Faucets from Big Box stores truly Lower quality?

compumomSeptember 23, 2013

What's the thinking on this? Is it an Urban Myth perpetrated by higher price retailers or are the components a lower quality than from a company like Ferguson? I'm confused when I see a Hans Grohe Allegra faucet at Costco for $200 less than from Pacific Sales. The rationale I've heard over and over is that the ones in the big box stores have inferior components. Why would a manufacturer ruin their reputation to gain market share?

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justalurker

"Why would a manufacturer ruin their reputation to gain market share?" It's not ruining their reputation it is marketing to a price point. Not uncommon for a top tier manufacturer to make a special product for a retailer that markets to a customer that usually wouldn't pay for a top tier product. The manufacturer penetrates a market they don't usually realize sales in and hope they don't impact their top tier retail channel partners by losing them sales.

Some manufacturers assign different part numbers for products that are sold by box stores or discounters or specialty stores so consumers can't make a direct comparison.

Different part numbers for what may seem to be the same product can simply be a market protection mechanism or it can signify that there are differences, or features added or lacking, or a different warranty between the different part numbers.

If you see the same part number faucet at Costco and Pacific or Home Depot or Lowes or faucets are us then it is the same faucet.

This post was edited by justalurker on Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 14:16

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 1:55PM
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compumom

Thank you, that's really helpful. I hadn't considered that as a reason why.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 3:05PM
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compumom

Are Mirabelle products from Ferguson as good as a brand name? Or are they made by Kohler because Ferguson is an allied company?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 3:07PM
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justalurker

I don't know. I tend to favor Delta products because of their warranty and easy local parts availability, but their customer service doesn't seem as good now as it used to be... but what company's customer service is?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 3:20PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

Several plumbers have told me that products with the same brand name + model from a retail chain store (Home Depot etc) vs Fergusons are made using lower quality parts. Using plastic inside versus brass was mentioned.

Whether true or not, I can't say. Whether the part numbers are the same or different, I don't know.

If your plumber/contractor doesn't know, maybe the local Fergusons location could answer the question?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:21PM
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justalurker

"Several plumbers have told me that products with the same brand name + model from a retail chain store (Home Depot etc) vs Fergusons are made using lower quality parts. Using plastic inside versus brass was mentioned". That is the turf protective bull$hit that tradespeople have spread to scare consumers from buying at box stores.

If the part has the same part number at the plumbing supply as it has at Home depot then it is the same. If it were different then the manufacturer would have no way of knowing which version (high or lower quality) they were dealing with if warranty or out of warranty service was needed.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 7:22PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

"That is the turf protective bull$hit that tradespeople have spread to scare consumers from buying at box stores"

C'mon, Lurker, don't just be a naysayer spouting speculation. This was shown to me in several name brand faucet being replaced. What I saw might have not been representative, I'll admit that, maybe the broken faucets were just cheap models from the trade supply channel. But that wasn't what the plumber suspected. He also told me that a lot of stuff in the stores is seconds.

He had no interest in where I bought the plumbing equipment, he wasn't selling it to me. He directed me to Fergusons to buy what we wanted and then he installed it.

What's your experience?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:45PM
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justalurker

Sorry Snidely... not speculation but fact seen with my own eyes.

Same brand and part number product made of different materials and different parts or two products that seemed the same or you assumed they were the same part number?

"He also told me that a lot of stuff in the stores is seconds" and that is absolute bullcrap and your plumber is a fool for even saying it and you are even dumber for believing what he said. Your plumber clearly thinks he's smarter than you but are you really dumber than he is?

No box store like HDD or Lowes or Menards will sell seconds as new because it is illegal. Selling refurb product as new is FRAUD and it is a criminal felony. Now, clearance stores like Big Lots and such will and they clearly mark the product as REMANUFACTURED or REFURBISHED but that's not what your plumber is saying and you are parroting.

I'll leave you to your fantasies, delusions, and your expert(?) plumber cause facts and common sense clearly won't alter your unsupported position.

This post was edited by justalurker on Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 16:44

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 4:26PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

Hold the drama, it's perfectly fine to sell a product of lesser quality - that's the discussion in the other thread. It's new, it functions, it simply doesn't pass the tests for first quality.

Another example - a neighbor bought a name brand sink at Home Depot. When installing it, he found it was about 1/4 of an inch off plumb on one side. It needed a shim on that side when dropped into the hole cut for it in the vanity's plywood. It was cheaper than from Fergusons, he was ok with that, and off you go.

I think you do a better job of lurking than contributing, but that's entirely at your discretion. It's ok to be skeptical, it's ok to have a different opinion, but there's no need to do either in a melodramatic or obnoxious way.

1 Like    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 4:43PM
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justalurker

When you offer some facts we can discuss any subject... when you offer ridiculous second hand drivel from you plumber it wastes everyone's time and the bandwidth it takes to post it.

As for being better at lurkering than contributing, I'll put up my 300+ postings of substantive info in this forum against your 54 posts any time. Quality and quality of posts versus the subjective unsupported opinions you post... the forumners can make their choice.

George Carlin summed this up better than I can... âÂÂNever argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.â and so I yield to your experience and you can have the last word if you like.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 5:09PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

I'm not sure why you think you got appointed forum sheriff. Oh wait, I guess you didn't.

My comments attempted to answer the OP's question based on my own experiences. You or anyone else is welcome to disagree with me in a civil way but you should learn better manners. You seem to have a lot of negative energy to blow off, you need to find a better outlet for that.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:17PM
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chefnewbie

I bought a Delta faucet from Lowes and the exact faucet, except for the finish, from another company. The quality is exactly the same. The Lowes faucet was just less expensive (partly because of the finish).
We built an entire house, some on orders from regular plumbing supply and some on big box. Have not found any difference in workmanship or quality.

