Food for thought

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by DougM, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    Now that my health has gotten worse, and it's very hard to get out and about, all my discretionary spending is online. And, in spite of that, I always try whenever I can, to buy from a small independent seller on Ebay, rather from Amazon or other big companies. The only time I go out is once a week to do my shopping for food and other necessities, and i do go to Walmart for that, because they're so much cheaper than anywhere else, and i have to exist now on my meager SS benefits, since I'm no longer able to work, and I don't have a car, and Walmart is only a block away, so I can ride my bike there without too much strain on me. At least Walmart does employ a lot of local people.
    My point is that, whenever I could, I would always buy local to support my community. All my amps, and all my guitars, except my Bullet Teles bought on sale in the summer of 2020 from MF, during the heart of the lockdown, were bought at a local independent dealer. Even all my pedals and pickups were bought on Ebay from small independent sellers.
    Supporting small local businesses is good for the whole community, so we all support each other.
    Even when I do buy on Amazon, I try to make sure, whenever possible, that the actual seller is an independent company, and Amazon is just the sales agent and shipper. I know that Amazon and other big companies also employ a lot of people, but we really don't want a world where everything is only available online and never locally, do we?
    I think this sign kind of says it all 2021-10-16 (2).png
     
  2. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I sincerely admire your line of thinking, and wish it were more "valid". Other than restaurants there are virtually NO "mom-and-pop" establishments left around here. Even years ago, when there were some, they contributed no more to the local economy than a big chain.....property and sales taxes, (mandatory) and often didn't employ that many local residents. When I can save money buying at lower prices from WalMart or Amazon, that's more money I can spread around with other businesses. Since we have a large Amazon distribution center here, they employ MANY local people, and of course all the delivery people live locally as well. We all have wonderful, "romantic" memories of the mom and pop music stores we used to know, but those days are gone forever. Time marches on.......
    I'm curious, how do you figure buying from mom and pop contributes any more to a local economy than a big box store? Taxes are taxes.

    Thanks for posting....great topic. ;)
    BTW....I worked for a mom and pop music store for a year after college, and that owner was a pirate and a thief. NOTHING admirable in him.
     
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  3. twangking

    twangking Friend of Leo's

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    The big box store like walmart dodges over a billion dollars in taxes a year. Look it up for yourself. None of that money is getting funneled into the local economy unless the workers buy stuff in the area.
     
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  4. rstaaf

    rstaaf Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Basic economics is working against the small retailer. The big box stores have purchasing power on their side, they can buy and sell for less, often significantly less.

    This pits small business trying to survive against families trying to do the same thing. Price is going to sway the buyer almost every time.

    There was a time, 20 to 30 years ago where the SEC would have broken up companies like Walmart or Amazon before they got as big as they are now to try and set a more level playing field. That doesn't happen anymore.
     
  5. MTPoteet

    MTPoteet Tele-Meister

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    There's a couple of local music stores around here.
    I haven't been in them for quite some time, all I have bought in the past 10 years or so has been strings and I'll buy a dozen sets when I do.
    But I went into one of them a while back to buy a guitar hanger, and for the most part, i was ignored, they were just too busy doing whatever it was they were doing.
    They only sell very high end equipment and seem to have had a cork sniffer attitude. They barely had time to make the sale.
    There were no other customers in the store by the way.
    I too agree with your post, but I don't need attitude when spending my limited income.
     
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  6. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Amen!
    I love the sign.
     
  7. ndcaster

    ndcaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    I like to have neighbors, so I support them. The evidence is overwhelming that if you have no local economy to speak of, your quality of life will nose-dive quickly. Sure, you can buy Chinese crap for less at the big box store, but life around you dissolves into nothing.

    We live on the border of horse country. Our daughter's role model is a pistol-packing horsewoman who put herself through a BSN program and is now working full-time to realize her dream of owning a property with a barn and fence. She lost her first baby, a beautiful son, when she delivered him full-term. Her husband doesn't want the property idea and has set himself against her. They're divorcing more or less amicably.

    When this woman said she would have to sell her beloved horse, you should see how the barn people rallied around her. They're making a new stall to help halve her current boarding costs elsewhere. Someone will likely buy her aging Vibe as a first car, which will help erase the first six months of boarding costs. She's being housed at other people's out-buildings during the divorce process for free. And so on. This was a woman who worked hard and gave a lot to those around her, and the people she helped are now helping her.

    Around us, this kind of behavior is so common as to be unremarkable, and it gives me hope that when we hear so much, every day, about people acting like crap toward each other, there are pockets where people buy and sell from and help each other as best they can.

    They decide to do this because they're not just trying to save a buck, but a way of life. I have to admire it.
     
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  8. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    And with what they pay their workers, that’s not really going to happen.

    I agree with those who point out that it’s a bad idea to “shop local” when the local store offers bad customer service, but I find that bad service to be an exception, not a rule. Also, it’s not always a black/white situation; there is a locally owned music store here, as well as two national chains. The local store has given me indifferent service, so I go elsewhere. One of the national chains gives absolutely horrible service, so I go to the other. Only when I can’t get something there do I go online.
     
