Cheapism: Lowe’s Trumps Home Depot in Comparison of Hardware Superstores

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Delivers reliable customer service and superior project support, plus slightly lower prices

Lumber isle at Home Depot

Lowe’s excelled in areas including customer service and project support and beat out Home Depot as the best value for spring DIY projects

In research conducted by Cheapism.com, a review site dedicated to finding quality, low-cost products, Lowe’s beat out Home Depot as the best value for spring DIY projects. Lowe’s excelled in areas including customer service and project support, according to the Lowe’s-Home Depot comparison. On multiple visits to each store, a Cheapism researcher found associates at Lowe’s more helpful. Lowe’s took less than 45 minutes to map out a plan for installing a new deck and made the project seem straightforward and achievable. By contrast, the same project appeared confusing at Home Depot and took 2.5 hours to plan.

The deck project was also slightly more expensive at Home Depot vs. Lowe’s, totaling $1,541.56 compared with $1,507.32 at Lowe’s -- a difference of $34.24. In a comparison shopping of a range of additional products, from a garden shovel to interior paint, Lowe’s again carried the day, although by a negligible margin, coming in at $1,924.08 to Home Depot’s $1,925.38. Both stores offered savings over a local lumberyard, where Cheapism also compared prices.

The hardware stores comparison did find several reasons to shop at Home Depot over Lowe’s, however. For example, Home Depot rents power tools and regularly offers free weekend workshops for basic home improvement projects. Lowe’s does not do either.

Other findings:

  •     Home Depot seems to more effectively cater to professionals, with a dedicated Pro Desk, while Lowe’s stands out as the best hardware store for consumers tackling basic home improvement projects and cosmetic updates.
  •     Lowe’s and Home Depot advertise identical price-matching guarantees. Both will match the competitor’s prices and give customers an additional 10% discount (on in-stock items only).
  •     Both stores have good return policies, although Lowe’s is a little more generous and is less strict about receipts. Lowe’s offers a 90-day window for bringing back damaged or defective merchandise, compared with 30 days at Home Depot.

About Cheapism.com
Called by The New York Times “a Consumer Reports for the cheap,” Cheapism.com is a review site that serves consumers on a budget who want the best value for their money. Cheapism is the only review site that focuses exclusively on low-price products, a part of the market often overlooked by experts.

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Hanni Itah
S&S Public Relations
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