Do You Shop By Neighborhood? | The Frugalista

Do You Shop By Neighborhood?

by frugalista on July 18, 2012

I recently went to a business conference and needed a zipper for my favorite young professional dress by Suzi Chin . The cleaners in my ‘hood said that it couldn’t help me (meh) and referred me to another cleaners, around the corner and down a few streets. This new cleaners was in a part of town that I never ever ever RARELY go to. It’s in a rather boring part of town, only car upholstery shops, off-brand gas stations and ill-painted strip malls. I was desperate to get my zipper fixed so I visited the new cleaners. I swear, this cleaners must have had a 1930s sewing machine in front. I think it survived the Great Depression. The woman at the front desk said that she could find a new zipper for my dress for $5 and dry clean the dress for another $5. SOLD! I was a little apprehensive that the dress would completed on time, but I had no choice. Well, that little cleaners fixed my zipper – instead of finding a new zipper -and only charged me $3. The cleaners also had my dress cleaned on time and did a beautiful job. I even got a smile from her husband when I picked up the dress. I am used to surly help in South Florida, so that was a BIG DEAL! Let’s just say, I have a new cleaners, the owners know my name now and the husband-and-wife team smile every time they see me. Yay!

It made me think: Should I spend more time in low-rent districts getting services? I love luxury, really I do. But I only like luxury when it’s, well, a luxurious experience. Anything else isn’t worth the trouble. My experience made me think of a blog post I wrote on how the best lunch places are often found just outside of cities because the restaurants have to work harder to keep customers. It’s the whole reason why most service in tourism destinations stink- they don’t have to work for the customer because there’s always a new sucker customer coming to town. Also, if you want to go thrift or vintage shopping, it’s best to go to the expensive neighborhoods because the locals have the best designer goods to donate! Honestly, I just want the best value for my dollar. If it means spending more money to get what I want, then I will absolutely splurge! If it means driving to a small cleaners on the other side of town to get my needs met, then I’ll drive on!

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts. Please share below your thoughts! Do you ever shop by neighborhood to get the best value for your money? Is an extra drive worth it? Tell me if you shop by neighborhood – rich or poor- to get services or goods!

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