Now, I want to and generally do patronize local businesses. At times, I do so even when I know that the price I am paying is a bit higher than I might find at other retailers, especially those on the Internet.
But there comes a point where buying locally is simply too expensive
I recently needed two parts for our trusty family vehicle. As a cautious consumer, I went to four local retailers to get a price on the two parts, left and right. The lowest quote was for $720 - plus tax, of course. The highest was for over $840. Unhappily, these parts were not parts that might be well found at a wreckers.
Somewhat reeling from these figures, I headed home and got on my trusty computer. Now, I did not head south of the border - U.S. retailers may save you money on the purchase, but the cost of shipping, especially with heavier items, is far too dear. That says nothing of the local upcharges by UPS for Customs clearance (not Customs charges note) that have been the subject of many consumer complaints.
No, I stayed only in Canada. In about five minutes, I had found just the parts I needed, in fact the same parts I had located locally made by the same manufacturer. The cost for both, not just one, was $390. Shipping was free, direct to my door, and guaranteed arrival in three days. So the cheapest cost of buying local was over double the cost of buying on the Internet. Well, you did save two or three days...
Yes, I know that we live in a remote area. I know it costs to ship things to Prince George. But a price difference such as this is not due to mere freight charges. It can only be attributed to greed and stupidity. Greed by the local retainer and stupidity by the local buyers.
While this example is for auto parts, it carries over with little changes to many other consumer items. It is nigh time for local retailers to wake up and smell the coffee - consumers are waking up to Internet shopping. They can - and do - compare prices when they shop. Most of us will pay a premium to shop locally, but not when the premium more than doubles the cost of an item.