8 Reasons To Shop Small
#ShopSmall In Hashtag Only?
Even if consumers can emotionally connect with the #ShopSmall movement, most of them will be purchasing their goods from huge corporations. All while those same huge corporations will incessantly virtue signal about how much they believe in supporting small business.
We don't blame the customer! It's hard to pass up on the perks a big-box store (in-person or online) can offer. Whether it's the massive selection, the multiple price-points, the plenty of staff or the all-around convenience, there's a lot to like. Heck! We (this little shop's owners) shop big box all the time.
So, why should you do your shopping at a small business? We've compiled a few solid reasons which may speak to a potential customer. If you disagree, or have others ideas, please let us know in the comment section.
1. Comparable Prices, Or Better!
Without making the few clicks needed to educate themselves, people will assume that our prices are much worse than, say, Amazon. This, of course, is a strange claim because most of our products aren't sold on Amazon. The one item that is found on Amazon, is our Pretend TV Remote, though the one on Amazon is missing our hilarious channel guide and branding.
Want to know the best part? If you factor in our promotion code which is always available, and the fact that our free shipping doesn't require a paid account (as does Amazon's) our toy is substantially more affordable. The internet trolls will always be there but we're writing this for you intelligent people...
But, our particular store isn't the point. For small businesses to stay afloat, so long their costs are covered they will, in most cases, keep their prices within range of what the going rate is.
Also, it might be helpful to remember that if a small shop's price point is beyond your budget, you may try to let them know. Often, they will do their best to make you an offer which will be easier to swallow. It still may be impossible to cut a deal, but it is greatly more likely you'll work something out with a small establishment than with a massive company, with its bureaucracy and stockholders.
2. Don't Feed The Beast(ly Corporations)
There's two things I, a hypocrite, do every day. One. Buy things from huge companies. Two. Complain about huge companies.
For all of the advantages (enumerated earlier) of shopping from corporations, there are plenty of downsides. They run the gamut from minor nuisances to ghastly societal concerns.
Minor nuisances: Shipping times that take a week when they advertise a day or the subscription cost appearing on your credit card bill when it's most inconvenient.
Ghastly societal concerns: These apps may or may not listen to our thoughts and offer us ads accordingly and, also, they algorithmically manipulate future thoughts to where the machine desires.
Undergoing the occasional detox at a regular mom-and-pop would be healthier than just feeding this spiral.
3. With Niche-Focus Comes Uniqueness
In our shop, and millions of other small ones, we're hyper-focused on a specific goal. In our case, we make toys that look like regular household items. Kids are weird in their loving random adult things instead of their toys, so we create toys that replace those adult things, as a safe entertainment alternative (making adults laugh in the process).
That's a pretty narrow niche. It would be near-impossible for the big-box stores that we regularly shop at to develop products with such a fine focus. Of course, they can throw up thousands of products onto their shelves, but it would be impossible to adapt to the specifics of the subcategory or for them to really plunge into the depths of its meaning. Most of the big-store products strike people as dry and generic.
4. The Human Touch
When was the last time an email interaction with a financial behemoth ended with an inquiry about the wellbeing of your sick relative or a comment on how darling your little one is? We'd guess it's never happened.
Obviously, it would be impossible to be completely and intimately involved in the lives of our customers. Nevertheless, we derive a distinct pleasure in the many warm connections we make daily with humans throughout this country, and even the world.
We aren't unique in this department among small shops. A hallmark of the mom n' pop shops, is the friendly tip of the hat and the "how's your mother?" In the age of the internet, sending cuddles to a cutie via a comment on a sweet video, is the next best thing.
5. Right Away... To The Basement!
The myriad of go-betweens that are required to make a publicly traded company run, numbers in the thousands. And while this is an impressive feat, it can be nearly impossible for a note of urgency from you or a last-minute order change to make its way to the throng of people that would need to be informed about the change.
Not with a small shop. Our entire operation is based in our basement, so a simple email to us will get your desires implemented. Straight away!
6. We Are (Trying To Be) Funny
Whether you find the sense of humor that we display on our social-media at all funny, is hardly the point. How many big-box stores would feature a toddler sucking the head of a JOHN CENA figurine in their sleep? Or, speak endearingly of the baby that hydrates themselves from the dog's water bowl?
It's not courage which propels us to post all this golden footage. It's the pleasure we have in sharing a laugh with fellow parents on the goofiness of raising children, and more specifically the times when toddlers play with the things they shouldn't.
It would take a big company at least 7 board meetings before they could even think of it.
7. You're On The Ground Floor
We haven't seen statistics, but we have to assume over 99% of small businesses stay exactly that, small. Even the ones that just stay in business are lucky. But, if we are fortunate enough to join the teeny, tiny group of shops which make it big, oh boy, you'll have some interesting talk to share with your friends at parties.
Heck, tell that one annoying acquaintance that you were a part of the launch committee and that his life pales in comparison to yours.
8. There For Those In Need
Best for last. We take the most pride in how much we try to be there for others, especially those that have fallen on tough times.
Most apparent is our Toys For Those In Need Fund, where we partner with our customers to purchase toys for those in need. People from all walks of life donate to this fund and as of this writing we've gone halfsies on over 25 gifts. People can apply for a free gift in that About Us section of our website.
Additionally, it is our pleasure to create unique promo codes for those friends that can use an extra discount but do not feel the need for their toy to be completely free of charge. You can reach out to us privately and we will try to help in any way we could.
To be clear, we don't see ourselves as saints for helping out. This is expected from every member of society that can. Plus, we love the vibrant community it bolsters and the good Karma it creates.
If we were successful in convincing you to Shop Small, or if we failed to, please let us know why in the comments!