Office Supplies Retail Review: Staples vs. Office Depot
Most people rely on an office supply shop in one way or another, be it for your professional or personal business needs. Two of the major outlets across the country are Staples and Office Depot. This article assesses the general price, products, and availability differences between the two across their wide array of products.
What is your opinion and experiences with both?
Looking at the products compared in the chart below, the average per item price difference is roughly $1.10 more at Staples than Office Depot. Further, as a complete order, the 15 items yield a net savings of $16.54 shopping at Office Depot over Staples.
Interestingly, pricing across items seems to show a few consistencies: Staples offers better deals on printer paper and some basic printing supplies, while Office Depot comes in with lower prices in many technology, furniture, and notebook items.
Both Office Depot and Staples provide free delivery on orders exceeding a minimum value. Office Depot provides free next day shipping on all orders over $50.00, while Staples covers ground shipping on purchases over $75.00. Further, orders placed at Office Depot by 10:00am, can be delivered on the same day.
In general, Office Depot has the clear advantage in delivery options and cost.
Returns & Refund Policy
Technology & Furniture
The two stores similarly refund technology and furniture items for up to 14-days following a purchase. Both require the sales receipt and original packaging (with UPC code intact) for full refund.
Office supplies are not handled the same by the two companies – Staples is much more flexible. Staples honors refunds on office supplies no matter how much time has passed since the original purchase. Office Depot is not as lenient; office products are only refundable within 30-days of purchase, and will also require the original receipt, packing slip, or email confirmation.
Staples and Office Depot are two of the most dominant shopping chains for office supplies in the US. The two stores are similarly templated, offering many of the same products and policies to consumers shopping for office goods. The product selections do differ occasionally, with Staples generally stocking more variety in printer goods, while Office Depot lists more in the way of furniture and notebook options.
In terms of pricing, Office Depot is more affordable on the whole, though the gap is minimal (about 2% or so across the board). Interestingly, Office Depot gets the edge for delivery, though Staples has a more friendly return policy.
In all, Office Depot gives a slightly better value and product selection up front, but the added cost and time spent at Staples will benefit you if — or when – you have to bring products back. Since I don’t typically return notebooks, pens, or office supplies, I’ll take the better deal from Office Depot, and expect it to arrive later the same day.