Home Depot and Lowe’s are two of the biggest home services retailers in the country. They’re a frequent pit stop for the DIY crowd and professionals of all stripes, from roofers to painters and more. They both, for example, have their own paint brands, and Home Depot even has a line of flooring products, including laminate and hardwood.
This is all possible because of a specific business model: these companies don’t just try to compete on price but also on quality, selection, and convenience. To better cater to the business market, both stores have rolled out competing loyalty and rewards programs: Home Depot Pro Desk and Lowe’s Pro Desk. Although they have a lot in common, each has its own unique qualities and benefits.
At Scorpion, we know how important these two companies are for contractors of all kinds, so we wanted to ask one simple question: Which one is the best for your business? Let’s start by taking a look at what Lowe’s Pro Desk has to offer.
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A Look At Lowe’s Pro Desk
Lowe’s Pro Desk provides a wide selection of tools and services for busy contractors and business owners. Whether you’re running your own business or are just learning to build your own furniture in the backyard, Lowe’s Pro Desk can help you with your project from start to finish.
Credit and Loyalty Program
The Lowe’s Pro Credit Card is a premium solution for contractors with a host of savings and features you’ll find helpful.
If your business has a non-traditional payment schedule and you’re not always sure when the next paycheck will arrive, you’ll be thankful that Lowe’s offers flexible payment schedules every month. Instead of having your payment due on the same standard date from month to month, you’ll have the freedom to pay a little earlier or a little later as you see fit, depending on the way business is going.
The Lowe’s card links with American Express, which offers several benefits for business owners. Statements are detailed and itemized line by line, meaning that you can make payments on each individual invoice and keep better tabs on spending.
Since the Lowe’s card links with American Express, having one entitles you to all the benefits Amex cardholders also have, a benefit the Home Depot Credit line doesn’t have. This includes receiving cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and other select retailers.
The Lowe’s Pro Desk Credit Card also gives you discounted prices on home delivery, a variety of valuable Lowes coupons, and up to 10% off purchases made at Lowe’s retailers.
Discounts for Bulk Purchases
Lowe’s Pro Desk comes with a bunch of options for business owners looking to buy bulk supplies. Rather than buying the tools and resources you need on a job-by-job basis, your business can save big on bulk purchases on more than 2,000 products that Lowe’s carries. Whereas Home Depot discounts seldom rise higher than 30% off, Lowe’s products can discount for as much as 50% off.
Here are a few things to know about bulk purchasing as a contractor or business owner at Lowe’s:
When you shop at Lowe’s, the system will begin recognizing the bulk items you use most for your business. These will become Service Pro Packs, meaning that over time you’ll receive special discounts on the tools and supplies that you purchase most often.
If you are particular about the brands you shop for or have a certain loyalty to a unique brand of tools that you’ve always used but Home Depot doesn’t carry, you’re more likely to find them at Lowe’s because of its more extensive selection.
The purchase minimum on bulk items at Lowe’s is $1,500, significantly lower than Home Depot’s $2,500. Coupled with the all-around bigger discounts, you may be able to find better bulk deals for your tools at Lowe’s, depending on your industry.
Loyal Customer Rewards at Lowe’s
Lowe’s offers a generous rewards system for its most loyal customers. Contractors, more than anyone, know that even simple jobs have a way of taking longer than expected. Unexpected delays are par for the course, whether from bad weather or insufficient tools. Lowe’s Pro members can ease some of the burden with these benefits:
VIP Store Hours: There are hours for regular customers, and then there are hours for business customers like you. You’re free to go to Lowe’s during off-hours, use special parking reserved for Pro members, and use the fast checkout lane.
Priority Customer Support: Hand-in-hand with the VIP treatment, Lowe’s Pro members receive priority service from Lowe’s customer support professionals. Save time and call ahead to have a team member help you find what you need and have it ready when you get there.
That’s not all. Lowe’s Pro offers free shipping on many of its most widely used items, as long as your order meets the $45 minimum and weighs no more than 150 pounds. You can see where that would come in handy for a business, especially on tools you need ahead of the new job you’ve got lined up.
They’ve also got you covered with a range of shipping options depending on how fast you need it there, including having the supplies dropped off by truck directly at your job site. How great is that?
Lowe’s Pro for business bulk pricing applies to many item categories, including things like
- Lawn and gardening
- HVAC equipment
And quite a lot more.
As their Pro system begins to recognize you and your most frequently purchased items, it will also start putting together quick order lists on the front page of your app screen. Instead of constantly searching again and again for the same tools, you can quickly purchase the same order and have it ready for you when you get to the store.
Personalized Support Options
Lowe’s knows how to create value for its business customers. They have an elite crew of ProServices team members who are ready to help contractors find the most competitive prices and place orders under tight deadlines.
Lowe’s Pro is also prepared to scale with your business as you grow. If you’re an independent contractor or just a small business, you’ll benefit from Lowe’s Pro’s business account assistance, including a specialist assigned specifically to act as a liaison for your business and the stores.
Lowe’s can support your business at multiple jobs anywhere across the country with nationwide business support programs.
Helping Your Business Thrive
Business owners who work with Lowe’s can count on receiving a lot of support from the company. Pro Desk comes with a suite of vital business tools that can help you organize and manage your projects on a day-to-day and week-by-week basis, as well as track invoices and employee payment schedules.
You can track purchases made with your Lowe’s account directly through Pro Desk, so you’ll know what business-related expenses your employees are making even when you’re not personally available.
Overall, Lowe’s Pro Desk seems like an irresistible offer for business owners, whether small or medium-sized. But Lowe’s isn’t the only fish in the sea, and Home Depot has done a great job casting its own net into these waters.
