By Stan in Larrabee, NJ on 12/13/2008
Jon; another thing you may not know. Lowe's is aggressively trying to overtake Home Depot, in my area NE they are building stores wherever HD has one within four miles. While they are not setup the same, Lowe's is a lot lazier, if you take your HD bid room quote to them they will beat it usually by 10%.
Now I know it seems a little cheesy shopping these guys against each other but if the order is big enough to go to the bid room it may be worth the extra effort if you are trying to keep more of your money in your pocket.
Another thing, at least around here, if you do buy an order from the bid room, ANY future purchases (even if they are under the $2,500) if you check out at the pro desk they can submit it against the bid room order as a supplement. you don't get the discount that day but the next time you are in the store you can get either a HD card, or have it credited to the account of your purchase (I just get the cards).
I buy a lot of materials from both companies (thousands per month) and there are ways to save on everything. One key thing everyone on this site should do is walk up to the pro desk AND commercial desk and get to know ONE of the people there, if they don't work out then switch people. You will get to try them all over time and find the best one. You can just call get the price even if it is under the $2,500 and then call the other almost always 10% minimum. Having your own pro desk guy also can save tons of time, I can call at 6 AM and have materials all pulled and waiting by 8 AM, often sooner with either company. With the relationship you can express your expectations of quality and the person becomes your personal quality control manager. Straight boards, sheet good, without damage, etc.
One last advantage of having your own desk guy, deliveries; with your own agent inside the store they value your relationship (remember they are SALES people with quotas). When you are having something delivered they will get you to the front of the list, or at least not lie to you about what time it will be there. Have you ever sat around for half a day or more waiting on the drop?
Anyway enough for this morning, build on all.