Big hardware stores.
I don't know about you all but unless I know exactly what I am looking for I have had no luck with the big hardware stores such as Home Depot and Lowes. When I ask a question I get this dumb founded look on there face. Then I get a bullshit answer. So that is why I do most of my hardware shopping at my local hardware store unless there is something specific I am looking for. I was looking for some pipe insulation for my water pipes that I was going to bury. When I went to Lowes I asked what kind of insulation was the best. They gave me this dumbfounded look and no one could answer my question. Frustrated I went to my local hardware store and they were very helpful. Not only did I get the right stuff I got the stuff that is self adhesive. Ya I paid more for it but for them answering my questions and being very customer service friendly they got my business.
Not only could they not answer my questions I had to wait an hour for someone to even to talk to me. At my local place they were right there asking what I needed what I was doing and even gave me some tips on how to do it.