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Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I’ve been doing some reflecting of late on my buying habits.  I’ve developed real concerns about my inclination toward bargain hunting.  

To be sure, I can save money by buying in bulk from the folks who ship and stock it in mega-bulks.  I’ve noticed that, despite the fact that I got the products for a really cheap price, problems inevitably emerge if/when I need some kind of assistance in relation to the product(s).  

The Big Box Boys don’t seem nearly as interested in (or even capable of) helping me when the table saw they sold me has a malfunctioning on-off switch.  They cheerfully put me on hold, bounce me from department to department (if not country to country), and ultimately tell me that I can re-box and ship the hole darned thing back and they’ll replace it.  

The problem is: I wanted/needed the saw today. I don’t need a whole new saw. I just need a little troubleshooting help.

Because of scenarios like that, I am more and more frequently buying from the "little guy," who knows a lot about the products he sells and knows why he chose to sell those products in the first place.  It gives me comfort to feel confident that the seller can actually tell me things like where the on-off switch connects to the power, how the pump works when its down in the well, where and in what conditions those vegetables were grown, how one kind of tire will perform vs another, etc.

The Mom & Pop folks are increasingly getting more of my money (if I haven’t already driven them out of business, that is).  And, I'm okay with it.  The service they provide seems every bit as important to me as the product itself.

In that line of thinking, I think I need to hone my own skills at providing service in my areas of vocation as well.  I'm pretty sure that's what will keep the "customers" coming back (or not).

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