Lowe’s, Walmart, and Home Depot are all the most popular go-to places for many people in the U.S. – when it comes to construction materials and home renovation products, including lumber.
Because some of them have offered free pallets and wood in the past, you might be wondering if you can still get free pallets at these stores for your pallet projects.
The answer is, unfortunately, no. While you may be able to find some free pallets at Lowe’s, Walmart, and Home Depot from time to time, it’s not a guarantee. This is because these stores typically sell pallets or use them for their operations.
As per the latest data, companies such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walmart do not give away free pallets also because of the reason that they have agreed with their suppliers with a policy that allows them to return the pallets back quickly.
If you’re looking for free pallets, your best bet is to check with local businesses or search online classifieds sites.
Below in this article, I will further explain this topic in detail and give you some tips on where to look for free pallets.
So, stay tuned if you want to get your hands on free pallets near you.
Free Pallets from Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Walmart
Some local hardware pallet stores, including Lowe’s, Walmart, and Home Depot, could give away their unwanted & used pallets to their loyal customers who ask for them. But that’s not always the case.
Nowadays, I think it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll get free pallets from these stores because they usually either return to their supplier back, sell them, or use them for their operations.
That said, these stores often need to recycle the pallets as per the sustainability schemes.
So, if you really want to get some free pallets from these stores, you may politely ask the store manager or staff at the customer service desk.
Alternatively, you may phone your local Lowe’s ahead of time to find out if they have any available pallets.
Ask them politely, and tell them why you need the free pallets and why you can’t spend enough money on them.
Maybe you are lucky enough to get some if they are available. If not completely free, you may get them at low dirt prices.
Why do these stores give away free pallets?
Lowe’s and other stores possibly might give away free pallets if they are in excess.
This will save the company money and spare staff the trouble of removing them at disposable centers.
The thing you need to keep in mind is that the availability of pallets at Lowe’s, Walmart, or Home Depot can vary depending on the store and location.
So, getting free pallets from these stores is not always possible.
Just in case you request and get the free pallets from them, remember that you will still need to bear the cost of removal and transportation of the pallets yourself.
The stores will not be liable for any mishap in the process of pallet removal from their premises.
Can you take the pallets from these stores without permission?
While it’s sometimes possible for shoppers to get free pallets from Walmart, Lowe’s, and other stores, it is illegal to take pallets from their stores without obtaining permission.
Since there are reasons (I will discuss them in a second) why they do not offer the pallets for free, it’s not recommended that you should take them without asking.
Even if you find the pallets behind Lowe’s are unoccupied or stored unattended, it’s simply not worth your life as you may be caught up for attempting to steal, which may result in shoplifting charges.
Why Can Some of These Stores NOT Give Away Free Pallets?
There are different reasons behind it. The following are some of the main ones:
1. They need to return
The stores have a policy with their suppliers that doesn’t allow the pallets to be given away.
Since stores obtain these pallets during the stock deliveries from their contracted suppliers, they do not belong to them. They will need to return the same number of pallets to their distributors.
Colored wood and metal pallets, for example, are owned by specific brands and must be reused by the stores or returned to the manufacturer – they are not for sale or giveaways.
b) They are looking to profit from them
Some stores sell the pallets instead of giving them away for free. This is because they can make a profit off of them.
Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, and Walmart – all of them offer an extensive range of pallets to their customers for purchase.
So offering free pallets to their customers would cut into their profits.
2. They are concerned about liability issues
There are certain safety and liability issues that stores need to take into account when it comes to giving away pallets.
If someone were to get injured while using one of the store’s pallets, the store could be held liable.
Some of the store workers I have recently talked to state that there have been many situations where people have gotten injured while trying to remove the pallets from the store premises.
So, to avoid any such liability issues, the stores have now stopped giving away pallets for free.
3. The pallets are damaged and need to be recycled
There are times when the pallets that stores receive are damaged and need to be recycled.
Also, if the pallets are already infested with pests like rodents or bugs, the store wouldn’t want to give them away and risk the pests infesting other areas.
In these cases, the stores will not give away the pallets for free since they need to go through the recycling process to help save natural resources.
While not all of their woods are recyclable, they can turn truckloads of lumber, including pallets, into mulch.
4. The store is reusing them
Another reason why stores may not want to give away their pallets is that they are actually repairing and reusing them for various operational purposes within the store.
For example, some stores use them to store inventory in the back room or even use them as makeshift shelves.
This reduces their need to purchase new wood for shelving units and other purposes, which can be pretty costly.
So, Where Else Can I Get Free Pallets for My Craft Projects Instead?
Although you can’t always get free pallets at Lowe’s, Walmart, and Home Depot, there are other ways to get your hands on some free pallets.
Here are a few ideas:
a) Check other local stores & businesses
There are bound to be other local stores and businesses in your area willing to give away their pallets for free.
Sometimes companies have too many of them and don’t have any use for them, so they’re happy to get rid of them without paying extra costs for disposal.
To find out if any small retailers in your area are willing to give away their pallets, you can call them or stop by in person to ask.
