Letter to the Editor: Shop local on a budget | SierraSun.com

Letter to the Editor: Shop local on a budget

Lore McLaren

I, too, am often frustrated by high prices in Truckee. And I, too, shop in Reno for items that I can’t find locally or are prohibitively priced. However, I try to shop local when I can, and I recognize that it is unrealistic to expect prices in Truckee to be competitive with prices in Reno.

I have no doubt that many items offered locally are marked up for the tourist trade, particularly luxury specialty items.

But asserting that all prices in Truckee are the result of unnecessary mark-ups by merchants who think they can and#8220;survive on rich tourists and seasonal homeownersand#8221; is a little simplistic.

Before bashing our local merchants, it is important to remember some basic economic principals, especially the price of real estate. When the price of retail space in the Truckee area is several times that of Reno, how can local merchants be expected to offer competitive prices?

I have lived in several resort communities. Higher prices are a fact of life in these areas.

When I lived in Laguna Beach, did I expect to buy a bathing suit or a barbeque locally for the same price I would have paid in, say, Riverside? Not likely.

But it is possible to shop locally on a budget, and you might find that you get better service. For example, we always buy our tires from Stone’s. Could we buy tires cheaper in Reno? Probably.

But Stone’s has shown us stellar customer service that we couldn’t buy at any price. Would Big O or Costco have been willing to stay open late on a Friday night with a blizzard coming on, just for us, just to make sure we got safe winter tires installed on a recently-purchased vehicle before the weather came in?