Over at my nearest Lowe’s store, they don’t yet have the new Craftsman mechanics tool set and VersaStack tool box bundle that we recently posted about. But, they did have what looked to be some holiday season promo displays.
Oh, and Bosch impact-rated screwdriver bits were on clearance – except for the Phillips #2 pack I bought for review comparison purposes. I already have a bulk box of bits for personal use, but needed a smaller quantity for photo purposes. I mention this because a reader noticed the same recently and emailed me about it, asking if Lowe’s has split ties with Bosch.
Anyway, back onto the holiday season displays. These are holiday season tool promo displays, right? Christmas and holiday decorations are already on display at the Home Depot and Lowe’s locations I visited. Given the late-October timing and the nature of the tools on display, these are almost certainly holiday season promos.
Lowe’s can be unpredictable with their holiday promo displays, which is why I was pleased to see an early showing.
But, Lowe’s also has frustrating pricing.
Craftsman has not yet sent a review sample of their new gyroscopic screwdriver, and so I figured I’d buy one now that I’ve seen it available. Craftsman told me the MSRP is $39. Lowe’s signage says “was $49, now $29, save $20.” So, I brought one to the register. It rang up at $49.
I was able to get a manager override, but it did take a few minutes. This happened last year too, also with some Craftsman tools I bought for testing purposes. The front end seemed to be understaffed for a weekend day.
I hate buying any tools from the “raceway” promo displays this time of year, since their prices almost always drop in November.
In past years, tools like this would be hidden away at my then-local Lowe’s store until the first price reductions went into effect. That bugged me too. I’d have to visit Lowe’s stores multiple times until their holiday displays finally went up. Seeing holiday tool promos on the sales floor by the third week of October? That seems highly unusual to me, but it’s welcome – with a catch.
A few years ago, I would try to order seasonal Lowe’s new seasonal Kobalt tools for review, with in-store pickup, and my orders would be cancelled because the tools were in-stock, but not on display yet. I remember being irked that when Lowe’s put their tool promos on display, the was pricing claims were technically untrue. If I couldn’t buy something at the “was” pricing, and it was the “new low price” as soon as I saw a tool available for sale, is that honest marketing?
But in hindsight, I’m more annoyed by having to revisit a local store for price adjustments, or worse – paying much more than needed.
How happy is a customer going to be, realizing that the tool they bought for $49 is going to be reduced to $29?
Why can’t the screwdriver simply be priced at $29 if it’s meant to be priced at $29?
And if Craftsman tells me the MSRP is $39, how is the “was” pricing said to be $49? This hurts my head. But hey, at least they are selling it at $49. That’s unfortunate for anyone that that hasn’t learned to expect a mid to late November price drop, but at least it’s honest?
I can’t tell if the price discrepancy at my store was due to the wrong signage used, or if there’s a different reason.
What kinds of tools were on sale? There were some Kobalt tool displays, a LOT of Craftsman tool promos, a Lufkin tape measure bundle, some Dewalt accessories, and what I would consider “good, better, best” displays of Irwin, Craftsman, and Dewalt power tool accessories. Oh, and there were also some Lenox power tool accessory packs. I remember seeing a Bosch laser distance measuring tool display.
I wish there was a little more variety to the tool brands. But, I guess Lowe’s knows what they’re doing.
I’ll take another look in a couple of weeks, most likely taking a trip to my favorite Lowe’s location ~50 minutes from here.
Right now, it’s worth scoping out holiday deals, but it’s hard to know which are worth buying. Who likes spending more on tools than they have to? I seem to forget this lesson every few years, inevitably returning to customer service for hefty price adjustments.
What I’m trying to say is that I wish that all these promo tool displays were simply priced as they will be come mid or late November. Some of them are, others aren’t, and it’s always a gamble trying to figure this all out, even for me. It’s like a bad game of “The Price is Right.” Home Depot does the same, but their price adjustments are far more predictable.
If you have been to Lowe’s recently, does your store have their holiday promos on the sales floor yet?
In my experience, holiday tool promos usually emerge in waves, with the first setup taking place shortly after Halloween, and then more displays hit the floor for Black Friday. Home Depot also has had their “Pro Black Friday” event in mid-November.
“A LOT of Craftsman” pretty much negates, “I guess Lowe’s knows what they’re doing”.
