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Ace Hardware may not be our friend

OhioEggerOhioEgger Posts: 571

A few weeks ago I got an email from KCBS looking for volunteers to do some grilling/demo at an Ace Hardware "Neighborhood BBQ Fest" to be held today. I responded, but the spot at my local Ace was already taken.

So I went down there today to check it out and got a bit of a surprise. They had three gadgets in use, an XL BGE, a small Traeger, and a Spirit gasser. One guy and his wife running the demo. I chatted with them for a few minutes, then stood back and watched. During the 10-15 minutes I watched, I saw three different people come up to him and ask about the Egg, as that seemed to be the thing they were interested in. Every single time, he turned them away from it "because it's so limited in what you can do on it." He recommended the Traeger every time.

I actually approached one guy after he had listened to the spiel and told him I disagreed, since the Egg is my only tool and I felt I could do just about anything on it. But the seed had been planted and his response was "Yeah, but he's a pro and he ought to know."

I already knew that the folks at this Ace store didn't know much about the Egg, but the demo today was kind of disheartening. I'm assuming the demo guy was a KCBS judge, since that's how I heard about the event, but when I judge one of their contests I see plenty of Eggs in use.

Cincinnati, Ohio. Large BGE since 2011. Still learning.


  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 14,042

    I'm with Cali - I don't care what others buy or what Ace pushes. If I were buying today, knowing what I know after nearly 10 years of egging, I doubt I'd buy an egg myself. Probably another kettle. Or an Akorn.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 12,626

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • OhioEggerOhioEgger Posts: 571

    Oh, I completely agree with those comments. Not trying to proselytize, just hate to see misinformation being spread around. To my mind, the Egg is the more versatile appliance.

    Cincinnati, Ohio. Large BGE since 2011. Still learning.
  • CornfedMACornfedMA Posts: 204

    I’m not sure that ACE Hardware has ever been “our friend.” At least where I live. I’m sure there are exceptions, but on the whole, the eggs are just another thing in the store. I’ve never been in a single Ace that had one person who was even remotely versed in eggs, egg parts or the lump that goes in them. Which is fine, I’ve learned to avoid them and drive an extra 30 mins plus for knowledge and inventory.

    As far as the other cookers- there’s an ass for seat.

  • ryanttryantt Posts: 2,022

    The egg is very versatile and that what I like about it. With that said I tend to think that it’s not great at any of the things it does.

    XL BGE, KJ classic, Joe Jr, UDS x2
    Massillon Ohio 
    Check out Chef Norah Grace on Instagram @the_buckeye_bbq
  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,833

    Everyone’s different. I just convinced my boss to get a traeger since he just wants a smoker to compliment his gasser and kettle. That’d be the next item I’d purchase myself though with the easy dial and forget for those busy weekends I can’t fire up the egg.

    Dunedin, FL
  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 1,943
    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 5,205

    I did learn what proselytize means today

    Visalia, Ca
  • ryanttryantt Posts: 2,022

    True, I guess the point I was trying to make is that the egg is a good cooker, but don’t expect it to be perfect. Personally love my kamado cookers and can’t wait to be able to use the xl egg again. Also looking forward to being able to pick up a brisket.

    XL BGE, KJ classic, Joe Jr, UDS x2
    Massillon Ohio 
    Check out Chef Norah Grace on Instagram @the_buckeye_bbq
  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 17,486

    Imagine that. A retailer with an agenda to sell product. Who'd thunk it.

    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • dmouratidmourati Posts: 530

    The Egg is versatile and there is no real debate against that point. If you want to go by versatility/$ you are probably more likely to be happy with a Kamado Joe or Akorn. If you want something that is really good at one style of cooking (low and slow) or another (pizzas) and willing to give up on versatility, Egg is probably not for you.

    Mountain View, CA
  • lwrehmlwrehm Posts: 354
  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 3,488
    edited May 4

    Ironically I cooked at the one in my hometown today and he used nothing but BGE. He sold 8 today alone.

    It's all in who's running the business and what their motivation is

    XL BGE, 2-LG BGE, KJ Jr, 36" Blackstone, Ardore Pizza Oven
    Follow me on Instagram @ hoosier_egger
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 3,913

    Keep in mind, each Ace is individually owned.......Each store is free to bring in whatever they want, and push whatever they want. There are Ace's that are lumber yards and have zero BBQ stuff, there are Ace Hardware's that are also pharmacies or grocery stores, and their are others that focus on their garden business. There are several planograms available to store owners.

    It's not like HD, Lowe's, or WalMart where you have about the same stuff in every store. The Ace catalog is HUGE. Each store carries a very small amount of what they actually have available to them.

    Also, BGE is a pain in the butt to stock since it has to come through THEIR distributor. Most everything else in that store is on auto reorder from their warehouse, and the semi truck comes once or twice a week. They have to inventory and order BGE stuff separately, pay freight on just those items, maintain the minimum amount of floor space for the level of dealership, pay on a separate set of terms, etc. Companies like us, Traeger, Weber, etc make it sooooooo much easier for the stores to stock and restock.

