Because if you show up at a store needing 60 cents in hardware but they tell you you have to buy $3 worth, you buy $3 worth. Online, if you can price shop first however...Same here. Though it was strange, I opened an account and was able to order individual nuts/ bolts/ washers online and pick them up at the store or have them delivered. But when I originally went to try and buy them individually at the store they wanted me to buy a bag. I guess I found some loop hole... by the third order the manager just gave me the bag of what I needed and charged me for two. The orders get filled and delivered from the individual branches so I can't understand why online they allow you to purchase individual nuts/ bolts/ washers but not in store.