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You never know when you’ll find a great deal, but it helps to know where to look.  One forehead-smackingly great place to start is Home Depot’s “busted-ass packaging table,” more commonly known as the “clearance item table.”

Once you shrug off the crappy packaging and hand-written notes warning of missing parts and broken accessories, you’ll often find some good tools marked down to 40% or less of their original sticker.  Sure, they’re probably missing a blade or something, but Home Depot wouldn’t be able to re-sell the tool if it was largely disfunctional. 

Heck, sometimes the model is just a few years old and covered in dust and cob webs.  These get a special hand written orange star that normally signifies that management is tired of looking at it and would like to see it leave — bad for the ‘Depot, good for you; these can be sweet deals, indeed.

Example: I picked up a Skil 2.3A 7-1/4″ circ saw last week for $21.  Normal price: $40.  The problem: it was missing the instructions, the cardboard packaging was crappy-looking, and it didn’t come with a blade.

So the next time you’re strolling the HD aisles, take a few minutes to locate and pick over the clearance table.  Yeah, it looks like a big pile of useless crap, but that’s why it’s a find: newbies’ll pass it right by.

Home Depot [Home Depot Website]


14 Responses to Tip: Hunting Deals At The ‘Depot

  1. Al Chumley says:

    They always seem to have the stuff on the clearance table that I’ve *just* bought for full price…

  2. Ray says:

    Ditto with Lowe’s. The one near me seems to put fresh items on the clearance rack on Sundays (Yea, I’m there almost daily). I got a heavy duty straight shaft string trimmer for 60% off last year.

  3. GAC says:

    The HD in my ZIP has had the same “busted-ass” items there for 6 months and it’s hardly clearance priced at all.

  4. Jeez, take this post down quick. You’re going to ruin it for the rest of us.

    A buddy of mine scored a sweet hitachi? planer for $80 (normally $350?) and I got a 40 gallon tank air compressor with a woefully underpowered pump for $40 at Lowes.

  5. shawn says:

    I’ve gotten quite a few deals from HD clearance – the best was a Ryobi 12″ thickness planer originally $300 and I got it for $50 – brand new, with manuals, etc. It works great and was just a little dusty.

  6. Eric G. says:

    I’ve also had mixed results at home depot, I frequently see “deals” that when I grab the item and walk back to the isle where it belongs I very often see the same item in undamaged packaging for the same (sometimes lower!) price. on the other hand I picked up 6 1000 ft spools of Avaya cat5 for $15 each!

    as always: caveat emptor

  7. Teacher says:

    Our Lowes only puts stuff like cabinet hardware, window locks and busted cans of paint on the clearance table. And usually for just 10% off regular price. Now our True Value Hardware does have some sweet deals. I picked up 35 3/8 and 1/2 inch drive deep well sockets, Allen brand, for 25 cents a piece last year at the store. The owner wanted to get rid of them to make room for the newer laser etched version. Only blemish was the Allen name had been ground off.

  8. Leslie says:

    We’ve gotten quite a few sweet deals from the Lowes clearance tables and aisles. Of course it doesn’t hurt that I made friends with our local store’s sales manager years ago on the day that he started as a lowly cashier, who has on more than one occasion called us to let us know when something we’ve been looking out for shows up at a discount, and who once decided that the last-one-left floor model needed to be marked at 50% clearance when I wanted it…

    Speaking of which, you know you spend too much time at Lowes when you see someone who works there (this guy) outside of the store for the first time in the 8 years you’ve known him (at a Habitat dedication ceremony) and you find yourself exchanging big warm hugs, asking by name about each others kids/grandkids, partners, latest house projects, etc. :::rolling eyes:::

  9. eschoendorff says:

    I want to echo Teacher’s sentiments. And for teh rest of you: that clearance table should be the FIRST thing you check in the store. I’ve been doing it this way for years…

    Check the Sears clearance sections too. Aw hell… check out the clearance section at every store you go to (except the grocery store – that’s gross).

  10. Stuey says:

    The Lowes near me had a lot of solar powered porch lights on clearance the other day, but no good tool deals.

  11. Ivan says:

    I have to admit that I have found the table myself as well. I even stop by that day just to check what’s on the clearance table but then hey they build the HD 1 mile from my house and on top of that Lowes build right next to it. Since I’m a HD kind of guy, I guess I have to check out Lowes’ too.

    And it’s true that the stuff on the clearance table can be found in the aisles as well for that same discounted price but heck it’s so more convenient the find all the great buys in one spot rather than scouting the aisles. I just love HD!

  12. meh says:

    you mean the Home Despot?
    if it weren’t for one of the most lenient return policies in any of the four hemispheres, none of this stuff would be so marked down…be careful what you’re getting off the markdown table cause no instruction manuals might not be the only thing you’re not getting….

  13. Teacher says:

    I went in our Sears today. It’s one of those small locally owned stores. The clearance table is a big wheel barrow by the front door. The 5 people that work there know me as I’m in there every week. The stuff in it was all 20% off. The owner says to me, “Anything you want in there I’ll make 50% off.”

    I bought four of those things that have ten 3/8 sockets and a 3/8 ratchet in one package. Got each one for $9.99. I buy stuff like that and put it away to use as presents when I need one. Nobody I would give a present to would ever complain about getting more sockets or another ratchet.

  14. Joe Lyles says:

    Yard sales can be as good or better!!!

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