PDA

View Full Version : Why I hate Big Box Stores



S/V Laura Ellen
09-16-2012, 09:45 AM
I'm in the process of fixing a commercial espresso machine and needed to replace the power cords (220V 15A).

None of the big box stores carry replacement power cords.
None of the local BBS sold suitable cable by the foot.
None of them carried and high temperature wiring.

I guess it's off to the electrical wholesale place on Monday.

We used to have a few independent hardware shops that carried this type of stuff, but they have all been swallowed up by the BBS. I wish they were still around.

Durnik
09-16-2012, 10:51 AM
Hmm, I thought I remembered seeing suitable line cord & plugs at the !$#%^#& BBS.. Guess not.

still, I'm with you - had to replace a line cord on a commercial ice machine a couple of months ago - & the local hardware store had the cord & plug. I likes local! ;-)

enjoy
bobby

Paul Girouard
09-16-2012, 10:57 AM
Why do you Canadian's have to hate?

What about the thousands of items the BBS HAS in stock at a 10 to 15 % savings? What about the little hardware's mind set of "We can order that for you, it'll be in next week!, Oh , and by the way they'll be a shipping fee on top of the already inflated sticker price! , Shall I go ahead and order it for you? "

Gerarddm
09-16-2012, 11:36 AM
The local Ace Hardware place is pretty knowledgable. I don't think they are going to be swallowed up any time soon.

S/V Laura Ellen
09-16-2012, 11:44 AM
the big box places are green when compared to mom and pop stores... all shopping done at one location instead of burning three times as much gasoline searching for mom and pop

It isn't green if they don't have what you are looking for. It is a wasted trip, wasted fuel.

S/V Laura Ellen
09-16-2012, 11:45 AM
The local Ace Hardware place is pretty knowledgable. I don't think they are going to be swallowed up any time soon.

I guess a trip across the border might be the answer.

Flying Orca
09-16-2012, 11:48 AM
the big box places are green when compared to mom and pop stores... all shopping done at one location instead of burning three times as much gasoline searching for mom and pop

Where I live, that's simply not true, because the small specialty places are in the same neighbourhood as the BBSs. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure this thing called the "telephone" eliminates having to physically search. And if you think the "telephone" is impressive, wait 'til you see these newfangled Internets...


Why do you Canadian's have to hate?

I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't like foreign chains putting local operations out of business. Would you?


What about the thousands of items the BBS HAS in stock at a 10 to 15 % savings? What about the little hardware's mind set of "We can order that for you, it'll be in next week!, Oh , and by the way they'll be a shipping fee on top of the already inflated sticker price! , Shall I go ahead and order it for you? "

Things must be quite different where you live. As for a ten-to-fifteen percent premium, I'd be willing to pay that for quality merchandise sold by a knowledgeable local owner/operator. Thing is, I live in a major distribution centre, so when it comes ordering in, I can usually shop the places more remote stores order from.

S/V Laura Ellen
09-16-2012, 11:51 AM
Why do you Canadian's have to hate?

What about the thousands of items the BBS HAS in stock at a 10 to 15 % savings? What about the little hardware's mind set of "We can order that for you, it'll be in next week!, Oh , and by the way they'll be a shipping fee on top of the already inflated sticker price! , Shall I go ahead and order it for you? "

The the bread and butter items are cheaper. But not always, sometimes it's just an inferior product at a lower price. When the BBS's put pressure on the manufacturers to lower their price, the manufacturer has no option but to cut serviceability and quality of the product. The BBSs are a double edged sword, lower prices on a core selection of products, but at the cost of less selection, lower quality of products and much less speciality items.

Paul Girouard
09-16-2012, 12:00 PM
I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't like foreign chains putting local operations out of business. Would you?


Does it matter who owns the store? We finally got a Home Depot here on the island , I "know " many of the employee's that work there , just like our Ace Hardware which is a franchise store , the people who work there live here , spend their pay check's here etc. Sure a corporation some where also many make money so what , they are "local" to some one.

