We’ve lived in Idaho County now for 14 years, and like many local residents, we try to support the local economy by doing a fair amount of our shopping locally. This past week we decided to purchase some electronic data storage disks at a local electronic equipment store, affiliated with a well-known national chain. We did a quick check on the Internet of that large chain’s website to discover that the items we desired were priced as “on sale.” The website also confirmed that the items were available for purchase at our local store. When we went to purchase the items locally, a store clerk informed my wife that he could not honor those sale prices that we found on the Internet. We found this price variation to be interesting and disappointing. The local store’s prices for the same items were nearly double (95 percent markup) of what we would pay by ordering the items on the Internet. And that included tax and shipping! Consequently, we chose to return the items to the local store to obtain a refund of our money, whereupon the store owner insulted my wife by stating “The problem is, you’re not from here, we stick together.” Obviously his comments were meant to be insulting, and he believes that he can charge whatever he chooses, because the “good old boys” mentality was alive and well in Idaho County.
So, with the “shopping holidays” coming soon, just maybe the next time we hear on the radio, or see in the local newspaper the same old “schtick,” to “shop local,” we’ll carefully consider that advertising advice. Suffice to say, in the future, we won’t patronize that particular electronic supply store. Being retired, and having limited income, we don’t always have the luxury of “sticking together” to support the very business persons who choose to repeatedly gouge our wallets, just because they can.