EXTRA Saving $$$$$ on Lumber: HD & Lowes

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. A friend of mine came up with an interesting way of saving a couple thousand dollars for my lumber package. I am GC'ing my house (in Oklahoma) and have received about 6 different bids from some local businesses. They range from $15,000 to $18,000. I was told by both Home Depot and Lowes that they would price match any local business' lumber prices, PLUS give me an additional 10%. This brings me to my EXTRA savings. If you ever go on EBay you know you can find just about anything and everything under the sun. Well there are people on there that sell HD and Lowes gift cards at a reduced price. A $500 gift card from either Lowes or HD will generally sell for about $430. That doesn’t seem like a lot of savings, but if you multiply that by about 30 or for ($15,000) you would end up saving ($2,100). I am pretty familiar with EBay and have never been scammed before, mainly because I buy from reputable people with great feedback. These gift cards are not just a rare occurrence; there are tons of people selling them. Here is my question, because I am just as leery as some of you who may think this sounds to good to be true. What do you think, should I try and buy those gift cards and save some money? Obviously you don't have to use them for just lumber, you could buy lighting, fixtures, tile, carpet etc... I am not a naive person and can smell a scam a mile away, this to me seems legit. What are your thoughts????
     
  2. Murdock

    Murdock Member

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    Well here is what I would ask....

    How are people selling a 500$ gift card for 430$??? Chances are they are stolen, otherwise they would be losing money right?

    So.. are you going to get caught if you walk in with one stolen 500$ gift card? Probably not. But what would happen if you walked in with $15,000 worth of stolen cards?

    Thats all I would say...
     

  3. cwgrl23

    cwgrl23 Chief Vegtable Grower :) Supporter

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    Most of the people that are selling these cards are getting them through a program called simple escapes, there are others I can't remember. Simple Escapes sells the gift cards at a 25% discount so a $100 cards costs $75. You might save more money buying joining the club and buying them at the discount yourself. Something to look into.
     
  4. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    I have a gift certificate for HD that I got as a Christmas present from my sister 2 years ago. Problem is there are no HD anywhere near me so Ive never used it. Might be lot of other folks like me with gifts they couldnt use trying to unload them on EBAY. I wouldnt count on it as a good way to fund the house though.
     
  5. LizMovingNorth

    LizMovingNorth Member

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    I don't know if you can use them with your "price match plus 10%" but it is relatively easy to get a 10% off coupon for Home Depot or Lowes. They offer them to people who have just moved, so go down to the post office and pick up one of those little packets for movers (the ones with the change of address forms in them). They'll have a certificate you mail in to get your 10% coupon. I haven't tried getting more than one to the same address in a short period of time, they might keep track.
    Hope that helps someone.
    Liz
     
  6. jack_c-ville

    jack_c-ville Well-Known Member

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    Sure, they'll do that. For a year or 2 until all of the local lumberyards are run out of business by them. Then the prices go back up to whatever they feel like charging. Exactly what Blockbuster did with local video rental stores. Don't fall for this. These are your friends and neighbors who you are putting out of business. The money you spend at a local lumber yard goes back into your local economy when the owners spend their profits on goods and services in your town. That is food on your table and more jobs for you and your neighbors. Money that you spend at Home Depot or Lowes disappears and never comes back. How many items in Lowes are made in China? That's where your Lowes dollars are going, instead of back into your pocket through a healthier local economy.

    Support a local lumberyard over a Home Depot whenever you possibly can. I promise you that you will save money in the long run.

    It doesn't matter how cheap the stuff in Home Depot or Walmart is if you don't have a job anymore to pay for it. I have watched whole towns in Southside Virginia crumble into poverty because Americans are falling for these bait-and-switch economics.
     
  7. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    If your contractors are figuring lumber into their bids, they will probably change if you get your lumber yourself. Just like car parts at the mechanics. They mark it up to increase their profits.

    Make sure they know you plan on getting your own lumber before they make the bid, or you might be in for a surprise.

    Jena
     
  8. Explorer

    Explorer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If your a general, sign up as one and receive a 20% discount.
     
  9. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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  10. Kirk

    Kirk Well-Known Member

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    Home depot will extend credit to darn near anyone over the phone if they have the right information. Thus the ebay sellers may be doing identity theft getting a card from home depot buying a gift card online and when you show up to pay with it the id theft may have already been reported.
    Kirk
     
  11. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    If I were you, I would try to work with the local lumber yard, even if I had to pay 10 % more.

    Another poster had it right....Lowe's and Home Rip-off are out to put all the locals stores out of business, then they will charge whatever prices they want.

    We are losing local lumberyards and hardware stores everywhere. We have already lost our local lumberyard, which I miss sorely.

    When we lost the local lumber company, we lost their mill shop, special order material, free to your door delivery, real hands on service, and a place that wouldn't look at you funny if you ask for something weird. We also lost 8 high paying jobs.

    Local stores generally have much better building material. Wanna pay 10% more for good building stock, or 20% more when you consider the waste and absolute junk that a mega store will sell you?

    Look at the value, not the price!
     
  12. tkrabec

    tkrabec Well-Known Member

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    Our local lumber yard has sh$t lumber and high prices, I need to speak to the owners(neighbors). A friend of mine went thru 2 palets of 2x4's to get 10 good ones. I do not mind paying for convience (hd and lowes are 30 miles away) but If I need anything more than some primer or a piece of pipe or other plumbing I travel the 60 miles round trip and just buy more.

    -- Tim
     
  13. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

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    Since I don't have the luxury of paying twice the price (and DH is in the lumber industry - started with Hines, 27 years - now in the hardwoods line.) I'd go with the best quality you can AFFORD... Check the stock before you buy, and after you've done your homework. Each place has their specialty, and other merchandise will suffer accordingly.

    Once the order arrives, be prepared to give it a quick, yet fairly thorough once-over before signing the shipping papers!!! You can and should refuse the load if you don't get the correct merchandise, or there is visible damage to individual pieces. Of course, you probably can't go through EVERYTHING, but make a good cursory check before you sign. Once you sign, anyone from the M&P's to Depot, etc WILL fight to the death to avoid exchanges and returns. This may seem like preaching to the choir - but I've known more than one experienced contractor who got caught this way!! Don't care who it is - mistakes happen - and sometimes they happen on purpose....

    Gift cards might help, but don't count on them to get you very far. And, call the store first to see if there is a limit... Some limit the number of cards - simply because they are as aware as you of Ebay.

    In addition to possible fraud (and the purchaser's name IS in the computer, so if its been reported you will get caught), you'd have to count on REAL answers to all of your questions (where did you get it? etc, which they are not likely to want to tell you) from the people you question before you buy. You could also be forgetting cost of postage to mail the cards to you, and possibly insurance on a card with a large sum attached. Granted, doesn't eat in much, but it does eat a little off the savings.

    But anyway - something else that depot and others used to do is put expiration dates on their gift cards... I believe many have stopped this practice. One more thing to watch out for!

    The discount the stores offered direct is NOT a come on... It is the (general) contractor's discount, and as such is a regular part of the business. Depot and Menards have ALWAYS offered that, and its not likely to go away any time soon. ALL LUMBER YARDS offer some discount to contractors! You might want to investigate negotiating for a one-time volume discount as well... NOT the same thing!

    SueD

    Sue