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December 09, 2011

Making the Excuse to Shop Local

With many things in life, it’s easy to make excuses: Another glass of wine? I’ll just not drink tomorrow (Sure). Gym after work? Oh, I’ll totally get up at 6am and go then (I made myself laugh with that one). In the case of shopping at locally owned stores during the holiday season, we’ve also heard a few:

“I won’t be able to find things for everyone on my list.”
“It’s too expensive.”
“I don’t have time to go to that many stores.”
“Return policies aren’t as flexible.”

As Chelsea P., a Tuscon yelper put it: “I know the benefits of shopping local. That said, I haven't always followed my own rule. Importantly, Yelp’s Shops Local Pledge reminded me of what is out there and renewed my dedication to buying local this holiday season.”

With the help of yelpers who have taken the Yelp Shops Local Pledge and participating shop owners, we thought we’d take a few minutes to help dispel some of these misconceptions, as well as share some additional surprises they’ve learned while shopping local!

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"Actually, shopping local has been surprisingly affordable. But aside from the prices, the customer service has been absolutely wonderful! I've had several 5 or 10 minute conversations with the shop workers and have learned some neat things about their shops and about the areas I was shopping in. I really enjoy getting that personal connection while buying gifts for friends, family, or myself." - Monika N., Cincinnati Yelper
       
“I support local because these business owners are our neighbors and for many of them they are working their dream. We keep $.68 to the $1 if spent local compared to big business, it builds community... and it just feels good. Win, win.” - Faith D., Charlotte Yelper   

"Our customers have filled out the Yelp Shops Local Pledge without hesitation! Many have asked what other businesses are participating so I have referred them to Yelp to find out. Even taking the pledge to do a portion of your shopping with local businesses can have impact." - Jen Radler of Pop-Cycle

There are a lot of misconceptions I've heard that deter people from shopping local. This is an old school way of thinking, as technology allows small business to offer the same conveniences as big box stores. Remember, by shopping local, if you need an exchange or have problems with a product, you can speak with the store owner first hand. Chances are, they'll be more than accommodating as they appreciate happy, repeat customers.” - Paige M., Cincinnati Yelper

Interested in how you can take part? Check your local Yelp listing for events going on in your neck of the woods, our 2011 Weekly Yelp Gift Guides or just challenge yourself to support one local business this holiday season -- whether it be a place to grab gifts, a warm meal or something to treat yo’ self!