When shopping for oneself or business, we tend to do what we can in order to find the best deal possible. Why? Inside we humans, there seems to be an ancient thread in the very fabric of our beings to hunt and gather what we need or want. Allow me to tug on that strand a bit this week as I show you some prime hunting grounds. Don your pith helmet and bring some extra socks (wet feet are never good) as we arm you to get the best bang for your buck!
Our first stop on this sales safari takes us to the concrete jungle of your local town. There the natives, sometimes known as “locals” or “glasswalkers,” can best offer you advice and wares. Despite the size of your city, township, or village, there is a very good chance that anyone in business there has connections. In fact, you can even find special “chambers of commerce” or similar places which can help direct you to what you need.
Especially here in Sandusky, there are so many niche shops that the ability to find vendors, wholesalers, and retail opportunities is vast. Most of these “locals” are friendly and eager to help you, especially if you compliment them with a question. For instance, “That’s a nice door chime you have, where did you buy it?” Or, “Wow, I can’t believe your [local delicacy] tastes this good. Where did you learn to make this?” Don’t be afraid to interact and talk with the merchants. I can personally attest to this method being extremely effective at producing leads on your hunt!
No matter how much you ask there are some times that a solution can’t be found locally. So we need to hop back in our vehicle and enter the digital dimension of The Internet. It is here amid the mighty Google Mountains, the Bing Sea, and Prairies of Yahoo that we will explore. Often you can find through this medium a local source (many businesses keep online inventories), or at least one not too far away. But if exiting The Internet isn't possible for your interest or necessity, we’ll go to a few established trading posts first.
Amazon.com is a name most of you are probably familiar with along with eBay and Half.com. These are great places to be able to find an array of products at comparable costs and shipping methods. Many shops also will freely ship your special order to a local branch that may not carry that particular product in stock. You wouldn't know from looking in-store, but our local Sam’s Club can get you THIRTY-FIVE different styles of snack/drink vending machines for you, as one example. It never hurts to "browse global, shop local".
On the tech front, we will leave the waters of the Amazon and enter the beautiful bamboo glades of TigerDirect.com and Newegg.com. These two sites offer an amazing breadth of electronic product as well as consistent sales on everything from small parts to complete systems. If you don’t have a local source of parts and service, try these (you can safely consider the refurbished items on each site too)!
Lastly, we will explore samples of the ever-shifting landscape of curiosity sites. These are places you can get odds and ends that you never thought existed, but may have a use for to own or sell. ThinkGeek.com is an amazing site with many nifty gadgets. You can spend a great amount of time there just musing over the geeky items, or wading through still pools of nostalgia. Accoutrements.com is well worth exploring too. Woot.com is a “daily deal” site that features one item per day on sale at an incredible price. I bought two new security camera systems there rather inexpensively! Several kinds of “woots” are available every day from shirts to wine to tech. Groupon.com is similar and has witty and descriptive writing just like Woot.
It has been another fond journey with you, friend reader, so I wish you good luck and happy hunting for yourselves or your business! If you need help finding anything please feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to guide you to the right destination. Au revoir!