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Great Service at Small, Local Business? Or So-So Service at Big Box?

Burlingamebarley, Flickr

On Saturday, my wife and I went to frame a painting I had purchased. Our only stop was a small, locally owned and operated frame shop. I had done some searching on Google prior to us going there and the shop was recommended and nearby.

While we were in there, the service we received was exceptional. The owner spent quite a bit of time with us discussing our available options. We finally decided to get the painting stretched initially, and once we make some other decisions, we will know what to do next in terms of framing it.

When it came time to pay however, we were a little shocked at the cost. It was almost equal to the initial cost of the painting.  We paid it however, said our good-byes and thanks, and then walked out the door.

That is when we discussed the price. We were both a little taken back. However, I said that the owner had provided us terrific service and spent a great deal of time with us. For me, paying a little more to a small business owner that listens to your wants and needs was okay. I would have hated to go into another place where you are treated as a number and hurried up to make a decision so they can get to the person behind you. We were treated so well at this shop, we are even discussing doing more business with them if this initial order turns out as we hope. Even with paying a little bit more!

What are your thoughts on this? Do you support small, local businesses even if you pay a little more and get better service? Or would you rather save the money, go to a “big box” retailer and get a little less customer service?

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