When people moan and groan about the big box stores taking over the world, I sometimes will join the conversation because I took a business course in college that discussed how smaller businesses can compete with large big box stores. The professor spoke about how local businesses would be wise to focus on customer services – like repair and maintenance of their products that cannot be offered by the big box stores.
When shopping online, it is also important to find out if the website has a link to customer services resources. For example, the customer service at musiciansfriend.com link goes to a page that includes how to contact the company in addition to answers to Frequently Asked Questions, such as Privacy Rights. When I shop online if the website doesn’t have any easily found information like that, I just keep moving along to another website!