Why? Because it gives you warm and fuzzy feelings? For us in the states, I hardly never buy locally... It doesn't help that our local stores are usually 5-10% higher than adorama or BH, if not more... plus you got local sales tax, and it just makes the out-the-door price skyrocket... I go to my local store to test out gear and narrow my choices, then I go back home, and order my gear from adorama, with free shipping, and no taxes. =) I'm sure our government will close the tax loophole soon enough, but until then, I will do as I need to...
This is a very sad assessment of the value of a local business. I'm lucky enough to live near a large store like Samy's camera. I like the relationship that I have with the retailer. Now this is a large chain here in LA, its not your small local shop. But its LA only. I think its really important to have a local store and I'm glad to have supported them. Yes I've paid more for the merchandise, but the price at amazon is not the true price of the merchandise. its the price of bulk purchase inventory with no relation to the customer and illegally untaxed. You are supposed to be taxed on such a purchase.
I'm not saying this to judge, I'm guilty of this too. Its more of a warning regarding the default action of interacting with a person when doing through hundreds if not thousands of dollars in purchases. I've tried to curb my ways because at the rate we are going the only way to get something may only be amazon.. and thats a monopoly.
I've found it invaluable to go to the store, browse, talk to the sales people and build a rapport.. way better than getting some brown box at my door.
What I find stores doing now are workshops and events... theya re building communities... in some ways, amazon has forced stores to be special venues for their merchandise now that they aren't the default way of shopping. so support your store, pay the extra couple of hundred bucks, support your local community and pay your taxes.... because thats the TRUE price of what you are buying. Because if you don't, don't be surprised when somebody decides that YOU are too expensive and want to replace you with an outsourced worker... because for them, an indian or chinese now represents the cost of a worker, not you. So the value of what YOU do goes down artificially. Thats what you are doing when you shop outline.