Analyzing the 2012 Black Friday Ads: Pep Boys and Ace Hardware

By , dealnews Media Editor

Like a faucet after a sloppy DIY repair job, these Black Friday ads continue to leak. And as long as they keep showing up, we'll keep scrutinizing them to let you know if there is anything worthwhile in them. You can see all of this season's analyses over on our Black Friday hub.

Today, we're scoping out the Black Friday ads of both Ace Hardware and Pep Boys, since they have some overlap in terms of everyday offerings. Let's take a look at what kind of tools, tires, and trinkets these guys are selling in an attempt to lure customers into their stores on Black Friday.

  • Screw Driver Sets
    Both merchants are offering screwdriver sets this year. Ace Hardware has a Craftsman 8-Piece Screwdriver Set for $10 while Pep Boys offers a Tekz 42-Piece Screwdriver Set for $15 (after $5 rebate). Obviously, the 8-piece set from Ace Hardware is hardly a deal when Pep Boys is offering so many more pieces for so little more money, but what about historically? We see all sizes of screwdriver sets at all different price-points throughout the year and we'd have to say that, even though we don't have a one-to-one comparison, 42 pieces for $15 is better than most other similar sets we list. The closest comparison, from recent weeks, is a 41-piece set for $34 with pickup at Sears.

  • Wrench Sets
    Ace Hardware coughs up a Craftsman 7-Piece Universal Wrench Set (Metric or SAE) for $20 while Pep Boys has a Duramax 11-Piece Wrench Set (Metric or SAE) for $3 (after $5 rebate). Hands-down, Pep Boys's 11-piece set is pretty hard to beat at $3, no matter how you might feel about rebates. In fact, we're never, ever seen such a set — or even a smaller set — for less.

  • Car Jacks
    Ace Hardware comes out swinging with a respectable deal on a Craftsman 2-1/4-Ton Floor Jack for $40; we've seen similar-capacity jacks for around $50. Then Pep Boys, again, takes over the spotlight by offering the Torin 2-Ton Jack for $10 (after $10 rebate). Sure, it lifts a 1/2-ton less, but you'll also save $40. Sounds like a good trade-off to us. For further comparison, Home Depot currently offers that Torin Jack for $36.97 with $10.64 for shipping, making Pep Boys's Black Friday price a new low by a whopping $38. That news is ... uplifting. (Jack jokes, huh?)

  • Tool Sets
    Ace Hardware's entry in this category is the Craftsman 190-Piece Mechanic's Tool Set for $100, which goes up against Pep Boys's Trades Pro 164-Piece Tool Set for $25. Pep Boys continues its winning streak by of offering better similar deals but for a quarter of the price. To put further shame on Ace Hardware, we'd like to note that we saw a Craftsman 154-piece mechanics tool set for $57 with $5 shipping in October; it appears that even among Craftsman tool sets, Ace Hardware's deal isn't the greatest.

  • Drills and Drivers
    Ace Hardware's ad notes that it's offering both the DeWalt 18V Cordless Impact Driver for $100 and the DeWalt 18V Cordless Drill for $100. Since we routinely see a combo kit, which includes both of these tools plus a carrying case for $149 with free shipping, together neither of these are that great a deal. In fact, we've seen a DeWalt 4-Tool Combo Kit for $199 with $6 for shipping.

    Though they don't offer any similar big-brand tools, Pep Boys does sell this small-name Trades Pro 18V Cordless Drill for $15 (after $5 rebate). With the best deal on any no-name cordless drill we've seen bottoming out at $16.99 with $6.99 for shipping, Pep Boys's deal is a savings, but not by much.

The above comparisons might have you thinking that the the two leaked Black Friday ads are almost identical, but that's not the case. Each merchant does offer a wide selection of items that the other doesn't. Here are just a few of the most note-worthy deals:
  • 20% off Coupon at Ace
    If none of Ace Hardware's Black Friday deals impressed you, a 20% off all regular-priced items coupon may still persuade you to venture to their store. However, seeing as how their sale prices are nothing to write home about, we doubt that even this coupon is going to make their regular-price items attractive, but it's a nice offer.

  • Milwaukee Sawzall Reciprocating Saw for $90
    For this one tool, Ace Hardware actually gets Black Friday right. The only time we've seen a lower price for this saw was on a refurbished unit. Currently, Northern Tool offers it for $99.99 with free shipping, which would make this Black Friday deal a new price low by $10.

  • Holiday Decorations
    A large section of Ace Hardware's ad is dedicated to Christmas and holiday decorations and lighting. Too bad we all know the best time to buy that stuff is after the holidays!

  • Motor Oil
    Pep Boys is offering Mobil 1 Synthetic 1-qt. Motor Oil for $5. While we've seen better prices on motor oils when purchased in bundles (like 10 quarts for $30), $5 for one quart with no stricngs attached is a pretty good bargain. The same goes for the other oil deals at Pep Boys. They're offering Quaker State, Pennzoil, or Castrol GTX quarts bundled with a Purolater Classic Oil Filter for $8. Again, we've seen better bundles, but nothing this cheap for one quart and one filter without rebate hassles.

  • Champion Platinum Spark Plug for free (after $2 rebate)
    Free is free and free is always a good deal ... unless of course it's the only deal you're planning on grabbing during Black Friday, so you'd have to factor in the inconvenience of fighting the crowds at Pep Boys just for a single spark plug (or 15), just to save $2 via mail-in rebate. Maybe we're lazy, but that just doesn't seem worth it!
  • $50 gift card with purchase and installation of four Hankook V4ES, Definity Dakota H/T or Falken SN211 tires
    Pep Boys made a good effort to create a deal on tires, but the fact of the matter is that we routinely see rebates that offer up to $100 back on various tire brands.

Even though these leaked Black Friday ads aren't really in competition with one another, we'd have to say that Pep Boys wins! What do you think of Ace Hardware's and Pep Boys' offerings? Anything in there make you want to wake up early and stand in line? Keep in mind, more deals may be released as we approach the end of November, so be sure to check all the Black Friday ads on our Black Friday hub page. And if you want to peruse other stores, we've already posted ads from Dell, Harbor Freight, Victoria's Secret, Sprint, and more.
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Jeff Somogyi is the dealnews Media Editor. When not writing features or podcasting, he likes to spend time with his three cats on his farm in Montana. He also lies a lot about his private life. See more words that he wrote on Google+, Twitter, or on his blog.

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DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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