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Thanks for listening to me vent my frustration. Note that I’m not naming names (yet :)

I like to support small businesses and although I do buy stuff from the online giants and big box stores, I try to “shop small” whenever I can.

I loaded up a cart of stuff to buy from one of my favorite family owned online suppliers and in the interest of reaching the $200 level for free shipping, I added a face mask/respirator combo that I’ve been wanting for a while to use when turning. The price of that item was higher by about 15% than other places, but since they said they do price matching, I requested a price match. Even if they just got close, I’d have been content in the interest of giving the small guy the business.

I completed their form for a price match and got an email saying that they wouldn’t match because it was a third party seller. I’m not sure why that would matter, but I sent a link to the item that wasn’t from a 3rd party seller which they said they couldn’t open, I sent another link and they replied saying that item wasn’t in stock so they wouldn’t match the price. (it would ship within the next week or two which is fine with me). Ironically, I think the item was in stock and ready to shop when this escapade began.

Considering that I can very easily buy the entire order from the online giant or big box store, this is really frustrating. I’m feel like I’m working real hard to give them my business and I feel like they’re pushing me away.

Thanks for listening...

Do I cave to the convenience of the Big Box/Internet giant convenience, or do I keep pushing to get the “little guy” to take my money? WWYD?

Again, I’m mostly venting, but curious for opinions.
 

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They replied to you several times which seems to me they made an effort to respond to your requests. Margins are usually pretty tight for these smaller places, so if you really want to support them just order from them and don't worry about the 15% difference. That's what I would do.

I buy all my hobby stuff from the two vendors who support my model rocket club; I don't even look at prices anywhere else. They support my club, so I support them.
 

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It's that way everywhere. Most cabinet salesman will give you great prices on a few items but be higher on others.

Amazon is the same. Today's price, when you reorder it's not the same but higher
 

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You say that they are "your favorite family owned supplier". I assume that you say that for a reason. Have they given you good service in the past? If so, I think I would go ahead with the order, paying the extra for the mask. After a little time, if you still feel the same, write them a memo stating what you said above and then let it go. If you continue to be satisfied with their service, keep ordering. I suspect it is difficult for them to compete with the bigger operations.
 

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I hate buying on-line, but do it when there are no stores where I get the item. I still drive an hour to a store I have patronized for 30 years rather than buy on line. What I have noticed is that I now need to buy most of my clothing on line. All the places that sold men's clothes have closed except for Walmart, a shoe outlet and Tractor supply. They do not or no longer sell the brands I like. So I end up ordering on line to get what I want. The nice thing about, online clothing, is they aren't out of my size or the color I want like the retail stores always were.
 

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That Guy
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If it's a "third party seller" they are probably only getting a minimal commission on the sale and giving you 15% off would run them into a loss.

As a small business owner myself, after two email exchanges, if it were me.... I'd say (and have said to customers) go to the big box store. If your top concern is price you are not a great candidate for a small businessman to deal with, lowest price is not what we are offering. You want a discount on an item you are using to bump your cart up to a level that provides free shipping. Excuse my frankness but that just sounds kind of cheap. It's not like a $200 order is going to send his kid to college, especially if he has to give out discounts on the items and eat the freight. Small businessmen like myself offer customer service, product knowledge, local support and other things but at a cost. If you can't afford that or are mostly concerned with price then the big box store is going to be more satisfying for you to shop at and will be a win-win for both of you.
 

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No matter what we try to do as individuals, it IS a global economy these days. Until something comes along that prevent shipping things overseas, it's going to be a global economy for the foreseeable future. If small, local shops want to stay in business, they HAVE to accept the fact that online shopping is never going away as long as there IS an "online". Adapt or go out of business. There really are no other options.
I will buy from my local shops when they offer specials. It is not my responsibility to keep them afloat by wasting my money paying higher prices. I'm fully comfortable buying from big-box stores when I can save a few dollars doing so.
 

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Egg Spurt
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Ehh..I buy local when feasible, but draw the line when I walk in and not a soul is wearing a mask. I don't give them my business and won't risk death over it.
Onto another rant..I want a table saw heater. In the shop here the saw blows cold air and dust directly at me. Ok, so it's probably not feasible, but I still want one.. I'm still trying to warm up from trimming a small piece a half hour ago..
 
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I try buying local, but if I sense price gouging I walk. Maybe ask about it first, but definitely not spending double just to support local busines.

Ehh..I buy local when feasible, but draw the line when I walk in and not a soul is wearing a mask. I don't give them my business and won't risk death over it.
Onto another rant..I want a table saw heater. In the shop here the saw blows cold air and dust directly at me. Ok, so it's probably not feasible, but I still want one.. I'm still trying to warm up from trimming a small piece a half hour ago..
Just stick a little space heater inside the cabinet of the saw. Guaranteed to heat up everything really nice. LOL
 

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an uncle had a "general store" - started in the 1940's.
late 1980's - one day he stop selling all the non-seed/fertilizer/farm/fencing stuff.
his explanation was simple: the discount/big box stores were selling the same item for less than he could buy it.
independents are dying and/or dead already. they cannot compete with the likes of Walmart.

he sold the "store" - which is really now only a welding shop for farm equipment repairs.
Walmart hasn't master that SKU yet.
 

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Ehh..I buy local when feasible, but draw the line when I walk in and not a soul is wearing a mask. I don't give them my business and won't risk death over it.
Onto another rant..I want a table saw heater. In the shop here the saw blows cold air and dust directly at me. Ok, so it's probably not feasible, but I still want one.. I'm still trying to warm up from trimming a small piece a half hour ago..
That's ironic. There are folks here who will patronize a business for not wearing masks. My wife is a nurse. Like when she was a teacher. She brought the ills home to me and I got them. She brought covid home from the hospital and shared it. I had Covid-19 two months ago. Expected it to be much worse for a person with a chronic lung condition. Maybe the Vitamin D, daily quinine, cranberries and oranges helped. (Been on Vit D and quinine by Dr's orders for years.)
 

