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Old 12-13-2020, 06:12 PM   #21
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95% or more of everything at HF is made in China. Take into account the tariffs, Covid supply issues in China, shipping issues at our ports due to Covid, and then our own Trucking industry being pushed to the limit. In NY they haven't changed their pricing, but we have all noticed that the stores are now very poorly stocked. I actually prefer their Pittsburgh Mechanics tool boxes over the Craftsman (my 7'+ tall tool box is a mix of both).
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Old 12-13-2020, 06:43 PM   #22
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BeachB.... I agree with you. I'm a dedicated Harbor Freight fan and a retired retailer and I see the signs I dread which include backing away from killer deals in cheap flyers and moving towards promoting higher priced goods from more line of higher "quality" private label goods. It may be Covid and the lack of a viable DotCom business that has forced these changes...and it may also be due to massive disruption in their old supply chain but once this Virus is over, I'd be happy to see them put it back the way it was!
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Old 12-13-2020, 06:56 PM   #23
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Is it really a discount if everyone gets it ? I made fun of the quality for years but now they have improved and the other stores have decreased their quality . It is kinda wash now .
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Old 12-13-2020, 07:03 PM   #24
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Is it really a discount if everyone gets it ? I made fun of the quality for years but now they have improved and the other stores have decreased their quality . It is kinda wash now .
Use of the 15 percent off or 20 percent off coupons is not a discount. Failure to use the coupons is a surcharge. People who don’t make the effort to use the coupon(s) voluntarily pay more than necessary for the item(s).
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Old 12-13-2020, 07:37 PM   #25
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I've bought HF for years. They used to sell fairly technical tools, but they don't anymore. With the advent of Amazon I usually can get an equal or better deal there. I don't use their stores as live far away. They charge for their shipping, and when you add that in I do better on Amazon. Their coupons are almost useless anymore. Too many restrictions especially when you are catalogue ordering. I go elsewhere these days. Better deals to be had.
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:46 PM   #26
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BeachB.... I agree with you. I'm a dedicated Harbor Freight fan and a retired retailer and I see the signs I dread which include backing away from killer deals in cheap flyers and moving towards promoting higher priced goods from more line of higher "quality" private label goods. It may be Covid and the lack of a viable DotCom business that has forced these changes...and it may also be due to massive disruption in their old supply chain but once this Virus is over, I'd be happy to see them put it back the way it was!
I think your background has provided good insight. Same for the other poster who mentioned tariffs.

I have a HF close by. The store location used to be a Sears Outlet location, and is fairly roomy. It's now packed with their 'Icon' brand tools / tool storage, which is priced similar to 'tool truck' offerings (e.g.; SnapOn, Mac, etc.) For now, at least, they still carry the 'Pittsburgh' hand tools, which come with the same lifetime warranty as their pricier lines. They now have 4 distinct lines, with Pittsburgh being the lowest priced (but same warranty).

I used to buy their blow-molded plastic creepers, which ran about $19-$22 or so, and would last a couple of years (I'd break the caster mounts by leaning too much weight in a concentrated place -- like pushing myself up off the creeper -- not because I exceeded the rated limit, mind you!)

Anyway... those same creepers (but now in six pretty shades to match their toolboxes) now cost $34 (with $27 being the 'sale' price). But, except for the color, it's unchanged. The color change alone doesn't justify / explain the amount of the price increase.

So... I wound up buying a sturdier creeper, from Amazon. Sturdy enough that I expect it'll be the last creeper I ever have to buy. Got it for $60. And the company that makes it sells spare parts, too.

After reading Camaraderie's post, I think he's hit on the endgame -- HF will discontinue lower priced lines like Pittsburgh, leaving the higher priced ones and giving them a better profit margin as a bonus. And now that their biggest mass market competitor (Sears) lies in ruins, with its Craftsman brand scattered to the winds, and Bruce Willis now making DieHard battery commercials for Advance Auto Parts, the road is wide open for HF to carry out this strategy. Because they're still cheaper than the tool truck. For now.

Lest you think that some malevolent Chinese company / oligarch is behind HF's business strategy... HF was started and is owned by Eric Smidt, with a net worth of approx. $3 billion. Here's his Beverly Hills home (I'll let you do the math of how many ratchet & socket sets had to be sold to pick up this place)...
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:50 PM   #27
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I think your background has provided good insight. Same for the other poster who mentioned tariffs.

