I know I am going to get burned on this one.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Silvercreek Farmer, May 9, 2006.

  1. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

    Oct 13, 2005
    Morganton, NC
    I know a lot of you feel strongly about this one so please be gentle...

    Instead of fighting Wal-Mart, why not get in on it? It seems ridiculus to me when I hear stories of people paying twice as much for something just because they do not want to shop at Wal-Mart, talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Why not take advantage of the savings and plow them back into your homestead? A common argument is that Wal-Mart puts local businesses out of of business, which is true. Along with this argument comes the comment that Wal-Mart is sucking local money out of the economy, which may or may not be true. Wal-Mart is a publicly held corporation, anyone can take part in the profits of Wal-Mart by simply buying their stock. As of now corporate America is funding my homestead in the form of stocks. Now, I am also a strong supporter of good competition, and I think Wal-Mart left unchecked could become a monopoly and the consumer could lose their price advantage, as we have already seen in some small towns, however there are many good businesses such as ALDI, Big Lots, and the various Dollar stores that can seriously compete with Wal-Mart. I generally shop at these stores, not because I have ethical problems with Wal-Mart, but simply because these stores are more conviently located, generally meet or exceed Wal-Mart's prices, and are not as crowded as Wal-Mart. Another place where Wal-mart fails is in specialty items, however with the advent of the internet, one find virtually anything and have it shipped to their house within a matter of days.
    Wal-Mart is often cited as treating their employees poorly, perhaps, but many small business owners do the same, it just is, and always will be, a question of who is on top. So, please don't cut off your nose to spite your face, find opportunity from the situation.
  2. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2004
    I hate walmart and so choose to shop locally at smaller stores - it's
    not always convenient and may cost a bit more, but i would rather my $$ go
    to a person/small business or family than a corporation like them. It's because of business coglomerates like them that you don't often see small
    bike shops, etc.

    It's americans selling out to cheaper items, made cheaper in another country!
    For instance in building my house i could have bought curtains instead i chose to have a local sewing business make the curtains/shades for my windows (some will come much later). Most of the clothe came from a local business, it helps her business and person who sews for her and the quality is ten times better. I believe in supporting local economy!

    Besides that - i find that most cheap chinese made junk is just that and falls apart FAST!

  3. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    I'm on the fence, as far as Wal-mart goes. My main reason for not doing much shopping there is that they sell garbage. Cheap works for toilet paper, vinyl tablecloths, and other similar items, but I'd estimate that 75% of their merchandise isn't worth owning. I won't pay more for exactly the same thing I could buy at Wal-mart, but I will pay a lot more for something that is well made and will last for a long time, with proper care. I do go to wal-mart for some stuff, it just tends to be things that it doesn't matter are shoddy or not.
  4. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

    Nov 9, 2004
    ML let me second you somewhat (hold fire please). I believe in a global economy so I will not blindly buy American. I hate WalMart but shop there when I can to save money and hope to live nearish one when I move.

    I like using govt (yes, I'm that sort of liberal, and I beleive Walmart can't be controlled by a few employees or citizens at one store in one town) to keep WalMart (and all businesses) above certain thresholds of ignoble immoral or evil practices. Like making workers work off the clock or discriminating or using child labor here or abroad.

    But another way to affect change, WalMart owner ML, is through owning stock. You can now, if you care to, put forward for a vote every year any request you want (don't know what it takes to get it as far as being voted on, and it might never get passed) like insisting WalMart do surveys of overseas providers to ensure no child labor or good fire safety or no workweek over some number of hours. Poor me and IBM which I own some of- as a longtime old blue chip its meeting is littered with wacky stockholder proposals. Each year I weed out the ones from selfish employees or former employees (all along the lines of 'maintain my expensive benefits at previous levels at the detriment of all other stockholders and customers and probably leading to the death of IBM as a company') then decide on the otehr ones, never following company directions by rote ("The company recommends a vote AGAINST the following stockholder proposal...") but sometimes agreeing with them.
  5. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

    Jan 10, 2005
    When considering a course of action, you ask yourself not if this or that path is expedient, but if it is RIGHT.

  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 20, 2004
    A small regional chain of discount stores came to my small town 35-40 years ago. Started putting pressure on the downtown local shops back then. Followed by Kmart, followed by a bigger Kmart, followed by a Target 5 years ago. The Walmart was just appoved, should start contruction this sumer. Since then a Dollar General (they must be expanding north?) and a Wallgreens is going up in town also. The 7 small grocieries have evolved into 2 large chains plus a dozen gas convienience stors....

    Any one of these, starting in the '60s, could & should be 'hated' if one feels that way.

    Seems folks are just looking for a scapegoat when they pick on _just_ Walmart. That is illogical to me. Walmart currently is best at it.

