pghmyn

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I can understand avoiding buying directly from Amazon if you like supporting small businesses, but the fact is, the vast majority of product sold on Amazon is sold by third party sellers...small businesses, like me. :)  Like I said in another post, you could be buying from your next door neighbor and not even know it.

 

Where I agree and understand that Eric, and please take no offense, you are not local for me.  I like the fact that my local hardware stores are open and usually have what I need.  They can only do that because local people spend their money there.

 

Now with that said, recently I needed some drawer glides.  Locally, the price was 3 times as much so ordered on line.  I also let the locals know why they weren't getting my money on those items.

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Not much truly local anymore, especially when it comes to tools.

 

Very true but, how about your consumables?  Screws, foam brushes, sandpaper, etc????  You can run to the local store and keep going on your project or you can order from someone and wait a week to get back to doing what you want to do.

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Another Amazon Prime coolness...  They have items labeled "Add Ons".  These are things which are too small and inexpensive for them to give you free Prime shipping.  The shipping would be more than the margin on the item.  But, if you order more than $25 of stuff with Prime shipping, you can add as many Add-On items into the same order as you want and get free shipping on them, too.

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Very true but, how about your consumables?  Screws, foam brushes, sandpaper, etc????  You can run to the local store and keep going on your project or you can order from someone and wait a week to get back to doing what you want to do.

Stuff I need today I go and buy today. Stuff I don't need and get a savings break on I usually order.

My main point was that by a large majority the places I would go and purchase from the profits don't get reinvested locally. You may keep one or two people employed, but that's it.

I try to buy my big stuff from Highland and Peachtree, but it's not always feasible.

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Stuff I need today I go and buy today. Stuff I don't need and get a savings break on I usually order.

My main point was that by a large majority the places I would go and purchase from the profits don't get reinvested locally. You may keep one or two people employed, but that's it.

I try to buy my big stuff from Highland and Peachtree, but it's not always feasible.

 

I don't totally disagree. If my total bill only has a couple dollars difference, I'll support the locals every time!  Do my dollars make the final difference, no.  It takes a community to support a community store and I'm happy to do it.

 

Now, I also have local big box stores.  They are a few miles further away and I will use them in a pinch.  However, I don't show them the same support that I do my local hardware store.

 

Please don't get me wrong, I do order quite a bit on line.  Usually stuff I can't get locally or stuff where the price difference is just simply unacceptable.

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I try to buy local whenever I can.  That includes buying appliances and other big ticket items locally instead of buying them across the river and saving hundreds in sales tax. 

 

But, I've decided that I'm through with going from store to store to store trying to find one particular thing.  If Amazon sells it, then it's delivered to me in two days.  If they don't, then I've only spent a few minutes checking.  Instead of waiting for the weekend to drive around trying to find something, I can order it online tonight and have it delivered Friday.

 

Recently I was trying a new bread recipe, so I had to buy some ingredients.  Nothing fancy: molasses, vital wheat gluten, whole grain rye flour, stuff like that.  After checking three grocery stores I was still looking for things.  Then I remembered: don't drive around checking stores when I know what I want!  So, now I buy my baking ingredients from Amazon.

 

And remember, use the WoodWhisperer Amazon link; it doesn't cost you anything, and it helps support the web hosting charges for this forum.

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I try to buy local whenever I can.  That includes buying appliances and other big ticket items locally instead of buying them across the river and saving hundreds in sales tax. 

 

But, I've decided that I'm through with going from store to store to store trying to find one particular thing.  If Amazon sells it, then it's delivered to me in two days.  If they don't, then I've only spent a few minutes checking.  Instead of waiting for the weekend to drive around trying to find something, I can order it online tonight and have it delivered Friday.

 

Recently I was trying a new bread recipe, so I had to buy some ingredients.  Nothing fancy: molasses, vital wheat gluten, whole grain rye flour, stuff like that.  After checking three grocery stores I was still looking for things.  Then I remembered: don't drive around checking stores when I know what I want!  So, now I buy my baking ingredients from Amazon.

 

And remember, use the WoodWhisperer Amazon link; it doesn't cost you anything, and it helps support the web hosting charges for this forum.

 

Agreed however, Amazon (or any other on line business) is never my first choice.  I also rarely "drive around" to compare prices.  The internet and phone work just fine for that even for local stores.  Not everything can be found locally and not everything is competitive locally either.  It comes down to what's acceptable for each individual.

 

I'm not saying that we need to boycott Amazon or other great businesses on the net but, if we don't support the locals, they may not be available in the future.  

