Employees Won’t Tell You About These Home Depot Hacks

Home Depot offers everything from wood to appliances to cleaning products, so it’s no surprise that customers spend a lot there. If you want to save hundreds and potentially thousands of dollars at the store, you can. There are several methods that employees won’t always tell you about.

For instance, you can return plants even after they’ve died, and you can learn about sales based on price tag color. By knowing these quick tricks, you could save a lot of money. Here are brilliant Home Depot hacks that employees won’t tell you about.

Get Tools Repaired For Free

Chris Grundy, host of a popular tool show, shows off a chainsaw in Home Depot.
RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images
RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

When you buy a tool at Home Depot, you’ll receive a one-to-two year warranty. This doesn’t just cover returns; it also provides free repairs. Yes, you can repair tools at Home Depot, as many stores offer the service at their Tool Rental Center.

If you present your receipt to employees, they may fix it for free. If they can’t fix the tool, they may replace it for free. Tool repair usually takes around two to three months, depending on what you bought and the amount of damage inflicted.

Pennying Out

Pennies are on lined paper.
Flickr/J E Theriot
Flickr/J E Theriot

When Home Depot removes an item from sale, they “penny out” the item. In other words, the item will be worth one penny in Home Depot’s eyes. If you manage to find an item before a worker can pull it off the shelf, you can buy it for $0.01.

Usually, a product has to remain in clearance for over six months to penny out. Items on Home Depot’s website will never indicate the sale; you’ll have to go to the store. Check the price with a worker or at the self-checkout machine.

You Can Return Dead Plants

A wilted potted plant is seen.
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According to the Home Depot return policy, you can return any plant within one year. This includes dead plants. Yep, you heard that right. If your herb, perennial, or shrub dies on day 360, you can still return it if you have the original receipt.

You won’t get a free plant, but you will receive a refund to purchase another one if you wish. If you order a plant online and it comes damaged, return it within three days to receive a free one.

Search For Sixes And Threes

A blogger holds up a discounted wall plate in Home Depot.
Pinterest/Brenda Morse
Pinterest/Brenda Morse

Like a secret code, Home Depot uses sale tags to indicate how long a sale will last. Most notably, prices ending in six symbolize that there are six weeks left until the price changes. These include $5.96, $20.06, $15.66, etc. Also, a sale price ending in six is usually around 50% off.

The number three says the same; the item’s price will go down in the next three weeks. These are the only known numbers to indicate time-sensitive sales in Home Depot. A price ending in three usually rounds out to 75% off.

Want Paint? Shop In Summer

A paintbrush is dipped into a bucket of white paint.
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If you’re planning on painting your home, wait until summer to start shopping. At Home Depot, paint usually goes on sale around the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. Shop during any of those weekends and save a lot of money on paint!

If you’re not picky about the paint color, there’s an “oops” paint bin at Home Depot. Here, paints that are incorrectly mixed or mi-stinted sell on a discount. You can find gallons for $5 to $8 here, but don’t expect to find the perfect shade of baby blue!

Explore The Ends Of Aisles

Tables at the ends of aisles in Home Depot offer sales.
Twitter/@hdfairfield
Twitter/@hdfairfield

Beyond the clearance section, sale items are scattered throughout Home Depot. In general, employees tend to stock the ends of aisles with sale items. These are usually clearance or used products that attract customers to the aisles because of their low prices.

Some people may think that clearance items have a set-in-stone price, but this isn’t always true at Home Depot. There, sale prices are up to the manager’s discretion. Employees won’t always knock down the price further, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Know Your Sign Colors

A customer stands by the clearance aisle at Home Depot.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

You can learn something about a Home Depot product by the color of its price tag. For instance, green tags mean that the discount applies to that product only, not other products of the same brand. Usually, these items were bought and returned or ordered and never picked up.

If you see a yellow sign, you know the item is on clearance. It also means that when the product sells out, it will not be re-stocked. If you want an item that has a yellow discount tag, buy it quickly.

Use Ace Hardware Or Lowe’s Coupons At Home Depot

A Redditor points out a Lowe's coupon.
Reddit/u/CurlyNerdyBry94
Reddit/u/CurlyNerdyBry94

As part of their price match policy, Home Depot will honor their competitors’ coupons. Bring your Lowe’s and Ace Hardware coupons to Home Depot. If they have the same product, they may accept the other store’s coupon.

This policy isn’t officially written on the Home Depot website, but it aligns with the store’s price match policy. Some customers have had luck using this technique. However, some employees may not accept competitor coupons. Double-check that the coupon is for the exact same product available at Home Depot.

