Whats your opinion and thoughts on?


Old 01-07-06, 03:26 AM
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Whats your opinion and thoughts on?

I do a lot of remodling and odd and end jobs for people in the small town I live in here in Texas and I get all my material, tools, and such from Home Depot. Now I buy from HD because they are the only lumber, hardware, and tool store around here anymore. HD & Lowes have completely put the mom and pop lumber yards out of buisness. I personally think that is a shame. Now I do have to give credit that they do have everything you need usually under one roof but it also seems that since they (HD & lowes) have taken over the market thAt the price of everything has doubled. I dont think the wood you get now is the same quality I used to get at my old lumber yard and the service or the knowledge and dang sure not the appreciation is there as it was at the old mom and pop lumber yards. This is just my opinion and I would like to hear yours. Maybe I'm just getting old and and cranky.
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Old 01-07-06, 08:15 AM
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I think most people will agree that the mom and pop shop gave better service. They didn't make volume purchases like the big box stores, so they couldn't compete on price. If enough people go price over service, the big box store wins and mom and pop go out of business. Keep in mind, you are the one who did it by shopping the big box store instead of the mom and pop. Let's put blame where it belongs.
Old 01-07-06, 01:31 PM
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Also the small stores have a different set of values. They often don't just look a pricing. Any tradesman knows that quality material is usually cheaper [in the long run] than an inferior material at a lower price.
Old 01-07-06, 11:28 PM
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Home Depot are making large inroads in my province,( I live in Canada) I personally do not like it.I have dealt with HD and found that some of there material is inferior.I have since learned that they will go to a supplier & tell them they need a million widgets and if they cannot supply them ,they will go somewhere else.The supplier then ramps everything up to supply,but usually falls short,then ships what ever he has to keep up.That includes the seconds.I tore down& rebuilt my house....by myself.I went to every place that could supply me with the goods I needed.When I did make a purchase at HD I ended up returning all my bathroom fixtures(all I bought at HD)With no satisfaction at all.I had inspections that I did not meet,& a christmas spent in a trailer because of them.It was the local mom & pop that bailed me out,and got me back on track.Guess where I spend the rest of my money........e-mail me....I'll tell you the whole story.....
Old 01-08-06, 06:33 AM
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The thing I miss most is the corner service station. There was a time that you could pull up to "Full Service" and for maybe a nickle more on the gallon a kid would come out and clean your windows, offer to check all your fluids and the air in your tires. All the time you never had to get out of your car. The owner was usally always there and you knew him by name. The mechanic would gladly fix a kids flat on his bike at no charge. Now You pull in and you see the elderly and handi-cap struggling to figure it out themselves. The workers have no idea how to give directions to anywhere anymore. You have to pay a quarter just to put air in your tires.

The list goes on and on and on......
Old 01-08-06, 09:56 AM
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Air can be 50 cents here. Don't have to air up many times to justify your own compressor. This post reminds me that I miss the little c with the line through it from typewriters - lot quicker than typing 'cents.'
Old 01-08-06, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mattison
The thing I miss most is the corner service station.