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I'd buy everything online if I could, even groceries ... especially groceries. Not a fan of trouncing around stores trying to find what I want then having to drive to another store because the first was out of stock or didn't have exactly the size I need.

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Unfortunately people have changed... The one on one relationships that many have enjoyed in the past - dealing with a local fish monger or a butcher or your hardware store guy don't exist as they did. In the past they were the norm and now they are the exception to the rule. I have a paint guy that I pretty much exclusively buy my wall coatings from. If he was into the wood finishing business more he would have my business there too. His personality and knowledge of his products is what keeps me shopping with him. Not to knock the big boxes, but people usually don't develop much of a relationship because people are always moving between departments or between shifts. Even some of the prodesk folks at HD shuffle around so you don't always get to build a good working relationship. When it was the sole proprietor, and if he was a good one and personable, people would beat his door down to give him business. I would love to get back to the old way of doing business, however, its the lack of people and people skills that has led us to where we are not necessarily lower prices. I.E. - my paint guy gives me contractor pricing at Benjamin Moore so buying a better grade of paint with better hide than Bear costs me about the same or sometimes less than the big box stuff. So we click and get what we need instead of interacting with people. Let me know when the people come back ;-)

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Unfortunately people have changed... The one on one relationships that many have enjoyed in the past - dealing with a local fish monger or a butcher or your hardware store guy don't exist as they did. In the past they were the norm and now they are the exception to the rule. I have a paint guy that I pretty much exclusively buy my wall coatings from. If he was into the wood finishing business more he would have my business there too. His personality and knowledge of his products is what keeps me shopping with him. Not to knock the big boxes, but people usually don't develop much of a relationship because people are always moving between departments or between shifts. Even some of the prodesk folks at HD shuffle around so you don't always get to build a good working relationship. When it was the sole proprietor, and if he was a good one and personable, people would beat his door down to give him business. I would love to get back to the old way of doing business, however, its the lack of people and people skills that has led us to where we are not necessarily lower prices. I.E. - my paint guy gives me contractor pricing at Benjamin Moore so buying a better grade of paint with better hide than Bear costs me about the same or sometimes less than the big box stuff. So we click and get what we need instead of interacting with people. Let me know when the people come back ;-)

 

 

I too would love to get back to this way of life; though I would truly love to get back to the days when local was both maker and seller and not just a distributor. It took me a while to break out of the gotta have it now mold. It brings a smile to my face knowing a boutique maker has to source materials, craft my item, and it could be 2 weeks to 6 months before I get it. 

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The one thing  I just found about about Amazon is that we in Indiana now get to pay state sales tax. Our out going governor made some sort of deal with them. Two other states are  supposed to have done this as well. I haven't ordered anything since the first of the year, so I don't know for sure. 

 

It won't stop me from ordering, and more states are going to have to find ways to get taxes picked up from online shopping. (personal opinion) 

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I use my Prime account to save gas.  If I don't need it today, I will order from prime rather than driving the 12 miles to the mall.  I have started adding the cost of gas to my purchases; small items become more expensive when you add the price of a gallon of gas to it.

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TIODS, I completely appreciate your dedication to supporting local businesses, and I do the same whenever possible.  Unfortunately, I have to agree with cochese that it's not possible very often.  The brick & mortar mom & pop shops of yester-year hardly exist anymore.  Very often you'll think you're buying from a locally-owned small business and you'll find that they're either a national franchise (which is kind of a half & half scenario since they're partially "local") or they're owned by someone or a group of shareholders and a hedge fund manager from another state.  Rockler is a good example...when I first started woodworking I thought I was buying from a local small business...little did I know my money was being sent straight to Minnesota. <_<

 

But there are some out there still...my hardwood dealer is a perfect example.  He's a one-man show and lives about 5 minutes from his business.  Anytime I can buy from him or his one local competitor, I do.  Unfortunately their prices on tools are so outrageous I'm forced to buy elsewhere.  They just can't do the volume that the big boys do to stay competitive...the Wal-Mart effect has taken over almost all of retail.  Sometimes it's just impossible to keep your money in the community.  I don't know a single small business in my area where I can buy groceries, toiletries, diapers, etc.

 

But all that said, and even as someone who makes his living in e-commerce, I do still share your interest in supporting my community, so I'm by no means lecturing you.  Just realize that many, if not most, small businesses have moved to internet sales in order to survive, and very often you're supporting the "little guy" when you buy on Amazon.  If you click on an item and it doesn't say "sold and shipped by Amazon," there's a very good chance your money is going to a small business owned by a family...in your state or the next state over or across the country...either way it makes me feel better to support a person rather than a huge corporation, even if it's not local.  Brick and mortar is going out like a dinosaur, probably for the worse for society, but it's reality nonetheless.