And my "hate" comment was sort of a joke as Alan put hate in the thread title , does he REALLY hate BBS? Really?? Lighten up:-))

Things must be quite different where you live. As for a ten-to-fifteen percent premium, I'd be willing to pay that for quality merchandise sold by a knowledgeable local owner/operator. Thing is, I live in a major distribution centre, so when it comes ordering in, I can usually shop the places more remote stores order from.

I live on a island , it's not "remote" but still it isn't on the beaten path , most small businesses here stock very little "odd" / or specialty items, they just can't afford to have things sitting on shelf's for years hoping it will some day sell. The H/D added a mush needed selection over what the other stores carried around here any way. Down in Seattle I know you can find just about any thing you could want sitting on some ones shelf.

Paul Girouard
09-16-2012, 12:04 PM
The BBSs are a double edged sword, lower prices on a core selection of products, but at the cost of less selection, lower quality of products and much less speciality items.



Quality started to fall off years before the BBS was developed! Just look at a simple door hinge , take one that's 80 years old and compare it to one made today, it's not the BBS it's the consumer fault for excepting crap . Look at bridge concrete work for pete's sake another place where a few details made a bridge nice to look at , today your luck to get a chamfered edge on a column.

It's the way of the world , less for more.

Flying Orca
09-16-2012, 12:06 PM
It's more the corporate ownership and profit-skimming I dislike than the foreignness of said ownership, frankly; I'd rather buy local and independent, or from a franchise owner/operator at the very least. And yes, I know that living where I do makes it easier to hold principles that might not survive elsewhere... ;)

Ron Williamson
09-16-2012, 12:34 PM
It's more the corporate ownership and profit-skimming I dislike than the foreignness of said ownership, frankly; I'd rather buy local and independent, or from a franchise owner/operator at the very least. And yes, I know that living where I do makes it easier to hold principles that might not survive elsewhere... ;)


Is Princess Auto considered BBS?


I'd be really surprised if a big Home Hardware didn't have everything that was missing from PA.
R

Waddie
09-16-2012, 12:51 PM
Both BB and mom and pop have a place. BB for discount, volume, most common materials; mom and pop for service, exotic materials (woods), knowledge; the internet for some combinations of "all of the above".

There has to be a market for each or they will disappear. The consumer votes on it every day with their money.

regards,
Waddie

Flying Orca
09-16-2012, 12:52 PM
Is Princess Auto considered BBS?


I'd be really surprised if a big Home Hardware didn't have everything that was missing from PA.

Nah, PA's owned by a local family - second and third generation now, I think.

S/V Laura Ellen
09-16-2012, 02:19 PM
Both BB and mom and pop have a place. BB for discount, volume, most common materials; mom and pop for service, exotic materials (woods), knowledge; the internet for some combinations of "all of the above".

There has to be a market for each or they will disappear. The consumer votes on it every day with their money.

regards,
Waddie

The problem with your statement is that the BBS corners the market on the bread and butter items that the smaller Mom and Pop stores require to stay in business. Without the bread and butter sales, there isn't a valid business case for the Mom and Pops. Once the Mom and Pops close where will you get the items that the BBS won't stock?

Here is a good example.

I purchased (or to be more accurate, my insurance company did) a new bathroom vanity from a BBS (Home Despot) that had a glass counter top with an integrated sink. When I went to hook up the vanity, I found out that the BBS didn't stock and wouldn't order the drain tail piece for the glass sink. They suggested that I go down the road to the Mom and Pop store because they carried it. When I was there I talked to the Mom and Pop store owner about this situation. He reply was, in a year, they probably won't be there to sell them any more. The BBS wouldn't take back the vanity because the box was opened, unless I paid a big restocking fee.

How can the BBS sell an product knowing that they are relying on the Mom and Pop store to sell the low margin items required to install the product. This is the type of predatory business practice that I don't like.

I try to avoid the BBS when ever I can. I'd rather pay a little extra to ensure that the Mom and Pop is still there to sell those things that the BBS don't want to stock.

