There really is one basic tip for getting by in Israel. Know thyself, or better yet, know your product.  If you know what you are looking for, you can find it.

Israel is a niche market; meaning the big Home Depots, Lowes and Michael Craft stores you are looking for do not exist.  You have to find the little "macolet" of hardware supplies in your area, your local "Tambour" store, and cultivate that relationship. Each of these little stores chooses what brands and products they want to carry, meaning each store has different things to offer. Furthermore, the big chain stores, Home Center and Ace, also have a specific set of products for EACH SEPARATE STORE and they DO NOT all carry the exact same things.  This means shopping in Israel for things you want is a tiny bit more complicated.  But not impossible.  Think of it as a treasure hunt.