Saturday, February 4, 2012

Yes, Virginia, there are Independent Vacuum Stores

Recently, while at the OKC Women's Business Breakfast sponsored by Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, I was explaining to a young professional woman what our business is.  She said, " I didn't know that stores like yours even existed."  Two things came to mind after I had this conversation with her.  First, and most importantly, the younger generation has lost touch with small, independent stores, especially vacuum stores.  Second, and this exists because of the first thought, how do we 1) let them know and 2) educate them as to the benefits of purchasing from a small, independent vacuum store.

I remember when I was about 20 years old, a friend of the family had a TV & Appliance Store.  He did in-home repairs on televisions.  (Yes, back then, our TV's were a piece of furniture and if something went wrong, we had it repaired.  And yes, they made house calls; the big pieces of furniture were not easy to get to the shop.)  I also remember that was about the same time that Wal-Mart came to our part of the world and he was explaining that Wal-Mart could sell televisions for the about the same price that he could buy them.  WHAT?  If you buy in bulk, bully the manufacturers into paying for your advertising, offer no service, hire people in a low salaries, you can negotiate a very good deal.  So began the era of looking for the cheapest price and not thinking about long-term effects.

But I digress.  We see customers everyday who have been buying "disposable" vacuum cleaners and throwing them away after a year or so because they stopped working.  Sometimes they come to us to get warranty work done on their vacuum cleaner.  How that system works if for another post.  Occasionally what is wrong with their vacuum is simple; often they do not know how to use their vacuum cleaner.  I know that sounds silly, but, many don't know they have filters to change and that not changing filters could cause their vacuum not to work.

So, what does an Independent Vacuum Store have to offer?

1.  They know their products.
2.  They can recommend a product to you based upon your needs.
3.  They will show you how to use the vacuum cleaner and what it's needs are (bags, belts, filters).
4.  They will put the machine together for you, if you want.
5.  They will carry it to your car.
6.  They will be there, in the same spot, should you have issues, problems, or just questions.
7.  They will have, in stock, the supplies you need for your machine and will know which ones you need.
8.  They usually carry other cleaning supplies and products, have tried them out, can tell you how to use them, recommend what you need and maybe even give you a sample to try.
9.  I can't promise these at all Independent Vacuum Stores, but at A Cleaner Place, they have coloring books for the little one's, coffee or soda, and DJ to pet.

I hope this has been helpful to you and that you will consider shopping at small, independent stores, whatever your needs.  They really do know their products.  

In the Oklahoma City area shop
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1 comment:

  1. What a great post ! Recommended reading, and a personal testimonial of "thanks" to A Cleaner Place for repairing my 40+ year old hand me down Filter Queen canister vac that keeps on working great because that's how they were made back then.