I have a HF close by. The store location used to be a Sears Outlet location, and is fairly roomy. It's now packed with their 'Icon' brand tools / tool storage, which is priced similar to 'tool truck' offerings (e.g.; SnapOn, Mac, etc.) For now, at least, they still carry the 'Pittsburgh' hand tools, which come with the same lifetime warranty as their pricier lines. They now have 4 distinct lines, with Pittsburgh being the lowest priced (but same warranty).

I used to buy their blow-molded plastic creepers, which ran about $19-$22 or so, and would last a couple of years (I'd break the caster mounts by leaning too much weight in a concentrated place -- like pushing myself up off the creeper -- not because I exceeded the rated limit, mind you!)

Anyway... those same creepers (but now in six pretty shades to match their toolboxes) now cost $34 (with $27 being the 'sale' price). But, except for the color, it's unchanged. The color change alone doesn't justify / explain the amount of the price increase.

So... I wound up buying a sturdier creeper, from Amazon. Sturdy enough that I expect it'll be the last creeper I ever have to buy. Got it for $60. And the company that makes it sells spare parts, too.

After reading Camaraderie's post, I think he's hit on the endgame -- HF will discontinue lower priced lines like Pittsburgh, leaving the higher priced ones and giving them a better profit margin as a bonus. And now that their biggest mass market competitor (Sears) lies in ruins, with its Craftsman brand scattered to the winds, and Bruce Willis now making DieHard battery commercials for Advance Auto Parts, the road is wide open for HF to carry out this strategy. Because they're still cheaper than the tool truck. For now.

Lest you think that some malevolent Chinese company / oligarch is behind HF's business strategy... HF was started and is owned by Eric Smidt, with a net worth of approx. $3 billion. Here's his Beverly Hills home (I'll let you do the math of how many ratchet & socket sets had to be sold to pick up this place)...
I used to live in Camarillo, California and ran a vocational program for the disabled. HF's HQ was in Camarillo back then and we had contracts with HF. They treated us very well and when we closed down, our Procurement manager went and worked for them because of our positive relationship with HF.
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Old 12-13-2020, 09:05 PM   #28
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That is what I have noticed. Now that Craftsman is done, HF has moved in to take their place.
Granted some of HF is downright junk. But some of their stuff is fine. I have a mix of tools and I did buy their newer US General tool boxes and cabinets. They work fine for me and they are a lot more sturdy than Husky or Craftsman.

With the exception of a wet saw I bought, I don't buy anything that is electric or battery power tool.

The coupons and mailed fliers disappeared earlier this year. Now that Christmas is here, they have started showing up again.

Their price comparison is a joke. Their tool box $299. Compare to SnapOn's at $3,000 for a $2700 discount. No, it's not a SnapOn, so there isn't a $2700 discount.
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:22 PM   #29
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I was there twice last week. Used coupons from their app both times. Cashier even pulled out a better one for me to use. 2 free flash lights too.
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:25 PM   #30
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I used to live in Camarillo, California and ran a vocational program for the disabled. HF's HQ was in Camarillo back then and we had contracts with HF. They treated us very well and when we closed down, our Procurement manager went and worked for them because of our positive relationship with HF.
Yeah... I wasn't trying to state that HF (and Mr. Smidt) were 'bad' or 'evil'. HF provides high school shops with material support, etc. And I've read that Smidt is a bit of a philanthropist, as well.

My point was more along the lines of "don't worry, they're making $, as it is". And, yeah... I do realize the price of just about *everything* has been increasing, as of late.

The only beef I'd have with them, seeing how Mr. Smidt has apparently provided very well for himself & his family, would be for him to pay his (store) employees a bit more; from what I hear, they're fairly poorly compensated, and I do see a lot of turnover in the store, especially lately.
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:46 PM   #31
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I was told by a HF manager that they are having trouble getting shipments including the usual give away stuff
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Old 12-13-2020, 11:28 PM   #32
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"those are free"

