Military Discount: Lowe’s vs. Home Depot

I always choose Lowe’s over Home Depot. The people are generally more useful at Lowe’s, but the main difference between the two stores – their product offerings are nearly identical – is their policies on military discounts. Lowe’s provides a no-nonsense, 10% off your entire purchase upon presentation of a military ID. Doesn’t matter if you’re buying something already on sale, marked down damaged, or display item… they take 10% off the total. Awesome. Home Depot, when they actually offer a military discount, is very particular about it. They’ll only give it on items that are otherwise full price. Now that might make sense from a business perspective, but when your main competitor is doing it better, you really ought to pay attention.

This weekend we were shopping for a new oven/range. The one that came with the house has crapped out again (this time it’s the oven thermostat), and I’m tired of taking it apart and replacing things. So I renewed my subscription to consumer reports and started reading reviews to see what looked good, and relatively affordable. We settled on the LG LRE4213ST (the knobs on the front were the deciding factor over the similarly equipped but not quite as nice LG LRE3083ST, which has an all-touchscreen panel on the back of the stovetop. Both were rated well and recommended by Consumer Reports. Sadly, no American made ovens in my price/feature range rated nearly as well, or I wouldn’t have even considered our Korean friends.

Looking at the 3083 at Home Depot, I was discussing the differences between the two and asked about ordering it from the store in order to get the military discount. Since the oven is listed as a “special buy” price (along with 75% of their inventory), I was told I could not “double dip” discounts and would have to pay the price as listed. I thanked the lady and left. From there I visited Sam’s Club, because they were the only store around with a 4213 on display and I wanted to see how much difference there really was. Sadly, Sam’s has no military discount, and the list price on both ovens was a lot less then that 10% discount, so I moved on to Lowe’s. By now my mind was pretty much made up to buy the more expensive 4213, and Lowe’s was more than happy to order the oven for me, set up the delivery, make sure I had the right power cord, AND give a 10% military discount.

It’ll take a few weeks to get it here (it’s apparently a big seller). Home Depot said they could get it to me in less time, but given their pricing policy, it’s no wonder everyone else is sold out while they have stock on hand. The stove top on the old oven still works, and I’ve been doing nearly all the ‘oven’ cooking in the Nuwave, so the wait is no problem.

Home Depot, if you’re paying attention, take a hint. Lowe’s policy is awesome, and it makes me a loyal customer. Yours makes me avoid you.