Have you noticed higher prices at Home Depot recently?
Mark wrote in with some observations and a great question:
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but a LOT of Ryobi tools are very similarly priced to the yellows, reds and teals…..WHY!?
I am in the market for the M12 2951-20 Radio + Charger. It is almost universally $149 on the internet. HD was $159 last week. Today I just looked and it is $189. That is a huge difference if you ask me! WHY?
If you look hard enough I’m sure I can find dozens of examples.
I understand this is most likely due to shrink and the persistence of career criminals, but still… this is terrible for us honest working class construction workers.
Any thoughts on an article about this to open the comment flood gates?! I’d be interested!
I have been checking on certain tools and equipment at Home Depot and Lowe’s recently, and some prices did go up. Whether good news or bad, it’s not just you.
We’re just past the holiday shopping season now, and prices on a lot of things have bounced back to their “regular” pricing. Many tools are in between promos, and are priced similar to where they were in September and October. This could potentially explain some price increases.
With respect to the Milwaukee M12 radio + charger, it’s a “free bonus tool” option if you purchase a select M12 cordless power tool kit or combo.
I considered that a higher price on bonus tool choices could help reduce the impact of “deal hacking,” which seems to have become a very popular practice these days. Deal hacking involves buying a “buy this and get something for free” promo bundle and returning part of it for a prorated refund.
However, I checked numerous Milwaukee cordless power tool SKUs – mostly M12 but also M18 – that don’t look to be included in any current promos or special buy offers. Most are indeed priced higher at Home Depot than at other authorized dealers.
Following are the first couple of tool-only SKUs that I checked. “Elsewhere” refers to 3-4 authorized online dealers I referred to for each SKU.
- M12 soldering iron: $129 at Home Depot, $99 elsewhere
- M12 sub-compact band saw: $219 at Home Depot, $199 elsewhere
- M12 cut-off tool: $159 at Home Depot, as low as $99 elsewhere
- M12 Fuel circular saw: $159 at Home Depot, $149 elsewhere.
- M12 Fuel vacuum: $139 at Home Depot, $129 elsewhere
- M18 heat gun: $169 at Home Depot, $149 elsewhere
Newer tools, such as the M12 cordless nibbler, stick transfer pump, cable stapler, and spot blower are the same prices at Home Depot and all of the other authorized dealers I checked.
The M18 inflator and M18 radius worklight are the same prices at Home Depot and other dealers. But then the M18 search light is $129 at Home Depot and $99 at other authorized dealers, and the M12 copper tubing cutter is $169 at Home Depot, and $149 elsewhere.
Other than newer releases looking to be price-matched across the board, I can’t find any patterns to predict or explain pricing for all of the other SKUs that cost more at Home Depot right now.
Without knowing which Ryobi products Mark was referring to, I couldn’t independently verify what he might be seeing. Even if I could, Milwaukee was easiest to check for given the broad availability of their tools.
Pricing patterns and tendencies usually fail before, during, and after major holiday shopping seasons, but not quite like this.
Initially, I attributed higher prices to the fact that we’re between promotional seasons, and the M12 radio’s higher price could have stemmed from an attempt to limit promo offer “deal hacking” losses.
But, upon checking additional SKUs, these ideas spectacularly fell apart.
Home Depot’s tool prices are generally inline with other retailers’ (or better), and there doesn’t seem to be any commonalities between affected products, making this all the more puzzling.
Have you noticed higher prices at Home Depot lately? Which brands, tools, or types of products?
This shouldn’t be a shock – it’s expected. It’s price increases from the manufacturer, simple as that. This can happen several times a year, especially through this crazy inflation. I work at a tool store.
Sure, but only at Home Depot?
Well I know for us at least sometimes we happen to have higher prices simply because we applied the price increases to our retail prices sooner than our competitors. So my guess is you’ll see other retailers follow with the increases because my guess is their cost is all gone up a bit. HD may just on the ball.
If HD in the US is like up here in Canada, they’ll price match & do 10% better if you ask them about another retailer in the area advertising lower.
