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So much for economies of scale. Big box stores are a rip off.

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Old 04-12-2012, 10:36 PM   #1
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Default So much for economies of scale. Big box stores are a rip off.

According to economies of scale, the bigger a retailer is, the more purchasing power they have, the cheaper they get their products, and some of the savings should get passed on to you. Ha!

We found a local lumber supply place that has cheaper prices on everything, even though it's a very small place. For a Broco Supply pre-hung knotty pine door, Home Depot wants $200. The exact same door, the local store wants $130. Baseboard 70 cents a foot HD, 30 cents a foot local place. They've got a bunch of other stuff that is marked way below the big retailers.

There's another local store that is a TrueValue store. I bought a 20lb bag of Scott's Penn State grass seed mix for $50. Home Depot and Lowe's were both charging $70 for the same thing.

Milk is what, close to $4 a gallon? I can go to the farmer behind me and buy raw milk for $2.50 a gallon (this is legal in PA, some states it is not). He's got about 80 cows and is extremely clean. The barn is right next to the little building where the milk is sold, and you can't even smell the cows.

Anyone else find out that a lot of the smaller places are cheaper than the massive retailers?
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:40 PM   #2
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According to economies of scale, the bigger a retailer is, the more purchasing power they have, the cheaper they get their products, and some of the savings should get passed on to you. Ha!

We found a local lumber supply place that has cheaper prices on everything, even though it's a very small place. For a Broco Supply pre-hung knotty pine door, Home Depot wants $200. The exact same door, the local store wants $130. Baseboard 70 cents a foot HD, 30 cents a foot local place. They've got a bunch of other stuff that is marked way below the big retailers.

There's another local store that is a TrueValue store. I bought a 20lb bag of Scott's Penn State grass seed mix for $50. Home Depot and Lowe's were both charging $70 for the same thing.

Milk is what, close to $4 a gallon? I can go to the farmer behind me and buy raw milk for $2.50 a gallon (this is legal in PA, some states it is not). He's got about 80 cows and is extremely clean. The barn is right next to the little building where the milk is sold, and you can't even smell the cows.

Anyone else find out that a lot of the smaller places are cheaper than the massive retailers?
I feel like you are forgetting there is overhead that small businesses don't have to worry about. Not saying it makes up that whole discrepancy, but it does account for some.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:26 PM   #3
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Small business' have overhead as well, trust me. For whatever reason people always assume that a small business has higher prices on everything which is far from the truth. We own a Hardware store and when we compare our prices to home depot or lowes our prices are on point or lower than them almost all of the time. But people come in with a preconceived notion which has no basis or validity but remain adamant in their convictions.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:35 PM   #4
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Hard to find prices lower than at walmart depending on what you're looking for.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:27 AM   #5
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Yes walmart is cheap, but that's because they cut corners on everything. All of their store brand stuff is crap, they only have like one person manning a checkout line except on black friday, their stores are dirty, their carts never work or always have one wheel broken, etc.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:04 AM   #6
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Damn I hate broken shopping cart wheels I get stuck with one every time.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:43 AM   #7
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In the long run, no money is saved by going to a big box store. The money doesn't stay local,it goes to investors in the corporation. Also, yeah, the price perception is a myth, they keep things like milk and bleach cheap, but everything else can vary widely. Produce OS the biggest rip off, canned goods tend to be cheaper at big box stores.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:56 AM   #8
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Yes walmart is cheap, but that's because they cut corners on everything. All of their store brand stuff is crap, they only have like one person manning a checkout line except on black friday, their stores are dirty, their carts never work or always have one wheel broken, etc.
AAAnd they just got rid of the greeters. Well, they got rid of them at my local ones, anyway...
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:05 AM   #9
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Small business' have overhead as well, trust me. For whatever reason people always assume that a small business has higher prices on everything which is far from the truth. We own a Hardware store and when we compare our prices to home depot or lowes our prices are on point or lower than them almost all of the time. But people come in with a preconceived notion which has no basis or validity but remain adamant in their convictions.
I like supporting local businesses but my problem isn't the prices it's the selection. The local small biz hardware store in my town never has what I'm looking for unless it's something generic and it's always some old guy that doesn't know jack **** trying to help you out. All they ever tell me is they don't have this, they don't have that... FFS, I'll just go to Lowes and make it easy on myself.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:42 PM   #10
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Its all about convenience. Price leadership is important too, but big box has selection and diversity on its side. Im all about going to walmart for groceries, and while im there I can get most car care products, lawn care, and the cheapest ammo in town. Lowes is the same way. I can have 2-3 projects going on at the house and 99% of the time one trip to lowes has me covered. Its better than spending half a day running around in traffic. And the prices are hard to beat, even so, its gonna take slot more than a few pennies or even a buck or two to get me chasing deals around at the smaller places.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:48 PM   #11
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And pay attention to the "savings" at grocery stores. Mom and pop places, even kroger, albertsons, ect will have a few core items, such as milk, eggs, ect that they are willing to lose money on to have the best prices. And they also run sales on high margin things like produce, to get you in there to spend your money. Little do you know that almost everything else in that place is 20 to even 40% more than what you would spend in a walmart. They bait you in with the deals, and hope you spend money on other things, because you're there, and its convenient.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:49 PM   #12
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^ yep it's become more about convenience in today's world. people go to lowe's or HD since there's probably several of them within a few minute drive, and they can get everything they need at one place.

