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Sun Sep 20, 2020, 02:36 PM

It pays to shop hard. Where you buy matters, but not for political reasons.

I need a new small floor jack and some jack stands. I have to jack up the rear end of my Ford Ranger and fix the rear brakes. I sold my old jack and stands at a garage sale, and now I need them again. So, I did some searching today for low-end ones. Basically, the lowest priced 2-ton jacks and stands are all made by the same company, but with different branding.

The range of prices for one jack and two stands, all the same make and model, but with different brands was from $46 to $129. That's a huge range. I checked, and all of them have the exact same specs and look exactly the same. They're all identical. Those commodity items are sold by just about everyone, from Walmart to local farm supply stores.

I found a loss-leader special at Menards for just $46 for a set of two stands and the hydraulic floor jack. Not available in the stores, but with free delivery to the local Menards store. That price was cheaper than even Northern Tool and Equipment or Harbor Freight. Identical items, but way different pricing at every place that had them.

These are not professional shop tools. They are designed for, and suitable only for occasional use in home shops. But, they will do the job, so price is the major issue when shopping for such items. On any given week, the best price might be found from any of the places that sell those models from that manufacturer. You cannot count on always finding the best price at any particular outlet.

A lot of folks here on DU are quick to tell you where you shouldn't shop, for political reasons Today, there is a thread about why to boycott Home Depot, because it once had an arch-conservative as its CEO - but that guy left in 2002, so the information is really no longer correct.

As an individual consumer, price for such commodity items is important. You can buy things like floor jacks from any of dozens of outlets. Auto parts stores, hardware stores, big box stores, Amazon, and many other places. I looked on Amazon, too. It had some of the highest prices for the same jack and stands I bought. If you're trying to save as much money as possible, you have to look everywhere until you find a place that is trying to unload an overstock of something and is offering it at blowout pricing. Either that, or as a loss-leader to get you into the business.

Politics is not so important in such situations. Frankly, most big retail chains are owned and run by conservatives. You could go to a local hardware store to buy what you need, but you are sure to pay way more for such commodity items. I don't need that jack and stands today. A week or two from now is just fine.



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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 02:37 PM

1. Well said.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 02:46 PM

2. Don't forget your veteran's discounts.

And if buying in bulk, ask for a discount. You might even try it for one item. It works sometimes.

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Response to rickford66 (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 02:48 PM

3. I usually go to Lowe's, and I'm given a veterans discount there.

I’m a garden freak so it comes in handy.

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Response to cwydro (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:01 PM

6. Ask everywhere. It can't hurt.

At Lowes you have to register. At Home Depot and most other places I just show my NY driver's license that shows I'm a Veteran.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 02:56 PM

4. Every dollar you spend is a vote. Every dollar...every cent.

Sometimes you vote for the lesser evil...but you still voted.

Sometimes you say "fuck it, today I don't care"...but you still voted.

Sometimes you say "My need today outweigh the 'greater good' and I can't help that"...but you still voted.

Sometimes (very rarely maybe) you can find something that fits your needs exactly, that is ethically sourced, locally made, etc...but you still voted.

And also, what the hell is wrong with borrowing the neighbors jack??? Especially if you don't need them today.

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:24 PM

14. I don't borrow tools. I sometimes lend tools.

I don't, though, lend tools that people can misuse and endanger themselves. So, you can't borrow my chainsaw, my snowblower, or even my lawnmower. You can't borrow my jack, either. Hand tools, you can borrow, but no power tools.

As for hydraulic jacks, you'll be hard-pressed to find one made in the USA, unless you're willing to pay three or four times more for it. China makes them. Even the USA ones use Chinese-made hydraulic cylinders, with rare exceptions. Small engines, too, are almost all made in China now. Even Briggs & Stratton has many of its engines built there.

Everything has changed.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #14)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:28 PM

15. Excuse and rationalize all you want...

What I wrote stands as it is.

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #15)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:29 PM

16. As does what I wrote.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #16)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:31 PM

17. Yes, your rationalization still stands.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 02:58 PM

5. I'm (or I should say WE are) starting to get too lazy to do

that kind of work anymore. if I have to roll around in the dirt to fix something on a vehicle other than a flat...I just take it to the local yahoos. they do a pretty good job, have lifts, and have hand cleaner handy.

I know that isn't the point of your post, but it kind of relates - local business spending blah blah blah.

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Response to Kali (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:02 PM

8. I think the point of his post is:

If it's $0.50 cheaper to fix your vehicle at WalMart rather than your "local yahoos" the only sensible thing to do is drive (or tow) it to WalMart.

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Response to Kali (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:13 PM

12. I get lots of things done at local shops.

In fact, a local shop just replaced the steel brake lines in that pickup. But, they quoted me a price of $350 to supply and install two new rear drums and brake shoes. I couldn't replace the brake lines myself, or I would have. The truck has ABS breaks, and bleeding the system is too damned hard. But, I will fix the rear drum brakes for a total cost of $150, including my new jack and stands. It will take me 2 hours at most. I will work on own my car for $100/hr. I have done many dozens of drum brake jobs in my lifetime. No big deal. I'll be using cheap brake drums and shoes, too. I drive the truck about 500 miles a year, and drive it only on local roads. The cheap stuff will be just fine.

I don't like working on cars anymore, and I refuse to work under the car, since I'm 75 years old and it's too damned hard to get back up. But rear brakes? I'll be sitting on my low stool for that job, and my old brake tools will get used once again.

This thread is about shopping for things and saving money. That's all.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:02 PM

7. Crawling under a car held up by cheap Chinese crap ?

No thanks

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Response to MichMan (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:05 PM

10. Those jack stands are rated for far more than

the back end of that truck weighs. They'll be just fine, and I won't be under the truck anyhow. No need. I just need the wheels off the ground to put in new brake shoes and install new drums. I'm not stupid, you know. Uff da!

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:11 PM

11. Harbor Freight Replaced Its Defective Jack Stands With Other Defective Jack Stands So Be Careful

“Don’t Trust Your Life To These Jack Stands,” Jalopnik wrote after Harbor Freight recalled over 1.7 million jack stands—safety devices meant to keep vehicles lifted so you can work under them. Now, per a new letter from Harbor Freight’s owner and founder, the stands that replaced some of the recalled ones have also been found to be faulty. Yikes.


[link:https://jalopnik.com/harbor-freight-replaced-its-defective-jack-stands-with-1844294165|

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Response to MichMan (Reply #11)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:15 PM

13. Like I said, I won't be under the truck at all.

The wheel cylinders are fine, so i won't even have to bleed the brakes. All the work will be done alongside the truck. Besides, the jack will still be under there, too. I'm not an idiot.

No worries. No danger.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:05 PM

9. You can find retailers that are not in the hands of conservatives

Lowe’s for one
Costco
Southern wine and spirits
Aldi and Trader Joe’s

To say nothing of small local retailers

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Response to Thekaspervote (Reply #9)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:56 PM

19. Southern wine and spirits?

It sounds like a great place to prepare for a do-in-yourself brake replacement.

Not to worry, though. The truck still has front brakes.



cheers!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 03:41 PM

18. Stay safe MM. I did all my own brake ( since high school) work for about 40 years.

I live in an apartment now and don't have my well equipped garage anymore so I just keep up with maintenance at a local shop.

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