1 Like    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 7:17PM
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bcarlson78248

I think its unlikely that a manufacturer makes two versions of the same product that are of different quality, and then puts the exact same parts number on them. That would be too confusing for manufacturing, shipping and repair. If the big box store part has exactly the same number and is sold in the same timeframe (part designs do change over time), then it should be exactly the same part.

It is relatively common to make two end items that look the same outside but have different quality parts inside, but the manufacturer will then use a different parts number to differentiate. The parts number variation may also be used to identify differences in warranty coverage, rebates or other administrative differences. For example, when you buy a kitchen appliance at Best Buy or Lowes it may not be eligible for the same rebates or special discount because the rebate program targets full service appliance dealers.

Bruce

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:08AM
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jcalhoun

A lot of the external parts on the lower end faucets are plated plastic now rather than plated metal. Design featureas and exterior finish is about the only real difference between low price and high price in the same brands. The internal parts are mostly the same within the same brand of course.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 4:26AM
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dan1888

Products with the exact same part number are identical.
But check the part numbers on the exploded view part list to double check.
And call the manufacturer's tech support to verify.
Forum members will not know.

1 Like    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 11:32PM
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BirchPoint

After being told at FW Webb that the reason their prices were so much higher than Home Depot was because companies made a cheaper version for the big box stores, I called Moen and asked if this was true. They stated that their products are the same no matter where they are sold and that they DO NOT make cheaper lines for the big box stores.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 7:31PM
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homebound

I'll bet folks aren't verifying "same exact model numbers" for their comparisons, like they think they are. No way. Usually when they just look the same, that's good enough. Never mind that the "big box" version that "is the same one" weighs half when you pick up the box.

This week I'll be replacing a Moen kitchen faucet, since the "dome" that holds down the main body has cracked (it's plastic) and no longer holds it in place. Wonder where it was purchased?

This post was edited by homebound on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 20:59

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 8:55PM
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gjcory

i agree that items will look alike but have small changes to save money. This will be found on most all appliances and electronics.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 9:52PM
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RCM54

last week I decided to replace my kitchen faucets. i really liked the features of the Kohler Simplice and bought a K647-BL for the primary sink and K649-BL secondary for the center isle sink. I purchased the faucets last week 5/9/14. I specifically bought these at an official Kohler dealer from their website because "factory second" type fixtures sold at box stores and online retailers are unacceptable to me. fixtures came yesterday 5/15/14 and had them installed. the boxes they came in had THE EXACT MODEL # as Kohler website. turned the water on and both faucets don't have the docknetic or sweep spray features just like the "factory second" type faucets Kohler sells on amazon. I called Kohler and was told that it was ordered that way and I was pretty much on my own....but the product number is an EXACT MATCH. i am now out about $1500.00 (including installation) and back at square 1 looking for new kitchen faucets. KOHLER DOES MAKE FACTORY SECONDS and i have the original products they sold me, the boxes with EXACT MODEL NUMBERS on them and all original documentation to prove it. that's my story and I stand behind it 1000%.

This post was edited by RCM54 on Mon, May 19, 14 at 8:51

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 8:29PM
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nepool

"I specifically bought these at an official Kohler dealer from their website because "factory second" type fixtures sold at box stores and online retailers are unacceptable to me."

Why don't you just return them to your official Kohler dealer or take up the issue with the dealer? I don't understand Kohler's response...if the exact model numbers include the docknetic or sweep features, and yours don't have them - how do they think you possibly order them 'that way' without them?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 9:31PM
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RCM54

i think Kohler was just passing the buck and throwing their dealer under the bus. i did go to the Kohler dealer where i bought them. they told me that Kohler did not change the model number when they came out with the new upgraded product and from my research.....that is exactly right. they also told me that Kohler will not take returns after a fixture has been installed.....they will exchange it..... "catch 22". i will not take another chance with Kohler products as plumbers don't come cheap.....fool me once, shame on Kohler..... will just have to eat the $1500.00 and start back at square 1 looking for new kitchen faucets.

This post was edited by RCM54 on Tue, May 20, 14 at 18:04

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 6:33AM
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ravenh2001

Here is the rub on is it the same. The same valve is made for Lowes 120 lbs compresser/ Snap On compressor and a Ing Rand scuba compressor. It is made by the same workers on the same line. they all have the same # on the valve. It is on the casting. This is where they differ. tolerance. that is the big word. All the valves will fit and work in all three. but on a 4 point inspection the thread has a bir, sholder is not .001 true, xx/ppm lead content in the metal, and rockwell hardness is not x, I dont want to be 120' under water when I find out the diff. Price diff is 50-250. You wont gain by buying a perfect valve to pump a car tire . But if you need 1more min to get to the boat 200 is cheap.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 8:42PM
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kingbiscuit41

I can tell you, for a fact, that you will NOT find different quality products (as long as the product numbers match) at a big-box store vs. a plumbing supply company. You WILL find that faucet manufacturers all sell (for the most part) exclusive models to the big-box stores with plastic internals/drain assemblies. The big-box stores are much more price conscious, and in order to hit the low prices they want, suppliers need to cut costs on the product. The plumbing supply companies are more willing to stock and offer higher-priced, higher-quality products with full brass/metal internals. You definitely pay more for this, though. You won't find identical $69 bath faucets, regardless of part number, at Home Depot and Ferguson, and expect that the Ferguson model will be better. Just can't happen at that price. You may certainly find similar looking faucets for $69 at Home Depot and $109 at Ferguson, in which case you can expect the higher-quality model to come from Ferguson.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2015 at 8:38AM
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