They stopped officially doing the extra 10% off years back. They can still do it, but not part of the policy anymore (in the USA that is)
I think you don’t have the whole picture…
I work at a home center store. There is a Milwaukee rep that “works” at the store. He just got out of college with a business degree. He drives a Milwaukee logoed truck. He is the representative for Milwaukee, Rigid & Ryobi. He sets up the displays, prints out the price tag SKUs, puts the merchandise on lock down cables (with crimpers), etc. He is in the store 5 days a week. I asked about changing a display once & was told that it was in essence ‘rented space’ by the vender.
Today he is doing a parking lot demo, where he sets up a tent and demos some tools. He gives away free swag, even up to some batteries (that are being discontinued), if you buy a high enough volume of new tools.
DeWalt, Makita & others do not have reps at the store. They don’t help to keep up the merchandise or displays. The inventory numbers are often off as a result. For example, we supposedly had 3 DeWalt sawsalls in stock yesterday. No one could find one in the store. I called another store to make sure that they had one (in hand) & had them hold the item at the front desk for the customer to drive the 20 miles to that store to get it.
There is a lot of loss, as discussed before. For example, whole pallets of roofing materials gone from the outside area behind the store. “Teams” of shoplifters coming in right before closing, etc.
The margins are so close, that employees to not get any kind of discount whatsoever on store merchandise. However, they treat their employees well & I enjoy helping people with their projects.
I’m not understanding your explanation on the raise prices
For the most part as I am aware, in all Home Depot in the US, you can find a TTI rep driving a red single cab Ford F150. The rep will show up 5 days a week taking care of merchandise on shelf, display, and promos.
Makita, Dewalt each have a rep of their own also, but are not at the store as regularly as the TTI rep, probably more stores to cover?
At Home Depot, for all other brands the carried in store, that doesn’t have rep available to fill merchandise on the self or setup display, Home Depot has a team, MET, the vendors can pay into to take care of it for them. They come on early AM, prior to the store opening
I thought it was known the displays are rented place by vendors.
Just that the price hikes by the vendor is almost immediate, as they are there to do it.
Noticed Ryobi increases very much. Ryobi cordless air compressor, 1Lb, $179 , really. Saw it last year for $129.
$189 USD for the M12 charger/radio?!?! That’s their normal price in Canada, and after Christmas they had dropped down to $129.
I lucked out and the display tag said $129 but it rang up $189 at the register. I asked the cashier if Home Depot honoured the Scanning Code of Practice, which she said they did, so she sold me the item for $119 CDN. I’m looking forward to using it this summer for outdoor projects and camping.
I’ve noticed regular Dewalt power tool prices creeping up $10-$30 CDN over the past year, at Home Depot and other retailers. I figure it’s due to inflation, supply chain issues, theft and high demand.
Pricing patterns and tendencies usually **fall** before, during, and after major holiday shopping…
Thanks for the article. I have tended to assume HD was in line with pricing at other locations due to their price match and for me they are more conveniently located and have a great return policy.
Would you mind sharing a list of the other retailers you checked?
Just an overall list, not specific for each price check you did.
I actually do mean *fail*, as written.
It’s as if wild deviations rise up to balance against the year-over-year consistencies. While there are always some apparent patterns, there are many pricing and marketing strategies that break expectations without at all contributing to future predictability.
That seems weird. I usually find Home Depot’s price to be the same or lower than elsewhere.
They’ve got a “Price Match” policy where they beat lower prices by 10% too, so that presents an opportunity to get an even LOWER price if they bump up the price before competitors do.
I think another commenter probably has it right that there’s a manufacturer price change and HD has just updated their systems first.
I’ve noticed many up & down price fluctuations at Home Depot. Sometimes it’s only a couple of dollars difference. The Dewalt 2.0 XL toolbox had shot up into the 90’s, then back down. They now have a combo deal featuring the Dewalt 2.0 XL toolbox plus a 2.0 deep tool tray for around $89.00(The XL toolbox is $75 at some other tool sites, but no free shipping until a higher purchase point). Some products like Fisch sae & metric brad point drill sets, are priced lowest at Home Depot, with free shipping also. Products like Toughbuilt C700 saw horses are good priced plus free shipping(some other tool sites charge an additional $20 handling fee on these saw horses).
The Dewalt 8.25″ table saw is on sale for 299 everywhere except home depot, which went to regular pricing about 2 weeks ago. Amazon even dropped the price to 269 3 weeks ago and I missed that unfortunately.
