Sorta OT: Home Depot online a Bust.Long sad story
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  1. #1
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    Default Sorta OT: Home Depot online a Bust.Long sad story

    Now I love Mcmaster-Carr, and order just about everything from them, but all I needed was a 3 ft pc of 1/4 NPT black pipe. No biggie ..you'd think? I guess this size has now gotten to be in the category of RAREFIED WEIRD CRAP. My local Ace hardware had tons of fittings but nothing over 6"...strange. So I looked online and there was Home Depot Online...Ok, I'll bite. So I order it, on 7/16 and will pick it up at my local store, Free Shipping, in couple of days... methinks , easy peasy. I get a confirmation email right away, "Thanks for your order, we'll notify when shipped" Ok cool. Next day get another email, "Your order has been shipped, you can track your order." Great. Now this is the DFW Metroplex, with a jillion HD stores, so I figured they just loaded up a bobtail from the main distribution warehouse to the store. The next day, I check the "track your order" and it is coming from Illinois...what? You mean to tell me there is not a POS piece of 1/4 black pipe closer than Illinois? Ok, no biggie, no rush for this. No word for couple of days, so I go back and check the email shipping tracking, and it shows that it has made it to the store 7/19 and waiting for the store to check it in, and it will be ready for P/U on 7/21, BUT they will send me a confirmation email when it is ready to be P/U. Fast forward to today 7/25, and still no email. I figure that something is screwed up and it is probably sitting over at the store. I go over there and they have the evidence/paperwork of the order, but show that it has not made it to the store, which contradicts the email I got that said it WAS at the store on 7/19. So the poor clerk goes and searches all around and no order. At this point, I cancel the order and get my money back. Unbelievable! And I get home and there is this happy email "Thanking me for picking up the order...ha ha and please take this survey."..uh yeah baby did they get an earful. I am not really mad, but just disappointed that a large US company in 2019, does not have their sh** together any better than this. No wonder Amazon is eating everybody's lunch if this is how US Co's are doing business. Rant off.

  2. #2
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    My local industrial plumbing supply had it....IIRC $195 for a 10' stick.

    Switch to 3/8 and the prices fall.

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    Aren't there any plumbing supply stores in your area?

    No doubt your area has suffered from the same demise of hardware stores that the rise of these big boxes has caused here, but there should still be dealers for professional plumbers. Of course the same thing has happened to electronics. We have one electronics store and that started as a surplus dealer, mostly buying items left from overruns and auctions. They got into stocking some standard components but are nothing like a full line dealer ala Allied or Newark.

    The biggest problem I have with Allied, Newark, Mouser and Digikey is searches. They usually are a struggle to find the right word combination to turn up what I need. They all should hire the people who set up McMaster CArr.

    One time I ordered something from McMaster and a couple of hours later realized I needed something else. I called and asked if I could add it to the first order. It had already been processed and I had to make a new one. The order numbers were several thousand apart in just a couple of hours. Both arrived the next day.

    Bill

    Doug got in a partial answer while I was doing a monologue.

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    McM-C isn't perfect, but they are very near it. Prices are reasonable, good quality, wide range of stock and top notch customer service.

    Tom

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    There is a big plumbing supply not too far, but... I work at another job, a ways off, and they aren't open on weekends, and wholesale to the trade only...so . Yeah, if I had just ordered from McM , we wouldn't be having this conversation. Love em' .Heck, I even have had good luck with Grainger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9100 View Post
    Aren't there any plumbing supply stores in your area?

    No doubt your area has suffered from the same demise of hardware stores that the rise of these big boxes has caused here, but there should still be dealers for professional plumbers. Of course the same thing has happened to electronics. We have one electronics store and that started as a surplus dealer, mostly buying items left from overruns and auctions. They got into stocking some standard components but are nothing like a full line dealer ala Allied or Newark.

    The biggest problem I have with Allied, Newark, Mouser and Digikey is searches. They usually are a struggle to find the right word combination to turn up what I need. They all should hire the people who set up McMaster CArr.

    One time I ordered something from McMaster and a couple of hours later realized I needed something else. I called and asked if I could add it to the first order. It had already been processed and I had to make a new one. The order numbers were several thousand apart in just a couple of hours. Both arrived the next day.