Gee I remember when all the stations had boys to pump the gas. Remember the little ball that bounced up and down while they where pumping your gas and the little 'ding' every time a gal was pumped. They cleaned your windshield and checked your oil without you even asking. What ever happened to the air hose you ran over that rang the bell that let them know a customer pulled in? The few stations left that don't require pre-pay sometimes takes an act of congress to get them to turn the pump on.
Old 01-08-06, 10:18 AM
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YUP, big businesses are running the little guy out of business. I saw a grocery store in Florida put out of business by a large chain with lower prices. When the little guy was gone, so were the lower prices. I will admit that I like the "everything under one roof" concept but I find the quality lacking and the "knowledgable" staff even worse. I get to do a lot of shopping at the smaller stores as our nearest Big Boxes are 40 miles away. Ace Hardware may be big, but when I go there I get the royal treatment. When I go from department to department, a salesperson from the new department is notified and I get great service plus they know their stock and even local codes. Ours is even big enough to have tool rental and lumber. I can't drive the 40 miles and save any money.
I guess the Walmart way is the wave of the future. Too bad enough people don't realize that buying all that foreign stuff will someday cost them their jobs too.
Still trying to figure out why the Japanese auto makers are building here and the "so called" American brands are outsourcing overseas. Then complaining that they are losing money.
Old 01-09-06, 12:28 PM
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I had a key that I needed copied for work (not really mine, but I needed it). I went to HD and the key guy looked at the key like a monkey staring at a complex math problem. It is for a coca cola dispenser. I went to a mom+pop and got the key copied without a problem. Also, this same store is nice enough to copy keys that have Do Not Duplicate on them. Also HD doesn't carry muriatic acid, but a couple of the mom+pops and smaller chains (Ace) carry it.
Old 01-10-06, 05:48 AM
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There's a mom & pop hardware store by my parents' house. Not convenient for me anymore, but I go there if I happen to be in the neighborhood. Haven't had any trouble getting a key copied or having the copy work in 25 years. Went to a big box store a couple of months ago to get some copies of the key for a new lock at work and I had to tell the guy what blank he should be using because he had no clue after five minutes of staring at the options.
Old 01-10-06, 06:26 PM
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Old 01-10-06, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tae
Thanks Tae, that makes cents.
Old 01-14-06, 11:05 PM
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A lot of good respnses here and I guess things have just changed. We live in a fast paced , needed it yesterday world. For the record, my post clearly says "the only reason I buy from HD is because they are the only lumber,hardware and tool store around me anymore.
Old 01-21-06, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by nightowlpunk
Also HD doesn't carry muriatic acid, but a couple of the mom+pops and smaller chains (Ace) carry it.
The big boxes have to rationalize every cubic inch of rack space. If some volume of rack somewhere in the store isn't turning a profit, then the product there will be changed eventually. That also explains the "mission creep" of these businesses somewhat.

Mom&pop would lose money (to the lease) with slow-moving products because they stocked what they were supposed to stock.
Old 01-25-06, 08:46 AM
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at least have the internet now to complain about all the good thigns that are gone.
Old 02-12-06, 07:26 PM
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This is a sore point with me....and could turn into a rant! Granted, I have bought a lot of stuff from HD and Lowes because I couldn't find anywhere else to shop! Frankly, their lumber sucks! Crooked, full of holes, knots, whatever. I have to spend a LOT of time just picking out a few pieces of trim!

But I digress........ like Walmart, they offer the lowest price that the local guys can't compete with. Just listened recently to a show on NPR about Walmart (not home improvement or lumber, just general stuff).....Walmart claims to be the biggest break financially for the "little guy"- low to mid income. However, they try to get a name brand company in to sell their stuff.. Walmart dictates to the providing company what they will pay for a certain item (say, a lawnmower.) If the lawnmower company can't produce it at a profit and still sell to Walmart, Walmart SUGGESTS THEY RELOCATE THEIR MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS TO CHINA, OR ANOTHER COUNTRY! How is that for an "all American" company? The very people they are catering to are probably a lot of the same people who will lose their manufacturing jobs to another country. They mentioned one lawnmower company (Toro, i think) who wouldn't cheapen their products just to be sold at Walmart....they had pride in their product and didn't feel right selling a cheaper, inferior product under their name. Next time I buy a lawnmower, I might just buy one of theirs on principle!

Don't get me wrong, I am all for free enterprise..to an extent. I have owned a lot of Japanese cars, but all built in the USA. I don't care so much where the owning company is located as much as they are employing Americans. If Honda or Toyota want to employ people from Ohio, Kentucky or wherever to build their products, that's good enough for me. I don't need to see the fat cats in Detroit (or Tokyo) get rich, I want the WORKERS in Detroit (or Ohio or Kentucky) to have jobs. I lived near Detroit for 29 years, so I know a little bit about USA corporations reaping the profit while the local guy gets laid off, and soon they are making his old car in Mexico and calling it American Made. Ya hear me Ford, GM and Chrysler/Daimler?

