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Ethics of mail order

Ambulance Chaser

Stylish Dinosaur
Mar 7, 2002
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How does everyone feel about buying something by mail order after scoping it out at a store first?  I have no qualms about buying nutritional supplements by mail order for half of what they sell at the local GNC, but feel somewhat guilty about receiving helpful advice and guidance from a salesman at a local store then turning around and buying it off the web.  Am I just being silly?


Senior Member
May 24, 2002
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I don't think you're being silly at all. Service is the primary reason for buying from a local business; the same item is worth more, in my opinion, if you get exemplary service from the shop that's selling it. If you're a repeat customer, you develop a relationship with the salespeople that can't be duplicated online or via mail order. On the other hand, getting a little attention from a salesperson does not obligate you to buy anything, and even excellent service doesn't obligate you to do all your shopping in the same store. You want to keep them in business without putting yourself in the poor house. Ultimately, it's up to you to find the right balance between being a good customer and a thrifty shopper. If it helps, remember that, the more you save on your bargain purchases, the more you can spend at the boutique.


New Member
Aug 23, 2002
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Hi guys, new user here...
When you're buying from a local independent retailer, part of that mark-up you are paying is paying that helpful salespersons wages. I have always been a fan of supporting the "mom and pop" retailers. If everyone shopped mail order only, the local stores would go out of bussiness and there would be no one there to give you advice. Yes, you pay a little more, but in the long run you will get your moneys worth, i.e. great customer service, good advice, and an overall more pleasant shopping experience than just clicking a mouse.

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