Keep shopping at Home!

Outlaws at Home is an online effort to connect makers to our DIY community during the Covid – 19 Pandemic. Featured image by Sew to Speak.

While Ohio still has a stay at home order in effect but slowly allowing retail businesses to open their doors, many independent outlets are simply not capable or comfortable with opening their doors at this time. Be it a shortage of staff or cleaning supplies some retail doors will remain closed until they can assure the safety of their customers and employees.

Outlaws wanted to remind our friends that you can and should continue to shop at home when you can. We also know that many individuals prefer shopping in person and for many reasons cannot or have not shopped online. Here are friendly reminders on how to make online transactions easy for everyone:

Be Patient

Retail shops owners are just like you. Stuck at home, managing kids and online school, attending to older parents while managing a magnitude of small business paperwork, talking to banks, landlords and their customers. Many have moved from in person sales to curbside picks or deliveries. None of which was part of their initial brick and mortar business plan. They are navigating many creative ways to stay a float. Please be patient with them. They want to help you and your support is appreciated.

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Wild Cat Gift and Party is offering curbside pickups and partnered with Weinlands, to bring local retail and essential shopping together.

Phone calls and online orders

Many mom and pop stores have set up voicemail, allowing them to check phone calls at home and most retailers have a website presence but many have just started to add things to their online stores. Not all customers are familiar with online ordering and many shops are not used to being an e-commerce retail shop and nearly half of the nation have a lack of broadband internet access. Most retailers at this time welcome all sales but prefer the ease of online transactions, as it leaves a digital paper trail. However, you can call them and inquire about over the phone transactions and paying with cash. Again patience is encouraged for all parties.

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The Smithery is one of many local retailers who are adjusting to curbside pick ups.

Buying online (a refresher/tutorial)

Once you know what you want to order from a local retailer, you head over to their website and start adding things to your shopping cart. There is a virtual shopping cart icon, typically located on the top right section of most websites. You add quantities and at any point can check your shopping cart for what you adding. You will be shown a final total before you complete your transaction. Most local shops give you the option to have a curbside pickup where you need to enter a discount code to save on shipping.

Many retailers are no longer able to accept returns. Be mindful when ordering custom items and choosing sizes.

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Igloo Letterpress has shifted to appointment pick ups.

Shipping vs Curbside

Shipping an online order from a retailer, be it someone’s website or Etsy store requires patience. In some cases handmade items are made after they are purchased, check the fine print, which could effect when it’s packaged. Don’t expect to get any online order right away. Allow 5 – 12 days for an item to arrive. Many things are outside a retailers control once they drop the item(s) off for shipping. Most shipping costs are based off of the carrier they are using with some shipping and handling added. The farther the distance, the more you pay for shipping. Items get lost and stolen, it’s a fact. Keep track of shipping and talk to your neighbors or leave a friendly note for your mailman of how or where to leave your package.

Curbside gives you the option to pick items up locally at the retailers location. In many cases there is a specific window of time to pick up items, make sure you are on time and follow the guidelines they create. Remember to maintain social distancing when picking these items up. Do not expect that you can just pop in for some window shopping or impulse buying. If their doors aren’t open, be respectful of the stores wishes.

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Shops like Dabble & Stitch continue to update shop hours and experiences.

Keep checking the websites or social media pages of your favorite DIY shops. They continue to make adjustments and announcements.  If you aren’t in a place to support them financially, liking posts and leaving feedback is greatly appreciated.

Do you have any questions or concerns about local shops reopening?