Re: Local Business?

[quote=“herbie_popnecker”]

Staples is in the Saan location in Terrace, so following the protocol of this game, we must assume it is not in consideration.

I disagree with the protocol. If the port holds as much promise as it does for population growth and economic prosperity, simply already having a store in Terrace would not stop a company from putting one here - especially a store that sells office supplies.

Edit: Okay, so assuming Smartass is truly in the know, that eliminates Staples.

Staples in PG killed all the stationery stores and copy shops all the way to Burns Lake. It woulda killed mine too if I could have got out of the copier contract!
(now I have people tell me they only charge 39c for color copies and I’m a ripoff. I have to tell them to go ahead and spend $50 on gas and go t0 Staples then)[/quote]

There were people in Richmond who would drive out to Surrey to save 3.5 cents/litre on fuel.

i used to laugh at them when I lived in Langley. You could cross the border and save 25c

Yeah, but, sometimes it’s about the quality of the drive.

Hah.

Yeah thank god my store can beat staples prices… in fact our prices are based on being lower than staples… common staples come to town, I dare ya.

The trick to starting a bussiness… is to find AT LEAST 3 suppliers that all sell the same stuff… then get them to fight for the lowest price… We currently have 6 suppliers… and its fun phoning one company and telling them that another supplier is cheaper… they revamp their prices SO fast its not funny… within minutes usually. Which makes it so Staples can’t compete with us if they come in. I frequently check the staples website on suplies to compair… and if you find my prices are too high… let me know, and I’ll see what i can do to fix it. Shop locally!!! It works…

Just went thru BS trying to sell a toshiba laptop. Supplier didn’t read his e-mail until Monday. Sorry sale is over Saturday, it’s $95 more now. Okayed that, and called when it hadn’t arrived in a week. Oh small problem, will ship tomorrow, sure you don’t want model Z? I can ship that today only $200 more. Picked up Staples flyer and model Z was $3 more than wholesale and IN STOCK at Staples. Called back, still no laptop, cancelled it. Sales rep didn’t even care.
You can beat Staples, but it’s hard. It’s also not good business to try, you’ll be courting customers who want cheap instead of good or cheap instead of value.
ie Acers. I mark up a $633 model to $799 instead of $699. If the Source features it for $699, I’ll match. But I won’t mention the extended warranty is marked up an extra $100 to cover.

Forgive me for being the pessimist here - I have heard that over and over in this town and everytime I try to buy local (ya know - a computer here, two computers there, some parts, some pieces etc.) and everytime I get the same thing:

We can give it to at say $248.00 While I can get it for $188.00.If I buy repeatedly at each item %12 you would expect that a local business would see that selling more stuff and making a smaller profit, instead of selling less stuff with a higher markup was a reasonable way to go.

“Your prices?” which business is this? :smile:

Pessimistic and simplistic.
Your local store doesn’t and can’t sell into 3 or 4 markets, just one. That’s why the big box places itself in the Terrace, to get the whole market from Rupert to Smithers. Why WalMart’s going in Quesnel, small loss to PG, but big gains from Williams Lake and 100 mile.
Your local store pays the supplier with a bank transfer or worse a Visa (some suppliers add 3% to Visa orders, so that’s up to 6% with the buyer’s cost) at the time he orders, then waits for delivery. Any broken costs are returned at his cost, and he waits for replacements.
The local guy also pays shipping, and* buys from a higher priced B list*, and obviously can’t post a $20,000 bond with Ingram-Micro. Often the $250 - $1000 ‘fee’ just to be able to buy from some suppliers hurts.
Your city council didn’t fall over their own asses giving away tax breaks and parking concessions to lure the store there.
Now factor in that you’re town isn’t growing either, so there’s no “more” to factor into the model.
Also consider that lower listed price may include a ‘rebate’ (that fools 90% of the illiterate louts in the Fort) and you’ll pay $248 at the till. Or that your local store may toss in the USB printer cable while the Suture Flop carries only nicely boxed $39 gold plated ones.
Be Green and factor in the $107.9L gas your burning, and how your actions are making sure it will hit $1.499L as more people burn $50 worth of gas to save 10c on a loaf of bread.
Be aware that neither your local store or the big box (regarless of how many times they SAY it) are in business to ‘save you money’. Business exists to make a profit. I risk my money and spend way more than 40 hours a week just shitting bricks over decisions and what ifs. The two people that work for me deserve way more than I can pay them, I can’t take your savings off the backs of them. Hell I know managers at some of the big boxes that make less than I did as a telephone operator in 1984
I deal with people every day who’ll stick their hands on their hips, stick out their chin and say “$899 for a Touch System? I can get an e-machine at Costco in PG for $399!”. People who would never consider walking into a BMW dealer and saying “$60,000 for a 2006 Beemer? I can get a 2005 Hyundai for $10,000!”. and only about half that buy that ComCrap are smart enough to figure out it’s cheaper to bring it to me on the corner and pay $40 or $50 for a 1 or 2 day repair than to bring it to PG and go pick it up a week later for free warranty work when just the gas costs $80.
We have to adjust the market, and for the local guy it’s a different market. Want that thing your looking at right now, you can be playing with it at home in 15 minutes? That’s the price if you do. That’s the market we’ve got left. Not the guy who wants a ‘deal’.
So look at apples vs apples, oranges vs oranges. Factor in if you’d rather go rag on the guy at the corner store who you know, or on the droid at Suture Flop three hours away. The droid at the Suture Flop is gonna tell you warranties don’t cover virus repairs. The guy you went to school with is gonna grin and say “you dummy”, charge you $20-$30 and you can pick it up in a couple hours. Of course when you bring in that Hewlett Scrapyard and you tell him what a great deal you got at Costco, he’s gonna nail you at least $75. You’re bad, not his.
Let you in on something: walk in to your local store. Stick out cash, a local cheque or a debit card. Ask him what price he can give you on whatever, you’ll pay now and pick it up in a couple days. You’d do it for Dell or NCIX. You’d be surprised. I’ve beaten or come within $50 of their pricing and delivered a better system. With a real Windows CD, techs that speak English and drop it off on the way to work pick it up on the way home warranty repairs. Think the big boxes can beat that?

