How to Save Money at Home Depot

Home Depot Store

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Home Depot is a well-known home improvement center that is equally well-known for its low prices. In fact, you may already know many ways to save money at Home Depot such as with coupons, price match guarantees, and the Home Depot credit card. 

Despite being a billion-dollar corporation, Home Depot's pricing is surprisingly flexible and can often work in the customer's favor. It is all part of Home Depot's master strategy for attracting and holding onto customers for the long-term. Besides checking out your weekly mail insert advertising upcoming low Home Depot prices, here are some other shrewd ways of securing lower prices at Home Depot.

Negotiate Lower Prices on Select Items

Like any retailer, Home Depot can end up with imperfect items on its shelves; this is normal. Items may be delivered in damaged condition or customers themselves may damage items on the shelves—it happens and it is all part of the ecosystem of dealing with the flow of thousands, if not millions, of bulky items in over 2,200 stores across the globe.

When you see a product that is less than perfect, talk to a store associate about getting a discounted price. It happens more frequently than you can imagine. Associates and store managers are given leeway with pricing some of the store's items.

Often, it is a matter of asking for a price that makes more sense than the listed price. Not everything in Home Depot is neatly boxed up and sealed away. Many products are difficult to classify and affix a price to, such as loose natural stone and masonry items.

As an example, flagstone stepping stones never come in one, universal size, since they are natural products of the earth. Usually, these are priced on a per-unit cost. So, if the stones are priced at a certain amount per unit, yet you wish to buy some stones that are clearly smaller than the other stones, it cannot hurt to speak to an associate or manager about more reasonable pricing for the stones.

This is especially the case with broken stones and masonry. Selling broken masonry to customers at discounted prices can often be smarter for the store than sending it back.

Unavailable Items That Are on Display

If Home Depot has a product on display, but that item is not available, you may be able to get another, more expensive item at the lower cost. While this one is not exactly a Home Depot policy, putting a customer first is. So, you might be able to use this tactic to your advantage. 

Typically, it works like this. A cordless drill may be displayed for a certain amount, yet the drill is not in stock—essentially, the store is advertising something that does not exist. Managers and associates often are given enough leniency to sell another, similar item to you at the same cost, even if that item costs more.

Customer-forward pricing of this nature is always on a store-by-store, case-by-case basis. You should never expect a product swap of this nature.

Discount Bins Have Authentic Bargains

Home Depot often places bargain items at its end-aisle displays. You may need to look farther back in the store, sometimes at the mid-point or even toward the restrooms. Bargain items are usually perfectly good: not returned, not damaged. These often are items that simply need to be moved from the store, and slashing prices on them makes good retail sense to the store.

These discount items are never advertised. They are one-of-a-kind, too. So, if you find a certain type of lightbulbs for your recessed lights, consider yourself lucky; you probably won't be able to find another set at the same price.

But for the lowest prices of all, look at Home Depot's lumber and millwork sections. Home Depot's dimensional lumber section nearly always has a bin or cart in the farthest, darkest reaches of the store where the lumber is marked down up to 70-percent off. Much of this is cut lumber that a customer never claimed or has been incorrectly cut by a Home Depot associate.

Millwork is light-weight, thinner wood (and even PVC) that is used for baseboards, crown molding, and door frames. Because much of the millwork is cut by customers at the store, there can be a lot of wastage. This millwork may be priced pro-rata or, if the store determines that it is not selling, it may be deeply discounted.