HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Observation in a Sears st...

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 04:26 PM

Observation in a Sears store - good news?

Let me preface this by telling you something you may not know about Sears. There was a time not too many decades ago when if you needed a good quality hand tool you could buy one either by mail or locally through Sears. Sears sold tools under its house name that were well made, domestically made, and guaranteed for life; if one broke you brought it back and they handed you a new one, no questions asked.

Well, that went away. The tools they sold went down hill in quality over the years and I'd say as late as 2005 or so they really weren't worth buying. The shelves were filled with imported tools and the quality just went down and down and down. I also noticed that at least in the stores in this area they began stocking and displaying fewer and fewer items. So for years I just gave up on them

About a week ago I went into the tool section of a Sears store in a town not too many miles away. Wow have things changed in the last few years. The shelves were well stocked for a change and what was even more noticeable was that the majority of the tools for sale were made in the USA. Yep, that's right. I'd estimate that ~80% or more of the tools I saw on the shelf were domestically made. And in terms of fit, feel, and finish they were vastly better than the last Craftsman tools I looked at. Something clearly has changed, and the change is for the better in every way as far as I can see.

Just an observation. I know it doesn't mean much, but it sure was pleasing to see.

35 replies, 3696 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply Observation in a Sears store - good news? (Original post)
1-Old-Man Jun 2013 OP
one_voice Jun 2013 #1
MineralMan Jun 2013 #2
elfin Jun 2013 #3
Berlum Jun 2013 #4
Liberal_in_LA Jun 2013 #6
Jeff In Milwaukee Jun 2013 #9
Freddie Jun 2013 #11
Liberal_in_LA Jun 2013 #5
upaloopa Jun 2013 #7
Not Sure Jun 2013 #16
Buzz Clik Jun 2013 #8
Warpy Jun 2013 #10
NewJeffCT Jun 2013 #26
Warpy Jun 2013 #32
BlueToTheBone Jun 2013 #30
bvar22 Jun 2013 #12
lumberjack_jeff Jun 2013 #13
KamaAina Jun 2013 #14
LoisB Jun 2013 #15
Triana Jun 2013 #17
Doremus Jun 2013 #22
Triana Jun 2013 #35
bluestate10 Jun 2013 #18
AngryOldDem Jun 2013 #19
Mosby Jun 2013 #23
aggiesal Jun 2013 #25
ananda Jun 2013 #20
marybourg Jun 2013 #21
JohnnyRingo Jun 2013 #24
aquart Jun 2013 #27
Grateful for Hope Jun 2013 #28
DesertFlower Jun 2013 #29
KT2000 Jun 2013 #31
Recursion Jun 2013 #33
bhikkhu Jun 2013 #34

Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 04:29 PM

1. I bought my lawn mower at Sears...

and the motor/engine--whatever it's called has a big ole made in the USA sticker on it. I love that lawn mower.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 04:32 PM

2. That's a good thing. I have owned some Craftsman tools,

but normally bought Snap-On and Proto hand tools. However, I managed to break a 1/4" Craftsman ratchet handle my father had given me. It was old when he gave it to me, and older still, when I had it and sometimes misused it. So it broke.

I took it into the closest Sears store, and the person in the tool section told me, sadly, that they didn't make that model any more (duh). So, he grabbed their top-of-the-line 1/4" ratchet and handed it to me. I still have it. It still works. It's now over 40 years old.

It's good to hear that Sears has re-introduced quality hand tools. If I need something that's not already in my ample tool collection, I'll drop by and have a look.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 04:35 PM

3. Don't need tools - all my Sears ones from the past still good, BUT

They remain my first stop for appliances. I have had good results over the years with their repair service. Sometimes, I go elsewhere mainly due to selection, but if I need a new garbage disposer or garage door opener installed, I go Sears every time without comparison shopping.

Yes, I am a geezer who grew up with "Sears Quality", but still rooting for them after their unfortunate venture into "retooling" their tools.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 04:39 PM

4. Nobody does a Sears Sucker Suit the way they do

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Berlum (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 04:40 PM

6. lol

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Berlum (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 04:53 PM

9. As Rip Taylor said...

It's from Sears and I'm the sucker who bought it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Berlum (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 05:13 PM

11. ohh...my eyes...

