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Do you purchase items from local small businesses?
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Posted 4/14/14 , edited 4/14/14
If you live in a city you probably have access to more than a few chain stores. Between Macy's, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, Best Buy, Office Max, Safeway, and all the rest, it easy to obtain desired goods. But what about the small businesses? Do you go out of your way to spend money with local outfits?

I am a broke college student, and money is always tight at the end of the month. But I still go out of my way to spend my money with reputable local businesses if I can. When I am at home I shop for groceries at the only family owned grocery stores (there are two of them) in town. I try to buy bike parts from my local bike shop as much as I can. They are a great group of guys that always take care of their customers. When I need computer stuff, I go straight to my local Mac retailer. I really prefer to spend my money at reputable local businesses because they always treat me right. I (personally) cannot say the same for big businesses, especially Walmart. I do not like that store for a number of reasons and will not spend money there unless I absolutely have to.
Bavalt 
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28 / M / Canada
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Posted 4/14/14
The appeal of bigger businesses is that they make everything so convenient and hands-off. People like myself, who aren't so good at getting out and making friends with people, usually don't even know where the local businesses are, which is a shame. I want to support small business owners, but to be perfectly honest, I usually feel threatened when people try to be friendly with me, and I know that chains will usually give me the hands-off experience I'm more comfortable with.

Oddly enough, I'm employed at a family-run convenience store myself, and although I've got nothing to personally compare it to, I hear the horror stories from all my friends about working for bigger companies, and feel extremely lucky that I can brag about my coworkers and boss all being straight-up nice people. I legitimately enjoy work most of the time because the atmosphere is so laid-back and friendly, and have stuck around as long as I have despite the minimum-wage pay because I just plain like the people there.
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26 / M / Houma
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Posted 4/14/14
I usually shop at small local businesses for specialty items due to their better selection within that specialty. I particularly prefer going to the art supply shop and sports medicine store in this area. I just wish there were some PC parts stores in the area that sells consumer grade, enterprise grade, and circuit parts.
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Posted 4/14/14 , edited 4/14/14
I usually order from both large and small, but if a small business and a large company had the same item I wanted, I would buy from the small business even if the product I from there is a little more expensive.
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23 / M / Kaguya's Panties
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Posted 4/14/14 , edited 4/14/14
I do purchase items from small businesses, for example:

I buy my manga from a small online store.
But real local shops that I can walk into, yeah.. Convenience stores, clothing stores, liquor stores etc.
I do however, also buy from big named chain businesses most of the time. I really only go to smaller stores out of convenience (because they're pretty pricey)
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27 / F
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Posted 4/14/14
I prefer small shops because the fluorescent light in the big stores gives me a headache and the size is overwhelming. I am also closer to smaller shops, because most of the big chain stores are in malls or retail parks, and downtown is closer to where I live.
Posted 4/14/14
Corner stores, yo.

Or convenience stores, whatever floats your boat.
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23 / M / Outer Space
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Posted 4/14/14
no. there shits expensive. AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FA DAT
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It doesn't matter.
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Posted 4/14/14 , edited 4/14/14
Yes, they usually treat their customers like they need them.
They also have more time for me to weigh out the specs of the different products and I find most large shops hire staff that don't know anything other than pressing buttons on a register.
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25 / M / Seattle, WA, USA
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Posted 4/15/14
I don't even know of any small business around me other than restaurants (which I do go to). The only things I really buy are food, manga and videogames. Those products aren't really viable for small business to sell = )
Posted 4/15/14 , edited 4/15/14
Weird, because I find that staffs at big stores are nicer to me, like there's a Department store called Myer here, and they always grab shoes or clothes that I want. And I don't have to buy those stuff if I didn't like it.
And there was this lady at "Clinique" who gave me two extra gift bags... she was really nice.

While the small business ones, either can't speak English properly or really rude towards me, quoting from memory, in a redneck accent, "What do you want?" or "Is that all?".
I feel like they're thinking in their mind, "Oh he's just another poor third world country-looking person, why bother being nice?" While the big store staffs don't really care... they're nice to everyone because they're trained to be like that...



I suppose we are in different places and we are different people, so we experience things differently.

Plus I'm male, I find that female staffs tend to be nicer to me than male staffs...

In summary: I have nicer customer experience at Big stores. But I live in Sydney, so maybe it's different to where you are.


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Posted 4/15/14
I don't do a ton of shopping, and my transportation is pretty limited, so I'll go with whatever's more convenient. For books and hobbies, small stores have more specialized stock and knowledgable shopkeepers. I love these places. For groceries, it depends on what I'm buying and what they're selling. Some places sell great fish and terrible produce. Some places have special sauce. For things like art supplies, I will side with chain store Blicks every time because the size and consistency of a chain store guarantees I'll find what I need.
I don't support small businesses unless they have what I need. There's this one PC store back home that sells nothing but cheap computer accessories and I just can't support them because what they do is just so useless.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 4/15/14 , edited 4/15/14
Do 99 cent stores count?
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33 / M / Seattle
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Posted 4/15/14
For me, it depends on what the item is. I generally shop from those big box places, but sometimes if there is something specific that I need, then small businesses are who I turn to. It's just that I find those small business places to be quite expensive. Generally, I only shop for specialty foods at these places considering that the amazing quality of them.
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23 / M / Texas
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Posted 4/15/14 , edited 4/15/14
It depends greatly on the item that they are selling. And that i know it is no where else to be bought. That is and would be the only reason i would buy an item at a local shop.
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