Tractor Supply Company vs Home Depot vs Lowe's: Hardware Stores Compared
The great thing about the current state of things online is that you can find hardware stores that sell just about everything you might need in the hardware department. Here are a few online hardware stores compared so that you can find that one piece of hardware you need in any are from cooling to grills to tractors or anything else.
Tractor Supply Co
Tractor Supply sells most anything you can think of, from riding mowers to automatic gate openers to gun safe locks. The store especially sells hardware like flashlights, electrical wiring, door hardware, adhesives general light fixtures and many other things. The site is easy to navigate since putting your cursor over “Products” lets you go to “Hardware” and other topics you want right away.
- Automatic Physical Store Locator-When you sign into the site, the site will automatically locate a store closest to you based on your IP address. If you click on the “stores” menu icon in the top right, you can change this store by hitting the “Make My Store” link underneath a different store listed there. You can also get directions to the store with the green button.
- Free Hardware Articles in “Know How” Section-This section includes free information about buying gun safes, purchasing guns, hunting, outdoor power equipment like using and buying chainsaws, and other related hardware topics. There’s a whole guide on finding the best generator, for example.
- Check Local Availability Instantly-Once you find a product that you want, you can click the “Check Availability” button in green to see a list of stores that have it near you. You can also get directions to the store in question this way.
- Free UPS Ship to Store-If you find a product online that you like, you can have it shipped to your local store for free through UPS.
The Home Depot
Home Depot is one of the more recognizable names in hardware in the United States and beyond. They have a number of features available, especially for those who need professional hardware.
- Pro Version of the Site-If you click on the orange “Pro” link with the arrows on it, you’ll be taken directly to the pro version of the site where you can find hardware tools more appropriate for people who plan on using them to make a living.
- Bulk Pricing-I you buy at least a pallet worth of certain items, you can get bulk pricing on them, which can help to increase your business profits.
- Tool Rentals-Another good way to keep your overhead low is to rent certain hardware equipment when it’s needed instead of buying it. Home Depot has flooring and sanding rentals available, as well as other hardware like blowers, dryers or air remediation tools.
- Norton Secured-The Norton seal in the bottom right corner of the Home and Pro site helps you confirm that your financial data is safe for the day you visit.
- Credit Center Financing-There are a number of cards, including commercial cards, you can use to finance buying an expensive bit of hardware you need for your home or business through the site. They will require credit checks usually though. This allows you to get 0% APR for 6 months.
Lowe’s has good options for pros and bargain hunters alike when it comes to hardware. You can call them at 1-844-569-4776.
- Free Shipping for Orders Over $49-A lot of hardware on the site is going to cost at least $49, so you should be able to get the free shipping from Lowe’s fairly often.
- 5% Off Credit Card-You can get Lowe’s cards that will give you 5% off one purchase you make in a store or online every day. You can also use this to get financing instead if you want.
- Live Chat-The site will pop up with an offer for live chat if you’re there long enough.
- Frequent Coupons for Specific Groups-There will often be discounts for specific groups such as the NAHB, or Home Builder’s association.
Head to Head
Tractor Supply Co has a Master Lock 2.5 inch laminated steel pin tumbler padlock with 2-inch shackle available for $30. Another example of some hardware you can purchase here is the Scotts Sync Lithium-Ion 20v battery with Prop 66 compliance that goes for $60.
A 2-inch Master Lock padlock goes for about $14 at Home Depot.
There are a number of master lock options available at Lowe's for 1-2 inches, including a set of four that costs $30. This also carries a buy 3, get 10% off with it sometimes too, making it even cheaper in the long run.
Overall, Lowe’s seems to have the edge when it comes to bargains and low prices since their locks cost $7 or $8 tops when you buy them together, though their locks are a little smaller.
If you click on the big “Support” link with the question mark icon at the top of the Tractor Supply Co. site, you’ll get to an email form page. The number is also listed here which is 877-718-6750. This number is active from Monday to Saturday, 7 am to 8 PM CST, and similar hours on Sunday.
The Live chat option on Home Depot only requires your name and email. Then you can click the orange “Start Chat” button to get going right away. Home Depot has a lot of options for businesses like bulk pricing and tool rentals.
Lowe’s requires you to click on the tiny contact link all the way at the bottom of the site to get access by then clicking on the “Need Help?” link in the top right. The phone team is available 7 am to 1 pm just about every day. There’s also an email link here.
Overall, Home Depot is one of the easier sites for getting help faster since their live chat is accessible right from the main page, where Lowe’s requires lots of clicking and hunting around, and Tractor Supply Co doesn’t even have this option. Lowe’s and Home Depot are good options for pros since they have lots of features like special pro credit cards, whereas Tractor Supply Co doesn’t seem to emphasize this as much.