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Lee Valley
Summary

Taken from the website:

Lee Valley is a family-owned business that has been serving users of woodworking and gardening tools since 1978. Our reputation is based on three principles:

Customer satisfaction: Any product may be returned within 3 months* at no cost to the customer; we return every penny you paid us, plus, for shipments within North America, we will refund your return parcel post costs.

Integrity: Our product descriptions are truly what we think of the product; sometimes this means saying such things as: "...handle with hardwood scales complete with spots of wood filler. A tough, ugly tool that is perfect for the person whose usual solution is to use a larger hammer." We let you make good decisions by giving you accurate descriptions.
We treat the customer like a friend. We do everything for you that we would do for a friend, including, where necessary, telling you if you are being unreasonable. Nobody is on commission here and there are no minimum sales targets built into anybody's job description. We have found them to be in conflict with good advice. Besides, most of you will spend as much money with us as you can afford so we want to give you good advice, to give you the best value and thereby guarantee ourselves a low rate of product returns. It is best for both of us if we get it right the first time around.

We listen. If you want us to change something or to carry another product, let us know; we may not end up doing what you want but we won't ignore your comments. We have had a lot of good advice from customers over the years and appreciate it. We also get some bad advice; the trick always is in being able to tell which is which, something we are still working on.
About one third of our total sales volume is in products of our own design. The vast majority of these are VeritasĀ® brand products made by Veritas Tools Inc., our manufacturing arm. We have a research and development team of 11 people and 130 more in manufacturing. And, to reinforce the part about listening to customers, we have a number of customers earning royalties on products that we manufacture based on designs received from them.

Whether a tool from Lee Valley is one made by Veritas Tools or is one of the 5000 or so we get from around the world, it will always have our full guarantee. That means it costs you nothing to try us out. We're confident that the quality and service we provide will be to your liking. Just give us the opportunity.
COMMENTS:
 
master pollinator
Posts: 2724
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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I give this company 9 out of 10 acorns.

Lee Valley is a great purveyor of tools. In addition to carrying most of the best lines of hand tools available for all-around use, they carry many solid types of gardening tool usually not found anywhere but online. In addition, they also carry woodshop and woodworking tools.

Their pricing is middle-of-the-road to pricey, but I have never found them to sell anything sub-standard. It's like a high-end Princess Auto. Also, their quarterly catalogues are useful, though I think I will investigate their online options and perhaps do away with the needless paper expense.

They also take input well from their customers in terms of what products they carry. They became aware that a covered stainless steel ice bucket was being used for countertop kitchen scrap collection, and had the design changed according to customer demand to better-suit that application (something to do with the handle, I think).

-CK
 
pollinator
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Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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I agree with most of what Chris has said above.  I'm glad the company exists.  Since the OP seems to suggest a desire for feedback, I want to offer one comment.

Chris Kott wrote:In addition to carrying most of the best lines of hand tools available for all-around use, they carry many solid types of gardening tool usually not found anywhere but online. In addition, they also carry woodshop and woodworking tools.

Their pricing is middle-of-the-road to pricey, but I have never found them to sell anything sub-standard. It's like a high-end Princess Auto. Also, their quarterly catalogues are useful, though I think I will investigate their online options and perhaps do away with the needless paper expense.


I went in to the Vancouver store with my wife one time to get a couple things we knew we needed, and then to have a look around and see what else they had that might be useful.  We were in the city for a few days at that point, and we were homesteaders who were cleaned-up, well-showered, and wearing nice clothes. I saw a dado set for a tablesaw that looked like a very good tool (it was in a display case and had a stock number which I wrote down, but no price shown).  I went up to the customer desk and inquired about it, asking one of the clerks what the price was.  He just looked at me and replied "More than you'd want to afford"...  not even a laugh or an explanation.  He might have been right, since (as Chris said, above) a good share of their tools are pricey.  But he didn't offer advice about where to shop for a more cost-effective option for that item.

Maybe they fired that clerk, who knows?  His style was terse, and probably not the best PR for Lee Valley. I've got to say I felt weird enough that I remember the experience.
 
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