Other Voices: Buy local or buy locally? | TheUnion.com

Other Voices: Buy local or buy locally?

Recently, much has been made of which is more correct: “Buy local” or “Buy locally.” Apparently The Union and western Nevada County merchants think it is a problem of semantics and if they could just identify which phrase was right, they would solve their problem. I would submit that neither phrase is correct but rather it is a problem of understanding what is happening.

Local merchants just don’t seem to get it. The problem is not semantics but failure to change provincial policies.

The local merchants operate under the Grass Valley attitude that they are the only game in town and therefore they do not have to maintain inventory, offer competitive pricing, offer competitive warranty or hire competent, helpful employees.

When returning a tree to a Grass Valley home and garden center, we were told that if we wanted a one-year warranty on our plant purchases to “go to Home Depot.” When trying to but a muffler for our BMW, we were told they had none in stock and would not be able to get one for a week. We couldn’t wait so we went to Midas, where they put on the new muffler while we waited for half the price with a lifetime replacement warranty.

More times than not, local merchants have no inventory on advertised specials the day after the ad and in many cases never do get the item in stock.

These are just some recent but not isolated examples. We have lived here since 1990 and have tried to buy from local merchants, to no avail. It’s too easy to go down the hill where the merchants are competitive, offer better prices and service. Gasoline is cheaper, too.

The “Grass Valley attitude” is what’s driving locals down the hill.


Al Sayles lives in Grass Valley.

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