Originally posted on GarageBoyzMagazine.com Issue # 3
This month I'd like to talk about what it means to support your local business. In these difficult economic times, it has become increasingly tough for small local businesses to make a living and in some cases even keep the doors open.
With the internet we have the ability to buy a bike or car or part online and save a few dollars. But at what cost? Are we really getting a great deal ? Sure on the surface you may save, but what about in the long run. What good is it to save $10 on a part, when all of the local shops have gone out of business and there is nobody there to help you out with your bike or car. What happens when Jim behind the parts counter is no longer there to answer your questions or supply you with that gasket or washer you need late on a Saturday night to finish your repair so you can cruise the roads on Sunday?
Will you get the same level of service from BIG FACELESS PARTS PLACE.com when you're in a jam? Is the chance to shoot the breeze and check out other people's cars and bikes in the parking lot there when your signing on? How about the chance to listen to some greasy fingered greybeard explain a few tricks he learned about adjusting that old carb while you both drink crappy coffee and check out each other's engines.
These old shops and old timers are what keep our Kulture alive and no amount of discount widgets and internet chat rooms are ever going to be able to take the place of the real deal.Having the ability to walk into a store and talk with a real live person who can help you sort out your project or problem, can't be measured in dollars and cents. Being able to see and feel the product and talk about its benefits or lack of with guys who have bought and sold the parts many times over, is a truly unseen value.
How long do you think a shop is going to survive when a person walks in and talks with the parts guy or mechanic for an hour about the product and then walks out to buy it on the web to save 5 bucks? Sure, we are in a free market society, but we have to realize that it will eventually effect us all.
If there is no way for a guy to keep his shop open and he has to lay-off 10 guys, that's a bunch of people who may not be eating at the local restaurant or spending money in the local stores. This leads to more shops closing and more people losing their jobs and less money being spent in our county.
It really is up to us to support these local shops. It is not cheap to have a store and a staff and pay taxes and utilities and all that goes along with it. How can these shop owners compete with clearing house parts brokers on the web who have parts drop shipped and can work on next to nothing profits?
So the next time you're at your local bike shop or custom shop, look around and ask yourself, where would you be if they were not here to serve you any longer? Now ask yourself, is losing another piece of our community's Kulture and knowledge really worth the few bucks you may save...Support Your Local Business.
Proudly Serving The Kulture Community... Rich "Bingo" Fournier (Bingo@Kultureblog.com)
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