Paul Girouard
09-16-2012, 02:23 PM
The problem with your statement is that the BBS corners the market on the bread and butter items that the smaller Mom and Pop stores require to stay in business. Without the bread and butter sales, there isn't a valid business case for the Mom and Pops. Once the Mom and Pops close where will you get the items that the BBS won't stock?

Here is a good example.

I purchased (or to be more accurate, my insurance company did) a new bathroom vanity from a BBS (Home Despot) that had a glass counter top with an integrated sink. When I went to hook up the vanity, I found out that the BBS didn't stock and wouldn't order the drain tail piece for the glass sink. They suggested that I go down the road to the Mom and Pop store because they carried it. When I was there I talked to the Mom and Pop store owner about this situation. He reply was, in a year, they probably won't be there to sell them any more. The BBS wouldn't take back the vanity because the box was opened, unless I paid a big restocking fee.

How can the BBS sell an product knowing that they are relying on the Mom and Pop store to sell the low margin items required to install the product. This is the type of predatory business practice that I don't like.

I try to avoid the BBS when ever I can. I'd rather pay a little extra to ensure that the Mom and Pop is still there to sell those things that the BBS don't want to stock.

Hey Mr. Progressive , you can't stop "progress" things change , get used to it. Change is the one thing in life that won't change , it just happens, deal with it.

David W Pratt
09-16-2012, 02:32 PM
So, put a pair of dikes in your pocket, go to BBS, go to appliance section, dike power cord off a drier (220v <10amp) take cord to employee, ask "do you have a replacement?" No, well thanks any way' rough justice and problem solved
Good luck

leikec
09-16-2012, 02:42 PM
So, put a pair of dikes in your pocket, go to BBS, go to appliance section, dike power cord off a drier (220v <10amp) take cord to employee, ask "do you have a replacement?" No, well thanks any way' rough justice and problem solved
Good luck

So much for ethical behavior...

Jeff C

GregH
09-16-2012, 03:20 PM
Although I'm fortunate to have a premium lumber outlet, a metal dealer that sells small offcuts of rod and plate by the pound, and a Grainger store all within 10 miles, I still frequent both Lowes and Homedepot for everyday needs. Please allow me to relate two positive experiences with HD:

#1- 3 1/2 years ago when we moved to our new home in central Texas, one thing we didn't like about the master bathroom was/is the hinged 24" door into the toilet alcove- you almost have to stand on toilet to close it! Having done home-remodeling professionally for over 25 years, I hopped over to HD and bought a pocket door frame with the intention of converting the current door to a pocket installation. Well, time went by, and we just sort of got accustomed to the hinged door. So after almost 3 1/2 years of gathering dust in the garage I decided to see if HD would accept a return- without the long-lost receipt! The lady at the return desk said no problem! However, since there was no receipt, I was issued an in-store credit card for the $57.14 I paid for the frame. "Fair enough" I said- I've already used most of the credit on new purchases - thanks HD!

#2- My daughter has a townhouse in the Chicago area. She discovered soon after the purchase that the large, front window leaks like a sieve. Now, I'm 900 miles away, and my baby needs me! I could do the replacement, but I'd have to schlep all my tools, etc up there, etc. As I was trying to figure a way to help her, she called to say a friend of hers recommended that she call HD, which she did and signed the contract for the replacement. I was skeptical, but bit my tongue. Well, everything went like clockwork- the installer showed up EARLY, was neat, and efficient, installed a quality window,and did a great job- wish I could caulk as neatly as he did! HD even made the arrangements for the town inspector to show up for his TWO inspections- during & after- (this is Chicago remember!). So Say what you will,my hat is off to HD!

bob winter
09-16-2012, 03:32 PM
Frankly, if I can, I buy my pine and hardwood lumber from a local company here in Ottawa. Not much difference in price but a big difference in quality. In addition, there is a better selection. Home Depot is fine for framing lumber, drywall, etc.

Rona, which is a Canadian owned BBS, which Lowe's is making a hostile bid for at the moment, have a hell of a lot better of selection than HD and a lot better range of plumbing stuff as well. I hope Lowe's is not successful with their take over attempt.

Home Hardware, another Canadian chain, is good to deal with as well but the Home Hardware Building Centres tend not to be in major urban areas anymore.

