It made me think...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by seedspreader, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    I was reading the thread about buying animal supplies online and someone had mentioned that it was cheaper than the local Farmers Co-op. It made me think a little. I love to get the best price and a deal.

    But I have to wonder, what is our obligation to our local community for purchasing things? Many of us want people to come buy meat, eggs, produce, etc. from us even though it may be a little more pricey, because they know us and our farms, so are we obligated to buy from the community hardware vs the BIG BOX STORE, or vs. online etc?

    I would love to know what you think?
     
  2. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is a point hubby and I have always thought about. We always hire/buy within the community if the quality is good. Same as buying USA made things. We have a farm stand and appreciate the community supporting us!!!...Joan
     

  3. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For me there is often a better selection online...but very comparable price wise after shipping. In Maine selection is limited unless you want to drive to a larger market area....which is time consuming and gas consuming.

    Convenience for me....not having to pay a babysitter or endure kids that hate to shop ( I cant blame them).

    We do buy our groceries locally....but we dont buy much....we always give the lumber yards the opputunity to meet Home Cheapos prices...and often they do!
     
  4. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I know a vet who says that the online and catalogue suppliers are hurting him. Folks are buying vaccines, wormers etc. on line. I was there one afternoon last week when he got a frantic call from a farmer who had a cow "thats been tryin to calve since yesterday morning", come quick. This is the same guy that had told him his prices were too high, he could get his meds, vaccines, wormers and stuff on line cheaper, and only calls when there is an emergency. Doc was covered up right then, had a client wating for him to work some cattle and was in the middle of an emergency operation on a dog that had been hit by a car. He told him to call the place where he gets his online supplies and see how much help he got from them, or haul her to the vet school 75 miles away, he really didn't give a damn which.
     
  5. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Apparently our vet has plenty of work because he has encouraged all his goat keepers to learn to do their own work...even teaching when he comes and saying you can do this! He is a bovine vet primarily but willing to help out as he can....makes reccomendations over the phone of what to buy ! But the info given by Vicki on the goat forum is often more goat specific.

    We get rabies done when the fire house holds its fundraiser for dog and cat.
     
  6. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Yeah, I have heard stories like that and understand what the vet is saying, I am not sure if that was the best way to handle it or not... but I don't know the whole situation.

    But living in Ohio, south of Cleveland and west of Akron, I know all about steel mills. I know, you are wondering where I am going on this... but bear with me, this rabbit trail has a bunny waiting at the end of it. As I was thinking about this and then reading the other thread about the prices of steel etc. It got me thinking on different levels. Whenever a Steel plant closes down, that is one less plant that we can produce steel at if our foreign suppliers would ever decide to starve us out. Making steel isn't an overnight process, start up takes some time. And I see a tie in when we begin buying everything based on what is cheapest vs. what keeps money in our community. Don't get me wrong, I am all for a free market, but I just want to keep that market local. It is still something I am developing, my philosophy of community and markets I mean. But here are a few of the things that we have to consider I think.

    1) When we sell things, we don't have to get every bit of $$$ we can out of it if it is a consumable materal with a return customer base. Perhaps this fits in with the steel workers above not having to demand so much that they price themselves out of a job.

    2) When we buy things, we don't need the lowest price if it helps out someone in our community and our community would be worse off if that seller/service provider didn't exist in our community.

    3) It is okay to buy online and from the Big Box Stores, if the product can't be supplied in a timely fashion or if it will have to be ordered anyway and the cost is cheaper online or at the BBS'.

    4) I love Wal*Mart, but do they love me? I mean when all their competition is gone, what will prices look like then? It is easy to have the "LOW PRICE GUARANTEE" if no one else is selling the products you sell anymore. Is $5.00 now worth no choices later? ( I don't know this answer, just the question)

    5) If we don't follow a community economy ourselves, how can we get angry when others don't and won't buy our goods.

    There are more, but just things I am thinking about.
     
  7. tbout

    tbout Member

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    I really agree with this we should think real hard about when the time comes and wal mart is the only store in town to purchase from. I am a small business owner I have a gift shop and wal mart is just down the street. we are making the bills. we have not taken home an income yet( we have reinvested alot into the company we have tripled our inventory ) but as soon as we did we hit a slump in sales. now it is really scary. our store is a year old and everyone says we are doing really well. but the books don't show it. And every evening Wal mart's parking lot is full. I have very good prices. and quality items. just can't seem to afford the advertising. Our doors will close soon, compitition is rough and North Arkansas is calling we will enjoy fleamarkets, farmers markets and gift shows. leave the stress behind. yeah i know just went in circles. Thanks T
     
  8. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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    We purchase locally as much as we can (not that we buy things very often). We prefer to help keep the little guys in business. They usually have better service than the big stores anyway.
     
  9. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Mammabooh, where in NE Ohio??? I am in Medina. We don't have very many little stores (that aren't specialty shops) around here anymore. A few, but not a whole lot, everything is SUPER CENTER!
     
  10. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have to add a little more to think about.....here in Maine since NAFTA passed all the manufacturing jobs that paid 10 - 15$ an hour are gone. There are lots of credit companies operating call centers that pay $10/hr to start..but I'd rather be poor than do that job! of leading people into credit card Hell and financial ruin.

