Thinking about buying from a box store? Think again!


If you have ever strolled through a big box store and saw products such as hot water tanks, toilets, or faucets and thought about buying from them instead of your local contractor, you may be saving a few dollars, but is it worth it? The purpose of this blog is to show the behind the scenes effects from choosing box store instead of contractor.

To start off I wanted to lay out a few issues that commonly occur when you buy from a box store.

  1. Most of the time you’re buying a product of lower quality. Big box stores buy mass amounts of product at one time and they tend to buy the lower quality products to boost their margins. As they should, they are a business, but that doesn’t mean consumers should suffer. A common example we run into is hot water tanks. Big box stores will supply the same brand of tanks that we supply and install, but the models are different. From the outside they look similar, but the working parts inside are different, and to an untrained eye, how are they to know? When you call Norm’s to get a new hot water tank, we go to our local specialty wholesaler to get a quality made tank.
  2. Another issue commonly overlooked is warranty. This goes hand in hand with the quality of the tank. If your tank happens to fail when you buy from Norm’s, we will take care of everything, no hassles and no worries for the customer. But let’s say you bought from the big box store, it’s usually up to you to call some 1-800 number to hopefully reach a person to help you with your warranty. So is it really worth it? Plus, who knows when you will get the tank replaced. With Norm’s and other local companies, we will be there today.
  3. The big one I want to stress is the importance of buying local. We all know buying local has been a big trend in the past 5 years or so, as it should be! So why is buying local important anyways? I found a great article explaining the ripple effects of buying local and how it benefits everyone in the community. I urge to you visit the link and at least read the head lines. It really opens up you mind and makes you think “is saving a hundred dollar at the big box store really worth it”?

Norm’s plumbing and heating is as about local as you get. We’re a third generation family company who invests into our local community every day, and supports our community as well. Instead of paying for corporate pleasures, your helping us help Nanaimo’s prosperity. With over 45 years of community investment and support, we believe local spending is integral to Nanaimo’s growth.

“Large Enough to Serve You, Small Enough to Care”