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Craftsman and Lowe's

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  • #16
    Amazon has been successful partly because of quick shipping. It really satisfies the instant gratification we have come to expect from watching too much TV. Amazon also partnered with many existing retailers and still does.

    Contrast Amazon with two other companies I'm doing business with these days. Both selling gun related stuff. Both have shipping real slow. Amazon has 2 day Prime.

    I'm sad to see Sears go. I have spent plenty of money there over the years but most recently I've patronized a local independent Sears store. I stopped buying their hand tools years ago about the time I started collecting Snap-on and Mac. Meanwhile Craftsman went through several design changes to their ratchets and each installment was lower in quality than the previous. 12 days ago when we needed to replace our clothes washer after over 23 years Sears didn't even get a look. News of the out of business fueled that.
    just another brick in the wall...


    • #17
      Originally posted by LCHIEN View Post

      That happened two years ago. see this thread
      I saw that, I meant that I did not see it in this thread as it sounded like some were unaware of it. Apparently, Stanley is using different manufacturers to make the same Craftsman branded tools as Sears. A quick look at Amazon just showed third party sellers of Craftsman hand tools. It will be interesting to see how the lifetime warranty will play out with the possible (probable?) liquidation. Who made it? Who warranties it? Nobody? Already got robbed once on the Penncraft tools lifetime warranty when JC Penney decided to get out of the tool business.

      In a recent survey, 4 out of 5 hammers preferred thumbs.


      • #18
        for now the Craftsman website which presumably is controlled by Stanley/B&D says the handtool lifetime unlimited warranty is still in effect.
        I think that is the hall mark of craftsman, as they started it.
        I'm sure if Stanley (which manufactures handtools galore) has a cheaper supplier than C'man, they will eventually change over as volume is the name of the game.
        HOw this will affect the warranty, I don't know. ALso the proliferation of small dealers rather than a few large retail stores, ho will that affect the ability of John Doe walking in with a broken wrench and getting a replacement.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ -


        • #19
          Wasn't Sears the ultimate in instant gratification? Much more so than Amazon? These days almost everything on Amazon is 2-3 days away. With Sears you'd see something in the catalog, drive down and touch it, then take it home. Instant gratification. With Amazon I guess there's the Christmas angle where I forget I ordered it and now I get a nice surprise. Or maybe I'm just getting old and forgetful.

          I have a very old Craftsman socket wrench with a problem. Guess I'll go to the site and see what I need to do to fix it.


          • LCHIEN
            LCHIEN commented
            Editing a comment
            At the Sears Hardware store near me I see them repairing broken ratchets behind the counter - I guess they have the internal ratchet parts of the old ones.

        • #20
          I don’t look for the Craftsman tool warranty to be worth much at some of the small dealers. Early last year I asked the owner of our local Ace Hdw. about Craftsman Warranty, that I had several busted sockets and damaged screwdrivers. He hymmed and hawed around for a while and finally said he would let me know. It didn’t sound like they had a set procedure of returning damaged warranty tools to the distributor. I guess he figured it would be a nickel out of his pocket to have to order a replacement tool that he swapped out for the damaged tool. This same mentality goes for the warranty replacement for Big Green Egg parts. I asked the same store owner about how he warrantied BGE parts and he said he would order the parts at no charge to me but I would have to pay the freight....freight charge would usually be more than the part because of the weight... same story I have been told at some other BGE dealers. When I went to a larger BGE dealer and asked the same question I was told no problem, show the damaged part or a photo of it and he would hand me a new replacement part, no freight charge. When I discussed this issue with this dealer he said that warranty replacement parts are delivered to the stores at the same time as the new merchandise is and there is not a freight charge, that the people that told me there was a freight charge were probably pocketing the freight charge, because they resent customers buying from one store and coming to them for warranty replacement...... which would be the case with Craftsman warranty. This Ace store is now closed, I guess you can only be so cheap before all of your loyal customers have enough and go to the big box stores.


          • #21
            I asked our closest Ace about it a few years ago. They said "only if you bought it here" and they wanted a receipt. Stupid. It would be extremely rare for me to walk into a hardware store and not buy SOME stuff while I'm there. It's also stupid in the sense that it teaches me to go elsewhere first when I need help.

            I need to go to Lowe's later today, I'm going to take my broken wrench with me and ask them about their policy. The wrench is too old to replace with an identical one, and I doubt Lowe's is doing what the Sears stores did, which is to hand you a rebuild kit.


            • #22
              I decided to send a text message to Lowe's and ask. That was a waste.

              Me: Hi, can you tell me what your policy is on exchanging Craftsman hand tools with a lifetime warranty? Particularly ones not purchased at your stores?