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A Look at Home Depot Pro
Home Depot is, without a doubt, the biggest competitor Lowe’s has. The two retail giants are vying for the same target audience, although Home Depot in many ways caters to the business crowd even more than Lowe’s.
Home Depot Rewards for Business Aid
Home Depot has a smaller selection of vendors than Lowe’s, but that’s because it focuses on quality rather than quantity. The vendors and suppliers Home Depot boasts tend to be some of the highest-rated in their respective industries, whether in lumber, painting, or something else. New business owners who are just breaking into their respective industries can shop comfortably at Home Depot, knowing its selection is premium quality.
More than that, Home Depot features a stellar business rewards program called Home Depot Pro Xtra. It’s a loyalty program that tailors itself to your specific industry, delivering new and better discounts, as well as special Home Depot coupons that are personalized to your needs and frequent (especially bulk) purchases.
Home Depot Grows Alongside Your Business
The Pro system scales as your business makes more and more bulk purchases. It has three levels: Home Depot Bronze, Silver, and Gold. The more tools and supplies you purchase with Home Depot in bulk, the more you save.
The Bronze tier comes with a 10% discount at $2,000 in bulk purchases, whereas the upper-level Gold tier gives 20% off after you reach the $7,500 level. That means the more supplies you work through — a sign that your business is doing well for itself — the more you’ll save on future supplies at Home Depot.
Home Depot Pro caters to businesses of all sizes, letting you track your expenses item by item by using the built-in Home Depot Pro dashboard. Over time, the dashboard will learn more about your preferences and needs to deliver personalized recommendations for new products and discounts.
You’ll also have access to what Home Depot calls a PASA, a Pro Account Sales Associate whose job is to help your business find exactly what you need.
Home Depot Pro Credit Card
The Home Depot Pro business credit card can help frequent Home Depot buyers save more money on bulk purchases and accumulate rewards with each purchase made. The company has two options:
Commercial Account Credit Card: A great choice for larger businesses, Home Depot’s CAC helps manage your business income by itemizing payments down to the individual invoice. It lets you designate authorized users who can use your CAC card for business purchases, so your employees can make on-the-spot purchases without needing to hassle you for permission, and all CAC expenses are tracked via the Pro dashboard.
Commercial Revolving Charge Card: The CRC offers a nice Home Depot contractor discount. Small to medium-sized businesses will appreciate the greater flexibility the Home Depot Pro CRC Card offers. Whereas CAC payments are made in full at the end of each month, the CRC lets you reduce your bill to minimum payments and carry a balance from one month to the next.
While Lowe’s has a relationship with American Express and accompanying rewards, Home Depot doesn’t have a merchant relationship like that. However, it offers cash back rewards when you use its cards at the pump: 10 cents per gallon for every $100 spent, increasing savings over time.
Now we’re down to the meat and potatoes. Which of these two competitors is the best for contractors and business owners?
Well, it depends.
Lowe’s has more competitive interest fees right off the bat. Its cards have a lower APR than Home Depot, which can help businesses during slow times or early in their operations. You could qualify for the best APR terms on the Home Depot card, which would outdo Lowe’s, but there are still better savings and discounts to consider.
Moreover, that deal with American Express is no joke. You can use your Lowe’s card elsewhere, outside of your Lowe’s-related purchases, to unlock a lot of rewards that aren’t available via Home Depot Pro.
That said, Home Depot Pro is very focused on helping its business customers and is less in the business of being a general creditor. Its store cards are aimed at Home Depot’s own offerings, on helping businesses get from A to B, purchasing bulk supplies, and getting a nice kickback on their travel expenses while they’re at it.
Just because Lowe’s has more features doesn’t mean it’s the best option for your business. You’ll have to take a close look at what you’re looking for before making a final decision.
Business Aid and Bulk Supplies
Both Lowe’s Pro Desk and Home Depot Pro Desk are relatively equal in their business management offerings. They each have “concierge” services for their business customers, and they each scale their services as businesses grow bigger. Both have built-in platforms for integrating and managing your business operations, and these platforms are roughly comparable in their functionality.
But the real money is in your supplies. No matter the size of your business, you’ll be burning through supplies and will need to replenish frequently.
Home Depot and Lowe’s each come out on top, depending on the day of the week. We mean that since Home Depot and Lowe’s actively compete with each other on prices — when something goes on sale at one store, a discount on that item at the other store is very possibly on the way. They also match each other’s prices, so you’ll want to do your research carefully and determine what you need before picking a store.
Once you’re a Pro member at one or the other, the situation changes. They’re both excellent at tailoring their services to you and your business, so whichever membership you decide upon, you’ll unlock the most discounts and benefits if you stick with them.
The Bottom Line
Home Depot vs. Lowes: Who comes out on top? Competition is seldom tighter than what we see between these two titans of home service. They intentionally stay neck to neck with one another in many regards, so who you settle upon will be a matter of personal preference, hard number crunching, and perhaps a smattering of intuition.
If we had to make the best guess, Lowe’s Pro, with its more lenient and wide-reaching Lowes discounts and credit offerings, caters more to the general public than Home Depot Pro. That doesn’t mean that Home Depot Pro doesn’t have robust business offerings because it does. It means that Home Depot Pro’s offerings are specialized, narrowed down to business owners and their preferences, and down to favoring only the most selective and highest-rated suppliers.
For contractors looking for some more options, the Lowe's contractor discount might be the more convenient choice of the two. It offers a good selection of discounts, Amex rewards on non-business purchases, and several other benefits. However, if business is your primary focus, you might prefer Home Depot Pro, with its more targeted and selective sighting.
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