The last job that I had before I went solo was as a buyer for a Public Lands visitor center store. I loved that job, but I had decided it was now or never in terms of opening my brick and mortar store and going all-in. I had that one co-worker though… You know who I’m talking about. The one that doesn’t understand boundaries between what your job is and what their job is. The one that you try to like, but you just can’t. The one who says the stupidest damn things ALL THE TIME. That one.
In this case, she came to the park after closing her own brick and mortar store. She swore up and down that it was Amazon’s fault because she just couldn’t compete with their prices, and she tried to lead boycotts against them. Now, anyone who owns a business knows the feeling, but most of us find ways to work with the big boys, instead of against them. Because let’s face it–trying to beat them is about as productive as screaming into a hurricane.
So what do you do when you can’t compete with Amazon’s prices? You give people reasons to come to your store instead of shopping online. You carry a mix of products that can be found online, and a lot of things that can’t. You provide superior customer service. You hold events, you contribute to local events, local arts, local causes. You explain why it’s important to support small businesses. Is it easy? NO! But it’s important.
And you also do business with Amazon. Or eBay. Or Etsy. Or Wal-Mart. Or whoever.
I’ve been selling online since 2007, and specifically on Amazon for five years. I also just recently began as an Amazon Affiliate, which is why you’ll see product links on our Facebook page, and eventually on the blog (once I figure all that out…in my copious free time…) Why? Because if you’re going to shop on Amazon anyway–and let’s face it, almost all of us do–I can share really cool things that I find there with my awesome customers and if you buy stuff through my link, I get a small commission. That means, that while you’re buying stuff that you would normally buy on Amazon anyway, YOU’RE STILL SUPPORTING YOUR FAVORITE SMALL BUSINESS. Do you realize how huge that is? It’s a win-win for everyone.
What’s that old saying? Oh yeah– If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.