Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping At Menards

Menards was founded by John Menard in 1958. What started as a company designed to help the founder pay for his education, soon took off and grew into a trusted name in the home improvement industry. Today, there are over 330 stores spread out over 15 states, including Wisconsin (the site of the original location), Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and Nebraska. Though it has experienced national growth and recognition, Menards still remains a family-owned company, just as it was when John Menard started it over 60 years ago.

Menards is committed to their customers and strives to provide top-notch customer service. You may already be familiar with the company's slogan: "Save BIG Money!" Menards lives up to this slogan and aims to offer the lowest prices in the industry. If you want to shop smarter at Menards — whether online or in-person — you'll want to avoid making the common mistakes discussed below.

Not applying for a Menards credit card

One common mistake individuals make is declining the option to apply for a Menards credit card. Menards credit card customers can enjoy a range of benefits with every purchase they make. In addition to the various special offers the company offers the "BIG" credit cardholders, you'll also receive a 2% rebate on every Menards purchase you make. This rebate — which comes in the form of a Menards merchandise credit — can be applied towards future purchases to help decrease the total cost of your order. Menards cardholders making a purchase of $299 or more could also select one of the special financing offers available. Choose from either 6-, 12-, or 48-month zero or low-interest financing options. Just be certain to pay off your balance within the promotional period or you may be subject to a retroactive 27.99% APR from the purchase date.

When you open your new account, you can receive an additional bonus. As of the time this article was written, individuals who open a Menards credit card will also receive an extra $10 rebate for the first $100 they spent. Other benefits of the card include the opportunity to earn a 1% rebate from a variety of gas and merchandise vendors, including Speedway, Kwik Trip, and Holiday.

According to Bankrate, there are benefits associated with applying for store credit cards, including that they can be easier to qualify for and that they give you the opportunity to earn bonuses. However, store credit cards can have higher APRs and can often only be used at the issuing store, so you'll only want to apply for a Menards card if you're a regular customer who will use it frequently.

Not shopping the 11% rebate sales

If you've been to Menards a few times, you're likely already familiar with their 11% rebate sales. Menards frequently runs these sales, though they don't offer too much advance notice of when they'll take place. Frugal Reality shares some tips on shopping the Menards 11% rebate sale. First, you'll want to be sure to save your receipt. Without it, you won't be able to receive the rebate. Then, you'll need to complete the rebate form. You can request a copy of this form at the customer service desk, or find it online through the Menards Rebates Center. Be sure to complete your rebate form and send it (along with the receipt) in the mail within the required time frame.

Once your rebate is processed, it generally takes between six and eight weeks for your rebate check to arrive. You can redeem your rebate for your next purchase at Menards. The rebates can even be combined with other coupons and promotions — including at the next 11% rebate sale. An 11% rebate can add up quickly. Think of it as $11 Menards cash back for each $100 you spend. If you're planning a big home renovation project where you'll need thousands of dollars of appliances and materials, it is easy to see the earning potential this sale offers.

Not taking advantage of the free design tools on the website

The Menards website offers a plethora of useful resources for customers. If you're in the process of planning a home project, you'll want to visit the Design & Buy section of the website. Here you'll be able to customize the layout and materials needed for a range of projects. Some of the many project types to choose from include decks, fences, sheds, doors and windows, cabinets and countertops, and garage doors.

When you select the project type you're working on, you can use the design tools to match your vision. You'll be able to choose from a variety of material and design options. For example, if you're designing a deck, you can sketch the shape of your deck, adjust its length and width, add stairs and ramps, and set the deck's height off the ground. After that information is set, choose from different decking styles, add railings or walls, and select your preferred decking material. Based on the information you enter, the program will display an estimated materials cost (excludes tax, labor, and delivery).

Another useful aspect of the Design & Buy section are the visualizer tools. You can upload a photo of your home, or a specific room, to see how different paint colors, cabinet and countertop options, siding, or roofing will look. The paint color visualizers are available through Dutch Boy and Pittsburgh Paints & Stains, while the kitchen visualizer and roofing and siding visualizer are powered by Menards.

Not saving the receipt

Whenever you shop at Menards, you'll want to save your receipt. In addition to needing it to receive your rebate check for the 11% rebate sales, you'll also want to keep a copy of the receipt in case you decide to return or exchange any products you purchase. According to the Menards return policy, the company reserves the right to refuse a refund without a receipt. Moreover, the 30- and 90-day Over-the-Counter exchange policies state that no returns, refunds, exchanges, or credits will be issued without a receipt. If you experience any problems with installed items that cannot easily be returned to the store, you'll also need your receipt. The return policy states that customers will need to attach their receipt to the Installed Guest Complaint Form and mail it to the company's Product Complaint Department.

If you paid with a credit card, it may be possible to look up your receipt at the customer service desk. However, this may not always work. Additionally, if Menards does decide to accept your return without a copy of your receipt, you'll be issued an in-store merchandise credit, rather than a refund to your original payment method. The amount issued will also match the lowest price the item was offered at, which could end up being less than what you originally paid.

Not using the buying guides to help you choose the best products

Menards also offers a range of buying guides on their website. Hovering over the "Project Center" tab on the website will allow you to see the different buying guide categories available to choose from. Some of the categories include appliance buying guides, kitchen buying guides, bath buying guides, paint buying guides, and tools and hardware buying guides. Clicking on any of these general topics will pull up the different buying guides that fall under that category. For example, under the appliance category, you'll find guides for dishwashers, refrigerators, microwaves, air conditioners, washers and dryers, and more.

These buying guides can be an excellent resource when you're looking to make a purchase. They include information about the different types of products on the market, highlight the various features and/or accessories that are available, ask guiding questions to help you focus your search, and include links to take you to the available products on Menards' website that match what you're looking for.

Not shopping Ray's List online

When you shop in a Menards store, you can check out the clearance section and find some amazing deals. What many people don't realize is that the clearance deals found in-store can also be viewed online. Shopping the Ray's List section of the website — which is listed under the "Departments" tab — provides you with details about these in-store deals.

Scroll through the list of clearance items at your leisure from the comfort of your own home. If something catches your eye, you can head to the store to pick it up (these clearance items are only available for in-store purchase, so you may want to move quickly before someone snags the deal you want). Because there are often hundreds or thousands of different clearance items, you can use options at the top of the page to filter by brand, category, project type, price, and more. There is even a search bar for the Ray's List section if you're looking for something specific. If you are lucky to live in an area with several Menards within driving distance, you can even compare their inventory to see where you would like to shop.

Not planning a trip to the Menards Surplus Store

If you haven't had the opportunity to check out the Menards Surplus Store, now may be the perfect time to start planning your trip. Located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the Surplus Store offers a wide selection of products for less than you'll find them in store. The inventory changes frequently, so you never know what deals you'll find. If you're in the Eau Claire area, you can easily visit the Surplus Store before tackling any home improvement projects to look for the best deals. If you're not in the Eau Claire area, you may decide it is worth the trip to scope out the amazing deals waiting for you. While the specific deals will vary based on the available inventory, some of the types of items that may be available include power and hand-held tools, office furniture, plumbing supplies, doors and windows, cleaning supplies, lighting, industrial and commercial equipment, and electrical supplies.