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Pull My Hinge
MyHomeHardware - We saved money by cross-border shopping in the United States for 96 hinges and 48 cabinet pulls, when we recently gave our kitchen a face lift. Total cost: a little over $100 CAD. Savings by not buying from Home Depot Canada? $500!! Outrageous.
A U.S./Canada Cross-border Shopping Tale
We've been in our "new" (24-year-old), Vancouver Island home for a year and a bit. The galley style kitchen is a traffic jam, drives us nuts and needs a complete renovation. Unfortunately, we have neither the funds - nor the time - to embark on such an expensive and extensive project, at the moment. So, instead, we've satisfied ourselves by painting the (dark forest green) cabinet doors, using a lighter earth-tone melamine paint ("Cozy Cottage") and replacing the old cabinet hardware with something more modern and brighter.
Having a major kitchen renovation under my belt (I completely gutted and re-built the kitchen in my 1940's California bungalow-style craftsman home), I had some idea of the costs associated with cabinets and cabinet hardware. After we counted the number of pull/hinge sets we'd need - forty eight - we took a trip down to the local Home Depot hardware store to purchase some simple, brushed chrome wire pulls and matching hinges. That's when the project stalled, because after a rough tally, we were looking at about a $400 bill and Scott said, "No way! That's outrageous!"
This is the tale of how we bought our pulls and hinges from an eBay company in the United States, for a fraction of the cost that Home Depot wanted for similar items. Chock up another success for cross-border shopping. It's thumbs down for Home Depot Canada for not being competitive and a big thumbs up for MyHomeHardware for their accurate product description, prompt shipping, reasonable shipping costs, product prices and customer service!
March isn't the best time to begin a big painting project around here, but Rachel had some vacation time and really wanted to get the kitchen cabinets changed out ... so damn the torpedoes, it was full steam ahead!
The family pitched in to remove all the cabinet doors and drawer faces. Rachel then spent several days, sanding all of the cabinets. She worked in a cloud of green dust, on the gravel driveway and for many weeks it (and the patio) were tinged with forest green. The Oop tried to help, but sanding demanded the attention span and coordination she lacked, but she was happy enough to help out by brushing the dust, from the cabinet faces (for about 20 minutes, then she migrated to the boat to pretend she was Captain Oop, "Argh, Matey!", or off to push her tricycle around the yard and decorate it with twigs, pine cones and other found objects!)
The project spanned into April, as the living room was overrun by partially painted cabinet doors and polyurethane covered drawers. The weather was too wet and cold to paint outdoors and the "open time" of the melamine paint spanned into hours, which would mean pine needles, bugs and other stuff that falls or flies, would end up on our kitchen cabinets. Yuck!
Rachel painted each cabinet face with two or three coats of melamine paint (we were going from darker to lighter) and Scott was keen on giving the drawers a face-lift with sanding and several coats of polyurethane.
After the project stalled at Home Depot, because of outrageous prices for cabinet hardware, we put the essential cabinets and drawers back together, using the old hardware. Most of the other cabinets have been stacked to the side and we've been living open cupboards since, while we investigated less expensive options, locally and online.
The Hunt for Home Hardware:
(Tale of the Tape)
We started out looking for simple wire pulls and matching hinges. Initially, we wanted a "brushed chrome" or "matte chrome" finish. We had a hard time finding such a finish everywhere and learned that a "nickel" finish is also available (a tad darker, but acceptably similar).
The first thing we learned, at Home Depot, was that what they had available online and what they had in the store were two different things. When we mentioned this to the guy in the kitchen section at our local store, he said, "The Online store inventory isn't the same as ours," (mumbling something about the fact that they're not affiliated or run by the same organization).
Our first take was, "Huh?" It makes no sense to us, as Home Depot is Home Depot and you'd think there would be an affiliation!!
Be that as it may, while nickel wire pulls (and hinges) are available at the local store, we couldn't find them online. For comparison, we're mixing and matching the finishes, but the prices are nearly the same anyway, so it's a moot point.
Presently, at the Home Depot Canada website, you can purchase a 3-inch CC Brushed Chrome wire pull for $3.22 each. Ironically, I can't find a hinge with a finish to match, but I did find a "Flush, Self-Closing Hinge" in a brushed nickel finish (by a different company). The price is $3.98 and what's truly shocking, is that they come one per package. That's $8 for two hinges and we'd need 48 such pairs!!
Firstly, it's astounding to me that one can't find wire pulls with a matching hinge finish, but it borders on criminal that two simple hinges cost $8!! (I even called the 800-628-0525 ordering assistance telephone number, to verify this fact. It's true! Ouch!)
I had to go through the checkout process, in order to get a final tally, including shipping and taxes ... $19.72 shipping, $27.82 GST & $38.95 PST. For those keeping score at home, we're talking about a grand total of $624.13 to change our old dingy hinges to something simple and modern. Ey Carumba!
Fortunately, prices at the local Home Depot store were better, though we still had the problem of mis-matching finishes. (Chrome pulls were $3.78 each and a 10-pair contractor pack of brushed nickel flush-mount hinges was approximately $38.00). There wouldn't be any shipping charges, but the taxes would still apply. We estimated that it would cost us $416, if we shopped locally.
This was still much more than I was willing to pay and after a bit of Internet searching, I found similar hinges and satin nickel pulls at an eBay store called "MyHomeHardware". The quality appeared identical and they had matching 'satin nickel' finishes for both the Torino Cabinet Drawer Pulls and Flush Satin Nickel Cabinet Hinges. What was more astounding? The price! The drawer pulls were $0.82 USD each and the hinges were less than a $1.00 USD per pair (25-pack).
We purchased the items off the eBay store and shipping/handling (to our Canadian address), which we had to inquire about, was $24.95. (Instead of shipping directly to our Canadian address, we had some U.S. friends make the purchase. They repackaged the items and shipped them up to us as a "house-warming gift", (which meant that no PST, GST or duties had to be paid). For a little over $100, we were able to replace our old, dingy hinges and put on bright, sleek new ones! Now that's reasonable, eh?
Cross-border Shopping Conclusion
The United States has roughly ten times more people than Canada and provides a much more efficient marketplace. NAFTA is supposed to level the consumer playing field, opening up borders for Mexico, U.S. and Canada, however, it's been my repeated observation that things just cost more in Canada, than the United States. If NAFTA isn't working, the Internet IS!
A note to Canadian businesses ... not everyone is going to be willing to pay 50%, 100% or even (in this case) 600% more, just to shop in Canada. That's plain crazy!! Your marketplace extends across the U.S. border, and with the loonie on par with the U.S. dollar for the first time in nearly 30 years ... you're going to be losing more business, if you don't competitively price your products.