This is the second part of my Top Ten List of where geeks should shop, to take part in Small Business Saturday. Really, this is a good list for all of the holidays. It sure beats stomping your friends and family to get a new trac-phone or something. I mean the super cheap tv’s are never even a real brand. Hardly worth the attempted manslaughter indictments. Part 1 of this list is here.
6. Local Brewery/Distillery – In the sea of domestic light lager and pilsners, it is easy to forget that there is something else out there. That something may taste incredible, have a higher alcohol content, and be made somewhere near by. No, not your creepy neighbors bathtub gin. Instead of just bringing a bottle of blah-blah for a holiday meal, bring something new and local. You will appear ultra-hip and “with it” (if that is still a good thing to be).
7. Local/Non-Chain Bookstore – Yes! There still are some. They can be hard to find, because they’re darkened by the shadow of… say a Barnes and Noble or even a Half-Price books (I go here sometimes, I do admit). These are the kind of places that are run out of love for books. You can ask someone who works their, they’re not doing it for the money, they’re doing it because they love books and reading, and helping other people find some books to love. I respect that. You should too.
8. Local Movie Store – In my city, even the Blockbusters are starting to go out of business. And, before Netflix and the Blockbuster’s ran all the local stores out of business, there was a place called Mr. Movies. They were owned by a local family. And, when ever I was late returning a movie(which was a lot), instead of getting a huge fee, the lady would call my mom and tell her that I had to return the movie. How awesome is that? You know what’s wrong with the world? The lack of that.
My Local Picks – None…they’re extinct.
9. Local Video Game Store – Yes, they’re pretty much going extinct too, thanks to Gamefly and the downloadable on demand stuff. The guys that work at these places are very much like a local bookstore person. They probably make minimum wage. They’re working there for the discount and the opportunity to talk about video games as much as possible. Much like the tabletop game person, they probably know more about gaming than you. And if they don’t, they certainly think so.
My Local Pick – Video Games Etc.
10. Independent Artist/ Author – I nearly forgot all about this one. But, it really is the most obvious. Any artist or author is probably the smallest type of business: themselves. You can find them at farmer’s markets. On Ebay, Amazon, Etsy, Facebook, or just through their personal website, they might make beaded necklaces, or write Twilight Fan Fiction (shiver). I could go on and on about the merits of directly supporting someone who performs a trade or craft skill. Just know that the money that goes to most of these people is the most effective because it’s rarely split between all the different divisions of the corporation, and can go straight in their pocket, so that they can create another day.
So these were just some of my ideas. Please leave comments or links with your own suggestions. And remember, it’s always a good time to shop with these places.