Sometimes It's Better Not to "Keep Up With The Joneses" ... Buying Local Can Be Much Better!

Sometimes It's Better Not to "Keep Up With The Joneses" ... Buying Local Can Be Much Better!

, by Maeve Reidy, 5 min reading time

You're moving house and maybe you're looking at getting new home appliances and furniture. But sometimes getting that "great deal" delivered from abroad can cost more than you realise ...

Let's face it, House Envy is a thing!

You call in to a neighbour and see they have a sooper-dooper fridge, or a gorgeous sofa ... and you want one for yourself!

Only problem ... your wallet doesn't agree!

But AHA! You've discovered that you can get it MUCH cheaper abroad.

BUT IS IT WORTH IT?

 

If You Sees It, You Believes It!

It's a lot easier, these days, to buy from abroad. You simply find an e-commerce website and have your credit card at the ready!

But are you sure what you are buying is what you want? Some websites can be quite economical with their descriptions and dimensions they provide. Are you one of those people who are lured by the "Buy Now" button without checking if it will actually fit? Who remembers that news story a few years ago, where a woman was convinced she'd got a fabulous bargain sofa for her living room ... which turned out to be a sofa for a DOLLS HOUSE!!!

Added to that, photoshopping is everywhere these days (a telltale sign is if an item is offered in different colours, with the item changing to whatever colour you pick, but absolutely nothing else in the image changes)

I have to admit that I'm am spectacularly terrible at taking photos! So the photos on Box Depot (especially of our cardboard boxes) are the actual items, with no jiggery-pokery, other than putting it on a white background. In the same way, our sizes are in industrial-standard millimetres. But on the product description you'll find measurements in inches (just in case you're that way minded!)

Around the World, Around the World ...

Here's a ear-worm for you with Daft Punk and "Around the World" from 1997(!) But a far more important ear-worm that you need to think about is "How Many Carbon Miles Did Your Delivery Use?"

It takes a huge amount of fuel to transport something from one side of the world to the other. You may have decided to buy something from a website and been given the options of "express delivery" or "standard delivery". Express delivery usually means that you want it as soon as possible ... which invariably involves air travel. Standard delivery will often be transport by road or ships, which takes longer, but doesn't necessarily use more fuel than an aeroplane.

Consider this for a moment: A local supplier may be able to supply you with what you're looking for, as they already stock it! Added to that, your local supplier is, um, local ... so if you have any problems with your purchase, they are nearby to help you!

It Takes a Village to Raise A Child ...

A the heart of this saying is the idea that it takes a community to work together to create a community that future generations can live in and appreciate ... quite appropriate for this subject!

For approximately every €10 spent on Irish products, it generates more than €45 of benefit to local communities, according to the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME). By switching just one tenth of your ‘imported shopping’ to Irish-produced goods, it would shift the balance in favour of local producers, manufacturers and retailers.  
 
This in turn goes a long way to sustaining Irish jobs and creating jobs locally. This happens in a number of ways:

  • Locally owned businesses tend to support and buy from other local businesses
  • They hire people from the local community, and they also employ other local companies to support their growth such as accountants, printers, wholesalers, food producers, solicitors, etc. 
  • Buying from locally owned businesses keeps money circulating closer to where you spend it. 

It’s a win win! 

Do You Remember the Good Old Times Before the Ghost Town?!

Another little earworm from 1981 is Ghost Town by The Specials!  We've seen it happen in real-time with the Covid Lockdowns we've had to endure in the past. Many previously profitable businesses found themselves with no option but to close down.

These days, you see lots of empty business units in almost every community in Ireland which lends a Ghost Town feeling to a previously vibrant community. But it really doesn't have to be like that.

A small business or boutique shop adds character to your town. They can offer one-of-a-kind shop fronts, products, goods and services that don't tend to be common to the larger international brands, adding to the distinctive character of your area. This can help draw in other shoppers and indeed tourists. If we do not support our local shops and businesses that make our towns unique there will be little point moaning about their passing when it’s too late. 

 

The (Secret!) Seller's Happy Dance!

Every time you buy from an Irish business, they'll do a quiet little Happy Dance! Honestly! Perhaps it's a peculiarly Irish thing (like applauding the pilot when he lands the plane in Dublin Airport?!) but by buying Irish, you have made a HUGE difference to them!

That seller you chose to buy from, even if it's a website with no bricks-and-mortar shop, can pay their staff and their outstanding bills. They can pay their rent or their mortgage and pop to the shops for groceries. The item you purchased could make a real difference to their business, increasing their range of products, giving you more products to choose from.

And you made it happen!

 

There is undeniably a Cost of Living Crisis in Ireland at the moment, and it's understandable that everybody is trying to get the best value for the money they spend. But at what cost? Do you really want your community to become almost derelict? And just as "a dog is not just for Christmas" neither should shopping local just be done at Christmas!

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