back in the day i bought a epson printer from ncix, a printer that i spennt 120.00 plus the 20 dollers shipping at the time i went to Radio Chack and to creative system, they had the same printer for 240.00 dollers, and radio chack had it for 150.00. i talk to creative and they coundnt drop the price, I didnt want to deal with Radio Chack and so I bought the printer from NCIX had it in a few days and used it for over 4 years with out a problem… dont tell me local buisness will bend over backwards to meet there competiters prices, they cant they cant buy in bulk, like a chain can.

Also do I think there’s something going in to the mall…what ever it is it sure is taking its sweat time, no work has been started down there in the Saans store and Zellers and the Source have there nice little window displays in the rupert prints windows…man there are store front in that mall that have been empty for years some over 10 years i think…No one wants to be in there… Trafic is low better to set up shop on 3 ave, there a big empty space that the sports store is at, it will be empty in a few weeks…

Any who I dont think who ever wants in the mall is sure about it, I think its anouther Pipe dream and I wont hold my breath…

Unfortunately a lot of local businesses set up shop and then proceed to treat you like you have some sort of obligation to shop there. They have no concept of customer service and the price is the price. Then they bitch and moan about people who don’t “shop local”.

When I have the option of shopping local or online for a product I automatically start leaning local. Before I purchase though I ask myself… why should I? Do they provide me with some service that makes up for the inevitable higher price? Are they friendly… eager… and willing to make that sale? If not, then too bad so sad. If I have to deal with some faceless business that doesn’t provide some sort of personal touch, I might as well do it facing my monitor. In most cases I can shop online and get it here faster than the store can for the same price or cheaper.

Mike

Well after years of trying to purchase from local businesses I decided to go out of town. Not just for comp equipment, everything but groceries. Universal was the only place that could charge ALOT of money in this town for merchandise. That’s because alot of it was cool - comp equipment can be found anywhere. Fact is - why would I pay $40 ONTOP of what it would cost me to have the parts SHIPPED TO MY DOOR? I ain’t just talkin about a mobo, or a video card, Im talkin many many parts…lol

Simple fact is I could give a rat’s a$$ about local businesses when they act like most businesses in PR. When it costs a middle-aged woman $1400 for a motherboard problem 1year after her brand-new computer purchase(pwned), a virus that costs $350 to fix and don’t even get me started on comp parts mark-up (pwned) I give local business about as much respect as my last “movement” I flushed this morning. :laughing:

Tsk tsk.

$350 to fix a virus? $1400 fo a motherboard? Are you kidding? i could sell you a new x2 with SLI mobo game system for less.
Just did a deal where an agency HAD to spend $5800 grant on 2 computers and it was all I could do to find stuff that pricey. Had to toss in 19" LCDs, a 3 yr onsite service and port thier software& files over to use it all. Makes me puke to think they’re using X2s to run 98% Excel and Word.

[quote]SPECIFICATION : SY-TS-S-ND42-SLI
M/B (chipset) : NC-AS-A8N-SLI Keyboard : MS Digital Media Combo
CPU : Athlon64 X2 4200+ S939 Mouse : combo
O/S : WINDOWS XP HOME IEEE 1394: Yes
Case(platform) : CS-CH-PC61122 black SATA : Yes
Power Supply : 400W RAID : Yes
Memory : 1G DDR/400 (2x 512)
Hard Drive : 250G 7200rpm SATA USB F/R : 3-4
Video : Nvidia 6600 256MB
Optical Drive : 16X DVDRW, 16x DVD-ROM
Sound card : Integrated Audio
Modem : NO Others : INTERNAL CARD
Speaker : Optional READER
Floppy : 1.44M [/quote]

