Patti Ghezzi, writing for Mother Nature Network, had an article on “Buying locally is easier said than done.” In this article she was bemoaning the fact that her New Year’s resolution to support her local merchants was proving very difficult to execute.
She talked about trying to buy Barack Obama’s book a week before his inauguration from the local book store, finding they did not stock it and then never hearing from the bookstore after she asked them to order it for her. She talked about not being able to find products she wanted from her local merchants who had cut back inventory to the point where selection was so limited as to be almost non-existent. She wanted to buy a mixer. Her local store offered it for $299. The chain store offered the same item for $254 (a 15% lower price). Her statement “the price difference was too much to pass up.”
Her summary of her adventure: “Shopping locally means more than dropping more cash. It can mean sacrificing quality, selection, and even customer service.” Here you have someone who wants to buy locally and for the privilege she gets less and has to pay more. If you want to survive in your business you have to offer more or different value. Offering less for more is a road to ruin.