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Thread: Shop local!!!

  1. #1
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Shop local!!!

    I've always lived in or near small towns - never "the big city".

    Most of these small towns have shops and businesses that are struggling to keep up, competing against Walmart, the internet, the "big city", etc...

    So, Chambers of Commerce will have these "SHOP LOCAL" campaigns. (technically, should be "shop locally" )

    My experience has been that, too many times, the local merchant doesn't seem to show that he appreciates your business. He she appears grump, snobbish, apathetic....

    I've actually thought about starting a non-profit "secret shopper" service to send people into restaurants and businesses, then post their findings on a website. Yeah, I know there are big services like that, but this would be more controlled for other than just angry outbursts or biased reviews.

    Meanwhile, I was trying to think, for our own Chamber of Commerce, of a training seminar for small business owners "locally" to help them understand how to EARN my business, not just demand it, or expect it because of a "Shop Local" campaign. And it hit me --- just have them go to Chick-Fil-A and order a meal, and sit and enjoy it.

    You'll learn a number of things...

    EYE CONTACT!
    SMILE!
    Be FRIENDLY!
    Be COURTEOUS!
    Treat the Customer like you actually want them to COME BACK!
    Be EFFICIENT.....

    We have one lady who runs a Boutique, and she's always complaining about people not shopping at her store, and running 45 miles over to the next town to get their goodies. She's probably one of the SNOOTIEST old bitties I've ever met (and I'm being kind) and she is always griping about the weather, small kids in her store, somebody didn't wipe their feet....

    I really do WANT to "Shop Local", and I DO if it's financially feasible, and I'm not treated like an INTRUSION into their day!

    Thanks for letting me rant.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  2. Amen mossrose, Teallaura amen'd this post.
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    Oops....... mossrose's Avatar
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    I agree.

    And that would be "biddys".



    We have the same sort of issues here. One year a while back the city gave out cards that were supposed to entitle you to a small discount at local businesses. But every single time I went into any business in town, none of them were participating. I don't know who was, actually.

    That little "shop local" fiasco has never been repeated. We are a little better off than you are, because our big city is only 20 or so minutes away. And I make sure I need to hit several places there in one trip, so we don't have to go more than every two or three months.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mossrose View Post
    I agree.

    And that would be "biddys".
    I'm not sure I've ever typed that phrase before.



    We have the same sort of issues here. One year a while back the city gave out cards that were supposed to entitle you to a small discount at local businesses. But every single time I went into any business in town, none of them were participating. I don't know who was, actually.

    That little "shop local" fiasco has never been repeated. We are a little better off than you are, because our big city is only 20 or so minutes away. And I make sure I need to hit several places there in one trip, so we don't have to go more than every two or three months.
    In the old days, the local shop was where you not only bought stuff, but got all caught up on the local gossip. Maybe we should blame Facebook!
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  5. Amen mossrose, Teallaura amen'd this post.
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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    I have a few scattered thoughts:

    I think a big part of it is really a desire to preserve competition. My grandfather was a small town pharmacist (over two hours from the nearest big city) for 50 years and even being a diehard Republican, he opposed Wal-Mart coming into his town for years. I'm sure a big part of it was self interest for his own little pharmacy, but he said he was aware of their pattern of lowering prices to knock everybody else out of business then jacking them back up after. Christian writer John Stackhouse wrote about growing up in small town Canada where there were two grocery stores, and people had an unspoken agreement to shop at one the one week then the other the next just to preserve competition. I see going out of your way to shop local as a way to help preserve competition a little bit, because let's be honest, it's hard to compete with the prices and convenience of Wal-Mart.

    The other main advantages I can think of for local shopping is the money staying in the community and accountability. On accountability: When I moved cross country, I bought $1500 in money orders to pay the mover. At the last minute, the (shady) mover demanded the money orders had to be from USPS only, so I went to Walmart, receipt in hand, to return the money order. The lady at the money center wouldn't refund my money, claiming "it wouldn't work" and to try my money elsewhere (she was also very rude and even cursed at other customers). The manager on duty also directed me elsewhere. As it turns out, and I got verification from 1-800-WALMART, you have to refund it at that location only, and that employee was too lazy to do it. The agent on the 1800 number (and later the store manager who called) personally apologized, but that didn't get me the $150 back that I lost because I had to go to a payday loans center in the inner city just to get some of the money back because I needed it that day.

