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  1. #1
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Support your LHWS

    Being BikeForums, there is a fair amount of talk about supporting your Local Bike Shop (LBS). Recently, a hardware store opened up near my home. Not a home improvement warehouse, a hardware store. Granted, it is a chain (Ace), but each Ace is an independently owned franchise, and this one is in fact locally owned.

    Here is what I liked about it: I rode my Schwinn Varsity there and parked it just inside the door. No objection, but the cashier remarked, "Nice bike!" I could take the whole place in with just a quick one or two minute walk around. During those two minutes, three different people asked if I needed help finding anything. When I was done just soaking the place in, I told the third guy what I needed and he knew exactly where it was. I quickly found the other items I was looking for and was on my way.

    I stopped by a few days later (this time in my car), and one of the clerks asked where my bike was. I thought that was cool.

    Their prices are competitive, and they have everything I could possibly need, short of actual building supplies. I'd much rather get it at a small, locally-owned business than have to wade into Home Depot and search in vain for either the one thing I need or an employee that has a clue.

    So yeah, I look forward to supporting my Local Hardware Store.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  2. #2
    Mystery Meat gitarzan's Avatar
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    I go to Ace (Zettler's Hardware, here) for some stuff. I find a limited selection, no designer stuff, lotsa old old stuff in certain catgories.

    Now, what I DO like is a whole row of fasteners, etc., all sold by the piece. Nuts, bolts, screws, washers, spacers, ad infinitum, all sold individually. You go to Lowes, Home Depot, and it's a lot more limited and sold in bags of 2 to 100.

    Also Ace has a bunch of old guys going out of their way to help me. The other places have helpful staff, if you can find one and have time to stand in line.
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  3. #3
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    I hit the Ace in Palo Alto sometimes if I need something small and can get it on the way home. OSH (started here in SJ, but is all over the state now) is my favorite, though.
    --Ben
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  4. #4
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    This LHWS, by the way, just had their grand opening. They moved into a CVS Drug Store building that closed a few years back. That's another reason I like it- it's NOT another drug store.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  5. #5
    Mystery Meat gitarzan's Avatar
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    CVS and Walgreens is another story. There's one each on almost every corner here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jseis View Post
    Is a ukulele player in a mandolin town and banned from all bars by the chief of police unless he leaves his strings and gravy at the front door.

  6. #6
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    I've put the local hardware store owner's kids through college, but yeah, I saw the coolest hardware store go out of business when the Home Depot went up in Durango. This was the specialty place that had all the small bits that HD deems not worth carrying. Fortunately Kroeger's survived, though I wish they'd focus 100% on hardware instead of housewares, toys and miscellany.

    What I truly miss are the contractor-only specialty stores I went to growing up in SoCal. It was the one way a quality builder could have some exclusivity and buy top notch materials, supplies, tools and hardware to set their work apart from the mass tract-hacks. Building went way downhill once it became based on the bottom dollar.
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  7. #7
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gitarzan View Post
    Now, what I DO like is a whole row of fasteners, etc., all sold by the piece. Nuts, bolts, screws, washers, spacers, ad infinitum, all sold individually. You go to Lowes, Home Depot, and it's a lot more limited and sold in bags of 2 to 100.
    this is why i go to ace, although I try to buy some other things there too because i'm not sure those will pay the rent. If they would just merge with radioshack and have electronics + hardware...

  8. #8
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    Ditto on Ace. Walk the whole store in 2minutes tops. And it's rare not to get help within a couple minutes. I always go there for the oddball nut/bolt...stainless stuff for the bikes--they always have it and it's reasonably priced. We have a Lowes and a large regional chain but I don't bother with things like that because if they'd even have it I'd have to buy a box of 50pcs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    Their prices are competitive, and they have everything I could possibly need, short of actual building supplies.
    Really?

    The Ace by my house costs triple what Home Depot costs, and they never have anything I need. There is also a mom-n-pop/non-chain hardware store by my house that costs even more and has even less, except for some tiny tie-downs that I needed--and they cost $5 each while Home Depot had the huge ones for $3 each. (Too bad I didn't need the huge ones, as I needed eight of 'em!)

  10. #10
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    I try and support the smaller family owned businesses of any sort. I tried to support the local Ace, but the service there is too bad to deal with them for most things. The Ace near the GF is another story, they've got great service.

  11. #11
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    In my experience the value of local hardware stores really depends on the situation you're in. When I was working in South Dakota it was great, they were around the corner and I could run in and grab stuff at a moments notice. The only issue was the small number of things they kept in stock. Several times I had to get 2 or 3 fittings or adapters to create the one they didn't have in stock. Here in Lafayette when I need small parts I go there so that I can buy just one of something. The staff is friendly and helpful, although the prices aren't great. I remember going in for double thickness glass at some point and hearing the price on what I thought was a 6 inch square. I remember thinking it was a bit low, but seemed reasonable....and then found out that was per square INCH of glass.
    On the other hand, when I was working in Indianapolis the service was still good, but the location wasn't. The people were just as helpful, but unless I needed something RIGHT NOW, it wasn't worth the trouble. They were 15 minutes away rather than 5, and honestly the prices are pretty high. A lot of the time I could buy a box of something from McMaster for the same price of 2 or 3 at Ace, have it on my desk at 11AM the next day. Plus I didn't have to go get it.

  12. #12
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    Big boxes distort the true cost of goods.

  13. #13
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Our local Ace just went belly up. Had been there for years and was a great little neighborhood store with excellent service, glass cutting, locksmith, etc all in one place. There is also a small chain of stores in the Dallas area called Elliots Hardward, that are under the TrueValue banner I believe. Excellent service and selection as well, but a bit out of the way and a bit spendier than the big box stores. Elliots even has a battery rebuilding center inhouse. They rebuilt the batteries for my Makita and although cosmetically they are not that nice, they perform well still.
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  14. #14
    rue the whirl motobeCarnage's Avatar
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    I've got a good ace in the town I live in south of Tallahassee. If I don't have anything better to do on saturday (my girlfriend has to work :/) I get up and head to ace! I've had a few diy projects on the table recently too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mumonkan View Post
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  15. #15
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    I go to the local Ace whenever I need keys made. They won't charge me until they know that it works, even if it means I have to go home, try the key, and then go back and report yea or nay. Beyond that, I try to give as much business as I can to a local "farm and ranch store" chain named Atwoods.
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  16. #16
    GATC
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    There is an Ace near my house, they cost more than Lowe's or HD but they always have anything I could ever want (unlike the 2 big boxes). And I like them so I always go there if I can help it.

  17. #17
    Old Fogy
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    There was a nice little Ace a couple of blocks from my house. Home Dump moved in a couple of miles away and they went out of business. That was three or four years ago, and I still miss them.

  18. #18
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I think it's interesting that the Ace by me just moved in with other stores going belly up. When HD opened nearby, a local store, Ambruster's, went belly up. They had been a neighborhood institution, and slugged it out with HD for several years before calling it quits.

    I think the new Ace might make it though. They truly are a neighborhood store, in a "seam" between several HDs & Lowes (i.e., 3+ miles from several big boxers, all of which are in crowded retail areas while this one is surrounded by residential neighborhoods).
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    My local Ace charges more than Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, or Mills. But they are a 5 minute walk as opposed toa 15 -20 minute drive. The convenience makes it worth it. They also seem to have the most knowledgeable jelp
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

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