Home Depot Employee’s Insider Tips On Price-Matching And Discounts

After seeing this 2010 post about a Home Depot customer who had to resort to the “I’m going to Lowe’s” threat in order to get the store to price-match its own website, Consumerist reader and Depot employee Dave wrote in to share his experiences with the company’s price-matching and discounting policies.

Dave says that Home Depot does now price-match its own website, and that price-matching HomeDepot.com is part of the training for new employees.

“I have does this countless times myself for customers,” he tells Consumerist.

When it comes to matching a competitor’s website, Dave says the key is that it must for the exact same item sold by Home Depot. “Similar items will not be price matched,” he explains, “only exact same models.”

He says that Home Depot will actually beat local competitors’ prices by up to 10%.

“Again, this must be the same model being sold in each store,” says Dave. “Also, policy requires the Home Depot employee to call the local store and verify the price before applying the discount.”

Dave then breaks down how far each level of the store’s sales staff and management can go when discounting an item for a customer:

* Each Home Depot floor associate/sales employee is allowed to discount up to $50 from any item without needing to call a manager. No questions asked. If it makes the sale or keeps the customer from going to the competition, mark it down.

Dave says that he recently had a couple come into his store to buy around $600 worth of items for their bathroom. When the husband remarked that he’d seen one particular item for $40 less at Lowe’s, Dave let the pair mull over their purchase for a bit before hitting them with the offer.

“I let them talk between themselves for a bit and then interjected that… I would take $40 off the total price,” he recalls. “They looked shocked but happy,” and Dave made the sale.

* Each Home Depot Department Head/Supervisor has the ability to discount up to $100 without calling an assistant manager.

* Each Assistant Manager has the ability to discount up to $500 without calling the store manager.

* The Store Manager has the ability to discount up to $1000 without calling the Regional Director.

“Normally, we are told to ask the customer if they would be making any other purchases today,” says Dave about the actual process of making sure the customer gets the discount. “If they are, we are to put a note on the item we are discounting stating the amount taken off, the reason for the discount (customer satisfaction in this case), our name and then our employee #. If this is the only or the last purchase of their day, I will walk the customer to the checkout and introduce them to one of our cashiers, explain to the cashier that the customer is purchasing ‘X’ today, I am taking off ‘Y’ amount for ‘Z’ reason. As the cashier rings up the sale, I ask the customer if they need help loading their items in their vehicle (which I will help them load if they do need help) then shake the customer’s hand and thank them for shopping at Home Depot.”

Thanks to Dave for sharing! If you work for a retailer and want to share your particular insight or experiences with Consumerist readers, just e-mail us at tips@consumerist.com. Remember, we’ll never share your full name or store location.