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Old 11-08-2007, 04:41 PM   #11
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I'm pretty lucky that I have 3 lhbs within a 30 minute ride. 1 of them is 5 minutes from home. The selection varies from store to store. But the service is usually excellent at all 3. Almost time to get over to Woonsocket again and spend some money over there.

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Old 11-08-2007, 04:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
...No offense, honestly. I just see, all too often, towns rally against WalMart because they don't want a big box store in their vicinity...but once they build it, those same townspeople go there and shop because it's cheaper, has a better selection, and has better hours.
That's funny! Down here it seems that the locals cheer the new Wal-Marts, as they're doing more to employ the locals then any of the Mom&Pops.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:30 PM   #13
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I have similar problems with the locals: distance and hours. Makes very little sense to drive 2-3 hours to get minor items and since I tend to "be in the area" in the evenings, they aren't open. I try to go to a local when I'm doing a recipe, but only if I can schedule 3-4 other errands at the same time. Otherwise, shipping is much cheaper than driving.

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Old 11-08-2007, 05:58 PM   #14
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My LHBS has decent prices on anything that isn't consumed. Better Bottles are cheaper (sticker) than any of the online stores even without shipping. The reason I don't spend a little more on grains and stuff is simple... Freshness.

As for supporting local businesses, that's a toss up. Economics says that with limited space and set, recurring expenses, a business can't afford to stock items they'll never sell. That means that the things a "mom and pop" store would stock are things they're going to sell.

Just like Wal-Mart.

The problem is... For groceries and stuff, there ARE no mom and pop stores around here... Even the small "homely" organic hippy produce market is a state-wide chain.

For things that are NOT groceries, like DVDs and books, I can't find what interests me. Good LUCK finding DVD episodes of cancelled British comedies to rent at ANY brick and mortar store in the US, let alone ones close enough to me to counter the drive and gas expenses.

Though, now that I think about it.... My problems tend to be of selection, and I've even stormed out of Wal-Mart for not stocking things I want/need and as they told me when I first moved to Kentucky...

"You'll find everything you need at the Wal-Mart!"

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Old 11-08-2007, 07:02 PM   #15
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I support my LHBS and pick up probably half of my stuff from there. If he's competitive, I'll buy. If not, I'll order online. It doesn't matter to me if I'm supporting a guy a couple of towns over or a couple of states over. What matters is my convenience.

And you're acting like online HBSs are some sort of BIG business. They're not. They're mostly small businesses that were savvy enough to expand their market. You have to give them credit for that.

I used to rent from mostly mom and pop video stores because they typically had the same selection of movies and similar pricing. If you tried to get me to use a video store that didn't have any new releases and wanted more money per rental simply because they were local, I'd laugh at you.

Local is fine, but you HAVE to be competitive and even have some advantages.

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Old 11-08-2007, 07:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwj
Local is fine, but you HAVE to be competitive and even have some advantages.
I totally agree there. However, I do need to point out the obvious...

Big Chains get volume discounts. Wal-mart buys MILLIONS of gallons of Cascade dish detergent a year and because they can load it on their OWN trucks, fill up with fuel from companies they buy oil from in volume (http://www.murphyoilcorp.com/), stock it super efficiently with employees who get paid the absolute minimum they will accept and then have YOU ring it up yourself.

There is no WAY that a mom and pop store could EVER pass on the savings that that generates.

As for the DVD rental thing...

I have a friend who managed ordering for Hollywood Video. Movie studios require minimum orders. Sony, for example, won't ship rental DVD's (which cost $140 each because they "license" them for commercial use) unless you order 1,000 copies. Blockbuster has NO problem meeting that, nor does Netflix or Redbox.
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwj

And you're acting like online HBSs are some sort of BIG business. They're not. They're mostly small businesses that were savvy enough to expand their market. You have to give them credit for that.
I didn't mean to even imply that... I am sure Austin Homebrew (or the like) are small business too.

MoreBeer and Austin HomeBrew are where I get most of my stuff when I don't get it locally.

I don't think we should be stupid consumers because of some lofty goals. I know I don't have the $$$ for that.
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Old 11-08-2007, 09:00 PM   #18
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I tried hard to support my LHBS. At first, the selection was decent, and the prices beat most online prices + shipping. However, I had to give up. The service was downright awful - I had to cancel a LARGE order after a month of waiting. I think a lot of folks gave up on them, actually. Their current inventory is horrible, and they quit carrying grain.

I quit ordering from MoreBeer for similar reasons - backordered products hold up your entire order, and sometimes the backordered products aren't marked properly on the website. They are now my last resort for online ordering.

I use Austin Homebrew and Northern Brewer now, and I've had zero problems.

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Old 11-08-2007, 09:19 PM   #19
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I go to the same LHBS that bird was refering to. I happen to like the owner, but I agree with bird, thier prices are alot higher than I can get online. With the low special shipping rates Austin and Northern Brewer have now it was cheeper for me to place my last order online then to drive to the store. I will still stop in and pick up the smaller stuff and to BS with him but most of my buys will be online. About the only exception I may make will be for yeast and bags of grain. And the grain is only because it is too pricey to ship unless I could find someone to split a pallet from a drop ship

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Old 11-08-2007, 09:26 PM   #20
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My local video store sucks. They hire the rudest people possible and are really fishy on late fees.

Hasting's is much better. They give you credits for turning movies in on time. Hire nice staff. Always well stocked.

I shop where I get the best service. Local or not. I hate shipping Wal-Mart. I go there to buy ammo and that's about it and it's only because they are the only store that sells it.

I do buy all my produce and some meat locally though. Farmer's Markets every Tuesday.

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