  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 1,943

    I get it, what bums me out is when Alex Trebek tries to sell me a rip off whole life plan, or when Magnum PI tries to reverse my mortgage.

    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • lwrehmlwrehm Posts: 354

    My hometown ACE is, from what I hear since I'm not a gun guy, is the best place for miles to buy and sell guns, I've heard of people coming from 2+ hours away to "go upstairs" and visit the gun room. All that and very little in the name of grilling, a couple of Weber kettles and Treagers, but NO BGE's. They do have the best price of Grove Charcoal, so I will keep going back.

  • JohnEggGioJohnEggGio Posts: 706

    I’m in Ft Collins, Colorado today. Was out walking earlier - passed an Ace Hardware store - fellow was right out there on the sidewalk. The only thing he was cooking on was a large BGE. Of course, I stopped and chatted. He is a KCBS judge. He was doing whole chickens and sausage. Nice fella - egg lover.

    Maryland, 1 LBGE
  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 1,943

    mmmmm gun room sounds good.

    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • GulfcoastguyGulfcoastguy Posts: 2,415

    My ACE is a 1/4 mile from the house and carries Rockwood, pretty much all I use the discount coupons on. They dealt Primo for a while but now they carry Traeger and a small amount of Weber. Not much because it is a small store.

  • NorthPilot06NorthPilot06 Posts: 830

    Eh, I didn’t buy my egg from an Ace nor do I need them to push eggs for validation of my purchases. I have a LBGE, a wood fired oven, and a DCS gasser - they all have their place in my arsenal. If I bought something else, it’d be a kettle or an offset.

    I do love my Ace though, but it’s because the people there are awesome. Can’t deal with HD or Lowe’s unless I’m doing a major construction project.

    DFW - 1 LGBE & Happy to Adopt More...
  • littlerascal56littlerascal56 Posts: 903

    My local Ace only stocks Traeger and Weber, because my BGE dealer is only 1/2 mile away. But they sell a lot of lump and smoking wood anyway!

    Land of OZ-Hays Kansas

    BGE XL++Flameboss 300 WiFi++Blackstone 36"++2 Weber Kettles

  • CornfedMACornfedMA Posts: 204
    edited May 4

    @caliking without question on the knowledge. As for parts, but for the exception of a few users, I can’t buy them from anyone here nor can I have anyone file a warranty claim. I think you get my point

  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 15,435

    From a business perspective, selling eggs isn’t ideal as compared to other other models such as a Traeger. Think about it, the egg has a lifetime warranty on the ceramics and 5yrs on metal. Sell a guy an egg and you make your money once and then you’ve got to deal with the hassle of warranty claims for free for a lifetime. Not very appealing if you’re on the selling side. On the other hand, Traeger for example has a 3yr warranty. Lots of opportunity to sell replacement parts on a metal cooker with a “short” warranty. Also, you’ve got the opportunity to sell them another one in a few years when the original one craps out.

  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 3,913

    Yeah and when it's free delivery and assembly, the BGE is a PIA! Twice the time and manpower. At least with the KJs, they're all put together. You just need a hand setting them in the nest.

    Also, the pellet grills and kettles eat twice as much fuel than a kamado does.....lot more return trips for pellets and charcoal than with the ceramic.

    From a business standpoint, yep, it's sometimes better to sell the one for half the price.

  • RRPRRP Posts: 22,864

    I agree with you, for sure!

    In our market there are 4 ACE stores - 3 owned by somebody stocking BGE products (maybe just delivering from one location) and the other is on his own. This "other on his own" is in new ownership and of all things he has 12 of some off brand expensive mower tractor with NO attachments With Lowes, Home Despot and Menards all in our community much less 2 or 3 John Deere more dealers my guess is this new ACE owner will be trying to sell some sort of snow blower attachment plus deeply discounting his brand.

    L, M, S &  Mini
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time

    Dunlap, IL
  • cssmd27cssmd27 Posts: 308

    I get the Akorn argument, but why the Kettle? Just curious.

    After dealing with some warranty issues that were far more of a hassle than they should have been, I'm not inclined to replace my egg with the same. I now do a ton more grilling than smoking, so not sure what I'll get when my egg falls apart. Hopefully I have another 10 years.

    Dallas (University Park), Texas
  • littlerascal56littlerascal56 Posts: 903

    @stlcharcoal hit the nail on the head. Pellet grill owners burn a LOT of pellets. The local Traeger distributor for Kansas is down the street. He has a HUGE warehouse with 3 employees, full of $18/bag Traeger pellets to sell. When I ran pellet grills, I bought 3-5 pallets per year from Seth at Lumberjack, at less than half that price. Traeger really could sell the grills for $100, as their profit is based on the pellets you will buy, and they burn a lot of them!

    Land of OZ-Hays Kansas

    BGE XL++Flameboss 300 WiFi++Blackstone 36"++2 Weber Kettles

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