Is the Harbor Freight Fast Track worth it?

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Forum topic by Cornductor posted 10-19-2011 09:34 PM 8761 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Cornductor's profile


208 posts in 2695 days

10-19-2011 09:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Today at HF I bought some items totaling at 46.00. The cashier then asked f I wanted to join the fast track, I listened to the nice lady and said no thanks. Knowing that it would cost me an additional 29.00 to my existing bill to join was it really worth it? She said that if I was a member I would have saved 3.00 on 1 item and 2.00 more on another item plus my 20% off coupon.

Now here’s the real question do you shop enough at HF to take advantage of the Fast Track system. Or just wing it and see if you can get a better deal buy using coupons and sales.

-- An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin

14 replies so far

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2951 days

#1 posted 10-19-2011 09:44 PM

I go for the coupons and sales. Mostly what I’m after is consumables anyway although I did buy a mortiser(works good) It was on sale for 169 and they still took my 20% coupon.
I’ve listened to their spiel on the Fast track and don’t think it’s worth it to me.

-- Life is good.

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3260 days

#2 posted 10-19-2011 10:07 PM

I have outfitted my shop with a lot of HF equipment, and have heard the sales pitch about the fast track, or inside club, or whatever it is called ad nauseum… I just go with the sales / coupoons… Wish I had the cash when they had cleared out the 8” jointers a couple of years ago…

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View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2999 days

#3 posted 10-19-2011 10:16 PM

I joined last year and it has saved me about $150. Probably half of that was stuff that I really needed, like a 12” disk sander and a 15” drill press, so it paid for itself easily.

It also made me spend more than I should have on stuff like a couple of 14pc wrench sets that I didn’t really need, but the deal was too good to pass up.

Now that my shop is virtually complete, and since the stinking economy caused my job, and hence my income, to be downgraded by nearly 40%, I won’t be joining again. At least not until 2013 or 2014.

View weedsnager's profile


59 posts in 2464 days

#4 posted 10-19-2011 10:28 PM

a few weeks ago, they were offering it at $29, plus a $10 gift card when you join

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2800 days

#5 posted 10-19-2011 10:42 PM

It depends really, those inside track club coupons are really good, but if you never use them it’s not worth it.

2 Month’s ago they had their HF dust collector part of the inside track club coupon, and it was very cheap, meaning the savings from that 1 item would have paid for the membership cost.

I joined the inside track club several months ago when they had their lathe as part of their coupon packet and it was worth it to sign up for the inside track club for the extra savings. Since then I’ve used a few coupons from the inside track club flyers so the extra savings have been a bonus.

Check out for a full list of harbor freight coupons. They also list the Inside Track Club coupons towards the bottom. You can view them, but you can’t use them enless you are a member of the inside track club.

So I’d look over the booklet or keep watching it every month, if a coupon pops up that makes it worth it, then sign up.

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

363 posts in 3701 days

#6 posted 10-19-2011 10:46 PM

Howie’s response is more along my line of thinking…but this is a great topic and I look forward to other’s comments. Perhaps someone may convince me to try it, where the HF clerk has failed. :-)

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7604 posts in 2829 days

#7 posted 10-19-2011 10:50 PM

I am offended by having to pay money for the right to save money…

I have to go pick up some things at Sams Club now… But when the fat guy at the entrance tries to ask for my secret $50/yr membership card before he lets me in I’m going to poke him in the eye…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3463 days

#8 posted 10-19-2011 11:33 PM

I used to be a member of their inside track club before they changed to the current site layout. There were some good bargains offered, most of which I was not interested in, only purchased consumables. The worst part of my experience was that it took a week or more for your membership to start and surprise, surprise when the order arrived half of it was out of stock or back ordered – no prior notification given. Bargains are good providing you receive all your order after paying the full shipment for ALL your order. That makes it less of a bargain.
I did not continue my memberships for those reasons.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4950 posts in 3989 days

#9 posted 10-20-2011 12:16 AM

I think that it is just like the extended warrenty scam. They get to use your money for an unknown time while you think that the stuff will break. Of course I buy life insurance too.


View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3298 days

#10 posted 10-20-2011 12:26 AM

I always consider the motivation for these “premium” services. If the company did not make money from them then they would not offer them. I don’t know how many times I have seen folks screaming at customer service because something or other was “not covered” under their “premium” warrantees. There is also the Prime service that Amazon offers….but the majority of the stuff you buy is not elgible for “Prime” so basically you have paid extra money to not be able to use it.

I only get to HF every couple of years myself so it certainly would do me no good…but I do not belong to costco (Sams club) as I have not seen any real deals in there. Most of the stuff they sell is junk that is positioned for folks to make impulse buys (thinking they are getting a good deal) – but if you do your research you find the deal quickly evaporates – Costco/Sams is great if you have a restaurant or need to feed an army…but what small household needs 50 gallons of soy sauce?

I agree with Stump – poke em in the eye and kick em in the shins – that should teach em not to offer those rip offs….LOL

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Cornductor's profile


208 posts in 2695 days

#11 posted 10-20-2011 04:40 AM

I feel the way most of you feel, why do I need to pay more to save more. Every stinking time I go in there “Would you like to be part of the Fast Track?” is brought up. I’ll just end up sticking to my regular routine and find my own ways to save my own Fast Track Bucks.

Oh by the way I bought some of the portable parts storage cases. I freed up a portion of my shelve and a whole cabinet of coffee cans full of screws and bolts.

Thanks guys for all the great advice and comments!!

-- An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2592 days

#12 posted 10-20-2011 05:03 AM

Harbor Freight constantly has sales…sometimes they have sales within sales…plus 20% off coupons all the time (just found their black friday ad online earlier this week)...i guess just saying you don’t need it unless you are shopping there like every week

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View JamesG79's profile


23 posts in 2475 days

#13 posted 10-20-2011 02:38 PM

Not worth it! I took the bait and bought the membership on a special $29 and get a $10 gift card. So far all I’ve noticed is that they still put the same stuff on sale to everyone, just that the IT members get a pretty flyer every month and get more super coupons in one place. If you look in the back of most “men’s magazines” there’s a 20% coupon with a bunch of super coupons. Look around in those for the coupon you want. The 20% coupons are a dime a dozen and can be found everywhere. Use those and you’ll be much further ahead.

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2871 days

#14 posted 10-20-2011 06:58 PM

I purchased a floor jack, impact wrench/110v, jack stand and some other tools and more than saved the $29 Inside Track Club fee. I resent the coupon clipping BS. I think if you’ve paid their fee they shouldn’t make you jump through hoops to get your discount. My version of a poke in the eye – the lower security allows your neighbors and family to use your extra cards and bar code fobs at the store if they use your zip code and pay cash.

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