Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

Editorial

 


We ask that you look at the Babbling Book advertisement on page 8 of this newspaper. It’s the first part of a CVN advertising campaign to demonstrate the value of shopping locally. A campaign is necessary because we, as consumers, often mix up “price” and “value.”

This confusion could decimate our local retail sector and – in the interest of full disclosure – it doesn’t bode particularly well for the future of this publication.

The price of an item is how much money it costs. The value of an item is the benefit we receive by purchasing it. As consumers, we want low price and high value. As adults living in the real world, we realize that’s often impossible.

We know that cheaply made goods often are offered at a low price, but the value we get from them also is low – they don’t last. So we’re willing to pay more for goods that are made well and last longer.

Our blind spot is we tend not to draw distinctions between price and value when an item sold in Juneau or on the Internet is sold at a price less than the price of an identical item sold in a Haines store. We see only the first part of the equation – the price. We don’t consider the end part – the “value” or benefit we receive in return.

The value of shopping locally is that each purchase is an investment in a local business, and such investments pay dividends to each of us, in many ways and forms.

The CVN asked Haines bookstore owners Tom and Liz Heywood to compile a list of their store’s charitable giving in the past year. The 25-plus events, causes and organizations that have benefited from the store’s generosity are listed in the page 8 ad.

Tom and Liz also noted that they pay local rent, employ a resident and hire local contract work, collect local sales tax, support local fund-raisers and auctions with their own purchases, sell raffle tickets for community organizations, and give a 15-25 percent discount to nonprofit, government and school groups making purchases at their store, including teachers buying classroom items out of their own pockets.

The Heywoods’ sizeable contributions are some of the “value” you gain when you buy a book on Main Street. Conversely, they’re some of the value you lose by buying books in Juneau or on the Internet.

No doubt you can find books in Juneau stores or on the Internet priced less than the same ones sold at the Babbling Book. But, when you shop at those places and save on “price,” what value do you receive? What value does our community receive?

If you don’t think shopping out of town or on the Internet is hurting our town, think again, and consider the whole equation.

We’re pleased in the coming weeks to show you how our hometown stores are helping our community. With more of your patronage, they can do even more.

– Tom Morphet