I went into town today, planning to make a fairly significant purchase. I knew that I could probably get the item cheaper on the Interweb, but I wanted to support the local shops, and I was hopeful that I would get good customer care and was prepared to pay a wee bit more in exchange.
I ended up visiting three independent traders, then two national companies – and came home empty handed!
On the plus side everyone that I spoke to was polite – no-one spoke to me in the nationals!
I was somewhat perplexed and dismayed by the local shops. The specialist stockist for the brand that I was looking for, didn’t have the item in stock, so tried unsuccessfully to get me interested in other models. In fairness, he then offered to order one for me, but couldn’t give me a firm price… I declined the offer.
The next shop didn’t have what I wanted, but helpfully pointed me towards a shop that I hadn’t thought about. I toddled round to the third stop. They had exactly what I was looking for, were very helpful, let me get my hands on it, BUT… the price. It was going to cost 27% more than the internet price, which was quite a substantial sum of money.
Something needs to change if our high streets are to survive, but in an age when we are well informed and have access to the best prices, I’m not optimistic!