Shopping Discussion

Small mom and pop retailers vs large retailers: Which do you prefer and why?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 25th, 2014 10:05 am
Tags:
None

Poll: which do you shop at

  • Total votes: 27. You have voted on this poll.
Mom and Pop shops for the better service. I dont mind paying more
 
4
15%
FS/BB/WM...Im all about the price
 
2
7%
FS/BB/WM...Im all about the return policy
 
1
4%
FS/BB/WM...Im all about the convenience in multiple locations
 
0
0%
FS/BB/WM...Im all about the price, convenience and return policy
 
20
74%
[OP]
Banned
User avatar
Jun 28, 2012
5562 posts
813 upvotes
Calgary

Small mom and pop retailers vs large retailers: Which do you prefer and why?

Do you support family owned shops for your electronics? Or do you always go to FS/BB/Walmart as your automatic first resort for their return policy alone? Mom and pop shops dont have the generous no questions asked return policies that large retailers have, nor do they have as good of sales (or as often) and they often will not PM as easily (if at all), but they often will give you better service. Small family owned shops cant compete with the large retailers in terms of overall sales volume because they just dont have the buying power when it comes to supply and demand and dont have the budget when it comes to marketing through commercials and flyers. Id say at least 80% of the sales of large retailers come strictly from their advertising. If people dont see it, they dont walk in to buy what they want off the flyer or commercial they saw. Mom and pop shops dont have this luxury so they have to rely on their service and word of mouth.

Take for instance these specialty video game shops. There are not many left cause most went out of business once Best Buy and EB games showed up (we're going way back to the N64/PS1 days). But these shops now cater to those who look for collectable hard to find rare games. But then you look at their prices and no wonder why no one is ever in their store when you can buy the same game on ebay for 1/3 the price. I used to support these small video game shops but theyre just not competitive anymore and theres no benefit buying from them when you can find a large retailer in just about every neighbourhood district these days. Are people going to make the special trip to a small shop if theres no benefit? Nope. So the convenience plays a large factor for me.

Do you mind paying more for a product that gives you better service? Or are you all about the price, no questions asked return policy and convenience in the large retailers having locations everywhere.
14 replies
Sr. Member
Nov 9, 2013
636 posts
61 upvotes
mom and pop shops usually but it is getting harder and harder for them to compete against the big boys.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 27, 2004
10928 posts
936 upvotes
Vancouver.bc.ca
Big box stores for electronics/computer. I'm not against the indie stores, but since I don't buy enough stuff regularly, I don't have the opportunity to build a rapport with the smaller stores.
Deal Fanatic
May 25, 2005
6510 posts
261 upvotes
St. Catharines
Large retailers price, convenience and return policy. I don't want to know the sales guy/girl personally nor care, price is all that matters. Mom and Pop shops usually have terrible customer service worse then large retailer. The idea they've better is something left over from the 1950's.
Deal Addict
Feb 10, 2013
3933 posts
615 upvotes
Richmond
big box stores for return policy. If it craps out on me, i can always bring it back
Deal Addict
May 2, 2007
3015 posts
262 upvotes
Kingston
I like to buy from mom and pop shops as much as I can. However for my motorcycle I use the local dealership for basic parts. Other stuff I usually head to the UK as it's almost on par with usa pricing, but the shipping is tad cheaper and faster.

Sadly I bought my motorcycle tires online (from Canada tho). My local shop was $240+tax per tire. The other place was $120 fed-ex to my door. Over 100% markup... no thanks.
Deal Addict
Nov 18, 2011
2324 posts
580 upvotes
Lindsay, ON
There is a small video game store in Calgary called Video Game Trader. They have 2 locations in the city. I dont know how these guys are still in business. They are really nice people to deal with, but their prices are crazy. They sell new releases for 69.99 when everyone else has it for $59.99. Their used game prices are ridiculous compared to EB and others. Their stores never really have anyone in them. I'm really curious to know how their still around. I would support them if their prices were competitive, but they just aren't.
Deal Addict
Dec 5, 2006
4472 posts
469 upvotes
Markham
No motivation for shopping in small stores in general. If I buy grocery for example, I go to T&T and bought all I want then spend rest of time on something else. I go to small grocery store,usually they don't have enough selections, I still need go to T&T, so just wait time.

but for those specialities such as video game,CD collections and even books(Is BMV considered mom and pop retailer??), I centainly don't mind. As matter of fact, it is more likely I can find something there than say Chapterss at good price
Deal Expert
Jun 14, 2001
15556 posts
1000 upvotes
mysticalinfluence wrote:
Jan 23rd, 2014 4:01 am
Mom and Pop shops usually have terrible customer service worse then large retailer. The idea they've better is something left over from the 1950's.
This. I'll pay MORE to buy from a big box store if needed.

Mom and Pop stores (and usually there's no actual mom and pop) are a LAST resort.