It’s a mix of fall, halloween, thanksgiving & christmas decorations at every store I’ve been to here lately. Lowe’s, Menard’s, HD, Hobby Lobby, you name it… Our Lowe’s isn’t in full on Christmas mode yet though. There’s no Craftsman toys,clothing or anything like that yet. Last year there was definitely an effort to give customers the Sears Craftsman holiday experience… I’m hoping the same happens again. I was really hoping for new Craftsman power tools though. New V20 stuff and the launch of V12. I guess that’s not coming yet. When more Made In USA tools start showing up that’s going to be a good Christmas shopping season for me. Then it will feel like old times again..
I have to agree. I usually shy away from negative posts but I’ve already had to call Lowes corporate and craftsman due to poor policies and warranty issues. I used their own content against them and won, but it never should have come to that. I’m done with both of these companies. I tried to get lowes corporate to reimburse me with a home depot gift card since my local lowes store sucks but they didn’t accept that. I knew better but I needed to press my point.
I agree its annoying trying to buy the stuff at the lowest mark down before it gets sold out and you miss out.
Also is it just me or does it seem like they don’t mark stuff down as much as they used to? I feel like %75 off some of this stuff in January was the norm to blow out the inventory. Perhapse they are squeezing suppliers more. If it doesn’t get sold it gets returned to the supplier? Some sort of consignment program?
Its been a few years since I was excited about any of the Black Friday in store deals or the Christmas displays. The best deals the last few years were all internet deals.
I’m not talking about end of season “let’s move this leftover merchandise” markdowns, I’m talking about the “peak season” pricing that the promo tools are really intended to be sold at. The “was $X, now $Y price,” with “Y” being the “true” holiday season retail price.
I totally can’t read the previous post which is something like ”Last Week on Toolguyd…”. I am using Safari on my iPad and it says that the URL was blocked by a content blocker. I noticed that Safari also showed that the website didn’t have the lock in front so it looks like it is trying to go to a non https site. This also happens from my iPhone as well. Both are running iOS 13.1.3. Just an FYI.
I think Lowe’s biggest current problem is that they have lost the battle for talent both at the corporate level and in many local markets.
Their website and order processing have all sorts of issues. The website search is terrible and sometimes won’t return a result when searching for keyword that are in a known listing title.
Their inventory for drop ship items seems totally random. Why can I buy an L-Boxx 3, but not a 1 or 2? It’s a drop ship item!
The in store order pickup process is terrible as well. I swear it takes a whole minute for the person to get to the right screen to take your order number.
Take a look at the cashiers station some time. If you look on the screen you’ll see they’re still running the old dummy terminals back to a mini-computer or mainframe from the 80s. I have no doubt they have serious logistics issues.
IF I wasn’t getting a serious discount from Discover for taking their gift cards with the cash back bonus I would never go into Lowes. Generally the pattern is stop at Lowes, buy at Home Depot, because Lowes ain’t got it. Only after a few years I just skipped stopping at Lowes.
My local Home Depot just rolled out an entirely new point of sale system. The systems are the new large screen self checkout displays with only a handheld scanner. They seem to work well. I think the whole store maybe self checkout at this point, although I haven’t been paying attention to how they are operating them. Even customer service got the same makeover and there is no single desk, it is a bunch of island stations in a area.
My Home Depot also has the new Self Checkout. It’s actually pretty nice. They still have the pro counter and section with a dedicated cashier though.
There’s embedded Instagram content.
There are no issues on my iPad using Chrome or Safari. I’m running iOS 13.1.
There are major bugs reported in pretty much all versions of iOS 13. I can try to investigate further, but this seems to be an Apple/iOS issue.
I can’t tell the seasonal/holiday Craftsman displays from the non-seasonal ones, lots of the Lowe’s near me have had those red cardboard displays for the Craftsman stuff for the past few months.
I would guess that this is the season SBD was finally able to get enough product produced to ship out to most or all Lowe’s stores for the holidays, so they just shipped it out to stores as it came in through the ports rather than storing it in a warehouse and shipping it to the stores later on.
As for the pricing, Lowe’s is among the naughty stores that intentionally list a fake MSRP that’s higher to make the “sale” price seem like more of a discount. If the price was shown as $39 and on sale for $29, that’s only $10 off. Listing the MSRP as $49 makes it seem like the $29 price is $20 off $49. I suppose they can do what they want if they really did have it ring up as $49, but I sure hope it’s closer to $9.99-19.99 for the holidays. Doesn’t seem worth even $29 to me.
