Have you ever entertained guests and shown them your furniture, and one of your guests mentioned that they have the exact piece of furniture you have? Chances are, you bought that piece at a furniture chain store, where they sell them to everyone. To avoid being in that situation, customers should buy Australian made furniture from local shops.
The revenue in the Furniture and Homeware segment amounts to more than AU$2 billion. Buying local products is not new for the people living down under. According to Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan Research, 90% of Australians prefer buying locally-made goods. Furthermore, they are very likely to buy goods from Australia’s trading partners if no local goods can be found.
Besides avoiding the situation of having the same furniture as everyone else, there are more reasons why people should buy locally-made furniture. The benefits, at most times, outweigh those of buying from a big franchise or corporation.
Ensure Quality Control
Many big companies will try to tell you that they make sure about the quality of your mass-produced furniture. Admittedly, they try hard to do it. However, that personal quality control does not match the level of attention that a local furniture-maker gives to its products. These craftsmen make it a priority to use the finest quality materials available. They also know that any substandard products have a big effect on their business, so they do everything to make sure customers have no complaints. For small business people, your purchase means a lot, while for big companies; your purchase is just a small blip on their radar.
Experience the Personal Touch
The best part of buying local is the personal connection. Even when you buy online from local shops, better customer service is still evident. Mainly, it is because these shops do not have thousands of customers to cater to each day. They can afford to connect with each customer personally. It also applies when you have comments about the quality or if you need something fixed. A big company sometimes takes weeks before answering you. Again, that is because they have to talk to tons of people. Local shops will have more time for you.
Help the Local Economy
It has been said that for every $100 spent at local businesses, $48 are re-circulated locally compared to only $14 at big box chain stores, especially foreign ones. Spending more in local businesses boosts the local economy and helps local people feed their families and send their kids to school.
Big chain stores are more likely to ship internationally, which ultimately adds to fossil fuel consumption and chemical waste production. Local businesses only need to ship your purchase a shorter distance, so there will be less fuel used. They are also more inclined to reuse materials and cut down on packaging. Everybody needs to do their part. By shopping at local shops, you can too.
The next time you receive guests at your house, try showing them a piece of furniture from a local furniture store. You can even share with them the virtues of buying Australian made furniture. Individuality has been completely forgotten in favour of conformity. It is easier to ask a local craftsman to create custom pieces than big companies simply because small businesses have bigger hearts – so do their furniture.