I bought the M12 Radio for $120 when it came out in 2020. Crazy the price went up so much.
I got the radio plus a free battery for under $100. Can’t remember how much. Then my girlfriend bought one for $120 for her son and then we got her ex-husband one so he can use it on his pontoon boat. Great radio. For $120 or less. Not at near $200.
I’ve been holding off going to Home Depot because I got so many good deals over the holidays and don’t want to risk impulse buying, but now I’d like to check out the price increases. Waiting on the Track saw. Hopefully, that price doesn’t go above what they said.
I have used what Stuart calls “deal hacking”, multiple times this holiday season. The receipt is clear about returning each part of the deal, so I don’t feel like it is wrong. I don’t open the batteries so they can be put back on the shelf. I wouldn’t have been able to rationalize the fuel circular for $250. I have a Ridgid 18v, but at $149 after returning the batteries, I can loan the Ridgid out until I decide who to give it to. I wouldn’t have got the Router, Grinder, Super Sawzall and jigsaw either. I have corded ones – Porter Cable, Hitachi, Makita and Bosch. Those specials allowed me to build my Milwaukee cordless tool collection. Not being a full time handyman, I can’t buy something at full price unless I really need it. If someone has a good ethical explanation for why “deal hacking” is wrong, I would stop and do without. I wouldn’t have bought any of those tools at full price. I wonder what Milwaukee and Home Depot would think of this post and I’d like to hear their views on the subject.
It’s clearly I low move, if they wanted to sell it .for $150 instead of $250 that’s what they would list it at.
I’m not sure about when HD started the “free” ship-to-home deal with much of what you order from them. But, like Amazon, shipping has got to cost them money and that cost has to be built into their prices. If the price increases showed up on mostly bulky or heavy items – then shipping costs might be the factor – but I don’t think that is the case.
Perhaps the price increases we are seeing result from a combination of things – like manufacturer increases, “free shipping” costs” and maybe even some HD computer algorithm that includes other factors of supply and demand.
BTW – one of my pet peeves about much of what you can buy at HD – and this goes for Lowes, Amazon and many other e-commerce retailers – is that volume discounts are usually not possible. I understand that volume buyers are probably not their customer base – or business model – but having the option from them would be nice.
That’s exactly why our primary trades crafts people/companies do not buy at any Big Box stores. And many of them would rather I/we go to the trade specific vendors using their names too…
I on the otherhand like most here buy where-ever the mood or value strikes.
The M18 compact blower is also affected. $129 elsewhere, $105 at Blain’s on sale, $179(!) at HD. Funny enough, the same blower with an Inkzall marker is still $129 at HD… for now.
I bought a cheap electric Homelite (also TTI) chainsaw for $69 last March for a one and done job on my suburban lot. Went to the HD site to quickly get the digital manual to look at something, and the exact same model is now a whopping $149. More than double the price for what is a very plasticky, cheap light duty chainsaw is outrageous. It should be $99 max.
Not sure what is going on… is HD selling above TTI’s MSRP, or is everyone else just yet to make the increases?
WTH? for that dinky little art fart machine. I knew the Fuel went up another $20 to $219 (I think it was released at $149), but ouch.
I run Ryobi cordless and I think I know what he is getting at. Their new high performance line isn’t similarly priced to DeWalt or Milwaukee’s standard line of tools. However from my experience they seem to be just as good (as their standard line not the Fuel). They still have their value line of tools but the displays seem to be set up to draw big attention to the high performance line.
Jamie Lee Davis
I go to Home Depot for Milwaukee M12. YES, they have raised prices! The combo deals online will make you vomit….. WITH RAGE!
I also heard that Home Depot is no longer going to be selling Estwing stuff? I really hate to hear that. Maybe they can renegotiate again at a later time to bring it back?
It’s hard to say.
Home Depot looks to have completely scrubbed Estwing hammers from their website. To me, that points more towards Estwing leaving, such as if they formed an exclusivity arrangement with Lowe’s.
Article Quote: I understand this is most likely due to shrink and the persistence of career criminals, but still… this is terrible for us honest working class construction workers.
