6 Secrets Home Depot Doesn't Want You to Know
From buying plants to timing sales, here's the inside info the home improvement store.
Anyone who has undertaken any type of home improvement project knows that the job can be made a lot easier when you're properly equipped off the bat. That's where the Home Depot comes in. With more than 2,300 locations across North America, Home Depot is one of the go-to stores for anyone attempting a little DIY of their own. Even home repair novices know that it's a reliable supplier of building supplies, materials, tools, hardware, fixtures, and appliances. But whether you're a casual shopper or a devotee, there are still some things about the orange-hued store you've never heard before—including some tricks that could save you money. Read on to find out six secrets that experts say Home Depot doesn't want you to know.
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There's a very generous return policy on plants.
Planting a garden can be a serious investment, even when you know exactly what you're doing in terms of watering and using fertilizer. No matter how green your thumb may be, it's not always sure that your hard work will pan out. But if you source your plants from the Home Depot, you can rest assured that you won't suffer the consequences of a bogus botanical purchase.
"It's true, if you buy perennials, trees, or shrubs and plant them only to have them die within the year, you can dig them up and return them to your local store," Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, tells Best Life. "Note that this doesn't include cut flowers or floral arrangements, so keep that in mind when making plant purchases."
This is still true if you're shopping through the store's website. "If you purchase live goods online and they arrive damaged, you can notify customer service within three days, and Home Depot will ship a replacement at no charge," she says.
There's a right time to buy paints.
Painting can be a time-consuming and costly project, whether you're sprucing up a room or rethinking your home's entire color scheme. But if you coordinate your purchases just right, you might be able to save some serious cash.
According to the experts at BobVila.com, holiday weekends like the Fourth of July or Labor Day usually bring big savings on paint. During these markdown windows, you can often save $5 off a gallon and $20 off 5-gallon buckets. So even if you aren't planning on spending your extra day off working on the house, it can be good to plan the timing of your purchase to get the supplies you need at a lower price.
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Your vegetable garden is guaranteed.
Flowers and bushes aren't the only things that will grow in your gardens. Fortunately, the store's generous policy toward plants doesn't end with just the decorative selections.
"Home Depot has a Grow a Garden guarantee. This applies specifically to Bonnie plants used with Miracle-Gro soils and plant foods, but Home Depot guarantees a harvest this way," Ramhold says.
"If you follow these requirements and your Bonnie plants don't produce anything during the growing season—which runs from March through October—you can receive a refund for your plant and Miracle-Gro purchase," she explains. "Before purchasing, you'll want to make sure your Bonnie plant is under the Harvest Guarantee products, but as long as it is, you can then bring your plant and receipts to your local Home Depot store."
But there are still some crucial things to consider. "Note that your receipt must show the purchase of both the plant and the Miracle-Grow product within three days of each other if not on the same receipt, and your purchase must have been made within the 12 months," Ramhold notes.
You might be able to talk your way into a better price.
The convenience of shopping at Home Depot is often matched by the fact that you're likely getting a pretty good deal on whatever you're buying. But experts say that just because you're already looking at a low price doesn't mean you can't talk your way down to a better bargain.
Shoppers are rarely aware of a company policy that allows sales associates on the floor to take up to $50 off on practically any item for sale in the store, according to Kyle James, a former Home Depot employee and author of retail hack website Rather-Be-Shopping.com. In most cases, this can mean finding an item with slightly damaged packaging, picking up a floor model or opened-box return, or even buying products in bulk.
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You're missing out on savings for regularly purchased items.
Home Depot has made a name for itself as a reliable source of the materials you need for bigger builds and once-in-a-decade repairs. But the store is also great for staying stocked on the items you probably use daily or need to replace often. What few shoppers realize is that you could be saving money on these regular purchases.
"Home Depot has select items that are eligible for subscriptions, like cleaning supplies, household essentials, light bulbs, air filters, and more. By setting these repeat purchases up for a subscription, you'll save 5 percent and get free delivery," Ramhold says.
The store does more than just match prices.
Sometimes, it can pay to know when you're getting a good deal on an appliance, piece of hardware, or important tool. In the case of Home Depot, doing your research on the competition could wind up saving you both a bunch of cash as well as a trip across town.
"It's known as the 'Low Price Guarantee,' and Home Depot will match the price of the item plus shipping costs, so you're getting much more than just the same price elsewhere," Ramhold shares. "There are exceptions to the price match policy, and only certain competitors are eligible, but it's good to know when shopping around, especially with inflation affecting prices on many items now."