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

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.

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

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.

You Can Return Dead Plants

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.

A wilted potted plant is seen.

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

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.

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

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

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!

A paintbrush is dipped into a bucket of white paint.
Maurizio Gambarini/picture alliance via Getty Images
Adrian Sherratt/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

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

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.

Tables at the ends of aisles in Home Depot offer sales.

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

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.

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

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

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.

A Redditor points out a Lowe'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

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%.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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

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.

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

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

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.

An employee scans items as customers buy goods at a Home Depot.
David McNew/Getty Images
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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.

Get A Credit Card And A Discount

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.

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

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.

Buy Kitchen And Bath Supplies In Winter

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.

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

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.

Save Money By Being Nice To Staff

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.

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

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.

Pennying Out

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.

home depot shopping cart
CapitalOne Shopping
CapitalOne Shopping

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.

Display Furniture May Be Cheaper

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.

Employees of Home Depot sit in display furniture.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

A person picks up a Home Depot box that was delivered to their doorstep.

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

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.

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

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

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.

A Pro Xtra booth is set up in Home Depot.

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

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.

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

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

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!

Customers load large plants of wood into the trunk of their car.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

You Can Get In Without A Membership

If you aren’t prepared to commit to a yearlong membership, get someone you know with a membership (we’re looking at you, mom) to get you a Costco gift card.


You don’t need a membership to use it and you can still access the full store without any questions.

It’s Not The End Of The World If You Miss A Sale

If you hate frequenting Costco or don’t like flipping through the fliers, then don’t worry, you can still get the best price. While Costco doesn’t price match any other retailers, you can get a price cut within 30 days if an item you bought goes on sale later.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

All you have to do is put in a simple request online.

Learn The Layout

Every Costco is a little different, and they change around item placement everyday, but there are some general rules to know. Food aisles and household goods are on opposite sides of the store.


The bakery, deli, and produce all are located at the back of the store. In the middle is all the clothing, snacks, books, and gift cards. Master this information and you’ll be successful every time.

Look For An Asterisk On The Price Tags

If you see a tiny asterisk in the upper right corner of the price tag, that means the Costco location won’t be getting that item restocked. It’s basically a way to show customers if you want it, buy it now.


The asterisks are usually found on seasonal items that won’t be back for a while.

The Gift Card Section Is A Hidden Gem

I can honestly say that I don’t even know where the gift card section is in my local Costco, but experts say the deals are incredible. They have everything from 2-for-1 movie passes to discounted admissions to local attractions.


If you know you’ll be going to a restaurant or movie in the future, why not buy ahead?

Fill Up At The Costco Gas Bar Before Shopping

Those long lines are daunting, but the price is worth it. Costco gas bars have extremely competitive pricing, and will save you money in the long run.

Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images
Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images

You need to fill up before you shop though, so that you’re not wasting precious time in line while your frozen items are melting in the trunk.

Yes, You Can Take More Than One Sample

Parents always try to make it seem like there’s an unwritten rule that you can’t take more than one sample of crackers, cheesecake, or whatever it is they’re handing out. The truth is, they’ll give you as many as you want.


You just have to be able to swallow your pride and keep going back for more.

Tuesday And Wednesday Mornings Are The Best Time To Shop

A lot of people hate shopping at Costco because it’s so busy, but it’s not always like that. The busiest times to shop are weekends and right before holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.


The quietest times to shop are Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, which means they’re the perfect time to scope out deals.

The Better Deals Are Down The Aisles

The items placed at the front of the store and on the ends of aisles may seem like the best deals, but they’re really just there to get your attention. The best deals are usually found in the aisles.

Dominic Bracco II for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Dominic Bracco II for The Washington Post via Getty Images

That means you’ll have to do some searching to find the best bargains.

Don’t Bother Buying Brand Name Household Products

Yes, Costco has incredible deals on brand name items, but their discount brand Kirkland is just as good, if not better. People swear that the Kirkland toilet paper is better than Cottonelle and half the price. Even the Kirkland batteries are made by Duracell.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

You’re already buying in bulk, why not buy the bargain brand too?

While many Costco customers may assume that a store employee checks your receipt and cart upon leaving to make sure you didn’t shoplift, that’s not the case. As it turns out, there are two reasons that Costco checks your items and receipt at the exit. The first is that they want to make sure that they stay on top of their inventory, and the receipt correctly matches the number of items in your cart.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

The second, is that Costco wants to make sure that you’re not overcharged or undercharged at check-out. A former employee shared on Quora, “Surprisingly, in my 12 years working at Costco, the receipt checkers prevented theft at the door by checking a receipt a grand total of zero times… They did, however, discover a discrepancy on the receipt about two times an hour.”

They Move Items For A “Treasure Hunt”

Yes, that’s the actual word Costco uses to talk about the fact that you can never find anything in there. They choose to move the stock around so much so that you have to scan a bunch of items just to find the peanut butter.

Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images
Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images

If you don’t want to risk making impulse buys, ask an employee to direct you to where the item is now.

Never Buy Soda From Costco

One of the few things that are better to buy in a normal grocery store is soda. Soda is what most supermarkets call a “loss leader.” That means they sell it way below cost just to draw people into the store.


Even though it’s incredibly cheap, Costco is still selling the soda at cost.

Ask The Roadshows How Long They’ll Be There

Roadshows will go in and out of Costco, and they all stay for different amounts of times. Lindt, Krispy Kreme, and even items like specialty bedsheets will set up roadshow displays that rarely last more than a few weeks.


Either stock up now, or ask how long they’ll be in store so you don’t miss the deals.

Costco Hot Dogs Are So Cheap To Attract Customers

Half the point of making a trip to Costco is to get the super cheap jumbo hot dog and soda combo for only $1.50. Costco doesn’t exactly make a huge profit off the deal, but they know it gets customers in the doors.


For many people, having such a cheap meal on hand (especially if shopping with kids) helps justify the annual membership fees.

You Can Fill Your Prescription Without A Membership

There’s no membership required to go in and fill a prescription at the Costco pharmacy. Just walk in and tell the greeter what you’re doing, and you’ll have no problem.

Toronto Star Archives/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Toronto Star Archives/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The Costco pharmacy also touts lower dispensing fees than any other drugstore, so you’ll be saving money in the long run.