COJock1974 saidI try to shop LOCAL as much as I can...
Funny, some of my friends & I had this same discussion on Sunday. I mentioned that we always check with local merchants when we're shopping for certain items. We may still eventually buy from a national retailer based on the product & price, but we don't overlook the locals.
We also tend to favor stores dedicated to a single kind of product, for instance, a local appliance store rather than a Home Depot or a Lowe's, or a local tire store rather than the auto department at Sears. And because locals will often negotiate the price while chains cannot, we always get a good price. Plus the local owner is someone we can count on in case we encounter a problem with the item, and quite often is someone we know personally.
For instance, in the last 12 months, my partner & I have bought:
*A dishwasher from a locally-owned appliance store (at a great price!)
*2 computers from a computer store
*A sewing machine from a locally-owned sewing machine store (gift for my partner, lessons included)
*Outdoor BBQ grill from a locally-owned hardware store
*Mattress set from a locally-owned mattress store
*Business suit from a locally-owned men's clothing store
*Art glass from a local artist
We also patronize locally-owned restaurants & bars (either gay-owned or friendly), almost never going into national chains. For one thing we know most of the owners, plus we like our money staying in the immediate community. In fact, though living in populous Fort Lauderdale, we seldom spend our money among strangers. We live a surprisingly small-town life, despite the area this is.