the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

Support your local business


“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting…” « opinions expressed may be incorrect. (madtante)

The “Press This” feature doesn’t seem to create abstracts, so here’s the gist:

It’s a call to patronize local businesses, especially for the upcoming holiday season.  Since I wrote big long comments over at madtante’s post, I figured it was only fair to pay this forward, and more so because I rather agree with the sentiment.

It is difficult to strike a balance.  I like do-it-yourself projects, which does bring me back to big box stores with manufacturing abroad.  But I have been thinking more about thrift stores and the like– sometimes these are the only places where I will find precisely what I need, and something of quality that was donated because it is in an outdated style or color.

Currently, I am trying to find a local bike repair shop that I can afford.  My sister had recommended one that unfortunately has closed its doors.  I got Cimmy a bike at a consignment shop run by some church congregation friends, but finding something for myself will take more time.  But a good local shop, I think, will be willing to work with “fixer-uppers” and will make that a part of their business.  (One of my happier success stories was going to a local vacuum and sewing machine store to get a part to fix a better-made vacuum cleaner that is still running well for me.)

I think part of the solution is spending locally for service, but for those of us struggling financially, I think part of the solution is using more of what we’ve got.  Repairing “junk” and “thrift” may be more worthwhile, I think, than buying something made of poor materials overseas– something of crappy quality because the manufacturer or distributor is offsetting shipping costs.  (Shipping from China *is* expensive, in some ways, for distributors.)

The other problem, which is another post entirely– is that some services, more government-related, need some efficiency.  I think I’ve said that Cimmy found it easier to buy eyeglasses from China than wait for the state to provide her with eyeglasses, and at higher cost.

Author: jaklumen

Wherever you see "jaklumen", that's me- the username is still unique as of the current year. Be aware that the facet you see, is only a small part of the me that is me.

3 thoughts on “Support your local business

  1. Great point. Brother picked up 3 bikes (this is before freecycle was commonly talked about; unlike me, he lives in a suburb where there are PEOPLE, so craigslist, freecycle and even yard sales are options) for either free (he’s a dumpster diver) or possibly a couple of bucks cos they were all POSs. He’s so damned HANDY, though! He made one GOOD bike out of those 3. He says bikes are NOT hard to fix (erm…) because “there’s only so many parts to them.” I don’t know if your disability affects use of hands/ arms/ back but if you’re literally upwardly-mobile, you can learn this crap. If you can watch youtube, there are loads of videos on how to fix certain parts. Just another idea and no, you didn’t ask but it sounded like you were looking for a cheaper way.

    Another idea is do you know a dude like Brother? One who fixes his own? It may be worth it to him in this crap economy to do it in trade for you or for less than a shop.


    • Hi… yes, you’re exactly on track with where I’m going.

      I talked to someone at Markee’s here in town. I don’t know if I talked to the owner, Jerry, but he was totally cool with just purchasing parts and doing the repairs myself. In fact, he said it was cheaper to repair as much as I could. The bike I want to work on is missing a seat, including the post, and the gear assembly needs work– it needs a shifter and the cables replaced. The cables are not expensive ($5) and the shifter shouldn’t be, either. I think I work on that with some patience. He told me I’d need to mike the frame at the seat, and getting a precision measurement shouldn’t be hard as I have a digital caliper. The seat, in fact, will be the EASIEST part of the repair, I’m sure, given I get the post measurement precise. The bike I got for Cimmy… well, I had bought a saddle-type seat and she had NO problem swapping it out for the rather small seat it had.

      We can do this… if not, Jerry Markee and his business is respected. My sister recommended them to me; she reminded me that our parents had gone there for repairs on bikes in the past (I think probably for ALL of us kids back in the day) and had done good work.


  2. So interesting!

    It’s been a long time since I spent money anywhere except the grocery store and Target/Kmart/Petsmart so I don’t know what the prices are like, or what goods and services are available locally. Years ago, local merchants were more expensive, generally, but better prepared to meet the needs of their customers, so it was a trade-off.
    Eyeglasses are ferociously expensive!


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