Unfortunately I'm old enough to remember those things!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 04:40 PM

5. nice to know as i am in the market for tools

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 04:47 PM

7. I live in a small town and we have a small Sears store.

We've gotten appliances, mattresses, lawn and garden stuff like lawn mowers etc. also anew water heater and everything was good quality.
But most importantly they use to have Faux News on all the TV's. I wrote to Sears to complain. They never have Faux or any real TV on now. They have some in house stuff playing now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to upaloopa (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:29 PM

16. The waiting room at the car dealership I use always has Fox on

I make it a point to change the channel to the Food Network. (Not trying to tie into the Paula Deen thing, that's just the channel I like).

Thanks for getting Fox off the televisions at Sears!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 04:52 PM

8. Agreed.

 

Sears has made a remarkable turnaround. Their tools are quality, and business is booming.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 05:00 PM

10. I bought a new fridge last week, a Whirlpool, nothing fancy

just white enamel, enough space to keep the stuff I use and a freezer on top (didn't like the lack of room in the bottom ones). One of the selling points was that it had been made in the US instead of China, those jobs had come back.

I also got the scoop on why that particular store had dropped LG products (although the logo is on their delivery trucks), not only did they tend to break down, large parts were usually unobtainable without a multiple week wait to get them shipped in from Asia.

I haven't been in Sears for ages, either, both for the reason you cited (crappy tools) but also because the clothing and linen they sold was full of plastic and plastic in the desert does not work.

Maybe I'll have to duck in there and see if they've changed that, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warpy (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 07:18 PM

26. It seems like the large appliance business is coming back

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NewJeffCT (Reply #26)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 08:43 PM

32. Right, the rising price of oil has partly forced it

since it makes little sense to ship large items like refrigerators halfway around the planet to sell them. China's poor quality control was also a factor, as were distributors complaining about how long it took to get parts.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warpy (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 07:47 PM

30. You either bought an old one or

it was made in Mexico. Whirlpool closed its Ft Smith factory a few years ago and left behind some toxins.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 05:33 PM

12. One More for SEARS here.

When I went with my Dad to buy tools or appliances,
we went to "Sears & Roebucks".
I still do.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:07 PM

13. My son just graduated from diesel mechanic school.

 

We set him up 2 years ago with about $2000 of craftsman tools. For the most part Well made, good warranty. The tools are at least as good as my circa 1980 craftsman set.

A $2000 pile of craftsman tools is much larger than the $2000 pile of Matco or Snap on.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:18 PM

14. They merged with Kmart a few years ago

 

Nice that it seems to be working for Sears, 'cause it sure as hell isn't for Kmart.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:25 PM

15. Glad to hear this, I will check out Sears.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:30 PM

17. I don't mind shopping in their stores . . .

 

I've found good quality merchandise there in the past few years.

However, ordering from them online is another story.

Following the Amazon.com model, they've begun to allow other sellers to sell through them. DO NOT buy from these sellers ie: World Mart USA - because some of them are NOT based in the USA. This one, for example.

I've spent the past month or more fighting with them/the seller (who shipped my items FROM INDIA - WAY WRONG COLOR) to get a goddamned REFUND for the items, which I've long since returned to a hinky NJ address which is actually the apartment of some Indian guy. The items however arrived from INDIA. The guy has his merchandise back in the original packaging unopened and undamaged - however I am out a considerable chunk of money which he/they refuse to refund now having jerked me around for weeks about it.

So - yea -- I'll shop in their stores where I can SEE WHAT I'M GETTING ahead of time but I will never EVER order from them or any of these marauding sellers again.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Triana (Reply #17)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:48 PM

22. You need to call your credit card company and do a chargeback.

Fewer headaches for you and a lesson learned for them (perhaps).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Doremus (Reply #22)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:45 PM

35. Thanks - I think I'll try that tomorrow...

 

...can't hurt to call the cc company and ask.