    Had this been a small business that did it, it would be easier to hold them accountable. A small business cannot afford that kind of bad publicity that easily and is at risk of going under. But with a big business like Walmart, it's just another bad apple, and because so many people love to pile on Walmart, people can just dismiss anecdotes like mine as "just another of those anti Walmart people".
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

  7. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    I have a few scattered thoughts:

    I think a big part of it is really a desire to preserve competition. My grandfather was a small town pharmacist (over two hours from the nearest big city) for 50 years and even being a diehard Republican, he opposed Wal-Mart coming into his town for years. I'm sure a big part of it was self interest for his own little pharmacy, but he said he was aware of their pattern of lowering prices to knock everybody else out of business then jacking them back up after. Christian writer John Stackhouse wrote about growing up in small town Canada where there were two grocery stores, and people had an unspoken agreement to shop at one the one week then the other the next just to preserve competition. I see going out of your way to shop local as a way to help preserve competition a little bit, because let's be honest, it's hard to compete with the prices and convenience of Wal-Mart.

    The other main advantages I can think of for local shopping is the money staying in the community and accountability. On accountability: When I moved cross country, I bought $1500 in money orders to pay the mover. At the last minute, the (shady) mover demanded the money orders had to be from USPS only, so I went to Walmart, receipt in hand, to return the money order. The lady at the money center wouldn't refund my money, claiming "it wouldn't work" and to try my money elsewhere (she was also very rude and even cursed at other customers). The manager on duty also directed me elsewhere. As it turns out, and I got verification from 1-800-WALMART, you have to refund it at that location only, and that employee was too lazy to do it. The agent on the 1800 number (and later the store manager who called) personally apologized, but that didn't get me the $150 back that I lost because I had to go to a payday loans center in the inner city just to get some of the money back because I needed it that day.

    Had this been a small business that did it, it would be easier to hold them accountable. A small business cannot afford that kind of bad publicity that easily and is at risk of going under. But with a big business like Walmart, it's just another bad apple, and because so many people love to pile on Walmart, people can just dismiss anecdotes like mine as "just another of those anti Walmart people".
    Those thoughts don't seem very scattered to me.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

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    So, one reason to "shop local" is "service". I bought a bunch of stuff at the local McCoy's store (supposedly a Christian owned business) but one of the cattle gates was locked together with a bunch of other gates at the side of the building, and the guy who had the key had run to lunch. The manager said to me, "you live out by (named a well known resident), don't you?" I answered in the affirmative. He said, "I go home that way, I'll just drop it off at your place on my way".

    THAT kind of stuff makes it worth "shopping local".
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  10. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.
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    When I worked at the local craft store (no longer here) in the mid 90's, the owner was all about customer service. The nearest large craft store was about 45 minutes away (this predated Michaels) and my boss would do everything in her power to order things for customers that we didn't carry on a regular basis. She kept a lot of customers that way.

    There were always some things she couldn't get in but was able to meet customers needs for the most part. I know what good customer service entails from working there for several years, and most places these days do not meet the standard.


    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossrose View Post
    I agree.

    And that would be "biddys".



    We have the same sort of issues here. One year a while back the city gave out cards that were supposed to entitle you to a small discount at local businesses. But every single time I went into any business in town, none of them were participating. I don't know who was, actually.

    That little "shop local" fiasco has never been repeated. We are a little better off than you are, because our big city is only 20 or so minutes away. And I make sure I need to hit several places there in one trip, so we don't have to go more than every two or three months.

    You're both wrong - it's 'biddies".

  13. Amen Littlejoe amen'd this post.
  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossrose View Post
    When I worked at the local craft store (no longer here) in the mid 90's, the owner was all about customer service. The nearest large craft store was about 45 minutes away (this predated Michaels) and my boss would do everything in her power to order things for customers that we didn't carry on a regular basis. She kept a lot of customers that way.

    There were always some things she couldn't get in but was able to meet customers needs for the most part. I know what good customer service entails from working there for several years, and most places these days do not meet the standard.
    And the amazing thing is that, as far as profit is concerned, one of the really tough expenses to control is labor.
    Smiles don't cost anything.
    Good attitudes don't cost anything.
    A friendly "Welcome to [this store]" as you enter doesn't cost anything.

    Another example (I think I've shared before)....

    When a nearby town had BOTH a Office Depot and an Office Max (maybe they're the same thing now?) I was trying to figure out which one I'd utilize.

    I needed an ink cartridge for a Deskjet 500 (long time ago, eh?)

    I walked into Office Depot, told them what I wanted, and the guy kinda grumbled at me, pointing to a side wall of the store, and said "printer cartridges are over there". I went "over there" and couldn't find the list of which cartridges went with which printers (much more simple these days) and finally gave up and left.

    I went to Office Max, and a young lady greeted me before I even got all the way in the door, and asked "Can I help you find something?" I told her I was looking for an ink cartridge for a Deskjet 500, and she literally grabbed my hand and said, "come with me...." and took me all the way back to the cartridges, flipped through the little chart, then pointed to the proper section, asking "just one?"


    Interestingly enough, that Office Max is now a non-denomination church!
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  15. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.
  16. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teallaura View Post
    You're both wrong - it's 'biddies".
    Maybe she was a little bitty biddy.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  17. Amen mossrose amen'd this post.

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