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Thread: Buying Local

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM

    Buying Local

    Like most of us, I like to support local businesses when I can. But on the other hand, I make many of my purchasing decisions based on price, and so a lot of my purchases are done online. In the past week or so, my wife and I have made a couple of purchases for our new house. To my surprise, we've been able to support local businesses and get the best price for both purchases.

    First example was a new bed. When we moved everything from LA a few weeks ago, I finally tossed the old waterbed frame I made back in about 1978. It had served me well, but we decided we wanted a king size instead of a queen at the new place. (We both prefer the old school "full motion" baffles, tubes, or polyester filling. Just a bag o' water in a wood frame.) Best I can tell, there is only one store in Albuquerque that still sells waterbed frames and mattresses. We went to the store last weekend and found a frame and headboard style we both really liked. It's oak, in a clean and simple style. The base has six drawers for storage under the bed. Yes, I could make my own, but by the time I purchase the materials at retail prices, I'd be at about the same cost of buying a manufactured one. Plus, I don't have a shop yet, and won't have mine set up for several months. The frame and headboard we chose are made by a one-man shop in a neighboring state (Colorado) and the padded rails are made at another one-man shop here in New Mexico. And the best part is that the local (family-owned and operated since 1988) store beat all the Internet outlets by at least $100, and the Internet guys don't include setup, whereas the local shop does. I was happy to give them our business.

    Second example was a new TV. Although I don't watch TV much at all (I even discontinued my cable TV service at the apartment), we wanted a new TV to replace the old CRT model we got rid of in LA before the move. After doing a bunch of research, I settled on a particular model of plasma TV made by LG. It's being discontinued (as are all plasma TVs before too long), so the prices are better than LCD TVs with comparable features. I had been planning to wait until the Black Friday sales to see if the price would drop any more, but was also a bit nervous about this particular model selling out before then. So a couple of days ago I went to a large local family-owned appliance store to see how their prices compared to what I was seeing on the Internet. Turns out they were about $10 lower than the best price I could find online (and that's including sales tax). I mentioned to the salesman that I was thinking of holding out for Black Friday sales, and he told me that this store has a 60-day price matching policy. In other words, if I find the same TV sold for less anywhere (including online) between now and the first week of 2015, they will refund any difference. And in fact, if this store drops the price, they will call me and tell me to come to the store to get my refund check. Needless to say, I bought the TV from them.

    We are planning several other furniture and appliance purchases in the next month or two, and we'll definitely be giving the local shops a chance at our business.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    Good on you!

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    St. Mary's, Georgia
    I always try to buy Local but I can't with wood , our area is dry for hard woods an most tools but anything I can get local I do. I found most business will price match what they see online which is really good but if the price is only couple dolor's I don't bother

    If you are going to make something nice, make it with a statement, use quality an do it right the first time

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Yorktown, Virginia
    I have a NIB king waterbed in the attic...been there for twenty years. My wife insists on keeping it, but I bet just about the time you had it full, those seams would give out and flood the place. I am hoping to use it for a vacuum press

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Spitting distance north of Detroit Michigan
    Congrats on the deals...I think more & more brick & mortars are figuring out that they have to compete to eat. I too like to help the local guy, but I'm not paying for his new addition, or that 32' boat that's caught his eye. Sure make a profit that's what it's all about, but don't try to make the weeks quota on each sale.

    Now as to furnishing, what's going to happen when Kian finally gets around to that spare room where all those guitars are hiding? Might want to slip in a roll away beforehand
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Well done, been trying to do more of it myself. Can't talk my wife into another water bed. I had one from HS until we got married, back has hurt since going to a normal mattress. Though she keeps telling me that with my snoring, we'll have separate beds and bedrooms soon...promises, promises.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Spitting distance north of Detroit Michigan
    ^^^ Wife says I snore, but I told it's not me. I've stayed awake all night a few times for testing, and not once during those tests did I snore...has to be her!!!
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    DSM, IA
    That's great to hear Vaughn...there's only one local tv and appliance place worth anything left here. It's going on 3rd generation and once we have a need for anything new we will go there first.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    Ive always been a been advocate of shopping downtown and dealing with local guys.
    I was one of those local stores for over 30 years.

    our problems here is that when it comes to large purchases, weve run into nothing but walls and problems with the small dealers.

    We purchased a fridge from a guy whos business has been in my area since the beginning of time. Ofcourse, ownership changes hands when the old owners leave, whether they retire or die, and so goes the great service.
    We were mislead, we had tons of problems. turns out we knew 2 other people who started lawsuits against the same trusted dealer, and then ofcourse, overnight, the business was closed and he was gone.
    We just dealt with a local guy for our sink and vanity, and nothing but lies about delivery times, until we were told they cant get it, 3 months later, that if we want the sample, we can have it. We didn't have choice at that point, we weren't about to wait another 3 months to hear another story.
    We purchased tile from a local dealer years ago, after several promises of yeah, its coming in, my contractor got frustrated because the job was started and it was not only holding us up, it was tough for him to make sure hed be there when it came in. It never came in. they refused to give us back our deposit, wanted us to pick something else out, it was a mess.(we got our money back after a bit)

    I can purchase the same appliances from lowes or pc Richards, have them delivered the next day, (they check the stock right there for you, no well, it will be in 2 months), and if there are any problems, these companies are big, they take care of it immediately.

    So, if youre lucky with a good local dealer, that's great, Ive lost a lot of confidence in small business owners, seems they've lost their way.
    Human Test Dummy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Good for you Vaughn. I do the same if i can but too many here need a big wake up call. Often i have told a small store to go check out Lee Valley and learn what it takes to have loyal customers. I hold them up as a benchmark of the ultimate in customer service and they essentially a small family owned business.

    i think our worst small local business guys are the auto parts stores.

    But your bed example tells me some small shops are being creative about producing and distributing their work. Very cool news. Funny thing is we did exactly the same when we moved. We had a big screen CRT Sony that we only purchased when we arrived here. At the time it took everything i had to get my mind around the ridiculous price. I told Linda this is the last TV we buy. (how wrong i was). So when we moved i was not prepared to move it and then move it again when we finally settle. It went to the big recycling dump in the sky. And i bought a plasma LG for same reasons you experiencing. Now all it is to me is a large monitor because i am trying to get Linda to agree to cut the cable.

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