Never Pay Full Price For Wood

People purchase plywood from the Home Depot.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

If you need wood scraps for a DIY project, don’t pay full price. Look in the back of your local Home Depot. Some stores have “scrap bins,” where they keep leftover pieces from vendors. These wood pieces are often discounted up to 80%.

According to some customers, Home Depot’s scrap bins may include wood better than that on the shelf, and for just $0.50 per piece. However, stores vary. Not every location offers a scrap bin, and the price depends on the leftover product and the store’s management.

Home Depot Will Help You Bring Supplies Home

A Home Depot rental truck is parked in the background.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Buying in bulk will land you great deals, but there’s another problem. How will you carry all that stuff home? Unless you own a truck, you’d likely have to make more than one trip. You can spare yourself the time by renting a Home Depot pickup truck for 75 minutes.

The trucks are called Load ‘N Go Rentals, and you can get just over an hour for $19. On the Home Depot website, you can reserve these trucks in advance. They also offer cargo vans and moving box trucks.

There’s More Than One Black Friday

A sign states that appliances are 20% off in Home Depot.
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

At home and garden stores, there’s more than one Black Friday. As parts of its own “spring cleaning,” Home Depot also hosts Spring Black Friday, and it’s the best time to buy gardening and outdoor supplies. Look for deals such as five for $15 on mulch bags and 40% patio furniture.

Spring Black Friday usually occurs in late March, and sales may continue through April if the products don’t sell out. If you want a spring shopping spree, visit Lowe’s, Walmart, Sears, and Ace Hardware for sales during this time too.

Check Overstock

A man carries a snow shovel to the register at Home Depot.
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Before you buy something at full price, check Home Depot’s overstock. The store sells products that they bought too much of, and as a result, they’ll be heavily discounted. This way, you can save hundreds of dollars on more expensive products like doors, rugs, and furniture.

If you go into the store, you might find some overstock items in the clearance section. Products that are returned may be re-sold here. But if you want something specific, you may want to shop online, since every store carries different products.

Home Depot’s Price Match

Tools are offered for sale at a Home Depot store.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Like many big retailers, Home Depot institutes a price match policy known as “Low Price Guarantee.” In short, if you find the same product for cheaper at a competitor store like Lowe’s, Home Depot will lower that price by 10%. Provide proof to your local Home Depot store, and they’ll give you the best option.

What if the price drops further after you buy from Home Depot? If the price of the product drops again within 30 days, you will get your money back. In essence, there’s a chance that you could receive that product for free.

Check The Special Buy Of The Day

A person points to a tool on sale at Home Depot.
YouTube/THEGREENCABBY
YouTube/THEGREENCABBY

Before you visit your local Home Depot, check the online store. Every day, Home Depot hosts a Special Buy of the Day. One product category will receive a discount for only 24 hours. By “product category,” we mean one product of a certain brand, such as Genie garage openers.

You can find the Special Buy of the Day under the “Specials & Offers” tab. It’ll also show everything else on sale. Perhaps you’ll get lucky and find the product you need on sale for that day.

The Red, White, And Blue Sale

A Home Depot store waves the American flag.
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

If you miss the Spring Black Friday sale, you’ll have another one in July. On Independence Day, Home Depot offers the Red, White, and Blue Sale. Products marked Red/White/Blue can be marked down around 40%. The sale usually lasts around ten days, with the Fourth of July landing in the middle.

This sale is the best time to buy appliances, which are usually the products marked off. Refrigerators, grills, and patio furniture can go up to 50%. Picture everything you’d need for a barbecue; that’s what’ll likely be on sale.

Get A Rental Truck Deal

A moving truck drives down the road in Sweden.
Michael Campanella/Getty Images
Michael Campanella/Getty Images

If you’re moving soon, know that Home Depot can offer a “mover’s coupon.” The store has a partnership with Penske Truck Rental that offers 10% to costumers. You only need to reserve the moving trucks on the Home Depot website.

If you’re a veteran, military, AAA member, or college student, you’ll get an extra 10% off. Not only will you receive a discount, but you’ll also get unlimited miles. That alone should provide a better deal than U-Haul, especially if you need to drive over a long distance.

If You Live In A Big City, Shop Online

An employee scans items as customers buy goods at a Home Depot.
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Home Depot shoppers may wonder if it’s cheaper to shop in-store or online. In short, it depends on the product and where you live. According to a comparison of prices by Adobe, most products have fallen faster and climbed slower online. If you live in a big city, you may want to shop online.

Housing prices are higher in cities such as New York and Chicago, so Home Depot may raise costs. Online, it’s a flat rate. As a potential downside, the online store may not carry as many clearance items.

