Every time you buy something you are empowering or enabling the person or companies that the product comes from. With that in mind, every time you use your money for a service or item you are saying “I agree and support you”. If you don’t agree with a company or its ethics then you normally do not shop there. However on occasion we are tempted to shop where the price is lowest. The lowest price does not always mean the best deal. There are many things that effect price. Labor cost, supply cost, quality, shipping and packaging just to name a few.
Large companies that are competing on a global or nation scale are not all evil. They are not the cause of family business closing down. Just like everything else in life there are some good and some not so good companies. At the very top there is still a person who, just like you and me, wanted to make more and at one point was just a local business. As consumers it is our job to evaluate what items and services are better left to the larger scale companies or if we should find a local option. For instance I purchase my internet from a larger well known company. The service is more reliable and has 24/7 tech support. However when I buy fruit, vegetables, honey or shrimp I always attempt to buy local as much as possible. There are times when local is not the best option or its just out of season. I believe as consumers we are responsible for how and where we shop. If a company is known for poor quality working conditions I will not support that. If a company is knows for granting college reimbursements or incentives I will support that even if the product price might be higher. I personally do not want anyone to suffer so I can save a dollar.
With that being said smaller local mom and pop shops or individuals who sell items online or road side have a greater challenge. The smaller shops must be able to make a profit while competing with the larger companies. If I am selling a hat for 20$ and a large company is selling it for 5$ I will not be able to match that price and make a profit. However I can make sure my product is the best quality. I can offer a custom size color or design. I can guaranty no slave labor or unfair wages are involved. And the money a person spends at my shop goes to my family. Piano lessons, scout trips, college loans, mortgage ect. Many local vendors function this way, prices are a bit higher in some cases but as a consumer we pick who we support. We know if we can spend a few extra dollars and buy handmade or local, or if we must buy based only on price. Our money has power, and where and how we spend this money gives power to the recipients.
Think before you spend.