 

Southwood, the reason you pay sales tax is because Amazon has a fulfillment center in Indiana.  It was decided (I believe by the Supreme Court) that any state in which an online retailer has a physical presence, they are required to pay sales tax, since they are using the local, tax-paid infrastructure to conduct business.  Rest assured that the tax dollars you pay go right back into Indiana...Amazon collects the taxes, distributes them to the seller, and the seller is responsible for paying each state those sales taxes every quarter.  For those sellers who ignore their tax responsibilities, Amazon holds the funds and pays the states directly.  So just know your money isn't going to California. :)

 

Amazon taxes are currently paid in ten states.  They're still debating whether or not the other states where there is no physical presence should pay taxes.  I'll refrain from comment on that in light of the "no politics" rule on this forum. :)

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I'm a big fan of shopping local and do so whenever possible, but the reality of it is, the vast majority of things I want can't be found locally. It's surprising, given that I live in the capital city of my state, but I often can't find what I need. Festool is unheard of here. A good sheet of plywood doesn't exist. Anything woodworking is pretty much off the table unless it can be found at lowes or Home Depot. Fortunately, amazon and other online retailers have helped me bridge this gap in product availability.

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Amazon is way too convenient. Dangerous in fact!

I agree 200%.  I like to get up before my family on Saturday mornings, drink coffee and surf Amazon.  9 outta 10 times I buy something!

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Eric, I do agree with you.  I love supporting the "little guy".  I especially love it when that guy is local.

 

I may support some huge chain when I shop local but, at least I'm supporting that local franchise owner.  Love my local ACE and True Value for many shop consumables. 

 

My hardwood dealer is local here in 2 counties.  I also buy direct from the small ma & pa mill when ever I can.  They work day jobs as well so, don't always have a lot on hand.

 

As I said before, it depends on the price difference.  What is my OTD price local vs internet OTD.  If that difference is small, then I shop local every time and have it now.  If the difference is worth the wait, then I order on line.

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TIODS, I completely appreciate your dedication to supporting local businesses, and I do the same whenever possible.  Unfortunately, I have to agree with cochese that it's not possible very often.  The brick & mortar mom & pop shops of yester-year hardly exist anymore. 

 

 

I totally agree...

 

Nearly all of my tools and machines were purchased locally, as Coastal Tool, Tools-Plus, and a very well run example of a Woodcraft store are within 30 minutes.  Oddly enough, my first two local favorites are someone else's mail order supplier...   My favorite paint and finish store is a one-off.  But I travel on a regular basis, so I know just how fortunate I am.

 

However, most of the other stuff I buy would probably come from Lowe's, Home Depot, etc...   So I don't see any difference at all in buying that stuff from Amazon.  To Eric's point, many of my purchases come from smaller businesses who use Amazon as a storefront.  Remember eBay stores?  It's a similar idea, only better!

 

In closing, I'll point out that some of my favorite stuff, including Mirka abrasives, Grammercy, Veritas, and LN  tools, are not available locally at all.

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I love amazon prime, as it lets me buy stuff I can't get locally, and it lets me not get ripped off buying some stuff I can get locally.

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Like I said earlier, I have no problem with them collecting the proper taxes. It has to be done for basic needs, roads and other stuff we don't think about. 

 

I did forget I could watch movies and other shows with Prime until now. I may have to check that part out 

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When I read this thread last night it reminded me that I needed to order some filters for my respirator.

They arrived this afternoon.

Nothing like free shipping with delivery in less than 24 hours.

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When I read this thread last night it reminded me that I needed to order some filters for my respirator.

They arrived this afternoon.

Nothing like free shipping with delivery in less than 24 hours.

That's pretty awesome. Nothing better than that.

 

I have a guy at work that buys things like detergent, toilet paper, paper towel, and everything else that is always needed. I believe he has some of his stuff on their handy "auto-order" subscription type service. You save even a little bit more through this as they send you (for example) one detergent jug a month through subscription.

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Another awesome Amazon experience:

I ordered a new router kit on Thursday at 10pm (it's arriving on Saturday for free)

I went back to check the product today to link it in another thread and noticed the price dropped by $25.

Within 60 seconds I had a customer service person in live chat, and 60 seconds after that they issued a refund for the difference. Their policy is apparently to refund the difference for anything within 7 days of delivery,

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