              Lowe's: Absolutely, If the craftsman product was purchased from Lowe's just simple return it any Lowe's for assistance with replacement under the warranty. If its a Craftsman product not purchased from Lowe's, let refer you to the Craftsman Customer Service line @ 888-331-4569 or at

              Me: That web site says that it can be returned to “any stocking retail partner.” So you’re saying that Lowe’s doesn’t handle any non-Lowes warranty, right?

              And from there it went round and round with me referring them back to the site saying that "any stocking partner" can exchange it and them telling me to refer back to that site. Finally they said:

              yes, what you just sent me is correct: Return damaged product to a stocking Retail Partner or call 1-888-331-4569 for details. No proof of purchase required. However I do not know if we (Lowe's) is a stocking partner for that particular craftsman tool you have. But if you will contact the dedicated Craftsman Customer Service line @ 888-331-4569 they can assist you with all craftsman products regardless of the retailer or the purchase date. If you would like to, you could take the tool you have a question about to your local Lowe's customer service desk and they could assist you with identify the tool and assist with replacement.


              • #23
                Here's another great way that retail stores are assuring their demise; making it hard to see what's in stock locally, and pushing you to mail order. No thanks, in most cases the ONLY reason I'd buy from them is for pickup right now. Most of them simply can't compete on price and service with places like Amazon. So the only purpose the site has for me is to show stock. And most either do a poor job of it, or don't do it at all. I just went to the West Marine site to see if they had HDPE (Starboard) sheets in stock at my local store. There's no way to know. In the filters there's nothing like "show local stock." I can see that if they do have it, then it's much more than Amazon. So I just ordered it from Amazon and it arrives on Friday. WM shipping was showing 3-7 days. Nope.


                • #24
                  I decided to just go to Sears because I was going to be at the whisky store in the same parking lot anyway. Stock is a disaster, I'd be surprised if even 50% of the items in tools/garden/outdoor are in stock. The store was still messy even if half-empty. The lady at the tool register was SUPER nice though, and helpful. She set to work on replacing the guts of my dead ratchet while I looked around. They no longer make the tool tote that I have, only smaller ones. ****. When I came back she was having trouble with the spring going back in. She apologized, and asked if I'd be OK with a brand new ratchet instead. Sure. She gave me the option of the "direct" replacement or a slightly nicer one with a nice ergonomic grip and tighter ratchet teeth, which is what I went with. Overall, a good experience.


                  • #25
                    One of the BIG problems with Sears was when they made the decision that "Catalog" was a separate entity. I recall many times going to my local store and be told that, "we don't carry that, it's catalog!" First time that happened was when I wanted a case for my Craftsman torque wrench, and was told it was only in catalog and I'd have to order it from there. That seemed to happen more and more as the months went by. Then the store stopped carrying specialty catalogs, like "Craftsman". It was like a WTH moment, as I used to look forward to picking one up every season, and was then being told I had to order it in order to get one. A year or two after that they did away with catalogs altogether.

                    Radio Shack did that too, several years later and it wasn't all that long that they folded. Catalogs were a lot like browsing on the web, actually better IMO as you didn't need to have to sit with a computer or tablet.

                    But just think about it: If you've got all the logistics together like Sears had to produce a catalog, how very easy it would have been to go digital. It seems a giant testimony to managements ignorance to not have seen the advantage well before Amazon took hold.

                    Think it Through Before You Do!


                    • LCHIEN
                      LCHIEN commented
                      Editing a comment
                      You can take a catalog to the John with you. But nowadays you can take a tablet, there, too.
                      Last edited by LCHIEN; 01-10-2019, 03:27 AM.

                  • #26
                    It is like Sears management was living in a vacuum and had never heard of the Internet.


                    • #27
                      I think the small stores that don't carry the full line of C'man tools will have a hard time replacing the items that have gone bad,
                      Somehow I just don't see it, since like Lowes, that also carry Kobalt and Stanley hand tools I just don't see them carrying enough C'man inventory to be able to replace any C'man tool on demand. ANd they're not going to give you the Kobalt equivalent!

                      When Sears was exclusive for C'man and vice versa, dealers had a incentive to make the warranty work because it made you a loyal C'man customer and you would have to come to his store. Now a Ace or Lowes salesperson is less inclined to need to make that warranty work for both parties, for him its a liability and he'd be just as happy selling you Kobalt or Stanley.

                      Ultimately the things that made Craftsman were:
                      the warranty
                      The fact that if it said craftsman on it you bought it from sears and there was no need to have a receipt or proof of purchase
                      readily available at well stocked Sears and Sears hardware stores instant gratification.
                      Fairly dependable quality
                      Broad line - they had everything.
                      Last edited by LCHIEN; 01-10-2019, 03:36 AM.
                      Loring in Katy, TX USA
                      If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                      BT3 FAQ -


                      • #28
                        "They had everything."

                        Brings back memories of a garage full of nearly only Craftsman.