Shopping Follies

This is a public service announcement…buyer beware.

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I’m working on a project at home. I currently have a shop vac brand wet dry vacuum that is probably getting close to 30 years old. It still works but the motor is on its last legs so I decided to start looking for a new one.

Comparison shopping and all that, I was looking at Home Depot and found this one for a reasonable price.

The problem is that they don’t have any in stock in the store close to my work, so I checked the store closer to home…only to discover that the exact same product is more expensive when I select the other store.

And not just a little bit more expensive…about 27% more, just by selecting a different store. Oh…and the store with the higher price doesn’t have it in stock either. So, by selecting a store closer to home, I get to pay 27% more for the privilege of still having to wait until next week to pick it up.

I checked Lowe’s as well and the price I found for the item (which they have in stock) in the store close to work is the same price in the store close to home, and just for grins I checked a store about 700 miles away in my ancestral home of Indiana…same price. As it should be. I could see different prices in different areas of the country based on the local laws and price of doing business there, but to have wildly differing prices in stores just a few miles apart makes no sense to me.

My advice: avoid Home Depot unless you don’t mind taking the chance of paying more than you would have if you’d gone to the store a few miles away.


3 thoughts on “Shopping Follies

  1. Trust Home Depot? Why, sir, would I trust anyone to respect the value of my money and my time? Liars, cheats and thieves all, some with better manners but all of the same ilk. It’s their job to separate me from as much of my money as they can, my job is to prevent it. Never ending battle and all that.

    If you have the time, wait for Black Friday. The last 3 years Home Despot has put their $159 6.5 HP shop vac (with wheels, handle to push it and the usual assortment of accessories on sale for $99. At that price it’s very much worth it. I have 2 (2 is one, 1 is none, etc….) and they’re rather powerful vacs, and either the Woodcraft store or (heaven forfend) Amazon has fittings and adapters to tie both vacs together into a 4″ fitting, and 4″ dust collection is common to woodworking tools (Pro Tip: running a decent power planer like the 2-speed DeWalt with a 2.5′ hose is an exercise in futility – too much clogging, and I don’t know why DeWalt ships it with the 2.5″ adapter installed – but with the right 4″ adapter feedng a 2.5″ hose it works fine, and even better with a 4″ setup feeding a pair of 2.5″ hoses….). I’ve got a 13″ X 16″ rectangular dust hood (Item 144614 at local Woodcraft store), $22), and the adapters to use it with 2.5″ hoses (also Woodcraft), that’s pretty handy at controlling dirt and dust (if you use your air compressor to blow out the dust on your refrigerator coils positioning the 13X16 hood right behind the fridge does a good job at preventing the dust winding up all over the kitchen).

    And, usually, HD also put their $40 auto vacuum accessory kit on sale for BlkFri (10 ft. 1,5″ hose, deep reach nozzles, and some really, really nice brushes not available anywhere separately) on sale for $20. At $40 it’s a hard pass, at $20 jump on it.

    FYI, Pro tip: At the moment HD has their 20 ft 2 1/2 inch vac hose on “sale” for $24.95, free ship to store. Worth the buy. The 6.5 HP kit deal comes with an 8 ft hose, like every other shop vac; why everyone ships their vacs with an 8 ft hose I don’t know, 8 ft is pretty useless. Buy 2 or 3 and ceiling mount one – the issued 8 ft hose will connect to it, and 20 ft usually gets close to the garage door, the 2nd one connects to it so you can have good vacuum outside. Extra points for Creativity With PVC for “permanent vacuum plumbing” overhead (I used 4″ Schedule 30 DWV PVC. put a T with a cleanout somewhere near the middle) and places like have oodles of fittings, connectors, etc. for vacuum systems (and hoses up to 50 ft in all sizes).

    And, also FYI, while lurking in the plumbing dept (had to go to Lowe’s for this, HD didn’t have the adapters) some PVC magic can be worked to create a 4 inch output on the 2.5 inch hose that fits perfectly inside the 4 inch dryer vent; secure with 2″ blue painter’s tape and use your “flex cable 20 ft dryer vent brush” (Amazon) from outside to blow all the lint out for the annual dryer vent cleaning. You’ll be surprised how much more air the 6.5 HP vac blows compared to your clothes dryer, not even in the same league.

  2. Thanks for the advice. Right now, my garage and shed are too small for much in the way of woodworking. What limited woodworking I do, I end up doing on sawhorses in the driveway using portable tools.

    However, if and when we ever get finalized on our undisclosed remote location purchase, I plan on building a pole barn with plenty of work space in it, so those ideas will come in handy.

    I ended up getting a craftsman 12 Gallon, 5.5hp vac for $87 from Lowes. Used it last night after work to suck up all the dust from sanding the drywall joint compound in the bathroom. Worked great. It’s pretty big and I’m going to have a hard time finding space to store it when not in use, considering my limited space, but again, assuming we eventually end up with some land out in the hinterlands, the bigger one will come in very handy.

  3. “….assuming we eventually end up with some land out in the hinterlands,”

    Please keep us posted. The right property in the right place, I might be interested in renting sleeping space in the barn…..

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