Tuesday, April 3

How To Lose At Lowes

Lowe's has been relatively disappointing as a home improvement destination for me, at least when it comes to sales. I know neither Lowe's nor Home Depot ever have sales anywhere near as good as Menard's did, but Lowe's seems to try a little more than HD with sales, which I appreciate. Scoring the sale items has been more hassle than it should be at the Jacksonville Lowe's stores.

Our first experience was with the appliances in our new house. We had the Lowe's 10% off coupon and a good sale going on, but the dishwasher was a week out for delivery, several days after the rest of the kitchen came. When it was finally delivered, it was all dented up. The sales people said it would take another full week to get a new one, but I went a little nuts on them, so we got the dishwasher a bit sooner.

The next time I wanted to get the best deal at Lowe's was for the pavers I wanted. Two sales in a row, one for $.25 bricks and then for $.88 12"x12" white or red pavers. Good prices for each, but the problem was availability. The bricks weren't at my local Lowe's at all. Not even a sign for them. I was able to get 100 of the bricks up in Fernandina Beach, but I needed more. I tried another Lowe's that was supposed to have 3,000 of the bricks, but no one working there could locate even another 100. Finally, my local store got some in on the last day of that sale, so I got lucky, after driving all over town.

The other paver squares were in stock at my local store. That worked pretty well, at least until I needed a last-minute purchase of my last 20 pavers. I got to the Lowe's at around 8pm. The outdoor area was closed, so I had to go in the regular entrance. I headed back to the pavers, and there were maybe 20 - 25 left, but there were no carts to be found. I was about to head back into the store in order to find a flat cart to load, another customer showed up with one. And, of course, he started loading the exact pavers I wanted. With one day left on the sale, I figured I'd be able to find more at another local store, but it was just another frustration in dealing with Lowe's.

Yes, I've spent way too much time on all this paver nonsense. It's felt a bit like a bait-and-switch with so many stores out of stock. But the point is that I'll have a whole new patio and path for around $100. Maybe 100 square feet or so. Considering each of the pavers were over 40% off for the respective sales, I probably saved at least $80. Even if it had cost me $1,000, it will be  cheaper than hiring someone, which is kind of the point of these home improvement stores. Save money by doing it yourself.

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