    To each their own, I'm not telling people how to shop. :)

    Seems 95% of the people are capitalists, and will look for the better deal.....

    Harbor Freight stores, or the Homier sales semis, etc. also sell junk, compete with older businesses, and so on. It's all business.

  7. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    I buy the better product at the better price.
    if wal mart has proxuct X made by XYZ inc., cheaper, I'll buy it at wal mart.
    if they have a cheap copy, and I want the better product X, I will pay elsewhere for better quality.

    If wal mart put some profit int better quality stuff, they would do more business.
  8. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

    Aug 25, 2003
    I saw a blip on the news that WM is going to go "Organic". Suppose to start selling organic eggs and milk, plus clothes made from organic grown cotton.

    With 2800 stores, I'm wondering who'll be the supplier of all this "Organic" grown product, and how does WM define "Organic".

    Anyone hear anything about this?
  9. ninny

    ninny Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2005
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    I don't like shopping at Wal-Mart for two reasons. First, the service here in So. Texas is lousy. Their attitude is "hey, if you don't find what you want, too bad." If you go into the store early in the mornings, which is when I do my shopping if possible, most of the time the only check out counter open is the customer service counter. When there are seven or eight people already standing in line it's pretty irritating. The second reason is that I recently read that approx. 80% of the items they sell are foreign made which usually translates to being of poor quallity. If I have the opportunity to shop somewhere else, I will usually go there. I e-mailed Wal-Mart hdqtrs. and they really could have cared less. My son worked at a Wal-Mart once and he said the store managers deliberately keep as many counters closed as they can to cut down on cost so at the end of the year they will get a bigger bonus. He also said the working conditions were lousy.
  10. flannelberry

    flannelberry Pure mischief

    Jul 14, 2005
    I won't go out of my way to shop there but I also won't go out of my way not to. I also don't buy things because they are or aren't made in one country over another. The other things is that Made In America can mean a lot of different things - sometimes it really means 'parts made in a developing nation by an under paid worker were assembled in America'. But then again, I don't believe in encouraging anything that looks like a free market (because it's not free really).

    The other thing about Wal Mart - over some of the other big box stores (and I agree totally with the person who pointed out that Wal Mart is hardly alone in being a big box) is their inclusive hiring practices. I have had lots of clients who were employed by them when no one else would do it. I don't care why - they did hire them and treat them decently and the people are thrilled to be working - that's a huge thing for me.
  11. saraohio

    saraohio Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2006
    I'm a libertarian, so I am for as much choice and freedom as possible. Buy or not from Walmart for whatever reasons you want. I have no problems buying foreign goods. What are foreigners going to do with our dollars (iou's) other than spend them or invest them here?
  12. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    I support my neighbors. Wal*Mart isn't owned by my neighbors..the guy and his wife who own the local hardware store, drugstore, fabric store, dairy, pet supplies, feed store, grocery store, arts & crafts store, butcher shop, furniture store, dress shop, those are my neighbors..

    Places such as Wal*Mart, Aldi's, Best Buy, have the ability ($) to buy at nearly cost from wholesalers and INITIALLY offer items to the public at huge savings, just until they put everyone else around them out of business. It's just my own personal value system that it's not so important to me to purchase two 12 volt car batteries at Wal * Mart for my powerchair and save that $40 when I can buy them from my neighbor's car parts store, have two cups of coffee with him and his wife, visit, and he's kind enough to even put the new ones in the chair for me. Wal* Mart doesn't feed my soul as my neighbors do.

    Someday when I'm on my death bed, I doubt that I'll be regretting that I didn't spend more of my precious time at Wal* Mart, or ruing the fact that if I did, I could have had a few more dollars under the mattress.
  13. Dec429

    Dec429 Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Cozahome, AR

    I think you summed it up for quite a few of us.

  14. Dubai Vol

    Dubai Vol Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    I'm a free-market capitalist, and I won't shop at Wal-Mart. I hope I can explain why:

    Wal-mart make severyone's life worse. The price tag may be lower, but there are hidden costs. You don't see the price at the cash register, but you pay for the employees without health care. You pay for the employees living below the poverty line. And so on. Now maybe you are part of the "me first" culture, and figure that the more you save at Wal-Mart, the farther you are ahead, but everything balances out, the costs get spread around, and you are no better off by buying at Wal-Mart than you would be if you spent your money more wisely.

    But that's not the reason I won't shop there. I won't shop at Wal-Mart because their buying power causes hardship outside the US as well. By demanding lower prices from their suppliers, they make foreign workers into slaves, and slaves who are crippled from relentless repetitive work before the age of thirty.

