Lowe’s or Home Depot: Which Is Cheaper

Having shopped at Home Depot and Lowe’s stores, I always had the sense that Home Depot was cheaper.

Cheapism is more scientific. It sent a researcher to both the hardware giants and compared prices on 40 items ranging from paint to faucets.

The difference? Hardly any. Lowe’s won by a couple of cents when the 40 items were tallied.

The difference was found in service.

“These big-box bigwigs are highly successful and fiercely competitive, making it impossible to pick a winner based on the cost of merchandise alone. Although prices at Home Depot and Lowe’s sometimes fluctuate, they’re often exactly the same, and the differences we noted typically were slight. In the end, the service and overall experience we got for our money earned Lowe’s the title of value champ.”

 “Consistency from location to location may be a hallmark of retail chains, but a certain amount of variation — due to store personnel, store size, local market preferences — is inevitable. That said, we did our best to compare the Lowe’s and Home Depot outposts in one major metropolitan area by visiting each store three times at different times of day. We made our trips during the week and on the weekend and evaluated the customer service experiences as a whole instead of on a per-visit basis. To compare prices, we drew up a select list of items that were the same at each retailer or as similar as possible. We chose one large project — a deck — to price out component by component for the big-picture view. Lastly, we sought the opinions of experts and of shoppers from a variety of locales, with online postings serving as our source. The totality of the evidence led us to a clear conclusion but also highlighted how effectively these home improvement titans compete.”
Thanks to www.consumerworld.org for pointing out the story.

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4 Comments on "Lowe’s or Home Depot: Which Is Cheaper"

  1. Except for rare convenience on a Sunday, I would never buy from either of these two places. There’s a reason for their ‘low prices’…it’s their ‘low quality’. Stick to a real lumber yard for building products and for tools either Superior Products in Southington on rt 322 or Coastal Tool in West Hartford. People who buy on price alone inevitably spend twice after that Home Depot/ Lowes tool breaks under light use. Even the names like Rigid and Hilti have cheapened themselves by placing their products in these stores.

  2. Bob Englehart | April 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

    I almost always go to the local Ace Hardware. I’ve found the Middletown Home Depot to be unfriendly and Lowes too far on the other side of town. Ace is just down the street. Location, location, location! Also, manufacturers make junk for the big box stores. My plumber tells me so.

  3. Mike sounds like a shill fot the stores he pushes Both Lowe’s and Hame Depot carry varied name brands, usually as you said, at about the sasme prices

    Lowe’s has better lumber as a rule, with 2×2’s at Home Depot (No. Haven) pretzel shaped rather than straight,

    Lowe’s has great closeouts, sometimes discounting up to 80% on cearance items.

    I know they do it just to suck me in, but I bought a $250 backyard fount6ain a $150 fish pool for a total of $110 on clearance prices, I like that

    Being a shill myself. if you want really good wood at a fair poice try West Haven Lumber One time buying a big load of 1×6, we bought excellent boards at West Haven at a couple of cents less per board foot after an earlier purchase of lousy boards at Home Depot

    Sounding more like Mike now so I’ll quit.


  4. Depends on what you buy. Most of it, you can’t even tell which store you’re in. I’ve found that HD carries better tools, Lowe’s might be a tad better on lumber, and if you’re buying nuts and bolts and weird random hardware (or if you need service help of any kind) you can’t beat Ace.

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