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What They Don't Want You to Know at Home Depot

Here’s a list of insider secrets, tips, and tricks for DIY mechanics that will ensure you are not paying what everyone else is when shopping at Home Depot.


DIY Shoppers’ Top Two Stores

While mostly known as a home improvement store for remodeling your home and improving your garage, there’s also plenty of automotive tools and related supplies provided at Home Depot.

Related article: Warehouse Discounted Gas You Should and Should Not Buy

The Home Depot is the largest big box home improvement store in North American with over 2,300 stores. Which is great, because while on extended road trips, you can almost always count on a Home Depot somewhere nearby to help you find the tool or jerry rig solution for a minor road trip emergency. One friend of mine told me that it is also his go-to RV parking spot on nights when he and his wife discover that there are no vacancies available at RV Parks during an occasional misadventure where they find themselves off-course and behind on their travel itinerary.

But for those of us home stationed, the Home Depot is probably the second most visited store for DIY types followed by shopping at Harbor Freight. While there is some overlap in the tools and garage necessities, smart shoppers go to Home Depot when they really want a dependable, well-reviewed popular power tool brand that they know is going to last them for a long time.

However, some of my favorite garage-related items for big savings are buying those blue paper shop towels in 12-package bulk and neoprene or nitrile gloves for engine work.

Aside from paying more at Home Depot over Harbor Freight, the only con to shopping there is that it is so freaking huge and the item you might be looking for is not always where you would expect. In other words, it can be a scavenger hunt type of shopping experience.

Tips for Shopping at Home Depot

However, the plus of any big box store is that you can expect to find discounts every visit. The trick is to know how and where to find those discounts and leverage them the best way possible to save money.

And that was the message behind a recent DIY With Dave YouTube channel episode where Dave shares his tips, tricks, and secrets to shopping at Home Depot.

Related article: Harbor Freight's Dirty Little Secret Revealed Helps DIY Mechanics

For example, did you know that you do not have to be a licensed contractor to get those discounts at the Pro Service desk? That’s right. And one of the benefits of using their Pro Service is that they will help you manage your shopping list with their advice on bigger jobs like remodeling your garage with suggestions and recommendations that you might not have considered.

That said, follow along with Dave as he talks about:

  • Military discounts and how to get them.
  • Being nice to a floor sales associate can result in receiving a Customer Satisfaction $50 discount.
  • Look for damaged goods, packaging and returned items.
  • Shopping at the right time of the year for particular items.
  • Plant and the supplies refunds if the plant does not survive months later.
  • Price matching against competitors is accepted.
  • Cash back for items sold cheaper within a month of original purchase.
  • The benefits of e-mail receipts, hanging onto your HD ads, and returned items that you bought too many of.
  • Wrong color paint and dented stain can discounts are worth looking at for significant savings.
  • Loyalty program membership is also worth looking into before starting that once in a year (or longer) large project.
  • Subscriber discounts and free shipping similar to what Amazon offers…but, without the membership fee!
  • Go into “racoon mode” and give dumpster diving a try on occasion.
  • Not making it a scavenger hunt shopping trip by planning ahead before heading out the door by looking online not only find out the item price beforehand, but also see what aisle and where a specific item is located if in stock.

Related article: Insider Secrets, Tips, and Dumpster Diving Advice at Harbor Freight

For more details about the shopping tips, here is the video that is well worth the time to watch and learn from:

For an additional article about shopping for tools and saving money, here is a recommended article for your consideration: Harbor Freight Tool Shop with This Mechanic

Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on  “Zen and the Art of DIY Car Repair” website, the Zen Mechanic blog and on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites  and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.

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