Harbor Freight's a favorite toy store for mechanics, carpenters, electricians, contractors, builders, DIYers, preppers, hobbyists, welding artisans, etc. Really, anyone who needs a tool for something, or just likes putzing around the workbench, will jump at any excuse to visit Harbor Freight. If you are one of the dwindling numbers who don't know about Harbor Freight-- stay away!! Seriously, it's the Hotel California of man stores-- you can check out anytime you like, but...
A lot of time (well, most of the time for some of us...), "need" has very little to do with shopping at HFT. Oh sure, you might go in for a great deal on a miter saw, but you''ll leave with gloves, small flashlights, an electric bug zapper, a pile of tarps, a wrench set, a headlamp, a machete and a winch, as well. It's like the old "Weed n' Feed" your grampa used to like to wander around. The discounts-- not to mention the plethora of odds and ends all over the place-- are just too irresistible. Best take your purchases home and sequestered in the garage when the wife is out doing her hair.
There is an art to shopping at Harbor Freight-- nay, a strategy-- that ensures you get the most satisfaction out of the experience. To illustrate, I've laid it out in four steps:
1. Stay on Top of the Deals:
Knowledge is power, and staying aware of what sales are out there is pure dynamite. There are a number of ways to do this:
- The Website - On any given day, there are a slew of deals being offered on Harbor Freight's Homepage. Also, the Tab Coupons page, the Super Coupons page, the Clearance page, and the Weekly Flyer.
- Sign up for the mail-in flyer. This is oft times better than the online flyer because it's portable and, laying around, it's a reminder to get while the gettin's good.
- Get on the Harbor Freight email list for exclusive Preferred Customer offers-- so quick and easy, you'll swear you're doing something immoral, illegal or fattening.
2. Clip the Coupon!
If you're like me, many's the time you realize you left the coupon on the kitchen counter, right as you pull into the store parking lot. I live 30 miles away from the nearest Harbor Freight, you think I want to do that trip again? I usually curse myself and pay the regular low price instead of the LOW, low price. Just this once, I'm going to recommend to everyone to get in touch with your feminine side and clip the damn thing-- put it in your wallet. That goes double for the 20% coupons, just keep collecting them and toss them when they expire. After all, isn't that the point? A Harbor Freight shopper without a coupon is like going dutch on a date. I mean, seriously?
3. Inside Track Club
Think you know all there is to know about the discounts, deals and sales at Harbor Freight Tools? Think again. For just $29.99 a year, you can be a member of the Inside Track Club. So what, you say? How about exclusive email offers nobody else gets? How about access to the famed Harbor Freight Parking Lot Sales one whole hour before anyone else is allowed on the lot? Or, deep discount mail-in offers your friends and neighbors will never see? Put it this way: You can take the wife out to Applebee's this Friday, or use that money on the best deals Harbor Freight Tools will be offering all year round. Take your time...
4. Read the Reviews
Hopefully I'm preaching to the choir here. The best way to ensure an informed purchase is to read the reviews left by previous buyers. I value them more than the so-called experts who review for a living 'cause it's "power by numbers." If 95 out of 100 people love the product, chances are pretty good I will, too. If that means it's getting a different model than previously intended, so be it. But, that's me.
There's a reason why guys love to shop at Harbor Freight, and if you're getting ready to go for the first time, I envy you the joy and wonderment you'll be experiencing. Follow these four tips and you'll come away happy and fulfilled, and no one will call you a boy anymore.
Well, two out the three of those things, for sure.