As much I love the ease of shopping online and promote e-commerce since my readers are from around the world, I was moved by a newsletter sent by my dear friend, Lisa Scully, who owns a small-town bookstore. Here are her thoughts on the importance of shopping local:
Are your books more expensive than Amazon?
-Yes. We buy our books wholesale and then charge you the retail price. That is generally the price on the book jacket. Amazon sells their books at the wholesale price. They do not add the retail markup.
If your books are more expensive than Amazon then why on earth would I ever buy one from you?
-Yes, it will cost you more to purchase a book from us. There’s no getting around that fact. However, let’s think about what would happen to our community if everyone just shopped online. Everything sold locally in Locust Valley can be purchased online, and in most cases for less. So, yes, in the short term, that puts money in your pocket. More to spend on a day to day basis. That sounds pretty enticing, right? Sounds good to me too, until I start digging and thinking more about that.
-What do you mean? More money in my pocket sounds great, especially at this time of year!
-Let’s review the costs of buying a book on Amazon. Let’s say a hardcover fiction book (how about a John Grisham since he’s really popular) costs you $13.96 on Amazon. If you buy it from the Locust Valley Bookstore it is going to cost you 29.95. What happens to that extra money you’ve paid?
-It is used to pay salaries to four hardworking local residents who can therefore afford to live here, pay taxes, shop locally, eat in our restaurants and put their money to work back into the community.
-It goes to pay rent and taxes so that there is an attractive store on the main thoroughfare into Locust Valley.
-We also use part of these funds to make the store look nice, to nurture a place where people can visit, talk to one another, provide nice gift wrapping, compare book ideas and browse new titles.
As Chubby Hubby says, this is a multiplier effect. That extra money gets spent again and again. It stays in the community. So that extra $15 you paid becomes more like $100 for our town. This isn’t just true at the Locust Valley Bookstore. That multiplier happens every time you shop locally.
Why should I care about the stores in our town? I never go into Locust Valley anymore. I just shop online or in NYC!
-A vibrant, attractive town is better for the price of our houses, and it brings people into our community which is ultimately better for our schools and overall economic vitality of the area where we live. It also helps pay for important local services like fire and police, so it is better for safety too. Do you really want to live in a place that has boarded up storefronts, no restaurants, nothing to buy?
We aren’t trying to be preachy. We all shop online (yes, even the Locust Valley Bookstore is guilty/have you ever tried to find “institutional style” bookends locally? Not possible!) But, for shopping? For Christmas and other holidays? There are so many great stores in Locust Valley! When was the last time you walked around? You can do it here! This town needs all of us! We have great schools, we have strong neighborhood organizations, we have people who plant trees and decorate at the holidays. We need to keep this all alive! Every one of us!
Come see us soon! Anyone who brings us a dark chocolate turkey before Thanksgiving will get $5 off a regular priced hardcover book.
Please follow us on Instagram (@locustvalleybookstore) and Facebook and thank you for your support!
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