    You are right about buying locally but so many locals live on such a grand scale that its only a matter of time before they are far behind and when Walmart takes over it will get worse.

    In Maine 2500 sq ft houses are built based on the income of two working people, one loses a job, the bank forecloses or after one year of property taxes and heating bills people realize they are in too deep. Often the family has such a busy schedule running here and there for soccer and whatever that they eat out, get fat, get sick. Their kids are hooked on instant gratification for the rest of their lives....which is what drives the credit card industry....which means the living wage has to be higher to support this lifestyle so companies leave....

    things like 9/11 happen and drive up insurance....bypass surgery(for the second time) is done on 90 year olds that have smoked and been overweight all their life.

    People waste a ton of petroleum and petroleum based products needlessly, most business owners drive the gas guzzling SUVs for the tax write off.

    Yard sales and auctions are my favorite places to shop. I'm also pretty sure my vet buys his meds online and so will I. My feed store is a family run business with not alot of meds at smaller sizes....5 gal buckets for dairy farms are just too much waste...and expensive!

    Excessive materialistic behavior also known as GREED is ruining our economy and making America fat.

    Bartering is a lost art.....in most parts of this country....we try to use it as much as possible in our circle of friends and family....the doc and the vet are not interested in keeping goats! ;) Wish they were!
     
  11. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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    Massillon.
     
  12. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    My husband lost his job in the steel industry after 26 years because of NAFTA....he started his own handyman business about five years ago and is a licensed electrician and now he wishes he'd done that YEARS ago!

    We try to buy everything that we can locally. During the past two years we've bought a new propane stove (with NO electrical items on it) and a freezer from a small appliance store in our nearby town and got not only good deals but great prices...then we had to get a refridgerator when the 30-plus year old that I'd repainted several times....

    My husband wanted a work van so found a wonderful Chevy 3/4 ton van which everybody thought was new, at a local car dealer....we looked at dealorships all around and then came back and bought this one "at home." Then when my Toyota truck motor died last January, we went to the same car dealorship and bought a 1998 Oldsmobile that everybody also thought was new....

    The only thing we haven't bought locally was my Dell computer, digital camera and printer that I bought three years ago in January and I got that directly from Dell because there are no computer stores in our county....

    I hate to buy things at Wal-Mart because they've put so many smaller businesses out of business AND don't want to pay their employees benefits....but sometimes we do shop there because there are some things if we need them in a hurry, we have to go there....
     
  13. Brad

    Brad Active Member

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    At some point the lack of service from the big retailers like Walmart becomes salient. I'd rather do business with small businesses; I like doing business with small local businesses. There is accountability in a small business.
     
  14. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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    AMEN!!
     
  15. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) We have always supported our small town and it's merchants. I look for what I need right here. If I can't find it, I let the local merchants know that because they don't carry that particular item I now have to drive another 20 miles up the freeway.

    If we don't support our local merchants, they can't stay in business..then it's a long drive to do shopping. I like to see and touch and smell what I purchase and wouldn't order any foods for my animals over the net.

    LQ
     
  16. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I refuse to shop at Walmart.

    I work at a little crafts store in a little town, and when the new Walmart is up and running, there are many things we will not be able to carry because so many people can't see that Walmart's prices are cheaper because the products they sell are of lesser quality than the one's we sell. One problem I see are people coming in for a specific item that we don't have on the shelf. I am sure to tell them we will order it for them and invite them to peruse the catalogs with me. They can't seem to understand that how much shelf space is required to carry every type of bead, ribbon, sticker, silk flower, yarn, fabric, wood cut, paint, etc just in case somebody wants it NOW. Walmart will not order what you want. If it's not on their shelves, you can't have it. Smaller independent stores can order what you want, in the size and color that you want, in the price range that you want. But we can't if we've gone out of business because you insist on saving fifty cents at Walmart.

    Also, when you want to know how to operate that cheapo sewing machine you bought at Walmart, we will be happy to teach you... for a fee. If you buy it from us, we don't let you walk out of the store until you can operate it. It's called service after the sale.
     
  17. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd like to add that our teeny tiny local grocery store....24x36 building w meat counter, pizza oven.... will sell case lots for half the profit margin of regular item.

    for example....Elbow macaroni is 60cents per 1 pound box shelf price. case price is around 35 cents a pound. They will also grind goat/deer/veal for us at $5 per 25# with 25# min. We grind year old steaks into burger to save waste. A separate grinder is used from the "store" grinder. I have benefitted from old produce for the goats after local pig farmer slaughters in the Fall.

    I did have to ask for this stuff, but I have never used store "credit" always paid cash and even thru owner change been able to reap benefits....They can even help give directions to our place....which is not so easy to find! At 1/2 mile away by road and 2 mile by ATV/snowmobile trail, we enjoy doing business there....maybe I could get them to do feed and meds on the side :rolleyes:
     
  18. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    For me it is that WalMart is dirty and cluttered, and everything looks shopworn. I'd rather pay a little more and shop in a store which is clean and the merchandise looks like it hasn't been around for too long.
     
  19. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    I'm so jealous of that store. Noone around here will even grind a pork roast that we're buying from them.
     
  20. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Anything I can buy or hire locally,I do.I appreciate the neighbors supporting me,and I do likewise.
    BooBoo