Home Center vs Supply House

mbrooke

Senior Member
I know people here have said its the same, but I keep having people tell me otherwise. Are the electrical items, even of the same model number, of lesser quality or with tolerance deviations sold at home centers vs what you get at a reputable supply house?
 

petersonra

Senior Member
they are like walmart. many, maybe most, are exactly the same items as are sold for more elsewhere. there are a few things made just for the home center market (and walmart) that are of lower quality to catch a particular price point. for instance, klein makes a line of tools that is of lower quality than their other tools that is sold at home centers.
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
My local SH does not stock BR style 250GFCIs. The home center does but when it fails early, like in two months, no warranty. I ate that one. Not again. Doesn’t matter if they are same or not.
 

brantmacga

Senior Member
My local SH does not stock BR style 250GFCIs. The home center does but when it fails early, like in two months, no warranty. I ate that one. Not again. Doesn’t matter if they are same or not.
I bought two of those spa kits with that breaker years ago. One was DOA, the other failed in a matter of weeks. Never bought them again.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
I know people here have said its the same, but I keep having people tell me otherwise. Are the electrical items, even of the same model number, of lesser quality or with tolerance deviations sold at home centers vs what you get at a reputable supply house?
I doubt it. To me it's just an urban legend.
 

sameguy

Senior Member
Same stuff, our tools are made by how many factories and sold at how many electrical suppliers. = x amount
Now how many HD, Lowes, Walmart, etc. stock the tool. = x(x)= more than all the suppliers. So same tool lower cost due to volume.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
IMO it's pretty silly to think that a company would separately manufacture a whole set of lower quality tools (but give it the same part number and use the same packaging) just to shave a few cents off the price so that they can sell it cheaper at Big Orange.
 

mbrooke

Senior Member
IMO it's pretty silly to think that a company would separately manufacture a whole set of lower quality tools (but give it the same part number and use the same packaging) just to shave a few cents off the price so that they can sell it cheaper at Big Orange.
Not so much deliberately, but things that have slight tolerance deviations of defects, ect.
 

Knuckle Dragger

Master Electrician Electrical Contractor 01752
My local SH does not stock BR style 250GFCIs. The home center does but when it fails early, like in two months, no warranty. I ate that one. Not again. Doesn’t matter if they are same or not.
My business is about 55% SH 45% box store. It happened over time with supply houses closing or refusing to stock their shelved with basic products.I find it much easier to return or exchange merchandise purchased from the box store.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
I bought two of those spa kits with that breaker years ago. One was DOA, the other failed in a matter of weeks. Never bought them again.


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I've been using that kit for several years and never had a problem. I've even bought the kit just to get the breaker, no problem there either. I was told by the SH manager that he asked Eaton and it is the same breaker as the individual breakers sold. But now, the SH carries the kit and is cheaper than "big blue" on it.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Thats a clue.
Yes. It means that they are manufactured exclusively for Home Depot.

This kind of thing has been going on for a long time. Large tire chains have tires made with their own tread pattern. If you damage one of their tires and go to another dealer that sells that brand and model, that same tire will have the normal factory pattern and will look out of place on your car.

Large appliance dealers advertise "if you can find the same model for less we will beat that price and give you $100". Then you find the same exact model for less somewhere else they ask you for the model number. Nope. Different model numbers. Not the same, you lose.

Used to be that Kwikset and Schlage were garbage from Bog box stores but it looks like that isn't the case anymore. Probably because they are all made in China now.

-Hal
 

mbrooke

Senior Member
So in theory they can control the quality, ie give me the stuff thats slightly out of spec.

