|Now I have two!|
Buy local? What? I had my heart set on this beautiful Rapha (European) coat. And yes, they might carry Rapha at a local shop, but would it be on sale and would they have my size in a sale coat? And did I want to drive across the city to find out? So, I did what anyone would do in 2013 and went online and spent 2 minutes buying my coat (and then feeling guilty)! Unfortunately, as usually happens when you buy online, it wasn't quite right. Yes, it's an amazing coat (in fact so amazing that I couldn't convince myself to return it and have happily worn it multiple times), but it wasn't what I was looking for. The Rapha coat is fitted. I need a rain coat that I can stack lots of layers under and wear throughout the winter.
So, I was sitting at work mulling over this dilemma, wondering if I was going to drive around the city looking for the perfect coat and when I should do this. When suddenly I had a brilliant idea. I Googled bike shop and found one about 5 blocks from my work! I headed out at lunch (on a brilliant 85 degree September day in Seattle), walked past lots of happy lunch eaters and found my new favorite bike shop. They had rain coats, bike lights and helmets (which I also need and could never buy online). They fix bikes during the day if I ever need to drop mine off in the morning. They have a dog. AND, they had just that morning gotten in these insane pink rain coats. I was NOT looking for a pink coat, but really this was impossible to pass up.
|Look what it does in the dark, the online one pales in comparison.|
Not only that, but lately, buying online can mean supporting small local businesses (though maybe not in ones own neighborhood). Etsy allows designers (including a couple friends of mine) to make money through their art. The internet allows small start up businesses (including all my paleo cookbook/nutrition consultant peeps) to have thriving businesses that they would never have if they just opened a local shop.
I'm not saying that I don't agree with my friend. I know lots of small mom and pop businesses have very sadly and regrettably gone under due to behemoths such as Amazon or, even worse, Wal-mart (have never and will never buy anything there). But, I think there is more to the story than that. I think people should buy mindfully and that may include different things. I would never go into a store to try something, then google it and buy it cheaper online. (I'm more likely to research online then go to a store and pay more so I can get it right away.) But, I do think there are different ways to buy local and I know that large companies are as beneficial and necessary to a local economy as small mom and pop businesses.
|Pink coat + dog, if all businesses came with a dog, I'd never buy online.|