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Home Depot and Lowes are two of the most popular home improvement stores in the United States. Both stores offer a wide variety of home improvement products and services, making them a one-stop shop for many homeowners.
Which store is really the better option?
To help answer this question, let’s take a look at a few key factors: pricing, selection, and customer service.
Lowe’s vs Home Depot Company Size
As of 2021, Lowe’s operated 1,971 locations worldwide, down from 1,974 stores in the previous and bring the online experience to their customers in-store.s year. In terms of sales, Lowe’s was the second-leading retailer in the U.S. hardware and home improvement market behind Home Depot.
By the end of the fiscal year 2021, Home Depot had generated over 151 billion U.S. dollars in revenue. Home Depot operates over 2,300 stores across North America as of the beginning of 2022. The company has been investing in its strategy to connect its stores online and bring the online experience to their stores. In 2021, Home Depot’s brand was valued at nearly 53 billion U.S. dollars, making it one of the most valuable retail brands in the world.
What Do Customers Say About Lowe’s
Customers appreciate the variety of products available at Lowe’s, as well as the helpfulness of staff both in-store and online:
“Since we’ve never purchased furniture online without first seeing it in person, we were a little skeptical. But we’re glad we took the plunge! The Lowe’s sofa is beautiful, super firm, and easy to assemble. Plus, the cupholders are removable for easy cleaning. Love it.”
“I had a good experience with Lowe’s both in-store and online. The staff was quick to answer questions and help us find the flooring we wanted, even though we couldn’t find it in their store. Delivery was prompt and I received updates along the way.”
Some customers note that using a gift card for payment can be tricky, but overall they report having positive experiences with Lowe’s:
“I’m glad I was able to get a dishwasher for such a great price, but it was definitely a bit of a hassle. If you’re thinking about buying a product online, just be aware that you might have to jump through some hoops in order to use a gift card for payment.”
Lowe’s offers standard shipping for parcels, large and bulky items. The processing time for orders varies depending on the location of the distribution center where the item is being shipped from. You can get a more accurate delivery estimate after adding the item to your cart.
To qualify for free standard shipping, your order must total $45 or more before taxes, fees, or shipping charges are added.
The free shipping applies only to items that weigh less than 150 pounds (or 70 pounds for PO boxes and APO/FPO addresses) and meet the standard weight or cube requirements.
You also have the option to pick up your order at your nearest Lowe’s store. Standard shipping charges for orders under $45 start at $5.99.
Orders over $45 ship for free. Large and bulky items have a shipping surcharge starting at $49.99.
Shipping times for large and bulky items vary depending on the item and your location but generally take seven to ten business days for delivery.
Lowe’s Return Policy
Lowe’s return policy is very customer friendly. Most items can be returned within 90 days, and there are even some exceptions where items can be returned within 30 days or even 48 hours.
This makes it easy for customers to shop with confidence knowing that they can always return an item if they are not satisfied with it. Additionally, Lowe’s accepts returns without a receipt in most cases.
This means that customers don’t have to worry about keeping track of their receipts in order to make a return. Lastly, Lowe’s offers a wide range of options for returning items, including in-store credit, cash back, and even refunding the purchase price to the original credit card.
This makes it easy for customers to choose the option that best suits their needs.
Lowe’s Pros & Cons
- Wide selection of products and brands
- Free shipping on orders over $45
- Competitive prices
- Sales and discounts often available
- Helpful staff
- Option to pick up order in store
- Can be crowded and chaotic during peak times
- Gift card payment can be tricky
- Shipping times for large and bulky items can be slow
What Do Customers Say About Home Depot
The Home Depot experience is usually positive, with customers finding everything they need and helpful staff.
“The Home Depot experience was outstanding. Our consultant went above and beyond to help us find everything on our list, and even got items off the pallet for us that were not on the shelves yet. He is a true asset to the company who genuinely cares about his customers.”
“I shop at Home Depot. They offer a wide variety of products and finishes to choose from, making it easy to find exactly what I’m looking for. And if I can’t find what I’m looking for in-store, their online selection is vast and sure to have what I need. Plus, free shipping on orders over $45 makes it easy and convenient to get whatever I need delivering right to my door.”
However, some customers have had less than favorable experiences in-store, hoping that Home Depot can improve their in-store shopping experience to be more consistent with their online shopping options.
“I have mixed feelings about Home Depot. I like their online shopping options, but their in-store experiences have been pretty hit or miss. Some locations are great, while others leave a lot to be desired. I hope that they can improve their in-store shopping experience so that it is more consistent and favorable for customers. However, they usually have what I need.”
Home Depot Shipping
Home Depot offers free standard delivery on most orders over $45. This offer is not valid on gift cards or prior purchases. You can also take advantage of their Free In-Store Pickup service for items not in-stock at your local store.
Choose the Pick Up in Store option during online checkout and select your desired store for pick up. For items not in-stock at your local store, they offer Buy Online, Ship to Store. This service features more than over a million items that can be shipped free of charge to your local Home Depot store when you order online.
Some exclusions apply to free shipping, such as certain items containing weight and/or size shipping restrictions (details in item descriptions). Major appliance orders have the option to choose the delivery date at the time of purchase.
Home Depot Return Policy
Home Depot’s return policy is one of the most customer-friendly in the retail industry. After 90 days, customers can return most items either to the store or by mail.
And, depending on the payment method used, they may have up to 365 days to make a return. This is a great policy for customers who may have bought an item on sale or clearance and then had a change of heart later on. It also allows for returns of seasonal items that may not be needed or wanted anymore come spring or summer.
Overall, Home Depot’s return policy is very fair to its customers and makes it easy for them to shop with confidence knowing that they can always return an item if they’re not satisfied with it.
Home Depot Pros & Cons
- Customer service is often praised
- Wide range of products and services
- Competitive prices
- Stores are typically clean and well-organized
- Free shipping on orders over $45
- Dog-friendly company
- Can be difficult to find specific items in store
- Prices may be higher than some competitors
- Some items excluded from free shipping
In-store Pickup & Online Shopping
Reviewers had a positive experience with online shopping and in-store pickup at Lowe’s and Home Depot. The main complaints centered around items not being ready when the customer arrived, and some customers perceiving that store associates had pre-selected lower quality items.
However, both stores offer a variety of benefits for online shoppers, including delivery of heavy items from local stores, financing options with no interest for six months, and 10 percent military discounts.
Shopping at Lowe’s or Home Depot online can be a convenient and affordable option for many consumers.
There are a few key differences between Lowes and Home Depot. For one, Lowes tends to price their merchandise slightly lower than Home Depot.
Lowes offers more discounts and promotions than Home Depot.
Finally, Lowes typically has a better selection of products, especially in the hardware department.