    Bill

    Doug got in a partial answer while I was doing a monologue.
    McMaster isn't BS-ing you. I asked them this question before. They have semi's backed up to all their docks all day, and orders are processed immediately, shipping calculated per box after packed and weighed (hence why there is no shipping charge on the original order), packed on the truck, and when a truck is full, they're off to UPS. If you're not satisfied with something, all you have to do is put it in a box and send it back (no paperwork/RMA required), and after a couple of weeks, it magically shows up credited. If the gov ran 1/4 as efficiently as MMC, they could lay off 75% of the workforce. MMC isn't giving away any of their secrets on their #1 website and business operations. You can even send them a question at 1 am, and it's usually answered in a couple of hours (with correct info no less).

    I've had good experience ordering stuff from HD that isn't in the store.

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    WinSupply out here is open 6 days a week. Walk in on a Saturday from 8-1pm. The whole warehouse is open and I pick any thing that I need and bring it to the counter.
    There is a frig full of drinks and snacks. They have a scrap bin where I can get off-cuts, usually for free. They have a wall dedicated to Shell for stainless pipe fittings.

    Have walked in there plenty of times and developed better ideas than what I started out with.

    If there is a Windustrial business around you then that is a good place to visit.

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    It's fun to casually, but with unmistakable passion in your voice, explain to non mechanical people that there's this company McMaster-Carr that's been around since 1905 and blows Amazon out of the water. That's a shame about Home Depot. It's definitely not a place you expect to solve your more unusual problems easily. It's most satisfying for solving common construction and garden problems which are unusual for us PM types since we're not construction and garden people. I find their paint departments in particular are consistently staffed with good people across multiple locations.

    While we are on the subject, I needed to replace a computer fan on an incubator that my team built. The computer fan actually threw a blade which is something I've never seen in 30 years of engineering malarkey. My guys are away on vacation so I sent the part number for Digikey to our purchasing department expecting them to take a while to get the order placed. Well a couple of fans showed up the next day, McMaster style. I know DigiKey is that good but props to our purchasing guys for processing this fast!

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    Quote Originally Posted by daryl bane View Post
    ... disappointed that a large US company in 2019, does not have their sh** together any better than this. No wonder Amazon is eating everybody's lunch if this is how US Co's are doing business. Rant off.
    Went through the DAMNDEST exercise to buy a few new 32-gal wheeled trash bins, Home Depot. Long story short, all the bins were down at floor level. All the lids FOR them were in a still-sealed package, top of the rack.

    Once they sorted that, got me my two lids, d'you suppose they matched the rest with a bin? Nossir. They left it the way I found it. Bins no-lids on deck. Put the lids no-bins back up-top.

    Go figure.

    The professional plumbing supply I used for decades relocated from nearby Manassas to a lower-tax VA County some years ago. it became too much hassle for the longish round trip on anything middlin'

    Soo.. I moved-over to HD Supply on plumbing and HVAC goods.

    They WERE for some years a part of Home Depot, but were spun-off some years ago. Service has been downright superior, stocked goods, mostly, but special-orders have been fast as well.

    So far.

    Mind - there's a fair-sized stocking warehouse / will-call counter within a few miles of the house, here.

    "As usual" the high-population-density, high average income NOVA // Metro DC demographic means we generally get more choices than medium/smaller areas or even less affluent large ones do on anything building-trades // facilities-management related.

    Ignorant steel or metals in general are the reverse. Hard to find, have to ship stuff in from MMC, Speedy, Online, a few others.

    Understandable. Greater DC's primary "heavy industry" is the manufacture of lies, excuses, and higher taxes, hot air the main raw material.


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    I go to the website and have it check local stores. Weird the difference in stocking.

    Try not to use them, as I have pretty good local lumberyard, but some stuff they have.

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    I've ordered some exotic stuff from HD in the past. Last couple of items included vinyl fence rails and 1" Sch 40 Aluminum pipe. Both Items were reasonably priced when you consider the free ship to store advantages. However, both items were lost somewhere in the Shipping / Recieving bays and I had to wait some time while they manually searched for the items. Still, they did find them eventually and I had no issues with quality.

    Seems like they don't have the best workflow systems in place for special orders. If you need to use them allow some time for the confusion to be sorted. Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,
    Bob

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    Mcmaster-Carr

    I am just a few miles away from the Elmhurst, IL location. Ive ordered from them for close to 30 years. I know some people that work there and some people that would like to work there.

