In GNC #539, Todd related the problems that brick’n'mortar stores were having competing against the online retailers and I agree entirely with Todd’s sentiments. While I’m happy to use Amazon et al for specialised purchases or gifts to faraway relatives, I now regularly buy from local stores to try and keep them in business.
And do you know what? Although it started out as a point of principle, I’m actually discovering that I can sometimes get things cheaper or else I get some freebies thrown in.
To illustrate, while shopping this Christmas, I would price goods on Amazon and then go into town to see what I could get in the real world.
1) In a local toy shop, K’Nex was being sold 2-for-1 at a price only 10% more expensive than Amazon. Gift just went twice as far.
2) In a sports shop, a “brand name” golfing jumper was being sold with a free box of six golf balls, again at a price very similar to online golfing retailers. The recipient is always in the water with his shots anyway….
3) The main bookstore was offering best-sellers on three for the price of two, basically a third off, pretty much matching Amazon. Great for stocking fillers.
So I encourage you to get off your backside and at least see if your local stores can come close to matching the online retailers. Sure, if they’re wildly uncompetitive, walk away, but at least try to keep some of your money in local circulation. Local businesses support other local business and we need them to keep our communities thriving.