While pricing absolutely takes into account shrink, this has become an easy target for many people to ‘blame’ on price increases. Rising wages, inflation, gas/diesel costs, supply, demand pricing, corporate greed, etc.. all play into how all goods are priced.
Home Depot’s 3Q22 (latest available) states:
ATLANTA, Nov. 15, 2022 — The Home Depot®, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, today reported sales of $38.9 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2022, an increase of $2.1 billion, or 5.6 percent from the third quarter of fiscal 2021. Comparable sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 increased 4.3 percent, and comparable sales in the U.S. increased 4.5 percent.
HD had ~$40Billion of sales in 3Q22, there would have to be a LOT of shrink to even approach a measurable percentage of that.
Dave (not here)
Without getting into politics which are thankfully shunned at this site (and which the original pull quote treads dangerously close to invoking), this is a good and correct reply. HD seems to be doing just fine, and shrink is maybe a penny or two of every dollar in a price hike.
As a recently retired home Depot employee let me put in my two cents worth. First off do you have any clue how rampant shop lifting is. Entire carts of product out the door. There are now security guards in the stores. Manufacturing and shipping is in shambles. But feel free to shop on line.. we’ve already seen a lot of retailers go out of business. I forsee an end to walk in retailers especially when the boomers are gone home remodeling comes to a halt.
Yes, I do. I am no longer in Loss Prevention, but I was the LP Manager for a major retailer well over a decade ago. What you are describing may be new to your store, but it’s not new.
‘Back in the day’ we would have 3-4 LP associates per shift whose job was to identify and apprehend shoplifters. If they didn’t stop at least 2 shoplifters per day, they were slacking. I’ve seen many of the flash mob type theft and regular walk-outs.
Retailers decided that theft was cheaper than bad stops and liability from injured staff and patrons; it looks like the pendulum will swing back toward more security now.
Shrink is max 3-4 % in the worst stores and half of that is from employees.
It depends on the area of each HD as well. If you look online more than shopping in person there is a way to match prices from different areas. You can also take an item from one store that carries it, could be farther from your distance, and transfer that item to a closer store for your convenience. In doing either step could also mean a difference in price, simply depends on how you shop and where the deals actually are located. The slightest difference can be a big impact that you never realized.
I notice Dewalt prices on cordless have risen quite a bit. I have seen things selling at new higher than retail and claiming they are a special buy. These aren’t minor increases, one dcr010 radio used to sell for $99 and special buy used to be $79. $79 seemed to be what other would also regularly put it on sale for. Retail went up $20 or $30 and now is a HD special buy of $149. Lowes and acme currently are selling at $99. I have noticed this higher than retail on few kind of things.
They can sell at whatever price they want, but why call inflated prices special buys.
I haven’t been following any tool prices recently other than 5ah powerstack batteries as everything I’m looking for hasn’t hit the market yet. But I absolutely have seen HD do this before, both with Dewalt and Milwaukee. I remember about 3 years ago when I was shopping for M12 die grinders there were lots of those kind of shenanigans from HD. They had them at $149 regular price for a long while, jacked the price up to $169, then had a “special buy” back at $149, etc. I remember seeing something similar when the newer Dewalt mid-range 1/2″ impact came out last year too.
When a manufacturer price change happens HD usually updates it immediately. Other retailers may not increase the price until their next supply order, so current inventory is sold at old price.
I don’t keep an eagle eye on their pricing but over the last three years I would say yes, and it has increased several times – depends of course on items and categories. It’s such now that I’m most often purchasing elsewhere.
Not long after the pandemic began it seemed their pricing gradually went up about 20% almost across the board – it was noticeable for me and not just lumber & materials. Seemed like most of the tools stayed pretty steady at that time (the power tools, that is).
In May of last year several of their Milwaukee tools got a substantial increase (I recall the M12 rotary tool being notable….from $79 to $89 and then $99 while most other retailers were staying at $79).
When the M18 square palm sander was released HD listed it at the going price (what was that….$129 or $119?) and most everyone else was the same. I ended up buying that with the ToolguyD discount elsewhere. But by October their price had shot up to $149, and again, most others were staying at that previous price. Maybe there was a slight introductory discount from Milwaukee or perhaps Milwaukee had to increase it shortly after release for whatever reason, but this was a good example of HD having higher prices at least in a few snapshot instances.
