Is Your Local Retailer Out to get You?

retailerDoes your local retailer deserve your business?   For many consumers, local retailers are certainly a good aspect of the local economy, and for good reason.   However, you might want to be careful if you see some of the following signs present at a local business.


Customer Service

Some people strongly associate customer service with local business.   After all, local retailers will generally take the extra step to connect with their customers.

The contrast can be strong with regard to larger businesses.   In fact, the same general group will often look down upon these businesses, preferring the quality service and experience that can be obtained with a local retailer.   Offering the image of the small town feel❠that local businesses bring, whether or not it’s a small town or city, is generally a selling point for the consumer.

We have all had negative experiences with a local retailer.   It is often the single easiest item to recognize â“ the retailer that doesn’t have your best interest in mind.

A local retailer should take that extra step to ensure your experience is of the highest quality.   A great local retailer will ask the right questions and get a sense of your needs â“ and perhaps give you that small town feel with a genuine conversation (that isn’t all about business).


The Local❠in Local Business

What makes a great local business?   How about the local❠part?

Local businesses that don’t strive to be a valuable part of the community â“ likely aren’t.   Let’s face it: many local businesses will thrive due to their interactions within the community, as we just saw in one dimension.   Yet, if the business and ownership doesn’t care about the needs of the community, it might give you some insight about the business itself.

Selfish businesses can exist in any town or large city.   Top-level local businesses will want to be a part of the community, help where they can, and do what it takes.   Does your local retailer have these altruistic qualities?


Can They Compete?

Let’s face it: if your local retailer can’t offer decent prices, will you become a regular customer?

There is a certain harsh reality to local businesses, so to speak.   Imagine a local computer store that simply can’t compete.   In other words, they might have a decent selection of computers, and even newer ones at that, but if they are continually outperformed by the bigger businesses â“ what’s the point?   You would do much better to save decent money from the larger business in your area, or get what is perhaps the best price anywhere, online.

While we would like to have a little sympathy for the local retailer, businesses must be able to compete with prices elsewhere.   A promising local retailer will do just that, along with discounts and other items to allow the business to thrive.   A good retailer understands that the everyday Joe survives on a tight budget. Mix that with local interaction and top-of-the-line customer service, and there you have it.   Many would give the local retailer the benefit of the doubt if the prices are near the competition â“ but everything else is there.

(This has been  a guest post by Lisa at Health Insurance Comparison, an Australian personal finance blog that provides money-saving health insurance options and ways to optimize your spending habits.)