Orange is the New Black?

I probably spend more time at Home Depot than I do with my family and friends.  While I believe in supporting your local lumber yard, I have to say I’m a little intimidated shopping there.  What I like about “big box stores” is that I can browse and compare products, buy as little or as much as I need, and can shop and compare prices online.  Lowe’s is fine but the closest store is 30 miles away.  You all know how I feel about Menard’s… (picture the movie Clifford and his obsession with Dinosaur World) but the closest store is 800 miles away!  The HD is 11 miles from home, much more doable.

Home Depot also offers many perks that I was unaware of before I started my build.

  • Volume Pricing Discount:  Don’t be afraid of the Pro Desk, it’s not just for contractors.  If you know you will be purchasing more than $2,500, take your material list to the Pro Desk and ask for a bid and they will give you a quote of how much you’ll save (usually at least 10%).  It may take a while to get the quote, which is fine if you prepare your list ahead of time.  I’ve had them call me back within a day, yet, they’ve also prepared the quote while I shopped around.  I’m not sure what dictates the wait time.  This service is a great benefit if you group different phases of your build purchases together.  One big drawback is that you can’t get a bid for online-only items.  There are exclusions to what can be discounted but usually anything in stock is included.
  • Pro Xtra Loyalty Program:  I’ve had mixed success with the Pro Xtra program.  In theory, it should be a great tool for contractors, though you don’t need to be one to join.  It boasts you can manage and track your purchases, and receive volume discounts on $1000 purchases, bulk pricing, and coupons.  The coupons are great and I use those frequently (usually something like $10 off $75).  I haven’t had luck with being able to manage my purchases.  When I first started placing orders, I’d tell them I had a Pro Xtra account.  This didn’t seem to mean anything to anyone, so my purchases never were linked to an account where I could view my history.  Eventually I stopped mentioning it.  All in all, I do suggest signing up for this, if only for the coupons.  You will also get notifications of times when they will be offering the volume pricing discount for purchase totals as low as $1000.
  • Price Matching:  Like many stores, they will match competitor’s prices and beat it by 10%.  Of course, there are limitations and exclusions but this is pretty honorable and I find they do their best to keep their prices comparable to or lower than the other chain stores.
  • Special Buy of the Day:  This is a limited time offer that changes daily.  You can sign up to receive emails notifying you of the daily sale.  These discounts can be significant, i.e. 70% off; however, they are only good till midnight or while supplies last and they may not be something you need at that time.  Yet, sometimes the fates align and the offer is for flooring that you had your eye on.  You never know…
  • Project Loans:  This is pretty much a limited time store credit card to use while working on a project.  The card is good for 6 months and you are not charged interest during that time.  The APR is fixed and super low, 7.99% as of writing this and you have 84 months to pay off your loan, though you can pay it off at anytime.
  • Veteran/Military Discount:  You receive a 10% discount if you show them your military ID.

There are also drawbacks to shopping at Home Depot, as there are with any chain store.  My first large order had a few mistakes but I wrote a letter to the manager, explaining my situation and all the errors, and he was quick to contact me and make up for the inconvenience and discrepancies in costs.  In fact, I think my letter was well circulated throughout the store and I felt like all eyes were on me when I went in after that, though, that might have just been my paranoia.  I was very nervous but everyone was super nice and went above and beyond making sure I didn’t have anymore trouble.

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