Sunday, September 4, 2016

See ya, Masters.

I've had this love/hate relationship with Masters hardware ever since they opened.

I like the idea of someone keeping Bunnings honest and offering some alternatives to their stock lines.  I like the idea of being able to reward someone else other than goddamn Wesfarmers with my business.  I like the idea of more stores, which can only mean more convenience.

Unfortunately, Woolworths has shown they don't know crap about running a hardware store.

The interior layout is precisely what makes K-Mart crap compared to Big W (ironic given the ownership of the two businesses).  You can't find anything, it's product grouping is just weird.

Bunnings having locked up Ryobi exclusively is a kick in the teeth, but Masters stock a bunch of weird brands.  I realise they're 1/3rd owned by Lowes, but the Australian market clearly wasn't ready for that.  They want to see the brands they know and trust before deploying the credit card.

My local Masters has a much better range of stuff like LED bulbs, but then they piss me off by only stocking the warm coloured ones in the sizes I want.  I want the cool ones.  Telling someone who's just asked for something that "there's no demand for it" is a contender for the single silliest response ever provided to a customer.

Their pricing isn't sufficiently differential to entice me away from Bunnings.  It might be a little better.  It's never a lot better.  Assuming they have what I want, and that I can find it.  I realise there's not a lot of discretionary profit margin left, but Masters management also need to realise that it's just as easy for me to continue to shop at Bunnings when they aren't differentiating themselves in a positive way.

Their sausages suck.  Hard.  Are you listening, Masters management?  This is a social institution you are dealing with here.  Get the sausages right or die.

So with Lowes having pulled the pin on a cash drain, my local Masters is having a 10% off sale.  Wow, that just about brings your pricing in line with the big green shop literally across the street, and your stock still sucks.

I attempted to purchase a workshop vacuum this weekend.

I failed to do so at Bunnings, as their range either sucked, or was too expensive, or was an overachiever and managed both at the same time.

The Masters choice was either plastic crap, or very expensive commercial grade versions.  10% off something twice what I want to pay isn't doing it for me.  Even 40% off is only just ringing my bells, considering there won't be a retailer to take any warranty claim back to if needed.

So I went to Total Tools, who failed to have my desired model in stock.  Righto, let's find a solution - has Sir considered this alternative?  Pretty much identical, stainless body, detachable heavy duty hoses, steel piping instead of bloody plastic, reverse blow function, much better castors and onboard power takeoff.  Sir inspects and will take one as a fit for purpose substitute, please.  Momentary consternation locating the one in stock.  No worries, we'll fix this.  Would Sir agree to accept the next model up for the same price?  Sir would.

So I wound up with a stainless bodied, ball bearing castored, HEPA filtered, 2000W wet and dry barrel shop vac with 10 litre larger body for $100 **less** than Masters wanted for the smaller rough equivalent in plastic everything, with bushed castors, no filter, and no takeoff.

See ya, Masters.  Don't let the doorknob get you in the arse on the way out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be aware that all comments are moderated so if you're a scumbag spammer then I suggest not wasting your time. Your spam will not be seen by anyone.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.