wound up in one of those orange stores...(a rant)

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Rewire

Senior Member
LOL, that's why they hired her.

Speaking on wire, I can normally get my supplier to price my wire close to HD's prices--if gas prices aren't gone wild. Outside of that, I have no problem shopping for wire at the Big box stores.

every spring they HD has a pallet sale on wire its a great buy but alot to shell out up front I hate sitting on inventory
 

peter d

Senior Member
Location
New England
Case in point. Just today I needed 30 white 5362's (that's a receptacle designation for anyone who doesn't know.) They supply house had 5. 5362's are one of the most common receptacles used. They were also out of another item I needed - 4.5 amp, 6 volt batteries - you know, the one they put in every EBU in the country. :roll: :mad:
 

CopperTone

Senior Member
Location
MetroWest, MA
I end up at the blue and orange a lot because the supply houses close at 5pm around here.

Also, it seems the supply houses now have the central location for stock at their main branch and can't get anything "until tomorrow"
just the other day the supply house didn't even have ivory 3way dimmers or blank front gfci's for a jacuzzi on the shelf. WTF? "i can have it for tomorrow" they said. Doesn't do me any good today.
 

peter d

Senior Member
Location
New England
I end up at the blue and orange a lot because the supply houses close at 5pm around here.

Also, it seems the supply houses now have the central location for stock at their main branch and can't get anything "until tomorrow"
just the other day the supply house didn't even have ivory 3way dimmers or blank front gfci's for a jacuzzi on the shelf. WTF? "i can have it for tomorrow" they said. Doesn't do me any good today.

Yes, the "hub and spoke" model for a supply house is one of the worst things ever that has happened because now they can have a dozen or more branches that don't stock anything but a few common items!! :mad: And as you said, it's always "We can have it tomorrow."

It's getting to the point where I don't mind paying HD ripoff prices for stuff. I just wish the selection was better. The time wasted waiting for supply houses to come though is way more than than HD prices anyway. :roll:
 
I've heard this claim before that the big box stores are selling some items that are the same item # but inferior to what you might buy elsewhere. I don't buy it... Can anyone substantiate this?
 

okeefe

Member
Location
Albany New York
We bought sp homeline breakers for $2.10 ea, at the oranage store. I perfer to buy from my local suppliers because when I need help with something they come thru with good customer service.
 

peter d

Senior Member
Location
New England
We bought sp homeline breakers for $2.10 ea, at the oranage store. I perfer to buy from my local suppliers because when I need help with something they come thru with good customer service.

I'd be glad to support supply houses more if their service was actually good, but it's not. Ever since the recession started they have cut back their staff to the point where there service went from marginal when times were good to bad now.
 

readydave8

re member
Location
Clarkesville, Georgia
Occupation
electrician
I always go to the local supply house first and buy as much as i can from their stock, and usually wind up going on to lowe's for whatever the supply house didn't have. It's hardly ever the other way around, lowe's stocks more on residential and repair items, plus open probably twice as many hours per week. Lowe's prices are higher on all but a few items, so i get a quote from the supply house so that lowe's can beat it by 10%.
 

rclacey

Member
I've heard this claim before that the big box stores are selling some items that are the same item # but inferior to what you might buy elsewhere. I don't buy it... Can anyone substantiate this?


that's kind of where I was going with the OP. The item numbers are NOT the same...but usually similar (i can't buy a GFIC at my supply house) so that leads me to suspect we do get inferior parts from HD. As far as the power tools go, I've heard they use plastic gears in drills, etc. Again no solid evidence.


A lot of the fittings (junk imo) that the box stores do have are just plain funny. I could go in there just for a laugh. Things like offset EMT connectors, and PVC elbows with bell ends. just seems wrong to me. that's all i can think of but i know they stock a lot of other bizzare fittings that i would never use.
 

c2500

Senior Member
Location
South Carolina
I've heard this claim before that the big box stores are selling some items that are the same item # but inferior to what you might buy elsewhere. I don't buy it... Can anyone substantiate this?

