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Mississippi Money: The Value of Shopping Local

I love shopping online. When I know exactly what I want, I can find the best deal, maybe a coupon code and often free shipping. As long as I don’t pay attention to the regular emails updating me with the status of my order, there is even an element of surprise when I arrive home to find a window lock or an order of note cards sitting on my front porch (my two most recent purchases…).

While I can go online to save a bit of time and sometimes money, when I need real value, I shop local.

Shopping local gives you more than what you pay for. I recently needed to replace some antique hardware in my house. With the help of my historic preservation expert sister, I scoured a few websites for the part I needed, to no avail. A quick trip to Old House Depot got me exactly what I needed, plus a lot of detailed information about its history, care andusage that will help me with future repairs.

Shopping local makes you a better-informed consumer. Last weekend I decided to tackle a painting project I had been putting off. I thought I had everything figured out from past experience and recommendations gleaned online, but the experts at the local paint store wereable to do one better. In addition to a superior paint, talking with the storeowner answered more questions I hadn’t even thought to ask before I started my project. My work went more smoothly with their expertise.

Shopping local boosts your children’s opportunities. Local stores often have lower staff turnover than “big-box” stores. Over time, you get to know the staff, and they know you. A summer job with a local store you frequent may be easier for your child to get and provide more useful connections than a summer at a big box store that provides a paycheck and not much else.

By shopping locally, I have become a better-informed consumer, saved a ton of money and even gotten a summer job on a tight notice. The stores I frequent have become a network of experts that help me with tasks ranging from cooking a good meal to major home repairs. To top it all off, the level of service I receive from local stores is a value that I cannot overlook.

By Ryder Taff

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