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Victoria merchants launch "Shop Local Victoria" movement


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#1 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 03:59 AM

http://www.douglasma...item/17606.html

Merchants Launch 'Shop Local' Movement

May 15, 2012

(News Release) VICTORIA — Victoria-area business owners have joined forces to promote locally owned and independent businesses — keeping the local economy vibrant in more ways than one.


That sounds like a good idea, in general. I think it's likely worthwhile for these businesses to spend a bit of time and effort getting their "local" message across.

But, I should caution, while customers like to talk about supporting "local" - price, service, convenience and selection will win out over any "local" campaign for 95% of your potential customers.

So although I think it's a great initiative, it is just one part of a great customer experience that everyone needs to strive for.

www.shoplocalvictoria.com
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#2 Bob Fugger

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 07:37 AM

This campaign can't be serious. Have you read their 7 Reason to Shop Local? None of the arguments comes even close to being economically sound. So local vendors expect me to buy local out of the goodness of my heart? I'm sorry, I've not had a raise in over two years and I'm not in a position to pay such a luxurious premium.

There is a reason that trade works: it drives prices down. The only local vendors I make a point to shop at deserve my business because what they offer in terms of service makes it worthwhile to ignore the economic argument. Slater's Meats comes to mind, as does Frontrunners (at least that was the case when I actually got out there and ran).

I think what really turned me off of this whole campaign was the news story they ran on CTV2 last night, where they interviewed Elizabeth Cull. She's done enough damage to our economy- I'll be damned if she gets any more of my money, especially when I can buy the same or similar wares from amazon.com for a fraction of the price.

#3 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 07:52 AM

This campaign can't be serious. Have you read their 7 Reason to Shop Local? None of the arguments comes even close to being economically sound. So local vendors expect me to buy local out of the goodness of my heart? I'm sorry, I've not had a raise in over two years and I'm not in a position to pay such a luxurious premium.

There is a reason that trade works: it drives prices down. The only local vendors I make a point to shop at deserve my business because what they offer in terms of service makes it worthwhile to ignore the economic argument. Slater's Meats comes to mind, as does Frontrunners (at least that was the case when I actually got out there and ran).

I think what really turned me off of this whole campaign was the news story they ran on CTV2 last night, where they interviewed Elizabeth Cull. She's done enough damage to our economy- I'll be damned if she gets any more of my money, especially when I can buy the same or similar wares from amazon.com for a fraction of the price.


I think what you are saying here is more or less correct. Few will come out and say it like you do, of course. Fugger is know to be.. er.. "outspoken".

Indeed, few might overtly feel this way, but they can look at their own habits and judge themselves by it.

You are right Bob F. There is a lot of talk-the-talk on this type of thing, but little walk-the-walk. Local companies have to do all the other things they ought to do well to beat out the non-local competition in any field.
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#4 Mike K.

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:03 AM

Can you elaborate on Elizabeth Cull? The name sounds familiar.

Anyways, in my opinion the reason why local businesses are struggling are high lease rates and high taxation. These two factors undermine the ability of a small business to make ends meet, and for the lucky ones that do, they are often forced to pay even higher rates once the landlord recognizes their tenant is making a good return on their investment and raises the rate upon renewal. Add to that the high cost of shipping items to the Island and you've got a recipe for higher prices.

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#5 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:06 AM

Can you elaborate on Elizabeth Cull? The name sounds familiar.


Elizabeth Cull information.
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#6 spanky123

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:43 AM

I applaud the efforts. I would much rather see local businesses try to do something positive to improve their situation rather than just complain. I routinely purchase items locally for a small premium for many of the reasons stated in the press release. The key word though is small premium.

I was downtown yesterday trying to purchase an item. The price I found on Amazon was $150 and I would have been prepared to pay up to $200 from a local vendor. The best price I could find though was $379 and when I asked about getting a better deal I was lectured on what it costs to run a business. Sorry but paying over $200 more to support a local business is out of my range.

#7 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:46 AM


I was downtown yesterday trying to purchase an item. The price I found on Amazon was $150 and I would have been prepared to pay up to $200 from a local vendor. The best price I could find though was $379 and when I asked about getting a better deal I was lectured on what it costs to run a business. Sorry but paying over $200 more to support a local business is out of my range.