    Although rare the way they operate is no secret formula. They take care of the people that work for them. They are not quick to hire and not slow to fire if they have to. They give their workers all the tools they need to operate and listen to any advise from them and there customers. I have never seen them not be in expanding mode. They are always pouring more concrete and building more docks. Great company and great website.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    McM-C isn't perfect, but they are very near it. Prices are reasonable, good quality, wide range of stock and top notch customer service.

    Tom
    If McMaster isn't perfect, who is? I wish they sold everything I needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcoope View Post
    It's fun to casually, but with unmistakable passion in your voice, explain to non mechanical people that there's this company McMaster-Carr that's been around since 1905 and blows Amazon out of the water.
    I love McMaster-Carr, I probably shouldn't count how much money I spend with them every year, but McMaster is good at what they do because their scale and the products they carry are much different. If you've ever been in one of their warehouses it's totally different from Amazon's. Way less automation.

    McMaster is great for the stuff they carry, which is generally cost competitive for low volume, and a lot of it is easier to buy from them because you don't have to go through quoting like you would from a manufacturer or distributor. But these are industrial products with large margins. They carry ~600k SKUs.

    Amazon carries consumer products with almost no margin, their business is based on being the cheapest price, and they carry 600 million SKUs.

    If McMaster carried the products Amazon does, they'd look like Amazon too. That's the reason they choose not to get into the consumer retail market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car2 View Post
    McMaster isn't BS-ing you. I asked them this question before. They have semi's backed up to all their docks all day, and orders are processed immediately, shipping calculated per box after packed and weighed (hence why there is no shipping charge on the original order), packed on the truck, and when a truck is full, they're off to UPS. If you're not satisfied with something, all you have to do is put it in a box and send it back (no paperwork/RMA required), and after a couple of weeks, it magically shows up credited. If the gov ran 1/4 as efficiently as MMC, they could lay off 75% of the workforce. MMC isn't giving away any of their secrets on their #1 website and business operations. You can even send them a question at 1 am, and it's usually answered in a couple of hours (with correct info no less).

    I've had good experience ordering stuff from HD that isn't in the store.
    I have called McMaster within minutes of placing a web order to add something. Too late, already processed. Made new order.

    Last week I returned two items. I received the credit 14 hours after shipping it. I swear they processed the credit before receiving the box!

    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcoope View Post
    It's fun to casually, but with unmistakable passion in your voice, explain to non mechanical people that there's this company McMaster-Carr that's been around since 1905 and blows Amazon out of the water.
    AND they did this for years WITH NO COMPUTERS and NO INTERNET. They had their stocking information magically transported from one
    place to another, I suspect. My wife claims I get boxes from McMaster Carr, along with the goods is a note that says "you're going to need this,
    order it"

    Just for one scant instant imagine what happens to commerce when the internet goes away.

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    I have had good experiences with Home Depot. A few months ago I wanted a particular tool box, their Husky brand. I looked in the store but didn't find it. So I went on-line and found it. I ordered it and the next day or two I got the e-mail saying I could pick it up at the local store where I had searched. When I picked it up I commented on how quickly they got it and the manager said it was there all the time. It must have been somewhere in the back, because I did not see it when I first visited. But I had my tool box in relative fast order.

    I have used their on line ordering other times and the items were always there when they said so. I suspect you hit a glitch of some type.

    And, the OP says he can't find 1/4" black pipe in Dallas/FW? Even here in lowly old Beaumont, TX, I can name at least four or five places that should have it.

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    A while back I ordered some tapered bushings from mcmaster, a few minutes later I realized I ordered the wrong size and sent an email asking them to change the order. I got a personalized email back in a few minutes saying to late order has been given to ups already but she would try to reverse the shipment. The next day I get an email from ups saying that the shipment had been reversed. So they really did receive and ship my order in like 15 minutes.

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    I lived in Ga. many years ago(25+), and a friend said he had been in the Mcmaster Warehouse in Atl. He said it was wondrous to behold, how efficient and organized it was. The main command center was suspended up in the air in the middle of a massive multistory facility. Literally like a beehive of activity.

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    Picked up my web order at HD yesterday, it arrived 2 days early. Not that I like HD but what I wanted isn't sold locally.


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