IT’S TIME FOR SHOPPING SMALL 24/7/365!

One day a year is not enough! Can you work one day a year and expect the earnings from that one day to support yourself and your family for the other 364 days? Of course not! Small businesses can’t do that either. That’s why Our Village has become “Home of The Shopping Small Movement”, promoting Shopping Small 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The success of the Movement depends on you and everyone else who recognizes the importance of small businesses and the families’ dependent on them.

Let’s look at the benefits you receive by Shopping Small, but let me ask you a couple of questions now. Do you enjoy finding unique products for yourself or as gifts for family and friends? Then why do you settle for the bland, generic, assembly-line array of products stacked on the shelves of the Big Box stores? The answers for many people are, yes, they prefer finding the unique products for themselves and family but find shopping at a one-stop Big Box stores more convenient.

Allow me to provide some different perspectives which may alter your viewpoint of choosing between unique versus the Big Box convenience. You primarily have two options when shopping. One option is by “feet on the street” which often takes you into the Big Box stores or the second option of visiting the numerous and ever-growing offerings of eCommerce selling websites.

First, let’s examine the exploding options offered for consumers via the eCommerce websites. Generally, you have the option of either:

        -   Buying direct from a Seller on a website designed for that specific business, or;

        -   Buying from a consolidator website offering products from a variety of large corporations, or;

        -   Shopping on an online “mall marketplace”, where many Sellers have opened their shops on one website 

The last option offers the most exciting and growing opportunity for both Buyers and Sellers. What is a mall marketplace? You can compare a mall marketplace to a brick and mortar mall (where you lose your car in the parking lot, lol). The shop owners who open their online shops can be compared to the retail stores that lease space in the brick and mortar mall to sell their products. The shop owners “stock the shelves” of their online shops with their products, set their product prices, then sell and ship directly to the Buyers.

What’s really exciting for the Buyer is that they can go to one website, quickly and easily move from one shop to another with access to hundreds or thousands of specialty shops and viewing limitless numbers of beautiful and unique products. A few clicks and their order is placed and the product is delivered directly to their home. It’s the best of all worlds for the Buyer and the Seller.

For Sellers, and especially the artisans, crafters, makers, and small, family-owned shops, the online mall marketplace is obviously their best option for the same reason retail stores open in malls. The consolidation of many shops in one location means more traffic of potential customers and more potential customer traffic is what all Sellers seek. That’s why online mall marketplace venues are now, and in the future, the best place for Sellers.

Now let’s look at the “real world” as opposed to the virtual world of online shopping.

Each time you choose the “feet on the street” option of a cookie-cutter Big Box store you are supporting big corporations with their primary goal of providing profits to their shareholders. There is nothing wrong with a business making a profit or else it would fail. Unfortunately, and too often, their focus is on quarterly reports and their shareholders rather than on their employees and their employee’s families. You can choose to make a difference. 

Rather than shopping at the Big Box stores, choose the Shopping Small option. When you choose to spend your dollars in the small, family-owned shops you are definitely making a difference! Instead of your dollars going to the high paid executives of the Big Box stores and their shareholders, each purchase you make in a family-owned shop may mean that a family’s car payment gets paid that month, or their child gets some new clothes or gets to take music lessons. All because of your choice. Does this give you a different perspective about the importance of your choice?

Supporting small family-owned businesses strengthens your community and gives you more unique and high-quality product options. The Big Box stores offer you more mass-produced, generic products chosen by their corporate buyers based on the profitability of the product cost versus it’s retail price. Products that are not unique or special. No personality. Visit a small, family-owned shop and its owners can tell you why they selected most products on their shelves. These small shop owners put a tremendous amount of time and effort in selecting the special products they offer their customers. They focus on offering products that are viewed as unique or special by their customers. They must do this in order to stay in business and support themselves and their families.

Asking a small, family-owned shop owner about their products also takes us to another factor that has become more and more prevalent. The lack of customer service! Where, oh where, has customer service gone? Customer service is alive and well in your family-owned shops. Walk into a small shop and you can expect to greeted and have someone with product knowledge available to actually provide you with personal attention and answer your questions!

The advantages of Shopping Small should be obvious, but it’s up to you to make the conscious decision that going forward your first choice will be to buy products from small business owners whenever possible.

The majority of shop owners on the Our Village website are sole proprietors, the “mom and pops”, the backbone of our economy. Most have full-time jobs to support their families, while working during the evenings and weekends to create their products for their shop to help supplement their incomes. Our Village is the home of The Shopping Small Movement and advocate for these Sellers. The Our Village marketplace is the venue where customers can support the artisans, crafters, makers, and small, family-owned shops who sell their products to support themselves and their families. 

Our Village offers a terrific selection of shops with their unique and special products for you. Support the Shopping Small Movement 24/7/365!

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Please visit www.OurVillage.com, Home of the Shopping Small Movement, to view our other blogs and to support our shop owners by buying their products!