Some of the best businesses you can look to for free pallets include:
- Hardware stores
- Furniture makers
- Liquor shops and bars
- Grocery stores
- Pet stores
- Small garden shops
- Equipment stores
- Newspaper companies
b) Look for online classified ads
Another great way to find free pallets is by looking for online classified ads. Websites like Craigslist and Freecycle are great places to start your search.
People often give away pallets for free on these websites since they’re trying to get rid of them as quickly as possible without having to pay disposal fees.
I have also found many people on Facebook groups who are looking for unused lumber, decorative stones, garden seeds, etc. If you have them available – you can even make a trade.
c) Check construction sites, junkyards, and schools
Construction sites, builders, and junkyards are other great places to find free pallets since they often have a lot of them lying around.
They usually repair them and offer them at a very low cost compared to stores that sell new pallets.
After all, these places are trying to get rid of them and don’t want to have to pay for their disposal.
You can also check with your local schools, family & friends, as they sometimes have pallets they need to get rid of.
By picking up, removing them from their place, and paying the transportation fees from your pocket, you can save them some money and get the pallets for free.
Why Should I Purchase Pallets from Lowe’s, Walmart, and Home Depot?
First and foremost, these home improvement and hardware stores are reliable sources for pallets known for their commitment to customer care.
Since they receive them regularly, you can usually find the same type of pallet every time you visit the store. It can be helpful if you’re working on a specific project that requires large quantities of a particular size or style of pallet.
a) Low cost
Home Depot, Walmart, and Lowe’s also typically charge much less for their pallets than other stores.
This is because they’re trying to get rid of them quickly, so they don’t have to pay for their disposal.
Purchasing pallets from these stores can be, therefore, a great way to save money if you’re working on a large project that requires a lot of them.
b) Huge variety
Besides the low cost, these stores have a wide variety of pallets to choose from.
They receive different types, sizes, and styles of pallets made from wood, galvanized steel, aluminum, plastic, and PVC.
Some of them also have a range of colors available in their inventory for anyone looking for a specific color scheme.
This variety means that you’re likely to find the perfect pallet for your needs, whether you’re looking for something specific or just trying to find the best deal.
c) High-quality, sturdy, and durable
Unlike free pallets that might be contaminated with pests, toxic food bacteria, and harsh chemicals, the pallet products offered by Lowe’s, Walmart, and Home Depot are of high quality.
Some are also pre-stained and can be used safely for food-related projects.
In addition, the pallets offered by these stores are also much sturdier and more durable, thanks to the fact that they’re made with high-quality U.S.-sourced materials like sustainable, natural wood, and industrial-grade steel.
This is important if you need a pallet that can support a lot of weight or be used frequently.
Based on customers’ demand, the pallets you find at these brand stores are also typically heat-treated to ensure they can withstand extreme temperatures without warping or breaking, making them ideal for outdoor projects.
How Much are the Pallets at These Stores – Are They the Cheapest Places to Buy?
If you are looking to spruce up your craft project or outdoor living space using pallets, you might be wondering how much are the pallets at Lowe’s, Walmart, and Home Depot.
The average cost of regular-size wood pallets (48 inches X 40 inches) at these stores can range from $5 to $26, depending on the wood conditions and other factors.
While smaller ones like 15.9 in x 11.9 in are going for $5 to $15, and larger sizes like 40 in x 23 in will cost around $25 to $65.
The plastic pallets, recycled Presswood nestable pallets, and Heavy Duty Aluminium pallets can cost more.
For example, a standard-size plastic pallet might cost $65, while a nestable recycled Presswood pallet could be around $75 to $195.
As for the heavy-duty aluminum pallet, the price could be as high as $250.
Although the prices of pallets at Lowe’s, Walmart, and Home Depot might not be the cheapest, they offer customers good value for their money thanks to the high quality and durability of the products.
When compared to Home Depot vs. Walmart vs. Lowe’s, I think you can more likely make a saving at Walmart.
The pallets at these stores are also typically in good condition. They have been treated to withstand extreme temperatures, making them an excellent choice for heavy-duty industrial or outdoor backyard projects.
Home Depot, however, on the other hand, sells pallet parts and planks in packages that are easy to stack and transport.
They also offer a free service to get these planks cut in-store, which can be helpful if you need a specific size or shape for your project.
Lowe’s might have the upper hand in terms of variety as they offer a more comprehensive range of pallets, including plastic, aluminum, and steel options. Additional delivery charges and shipping costs may, however, apply.
So, when shopping for pallets, it’s essential to compare each store’s prices and product offerings to find the best deal.
In conclusion, whether or not a store will give away its pallets for free depends on various factors such as company policies, the type of business, and what the pallets are being used for.
You can get free pallets at Lowe’s, Walmart, and Home Depot by asking if they have any they don’t need and seeing if they’re willing to give them for free.
However, the quality of these pallets is not as good as the ones you would purchase from these stores.
The store-bought new pallets are typically made with high-quality materials, so if you need a pallet that is durable and can withstand a lot of weight, it is better to buy one from these stores.
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Hi, I am Mark Garner a professional carpenter, woodworker, and DIY painter. I live in the small city of Peoria, Arizona as a semi-retired woodworker. I have started this blog with a simple motive to help you with my wood experience in this sector. If you like to know more about what I love doing and how it all got started, you can check more about me here.