Don’t remodel your bathroom (or even buy a gallon of paint) without these tricks up your sleeve.
If you’re skilled enough to tackle your own home improvement project, you’re already poised to save some dough on your next project (contractors gotta eat, after all). But even if you’re just shopping for a new appliance (or are wary of any tools other than a paint brush), there are ways to keep your wallet fat at the hardware store. Store these secrets in the back of your mind for your next Lowe’s visit:
1. They price match — and then some.
Now here’s something you won’t see everywhere: Not only will Lowe’s honor a competitor’s price, they’ll also beat that price by an additional 10% (and psst: Home Depot does the same thing). When Lori Felix of More With Less Todaybought her washer and dryer, she got a bargain: “I brought in an ad from Sears and they matched it, plus gave me the 10% off. It was very easy and the savings were well over $100.”
Lowe’s will even price match Amazon.com (and other online retailers) but there is a small catch — the shipping and handling costs must be added to the price.
2. They also accept coupons from competitors.
This policy is a bit more fluid, apparently — according to Lowe’s, coupon-matching is up to the discretion of the store’s manager. But anecdotal evidence proves it’s worth asking: “Besides Home Depot, they’ll typically happily accept a coupon from any local competitor,” says Kyle James, the blogger behind Rather Be Shopping. He has successfully used coupons from Ace Hardware and Menards at Lowe’s.
3. You can totally try to haggle.
It’s not just for the flea market, people. Lowe’s staffers have the authority to haggle the prices on floor models, open box items and damaged items. James was recently shopping for two low-flow toilets when he noticed that the boxes in his cart had rips in them. “One of which was on the handle of the box and was going to make it a bit cumbersome to transport,” he says. “So I politely asked the employee in the aisle if he could take off $50.” The salesperson agreed.
4. Snoop sales on the website before you head to the store.
Mega hardware stores are, well, mega — so you could miss deals if you’re not looking for them. So check Lowes.com (under the “Savings” tab) to see current promotions — there’s always a handful going on. For example, when this story was reported select major appliances were 10% off and a 14-piece Kobalt tool set was slashed by $10.
You can also search by category (think: outdoors, paint, tools and more) — a handy trick if you’ve got a project in mind, but want to wait for a discount before you tackle it.
5. Think like a contractor, and save when you buy in bulk.
Redoing all of your flooring? Buying a boatload of bathroom tiles? “Any consumer — whether they are a professional contractor or an everyday DIYer — can take advantage of reduced pricing on selected items throughout the store when specific quantities are purchased,” says Benjamin Clark, Director of Pricing and Promotion for Lowe’s. Look for items with “Contractor Pack” labels throughout the store to find out how you can save. Hint: They’re often on painting accessories, light bulbs and furnace filters, Clark says.
6. Their prices could be cheaper online — but you can get that price in-store.
There’s a lot that goes into determining the price of an item — even time and location could make it so a price is lower online than in the store. But Lowe’s offers “Price Protection,” which means you’ll receive the lower of the online price or the local store price if you shop online and select to pick up in the store.
“I just needed some new icicle lights and they were $24.98 in-store and $19.98 online,” says James. “I ordered a few boxes and picked them up from the store the following day and saved a quick $10.” Decorations and seasonal items are usually cheaper online, James finds.
7. Pretend you’re moving to score an extra coupon.
Ask your post office for a movers/change-of-address packet even if you’re not moving, says Felix. The packs are free and loaded with coupons — typically, including a voucher for 10% off at Lowe’s. You may have to register the coupon online — in which case, you’ll have to get crafty with your address if you try this more than once.
8. The credit card gets you 5% off.
That perk could add up to big bucks if you’ve got a major project planned, so it might be worth signing up. But there is one caveat: Lowe’s also offers special financing on purchases over $299, but that can’t be combined with the 5% discount.
If you currently serve in the military, are a Retired Veteran (having completed 20 years of service) or are a VA recipient, you (and your immediate family) can get an 10% off — though, there are some exclusions. On Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Veterans Day, all Veterans — including those who served honorably for fewer than 20 years — are extended the discount.