Everyone is always saying “support small businesses and local economy!” but the first thing that comes to mind for many of us is farmer’s markets selling home-grown food. This is all good and well, but what about the small businesses in your community selling accessories, especially the economically contentious product: sunglasses? The reasons for the community and local money flow are always a good motivator, but you’ll find that shopping with a small business also has personal perks for you too. There’s a fair few surprising reasons why buying sunglasses from local shops, and buying from small businesses in general for other goods too, is worth your consideration (and bang for your buck).
Small Business Myth: Pricing
Small businesses are less likely, than one may think, to have higher prices. Retailers of all sizes do not have the amount of control on their prices that we think they do. Big box stores and small businesses alike have to negotiate a price with their vendor or supplier. However, there are key differences in this negotiation between these opposite ends of business styles. A small business is likely to have a much more friendly, personal relationship with its suppliers. Typically, this means more freedom for the business to do special discounts, promotions, and lower prices on products. Despite myths about flawless big-box supply systems, small businesses are way more mobile when it comes to contacting vendors, and often issues and sold-out items can get resolved and restocked super efficiently. The small business jackpot, however, is a vertically integrated one, who makes and sells its own products. These are the most likely to listen to pricing concerns from customers, provide specialized products for unique requests.
It’s a fact, a small business is way more likely to maintain a high ethical standard of doing business. When a boutique is known as a commerce figure in its community, they are way more likely to keep a close relationship with customers and a squeaky-clean reputation for treating workers in a humane way. A business that is held accountable on a local level is one that serves you well! The result is inventory control that meets its customers’ needs faster, and all around more personal customer service, and Forbes confirms it!
Even Out the Playing Field
There’s a myth that product diversity requires giant chain stores with humongous shelves but that just isn’t the case. Even though a small business might have smaller amounts of each product on its shelves, they are found to hold surprising amounts of varying products from more home-grown product suppliers. In the case of sunglasses, the Luxottica monopoly on the industry has feigned product diversity in big-box retailers, while charging prices for everything but actual quality and inconsistent adequate UV protection. High variety consumer products like sunglasses shouldn’t be monopolized, and when you buy shades from a small business, you help break this product’s mold of one company owning it all and charging you for names and little more.