Royce Shook

2 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Do you shop online?

I am a big believer in the idea that we should support our local businesses as they provide jobs, and support for our community.  The problem that the small business has is how to compete against the online giants. However, like many seniors, I am on a fixed income and have to watch my budget and so I am not going to overspend. 

The other day I had a small problem with my car, the window on the driver's side would not open or close. If the problem was with the window on the passenger's side I would not have been too upset. 

It is the middle of summer and even though I have air conditioning I don't like to use it so I prefer to drive with my window open. Well with this problem I could not, in addition, going through a drive-through or having to ask for directions or go to the bank and use the car was not possible. I was surprised at the number of times I wanted to do something but because my driver's window would not open I could not.

So, I am not a mechanic, but I do have some aptitude on how to fix things if they are not too complicated. So, I went to YouTube and searched for the year and model of my car with my problem. I love that people have the time and energy and skill to fix a problem and to video their solutions. Over 500 videos came up with solutions to my problem. I took a look at about 6 of them and found one that was easy to understand and the video was easy to follow. All I had to do was get the part and replace it. 

The idea of supporting local business now comes into play. I looked up the part I needed on Amazon and it showed a price of $30.00 US plus delivery, taxes and duties so the final price was $48.00 US. 

I did the exchange and the price point for me in Canadian dollars worked out to be about $85.00 all in.

I went to my local auto parts store and asked if they had the part, they said they would have to back order and it would cost $280.00 plus tax, I was expecting to pay between $85 and $100.00 so I was a bit surprised. 

I said to the auto parts person," I guess I will have to go to the dealership to get the part."

 He said, "I call the dealerships stealerships because they charge so much."

I went to the dealership and they did not have the part but could also order it for me and I was told the part would cost $278.00 plus tax. I thought I would try one more auto parts store which had been competitive in the past, but when I went there, they said the price would be $376.00 plus tax and they would have to back order. At each of the places, the back order would take at least a week to get to me.

I went home and ordered the part from Amazon and it took two days to arrive and I put it in following the video instructions in about 15 minutes. Later the same week, my son needed a light bulb for his car and went to a local auto parts store and it cost him $110.00 for one light. Amazon sells the exact same bulb for $22.00 Canadian for two lights. I am willing to buy local when the prices are not too far out of line with online prices and that is one dilemma that many of us who are on fixed incomes are faced with, do we pay extremely high prices to support local businesses or do we stay within our own budget even it if means shopping online.


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Royce Shook

2 years ago #4

John going lo the local coffee shop is always a treat and when out purchasing a few needed items is faster and more efficient then buying online. As I said to Ken, I do shop online but I am careful about what I shop and where I shop. Touch wood I have had only one bad item bought online and it was returned without any hassle.

Royce Shook

2 years ago #3

Ken I do shop online but only when the item I want to buy is too expensive at the local shops. I also buy online from Australian stores to buy my grandsons birthday and Xmas presents as it is too expensive to buy a gift here in Canada and send it to Australia.

John Rylance

2 years ago #2

Treating the title as a closed question a resounding NO.  Giving a more open response. No, mainly because I like to see the actual item, discuss it with an assistant, to know exactly what I'm buying.  As for ordering food on line no way.  Why? Those friends who do buy on line, are frequently moaning about going on line. Items that do not resemble pictures, substitute food items they don't like. Poor delivery etc etc  Besides if I didn't go shopping I'd have no reason to go to a coffee shop. If you go on line you have to make your own coffee. Perhaps if Starbucks Costa Cafe Nero et al offered home delivery I might be tempted. But I doubt it.

Ken Boddie

2 years ago #1

Good examples, Royce, of how cutting out the various middle men and doing the work yourself can results in big savings. I do, however, try and support local businesses whenever I can, as retail is currently suffering here in Oz (and I suspect similarly elsewhere) and I hope to continue to see small retailers in business in our local streets. I rarely, if ever, purchase online and would certainly never purchase clothing online. The invariable problems with sizing variations are just too tricky and it becomes too hard repackaging, sending back, etc.

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