Oops, I really got going there, didn't I? Back to home improvement....I fear that the big guys are going to run all the little guys out of business. I have a local hardware store that costs a tad more for their stuff than HD or Lowes, however, I can actually walk in there with pieces of plumbing from under my bathroom vanity when replacing it (my maiden voyage into plumbing!) , they can put it all together and sell me the pieces I need, and tell me what I need to do. Their KNOWLEDGE is PRICELESS. I can guarantee you won't find that at the big box stores. I tried to buy foam insulation to put behind switchplates last week at Home Depot and the "kid" never heard of them, didn't have any idea of what I was talking about. I prefer to deal with the local guys, pay a little more, and get some knowledge along with it! It takes them 10 seconds to walk to the spot in their store to get you what you came for...you can wander in a big box store for an hour, trying to find what you are looking for. Time is $money$.

One thing the little hardware stores can't give me is good lumber, because they don't handle lumber. Neither can the big box stores, because theirs is mostly crap. And local "lumber yards" don't handle anything unusual or different....(I'm working on a 1928 bungalow). Try to find trim that isn't just your everyday ordinary trim.....

I guess I'm old (52) and cranky (at least when it comes to this.) and yeah, I still remember those little balls in the gas pumps, used to love to watch them when I was a little kid!

OK, end of rant! sorry We all need to put our money $$ where our mouth is!
Old 02-12-06, 08:10 PM
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treewoman, I'm tempted to send that paragraph you wrote to Ford, GM and Chrysler/Daimler? Very good stuff. Maybe someone needs to slap those folks in the face with some of that reality you just wrote.

Heres a good one for you folks. This has happened to me twice recently at my local HD. Went in needing a special part (plumbing) or trying to do something a little off the wall (getting old and forgetfull) Anyway, Both times , I was told that I needed to go to a plumbing store I said what the heck are yall? We are a home improvement store Some day's you step in it.
Old 02-12-06, 08:23 PM
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OK Jim, I guess I'm not totally crazy, right???
Old 02-12-06, 09:03 PM
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I totally agree! Maybe because we grew up in the same era.

I guess I'm old (52) and cranky (at least when it comes to this.) and yeah, I still remember those little balls in the gas pumps, used to love to watch them when I was a little kid!
I too am the same age. I also remember them!! I think that many today just don't care about quality when they go to a big box store except when the item breaks or fails. I always suggest to my clients to go to major yards and look at product. The ones around me are quite good at providing my clients with excellent assistance which I fear the big box stores are failing at. It seems that they used to be good but then again things change. They came into existing to sell to the masses. The mom and pop stores will bend over backwards to help you. As long as there are consumers that understand the difference and hopefully ones that realize what they are missing, will keep them in business. Big Corporations are more concerned with the bottom line, for them and the stockholders, not the top line - the consumer! Lumber was never good at those places as they usually are second rate wood - compare the same at a major yard. Big difference! Today, what they pay workers is really a sad story but who they hire are usually the ones that just need a job - forget about being knowledgeable!! So what you see is what you get. No offense to those that work at one who care about the customer and enjoy your job.

Fast paced - yes but I see that as self-induced or self-inflicted! Granted the internet has made many things more easily accessible, less driving, more informative - depending on the sites viewed. Big box stores provide a great one stop shopping but that depends on what you are in need of.

I remember the party line, the rotary dial on the phone and if you were not home, missed a phone call - no big thing! Now, everyone, including kids have to have a cell phone on them to feel they are "in touch" with everyone, everywhere, restuarants, banks, doctors offices - EVEN IN CHURCH!! Not necessary but what I was taught isn't being taught to kids today. This is because noone understands what LIFE is really about. I used to think my parents were full of baloney but as I get older, they were telling me the truth. Fine time to get wiser. It's true, you can't listen if your mouth is always open!

I'll stop, thanks for bringing up great points!

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