When I opened my Etsy shop I was adamant that I was only going to buy my supplies in local shops. After all, they were just like me, except on a bigger scale with bigger bills to pay!
There are lots of benefits to shopping locally; you get the personal service from the staff, you can actually speak to someone about the pros and cons of a product and when you need something you can get it straight away.
There are also from drawbacks to only shopping locally as well. I’m only starting out so funds are tight and I can often get things a lot cheaper online than I can in a store. There’s also more choice online which gives me the option to do more.
Online isn’t a bed of roses either. Sometimes items can take a long time to arrive; I recently waited 2 months for some cake stand handles to arrive and when they did arrive, they weren’t as described. I’ve also been stung when I bought something online for a great price only to discover that I could have bought it cheaper in a local shop!
I eventually decided that it was easier to shop locally and online. If I need something immediately, or only need a couple of things (i.e., a couple of sheets of felt) I’ll buy it locally but bulk or expensive items I buy online. That said, I always look for an Irish online retailer first and always check the price in my local shop!
I’ve started looking in charity shops for stock too as you never know what could turn up there! I’ve had some good finds and it’s nice to know I’m shopping local and supporting charity as the same time.
What about you? Do you buy your supplies online, locally or a bit of both?