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!