Harbor Freight is a well known place among mechanics, carpenters, electricians, contractors, builders, do it-yourselfers, etc. Essentially anyone who needs a tool for something or likes working with their hands has gone to Harbor Freight at some point. If you don't know about Harbor Freight… just don't go! Seriously once you know about it it essentially impossible not to go there.
You won't believe some of the discounts and prices they have on tools there. Mostly everything is imported from China, but when you need a tool you need a tool. Harbor Freight is great if you need that tool only once or some spare odds and ends. You know like gloves, small flashlights, hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, etc. Here are my 4 Tips for Shopping at Harbor Freight.
- Always use Coupons: Harbor Freight frequently circulates flyers, ads, and emails with coupons on many of their products. It would be stupid to not utilize them as much as possible. Paying regular prices for a lot of their product is too much for what you get. You can find 20% off coupons for any item in the store. Of course a lot of items are excluded for these 20% off coupons. Typically you can also find HF coupons in the back of magazines. You can also find coupons when you get items for Free, just for making a purchase. There are lots of mega threads for Harbor Freight coupons on forums all around the internet. Do a search and you can print some out. (I print them out in Black and White to save color toner.)
- Make a List: Inevitably if you go to Harbor Freight without a list, you will spend more than you really want to. Obviously this is how they want it, but don't fall for this trap. Try to make a list of necessary tools, items, and equipment you need. Try not to get too distracted by things you don't need, since there will probably be a lot.
- Pay with Cash: When I make a trip over to my local Harbor Freight in Parkville, I try to only pay with cash and what's on me. If I use my card, I would probably spend a ridiculous amount of money everytime I go. This allows me to say “I will only spend this much today. I can come back and get that later if needed.” It's easy to spend only a small amount of money for different and various items you need but easy to spend a lot on items you don't. If you are buying a larger item and expensive item, such as a toolbox, you can obviously break the rule and use a credit card as that would be easier (and safer) than bringing cash.
- Check Reviews: If you look on a lot of forums and sites around the web you can find reviews of what you should and should not buy at Harbor Freight. I would recommend checking them out as I have found people have written reviews for almost anything there even down to small screwdrivers sets. This has made it so that I have made good buying decisions at Harbor Freight, like my toolbox, and avoided bad items there.
I know a lot of you have a love-hate relationship with Harbor Freight, like I do, but sometimes you just need to go there. It's a guy thing I guess! 🙂
If you think my list of tips is good, please leave a comment below and let me know. If you think something should be added about Harbor Freight also leave a comment.