Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Renovating Guide: Bunnings vs Mitre 10

Disclaimer: This post is entirely my own opinion. It is based purely on one incident at my local store, and should not be taken against other stores or corporations. If you have an issue with this post, please contact myself by leaving a comment at the end of this post.

It is a hot topic in our household of which is the better hardware store: Bunnings or Mitre10. I personally prefer Bunnings, as it has a larger range, is better priced, and 9 times out of 10 caters to my needs. The husband prefers our local Mitre10. There is knowledgeable staff, they are willing to order things in, and it is around the corner from home. Oh, and he likes that you can just drive in, and drive out. There is no boom gate and border security once leaving the timber section.

So, if Bunnings and Mitre10 were to have a child, it would be the perfect hardware store for us. Unfortunately, I cant see that happening any time soon.

Because Bunnings is a good hour away from home, and given that during a day which we are renovating we can go to the hardware store up to 10 times, we get majority of things at our local Mitre10.

When we renovated our bathroom the lovely staff at Mitre10 told us there was no difference between a Hume door and a Corinthian door, and that they were the exact same profile. It is a standard 4 panel door, which is very common, so I took this as gospel. This suited us, as we brought a Corinthian door for the office, but couldn't be bothered driving an hour to go and get another one for the bathroom. So we brought the Hume door.

BIG MISTAKE! It turns out that there is a slight difference between the two companies doors. The inner panel is a differnent shape. It took me a week to work it out, but I worked it out, and it pissed me off every day since 2006. (Mark 1 against Mitre10)

Luckily, as the husband didn't see the issue with having two slightly different doors, he had installed both upside down, and they had to be turned around when the kitchen was renovated. Which meant we had to order a new Corinthain door, as the Hume door had been sanded to fit in the old door frame, and looks silly in the new door frame. Awesome-sauce!

So we went to Mitre10, and were once again told they were the same. I pointed out to the man who told us this that he was infact incorrect, and there was a slight difference. His reply "oh, so you noticed that then. Best we order you a door". No 'sorry, I didnt realise' or anything. He knew all along they were different but was being lazy and selling me a door they had instock rather than order me a door! (Mark 2 against Mitre10).

I point out to the man that it would just be easier to go to Bunnings and get the door. He argues that it is fine for him to order it. I still say no. He pushes the issue and I give in. He tells me it will be a week to come in, and they will call us.

That was the first weekend in December. Three weeks have passed, so today I went to see them. I am told it won't be here until February at the earliest! (Mark 3 against Mitre10). I ask to cancel the order, as I could have picked one up in the 5 times that I have been to Bunnings since I ordered the door. No can do, once ordered it can't be cancelled (Mark 4 against Mitre10).

It is at this point I am starting to see a tinge of red. A very slight tinge, but I am cranky none the less.

And then, the woman who was standing besides the man who was serving me, who is known as being the most useless shop assistant, to the point where we hide from her and refuse to be served by her, tells me it is taking so long because Corinthian are custom making our door! (Mark 5 million against Mitre10). It is a standard 4 panel door. It is an off the shelf item, found in most new houses, that is so common that it might as well be sold at Woolies! They. Are. Not. Custom. Making. My. Door!

It is at this point I see a red flag waving, and tell this woman that it is a standard door, and that if she isn't in the know about our particular door, then to please refrain from commenting, as it was advise like hers (ie incorrect) that got us into this mess in the first place!

So, from now until we next renovate I am refusing to go to my local Mitre10. I don't care if I have to drive an hour each way for a packet of screws, I will either drive or go with out. But I will not be going back to Mitre10 in my town for some time! Bunnings wins!

So here is my renovating advise for today. Never trust what a store person tells you without checking the information yourself. Double check it. Triple check it if you must. And learn from my mistakes, if you think something is going to go screwey, go elsewhere!

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  1. Oh I can SO relate to all of this!!

    We have a local Mitre 10 and a Bunnings that is a 40 min round trip.

    Some things are better at Mitre 10 but Bunnings has more range and is generally cheaper...

    My husband adores Bunnings so it normally wins but I don't like how distracted he gets there and always leaves spending at least $300 gggrr!!

    Aah the joys!

  2. I think I am the female version of J, Amy. I went into Bunnings the other day wanting a tape measure. I left with a tape measure, two fly trap things, a new rose for my watering can, some mulch, and an idea of how to build a pond!

  3. I hear you! But my story is the reverse. I find some of the people I've dealt with at Bunnings totally inept and not well trained at all in product knowledge. I haven't had a lot to do with Mitre 10, but can honestly say when I go to Bunnings, which isn't often, I make sure I know my stuff. They may be cheaper and have a bigger range, but a lot of it is rubbish. I went in there to buy a new orbital sander a little while back and the guy I spoke to knew less than I did about the darn things. Then he tried to sell me a really cheap unit and looked at me strangely because I told him I wanted something with a bit more "grunt" that wasn't going to burn out in a couple of months.
    Each to their own though

  4. Oh I hear you on that one too Lesley. I have this system of finding a staff member at any hardware store. I avoid school/uni aged people like the plague. I also avoid the bored looking people. If they come up to me, I avoid them. I seek out the most experienced looking person. Luckily it is quite rare we ask for in depth advise, its more along the lines of yes/no questions.

    LMAO about the sander though. God damn, how dare you want to give them more money? What on earth were you thinking?

  5. is it any wonder that mitre 10 are going under ? Yes, it's true. If they don't find a buyer and soon, mitre 10 could very well be a thing of the past. for what it's worth, i'm loyal to bunnings only because of my dads super awesome staff discount ! :)

  6. well there you go Neisha, I didnt know that. Hopefully we get a bunnings to replace it :D

  7. We always go to Bunnings, cause our old place had 2 within 5 minutes, and here we have 3 within 10 minutes, and Mitre 10 was always closed...and without the range, unfortunately.
    I do have a pasionate dislike for the shop 'un'assistants though. I find (this is obviously only IMO!) the older males are generally the worst. They speak to my husband, not me (even if I asked the question), and generally treat me as a complete moron! You should have heard the comments I got about painting the floors!

    They are super cheap though, and you can get pretty much anything there!

  8. Oh April, really? Are we going to the same Bunnings? Stephen flatly refuses to go to Bunnings and starts to see red that you can never find a shop assistant on the floor, yet they'll have three people standing at the front door scrutinising everyone who leaves to make sure they're not stealing a $2 packet of screws. every time he has to go in there his blood pressure goes through the roof and he comes home ranting and raving like a mad man!

    We go to Dahlsens (which used to be a Mitre10 actually) in Albert St. They have great staff, and even though they have a lot less stock than Bunnings, their prices are much the same, and they'll order things in if you need them.

  9. Maybe I have a sign on my head that says "Serve Me - I will spend lots of money".

    I actually find the staff at the new Bunnings A LOT better than the old store, there seems to be more of them, and they seem to actually give a damn!

    Dahlsens is just that little bit inconvenient for us when in town, hence we never really go there.


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