of all sizes and prizes, and each one of them is brand new, never used. But there’s another place in the store that has an even better deal on tools: the rental shop. Rental tools are available to DIYers of all skill levels to try out or to use for one-off projects. As the various tools start to pick up scratches and dings or get replaced by a newer model, they’re put up for sale, usually at a big discount. Naturally, these tools are used, but unlike used tools found at pawn shops they’ve been looked over by a qualified technician between each rental. Of course you can simply rent tools to save money, but keep an eye on your local Home Depot rental stock for buying opportunities as well.
Holiday Paint Sales
Like many retailers, The Home Depot times sales around major holidays. In particular, their paint department offers huge savings around holidays like Memorial Day and the fourth of July. Pick up paint for significantly less, or bring in the receipt from a recent purchase for a price match. And the higher volume of purchases during the holiday sales means a greater number of bargain-basement mis-tints. These holiday sales are a win all the way around!
You don’t Need to be a Pro to use the Pro Desk
Anyone who tackles projects as readily as most DIYers can get access to great deals and sales associates who are motivated to help you. The pro desk does have some services that are only useful to commercial organizations, but many of the services they will offer will be of use to anyone who buys in bulk. Enjoy bulk pricing and even have your shopping done for you, leaving you free to simply pick up and pay.
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