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Exclusive Items at Lowes

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  • Exclusive Items at Lowes

    I did some checking and found that Lowes has items made exclusively for them. They seem very much like the same items you can buy at other places, but check every number of the bar code. Also, check the exact model number. They are off by one number or letter. This means that they are special made just for Lowes to sell cheap. In some cases if you read all the specifications you'll be able to see they are cheaper made than what you would buy from a more serious type dealer depending on the item. My bet is that Home Depot, Sears, Best Buy (more like Worst Buy) and other big box places do the same. With this in mind there is no price matching because it's not the exact same item sold at two places.

    Buyer Beware: Use great care to be sure of exactly what you are buying. Stores are only in business to rip off their customers and make big profits. They will do the devil's work to make that extra money.

    Manufactures claim the exclusive items aren't even made!!! If you check their web site there's no mention of the special models. Again, it pays to know the exact numbers of the real items and be careful of the dealer.

  • #2
    Re: Exclusive Items at Lowes

    It's pretty much the same thing at HD. If you look at a lot of their Husky stuff the part numbers are usually almost identical but not quite the same part # made by the original manufacturer.


    • #3
      Re: Exclusive Items at Lowes

      That is an unfortunate truth when buying from any of the large "big box" stores, and it's becoming more so every day. This is part of the "Walmart-style" retailing that is becoming more prevalent every year.

      I think a good example of that was the "Marples" chisel problem that was reported this past year by one of the forum's veteran members. Items often look exactly like the same items sold in other stores, but at Home Depot, these chisels are sourced from China and carry a limited warranty. Almost identical with the same packaging and trade-mark steel-capped blue handles, the Chinese made chisels carry slightly different wording on the package and a limited warranty. The same item at Rockler is from Sheffield, England and carries a lifetime warranty.

      I've come to a point where almost anything I am considering a purchase of, gets checked out on the Internet first. At Walmart, I've found many of their better-price items are often last year models or even "exclusive" models. A case in point was a de-humidifier that I bought a couple of years ago. Item at Walmart wasn't even listed on manufacturers website. It was NIB, but only carried a 1-year warranty. I went to Home Depot, and a similar model (same size and brand name, but different model number) was priced $20 higher, but it had a 3-year warranty.

      Also many times you find items at some of these stores that simply doesn't exist anywhere else and the manufacturer may not even have a website or traceable origin. Such items may never be seen again, once the store's initial inventory is gone. This especially happens during the holiday season with all of these stores add on those Christmas bargains. Such 'special purchases' often have fraudulent warranties, as the manufacturers are often without long-term contact points or legitimate web addresses. All too often, the company simply won't exist after a relatively short time, especially if its origin is in China. Many of these are marketed through an export broker which bids out such products to places like Walmart, Home Depot, and many others.

      Bottom line is that there can be bargains, but let the buyer beware.



      • #4
        Re: Exclusive Items at Lowes

        I ran into a problem with Maytag clothes washers, dryers and dishwashers some time ago. Real authorized Maytag dealers had totally different models than did box box stores like Sears, Worst Buy or Lowes. When I called Maytag customer service (before Whirlpool bought them) I was told the big box hogs had special models made only for them and that with the model number the item could be traced back to that store. I was also told that the models sold at the smaller dealers that did repairs were in fact better made. This didn't take long to figure out. A few in store checks and I got mine from a serious major appliance dealer with a good reputation that only has a few local locations. I'm very glad I did, as the big parts dealer can't even look up the models sold at big box stores. They never got the parts list info from Maytag for them!

        I remember one time at a flea market seeing Mikwukee power tools. They were fakes that looked like the real ones and even had the real model numbers used by Milwaukee on them. The real clue was that this was long before the TTI buyout and with "Made In China" on the name plate it was pretty obvious. A call to Milwaukee and they contacted the State Police where the flea market was. I think we have a good idea what happened to that dealer and his source.

        There are some items where Lowes proudly states on the display that this is a Lowes exclusive.

        Sylvania large lamps (light bulbs and fluorescent tubes) have totally different numbers on the item than what is in their catalog. The products sold at electrical supply houses are as per the catalog numbers.

        Phillips and The Home Depot are playing the same games.


        • #5
          Re: Exclusive Items at Lowes

          Sears has been doing this at least since the 1950's. It serves 2 purposes: 1. no price matching since the model numbers are different, 2. Components are often cheaper, which gives the retailer a larger profit.


          • #6
            Re: Exclusive Items at Lowes

            Yeah, but in the case of Craftsman-branded products, Sears doesn't pretend to offer the same product as other stores. For example, Sear's may well pick up a product that Ryobi makes and markets, but wearing the Craftsman brand name and colors, there is no doubt that it may be different. In most cases, Sears clearly specifies their requirements and may or maynot reach a compromise with the OEM for delivery. But in all cases, the product wears the brand and color scheme of Craftsman; so there should be no expectations that the particular tool is the same as a Bosch, DeWalt, Ryobi or whatever. More often than not, you may get 'value-added' with something extra, as well as Sears service, parts, etc. No one buys a Craftsman-branded tool with the idea that they're really getting something else.

            My concern is when stores like Home Depot or Sears sells a name-brand product that looks identical to other offerings from the OEM, but is in fact a cheapened version. In my opinion, this borders on fraud and would be no different than if you went to a large franchise car dealership and bought a new BMW, only to find after the purchase, that the franchise had forced a special deal in which this look-alike model had vinyl seats instead of leather, and the brakes were four-wheel drum, instead of disc. Yes, you may have saved a few hundred dollars and the product was still functional in every way, but there's definitely a difference in quality and overall performance. The bottom line being that what you thought you bought wasn't the same as if you had gone somewhere else. Unless the franchise dealer gave you a side-by-side comparison and spelled out every cost-cutting difference, so that you clearly understood that you weren't getting the regular model, he is committing fraud. (And that is exactly what is happening when the big box stores sell a name-brand product that they have forced the OEM to make cost-cutting changes to!)



            • #7
              Re: Exclusive Items at Lowes

              Here is one for everyone

              John Deere lawn tractors sold at chain stores are in no way the same quality machines a real John Deere farm tractor dealer sells. They don't cost as much either. I have seen the same for Ariens and Toro. As for Lowes and TroyBilt what a mess that's become. TroyBilt tillers used to be darn good, but no more.

              As for Sears they use their own trade names on some products. They do sell name brand products (appliances and electronics) under the name brand and they are not the same as the ones sold through other dealers. I have seen this with all the big box stores.

              Bottom line is to do your homework and be sure to check the actual bar code numbers. If off by just one digit the item is not exactly the same.

              When it came to Sylvania fluorescent tubes, just check the specs and you'll see they are cheapened versions of what they sell through electrical distributors. I got some that are close, but side by side they are not the same quality. On the other hand Lowes did sell them for a bit lower price.

              Time for Woussko the old howling hound to go hush up. I don't want this thread to end up as just a place where I vent.


              • #8
                Re: Exclusive Items at Lowes

                Same with Lincoln MIG welders at places like Sears, Home Depot, etc. Check em out carefully before you buy.
                Jim Don