A Hardware Dilemma No More




Bobsons Hardware used to be the place. As far back as I can remember, if you wanted something out of the ordinary, you went to Bobsons to get it. Whether it be a rubber washer for an ancient faucet or a tiny screw used on a drawer hinge, you could count on Bobsons to have it.


And the service was spectacular. Rarely did I walk in without the offer of “May I help you” within seconds. If I was unsure how to best repair something, a service professional at Bobsons was sure to know.


But then Bobsons was gone. And just prior to their closing, things had changed at the store. No longer was service quite as timely. No longer were clerks quite as knowledgeable. There was another hardware store on Madison near Warren, but the owner was terribly rude, so I didn’t go there much. He eventually closed.


So I started going to Ingersoll Hardware on Detroit Road in Rocky River. Life was good again. For the past 10+ years, Ingersoll has been on par if not better than Bobsons in their level of knowledge and in the unordinary items they stock. Ingersoll truly stepped up to the plate to cover my needs.


And this is where my dilemma begins. Being a recent advocate of taking action in my city’s future, I discovered a new hardware store opened up in Lakewood. Lakewood Hardware is located on Madison Avenue directly across the street from the new Harding middle school. In order to follow my new mantra, I decided to give it a shot. I was easy on them, needing only a toilet flapper to replace the worn out one at my mother-in-law's house. I met the owner, a very personable guy, and the service was good.


But you see, I’m a very loyal person. If you treat me right, I’ll be a customer for life. That is the way I do things and it has always paid dividends. But Ingersoll is not in Lakewood, Lakewood Hardware is. So what do I do? Remain loyal to Ingersoll or to my city? It is a tough decision.


I want the city of Lakewood to flourish. And one of the best ways to help is to spend my money in my city. It helps promote business, which promotes taxes for the city to operate. But there is nothing worse than having an issue late Sunday afternoon and having to run to the hardware store only to find they don’t carry the part you are looking for. And that is the loyal side of me, and perhaps the impatient side of me also. You see, I hate having to go back a second time and usually feel some anxiety when everything is not just right. I also own rental property and feel the need to correct issues in a timely fashion. In the long run, it keeps my properties full if the tenants have good service.


Did I mention that there are seven separate units in my rental properties? That would be seven kitchen faucets, seven toilets, seven fuse boxes, etc. And I’m not even counting my primary residence or my mother-in-law's. So I truly do appreciate efficient service.


In the end, I think I have made a good decision. I will use Lakewood Hardware and learn to deal with my anxieties about getting everything fixed as fast as possible. Not that Lakewood Hardware won’t come through--I don’t know that yet since they just opened up. But I’m willing to give them a shot and not get too concerned with making an extra trip if I have to.


To Ingersoll, I’m sorry. But I’ll come visit you from time to time. And you can always look at this as one of the tiny people sticking up for local hardware stores everywhere and joining in on the fight against “Corporate America.” I would also like to encourage others to do the same thing. And not just Lakewood Hardware, but all Lakewood businesses.


Next time you want to go out to eat, why not check out Maria’s Roman Room on Detroit instead of the Olive Garden in Old Brooklyn? Why not use Giant Eagle at Bunts and Detroit instead of Heinens in Rocky River? I think you get my point. There are plenty of places in Lakewood to spend your money and time. And in the long run, it will pay off.


Read More on Suggestions
Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 11:28 AM, 05.02.2007