Column: When the Deal Is Too Good To Be True

Tim
By Tim Suddard
Oct 9, 2021 | Columns | Posted in Columns | From the Oct. 2020 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Credit: Tom Suddard

I have a bunch of outdated, 18-volt DeWalt power tools that I use virtually every day as I build my project cars. Increasing my commitment to these rather heavy tools, I have another set at my other house, a cabin in the woods (it sounds murdery but it’s merely old and outdated) where I actively use them in our remodeling efforts.

Whenever I’m cruising the various swap meets, like Carlisle’s import show, I grab any used tools and batteries from this family that I come across. I’ve been doing this for years. 

But not this time: I recently had yet another battery fail, so I marched into Lowe’s and filled my cart with new, lightweight, 20-volt tools. Then I started doing the math of what two sets of these tools were going to cost. Once I figured in spare batteries and everything, I was looking at more than a thousand dollars. I put the tools back on the shelves.

So I continued to limp along. Then the batteries that I found in November at the Daytona Turkey Run failed. 

I was checking Facebook one morning soon after, and an ad popped up offering me an entire set of these new, lightweight DeWalt 20-volt tools for a mere $99. While I was suspicious and had never bought anything from a Facebook ad, how could I refuse that deal? I quickly broke out my trusty credit card and ordered two sets, one for each house.

I waited. And I waited, and I waited. But as you might suspect, the tools never came. My credit card statement arrived and, sure enough, there was the $198 charge for the tools. I looked up the seller, and somehow it was a Rolls-Royce dealer in Australia. I found the shipping log and translated the Chinese as best I could. Bottom line, they had never received the tools, so they couldn’t ship them to me. While I was pissed and realized that I simply let the idea of a great deal get the best of me, I disputed the charge and went on with my day.

A few days later, I was watching a car video on YouTube and, as usual, an ad came up first. This one was hate-based and told me how I needed to arm myself against the coming attack. I quickly clicked “Skip Ad,” but the experience left me sick to my stomach: A video I wanted to watch was surrounded by false advertising. And worst of all, I had no control to stop it. 

I try to check several reputable news sources every day–and I realize that Facebook is not one of them–to get a true picture of what is really happening in the world. More and more, these news sources are biased. 

One morning I was watching the news, and it was filled with much-needed facts about the COVID-19 crisis. And then they stopped for a commercial break: The first one was a political ad that multiple journalists have fact-checked and ruled as making false claims. Why would a media company claim to speak the truth and then accept ads that have been proved to contain lies? Why would YouTube not screen their ads, either? And why would Facebook take ads for tools that a user would never have any chance of receiving?

The answer is that you have big media companies chasing the money and nothing else. 

While we are not perfect, as a family media company we screen ads and turn down ones that are offensive or untrue. We test products to see how they stack up in our real world, and we try to put ads in the magazines and on our website that are appropriate and of genuine interest to you.

While I try to stay away from politics and realize that most of you enjoy our publications to get a break from the real world, I would remind you that if the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. And remember that there are usually two sides to every story, and you should not trust everything you hear from folks in your social group.

One last thing: You vote with your dollars. When you buy from one of our advertisers, you help us survive. When you click on a Facebook or YouTube deal, like I did, you never know who you’re dealing with.

Like what you're reading? We rely on your financial support. For as little as $3, you can support Grassroots Motorsports by becoming a Patron today. 

 

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Comments
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759NRNG (Forum Partidario)
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) UltraDork
12/4/20 8:26 a.m.

" More and more, these news sources are biased. "   I'm out late

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/4/20 9:14 a.m.

In reply to Tim Suddard :

I know it's not really the point of the column, but DeWalt makes an adapter that lets you use the new 20v batteries on your old 18v tools. $39 on Amazon.

akylekoz
akylekoz SuperDork
12/4/20 10:06 a.m.

I was about to get the adapter and two battery combo for 20v to 18v tools, just then Lowes had a two 18v battery sale.  Now I have two new batteries for my 30 year old tools, that still work flawlessly.  I will probably get the adapter too since they may be extinct some year.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/4/20 12:43 p.m.

I am to the point that these battery tools are so good, light and worth it that I don't mind paying retail when the need strikes. 20v Dewalt planer, was painful, but it sure saved me a load of hand work,

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
12/4/20 12:46 p.m.

Agreed^ I never use my air tools anymore because the cordless stuff is just so good. After buying every single Bosch 18v tool I could ever need, I've now started adding Milwaukee M12 stuff to the collection for tighter spaces. The M12 3/8 ratchet might be my favorite tool ever.

thedoc
thedoc GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/4/20 1:40 p.m.