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  9. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Even though I'm retired, my time is valuable and precious to me. I don't like to spend hours and the gas to drive all over town, and still often not find what I want.....when I can take five minutes on Amazon, have a varied selection, order with a click of a button, and have it delivered in (often) two days. As to a big corporation not paying taxes, that's a separate issue that should be addressed.
    I don't mean to sound like I have to take one extreme or the other position on this. I would love to be able to patronize a local business. We used to have neighborhood hardware stores that not only had a better selection of merchandise than, say, Home Depot or Lowe's, but had knowledgeable employees to help you......but that's no longer the case. I'm not a Don Quixote, with the passion to go tilting at windmills. Some of the local merchants inadvertently have themselves to blame for their own demise.....not only can they NOT offer low prices, but they often had their employees "educate" consumers on an issue, and then those same customers went and bought from the "cheaper" source. Sad, but an economic reality. Life's a B**ch! :(
     
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  10. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I have always tried to live this way especially the last 25 years when I was so very proud of our town … until now. I am on a first name basis with every business owner in our nearby small town. Have played poker with of few of these people. Have had breakfast or lunch with many of them. They would come in and open the doors of their businesses in the middle of the night if anyone needed something in an emergency. I know their kids, their parents, their friends. However, and shockingly, last year all of them decided that the dollar was worth more than my health. So, we now drive the 180 mile round trip for supplies from the big box stores in our closest city. All of the local mom & pop stores can burn to the ground now.
     
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  11. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    By golly folks is cranky!

    I stopped shopping on Amazon and almost never buy from even MF or Sweetwater unless they are the only place with widget X.

    The reasons to support community service providers are so across the board as related to our community that has been largely replaced by a very few most wealthy humans on Earth. Remembering lousy members of past communities doesn't make community bad.

    The reasons to avoid single entity ownership of almost every damn thing we need are also varied and across the board.
    One notable thing I notice is that local retailers getting the same widget returned a few times, rattle the supply chain and either demand those crappy widgets get better, or they source similar widgets that last longer and work better.
    I see a consistent decline in widget reliability and quality that relates to FREE RETURNS replacing quality products and customer service.

    As for mom & pop music stores, damn that's a lousy term!
    I used to shop and musician owned music stores, not stores owned by folks known for their breeding habits.
    Musician owned stores had musicians choosing gear to sell, and they helped out musicians in the COMMUNITY.

    Saying those things are all in the past is like saying vinyl records, guitar based popular music, locally grown food, and trustworthy nice people are all in the past.

    The oft repeated claims that once we lose some old ways and a massive corporation takes over something, we the people have no power to change anything. That is simply not true.

    As for Amazon having the best or even good prices?
    Seriously, just plain false information foisted on us by advertising and mob speak.
    I can still go to local retailers and buy regular needs cheaper than on Amazon.

    Once again, we as part of our COMMUNITY, have far more power than some of us realize, unless we are fighting amongst ourselves.
    Notice how in recent years we are ALWAYS FIGHTING AMONGST OURSELVES???
    That makes us powerless and gives the few massive corporations great power.

    Funny how that works, why would say FB and YouTube want to promote anxiety and conflict in the citizenry?
    A stressed out citizenry fighting amongst ourselves over trivial stuff like which tuner pedal sucks, has zero power.
    THEN, who DOES have power?
     
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  13. oldunc

    oldunc Tele-Afflicted

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    My situation is similar, except that I have Safeway instead of Walmart- consider yourself fortunate. No lover of big corporations, but I do most of my other shopping at Amazon, largely because it covers so musch ground and I'm only exposing my credit information in one place. I do have a Trader Joe's that I hike down to occasionally, for an actual sane shopping experience.
     
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I think I understand what you're saying about the past year?

    Good heavens the obvious devastating physical cost of recent world and US events may be small compared to the community destroying side effects of the multi part divisive talking points leading up to and related to the physical world crisis.

    So sad to see the division coming from all this.
    Kind of a coffin nail for community in general, unless there is SOMETHING large numbers of us can agree on???
     
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  15. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I might have been humming the tune to "these are the people of Walmart" -- it's catchy! -- but I wasing
    Leafblowers?

    I'll show myself out.
     
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  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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  17. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I like turtles.
     
  18. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Don’t we all, @BigDaddyLH ?

    Don’t we all?

    *sigh*
     
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  19. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

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    The local economy is not just about taxes. If a guitar costs $500 for a store to buy, and the store sells it for $800, there is a big difference in what happens to the $300 gross profit. A local mom-and-pop may keep the entire $300 in the community, as wages, rent, advertising expenditures, etc. A GC will send much more of the $300 out of the community to the corporation because, other than labor, its expenditures are global, not local. If I buy from an online retailer, almost all of the $300 leaves my community.
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Funny mess in the ether of recalled reality.

    One thing I remember about music stores I used to like in communities I also liked for community including music community:

    Musicians hung out at music stores, talked about the local music scene at music stores like who was playing where and who needed a new guitar player etc etc.
    In Boston and NYC at least, less so in Maine but probably more in Portland ME where lots of bands played local venues.

    Not only did we meet up in person and on any given day a player might hear face to face of an opening and volunteer to fill in on guitar, but we posted and read stuff on their bulletin board, as well as word of mouth connecting musicians and promoting bands shows.

    With hardly any more guitar shops, how do bands and musicians stay connected?
    Facebook!

    Stop complaining! we handed it over voluntarily when we complained that one sales guy hounded us and another sales guy ignored us.

    Dang that was awful that time I checked out some guitars and nobody rushed over to help, almost as bad as that traumatic experience when that OTHER sales guy kept telling me about gear I didn't want.
    So awful, I'm glad they all went under!

    Now I happily take close up pics of tiny nits on US made guitars and COMPLAIN about how awful every damn thing is.
    Except Amazon, love love love amazon because low prices (not) and free returns (on crap shoot crap merch with oddly 100 positive reviews).

    Somebody needs to complain about all the complaining!!!
    Oh sorry, never mind...
     
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