I also dont like how "local business" (Chamber of Commerce etc) ALWAYS stick their noses into local city council etc claiming to be "Civic Leaders" bullsh*t.
Deal Addict
Dec 16, 2012
1835 posts
204 upvotes
Vancouver
I don't really care much about where I shop, in the end I am looking for what will give me the best price, best quality, best return policy and best customer service and whatever combination comes out ahead is where I buy that product.

Of course all depends on what I am buying. If it is a something huge like a car I might sacrifice a bit on price if it leads better to better customer service but most things end up being best price, quality and then return policy.

For instance I go to a lot of produce stores over big super markets just because they usually have better prices for instance one of the super markets was charging double the price for green peppers. I don't go there because it is a Mom and Pop store as frankly I don't care, they don't care about me (they usually are unfriendly as can be) and it's not like they would go and support my store if I had one and if there products are more expensive then I don't buy those products and buy them where I can get it cheaper.

It's the same with using my CC, I don't care if they have to pay a transaction rate, if they don't like that then they should not accept CC at all which many of the produce stores I go to do not.

There is only one exception and that is my hair dresser, she is such a good person and does such a good job and bends over backwards to satisfy her customers. If I am not happy she is not happy and if I go away and for some reason I am not happy I could just come back anytime and she will fix it....of course this has never happened.

Because of this I will specially go to the bank before hand and get cash as she requested it over CC because of the rates.
[OP]
Banned
User avatar
Jun 28, 2012
5562 posts
813 upvotes
Calgary
cferguson23 wrote:
Jan 23rd, 2014 11:02 am
There is a small video game store in Calgary called Video Game Trader. They have 2 locations in the city. I dont know how these guys are still in business. They are really nice people to deal with, but their prices are crazy. They sell new releases for 69.99 when everyone else has it for $59.99. Their used game prices are ridiculous compared to EB and others. Their stores never really have anyone in them. I'm really curious to know how their still around. I would support them if their prices were competitive, but they just aren't.
That place is a huge rip off and I ask myself how theyre still in business as well. I used to shop there all the time back in the N64/PS1 days when the FS and walmart werent even selling video games. I drove the extra distance to give them business and just to see them. I stopped once the convenience of buying video games can be found cheaper and quicker at large retailers. I remember buying a PS1 from them back in the day...brand new and it was defective out of the box. Even with them knowing who I am by giving them all the business in the world, they still wouldnt swap it for another one over the counter. I had to leave the console there for a few days so the owner could take it home to verify the problem. I did end up getting another one but it was a PITA, I had to make two trips back to the store with a bunch of phone calls and definitely not the easy 1 trip no questions asked return policy that large retailers have. This is another reason why I stopped going there.
Deal Expert
Jun 14, 2001
15556 posts
1000 upvotes
Mayosandwich wrote:
Jan 24th, 2014 12:35 pm
Even with them
knowing who I am by giving
them all the business in the
world, they still wouldnt swap
it for another one over the
counter.
There's the independent business shopping experience right there.
Newbie
Mar 14, 2010
67 posts
44 upvotes
Montreal
The answer to this question really depends on what it is you're buying.

If it's a commodity or some sort of a mass market retail item. (Toothpaste, a Toaster, etc). Then to a large extent it is about price and return policy. (The nature of the industry now is that most mom & pops don't even carry the items I'm looking for. And in major cities, most family owned businesses are franchises anyways.) That said, there are some big box retail places that I will NEVER go to on account of their terrible service (ie. Futureshop).

SERVICES and service oriented retail are a completely different story. (Haircut places, restaurants, trades people, bakeries, coffee places and certain professionals). In this realm, I want a more personable experience, familiarity and value the individual and individualized service. A longer term service relationship in these areas makes a ton more sense. As well, I actually do have some sort of sense of civic pride (misplaced though it may be).

Life's too short to have to deal with ***** when you don't have to.
Member
Oct 16, 2012
212 posts
29 upvotes
Vancouver
I have a bike store I frequent to for advice and the odd and compulsive need to browse around. I can only compare 2 local bike shops near each other. Bike shop A has 3 different stores across the lower mainland and Bike Shop B is the only one of its kind. So in my example A is a big box store while B is mom and pop type.

I have stopped shopping at A because of constant sales pressure from their associates and I can feel their fake smiles it just creeps me out. The only thing that has made me shop there recently was so my friend can use my "loyalty card" for a discount because there's no use in haggling there.

Whilst in B, I have known the store owners and have been relatively okay with doing business with them . Yes the prices at B are a tad bit higher than A both goods and services , but I could at least haggle there and mom and pop stores usually love it if you bring business their way by recommending friends.

Since op brought up video games, there's a small video game shop in my city that gives better trade values than Eb Games though it sucks they don't exactly keep up with the latest consoles. I spoke with the owner nd he himself said: Thats what best buy is for.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 30, 2009
12178 posts
575 upvotes
Toronto
Yeah, I don't agree that mom and pop stores are the best in customer service. Depending on what I'm buying I go for quality and good service (which is variable). Price is always a concern, but I don't mind paying more for a good build. I'm not a fan of haggling.
[QUOTE]I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them.[/QUOTE] ~Andy Bernard, The Office (U.S.)

Top