    If Chinese or Koreans or Hondurans or whoever are willing to work for lower wages, more power to them, but when they work in conditions that seriously and permanently damage their health, then that's not only wrong, it's bad business. And the costs of those bad business practices get back to your wallet as well.

    So: pay now or pay later. The bill is always higher when you choose to pay later.
  15. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

    Oct 13, 2005
    Morganton, NC
    Just an exercise in economics but hang with me here:

    America is the richest nation in the world, buying foreign goods sends our money overseas(to many third world nations), and provides us with less expensive goods, sounds like a pretty good deal for them and us. Now many will say that 3rd world workers work in sweatshops under terrible conditions, however, they have come there willingly from whatever they were doing prior, hmmm. Consumption and Corruption are the real beasts here... Just something to think on.
  16. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    I used to buy pet food at WallyWorld but stopped after they screwed me over on some antifreeze clearly labelled to be mixed 50:50 with water and it turned out to be premixed and refused to do anything about it. Not spending my money there is only weapon I can wield short of sueing and I caught the antifreeze problem before it got cold enough to do any damage to my engine so silly to try and sue for $7 or whatever antifreeze cost. I did have to buy tires for Festiva there as they were only place that had 12 inch tires in stock. Interesting they were made in Bolivia of all places.

    I live in a rapidly growing area so have lot choices other people may not. I feel sorry for those limited to WallyW. Luckily there is the internet. I rarely even try to locate any specialty item locally anymore. Can usually find better price even including shipping and sometimes even free shipping.
  17. mihal

    mihal Peterfi Mihal

    Feb 10, 2006
    Destruction of local business is one reason I do not like Wal-Mart. Predatory and monopolistic practices is another. They use their position to strong-arm suppliers and limit consumer choice. Every dollar I give to Wal-Mart is reducing my choice in the future. That being said, I do sometimes shop at Wal-Mart, but I use other choices where I can.

    As yo say, the biggest goal is to become self-sufficient to the point where Wal-Mart becomes irrelevent.
  18. MikesMate

    MikesMate Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2006
    Okay, I'll jump in. Wal Mart came to our town about 15 years ago. Heard all the hoopla about how they ran all the small businesses out. But why would you pay sometimes triple for the same item? Sounds like the businesses ran themselves out. As far as poor working conditions. Nobody makes people work there, they don't pay any less than most retail stores or restaurants, right? Not every business pays health insurance and benefits out the wazoo, right? Why should Wal Mart just because they're big business? Also, on the sweat shops and child labor, it is awful to think of, and I don't condone it in any way, but maybe those people are just grateful to have money to buy food-their job may be what comes between them and their family starving.

    I'm not trying to defend Wal Mart til my dying breath, I shop at a lot of places, but Wal-Mart can't be the only bad guy on the block. Evidently millions of people don't think so, no matter what they say, because they've grown by leaps and bounds.

    Okay, bring on the flames....
  19. 2horses

    2horses I'm a silly filly!! Supporter

    Jul 19, 2004
    In the beautiful Hill Country of Texas!
    I just had a conversation Saturday and again this morning about shopping at Wal-Mart... I will, if it happens to be convenient and I need basics, like shampoo and TP - run in for those items at Wal-Mart. But, the place gives me the Heebie-Jeebies! I think it's too much, too close, and too crowded. I get claustrophic from the sheer size of everything!! And the sheer size of the people that haunt the place! You know the ones I'm talking about - they also usually weigh on an average of ~400 lbs each, are unkempt and unemployed, and block the aisles with the enormity of their mass! They go there every single day, wearing dirty and ill-fitting clothing, unwashed, and barefoot, or barely above it. They have nothing else to do so they practically live there, and act like you're trespassing on their own space if you venture down the aisle they happen to be in! They don't move over, they don't allow you to pass, they ride around in those carts like they own the place, and they're rude, obnoxious and smelly!

    And I can't deal with it - my problem, I know....And thus, I avoid it like the plague. What is about Wal-mart that attracts these people like flies? You sure don't find that at most other stores!

    Pam :cool: <----------- really has nothing against large people and hates to sound like a snob, but finds no acceptable excuse for poor personal hygiene and bad manners...
  20. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 29, 2004
    Basically, it's a free country so you can shop or not shop anywhere you like for any reason or no reason.

    I do find it interesting that people do not underatand that Walmart is publicly traded. That means it's owned by people like you and me. I used to own Walmart stock, so that when we went there, I could show my kids as an object lesson that they owned a part of it. I make $35,000 a year and have a family of five, so I am not rich by any means.

    I also find it interesting that there are likely people on this forum who have decided to sell their eggs for 90 cents a dozen without any concern that another family who might actually depend on the money they get from selling their eggs are doing it at $1 a dozen. If you do this, you are no different than Walmart.