Thanks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:35 PM

18. I purchased two made in USA tools from Sears last Summer. Both have performed

impressively.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:37 PM

19. Yes, it IS good news.

I, too, remember when Sears Craftsman tools were the gold standard.

Maybe Sears finally got the message that people were sick and tired of paying the same price for a piece of crap, overseas made tool that fell apart under any kind of stress.

People are not willing to pay for cheap crap. Pretty simple concept, especially in this day and age when disposable income isn't what it used to be. They want value for their money.\

Excellent post.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AngryOldDem (Reply #19)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:56 PM

23. I don't think sears ever stopped making Craftsman tools in the US

but they did expand their tool dept to include other brands of power tools.

Most all power tools are made overseas.

Husky brand (home depot) first were made in the US by Craftsman, but later they switched to China, now most all hand tools at Home Depot, Lowe's, Autozone and O'reilly's are Chinese. There are a few exceptions like Channel lock and Klein and some other specialty tools.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AngryOldDem (Reply #19)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 07:17 PM

25. Harbor Freight . . .

Cheapest crap around.

I had a Craftman drill for at least 20 years, when the power cable came off at the drill handle.
Took it to Sears, they gave me a brand you upgraded unit, except chuck was hand tightened,
and plastic. So I took off the 1/2" steel chuck on my old drill before I turned it in. Removed the
plastic chuck on the new drill and replaced it with the steel chuck.

Works fantastic.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:43 PM

20. I have an old Kenmore vacuum cleaner.

It still works like a charm.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:45 PM

21. I ordered a plastic "Adirondack Chair" from True Value

and a bunch of socks from Amazon last week and BOTH came with "Made in U.S.A." labels. 2 items in one week!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:58 PM

24. Not long ago there was talk of phasing out Sears.

The parent company was going to keep KMart stores and close the Sears locations. That was just a year ago, so maybe they changed their mind.

They correctly figured there was a KMart near every Sears store and it would cut down on operating costs to keep the one that generated the most profit. Unfortunately, this is the result of mergers and incorporation, something I see as the downfall of competition and free enterprise in the US.

Handyman Hardware also sells Craftsman tools here in NE Ohio. I don't know why that is because it's not a subsidiary of Sears Holdings Inc.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 07:20 PM

27. It means a lot. But....

Legal disputes

Craftsman tools came under fire in 2004 in a lawsuit accusing Sears of false advertising and consumer fraud for questionable use of the slogan "Made in the USA". When in reality the majority of Craftsman tools are now manufactured in China [33]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craftsman_%28tools%29

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 07:22 PM

28. Good to hear!

My late husband swore by Craftsman tools. I am sure he would be very pleased to hear this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 07:44 PM

29. Kenmore appliances (sears) used

to be great. now there crap. my refrigerator is 2 years old. a few months ago i tried changing the inside light bulb. it was the wrong size and blew out the whole computer on the refrigerator. $75 for the service call (not sears) and $650 for the new computer. it happened about 5:30 on a friday night. i got a 24/7 appliance person -- sears said they couldn't get someone there till tuesday.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 07:47 PM

31. If you are talking about Craftsman tools

they have gone through a few private equity firms - that is why the quality went down. The tools became just financial instruments to the owners - the less overhead the better and screw the customers.
Not sure who owns them now though.

Well, it looks like they are owned by Bain now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 08:45 PM

33. After Snap-On, Craftsman were the best tool line out there

I haven't seen a Snap-On truck in ages, come to think of it. And I haven't bought Craftsman since they started to suck. But I haven't needed to either because they last forever.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 09:14 PM

34. I still hate their stores

...like the last time I was in, no help to be found where I was, but I could hear the employees over in another part of the store gossiping about customers, and who'd sold what. In a more or less snarky way. Which is how the company has seemed for years to me - they'll sell you the products if you can track down a salesperson, but if you aren't shelling out for the "extended service protection" and so forth you're kind of just wasting their time and energy.

But their tools are good. I have craftsman impact sockets that have lasted for 30 years now. And they have a new line of wrenches that seem to be made beefier and just a hair better than anything I've owned before.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread