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I live about an hour drive from the nearest Rockler store so when I travel to the general area I like to stop in and look around. I feel like a kid in a candy store when I go there. I usually buy a book or two and generally walk up and down the aisles just looking at things and getting ideas too.

While browsing I stopped to look at parallel planers because I don't have one and hope to purchase one in the near future. I looked at the Delta model 22-590 13" planer. It was priced at $600. I remembered thinking that a few days earlier I had seen the same model at Menards for much less, but perhaps it was a lower end model.

After I got home I checked it out online and found that it was the exact same model and it was $175 more at Rockler. Even though the online Menards advertised price says clearance sale, it has been the same $425 for the past 9 months at my local store.

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=29962&site=ROCKLER

http://www.menards.com/main/tools-h...lta-13-thickness-planer/p-1805227-c-10089.htm

While I was checking it out a sales clerk asked me if I needed help. I asked him if they sell many of these models compared to the other more expensive models. He said it was their best selling planer and they can hardly keep them in stock. I don't think he was joshing me because he could have easily pushed me to a more expensive brand. I thanked him for answering my questions and continued looking around.

I wouldn't think much about a $25 or even $50 difference in price but $175 is a massive difference for the same exact product. Don't get me wrong, I love visiting the Rockler store and picking up a thing or two that can't be gotten at the home stores but it reiterated in my mind the importance of shopping around and comparing prices.

I am new to this forum and relatively new to the "hobby" of woodworking also. I read the new members section often and see many other folks that are new to woodworking. I am sharing this if for no other reason, than to remind other newbs to shop around...that $175 difference can buy a lot of other tools and supplies.
 

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where's my table saw?
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I was browsing in the local Menards tool aisle

I came across a spindle sander on clearance. The identical sander is made by several tool lines and badged under their name.
http://www.menards.com/main/tools-h...illating-spindle-sander/p-1498057-c-10088.htm

Harbor Freight is one and sells for $130.00 no coupon. Menards was $90.00


http://www.menards.com/main/tools-h...illating-spindle-sander/p-1498057-c-10088.htm

same as the Ryobi:


Rockwell:


You can really get a good deal at the box stores IF you shop around and know your price points.
 

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I bought mine at Menards when they first started carrying them on sale for $79.00. I also bought my 1.5 hp Delta DC at Menards at the time it was $100.00 less than any other place.
 

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I came across a spindle sander on clearance. The identical sander is made by several tool lines and badged under their name.
http://www.menards.com/main/tools-h...illating-spindle-sander/p-1498057-c-10088.htm

Harbor Freight is one and sells for $130.00 no coupon. Menards was $90.00


http://www.menards.com/main/tools-h...illating-spindle-sander/p-1498057-c-10088.htm

same as the Ryobi:


Rockwell:


You can really get a good deal at the box stores IF you shop around and know your price points.

With a coupon, the HF one is $90 as well. Most things worth buying have coupons for them, so one should search for coupons first before buying it.
 

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Rough Sawn Lumber
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I saw a can of water based poly at Rockler for $25, the same product at Menards for $12. Volume speaks volumes.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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It's what it takes when you have 30 customers per day versus 5000....also...try asking the guy at menards to talk about woodworking or the use of the tool....
 

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I wood if I could.
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I have one of those HF General brand oscillating spindle sanders that I'm trying to sell right now. It's one I bought at a yard sale for the purpose of reselling. But then I closed my store down and have been storing it ever since.

Speaking of shopping around: I could have saved a few hundred dollars if I'd shopped around when I ordered my Rikon band saw. Live and learn (the hard way).
 

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It's what it takes when you have 30 customers per day versus 5000....also...try asking the guy at menards to talk about woodworking or the use of the tool....
In a nutshell this is the answer.

Specialty shops are almost always more expensive for like items. However, the usually have things that the mass merchandisers do not have.

George
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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Speaking of shopping around: I could have saved a few hundred dollars if I'd shopped around when I ordered my Rikon band saw. Live and learn (the hard way).
And you probably would have bought a . . . . .
:laughing:
 

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Woodcraft is kind of the same way. They tend to charge a bit more then the big box stores or even lee valley, but I enjoy that most of the time there is a guy working that can help me out with exactly what I need to know.
 

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That high margin lets Rockler throw 15% and 20% discounts at it's customers to keep them coming back, although they are careful to exclude anything with a high price and low margin from those deals.
 
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