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Monday, November 18, 2013

Shop Local Buys for Gym and Outdoor Activities This Holiday

Graphic courtesy of American Independent Business Alliance.
Those who have been bitten by the workout bug know the number one accessory is a proper listening set up. I’m a shop local kind of gal. I think my drive to shop local is because I grew up in Benson, Neb. Today the area is more a destination spot with a hub of trendy shops, restaurants and bars. However, during my childhood it was like a small town square with a grocery store, dime store, ice cream shop, florist, jewelry and toy store. All within walking distance, too. My sister reflected on this in her post on Benson Nebraska Celebrates 175 Years. Another need to shop local, as a entrepreneur and business owner, I’m drawn to help my fellow comrades. I belong to the Shop Local Omaha | Omaha Local Independent Business Alliance (OL!BA). population-we™ (pop-we) readers may think that’s odd for a blogger. However, my social media business (population-we, LLC) is local. I reside in Elkhorn (really Omaha) with our food blogger and dog blogger and the majority of the posts detail events happening in our hometown. Currently, all of our pop-we contributors reside in Omaha, too. I’ll talk about OL!BA in a later post. Back to shopping for my workout arsenal!

While on the shopping prowl, I usually research the best buys online and buy local instead. I encourage our readers this November 30th to Shop Small at local shops and merchants as well. Also, under way now through December 20th--Shift Your Shopping--encourages customers in their hometowns to shift his/her spending and buy or go local and shop at independent merchants this holiday shopping season.

Graphic courtesy of American Express.
What follows is how I accessorized my iPhone for my weekly workouts by buying from a local Omaha store.

MDR-AS200 Active Sports Headphones @ Nebraska Furniture Mart (retail $19.99; sale price $17.99) 
When I spotted these pink headphones on the shelf--I bought them on the spot. They are uber comfy, help drown out background noise, and are adorable to be seen in. They also are lightweight and water-resistant (I'm a SCUBA diver, so this is key). I really like the unique loop hanger that fits comfortably over my ear--so I don't have to worry about the ear buds dropping out.

Griffin iPhone Trainer Armband Holder @ Nebraska Furniture Mart (retail $29.95)
You have to be able to strap your iPhone on for that run or brisk walk. So, here’s my favorite accessory: a Griffin Trainer Armband Holder. It works well on the wrist, bicep or tossing in a cup holder. It also sports a plastic screen; giving you the ability to pick music easily, send texts, scroll through emails, and update any social media statuses on your run or walk.

This isn’t necessary a slam against this product but a buyer beware tip.

Consumer Tip and Buyer Beware
When I workout at home I sometimes do dictation. I’m a blogger and soon to be author; unfortunately, when I purchased my most recent iPhone I had a mishap and lost hours of my dictations and interviews. So, sickened by this fact, I decided to invest in a separate digital recorder. I was in the market for a digital recorder and number one on the list was the price point. After researching online, I found that Wal-Mart not Nebraska Furniture Mart had the best price in town. I spoke to the Walmart associate and with his assistance decided on the Olympus DP-201 Voice Recorder, Silver (paid retail $23). I got it home and instantly noticed something was wrong. At first glance the package looked like it had been tampered with. Sure enough, I opened the back of the recorder and to my dismay noticed the batteries had exploded. I didn’t just get duped on this buy, but Walmart did too. It was obviously a return! That being the fact--it should’ve been in the clearance section--not back on the shelf with the rest of the brand new recorders. This whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth.

Instead, of getting in-store credit at Walmart, I took my money and went to Nebraska Furniture Mart. At "The Mart," as us locals call it, I happened upon an Olympus WS-801 Voice Recorder (retail $119/clearance rack $21) and we’ve been together ever since. I don’t know how I got by without having this in my writing arsenal. It is super compact, easy to use, has oodles of storage (2GB), a built in USB plug in, battery rechargeable capability, and even has a radio function.

In the end, there is a happy ending for this blogger; however, electronics buyer beware--check your packaging for tampering. And, most importantly--support your hometown business and Shift Your Shopping to a local business this holiday season!

-population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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  1. I want to buy even more locally with your emphasis. I certainly patronize Omaha Steaks and Fat Brain Toys a lot as they have shop from home options and are local. I encourage all local places to allow people to shop from home with deliverary to us with phone numbers to call or pay pall options online where you do not have to use a credit card with pay pal. It feels great to support your local community. My mom always said that if you want your area to be nice then you should support the businesses there.

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