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Old 11-30-2010, 12:39 PM   #15
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Ganarska you are 100% correct. I remember when mom and pop figured I needed them more than they needed me. AND if they didnt have I didnt need it. Now the local Ace hardware will bend over backwards for you. Sal.
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RamblinManGa View Post
Hi from Ga. . . I respectfully disagree with Ganaraska. I think Wallyworld has ruined small town America. They pay low wages, sell a lot of cheap Chinese stuff and good luck with that customer service thing. When they come to town.... walla. . .no more Mom & Pop shoe store,sporting goods store, dress shop etc,etc,etc,because they cannot compete with mega buying power. And if the Big Orange box shows up as well, you're local hardware dealer is probably toast. I don't shop in either as a matter of personal choice. I usually prefer better 'stuff'. (and I don't spend the night in their parking lot either). Of course, I'm an old guy who REMEMBERS local people who sold decent products, treated you fairly, and probably knew your name. OK, down off the soap box now, sorry, . Regards, Craig
After 10 years of jumping through the planning commission hoops here in Durango, we got probably the best looking Walmart in the chain! We also got some Walmart grant money to bring in consultants that actually held seminars for local merchants on how to compete with the big box stores. Our downtown local merchants are more than holding their own against WM, Big 5 and HD. In fact, we got a new hardware store last year that is very competitive against HD.
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:39 AM   #17
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Sadly, my local RV supplies store is a bit of a chiseler - 50-75% over normal prices and more than double internet rates with shipping. They're also gruff and I feel like they're just irritated that I'm asking about something different from what they usually supply. "Geeze, it's always special orders with you, isn't it?" being a choice quote from their parts guy.

When they asked $600 for a power converter, I became convinced it was just because of the Airstream/rich stereotype so I vowed to not give them my business again.

Now I'm Airstreamless, it's an easy vow to keep :/
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:25 AM   #18
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We are WalMart fans, I must admit, and look for them around the country when we need to stock up on basic items. We shop locally wherever we are for fresh produce, meats, etc.

However, that said, we consistently and diligently support individuals we find who are doing what they do honestly, in good faith and well----the beautician who has cut my hair for nearly 20 years, with her own shop and always struggling to make a living doing what she loves; RV dealers/service vendors around the country who provide honest and quality work; campground hosts who give you the kind of memorable place you want to go back to; our local, independent jeweler; the wonderful butcher shop we have used for decades; the downtown coffee house that was the first of its' kind in Normal and preceded the chains, etc., etc.

It's a good thing to do this, and something everyone should strive for, IMO. The relationships enrich your lives and the support you give to these independents are noted, appreciated and help them stay in business.

Find the good ones, tell them you appreciate them and give them what you can of yourself.

Maggie
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:30 AM   #19
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If we ALL started supporting our local businesses, we would make a huge impact on our local economies. It is getting very difficult to find local businesses these days. Someone said he buys at the "local" Ace Hardware store. Ace is a huge chain where the profits get funneled back to the share holders in some far off place. Sure, the workers are local but then, so are the workers at HD.

I try hard to spend locally but it isn't easy. I always go to the local hardware store before a trip to HD. There are times I have to go to HD but I feel fine with that because my store didn't have what I needed. While Costco is a big chain, I will go there before I set foot in Walmart.

Groceries are more of a challenge. We shop at a big chain that is based in our state. At least the profits come back via our taxes paid.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:36 AM   #20
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It seems to me the summary of the sentiments is that we should do business with smaller companies that are privately owned. They don't need to be local to us, but they tend to employ more people per $ spent, and they treat them better. Also, those employees tend to be more knowledgeable than the disinterested minimum-wagers at big box stores.

Those desirable businesses don't need to be local to benefit the US economy as a whole. If we do not shop locally and shop small, and people in other areas do the same, it balances out.

So the lesson may be it's better and smarter to give trade to smaller businesses more than it is to do business locally?
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:57 AM   #21
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Unfortunately, my nearest local RV parts supplier is firmly in the "grunt, glare, and chiseler" category. He's pretty much the only show in town, and knows it,so prices are 25-30% above average. Regardless, over the years, I've done considerable business there, strictly because of their location. Last week I went in for a rather basic part for an Atwood furnace. The reply: "Don't have it in stock, and can't get it from my supplier". Unless it's an emergency, I probably won't support this local business in the future.

In fact, as I write this, we're making the 60 mile journey to the dealership where we bought the Airstream (my wife is driving!). We'll likely pay more, but they may still remember my name.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:28 AM   #22
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We live in a small town, Pop. 1500, about 35 miles from Madison, WI. It is 20 miles to the nearest Wal-Mart, 40 miles to HD and 55 miles to CW. We are fortunate to have a well stocked Hardware Hank, NAPA parts store and a fairly well stocked lumber yard/home improvement/rental center in our little town.