But really, I can pretty much go by that 20% figure as I shop around. What’s maddening is they are charging such higher prices for a lot of the junk items they sell in hardware and plumbing, and to some extent with power tool accessories. The two local stores that I generally use also refuse to price match or discount, at least when I’ve asked a few times before giving up. They’ve lost a lot of my business but of course I still go in somewhat frequently and do appreciate some of the special buys they have. There’s also a part of me that prefers to support businesses that try to support US manufacturing and/or treat their employees and vendors decently.
RE: somebody about price matching
It has to be local retail, same SKU that they can verify.
RE: deal “ hacking “. I wish the big box stores would prevent it from happening. I hate it, every time I see it promoted on deals sites. 50% off with “ hack “. Sorry, you can’t return the batteries without the tool.
If you go through HD website’s low price guarantee, it says nothing about being local. If HD chat will match them, there really isn’t any good reason the store shouldn’t match the same as long as they figure shipping.
Not every site is matchable, but the HD’s pages language opens the door for a lot more matching than what one thinks.
Now, the issues is having the store actually follow that page. I’ve had many different reason made up on why they wouldn’t, from being a farm store, to selling illegitimate Milwaukee product, and getting various mile radius’s for matching 20/25/30.
My HD will only price match Lowe’s. Couldn’t convince them to even match ACE, let alone online like Amazon, OPT, etc
More people need to call corporate and complain about that. They have a set policy for a reason. I too have been denied Ace, because they weren’t large enough. Well the Ace nearby has more Milwaukee & DeWalt available that most Home Depots, with all the odd-ball accessories. They are most definitely competition.
I may be jaded, but some retailing patterns at some retailers (maybe HD?) include upping prices for a while, then offering “new low prices” that either are at the old normal or higher. So if this is a slow season they could up the prices for a few days/weeks/etc., without losing many sales, and by memorial day or fathers day offer fabulous discounts back to what would have been the normal a few weeks ago or even a little higher.
That’s typical promotional cycling.
It’s not that most inflate prices, but that they hold tools at regular prices between promos.
A few years ago I noticed that Lowe’s never sold their holiday promo tools at their “was” pricing. After that, I noticed they started putting displays out early, but the prices were held artificially high until just around Black Friday.
If you advertise “lower pricing,” there has to be a period of higher pricing, whether natural or artificial.
Here, a lot of these SKUs are not typically discounted by themselves.
That’s exactly what HD is doing right now on mowers. They’ve increased the prices of the Milwaukee M18 mower by $100 over MSRP. The Toro 60v Recycler and Super Recycler are both $100 over MSRP. They have just (within the past day or two) put the M18 mower on “sale” by $100, bringing it back down to it’s MSRP.
BMSM (buy more, save more) is starting in a couple days, so potentially a factor there, though sort of shouldn’t be. That means marketing and pricing were working at same time, which I get they can do, but seems like you are then getting into the old furniture 90% off after raising prices scheme. On top of that, the tiers to reach the discount have been raised since the last go around (though added an extra $25 off the top tier I think)
$50 off $350
$100 off $450
$175 off $550
Only M12 tools I saw on the promo poster that you mentioned in the article with a price increase at HD, are the M12 Fuel circular saw & 3″ Cut-off tool. I think after the holiday quarter ends this weekend, the cut-off will go back to $149 at the other retailers as well.
THD has been raising prices for awhile now (say about 5 months). First there were huge amounts of small changes, typcially 3-5%. Those were the actual inflationary changes. Then two things happened: Corporations noticed it didn’t effect sales and a narrative was created that inflation was driving prices much much higher than what people “remember” pre-2022 were like.
Then the large blocks of changes started occuring all over the store. You’d see 10-30% increases sometimes or even more on “inexpensive” items (less than $5). Less drastic changes would happen on a weekly basis until prices had gone up noticeably from a couple months prior. Pricing errors were getting so out of hand MET had to start doing price validations in SKU heavy bays.
Atlanta was very happy to keep pushing price increases as long as people were going to just blame “inflation”. They just had to not do it all at once and watch metrics for red flags.
