I generally try to buy products and services locally. It’s often because I like to touch/smell/look at the product I’m buying, or I want to have it now, not next week.
That only goes so far though. Last week, I bought an item from a local company. The “discounted price” including tax came to $107.98. To me, that seemed a bit on the high side for what it was, so after I got home I checked online.
I found the exact same item on eBay, with free shipping and no sales tax, for under $64. I ordered it, received it in two days and guess what? I returned the product I bought locally.
When I returned it, I was met with some resistance. The product was new, in its original, unopened container, and the merchant wanted to charge me a fee to cover the expense he was charged for the debit transaction. After a few minutes, he relented and gave me a full refund.
So, Tri-Cities merchants, you want people to buy locally? You had best be reasonably competitive in price and overly competitive in providing service to your customers.