You have to love how fast this went from advertising to tools.  It went from the garbage of today's internet to the one of the real meanings of manhood.

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/4/20 1:41 p.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

In reply to Tim Suddard :

I know it's not really the point of the column, but DeWalt makes an adapter that lets you use the new 20v batteries on your old 18v tools. $39 on Amazon.

Also, there are several battery adapter designs available to print on most 3D printers.  Jus sayin that if the tools themselves still work well, why get rid of them?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
12/4/20 1:44 p.m.

In reply to Stefan (Forum Supporter) :

You haven't met Tim's tools. They're so worn out that I bring my own whenever I go over to help him with a project. There's no single issue, they're just used up. 

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/4/20 1:48 p.m.
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) said:

" More and more, these news sources are biased. "   I'm out late

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/ronald-reagan-fairness-doctrine/

Televised News has been about selling ads for quite a long time.  Newspapers were much, much worse at the beginning of their inception, they've gotten better, but the industry is all but dead.  Magazines are biased (or targeted) since they generally speak to specific niche audiences.  Being biased isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just depends on what that bias is and being aware of it.  If you constantly assume that bias is political, then you're going to have a bad time.

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/4/20 1:49 p.m.
Tom Suddard said:

In reply to Stefan (Forum Supporter) :

You haven't met Tim's tools. They're so worn out that I bring my own whenever I go over to help him with a project. There's no single issue, they're just used up. 

Noted.  My comment is then more potentially useful to those of us who are more "casual" in the usage of our tools :)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/4/20 2:10 p.m.

I recently discovered that my cordless tool universe is no longer in production, but (knock on wood) so far, so good. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/4/20 2:22 p.m.

In reply to Stefan (Forum Supporter) :

I have a copy of Life magazine from 1911 where they actually (and admittedly) rate cars based upon how many lines of advertising the manufacturer bought. 

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ SuperDork
12/5/20 7:21 a.m.

Be careful with Lowe’s and Home Depot on the Dewalt tools.  If you dig deep into the comments on Amazon (one of Amazon’s strongest features), you’ll discover that in many cases the big-box store is selling a dumbed down consumer grade version of the tool.  It looks and feels almost identical to the professional version but the model number will be slightly different.  I’ve found Amazon to be more competitively priced than either Lowe’s or HD but there are the occasional “sales” that might offset that.  Just be sure that you know what you’re getting though.  The peanut gallery of commenters on Amazon is a data source that can’t be beat.  Kinda like GRM.

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
12/5/20 8:35 a.m.

Watch slickdeals for these combo kits frequently on sale. Had to give up on that site since I spent WAY too much money on tool deals. The dewalt blower and trimmer has the wife doing lawn work now so I guess there is that.

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
12/5/20 8:42 a.m.

I have nothing but positive recommendations for Milwaukee M12 and M18 tools.  All my corded stuff is DeWalt, all my cordless is Milwaukee.  Seems to be a really nice match.  

 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/5/20 8:57 a.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

In reply to Stefan (Forum Supporter) :

I have a copy of Life magazine from 1911 where they actually (and admittedly) rate cars based upon how many lines of advertising the manufacturer bought. 


californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
12/5/20 9:18 a.m.
Tim Suddard said:

 

What is the car on the trailer ?

Thanks

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
12/5/20 10:49 a.m.

I sold all my Dewalt stuff a few years ago and went with HF stuff. I know it's not too notch but it does the job for the infrequent stuff I do with it.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/5/20 10:59 a.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :

Triumph TR6. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/7/20 11:13 a.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

In reply to californiamilleghia :

Triumph TR6. 

Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote's greatest enemy.

That's a lot more obvious when you realize it's the front and not the back :) I was getting sexy 60's Italian vibes thinking those were taillights. Nuts.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
12/7/20 11:44 a.m.

It's possible the station isn't legally allowed to turn down campaign ads. One local radio station plays a disclaimer before all political ads along the lines of "This is a paid political advertisement and we are required by law to carry it. The following advertisement does not necessarily reflect the views of this station." I can understand the reasoning behind such a law: Allowing a station to pick and chose which political ads it runs can get you into "Freedom of the press only applies to those who own one" type problems. On the other hand, it appears there's no law against a news program running a political ad, and then have the news program turn around and argue with the content of the ad.

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
1/12/21 2:50 p.m.

I have a question after reading your article. How does a political discussion end up in the middle of a article about “if it sounds too good to be true...”

i have no clue what your political views are, and that’s the way it should be.I like this forum due to that.

But it seems odd, that it popped up in the middle of an unrelated article. 

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