Buy Kitchen And Bath Supplies In Winter

Customers shop for kitchen appliances at the Home Depot.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

If you want to redesign your kitchen or bathroom, don’t shop in summer. Wait until mid-January to mid-March, when Home Depot hosts its Winter Bath Event. This sale offers up to 40% off of bath and kitchen products, and you can save hundreds of dollars.

During the Winter Bath Event, sometimes called the Pre-Spring Sale, appliances and flooring may also go on sale. Find up to 30% off of certain appliances and 15% off of wall tiles. Keep tabs on Home Depot to see if you can find coupons during this time.

Get A Credit Card And A Discount

Kurt Hein of Portland puts his items bought at Home Depot with his credit card into his trunk.
Gordon Chibroski/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Gordon Chibroski/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Did you know that you can open a credit card with Home Depot? If you do, you’ll receive an immediate discount. When you open a new credit card with Home Depot, you’ll receive $25 off a purchase up to $999, and $100 off of a purchase over $1,000. Occasionally, employees may offer 10% off of your first purchase as well.

You can also defer the interest on this card and increase your savings by waiting for a year. When using the credit card, you’ll receive 5% off of every Home Depot purchase if you own a qualifying business.

Save Money By Being Nice To Staff

An employee at Home Depot wears his apron.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

It’ll be worth your while to start a conversation with Home Depot employees. According to Consumer Reports, associate and sales employees are allowed to give a discount of up to $50 without consulting a manager. Of course, you still need a solid reason to receive a cut in the first place.

Higher-up employees can offer you more substantial discounts. The supervisor can discount $100, the assistant manager may remove $500, and the store manager can knock off up to $1,000 without calling the regional director. While this is possible, don’t count on $1,000 off whenever you want it.

Display Furniture May Be Cheaper

Employees of Home Depot sit in display furniture.
Twitter/@Homedepot_6379
Twitter/@Homedepot_6379

Furniture stores are often more willing to discount display furniture since the models are susceptible to damage. Home Depot is no exception. During a sale season, ask an associate if you can buy the display floor furniture for a discounted price.

You’ll have better luck asking during a sale season (like August or late January) than when everything is at a normal price. Since they’re providing items at sale prices anyway, the discount won’t be a huge loss for them. If you want a product that’s not worn or damaged, though, buy the shelf furniture.

Negotiate Damaged Goods

A customer shops for cleaning supplies at Home Depot.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Damaged goods don’t reflect well on a business. As a result, Home Depot is well-known for slashing prices if their products end up damaged. To get the discount, you’ll have to bring the item to customer service within 30 days of purchasing.

You may be surprised what you can get out of this. According to Insider Edition, a customer once received 10% off a kitchen sink for a small box tear. Even so, don’t purposefully damage your products for this! The discount depends on management and their discretion.

Learn Crafting At Home Depot

Kids participate in a crafting class at Home Depot.
Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Do you want to put Home Depot’s products to use by creating crafts? If you want to DIY but don’t know where to start, Home Depot offers classes. These night classes teach kids how to make birdhouses, racecars, picture frames, and more. Home Depot offers adult classes as well.

Most classes land on the first Saturday of each month starting at 9:00 a.m. Even better–all of them are free! Look for the Do-It-Yourself Workshops at your local Home Depot to read a schedule of all classes offered.

Rent Tools Instead Of Buying Them

A woman uses a power drill on a wooden plank.
Tom Lee/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
Tom Lee/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Tools are expensive. If you need a tool for a one-time project, rent it instead. Home Depot rents out power tools, outdoor tools, and moving and lifting equipment. These products are often outdated versions that have been replaced by newer models.

These tools have been used. But unlike other stores, Home Depot has them looked over by a technician before each rental. You can rent tools by the hour, day, week, or month, and the savings will add up. For instance, you may rent a tool for $30 for four hours instead of buying one for $200.

Receive Free Gardening Supplies

A woman snips flowers to arrange in a garden.
Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

If you’re passionate about gardening, you can join Home Depot’s Garden Club. The club is free, and you’ll receive a $5 off coupon once you join. As a member, you’ll receive special sales only available to fellow club members.

Occasionally, the Home Depot Garden Club will send its members free samples. Small packets of seeds and fertilizers will go to members for them to try out. Money Pantry claims that members can save around $300 if they take advantage of the Garden Club.

Coupon Books Are In The Store

A customer sorts through her coupons while shopping.
ASTRID RIECKEN For The Washington Post via Getty Images
ASTRID RIECKEN For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Don’t have a Home Depot coupon in your mail? Sometimes, you can find coupon books inside the store. Check the cleaning aisle and the entrance of the store for coupon books. You might be able to see what’s on sale without even looking online.