“Black Friday” is really a thing that starts right after Halloween now, so I wouldn’t be too surprised to see price drops on all that stuff sooner rather than later.
My local HD also has a lot of those cardboard displays out too, though, again, I can’t tell if they are for the holidays or just regular displays for a particular brand/product. Usually the HD holiday/Black Friday cardboard displays are pretty obvious and those aren’t up yet, so I’m guessing a lot of brands/products are just sending their stuff early or maybe the stores put these out to get a few higher-price sales from people who will forget to adjust the price or won’t care.
Once the HD swing area starts being filled w/ tools & accessories (in Oct/Nov) it is part of the upcoming Black Friday sales, w/ the super deals held in overheads till BF.
I find that I have no problem paying full price for something that I actually need. At times I catch myself falling victim to chasing sales, justifying buying something because it’s a good deal, or at least feels like one. I rarely have buyer’s remorse with a tool that is good quality and I have a job for right away. I’m going to try to keep that in mind this holiday season.
Agreed, but a lot of these holiday deals aren’t full price, they seem to be purposefully inflated so as to make the “real” seasonal prices seem better.
My local lowes has many of the same displays out, along with the clearance items. I picked up the older hitachi 12v li-ion drill/impact/ flashlight set along with a total of 5 batteries and 3 chargers for $86!
The big thing I noticed was that they had the skil 12v drill with the Pwrjump charger in store for $79. I’m hoping they start carrying the rest of the line as well, I’d love to be able to get the 5-1/2″ circ saw.
The pricing is wrong because if they put the displays out early (which is the case here) they are supposed to fold the cardboard sign the other way and put the sticker pricing sign on there so customers aren’t getting screwed. However anytime that blue box disaster has something “on sale” you should take a look at the regular price tag behind the one they stick on. Often you’ll find the sale price is what it’s always sold for. In most of their stores I’ve found myself in the past couple of years I’ve noticed a serious decline in employee product knowledge. Back in my Lowe’s days we were trained and tested on what we needed to know to actually help people. After chatting up the few folks I could find I’ve heard the same thing over and over again…there’s a new CEO and everyone long term is on the chopping block. The new norm is part timers with little to no training. The first time a guy had to Google my question in plumbing I saw my days shopping there were over.
^ Yikes – looks like the ex JcPenny CEO (now @ Lowe’s) did not read up on disaster that was HD under Nardelli. IMO once Nardelli was gone, HD recovered and has thrived under new leadership!
My shopping preference is HD #1, local hardware store (quick projects) #2, Menard’s (bit of a drive to my local M) #3, Supply House (if I remember & most not open on Sat afternoon/Sun) #4, Lowe’s = last!
I just don’t trust anything from Craftsman any more. They need to start producing tools at a decent level of quality for a few years. There’s too many good options out there to take a chance with sketchy Craftsman tools.
I really want to like Lowes, mostly because HD can be so horrible. They just seem to have a hard time getting it together.
Its a tough year as the shortened timeline between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Only BF opening weekend and then 3 more before Xmas. Retailers have really accelerated creep even more this year.
I was in Lowes last weekend as they are the closest big box to my house. The employees seemed “overly” anxious to make sure I left the store feeling good about things. Almost had to tell them to leave me alone. It seems that they are getting the message. I see that as a good thing. Knowing that you have competition always works out better for the consumer in the end. IMO.
I agree and the pricing is false. If you can’t buy it, which means having it in hand and out the door, for the price you though were getting it for, it is a scam and they should be fined just like Harbor Freight has been in the past.
I am not a normal consumer. I tend to have to order all the things I want to buy online because the stores just don’t carry what I actually want to spend my money on.
But, these boxes of junk that they use to block all of the aisles are really turning me off. Home Depot is worse, because they don’t have the wider clearances that Lowe’s has.
I can’t even push a shopping cart through anymore.
50 Million pre made BBQs with no break between them to get through. Feels like not only a fire hazard but I am going to get sliced on the sheet metal.
It isn’t the local worker’s faults either. I am sure they are being directed to do all of this.
Maybe I need to just come in wearing an old fasion suit of armor.
Dav id Swearingen
Tempting to just drive a small bulldozer through.
The Craftsman gyro screwdriver is available for purchase? Can’t seem to find it online anywhere. You really think the price will decrease even more Stuart?
Was at lowes last night looking for it…no luck, not on their website either.