Hammer time: Who has faster delivery

Part One: Home Depot and Lowe’s race to deliver a hammer to an editor's home.
Hammer Time race Tim's photo
The Hammer Time race to see who will deliver a hammer to my home fastest, Home Depot or Lowe's. The race, and the photo, by Tim Burke.

I wanted a hammer.

I wanted it delivered to my home.

I wondered who would get it to me faster, Home Depot or Lowe’s.

So, I went online to both retailer’s websites, signed up for an account on each, provided my credit card information on each, and prepared to drop the flag on my own private home delivery race.

Both stores were in neighboring suburban locations to my home, both less than 10 minutes away. It was a Tuesday morning, and I was ready to order from each site….

The Great Hammer Race: Pre-race

The Lowe’s website sign-up was easy. After entering my personal information and credit card information the site asked me if I wanted double security authentication to protect my credit card. I did. The Home Depot website did not offer this. But it was also easy to sign-up and add all my info.

Side Note: I also went to the Ace Hardware website and signed up and added my credit card information. Just as easy as the others. And Ace immediately emailed me a note that my Ace Rewards points would be double if I shopped in the next few days.

Hammer Time race Lowe's screen shot
I took a screen shot at the Lowe's website as I was shopping for a hammer.

Next, I typed in “Hammer” in the search bar for both Home Depot and Lowe’s.

At Lowe’s, the screen flashed bold “337 results for ‘hammer’” and provided images across the top by brand, and a vertical list below for scrolling. The first item was a red-handled hammer for $7.98. Four items down I saw a plain wooden handled claw hammer for $5.98. It was made by WorkPro. That’s all it said. Note: WorkPro, which I had to Google and look up, is made by Hangzhou Greatstar in Asia.

At Home Depot, the screen simply said “Hammer” and below in small print that I had to hunt for, it showed the words “80 Results.” It also provided images of hammers by brand and then bigger images of hammers with a plain wooden handled claw hammer right in the first spot on the left, where everyone’s eye goes first. No scrolling needed. It was priced at $5.97. It was made by Stanley.

Hammer Time race Home Depot
At the Home Depot website I snapped this screen shot while deciding on my hammer.

Side note: On the Ace site, I also typed “Hammer” and it gave me “Claw Hammers (71 items found)” in big print with large photos of hammers; and the first one was a wooden hammer priced at $9.99. I couldn’t find the maker’s name.

The Great Hammer Race: Coming out of the gate

At the Lowe’s site, I clicked on the selection box and my claw hammer went into the Lowe’s shopping cart. The order summary said delivery would be in two days; the item would be shipped to my home; shipping was $5.99 for an “Estimated Total of $11.97”; there was no offer of same day delivery and a note said, “Pickup Unavailable.”

I clicked on a big green “Start Secure Checkout” button and the site took me to a new window that showed my contact information, my address and shipping information, showing the same two-day delivery notice with no other delivery options.

In the Order Summary column on the right side of my computer screen the website had now added an estimated sales tax of $1.23 for a total of $13.20. I clicked a “Continue” button to the payment form where I was prompted to enter my CVV number. I received a Lowe’s thank you note and a confirmation number.

At the Home Depot site I selected my Stanley claw hammer and added it to the cart. The site immediately showed me a pre-selected box that said, “Free delivery tomorrow” and “131 still available” along with a countdown clock that told me if I ordered within five minutes, I would get it tomorrow.

I clicked on an orange checkout button which took me to a screen to confirm my email and password, then to a page where it confirmed my delivery address and showed the total would by $5.97 and reiterated delivery was free.

It also gave me another delivery option to get “delivery today” for the additional cost of $8.99. Would it really come today if I clicked that option? I was intrigued. I clicked on “delivery today” and my total price on the right side of the screen changed to, including .58 cents sales tax, $15.54.

But there was a catch. Delivery could be as late as 8 p.m. (I didn’t need a hammer at 8 p.m.) Also, I had to be home to accept the delivery. But I was going to be gone from my home all late afternoon and evening running errands. So, I decided to pass on the “today” option.

Note: There was no button to undo my delivery choice. I had to go back out to the main page and start all over again.

But I got back to the “Secure Checkout” page in a few minutes. Entered my CVV in the payment section; and with sales tax of .61 cents my total was $6.58, with a tomorrow delivery. I also received a Home Depot thank you note and my confirmation number.

For comparison: At the Ace website I added the hammer to my cart; and it also showed free shipping – for Ace Rewards customers – and a Thursday delivery. It gave me a note that I could pick up the item curbside or in the store Thursday and that it was available right now in 10 nearby stores. I didn’t place the order because this was a match race between Lowe’s and Home Depot.

The orders were placed at Home Depot and Lowe’s for my hammers. Later I received emails from both letting me know the orders were being processed and shipped.

Now I’ll wait to find out who delivers on what they say. The race is on.

Come back for race results in Hammer Time: Part Two. Find out who wins The Great Hammer Race.