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Have you noticed all the whining and crying by big corporations lately? If you haven’t, I’d like to know what rock you’ve been hiding under and if there’s space for me. The general gist of these whiny, crying toddler corporations is – GIMME GIMME GIMME more money! I need a 10th summer home and a 6th home for my family, so I’m going to raise your rates or our prices or SOMETHING cause God forbid I don’t get my 45th house and 2nd yacht and 5th private jet! Now, if you’re thinking – Hey, this has been going on for years. You’re right. It’s just that this year seems to be ten times worse. This GIMME GIMME GIMME has got to stop! So, I propose that you shop local as much as you can and buy from independent sellers. When I say independent sellers, understand that some of these guys may be on Amazon and Walmart and Target or another bulk website as 3rd party sellers. If they’re on Amazon, they’re raked over the coals too. If you haven’t ever looked at the 3rd party seller fees on Amazon, I encourage you to look. They’re actually so high I think it’s now an FCC lawsuit. Seems I saw something about that a bit back. When I went to look at those fees, I realized that one of my semi-precious jeweled bracelets that I sell for $20-$25 would have to be $40 or $50 on Amazon in order to give me the same profit.

This Time of Year Is When Businesses Make a Profit for the Rest of the Year

Hopefully, you already knew this, but if you’ve never worked retail or owned a small business, you may not know. This is the time of year when most businesses make all the profit they’re going to make for the year. This is typically October through December. For the rest of the year, they typically lose money, so if you want to stick it to them, stop shopping right now. Figure out what you can live without for the next two to three weeks, and don’t buy it.

Figure Out What You Can and Can’t Live With

For example, you can probably live without paper towels. You probably can’t live without toilet paper and diapers.

Don’t buy anything extra. This includes clothing, underwear, socks, hair ties, snack foods, etc. The exception here is books, especially if you buy them from independent authors. The caveat here is that most independent authors are located on Amazon. However, we don’t need that money to buy a second luxury, 100 foot, RV or a tenth vacation home. We’d just like to buy groceries in March. That’s right. We have a three-month lag on payment, so the books you buy in December help us pay for things in March.

If You Need It to Live, Buy It from Family-Owned, Local Businesses

If you need it to live, buy it, but try to buy it from local businesses. There’s probably at least one local grocery in your area. Even my small town has one. It’s a family-owned grocery store located solely in Indiana, and they have three locations.

Stick It to the Power Companies

Turn off your lights and as much electricity-using stuff as you can when you can. This is extremely difficult in the winter. Dumbass daylight savings time plus winter means you only get about six hours of daylight a day. It’s 6:53 AM here, and it’s as dark as midnight outside, but I have a candle burning on my desk, and my keyboard is backlit. I also have a stupid amount of stick-up lights in my house. They run off batteries. I started installing these because the power company here is worthless. If a gnat farts in the wrong direction, the power goes out, but those lights serve my purpose for this task too. I can leave most of my lights off all day and all night. Stick it to the power companies. A lot of them have asked for rate increases this year. I think they need to manage their money better.

Turn your heat way down, especially if you have gas. My furnace is set on 65. If I put it any lower, my pipes will feeze. But I’m really in the mood to stick it to the gas company too. They overcharged me last year by $386, and this is how I’m clawing my money back.

If you’re already using wood or coal heat and solar panels for 100 percent of your power needs, I congratulate you. I wish I was in that position.

Boycott Anything You See a Commercial For

Small businesses can’t afford commercials, and if they can, you need to be very leery. Who gave them all that advertising money? Not to mention, commercials and paid ads are losses all day long. When I was taking out Amazon ads for my books a few years ago, I needed every other click to result in a sale to remain profitable. It was more like 100 clicks = 1 sale. I lost $10,000 on that ad campaign, and that was just five months of paid ads. As a result, I don’t do paid ads anymore. I do social media posts, and I pay for this website, and it’s businesses that have a website and use social media that you need to buy from.

Why Should You Stick It to Them

Because every sale matters. Businesses watch their sales like a hawk. If you stop buying something or a lot of somethings, they’re going to notice. The correction for this is to lower prices, which is the primary problem. Everything is too expensive, and basic economics says that if you lower prices, you will increase sales. This is why grocery stores have sales. If you were going to buy one box of cereal at $5, you’ll buy two boxes of cereal at 2 for $8. they lose $1.00 per box, but they make that up because you bought two or more. The bottom line – If you want lower prices, stop buying things now. 

The truth of the matter is that you need to be very discerning about where you spend your money this holiday season and going into next year. When you buy something, think. Do I want to support this business? Do I need this to ensure my continued existence? Obviously, you won’t be able to avoid all the whiny, crying, toddler corporations, but I bet you can make a dent in their bottom line while still supporting your local businesses, authors and craftsman.