Home Depot vs Lowe’s – Price Matching

As you know, most big stores have a “price matching” policy, and so do Home Depot and Lowe’s. But the catch here is that these two (as well as most other stores), carry different brands or the same brands with different SKU’s, so that when you do find the same or very similar item, they compare the SKUs and decline the price match. So here is what happened to me.

In 2013, I was remodeling my second floor apartment, after the tenants moved out. I went to Lowe’s (as it’s the closest home improvement store to me), and found this $119 Aqua Source Dual Flush Elongated toilet. Now the toilet is great – it is a 1.6 GPF (gallons per flush) toilet, that can also flush just 1 gallon if you do #1. Basically, it saves a ton (literally) of water each year. The “problem” was that Home Depot had a VERY similar toilet for $98. Honestly, I think both toilets are made in the same factory. But the Home Depot version had a Glacier Bay label on it.

Note: At the time of writing this, it seems the HD’s site no longer shows the Glacier Bay WHITE toilet for $98. Instead you can find a BEIGE for $118, or the one I linked above which is a WHITE version for $87, but it is an ONLINE ONLY item. Still, 3 weeks ago (in March 2014) when I actually bought it, it was available both in store and online.

I felt lazy to drive to the Home Depot store, which was 20 minutes further than Lowe’s, so I asked a manager to do a price match for me, insisting that the toilets were nearly identical. And actually (to my surprize) the manager approved the prices match. So I saved $20, and a trip to Home Depot – GREAT!

Now fast forward to 2014. I’m doing another renovation in the first floor apartment now (here is a short review of shower valve replacement that I did there), and I needed another toilet to replace the 4 GPF monster that was in there. So I go to the same Lowe’s store, to pick up the toilet and a bunch of other parts I needed. But when I go to checkout and ask for a price match, I get denied – what???

I insisted that less than a year ago I already got the same toilet and got a price match. The cashier called a manager over, but her attitude was something like “I don’t care – you are not getting the price match. Get out”.

Great… I explain to her, that I am a “frequent flyer” there, as I’m also a contractor, and spend upwards of $5000 each year in their store. Nope, she did not care. So now it was a matter of principle. I turned around and walked out. Went to Home Depot, and got the toilet, along with a Simmons shower valve, and a bunch of other related items (spending around $350 in that one visit), and saved my 20 bucks on the toilet.

But the main part for me – since I get this attitude there, I will now take ALL my business to Home Depot.

Lowe’s – say goodbye to my annual $5000+ spending spree at your stores!

PS – when you go shopping, always use a Mobile App or at least a mobile site to compare prices on the items you buy!

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5 comments on “Home Depot vs Lowe’s – Price Matching

  1. Chris

    When I get denied I say, “ok….and let’s see…your name is BAD ATTITUDE. Do you have an employee number or anything. Then they ask why I need it. I tell them that at the end of this transaction, I am going to write corporate and either say that : (1) BAD ATTITUDE is a fabulous employee who help me navigate a difficult tuition or, Because of this experience I am going to never come back and spend a penny and any of the stores again and I want to make sure the corporate knows who is responsible for this loss of revenue. I say it very nicely and with a smile and then I say, “I am a true hard-ass. I promise you, I am writing a letter after I leave. I really will make it very nice for you if we can work this out.” Almost every time, all of a sudden the employee re,embers a way that what I want can be done. When I leave I do write the letter and I either mail a copy back to the employee care of Home Depot and or I hand carry it into them the next time I’m in the store and I handed to them and say, “I thought you might like this for your personnel file.” After that, I have my own personal assistant and problem solver every time I go. Each time they help me I write another 3-5 line letter about how great they are. And those that don’t help me, by the time I am done with my letter and follow-up, I rarely ever see that employee again. And, I swear when they pull my info up on the computer they give me this very nervous look…. like next to my name it says, ” this guy is a real hard-ass…be careful.”
    I worked at McDonald’s 40 years ago. One time a guy comes up and shows me the last bite of his hamburger and says, “my hamburger didn’t have a pickle on it and I want another hamburger with a pickle.” Of course I wanted to just slap a pickle in a little piece of hamburger he had left but instead I smile said no problem give him another hamburger. He was the corporation’s secret shopper. He called my manager right over, showed his ID, and my manager asked what I had done wrong. The secret shopper said, “wrong? No he didn’t do anything wrong. This guy is exactly the type of employee we want I am awarding him $100 on the spot bonus and your store will receive the district award for how he handled my complaint today. After that, I could come in late, leave early, and do almost anything I want. I was a customer service legend in my manager’s eyes, despite the fact that I loved goofing around with my friends that work there as well as flirting with all the girls since I went to an all boys high school. I wish companies did stuff like that more rather than always punishing their employees.

  2. Joe B.

    Thanks for the info, I had a similar story with Home Depot and a lawn mower. The people involved acted like I was taking the savings out of their pocket. I stood my ground and said where is the incentive to shop there if I can get it elsewhere online. The one guy said under his breath maybe I should go elsewhere. I am a contractor myself, if I gave an attitude like that to people everyday I would be out of a job. What ever happened to the ” Golden Rule”?

    1. Leo B Post author

      Joe – I agree – it’s as if low level home depot employees have something to gain if YOU do not get the price match … you just feel how they are actively against you getting that discount that is specified in their price match policy …

      My theory is that store level managers tell them to not issue price match or the get punished … or something like that.

      And as far as golden rule … thing is – customer is not always right, but most of the time – yes …

  3. Tina Gleisner

    So who’s story is this really? Here you’re saying it’s Leo but Yelena posted on Lowe’s G+ page?

    1. Leo B Post author


      It’s my story – I wrote it, I went to Lowe’s and home depot to buy the toilets, etc. etc. Yelena probably reshared the story.

      PS – comment link spam is not approved by Google any more.