I will say one thing, though. HD was in Ottawa for several years before Lowe's and their customer service was pretty poor for a while. Having Lowe's to compete with has sure improved things.

Finally, as to SVLA's vanity problem, you clearly do not know how to throw a proper fit. I had a problem when I tried to exchange a defective toilet a couple of years ago. It is amazing how co-operative they can become, once a crowd starts to gather. I was right properly pissed off at the time and anybody within 50 feet knew it.

Garret
09-16-2012, 03:36 PM
Hey Mr. Progressive , you can't stop "progress" things change , get used to it. Change is the one thing in life that won't change , it just happens, deal with it.

One can help effect the change one wants to see though. For me, that means the BBS is my last stop.

Paul Girouard
09-16-2012, 03:38 PM
Justice... ? For what?

for a guy from RI, justice is vandalism and theft...

Liberal Democrat justice, that's how they roll in RI Phillip! LOL The people unite against the evil oppressor _ _ _ _ (insert corporation/ business / Christian church/ denomination / charity, you get the idea here)

Paul Girouard
09-16-2012, 03:39 PM
One can help effect the change one wants to see though. For me, that means the BBS is my last stop.

I'd agree with that , as it's my general mode of operation.

Paul Girouard
09-16-2012, 03:44 PM
#2- My daughter has a townhouse in the Chicago area. She discovered soon after the purchase that the large, front window leaks like a sieve. Now, I'm 900 miles away, and my baby needs me! I could do the replacement, but I'd have to schlep all my tools, etc up there, etc. As I was trying to figure a way to help her, she called to say a friend of hers recommended that she call HD, which she did and signed the contract for the replacement. I was skeptical, but bit my tongue. Well, everything went like clockwork- the installer showed up EARLY, was neat, and efficient, installed a quality window,and did a great job- wish I could caulk as neatly as he did! HD even made the arrangements for the town inspector to show up for his TWO inspections- during & after- (this is Chicago remember!). So Say what you will,my hat is off to HD!

I'd add the qualifier that "Home Depot didn't build that", they DID help facilitate it though. The sub contractor who handled the project did all but the sale of the window and set up the arrival time ( and they , the sub may have arranged that via the client directly) , so they , H/D did in a broad sense "Build that" in much the same way a Pres. Obama helped build both H/B and the sub contractors business.

Waddie
09-16-2012, 04:55 PM
So, put a pair of dikes in your pocket, go to BBS, go to appliance section, dike power cord off a drier (220v <10amp) take cord to employee, ask "do you have a replacement?" No, well thanks any way' rough justice and problem solved
Good luck

And good luck using a 10 AMP dryer cord....... hope you got some fire insurance.... :)

regards,
Waddie

S/V Laura Ellen
09-16-2012, 05:16 PM
So, put a pair of dikes in your pocket, go to BBS, go to appliance section, dike power cord off a drier (220v <10amp) take cord to employee, ask "do you have a replacement?" No, well thanks any way' rough justice and problem solved
Good luck

No thanks, I'm not a thief!
And I need two cables, one for the boiler element circuit and one for the pump/controls circuit.

Paul Girouard
09-16-2012, 05:25 PM
No thanks, I'm not a thief!
And I need two cables, one for the boiler element circuit and one for the pump/controls circuit.

Oh come on , it wouldn't be like sealing from a Mom and Pop shop, it's just a corporation who's CEO's will just get a bailout bonus when they rob the company / share holders , easy peasy , no problem-O , progressive creep at work! Besides "they" owe it to "us" for oppression of the masses !!

Waddie
09-16-2012, 05:38 PM
Oh come on , it wouldn't be like sealing from a Mom and Pop shop, it's just a corporation who's CEO's will just get a bailout bonus when they rob the company / share holders , easy peasy , no problem-O , progressive creep at work! Besides "they" owe it to "us" for oppression of the masses !!