back before things had changed, HF would have a coupon for a free item(free w/ANY purchase) included in every weekend sale ad, and once in a while they'd have two or three items to choose from for your free one, ... during one of those "3 items to choose from" sales, all three of the freebees were also on sale for $2 each, ... I went to our local HF interested in two of those items, knowing that by buying one for $2, I'd get the other one I wanted free, so it didn't matter which one I paid for, because I'd was only going to have to pay $2 to get them both, ... when I went in, I noticed there was a new young lady at the register, ... I found the two items I came for and went to check out, with nobody in line I went straight to the register and as I approached the register while looking for the coupons on my phone, I heard the young lady say "oh, those are free", .... I said, "yeah, but I gotta pay for one" as I continued to look for my coupons, .... she said "I got them right here" as she pulled her own phone out of her pocket and zapped them both with the lazer gun before I knew what happened, "there you go" ... "but I gotta pay for one"/"no, those are free"/"but I got to pay for one to get the other one free"/"no those are free"/"are you sure, did your manager say that?"/"I know they're free, but I'll go ask him"/ ... she went to the office(which was only about 10 ft away) but didn't find anyone and came back to the register, ... "I know these are free cause I've been giving them away all day", .... I didn't want to embarrass the young lady and by then, a couple of other shoppers had come up and was waiting, and I thought surely the computer would have caught something like that if it wasn't allowed, so I bagged my two "free" items, thanked her and left, .... checked the receipt in the truck and sure enough, when she zapped those two coupons on her phone, they both showed as free items, ... I can't help but shake my head and almost laugh out loud every time I think of that young lady giving those things away all day like that, ...
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Old 12-13-2020, 11:31 PM   #33
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I'm glad they finally included a "stock checker" at your home store on their website. I used to hate going in with my coupon to buy a specific item or two and it was not in stock. Still no "free ship to store" or "buy from local stock online" and pickup at the local store, but it's a start.

There are some HF tools every RV'er needs to own. If you ever have to change out the spring and/or equalizer bolts the Maddox "ball joint service kit" is invaluable for pushing out or driving in new bolts. Makes seating the spline section a breeze when upgrading to wet bolts.
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Old 12-14-2020, 12:18 AM   #34
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I'm glad they finally included a "stock checker" at your home store on their website. I used to hate going in with my coupon to buy a specific item or two and it was not in stock. Still no "free ship to store" or "buy from local stock online" and pickup at the local store, but it's a start.

There are some HF tools every RV'er needs to own. If you ever have to change out the spring and/or equalizer bolts the Maddox "ball joint service kit" is invaluable for pushing out or driving in new bolts. Makes seating the spline section a breeze when upgrading to wet bolts.

Using my air impact wrench set at 90lbs, I blew apart the C-clamp part of this kit attempting to press out a universal joint from a drive shaft. Sorry, I found this kit to be junk. Took the 20 minute ride to my brother-in-law's house, who has a press in his garage. I no longer beat out bearings, ball joints and uni-joints with a 5 pound sledge. HF took it back without question. No more tool purchases from there.
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Old 12-14-2020, 07:02 AM   #35
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Don't forget Northern Tool. IMHO, better than HF! Plus, their coupons are great values.
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Old 12-14-2020, 07:19 AM   #36
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I was there twice last week. Used coupons from their app both times. Cashier even pulled out a better one for me to use. 2 free flash lights too.
I love those free flashlights! Did you ever read the warning sticker on them? Wear ANSI approved safety glasses???

I will buy HF tools if it is something that I only want to use once, maybe twice. Theyíre really cheap junk, not designed to last. I have seen several mechanics, who are just starting out, buying a bunch of tools in the HF store near me, so I guess they fill that market.

The biggest thing I miss since COVID is their nitrile gloves.
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Old 12-14-2020, 10:25 AM   #37
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Don't forget Northern Tool. IMHO, better than HF! Plus, their coupons are great values.
My experience with Northern Tool is, they sell the same quality stuff as Harbor Freight, only at a higher price and you have to pay full shipping. They do carry a more varied line of items, but generally more expensive + shipping. Just the experience I've had with them.
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Old 12-14-2020, 10:50 AM   #38
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Bench vise

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Using my air impact wrench set at 90lbs, I blew apart the C-clamp part of this kit attempting to press out a universal joint from a drive shaft. Sorry, I found this kit to be junk. Took the 20 minute ride to my brother-in-law's house, who has a press in his garage. I no longer beat out bearings, ball joints and uni-joints with a 5 pound sledge. HF took it back without question. No more tool purchases from there.
Back in the 1960s I was taught to do this job in a bench vise, using a small socket on the push side and a larger socket on the receiver side. I still do it this way. Never needed a press. (You do need three hands to set it up sometimes. )
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Old 12-14-2020, 02:11 PM   #39
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If you think Harbor has changed and own a home in Calif., check the current value of your home on Zillow. Make sure you do not have a gun or knife near by.

My house went up not down
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Old 12-14-2020, 02:16 PM   #40
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Back in the 1960s I was taught to do this job in a bench vise, using a small socket on the push side and a larger socket on the receiver side. I still do it this way. Never needed a press. (You do need three hands to set it up sometimes. )

That works great on the old vehicles (like my 71 Super Bee), but unfortunately, some of the newer vehicles need crazy pressure to get them out. And not everyone has a home bench press that can open up 12" or more, and sometimes that isn't enough.
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