For those of us who like to do a lot of DIY projects, or have homes that need some remodeling, we spend an awful lot of time at Home Depot and Lowe’s buying tools and supplies. So it can pay to know how to save money at Home Depot.
I’m currently mid-remodel on our master bathroom – and we’ve already done a total remodel of our kitchen, a powder room, and the entranceway. Plus lots of painting, some carpet and decorating many other rooms. That adds up to pretty big money all told. I’m always on the look out for ways to trim my home remodel expenses. Hopefully this guide will help you as well.
Home Depot tends to be a little harder to score bigger discounts on regularly than it’s competitor Lowe’s (at least in my experience). But there’s still ways to score some good deals here.
Buy Gift Cards Online for a Discount
I’ve already detailed before that there are websites where you can buy gift cards for a discount. Home Depot cards tend to run between a 5% and 8.5% discount at these sites. Gift Card Granny has a listing for Home Depot cards that includes eBay auctions plus listings from the other gift card exchanges, so it’s a good first stop to look. Keep in mind that the discount rate on eBay auctions tends to be in flux as bids raise the sale price and sellers may ask you to pay for shipping.
Check the Gift Card Exchanges
The gift card exchanges typically offer a flat discount rate and offer free shipping. Another bonus is that you can usually pay for these with your credit card – which I’m sure many of you have cards with cash back percentages built in. For example, I use a Fidelity Rewards American Express that gives me a 2% reward.
Check for Sales and Promo Codes
Home Depot tends to run very specific sale promotions. In other words, you typically won’t find a blanket 5% or 10% off coupon very often, but you will typically find coupons for specific items or categories – like small appliances, flooring, or lighting. Always be sure to check in on sites like RetailMeNot, where they keep track of all the sales and codes you can use.
Buy a Coupon Off eBay
A number of people sell off coupons for large retailers on eBay to score some money if they have no plans to use their own. You can always check if you can find a coupon for Home Depot in their listings. The best they typically will offer are 10% off coupons with a max savings of $200. Be sure to keep the expiration date in mind, as you’ll need to get the coupon shipped over to you in time for you to be able to use it!
Try Competitor’s Coupons
This seems to be something that varies from store to store, but some Home Depot locations will accept competitor’s coupons. This also may vary by the competitor and discount rate. For example, in the past people have taken advantage of using Harbor Freight 20% off coupons with a match. Home Depot may be less likely to honor a coupon like that than a standard 10% Lowe’s coupon. Again, check with sites like RetailMeNot for competitor’s coupons (like Harbor Freight and Lowe’s) and try those if there’s a good one for something you want. You can also score some good Lowe’s coupons by pretending to move, but these may not be honored as they may consider them “special” coupons.
Take Advantage of Their 10% Off Price-Match Guarantee
Home Depot has a national policy of matching competitor’s prices plus an additional 10% off. Be sure to check in at a place like Lowe’s for the same item. If they offer a lower price, snap a picture with your phone’s camera and drive over to Home Depot. They’ll take that price plus an additional 10% off.
Check for Scratch/Dent or Opened/Returned Items
Home Depot typically has scratch/dent and opened/returned items set aside in the various sections of the store with a marked down price. The most common to have some returned stock is the appliance section – where they tend to just pile them together behind the new appliances (maybe tucked around the aisle). They’ll be labelled why they were returned – and it typically involves minor superficial concerns.
These items are effectively losses just sitting around int he store that they’re trying to get rid of. Not only can you get a marked down price on these that they already have listed, these items will be easier to haggle on. Ask to speak to the manager or employee in charge of the area and haggle for price on these. These are “special items” so employees may refuse applying coupons or sale prices on top for these items. The important thing to remember here is that these items are taking up space in their store and would otherwise need to be written off as a loss already – so don’t be shy about trying to get the price down further or insisting that sales/coupons get applied to them.
Don’t Forget to Check for Rebates or Tax Credits
A great deal of what people buy at Home Depot are new appliances or items to improve their home’s energy efficiency. Be sure to look into any rebates or credits that you may be eligible for. This is most applicable to appliance purchases where you may get federal, state or even local utility rebates for buying new energy-efficient appliances. But be sure to check for other items as well – such as weatherstripping, caulk, insulation, etc. For example, there is currently a tax credit that’s set to expire on December 16th, 2013 that includes insulation, roofing, furnaces, water heaters and more.