What to Do When “Shop Local” Doesn’t Work?

I am a big proponent of buying local – always have been. However, this past week it’s been nearly impossible. Yet, I still feel bad, in spite of the fact that there really wasn’t a choice.

For the past two weeks I’ve been waiting for any of the seven glass places to email me a quote for a custom-cut piece of glass shelving for my discontinued closet shelving colour (thanks for nothing, Ikea) None of them chose to respond, so I didn’t have a choice but to go back to Ikea.

Tuesday I had more luck…sort of: Needed a 16×20 inch mat with cut insert to re-frame a picture. Michaels (I believe) still outsources these to Toronto. But I found a local picture shop where the owner told me he’d have it done in an hour. It wasn’t a rush, and I was OK with paying $25. Quite an over-payment, but that was fine with me…sort of…

Last on my list was to replace a 30×30 inch canvas. I purchased the picture from Shutterstock (if you ever want to upgrade any pictures in your place, check them out!). Now needed the print on canvas and stretched onto the wooden frame. Seemed easy enough – besides, there’s a local company where the owner had done two large ones for me in the past. Well…not so much now: Three weeks today and no response to my e-mails. Pretty clear he’s not interested in the business. The downside is that I could only find one other place that’s local and has a canvas printer! No worries – I know the man and I’m sure that plan B will work.

The price quote was WHAT? Yes, they quoted an inch and a half larger for some unknown reason, but that amount didn’t seem right. Thus, I was forced to now go online to one of the two big canvas print suppliers. The one I’ve dealt with before has a dot ca website, making you think they’re in Canada. However, it’s an Australian company and the canvas prints are done in India (the sticker is on the back of each product). With a coupon for “buy one get 2nd free” I was able to order another custom canvas and the total amount was $78 total for both! That same order for two items would have been about $600 local vs. $78 offshore.

I don’t want to live in a world – or a city – where retailers don’t exist and we’re forced to deal with Walmart or Amazon – ever! But when nobody gets back to me, or the price is so off, is there a choice but to shop online or at a US (or Swedish) owned big box store? If so, I’d love to know….Sad but true…

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