I have not seen it with electrical, but there are some ittems that are different than at the supply house. Lowes sells an American Olean tile in the "Sandy Ridge" series. It does or did sell for $1.27. The best I could get from the supply house was $1.79. I know the guys at the supply house and they said the color variations were of a wider range for the Lowes tiles. They also had a bit more size variation. 1/64" variance instead of say 1/128" variance. It is not some much that the quality is less...the distributors simply got the tile that was more color matched and the better of the fired batch.

I also hear that tub shower valves are not as well made, but I can't see a difference other than retail packaging as opposed to wholesale packaging.

One other item is the manufacturer give new numbers on a per retailer basis. So then they don't have to price match because it is not an "identical" item. Different UPC...different item.

c2500
 
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jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
t... (i can't buy a GFIC at my supply house) ....

A Square D QOxxxGFIC is identical to a QOxxxGFI breaker. The "C" means it was sold to/through an outlet that caters to consumers (i.e. a home center). They identify their Consumer Product shipments in an effort to prevent items being sold on the 'grey market' and to reduce someone buying cheap at a home center and returning at a higher price to a full-line distributor.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Lowes sells an American Olean tile in the "Sandy Ridge" series. It does or did sell for $1.27. The best I could get from the supply house was $1.79. I know the guys at the supply house and they said the color variations were of a wider range for the Lowes tiles. They also had a bit more size variation. 1/64" variance instead of say 1/128" variance. It is not some much that the quality is less...the distributors simply got the tile that was more color matched and the better of the fired batch.
Well, of course, that's what the higher-priced guys say! :roll: :)grin:)[/quote]
 

Sparky555

Senior Member
I have not seen it with electrical, but there are some ittems that are different than at the supply house. Lowes sells an American Olean tile in the "Sandy Ridge" series. It does or did sell for $1.27. The best I could get from the supply house was $1.79. I know the guys at the supply house and they said the color variations were of a wider range for the Lowes tiles. They also had a bit more size variation. 1/64" variance instead of say 1/128" variance. It is not some much that the quality is less...the distributors simply got the tile that was more color matched and the better of the fired batch.

I also hear that tub shower valves are not as well made, but I can't see a difference other than retail packaging as opposed to wholesale packaging.

One other item is the manufacturer give new numbers on a per retailer basis. So then they don't have to price match because it is not an "identical" item. Different UPC...different item.

c2500

This suggests that the manufacturer has two quality control departments, or varies it's quality control for different clients. This is so unlikely...it's ridiculous.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
This suggests that the manufacturer has two quality control departments, or varies it's quality control for different clients. This is so unlikely...it's ridiculous.
Two levels of quality control are actually fairly easy to achieve.

Say a machine makes items that are 99% perfect at a rate of 200/hour, and if the machine is sped up to 300/hour the quality drops to 95%. Same machine, same parts, and same quality check, but a different allowance for the number bad parts.
 

K8MHZ

Senior Member
Location
Michigan. It's a beautiful peninsula, I've looked
Occupation
Electrician
This suggests that the manufacturer has two quality control departments, or varies it's quality control for different clients. This is so unlikely...it's ridiculous.

I was a QC inspector at a place that made window shades and I can assure you that there are different levels of standards based upon the customer. The difference in quality comes with a price, of course.
 

220/221

Senior Member
Location
AZ
I love the Home Depot.

I'd much rather pick the part myself than have some clown go get it for me.

Ideally I have stuff delivered but in a pinch it's an awesome convienence to have a HD within a couple miles of every jobsite.

Actually, I like hands-on shopping with a cart. I wish supply houses let you do that. Often, I have to coddle together pieces for a weird installation of some sort, and I don't know what I need until I see it.

Same here. Sometimes you have a general plan but there may be several different ways to accomplish your goal and it's nice to look at the options, see what will fit and how much it will cost. It's too hard to explain that to a counter guy at the supply house.
 
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