Are we obligated to patronize the local businesses? No. But, quite simply, if we wish to continue to enjoy their convenience, all within walking distance, we have to support them. It only makes good sense.

Having said that, RV parts are another story. I know what's available locally, which is very little. I've never been to CW and probably won't make a special trip. Since I've been buying and selling on ebay for about twelve years, I am very comfortable making online purchases for the AS. If the shipping is reasonable, I just have whatever I need delivered to my door. Plus I've avoided a lot of impulse buying.

I've owned three pop-ups and now the AS and I've been to an RV dealer exactly one time to buy a blue tote. We do plan to visit the AS dealer in Tucson in January while we are there, just to nose around....
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:35 AM   #23
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Well what about the OLD days when Sears was the place to shop and you received the big catalog to make up your Christmas wish list.

I don't remember anyone saying toss the catalog bypass Sears and shop local.

To my knowledge WalMart pays local taxes offers better benefits than Mom's & Pop's, hires local people and is a USA company.

What about buying gas? BP, Shell, Citgo, along with most others are all foreign owned I think Texaco and Exxon are the only USA petroleum company's same thing could be said about where do you buy your gas?

Having said that;
I bought my last set of tires at a local tire shop and paid them more than tires sold at WalMart, I buy my batteries from Auto Zone a Memphis, TN company.

We are now in the era of the global economy and yes it is at the expense of the Mom & Pop's if it makes sense I buy "local" what ever that means.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:40 AM   #24
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Someone said he buys at the "local" Ace Hardware store. Ace is a huge chain where the profits get funneled back to the share holders in some far off place. Sure, the workers are local but then, so are the workers at HD.
This ain't necessarily true. Ace is a franchise business--local stores are locally owned. I know of at least one case where an independent hardware store owner decided to become an Ace franchisee, and judging from the growth of the store it must have been a good deal for him.

Ace Hardware - Franchise Business Opportunities - Own a Store

Ace may also have company-owned stores--I don't know about that.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:17 AM   #25
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Postscript to previous post

I skimmed the page linked in the above post and read the following:

"Ace is unlike any other business or franchise opportunity on the planet. Profits the company earns are distributed to our retailers each year."

So apparently the profits of the business do stay in town.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:20 AM   #26
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Unfortunately, my nearest local RV parts supplier is firmly in the "grunt, glare, and chiseler" category. He's pretty much the only show in town, and knows it,so prices are 25-30% above average. Regardless, over the years, I've done considerable business there, strictly because of their location. Last week I went in for a rather basic part for an Atwood furnace. The reply: "Don't have it in stock, and can't get it from my supplier". Unless it's an emergency, I probably won't support this local business in the future.

In fact, as I write this, we're making the 60 mile journey to the dealership where we bought the Airstream (my wife is driving!). We'll likely pay more, but they may still remember my name.

Yep, I would boycott these folks. These types of people don't have any business in anything involving customer service.

Maggie
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:23 PM   #27
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Sadly, my local RV supplies store is a bit of a chiseler - 50-75% over normal prices and more than double internet rates with shipping. They're also gruff and I feel like they're just irritated that I'm asking about something different from what they usually supply.
FWIW our nearest RV sales and service place couldn't be more different. Their parts manager went out of his way to help me when I started restoring a decrepit vintage Airstream 7 years ago, and I have been buying parts there ever since. What amazes me is how much stuff they do have in stock.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:06 PM   #28
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Search for elusive electrode: Part 2

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In fact, as I write this, we're making the 60 mile journey to the dealership where we bought the Airstream (my wife is driving!). We'll likely pay more, but they may still remember my name.

Apparently, it's not my day for patronizing local parts suppliers. The authorized Airstream and Atwood parts and repair center where we bought our trailer didn't have it, and didn't even offer to order it. Instead, they referred me to another RV part supply (SOB) just 1/2 mile down the road, who is also an Atwood parts and repair center. When we bought the AS in 2005 we got an extended warranty, which is still in effect. The reason I'm getting the part instead of having them repair it under warranty, is that we're leaving to go across country in less than 3 weeks, and I can purchase and install the part for less than the cost of the deductible. So, I asked if we could talk to someone about warranty work, and the only person at the business that could help me was off for the day. So much for remembering my name.

Of course, the other authorized Atwood parts and repair center didn't have it either, and referred me back to the Airstream parts and repair center. At least they offered to "see if they could order one" from their distributor.

When I get back home, I guess I'll be placing an order for an electrode for a 5 year old Atwood furnace via the internet.
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