I have found that occasionally too. A gifted communicator might have found a way to please you, not maybe by dropping the price to match, but perhaps by offering something extra. A future-use gift card that bridges at least part of the gap?
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#8 spanky123

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:57 AM

I have found that occasionally too. A gifted communicator might have found a way to please you, not maybe by dropping the price to match, but perhaps by offering something extra. A future-use gift card that bridges at least part of the gap?


What the retailer could have done is spent some time educating me on the product and either upsold or cross sold me to something else that better suited my needs and made sense financially for both of us. They could also have offered to lower their price a little and toss in some accessories which in reality cost them peanuts.

What I am finding is that many retailers are suffering (for a variety of reasons which have been covered in other threads) and the response has been to raise prices to try and recover costs from reduced volume of sales. That is backwards thinking in my opinion.

#9 Bob Fugger

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 09:19 AM

I applaud the efforts. I would much rather see local businesses try to do something positive to improve their situation rather than just complain. I routinely purchase items locally for a small premium for many of the reasons stated in the press release. The key word though is small premium.

I was downtown yesterday trying to purchase an item. The price I found on Amazon was $150 and I would have been prepared to pay up to $200 from a local vendor. The best price I could find though was $379 and when I asked about getting a better deal I was lectured on what it costs to run a business. Sorry but paying over $200 more to support a local business is out of my range.


I am trying to purchase an obscure satellite radio component for my vehicle. By some fluke, my buddy's audio install shop happened to have it. Even selling it to me at cost, the item was over $100. I found it on amazon.com for $19.98. That is not a typo: $19.98.

Spanky, yours and my experience just goes to show that Shop Local campaigns like this do more harm than good, in that reinforces the victim mentality that retailers have. They feel aggrieved by you daring to question their pricing and then try to shame you about deigning to shop from a big box retailer.

#10 Mike K.

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 09:41 AM

Elizabeth Cull information.


Jesus H. Christ. I'm asking about Fugger's assertion that "She's done enough damage to our economy- I'll be damned if she gets any more of my money, especially when I can buy the same or similar wares from amazon.com for a fraction of the price."

What did she do, exactly?

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#11 Mike K.

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 09:44 AM

This is an opportune time to quote the following article.

Retailers brace for more cross-border shopping pain
http://www.theglobea...article2435077/

Canadians are spending far more on goods in the U.S. than federal data suggest, raising the stakes for domestic retailers trying to find ways to draw customers back into their stores.

As much as 8 to 10 per cent of consumer spending on a raft of products is flowing to retailers outside the border, according to estimates in a report being released today by BMO Nesbitt Burns. That compares to Statistics Canada data that say 4 per cent of retail spending is shifting outside the country.

...Retailers have complained that suppliers are key culprits in higher prices, charging Canadian merchants more than their U.S. counterparts for everything from identical widescreen TVs, bottles of hair conditioner and even painkillers. Last month, the retail council told a Senate committee studying price disparities that because Canada’s population is so small in comparison, large multinational vendors can enforce a special Canadian price for brand name products that can be 10 to 50 per cent higher than in the United States.

The council also blames price disparities on higher tariffs for imported goods and controlled prices of such items as eggs, chicken and dairy products. It has urged Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who asked the Senate committee to look into the pricing disparities, to make changes. He is now awaiting the committee’s report...


The government is partly to blame for our much higher cost of goods in this country. Starting with the significantly higher cost of fuel...

Those who live on the lower mainland save big bucks by hopping across the border every couple of weeks. Even to fill up, if you live in south Surrey or White Rock or Langley, you're a lucky few. Last year when I crossed the border just south of Osoyoos the border guards just expected me to be driving across for gas and pointed out the nearest gas station.

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#12 Bob Fugger

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:32 AM

Jesus H. Christ. I'm asking about Fugger's assertion that "She's done enough damage to our economy- I'll be damned if she gets any more of my money, especially when I can buy the same or similar wares from amazon.com for a fraction of the price."

What did she do, exactly?


She was the Minister of Finance back during the 90s glory days of the NDP. Her policies were responsible for 0.2% growth in BC for much of her reign, which only wasn't dead last because Newfoundland hadn't discovered oil & hydro, yet.

EDIT: I just clicked VHF's link. BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

#13 dasmo

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:49 AM

That is an excellent link!
It's interesting because Amazon and online retailing is being attributed to killing Best Buy and other big box stores. Even they can't compete with Amazon. The other interesting phenomenon is that the apple stores are doing really well. "They" suspect it's because of the environment and service. So possible a small premium is acceptable if it comes with an "experience". The key is to make it worth peoples while. Know about your product, make it fun to shop, offer something up! I liken it to the death of the neighborhood video store. poor selection, being spammed to buy reward programs, and being punished for shipping through late fees. How does that compete with free or real cheap on the internet? Note the only remaining video store in Victoria is Pic A Flic. They offer selection and knowledge (and possibly that funny smell in the store).