$1499 if I ordered it sat it on the shelf and waited for a buyer who wanted it. $1319 for someone who slapped down cash or hyperwallet and got it drop shipped to their door. 3 year warranty off the bat, not extra $350 added at the till. That’s $180.00 savings if you offer me the same terms as Dhell.
And as far as ‘delivered right away to your door’, don’t bother to try that one on me. You’re out in Rupert and even here 100 miles from PG we only pay for overnight delivery. The Minor God Purolator enjoys making sure stock orders go overnight, panic orders trickle in piece by piece over 3 days. The Diety formerly called Loomis is equally fickle. Beedeecee has Holy Attention Disorder and anything marked “Fort xxxx” goes instantly to Fort St John regardless if the second word is Steele, McLeod, Nelson, or St. James

For sure… you have no idea how often the Dodge dealer in Prince George calls us up and says, “I’ve got a pallet of parts here that one of the lot boys signed for that’s actually supposed to go to you guys…”

The Podunkian had a post on his/her blog:

tinyurl.com/k4tzr

It was about local business, and some of the same themes that have been discussed in this thread. I posted a comment on there:

[quote]The biggest concern for local retailers in Podunk is … local retailers in Podunk.

Many of them simply want to soak their customers for as much as possible, period. They feel that since they’re local, that you should pay their prices and put up with their attitudes and be happy about it.

Case in point: I ran out of contact lenses today. I took my prescription (less than a year old) down to the local Podunk optometrist. Surely a local merchant would want to make a quick sale and sell me contact lenses. Why yes, sure they would, but first I would have to pay for an eye exam. Under no circumstances would they fill the prescription unless I had an eye exam – even though the prescription itself is the result of an eye exam.

So guess what? contacts.com and visiondirect.com will fill my prescription, and for a lot less than the local Podunk retailer.

What Podunk retailers haven’t grasped yet, is that it is no longer a matter of how_much profit they’re going to make off local residents, but whether they will make any profit at all off local residents.

The local retailer could have filled the prescription and made $50 or whatever their outrageous markup would be, and I’d be happy. I’d have recommended the place to others. Instead, they wanted to make the markup + the fee for an unnecessary eye exam (I already have a prescription, why do I need another one?). The result? They lose a customer, and now I’ll spread the news that contacts.com and visiondirect.com have contacts at half the price.

The retailer shot himself in the foot.

Luckily, not all local merchants are idiots. Many understand that they have one chance at getting your business, and that a world exists outside of Prince Rupert. Shutter Shack, for example, has always had reasonable prices (even beating Vancouver and internet retailers at times) when I’ve shopped there. They also don’t insult their customers’ intelligence, and know about customer service.

Podunk retailers shouldn’t whine about their misfortunes and how people do not shop locally – often they are their own worst enemies.[/quote]

I still think this is true – local guys have always thought dealing with customers meant the merchant had to ask himself:

“How much money should I make off this client?” and “Should I mark my product up by $50 or by $150?”

But now that the internet exists, and we’re all smart enough to shop elsewhere, the only local merchants that I buy from are those who are smart enough to think:

“Either I make a deal with this guy now or he buys in Terrace or online.”

It’s no longer about the size of the profit, but whether there will be any profit at all.

The local optometrist lost my business to Wal-Mart (and contacts.com), because he was unwilling to fill my valid prescription. He wanted to make not only his markup, but the cost of an eye exam as well. Had he said “here, this prescription is $50 more from me than Wal-mart, but you need it now, so here you go.”

I would have bought it. Instead, it’s “I can fill your prescription for $50 more than Wal-mart, but before I do, I need to charge you $75 more to examine you.” No thanks.

Funny, I’ve had the exact same experience with contact lenses.

They try to make you get an annual eye exam, which just isn’t in the budget for me. So, lens.com got some quick business.

Well, my prescription was 3_months_old at the time, and the local guy still insisted I needed an eye exam.

Wal-Mart didn’t.

Visiondirect didn’t.

Contacts.com didn’t.

So I was more than willing to shop locally, more than willing to pay the extra $50 or whatever, but the local guy apparently didn’t want me to.

Now luckily not all local guys are that dumb that they shoot themselves in the foot.

Take the tire guy (what’s his name? down by Cow Bay?) – I needed 4 new tires, and this time I checked 3 places in Terrace and 2 places in Rupert. The local guy beat the Terrace price, by more than $100 on 4 tires, and nothing extra for installation, balancing, etc.

That’s probably Dewayne MacNeil. Entire Auto I think it’s called? Whatever name he goes by, he’s got a great rep here in town. He really treated my dad well when he bought some tires there.

Mike

Yeah, that’s the guy, Dwayne MacNeil.

A great example of local business that is willing to earn customers instead of taking them for granted.

[quote=“MiG”]They try to make you get an annual eye exam, which just isn’t in the budget for me. So, lens.com got some quick business.

Well, my prescription was 3_months_old at the time, and the local guy still insisted I needed an eye exam.

Wal-Mart didn’t.

Visiondirect didn’t.

Contacts.com didn’t.

So I was more than willing to shop locally, more than willing to pay the extra $50 or whatever, but the local guy apparently didn’t want me to. [/quote]

Two words for you guys…laser surgery. Best $2,500 I ever spent.