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Old 11-11-2010, 03:27 PM   #1
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Buying locally...an obligation to our neighbors?

First off, I'm retired and I owned a mail order business selling automotive art for Road & Track magazine. That said, I do not understand why one would go past a local RV parts place that supports youth soccer and is always ready to donate an item for a local non-profit silent auction event and buy on line. Not only has the local dealer lost a sale, the city, county and probably the state missed out on sales tax revenue. The fact that times are tough is all the more reason to support local businesses so that they'll be here next year to handle our business. It's been my experience that the local RV parts house is just as competitive as CW, especially when they're special ordering an item.

Keep in mind that as Airstream owners, we're perceived as being well off, so let's support out local businesses. (To those people who lack a sense of humor, my tongue was firmly planted in my cheek when I typed that last sentence!)
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:38 PM   #2
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I agree - I cannot buy too many RV parts where I live It is either online or hours drive.
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:39 PM   #3
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Very, very true (if you can find the part)! I recently purchased a window rock guard that I purchased from the only A/S service location in the entire state of Oklahoma.....it ended up being around $75 more than if I had bought it online -- but I had the satisfaction of bringing it home that day, and supporting the dying breed of A/S service centers (especially here in OK). If that extra $75 or so helps keep his shop open, then it helps me when I call him to ask questions -- a little insurance policy so to speak!
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:02 PM   #4
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I cannot find the link at the moment, however by buying from a local owned business you keep a higher percentage of the money in the local economy versus sending it off to share holders/owners somewhere else.

IIRC the numbers were something like 75% vs 45%.

I buy local as much as I can even if it means having to special order something or even spending a bit more. However I do expect a reasonable level of customer service that includes speaking and selling, not grunting and glaring.

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Old 11-11-2010, 06:12 PM   #5
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I was well off before I bought an Airstream. I'm thinking . . . Airstream parts dealers MUST be well off. I mean . . . well, they got my money didn't they?
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:37 PM   #6
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During the restoration on my trailer, I tried to give all my parts and supply business to my my locally owned ACE Hardware and NAPA store instead of the big box ( with orange signs). Many times I needed to swap something, not problem at ACE. I was in NAPA so often all the counter men would ask where I had been if I missed a few days. Several times the machinist in the shop in back did small jobs at no charge because I was such a good customer. The local guys take care of me and if it does cost a little more, so what (on a lot of things the locals were actually cheaper).
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:14 AM   #7
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I always buy locally if possible. Support those who support you. On the other hand if your local merchants are chiselers you don't owe them a thing.

For those of us who lived in small towns before malls and Walmart the change has been miraculous. The local merchants used to feature an inadequate selection of shop worn out of date merchandise at high prices. Now they have some competition and have smartened up. If I can get what I want and the price is only a couple of bucks more the local store gets my business. Saves a lot of wear and tear on the car too, not to mention the legs.
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:43 AM   #8
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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
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:10 PM   #9
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I have bought locally as well as ordered from online sources. The issue is complicated because one of the local business is a Camping World. The people at the local CW are nice, and the selection is better than the mom & pop RV stores. Besides, the mom & pop store I where usually went sold out to a chain and mom & pop retired.

As hardware stores go, the locally owned ones are doing well and I go to them and HD. I recently bought a new faucet for the bathroom online, a first for hardware. I would consider ordering PEX and fittings online if I were doing a major project. Nobody, large or small, has any kind of selection at all locally.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamblinManGa View Post
...if the Big Orange box shows up as well, your local hardware dealer is probably toast.

OK, down off the soap box now, sorry, . Regards, Craig
As I help you down from your soap box, I'll add I was looking for any place here on the fringes of Chicago to get my wood chisels sharpened today.

Home Depot practically laughed me off the phone and gave me the choice of new ones or a $200 sharpener. I then drove 10 minutes further to the local hardware store, where they gladly sharpened 'em for me in 20 minutes (4 of them) while I shopped and found a respectable 80% of the rest of what I needed.

If that doesn't reiterate what my (perhaps not only, but certainly first) choice should be... then I'm too dense to get it.

OH! Almost forgot - the local place also had dozens of tubes of Vulkem in 3 colors.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:06 PM   #11
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If I cannot save enought on the project to pay for the gas+ - I shop at home instead of the hour drive to the Wal-Mart, HD or Lowes. Bad thing is - for the Krylon Fusion (purchased locally) I paid a $1.50 a can more than if I bought it from Ace. It is only 45 minutes away LOL.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
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
If you had GOOD local stores manned by SMART merchants who tried to give their customers what they wanted at reasonable prices, your experience is much different from mine.

But if every small town had stores like that Sam Walton would never have got anywhere.

I'm kind of tired of hearing from people who never lived in a small town in the old days and don't know what it was like dealing with arrogant merchants with inferior, overpriced merchandise. That whole era ended when malls started coming in. So unless you lived in a small town before 1960 with no malls for 40 miles you don't know what it was like.

It's easy to be nostalgic for some imaginary Andy of Mayberry past but the reality could be quite different.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:02 PM   #13
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I will also say, I don't like the big stores and malls because I don't like walking that much and they sell a lot of junk I don't want.

It is MUCH more convenient to shop at a local store and I do all the time. If it costs a couple of bucks more so what?

The local merchants have to DRIVE me out and FORCE me to buy at the mall or big store. But I'm glad I have the alternative.

If all the people who hate Walmart shopped at their local stores the local stores would never have gone out of business.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:04 PM   #14
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To put this into perspective I recently spent over $12000 on material for a renovation job. $3000 was spent at Home Depot (they had a sale on windows) the rest at local lumber yards. One of them, Chisholm Lumber has been in business at the same location since 1853. Let's see you beat that.
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