sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

October 11, 2010

Shop Local?

Filed under: everyday — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 4:34 am

One of the current trends in American crypto-socialism is extolling the virtues of everything local: food, music — what have you.  And so quite a few stores on the main drag here spot posters urging local shopping.  As much as I want to live next to a cute shopping area, I’m just not going to spend my money at a place that doesn’t offer the best product at the best price.  Still I can see the advantage of knowing what the local retailers are up to.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t always translate into knowing that they are trustworthy.

Without naming any names…  I find it a bit ironic when the “shop local” sign affixed to a messy storefront.  Keeping the store clean is probably a more effective way to attract and retain customers.

I know a lot of people around here want “sustainable” agricultural products, but why not also carry something fresh? Especially if that something is fish.  As far as “sustainability” is concerned, a supermarket chain is probably able to deliver goods producing a smaller carbon footprint.

Bait and switch is popular around here.  Retailers advertise a sale and fail to give the discount, mislabel their goods and refuse to honor coupons.  It’s probably illegal, though in most cases, I suspect, it has more to do with stupidity and confusion rather then evil intent.  If I were dealing with a chain, I’d ask to talk to the manager, but since they are local people, I don’t want to raise a stink.  I just don’t shop there anymore, and no placard will guilt trip me into patronizing their business.

I noticed that best small merchants rarely display “shop local” signs.  They don’t need to, of course.  I also noticed that quite a few of their customers come from out of town; if they were to embrace the “shop local” philosophy, they’d be effectively telling their customers to go away.

And besides, shopping local, isn’t it… xenophobic?

Look what turned up under “shop local” search terms!



  1. I don’t mind shopping locally, even if it’s more expensive, as long as I get good service.

    For example I like shopping at Nordstroms even though it’s more expensive (and probably not what they mean by “shopping local”) because when I go in there they ask me if I want help. If I say no thanks they politely leave me the f’k alone. If I say yes, they do their damnedest to help me. They know their stock, they know their trade, and they do it.

    Amazon can’t touch that.

    What I HATE is going into some local store and having some disgruntled urban hipster wannabe chewing their gum and texting on their phone while ignoring me, then wanting to charge me 2x just for the privilege of shopping in their store.

    I’ll pay more for service. If I have to do it myself I might as well use amazon.

    Comment by William O. B'Livion — October 16, 2010 @ 5:42 am

    • I would also pay more for a pleasant shopping experience: knowledgeable clerks, enticing storefront, good music. Boutiques are really good at that, and so are some chains. Stores that think that customers will put up with abuse need to go out of business.

      Comment by edgeofthesandbox — October 17, 2010 @ 2:39 am

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