I know Amazon does things where they will sell a toaster oven without one rack (most don't use it anyways) and mark the price down by 30% over the store.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
So in theory they can control the quality, ie give me the stuff thats slightly out of spec.
Not defective or out of spec, but they purchase in such large quantities that they can have the item made to match their price point. I related an old story last time this came up about a friend of mine, also an EC, who bought a Milwaukee Hole Hog from HD. First time using it on the job he was boring some 2" diameter holes through studs. He didn't even get the first one done when the chuck stopped turning and the motor kept going. Felt like a gear stripped. So he brought it back to HD for a replacement. Now with the replacement drill he goes back and tries to finish where he left off. No sooner does he start another hole then he same thing happens again. So this time he gets a refund and gets another drill from an on-line tool supplier. It cost a little more but Interestingly enough, no more problems. So it's clear that Milwaukee likely skimped on heat treating the gears in order to sell cheaper to HD.

However, I don't know how much of that goes on anymore with nearly everything made in China. The manufacturer is paying bottom dollar to the Chinese manufacturer so they can afford to cut a deal with major purchasers without sacrificing quality.

-Hal
 

mbrooke

Senior Member
Not defective or out of spec, but they purchase in such large quantities that they can have the item made to match their price point. I related an old story last time this came up about a friend of mine, also an EC, who bought a Milwaukee Hole Hog from HD. First time using it on the job he was boring some 2" diameter holes through studs. He didn't even get the first one done when the chuck stopped turning and the motor kept going. Felt like a gear stripped. So he brought it back to HD for a replacement. Now with the replacement drill he goes back and tries to finish where he left off. No sooner does he start another hole then he same thing happens again. So this time he gets a refund and gets another drill from an on-line tool supplier. It cost a little more but Interestingly enough, no more problems. So it's clear that Milwaukee likely skimped on heat treating the gears in order to sell cheaper to HD.

However, I don't know how much of that goes on anymore with nearly everything made in China. The manufacturer is paying bottom dollar to the Chinese manufacturer so they can afford to cut a deal with major purchasers without sacrificing quality.

-Hal

Or put a plastic gear on place or a metal one... its a guess. But I always have the suspicion what you get at HD is of lesser quality. I know stuff from Grainger are the best hands down.
 

paulengr

Senior Member
Not sure about others but Walmart strong arms their suppliers into building products with inferior parts. Some are big enough to stand up to this tactic. Others not so much.

Grainger uses a lot of dirty tactics on their customers. They’ve never been too hung up on low prices. Most of their customer base is also industrial. They wouldn’t risk the Walmart tactic.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
Just FWIW, my local HD just got rid or all of their attended checkout lines. The only option is self service (with hand held scan guns, so you can do lumber, etc.) and one employee to handle problems and code lookups. At least you do not have to put product onto a scale as you scan it!!
I was told the returns are really messed up, since there is no mechanism for returning products that wont fit into a bucket.
Time will tell. Has anyone seen this at Lowes yet?
 

electrofelon

Senior Member
Not defective or out of spec, but they purchase in such large quantities that they can have the item made to match their price point. I related an old story last time this came up about a friend of mine, also an EC, who bought a Milwaukee Hole Hog from HD. First time using it on the job he was boring some 2" diameter holes through studs. He didn't even get the first one done when the chuck stopped turning and the motor kept going. Felt like a gear stripped. So he brought it back to HD for a replacement. Now with the replacement drill he goes back and tries to finish where he left off. No sooner does he start another hole then he same thing happens again. So this time he gets a refund and gets another drill from an on-line tool supplier. It cost a little more but Interestingly enough, no more problems. So it's clear that Milwaukee likely skimped on heat treating the gears in order to sell cheaper to HD.

However, I don't know how much of that goes on anymore with nearly everything made in China. The manufacturer is paying bottom dollar to the Chinese manufacturer so they can afford to cut a deal with major purchasers without sacrificing quality.

-Hal
I had to drill a bunch of 4.5 inch holes thru a thick wood floor in a mill. I killed my hole hawg doing it. Went to big orange and got a new one. Easily finished the job. Id say the big orange hole hawg was better:p Id say your friends case was just a coincidence.
 
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