I mean I just came back from there and they threw in a pretty dang nice 25’ rubbered-armored tape measure for spending $2.16. I’ve seen the same tape measure going for close to $4 IIRC not on sale. I mean I almost feel embarrassed. I don’t know how many of those freebie 9-Led lights I must have in the garage too. I’ve lost count. But let me just make one very clear point: I will never buy a 3 x AAA carrier from anybody unless it’s really the shizz. x
Case in point, there was some guy I saw recently while checking out had like a $0.49 cent item in his mitts. Then he whips out the 20% off coupon and the cashier lady hands him a DMM that goes for $3.99. I think even she gave him a look. What a cheap bassturd. He at least coulda spent $2.16. It’s one hell of a business model but hey it must be workin’ ’cause they just opened up another store about 4 miles from the current store that already goes gangbusters.
So all these freebies kinda must give ya some hint what they cost to make in China one supposes? :bigsmile:
Don’t get me wrong, I love the place for its wide range of crapaphenalia but once in awhile especially when they’re practically giving away Taiwanese-made stuff, then Katie-Bar-The-Door, I really go nutz.
The only other conclusion I can come to is they must lose money on every purchase but make it up in volume.
*SCARU’S FULL OF SMELLY ELECTRONS!!! Now say this 15 times, click yer heels, and wish……………
I bet I have a pair of HF scissors in every single drawer. It’s almost this bad: “Honey, could ya please go over there and grab me a pair of scissors outta that drawer?” “Go grab em’ yerself ya lazy bassturd. There’s a pair stuck behind your big fat ear!”
And ya know what, they’re practically indestructable too.
I got other HF stories, like the special ones involving those early-morning Parking Lot blow-out sales.
I’ve managed to break a couple of pair. Well, I did one cutting stainless steel with a sledgehammer on the handles. The air conditioner guys somehow broke another pair. That’s OK, I have around 30 pairs still in the package.
And a Harbor Freight salesman let slip the secret of their low prices… “When you have an army of political prisoner slave laborers working for free, things get cheap” Ever since then, they have been known to me as the CPPSLTS… Chinese Political Prisoner Slave Labor Tool Store.
That pretty much sums it up. I got one of those free flashlights a few weeks back. And although I have to admit that it puts out more light than the mini showerheads of yesteryear, that thing is downright CHEAP! The aluminum is almost as thin as foil. And for batteries, it uses heavy duty batteries. I mean, they don’t even give it to you with alkaleaks. I’m guessing they probably get these things for no more than 50 cents apiece. That makes it quite worthwhile for them to give one away for free with every purchase. Especially if doing this sort of thing can actually generate some return business.
We each scored a 25’ tape measure! I got the same plumbers multi cleaner brush that Lowes wanted 12 bucks for $1.79, less 20% of course! Harbor Freight is great, just don’t buy anything with moving parts.
I was at a friends house the other day and his 80 year old father asks me “do you have any vises” Well I got embarrassed until I realized he was talking about a bench vise. Anyway, I answered yes. He then asked me “what brand is it”, I answered I don’t know. “How long have you had it” I answered 40 years. He then mocked me (kidding of course) “How can you have a bench vise for 40 years and not know anything about it?”
He asked me what color it was and told me it was probably a Charles Parker (He was right).
It seems that there are Viseaholics out there and they even have Forums on the stuff! That Charles Parker vise was given to my father as a “gold watch” when he retired from his machinist job! That vise is worth $300-$400!
Forget about buying a new vise these days, everything I see is junk in comparison. It might be possible to find an old vise on craigslist for a decent price if you are lucky. There are people out there that collect them!
Here is a Craigslist ad for a Charles Parker, asking price is $2200.00!!!
What I most like about Harbor Freight is their incredibly low prices on power tools. Like a cordless driver for $20. Granted, these are cheap chinese tools. But for a beater tool that can be used and abused and possibly damaged or stolen without causing too much economic loss, they’re great. I wish I could find an equivalent online store that ships for free directly from China, since there’s no Harbor Freight in the country where I live.
I buy a lot from Harbor Freight, but I never take the flashlights, even when they are free. I used the coupon for a free DMM once, but it's still in the package; it's just a backup in case mine fails. I've got a lot of stuff from there: I have their electric chainsaw for small-scale cutting and it's surprisingly powerful - $35 after coupon. I have their 1/2" Electric impact; I think it was ~$25 w/coupon and it's worked great with my limited use rotating tires on my vehicles. I have their $12-14 41/2" angle grinder which has worked well for me, again with limited use. I purchased their electronic auto-muting earmuffs for $14 and I love those... Great for shooting...
I have a coupon for their 36" belt/disc tabletop sander for $55 right now and am hoping to grab that one for myself after Christmas. Lot's of miscellaneous purchases too; I like their long-bladed screwdrivers (the good heavy-duty ones), the dental picks, cheap exacto-type knives, etc. My wife likes the 3-D wood insect models and has built every one of those. She's also purchased a lot of their odd tools to use for cake decorating.
Don’t sell that DMM short, the only weak spots are the selector switch and the leads. Digital electronics are easy to make.
I once read that cheap digital watches keep just as good time as the expensive ones. The difference is the interface in and out of the electronics (buttons and jewelery).
When a local HF opened around here they were selling that DMM for $1. I bought about 20. They are certainly good enough for what I do. When I do tail cap measurements though I use a better meter (the leads are better for measuring amperage). Those DMM’s are easily tested for accuracy, and they are.