#14 Mike K.

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:09 PM

She was the Minister of Finance back during the 90s glory days of the NDP. Her policies were responsible for 0.2% growth in BC for much of her reign, which only wasn't dead last because Newfoundland hadn't discovered oil & hydro, yet.


I see. I thought you were talking about something she had done as a business owner or as the head of a local society, or something to that effect.

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#15 sebberry

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:16 PM

Note the only remaining video store in Victoria is Pic A Flic. They offer selection and knowledge (and possibly that funny smell in the store).


There's a little one at Fort/Foul Bay Street View and I believe there's a Crazy Mikes Street View at Shelbourne and Cedar Hill.

And I agree about the funny smell in small video stores. Not sure what causes that :confused:


I found when I had my shop people would come to me for all the advice then go buy the product for less than I can buy it for at the big box store down the road :rolleyes: Then they'd phone me asking how to set it up, to which I usually replied "What's your credit card number?"


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#16 spanky123

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:52 PM

Not a bad model. Head onsite and fix the problem for them at $75 / hr. More moneythen you would have made selling the product in the first place and no inventory to deal with!

#17 Baro

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:59 PM

I often want to "buy local" or "buy canadian" and I will if the price difference isn't huge. But so often something I want is $150 in a local shop, or $100 online. $100 from a canadian online store, or $60 from an american one. Even with the insane US shipping rates it ends up cheaper.

I'd be happy to pay 10% more or so to just swing down to a local shop to get what i'm looking for, but when I end up having to pay almost double it's insane.
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#18 spanky123

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 02:26 PM

I often want to "buy local" or "buy canadian" and I will if the price difference isn't huge. But so often something I want is $150 in a local shop, or $100 online. $100 from a canadian online store, or $60 from an american one. Even with the insane US shipping rates it ends up cheaper.

I'd be happy to pay 10% more or so to just swing down to a local shop to get what i'm looking for, but when I end up having to pay almost double it's insane.


Other big issue with US purchases is that in most cases the item isn't charge HST if shipped by post and is less than a couple hundred bucks. That part I don't agree with as it creates an unfair disadvantage for local retailers and costs us all $$$ in the form of lost tax revenue.

#19 LJ

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 06:50 PM

Other big issue with US purchases is that in most cases the item isn't charge HST if shipped by post and is less than a couple hundred bucks. That part I don't agree with as it creates an unfair disadvantage for local retailers and costs us all $$$ in the form of lost tax revenue.


The same thing holds true(sometimes) if the company is based in say Alberta and ships it to BC.

Amazon has a huge distribution/fulfillment center in Phoenix and if you order an item from them to an Arizona address (or anywhere else) you don't pay any sales tax, state or municipal. That irks the local merchants.
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#20 Bob Fugger

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 06:05 AM

I often want to "buy local" or "buy canadian" and I will if the price difference isn't huge. But so often something I want is $150 in a local shop, or $100 online. $100 from a canadian online store, or $60 from an american one. Even with the insane US shipping rates it ends up cheaper.

I'd be happy to pay 10% more or so to just swing down to a local shop to get what i'm looking for, but when I end up having to pay almost double it's insane.


I know a way around insane shopping and brokerage costs - an Island solution! There's an outfit out near the airport called Seawings International. You register with them and address your package in your name, c/o Seawings, to their receiving centre in Blaine, WA. They freight it "in bond" to their YYJ location. You go to the CBSA office with your receipt and clear the item yourself. I think you always end up paying customs.

The cost? $17 for a 5lb shipment and then $0.45 per lb. Beats FedEx, ferry to Point Roberts, etc. It's also per SHIPMENT, not package. So if your amazon order is 12 items large, it's $17+, not $17 per+.

As an example, I'm having a complete exhaust (downpipe, racepipe and catback, the largest piece) shipped up here from California. Getting just the downpipe and racepipe shipped to my door is $65 - and that's without the heaviest catback.

Total cost for everything to Sidney, via Seawings? $55 to Blaine and another $37 to YYJ. You have to figure on your typical amazon order with free shipping, you're only paying Seawings.

They have a website, so feel free to Google them.

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