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That's ironic. There are folks here who will patronize a business for not wearing masks. My wife is a nurse. Like when she was a teacher. She brought the ills home to me and I got them. She brought covid home from the hospital and shared it. I had Covid-19 two months ago. Expected it to be much worse for a person with a chronic lung condition. Maybe the Vitamin D, daily quinine, cranberries and oranges helped. (Been on Vit D and quinine by Dr's orders for years.)
I'm not willing to take the risk. 400,000 already dead or damned close to it. There's just no predictor of whether I or my wife would survive it. It's not as if nobody is aware of what's going on despite all the misinformation, but this is just too many dead souls to make some idiotic ideological choice to risk my life and my wifes life.
 
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Ehh..I buy local when feasible, but draw the line when I walk in and not a soul is wearing a mask. I don't give them my business and won't risk death over it.
Onto another rant..I want a table saw heater. In the shop here the saw blows cold air and dust directly at me. Ok, so it's probably not feasible, but I still want one.. I'm still trying to warm up from trimming a small piece a half hour ago..
I do not understand. I have never felt my table saw blow air of any temperature. What do you have mounted to your saw that causes it to blow air?

George
 

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I try to buy local small home lumber stores and mom and pop sawmill lumber. I work for a corporation auto parts maker. I hate my job, but I try to do my best cause that's what I get paid to do.

Now here is what I'm getting at: the local small stores were probably started by someone passionate about serving their community, and of course making a decent living, as we all like to do. The major big box stores care nothing about the community or it's residents. The manager at the establishments might, but I can bet the corporate investors don't give a rats @#$ as long as they are making money. Like the corporation I work for they don't care about the people making their product. If they could make slavery legal again they would be happy as a pig in mud.

I do shop at the big box stores, but only for what I can't get at local shop, and sometimes if I need to pick thru a stack of wood for the quality of material I need.

I prefer small locally owned stores, even if I costs me a little more. It puts my money back into my neighbors and my community.
Just my 2 cents worth.
 

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I used to believe in supporting small local businesses at one time Now, I only go there if convenient. A lot of their help is untrained. If you ask a question I feel like I am putting them out.
About 12 years ago I bought a Delta Contractor Saw from a small local place in League City, Texas.The rails for the fence were bent.and I I brought them in the next day. The manager told me to contact the manufacturer. I told him that I didn't buy it from the manufacturer, I bought it from him. If I wanted to save money, I would have bought it from the manufacturer. After a slightly tense few minutes, with me speaking louder so others can hear me, another gentleman came out from the back somewhere. he asked what the problem was and I told him. He asked if I would be OK if they gave me the rails off the floor model so I wouldn't have to wait for a new order. I said "great" and was soon on my way.
I will never go back there again.
I recently (like in the last 6 months) have been ordering stuff, including tools, from Amazon. Great service, great return policy and quick deliveries.
 

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It seems like a losing battle to support small business, but I still try. It takes me 30-45 minutes to reach ANY store due to where I live. It is hard to justify the drive when the small stores in question don't have what I need in stock. One store even had a promotion that after I buy 10 cases the next one is free. Well, I bought 9 cases and when I went to get #10, they said they can't get the product anymore. However, I could buy it online and have it delivered to my door. So that's what I do now. I feel I gave them a fair shot.
I do have a local franchised hardware store that does get 90% of my business. My local tool store is really good but inventory is super low due to Covid. They didn't even have a pattern bit for my router.
All of this makes me more of an Amazon shopper as they deliver in the sticks and usually have what I need without spending all my time driving. But it still makes me sad that this is how things are now.
 

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I try to buy local small home lumber stores and mom and pop sawmill lumber. I work for a corporation auto parts maker. I hate my job, but I try to do my best cause that's what I get paid to do.

Now here is what I'm getting at: the local small stores were probably started by someone passionate about serving their community, and of course making a decent living, as we all like to do. The major big box stores care nothing about the community or it's residents. The manager at the establishments might, but I can bet the corporate investors don't give a rats @#$ as long as they are making money. Like the corporation I work for they don't care about the people making their product. If they could make slavery legal again they would be happy as a pig in mud.

I do shop at the big box stores, but only for what I can't get at local shop, and sometimes if I need to pick thru a stack of wood for the quality of material I need.

I prefer small locally owned stores, even if I costs me a little more. It puts my money back into my neighbors and my community.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Well said!
 

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Egg Spurt
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I do not understand. I have never felt my table saw blow air of any temperature. What do you have mounted to your saw that causes it to blow air?

George
The blade spinning creates quite a breeze..Turn off the heat on a nice cold day and try some nice, slow cuts on a TS..You'll feel it.. I must have forgotten about the tropical conditions in England year round.. Carry on.. LOL
 

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When I first bought this place there was a little hardware store about 4 miles away. Open Sundays, sold newspapers, milk, bread, ice cream, sodas and of course hardware. The old man knew what he was doing if you needed something on Sunday, when other stores were closed. he was great. Folks made the store a regular stop on Sundays for the paper, when out cruising for a cold soda and on warm days for ice cream. I heard several times that his Sunday sales were the best days he had. He got old put the store up for sale. New owners closed Sundays. place went to hell in a handbasket. Soon the were not making enough to keep the shelves stocked. The new owner blames it on the fact that no one fixes anything at home anymore. Horse crap. When they do, they simply were not open, and toward the end they had no inventory
 
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