Nailed it: Study looks for cheapest places to buy DIY tools

Which? has revealed the findings of its ‘snapshot’ research into the costs of tools and equipment.

Vicky Shaw
Saturday 14 August 2021 00:01
B&Q has been identified by Which? as the cheapest place to buy DIY tools and equipment in its snapshot study of six retailers (Steve Parsons/PA)
B&Q has been identified by Which? as the cheapest place to buy DIY tools and equipment in its snapshot study of six retailers (Steve Parsons/PA)

B&Q has been identified by Whic ? as the cheapest place to buy DIY tools and equipment in its “snapshot” study of six retailers.

Which? experts compiled a basket of 18 popular DIY items, including a handsaw, toolbox and masking tape, and compared costs over a year at Amazon B&Q, Homebase Screwfix Toolstation and Wickes

Other types of items in the study included screwdriver bits, claw hammers, tape measures, wood filler, wallpaper paste, wood glue and metal paint.

Three in 10 (29%) people had told the consumer group they were planning to kick off a DIY home improvement project during the first lockdown.

Which? found that B&Q’s basket came in at £151.80, while Amazon was over £50 more expensive at £206.03.

Consumers looking to take on a DIY task do not have to pay over the odds for paint and tools

Harry Rose, Which?

Homebase was named as the second cheapest DIY shop, with an average cost of £163.42 for the items on Which?’s shopping list. Screwfix followed in third place, charging £165.38.

The consumer champion used a price tracking website to calculate the average basket cost, including special offers but not multibuys, for the year from June 1 2020 to May 31 2021.

Which? also surveyed more than 6,000 people about their in-store and online shopping experiences to reveal the best retailers for DIY essentials. Shoppers were asked to rate their experiences on factors including product range and quality, customer service, value for money, after sales service and stores’ Covid-19 responses.

Which? “recommended” providers Screwfix and Toolstation came joint top of the survey, with each earning customer scores of 82% and five-star ratings across all categories.

Amazon received five stars for value for money in the survey.

B&Q achieved a customer score of 73%, with customers highly rating its efforts to be more sustainable. Nine in 10 (89%) rated B&Q positively for using an appropriate amount of packaging.

Harry Rose, Which? magazine editor, said: “Home improvement projects have surged in popularity during the pandemic, but consumers looking to take on a DIY task do not have to pay over the odds for paint and tools.

“Our analysis shows the best places to buy DIY items combine great customer service with good value for money, and that shopping around for the best prices could make a startling difference to your bill.”

Amazon told Which?: “We work hard every day to provide customers with low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery.

“Sellers set their own product prices in our store and we have policies to help ensure sellers are pricing their products competitively. We actively monitor our store and remove offers that violate our policies.”

Here are the average basket costs at various stores, according to Which?

– B&Q, £151.80

– Homebase, £163.42

– Screwfix, £165.38

– Toolstation, £173.57

– Wickes, £191.82

– Amazon, £206.03

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