i will say though, no matter how much cheaper wal-mart may be, i absolutely refuse to shop at the ones near me, based on the clientele that they bring in and the people that work there.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:51 PM   #13
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Yes walmart is cheap, but that's because they cut corners on everything. All of their store brand stuff is crap, they only have like one person manning a checkout line except on black friday, their stores are dirty, their carts never work or always have one wheel broken, etc.
Dang your Walmart must be crappy. We have 5 Walmarts in our area. The two right by me are really clean and nice. There are usually well staffed and you can get in and out in minutes.

Just on a side note I do shop at smaller places like True Value. I don't care in most cases what their prices are, I want to give them my business. And even if their paint or something is a dollar more expensive than Home Depot or Lowes, I'm not gonna drive 8 miles to Home Depot to save a dollar.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:57 PM   #14
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I'll buy raw milk once a few stores around me get it. And I'll buy it whether the "gubmint" says I can or can't.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:27 PM   #15
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Stores will often sell some products at a net loss just to draw you into their store in hopes of getting you to buy other items, possibly not priced so well. These items they sell at a loss are called 'loss leaders' in retail. These small hardware stores are probably trying to undercut lowes & HD on select items to get you to try their store. Marketing tricks
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:42 PM   #16
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Dang your Walmart must be crappy. We have 5 Walmarts in our area. The two right by me are really clean and nice. There are usually well staffed and you can get in and out in minutes.

Just on a side note I do shop at smaller places like True Value. I don't care in most cases what their prices are, I want to give them my business. And even if their paint or something is a dollar more expensive than Home Depot or Lowes, I'm not gonna drive 8 miles to Home Depot to save a dollar.
I like True Value, they have a good selection and you can actually get some help if you need it.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:43 PM   #17
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Stores will often sell some products at a net loss just to draw you into their store in hopes of getting you to buy other items, possibly not priced so well. These items they sell at a loss are called 'loss leaders' in retail. These small hardware stores are probably trying to undercut lowes & HD on select items to get you to try their store. Marketing tricks
Only problem is that people like me will buy the loss leader and nothing else.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:40 PM   #18
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I have a True Value right down the street and they are priced higher than Home Depot on just about everything. Back in MI I used to go to ACO Hardware all the time because of the prices. From what I see it depends on the market demographics and the franchise.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:56 PM   #19
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I have a True Value right down the street and they are priced higher than Home Depot on just about everything. Back in MI I used to go to ACO Hardware all the time because of the prices. From what I see it depends on the market demographics and the franchise.
True dat; it's a your mileage may vary kind of thing with most of these spots.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:52 PM   #20
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Grrrrr can't quote on fone view.

Anyway, to who said they store brands are crap: many many store brands are rebranded brand name.

Ie: meijer, jewel, wally, etc milk is......deans.
That's right, the over piced deans label is in the basic lookin jug.

Happens a lot.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:52 PM
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