Lowes and HD in my city pretty much keep all the basics at the same price, but I can get 11-20% off materials at Lowes via the VSP program. HD’s volume program has hardly taken anything off so I actually stopped buying most of my materials there because they were higher than any other lumber yard around. Only Specialty doors and in-stock windows were cheaper. Lowes was actually the cheapest altogether (excluding windows and specialty doors). So now, I don’t buy building materials at HD, I don’t buy tools at HD, I pretty much only go there to get something when Lowes is out of it (which is one of the problems with Lowes).
For me it varies a ton from product to product. Between HD, Lowes, and Builders FirstSource I found T1-11 was far cheaper at HD (and Lowes had the worst quality of the three), rigid insulation was cheapest at Lowes, and mineral wool was cheapest at FirstSource.
Honestly the 2951 radio is overpriced @$149, but people seem to love it. I own 2. I bought one @$99 when it first released and received another as a gift. To me it’s just a mediocre bluetooth radio that takes an m12 battery. Sound quality is average at best and it takes forever to charge a battery (even when it’s not in use). It’s popularity/high margins is the reason we haven’t seen an updated model.
But more to the point, HD and Milwaukee think a lot alike in their pricing schemes. Unless it’s a specialty tool, pricing is dictated on how popular it is. They’ll just keep raising prices until it stagnates then do promos.
Agreed, pricing seems to be based on competition and not the actual production cost of the equipment.
That radio should be terribly cheap to manufacture today. Same with lights and blowers–they are super simple, little precision required, no expensive precision parts like gearboxes, clutches, hammer mechanisms, etc. that you find in drills, saws, etc. And yet those radios, lights, and blowers are often priced much higher than a basic drill or saw which surely costs a lot more to build.
….but as you said, people do love those tools because they may very well deliver $150 or more worth of value even though there’s nowhere close to $150 of parts inside.
That radio was selling at $129 regular price a year ago. And on the website deals, it was $129 with a free battery. It’s a decent radio, sounds good, not great: better than the crappy Bosch 12v max version, not as good sounding as the older non Bluetooth M12 jobsite radio.
But right now is a great time to peruse the isles at HD – they’ve got some good clearance stuff currently – picked up a Milwaukee M18 16ga finish nailer bare tool at $165, regular $329 and and Makita 60DB 2cfm at 90psi air compressor at $115, regular $229 and a Estwing 4lb mini sledge at $14.
I look at what I paid for some of my M12 tools 1-2 years ago and look at the price now , big difference. I know 2 years ago is stretching things a bit but it’s interesting none the less. I paid $99 for that particular M12 radio charger and saw it yesterday for $189. Hand tools have jumped as well.
Unfortunately, the same can be said about most brands and types of products.
Jamie Lee Davis
I’ve purchased several M12 Fuel circular saws refurbished from eBay for 105.00 to 109.00 ( about 4) and 3 new for 149.00. They are just about as clean…. A couple like brand new.
HD has been raising prices for months. They often have 30+ hours of price changes a day. Overall sales are trending negatively so everyone is protecting their margins by raising prices and managing labor.
This article is great but leaves me frustrated with the state of the marketplace.
Manufacturer MSRP, in my experience, has been consistent across authorized resellers (outside of special promotions, coupons, holiday sales, etc..). While I have missed out on tool deals and promos in the past- I always understood and accepted that special pricing, limited time and quantities, etc. we’re part of the equation.
Now I feel like I will always have to add an extra step in my buying process and check multiple retailers. That’s annoying and an inconvenience to me as a buyer.
I noticed that the 56 piece 3/8 drive SAE/Metric Ratchet and Socket Mechanics Tool Set jumped from $99 to $189. The 1/4 drive 50 piece set increased from $99 to $127. I had planned on buying those two sets, the packout case, and the packout trays all separately as they totaled $265 vs $299 for all 4 items together, but now the math doesn’t workout (still $299 for the packout set vs $381 for the items separately)
Imo for the longest time DeWalt Milwaukee and Makita were all about the same $119 +/- for bare tools $159 for fuel and flexvolt 7¼ saws and drill kits now it’s around $200+/- for drill
or impacts and $220 for saws Ryobi still can find for $69 bare tool drills and most cordless tools $99 cirk saws and kits