Mindful Consumerism

In the past few days new has come out that one of my favorite retailers of outdoor gear, Moosejaw was purchased by Walmart.  Diving into social media frenzy I have seen a lot of people reacting against the decision stating they would no longer be purchasing from them, upset they lost small local retailer to a big national corporate empire, that promotes consumerism.  While we hate the term consumer and consumerism, to some extent no matter what your pursuits are you will need to buy gear, so I found this would be a time to write about how we buy.

At some point we are going to buy new stuff, ropes wear out, shoes blow out, and disc sink to the bottom of the lake.  So when we need new equipment we have to choose where to get it from, and where we spend our money says something about us, and what we stand for.

Service:

One thing we look for is great service.  One of the reasons Moosejaw was so well loved and support was the service level they provided was great, and they did it with a sense of fun.  They gave out free shirts, and fun little extras, what other company give you a gold medal with your purchase.  It was this fun they instilled and working with you to delight you that made moosejaw great

Similarly a few weeks ago, I had another great service experience.  I was looking to get a bouldering pad and some new climbing shoes, so I went to my climbing gym.  The owner was who boulders a lot so I asked him for his preferences, the things you want to consider when buying a pad, such size durability, ease of packing.  That personal experience and expertise was great in advising me on what I should be looking for to help make an informed purchase.

Selection:

Online shopping has opened up an incredible selection of products, in my local area has very limited choices for disc selection, and most of it is innova.  Infinitediscs.com is a great because it has almost every disc in every plastic blend and you even get to choose the colors.  The ability to choose and get what you want is something I really like having.

Local:

While internet shopping gave us selection, it has taken a lot flak for its effect on how it has impacted local business.   Local business helps provide jobs and stimulate the economy. Its also nice for when you want that new disc or cam right now.  The problem I run in to is we do not really have a local climbing shop here in Ohio, and often the disc selection is limited.  So I’ve sort of modified this to support the local shops at the places I travel to.  So last year when I needed to replace my number two Camalot I could have ordered it online but I chose instead to pay a tad bit more and bought it at Waterstone Outdoors in the New.

Price:

For some people price is a huge factor when it comes to purchasing.  Especially if you are trying to minimize expenses and maximize experiences.

 

In the end there are lots of factors beyond these to consider when you purchase.  Consider that every dollar you spend is a vote or an expression of what you value, and who you are choosing to support.  Since no matter how we try we are all participants in the system I encourage you to take time to think about what you want your money to stand for, and who you want to support.

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