Have you ever experienced power tool price gloat?

That’s when you tell everyone (buddies, wife, kids, parents, dog) about the Porter-Cable router you got for 60% off + free shipping + rebate + promotional gift card so that Amazon practically PAID YOU to take their merchandise.

I’m talking about saving hundreds and thousands of dollars on brand new power tools here…

I learned the serious art of saving money on power tools from the friendly woodworkers at the WoodNet and FamilyWoodworking forums. I asked both forums recently about the best deals they’d ever gotten on power tools.

These are SERIOUS woodworkers and they are downright PROFESSIONAL when it comes to getting good deals.

As they told their stories about near-criminal discounts certain patterns began to emerge, certain strategies for getting great prices that every deal-hungry power tool shopper should know about.

So if you’re ready to get serious about saving money on power tools here are the top ten tactics I learned from the guys at WoodNet and FamilyWoodworking:

1) vigilance.
Getting power tool prices you can gloat about means you have to be ever alert!

I suggest that you monitor these three forums – Woodnet.net, FamilyWoodworking.org and SawmillCreek.com.

FamilyWoodworking has an actual “hot deals” section. The other two don’t and you’ll have to stumble upon them, though they’re usually found in areas where the most woodworkers have congregated.

You’ll find some of the friendliest, funniest woodworkers you’ll ever meet in these forums, and you might just stumble across deals you can gloat about. Be sure to POST DEALS you find to these forums!

Any unwritten quirks or kinks that Amazon’s deals have, such as the fact that the recent 20% off code (2OOFFPTA) for blades, bits and dadoes also applied to router lift, will show up in forums first… before they get “fixed” by Amazon.

I also write about deals I find on Amazon in the ToolCrib.com blog plus they go in our email newsletter.

2) timing is everything. move fast.
Here’s a limited time deal for example – right now Amazon’s offering free certificates to folks buying DeWALT, Black & Decker, Porter-Cable or Delta products:

· Purchase between $150 and $299 and get $25 off a future purchase.
· Purchase $300 or more and get $50 off a future purchase.

Many deals that show up don’t last long. Like this weekend tool deal that’s over on the 12th. This ties back into vigilance. Sounds like work doesn’t it? That’s what makes woodworkers gloat so much ;)

3) rebates.
Another great way to get the power tool price gloat is to hunt for REBATES.

Right now Delta’s offering a number of rebates on certain items through Amazon.

If there’s a tool you’re serious about you’re more likely to get that sweet price gloat feeling if you read the forums, read my blog, check the tool’s amazon profile page and look at the tool manufacturer’s site for REBATES.

Look closely and be sure to follow up on your rebates! Companies aren’t going to track you down and force their money back on you. Go get it!

4) reconditioned power tools.
Woodworkers are sometimes mixed about reconditioned power tools. The truth is that sometimes when you get them home you realize that they weren’t reconditioned all the way back to “LIKE NEW.”

Then again, more often than not they are like new. And when they’re not you can return them because from Amazon they come with a warranty (be sure to read the next tip regarding customer service…).

I know many woodworkers who SWEAR by reconditioned tools. The price discounts are DEEP, usually in the neighborhood of 40-60%. And in most cases these tools are checked more closely than NEW TOOLS coming straight off the assembly line.

If you can stand the chance that you’ll have to return it then you’ll pretty well guarantee price gloat on a regular basis with reconditioned power tools.

5) make friends with customer service.
What? Your new planer has a dent in it out of the box? CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE.

What? Your order is two days late? CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Amazon toll-free in the US and Canada: (800) 201-7575
Amazon from outside the US and Canada: (206) 346-2992 or (206)-266-2992
Another Amazon direct line: (206) 266-2335
Amazon’s rebate center: 1-866-348-2492

Another noted method – from WoodNet – is sending an email to get a phone call back. Here’s the Amazon login page for customer service if you want to start with an email instead of a phone call.

I’m not suggesting that you look for ways to abuse this, but rather that you get what you have paid your hard earned money for.

Many stories in the forums that involve saving lots of money include a phone call to Amazon’s customer service with legitimate complaints regarding shipments and damages to products received.

(phone numbers from clicheideas)

6) the price match guarantee
Amazon offers a 110% price match guarantee. This is not the first choice of serious power tool price gloaters, but it’s great if you’ve got to get a tool or part and there’s no rebates or other deals available.

Many restrictions apply – it’s mostly obvious stuff though, stuff such as – it doesn’t apply to refurbished tools you find elsewhere and it doesn’t apply to typos you find elsewhere.

If you’ve tracked down a lower price you’d like Amazon to match first check out their Price Matching Guidelines and then call them at (866) 876-8073.

7) buy now if you’ll use it later
Blades and bits. Clamps. Routers. Drills. If someone points you to an incredible deal on something that you regularly use up or burn out – GET IT!

Not only will you get the immediate gloat but you’ll have a stock pile of items you use up regularly at a great price. That’s smart wood shop economics.

8) free shipping
For one, there’s a deal on free shipping from Amazon right now through the 14th of February. It’s only for some stationary and benchtop woodworking tools, but hey, they cost a BUNDLE to ship.

Click here to see all the stationary and benchtop woodworking tools with free standard shipping from Amazon through February 14th.

Then of course there’s Super Saver Shipping. It’s good for free shipping on certain products over 25$. Check and check again to see if the power tools you’re shopping for have free shipping. Depending on the size of the tool this could save you hundreds of dollars.

9) the 30 day price drop refund guarantee
For SOME crazy reason ;) Amazon’s not in a hurry to tell you when you qualify for their 30 day price drop refund.

Here’s how it works:

  1. login to Your Account on Amazon.
  2. click on the items in your “items ordered” invoice to see if the price has gone down below what you paid.
  3. if a price has dropped since you purchased it copy your order number and go to the Return and Refunds Contact Form.
  4. in that form you may see the price drop item… if not you must paste your oder number into the “Other” box
  5. write in the comments form that you’d like a refund

This is great insurance for the bargain shopper who’s forced into making a snap decision on a power tool. And hey, you may actually have money waiting for you in your account right now…

(this tip via bargaineering)

10) the 30$ credit card discount
This is a one-time discount when you sign up for your Amazon credit card. Nothing crazy, just 30 cold ones for you… but if used at the right time it could push you over the ledge into ultimate gloat ;)

BONUS TIPS: Shopping for Power Tools at Brick and Mortar Stores
1) Vigilance still applies – look discount tables over like a hawk. There’s no telling what treasures could be there.

2) Have a strong general knowledge of what power tools go for. Unless you have a mobile device you’re not going to know for sure, so it PAYS to know going prices of power tools you’re considering for your shop.

3) Always ask about prices – especially if it’s hundreds of dollars off. 9 times out of 10 managers will honor the mistake their store made so make sure you’re the first in line if you find incredible mistakes in stores.

4) Price matching often applies. Bring in proof of prices and be firm about getting your discount.

5) Make low ball offers once you’re talking with managers. You never know until you ask. Especially for close outs and display items. The worst they can say is no… so ASK FOR A LOWER PRICE!

Are you serious about saving money on power tools? Read the ToolCrib.com blog and sign up for the ToolCrib.com email newsletter!

And please add to the comments if you’ve got ideas for finding great deals on power tools!