How to assess wanting to support local, but running into slightly to unmanageably higher costs?


What kind of cost/benefit metrics should be considered when trying to support one's local vendors. Mostly I am looking into the printing end of things, but what general metrics should I be weighing? Many particular vendors charge more than I am willing to support; but am I possibly missing a side benefit that might arise from the relationship?

For more background, I was trying to come up with a vendor/cart solution for a site where customers could order prints. In shopping around to local vendors, I found that their costs don't compete dollar for dollar with online shops (quality of product being basically equal). Yet in wanting to support my local economy, I am wondering if there are particular added value s to eating an amount of the cost. IE, "Even if the cost is 3% higher, this is balanced out by being able to [X]."

Vendors Localization

asked Nov 15 '10 at 13:01
246 points
  • note: I want to go local, but am running into prohibitivee costs and am hoping someone can explain the silver lining? – Mfg 13 years ago
  • @Jed hopefully this edit might add to background info. This is a first venture I am looking into and I might be able to have pretty low start up costs. I have no prior experience with this thing and would like some advice on measuring the pros/cons of local. – Mfg 13 years ago

3 Answers


More background info would be beneficial. Readers may not understand what you are looking for.

Kind regards,
Jed Regan

answered Nov 17 '10 at 01:04
Jed Regan
266 points


In my opinion, by far, the best reason for sourcing local is for the human connection. Actually getting to personally meet your vendors face to face is a huge benefit. Not only does it really help judge a persons character but once they know your face they will treat you better and feel much more obligated to do quality work. (For example: if you're a local client of mine, I don't do a job well, hard feelings emerge, and I see you in the mall the next week - that will be awkward. People know this and automatically treat you better as a result.) I'm a co-founder of a web development company and we have to outsource certain aspects of projects all the time. I ALWAYS go with local talent if I can. The relationships build faster / stronger than with someone you never meet, they're more dedicated, and it's just great to be able to go out and celebrate your victories together.

Again, in my opinion, go local just for the increased dedication and long term reliable talent sources. It's gold.

answered Nov 17 '10 at 12:19
Brent Lachman
41 points
  • Have you found any kind of line or cost or limitation to going local where you just have to throw your hands up, or are those cases more when you're just up against a financial or time barrier? – Mfg 13 years ago
  • Luckily the projects I typically deal with can pay for the extra cost of going local. The only time I ever opt for not using local talent is when a dead-line is too short to get the right person for the job. – Brent Lachman 13 years ago


Talk to the local printers. Maybe they have a certain expertise and you could use them in those instances. Can you offer/promise them a certain amount of volume and get a discount?

They may have slow periods dictated by the local customers. Your online customers may have a different wedding season than you do locally.

Develop some sort of local relationship. You never know when you need a favor.

answered Nov 18 '10 at 04:00
Jeff O
6,169 points
  • Good note, we didn't talk too much about volume (they all scaled prices down for higher volume, but didn't really mention specifics) now that you mention it. That may have had an impact on their general services since I was basically pitching jobs of hypothetical, solitary jobs. – Mfg 13 years ago

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Vendors Localization