Hey, Paul, be careful what you advise, especially regarding stealing from HD.... my pension fund has stock in that company!!!! I'd much rather you advised stealing from an internet company....

regards,
Waddie

Paul Girouard
09-16-2012, 05:40 PM
Hey, Paul, be careful what you advise, especially regarding stealing from HD.... my pension fund has stock in that company!!!! I'd much rather you advised stealing from an internet company....

regards,
Waddie

It's called satire , bt I'm sure I'll be labeled a thief and a drunk, again! LOL Inside joke , no one here will get it , forget I mentioned it! LOL

Waddie
09-16-2012, 07:30 PM
It's called satire , bt I'm sure I'll be labeled a thief and a drunk, again! LOL Inside joke , no one here will get it , forget I mentioned it! LOL

Satire is lost here.... :)

regards,
Waddie

Nicholas Carey
09-16-2012, 08:23 PM
I can think of three hardware stores, just off hand near my house that each stock an assortment of appliance cords. Not to mention the extremely old-school Action Small Appliance Repair downtown.

Of course, this being Seattle and the problem being a broken espresso machine, we've got for the home machines, Home Espresso Repair @ http://www.espressorepair.com/, not to mention a plethora (http://www.michaelo.com/info.html) of espresso (http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/service/repairs) machine (http://espressorepairexperts.com/) mechanics (http://steamworksespresso.com/) to take care of you (not to mention factory service mechs for pretty much every commercial line out there).

Paul Girouard
09-16-2012, 08:29 PM
Satire is lost here.... :)

regards,
Waddie

Ain't that the truth !!

Shang
09-16-2012, 09:15 PM
deleted.
More typos than type.

Paul Girouard
09-16-2012, 09:19 PM
I think Phillip mean, "great" when compared to mom and pop shops.
If so, I agree with Phillip to that extent.
I can find off items without driving hours instead of shopping on line. and I continue to shop with locals (those who haven't been crushed by the big blue Wal-beast) because locals have items that Walmutts no longser don't carry and don't deserve.)

No, he meant green, as in you burn less fuel running between five Mom and Pop stores to get your supplies. Even driving your Prius around Shang you burn some type of fuel to charge the battery.

Flying Orca
09-16-2012, 09:43 PM
Wal Mart is also, "owned by a local family - second and third generation".

Might be local to you, but it's foreign ownership to me - I'm about as thrilled with Walmart as you would be if it was Chinese.

Garret
09-16-2012, 09:49 PM
Wal Mart is also, "owned by a local family - second and third generation".

I lived in Arkansas & I'm pretty sure it's a foreign county. :)

Right Phillip?

Paul Girouard
09-16-2012, 10:21 PM
Wal Mart is also, "owned by a local family - second and third generation".


Might be local to you, but it's foreign ownership to me - I'm about as thrilled with Walmart as you would be if it was Chinese.


I lived in Arkansas & I'm pretty sure it's a foreign county. :)

Right Phillip?

Divided by a common language , or by a political divide based on what one party / group views as evil? :confused:

Flying Orca
09-17-2012, 08:15 AM
Let's see if I can make this simple enough for Paul and Art to understand. Princess Auto is owned by a Winnipeg family and for practical purposes we can assume its profits stay right here. WalMart is owned by a family in a foreign country, so for practical purposes we can assume its profits flow out of this country and into that one.

John Smith
09-17-2012, 08:56 AM
I think the days of local shops having everything in stock have left us because of too many things and too little space.

I first observed this with auto parts. Even dealers have limited on premise parts. They do have a network, however, where the part they need gets to them pretty quickly. No matter where you take your car, if it needs a starter motor, it is unlikely the guy doing the repair has one on his shelf. A phone call brings one within a couple of hours and your car is still repaired that day, if it was brought in reasonably early: next day if not.

When I order stuff from Amazon I opt for the free shipping. Nothing I can recall has taken more than 3 business days.

Durnik
09-17-2012, 01:14 PM
I think the days of local shops having everything in stock have left us because of too many things and too little space.

I first observed this with auto parts. Even dealers have limited on premise parts. They do have a network, however, where the part they need gets to them pretty quickly. No matter where you take your car, if it needs a starter motor, it is unlikely the guy doing the repair has one on his shelf. A phone call brings one within a couple of hours and your car is still repaired that day, if it was brought in reasonably early: next day if not.

