Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Buying local: rubber meeting the road.

One of the things I've been trying to do over the past few years is, when I can, to buy stuff locally. Even if I buy something from a national retail chain, I know that some of that money stays here and contributes towards the local economy. There are exceptions to this, of course, but overall I've tried to keep to that.

Right now I've got a case where I need to choose, though. The local GNC sells EAS' Myoplex Lite for $50. After my Gold Card discount that'll be $40 plus tax, so $41.67 total. At 20 packets/meals a box (enough for four working weeks), I'm paying $2.09 per shake.

But if I went through Amazon and subscribe to it (ie, they will automatically ship me more every month), I can get it for $30. They claim no shipping, so if that's true? That'll be $1.50 per shake and over a $11 per box. Over the course of a year I'd save close to $150.

So, the question is, what is that difference in price buying me? Like everyone else, I'm wanting to make sure I get a good value for my dollar. But what else is there besides the product itself?

  • Buying locally means more money for the workers at GNC (I've been told they're on commission), and for the GNC itself. I've worked in retail and know plenty of other folks who have and still do, so payroll is a big thing.
  • The GNC occupies a storefront in the local shopping center, paying rent. Should a store lose traffic or even close, the lowered amount of customer traffic can affect the other businesses (stores and restaurants) in the mall. Notice that most malls try to have at least one "anchor" business that can pull in people in hopes they'll go to other shops?
  • Since its already here, there's no more shipping stuff. Also, Amazon can sometimes over-package things - that's more junk and clutter in the house until it ends up in the landfill.
And yet, that $10 saved can go to more whole foods like apples, tangerines, oatmeal, etc., which I will have to buy locally. I'm not foolish enough to think that they'll be selling those at cost, but I'm sure the profit per transaction will be much lower than the Myoplex. Also, with the price of fuel going up, I might have to up my gas budget in then new future.

Decisions, decisions...

No comments:

Post a Comment