Home depot pricing / by kevin murray

Some people love to shop in stores and some people love to shop online.  In fact, some people love to shop wherever and whenever they can, online, in stores, anywhere, it doesn't really matter and then there are people like me who don't like shopping all that much and prefer the convenience and comfort of shopping online.


Anyway, I had to buy a floor lamp the other day to match the table lamp that I had purchased.  My friend had told me that the floor lamp should cost a little under $50 but when I went searching and found a couple Hampton Bay floor lamps in which one was a perfect match and the other was a nice alternative I couldn't find that pricing range at all.  My price online through Home Depot was $89.97 for the one that matched perfectly and $94.97 for the other one that looked perhaps a little better and would be suitable as a match.


As I said, I like shopping online and I certainly like getting a deal so I did a bit more research by typing in the description of the floor lamps that I was looking for and using my Google search engine to check things out but I still wasn't able to come up with any improved pricing from anybody. 


I then got an email from Home Depot indicating that they were having a special with up to 50% off on overstock lighting which I check into but again came up empty handed.  Now all of this was becoming a real problem because I hate to pay extra money if I don't really need to and I really did need to purchase that floor lamp.  So I went back to the Home Depot website on a different day and I didn't see any change in pricing on either lamp but since I knew that I didn't want the lamp shipped to me and that I was going to pick it up at the Home Depot most convenient to me, I selected one of the lamps and then selected "pick up in store FREE", changed the location of my default Home Depot store to one most convenient to me, andsuddenly within a blink of an eye the price changed from $89.97 to $49.97.  Wow.  I then selected the more expensive lamp and did the same thing and it too changed from $94.97 to $49.97.  Incredible.


Now to understand the facts correctly, during my search with Home Depot they had defaulted me to a store location that I typically don't go to, the reason that Home Depot selects that particular stored is based on my internet connection location.  Had I been logged into my Home Depot account they would have defaulted me to my preferred location but I wasn't logged in. However, once I logged into my Home Depot account, walla!, the price dropped down to $49.97 each.  That makes sense, because logged in they now had the correct Home Depot store for my account and at that store the price for each of the floor lamps really was $49.97.  But I had to take one step further, so I logged out, and then found the same lamps at the $89.97 and $94.97 and this time I didn't log into my Home Depot account, didn't change the default store, and then checked out with the merchandise as a "guest".  I got all the way to the payment page with no changes so I find it safe to conclude that I would have paid those higher prices had I completed the purchase.


So what can we conclude from this?  That Home Depot most definitely has more than one price, depending on how you are purchasing a given item and that it is up to you, the consumer, to ascertain this.  In this real-world example, the in-store price was the lower price by a considerable margin, but that price would be honored if bought online through the steps that I ultimately took.


Do I have a problem with what transpired and the discrepancy in pricing?  No, not at all.  There isn't any doubt in my mind that online prices need not be the same as store prices and in fact it would be difficult to accomplish this goal for stores like Home Depot, even if that was the desired policy. 


So buyer beware.