When I order stuff from Amazon I opt for the free shipping. Nothing I can recall has taken more than 3 business days.

Y'all think maybe the 2nd section of bolded text has anything to do with the 1st section? I do. If you're going to order anyway, why not support the local business/expertise (admittedly, the local expertise is not always expert.. but Amazon's is no better.. & likely often worse). Still, predatory taxing (income & excise) has more to do with the marginalization of local stores than an overwhelming number of parts. Case in point: Until about 5 years ago, there was on the Cookeville Town Square (the local 'big city') a hardware store whose basement was the proverbial 'tinkers delight'. If the repair guy there didn't have the part you needed in a bin, it was only 2 days away. Taxes (land, stock & income (imbalance of working class vs wealthy)) drove the store out of business - to be replaced by expensive doo-dad stores more suited to a population which revels in, well, having doo-dads than in maintaining & fixing tools.

The phrase "use it or lose it" has many more than one meaning. When all local stores (locale & ownership) are gone, who will suffer most? Certainly not the Mitt Romney's of the world.

YMMV, IMHO

enjoy
bobby

Nicholas Carey
09-17-2012, 05:43 PM
Although I'm fortunate to have a premium lumber outlet, a metal dealer that sells small offcuts of rod and plate by the pound, and a Grainger store all within 10 miles, I still frequent both Lowes and Homedepot for everyday needs

I have to say one nice thing for Lowes (but not the Big Orange Box). A friend of mine works at Lowes here in Seattle (actually, I know of couple of Lowes employees). During the Great Recession, Lowes seems to have gone out of their way to not lay people off and to let them keep their benefit (e.g., health insurance). They reduced hours (down to the point that my friend was working 10 hours/week at one point)...but he still kept his health insurance. That seems mighty humane for any US corporation, but especially for a big box store.

Ron Williamson
09-17-2012, 08:43 PM
I'm fortunate to have a family owned appliance store in my town.
They have great prices, a fantastic mobile repair service and a decent stock of used parts for cheap cottage appliances.
Twenty minutes away,in Owen Sound,is an excellent hole-in-the-wall tool store that does repairs and sharpening.The same place that the Home Depot sends their repairs.
But alas,no Princess Auto closer than two hours away.
R

Flying Orca
09-17-2012, 09:23 PM
But alas,no Princess Auto closer than two hours away.

Do they have stores in ON? And here I thought it was nice when they opened a second store here.

Ron Williamson
09-17-2012, 10:20 PM
Plenty.
Toronto, Hamilton, Barrie, Kitchener, Ottawa, Sudbury,off the top of my head.
R

Paul Girouard
09-17-2012, 11:41 PM
Let's see if I can make this simple enough for Paul and Art to understand. Princess Auto is owned by a Winnipeg family and for practical purposes we can assume its profits stay right here. WalMart is owned by a family in a foreign country, so for practical purposes we can assume its profits flow out of this country and into that one.

Ya that's my bad, I should look at Canadian's and Canadian companies like General, Lee Valley , etc with the same , maybe I shouldn't say , "jaundiced " eye you look at American companies with. But now that you've "set me straight", I will!

Garret
09-17-2012, 11:46 PM
Ya that's my bad, I should look at Canadian's and Canadian companies like General, Lee Valley , etc with the same , maybe I shouldn't say , "jaundiced " eye you look at American companies with. But now that you've "set me straight", I will!

But Tim Horton's coffee is so much better than DD's... Gotta focus on the important stuff!

If only Americans would look on Walmart with such a "jaundiced" eye. Our local economies would be better for it. Plus you don't have to dress up for them the way you do for Walmart!

Flying Orca
09-18-2012, 08:05 AM
Ya that's my bad, I should look at Canadian's and Canadian companies like General, Lee Valley , etc with the same , maybe I shouldn't say , "jaundiced " eye you look at American companies with. But now that you've "set me straight", I will!

*shrug* You guys are always going on about foreign companies, and I've always assumed that includes Canadian ones...