Hey, if Europeans are skeptical, then maybe we should pay attention, right? Of course, 100% local shopping seems unlikely in today’s world, but we can think intentionally about our shopping. Certain items might be better suited to online shopping but shopping locally presents many wonderful opportunities.
1/ See, touch and examine a product.
Shopping local allows you to see, touch and consider an item. What you see is what you get, as opposed to online shopping that may not present the whole picture. Sometimes online shopping can’t relate the quality or all the details you need to make a decision. Big-box store items (think Target run for cleaning supplies) are perfect contenders for online shopping. While more personal, home decor or gift items seem better suited to local.
2/ Sometimes an item finds you.
It may not be what you were looking for but it may be the perfect item for that space you need to fill. Or you may happen upon something that reminds you of someone. That happened to me recently while shopping for my son who lives in Australia. We miss him terribly and I found this pottery vase with x’s and o’s intricately carved into it by a local artist. Sold. Was I looking for art for my son? Yes. Did I think it would be this very specific vase? No. And I certainly wouldn’t have googled “x and o vase” during online shopping, since I didn’t know it existed.
3/ Enjoy the experience of the local shop.
Grab a friend (and some coffee) and make a day of it. Hit the trails to find the unique offerings in your local stores. A good salesperson is like having your very own “personal shopper” to help weigh decisions. Engage in real life and a great social opportunity. It beats sitting at home alone in your p.j.s, cruising the internet.
4/ Avoid spending too much in order to get “free shipping,” or late night shopping sprees.
Sometimes you’re more decisive and spend less by shopping locally. You find that perfect item and don’t face shipping charges or other hassles. Or sometimes stores allow you to “try before you buy” so you can see it in your home. This allows for less buyer’s remorse not to mention that it beats repacking and shipping an item back. Make a list, hit the stores and make mindful decisions while enjoying a day out.
5/ Spending time on the computer doesn’t mean you’re more productive with your shopping.
I find mindless internet cruising doesn’t always end up with purchases. I usually get so confused on pricing or what I am looking for. Three hours later and a perfectly good evening (reading a book instead) is lost. Local shopping with a list is usually more productive for me and certainly more enjoyable. Here’s another shop local primer, showing the economic benefit to our communities. Enjoy your holiday season and sprinkle in some local love…we know you’ll be happy that you did:) xo