If you want coupons emailed to you, join Home Depot’s mailing list. You’ll immediately receive $5 off of a $50 purchase, and you’ll know which products make the Deal of the Day. Plus, you can open coupons on your phone, eliminating the need for a book entirely.

Get Refills Without Going To The Store

A person picks up a Home Depot box that was delivered to their doorstep.
Twitter/@HomeDepot
Twitter/@HomeDepot

If you need new filters every once in a while, you don’t have to visit Home Depot every time. Get a Home Depot subscription that will automatically send you qualifying purchases when you need them. You’ll never have to waste gas money and time on that again.

When you subscribe, you’ll receive 5% off of qualifying products. Shipping is free, and you can return the items at any time. There are no membership fees, and you can customize the frequency of delivery online. It’s a win-win all around.

Home Depot Will Cut Lumber Twice For Free

A Home Depot employee stacks lumber.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

How you buy wood varies on the type. If you want poplar, you buy by the foot; for pine, you purchase in planks. Either way, always opt for more wood rather than less. Home Depot won’t charge you for cutting wood twice. If you need smaller wood planks, ask an employee to cut it for you.

If you want to save more money, search for lumber with a spot of purple spray paint. These pieces are leftover lumber that may sell for up to 70% off. And don’t worry; you can cut off the purple part.

Get 30% Off When You Spend Over $1,500

A Pro Xtra booth is set up in Home Depot.
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If you’re buying over $1,500 worth of supplies, you may want to sign up for Home Depot’s Pro Xtra program. This program is designed for contractors and businesses to save money, but technically, anyone can sign up. Becoming a member will make you eligible for a 30% discount off a purchase of $1,500 or more.

When you want the discount, head to the Pro Services desk, and an employee will create a quote for you. Eligible products for the discount include plumbing, lumber, lighting, and hardware. Appliances and tools are less likely to receive a discount.

Consider The Rebate Center

An employee scans a customer's items at Home Depot.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

If you’re in the market for appliances, check Home Depot’s Rebate Center. Rebates are like discounts you receive after the transaction, which are refunded later. At Home Depot, you may get up to $581 in rebates from refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, and ovens.

The more products you buy that are eligible in rebates, the more money you can potentially get back. For instance, if you bought four appliances from the Rebate Center, each with a max of $581, you could potentially receive $2,000 in rebates.

Opt For Bulk Pricing

Customers load large plants of wood into the trunk of their car.
EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images
EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images

If you have a huge project that requires a lot of supplies, you have an option to save. Next to the regular price, a product’s tag will list a “bulk price.” These prices are usually lower–up to 30% lower than the regular price!

Home Depot takes “bulk” seriously. You’ll usually need to buy 20 or more of the product (such as wood, tile, soil, etc.) to qualify for bulk pricing. Over 4,000 products provide bulk pricing, so if you need a lot of supplies, take advantage of this deal!

Buy Holiday Items After The Holidays

A woman walks by Christmas merchandise offered for sale at a Home Depot.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Although it may seem counter-productive, buy your holiday decorations after the season ends. These products get discounts up to 50% off since employees are trying to get rid of their excess items. Most clearance holiday supplies are by the Home Depot Pro Desk.

The longer after the holiday, the more discounts you’ll see. For instance, Christmas decorations may go up to 75% off after the new year. Wait three weeks, and you may see up to 90% holiday decor, although the products will be picked through at that point.

Learn When You Can Get A Price Adjustment

An employee enters digits on his card to pay at Home Depot.
MediaNews Group/Contra Costa Times via Getty Images
MediaNews Group/Contra Costa Times via Getty Images

If you buy a product from Home Depot, and the same product goes on sale within 30 days after you bought it, you’ll eligible for a discount. Home Depot will price match the on-sale item, and you’ll receive the difference. But how do you know when your item goes on sale? Through receipt-tracking apps.

Apps like Paribus track receipts that are sent through your email. If the product goes on sale within a month, the app will notify you. Then you can request a price adjustment and receive a refund.

Don’t Buy These Products At Home Depot

An employee stacks trash bags in Home Depot.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

While Home Depot has great prices on many products, it doesn’t offer the best deals on everything. For instance, Kohl’s and Hobby Lobby have better prices on silverware and wall art. Smaller kitchen appliances, like grilling accessories and vacuums, sell for lower prices at Walmart.

Although Home Depot gives a good deal on moving trucks, you may not want to buy moving boxes there. At $1.48 for a medium box, they’re expensive. Petsmart, Target, and Dollar Tree usually provide free moving boxes if you ask.