Online e-commerce sales have more than tripled since 2014. Six years ago, total sales were approximately $1.3 trillion. Studies show online sales will hit $4.2 trillion by the end of 2020.
That covers a wide range of products and services but hardware is part of that total. Like most other products, you can buy almost any type of hardware online.
And with the COVID pandemic limiting the amount of in-person shopping we should be doing, buying the hardware for your next home improvement project on the internet makes more sense than ever.
Let’s look at how to find the best deals on hardware on the web.
Buying Local vs. Buying Hardware Online
If you’re used to buying supplies from a local hardware or home improvement store, it might seem a little strange to shop online. But if you’ve ever bought something from Amazon or another e-commerce site, you have all the experience you need.
The biggest difference between buying local and online is that you don’t get to handle the hardware before you buy it. Depending on the items you’re buying, that may or may not matter.
If you’re looking for things like bolts, fasteners, or anything else that has precise measurements, there’s no need to handle it first. You can even find a galvanised conduit or other larger items online with ease.
The products that can be a bit more challenging are things like door handles, faucets, and anything else you’ll handle a lot when you use them. You might want to get a “feel” for those before you buy.
The secret is to buy from an online store that offers a good return policy. That way, if you decide the item isn’t for you once it arrives, you can return it without penalty.
What Type of Project Are You Working On?
The type of project you’re working on will have some bearing on how easy it is to find the hardware you need online. Supplies for common projects like a kitchen remodel or bathroom redesign will be easy enough to source.
Mass-market websites like Amazon and Walmart likely carry most, if not all, of the items you’ll need. You can order them today and in many cases, they’ll arrive on your doorstep within a day or two.
If you’re working on a more specialized project, you’ll have fewer options. But there will likely be e-commerce sites selling exactly what you need.
You might find a site that specializes in a specific type of hardware, such as decorative cabinet knobs, or you might have to turn to a site that caters more to the industrial market.
How to Find the Best Deals Online
There are several ways to find the best online hardware deals when you’re searching the web.
1. Google It
The easiest place to start is with a Google search for the product(s) you’re looking for. Try searches like “best deal for product name” or “buy product name online” to get a list of potential sources.
If the results have websites that you’ve already eliminated from your list of potential sources or are clearly not related to what you need, add the following to your search:
That’s the website’s domain name with a “-“ symbol in front of it. That tells Google to remove any pages from that site from the results it shows you.
2. Look for Discounts and Coupons
Once you find a good online hardware store that has the items you need, spend a few minutes searching to see if they offer any kind of discount.
Some stores will give you a coupon code for your first order if you sign up for their email list or create an account. Others may have discounts for seniors, veterans, or other groups. Check their “About Us” page or other sections of their website to see what you can find.
You can turn to Google for this search as well. Try searching for the name of the website plus “coupon code” or “discount code” to see what you can find. There are quite a few websites that track coupon codes from various online stores and you might find a code that could save you quite a bit.
3. Check the Shipping Fees
Some e-commerce websites price their products as low as possible but charge extra for shipping while others build the shipping cost into their prices. Make sure you check the cost of shipping before you decide on the best website.
You might also need to order a certain minimum dollar amount to qualify for free shipping. If you’re buying hardware from several different websites to get all the components you need, it might end up being cheaper to consolidate those sales on a single website.
Even if you pay a little more for some items, you may end up saving money overall with the lower shipping costs.
Taking the Time to Do Your Homework Will Pay Off
Poking around your local hardware or home improvement store might be one of your favorite ways to spend a couple of hours but shopping for hardware online can be just as much fun. You can find virtually anything you can think of on the web and you don’t even have to leave the house.
Take your time when searching for the best deals. The extra time you’ll spend comparing prices and reviews from one online store to another can more than pay off in the amount you’ll save.
Check out the Home Improvement category on our blog for more helpful articles about how to get the most out of your home improvement projects.