Premium to buy local

Many consumers are looking for the lowest price, there are some exceptions- mainly for what are considered luxury goods.

I propose that we consider locally produced goods worthy of the same price consideration. A premium to buy from someone you know, or at least a premium to buy something that you can trace from start to finish. Even paying the same price directly to a producer can make a huge difference.

A minor example of this is that I needed to buy 25 cinder blocks a few months ago. I could have gone to Home Depot and buy them or I could go to the local cinder block place (Eagle Block). I did a price comparison and while Eagle Block was slightly more expensive, I found out that with the sales tax difference the premium to buy locally was only 5 cents per brick. (Home Depot is in town, Eagle Block is technically in the county). With 25 bricks at 5 cents more a block I paid an additional 1.25 for the load. I felt like that was a reasonable premium to pay to support a local business.

Farmer’s Markets are a good example of this. Instead of being paid commodity prices, the farmer is paid retail prices. Some times this means that the consumer pays more, but depending on the product you may actually pay less.  Of course some times, it really means that you are paying the true cost of a product, instead of paying the subsided price. (Milk being one that is famous/infamous for being subsidized- more on that later).

I generally say that I’ll pay a 10% premium to buy local. Of course sometimes I pay way more than that, but usually that is because the local product is much better than the generic homogenized version that corporations are selling.

Are you willing to spend more to buy locally? Any particular spending category that you’re more willing to spend more on?

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