For most people when they go to buy airsoft gear, guns, and accessories the first place they go is one of the massive of airsoft retailers online. Of course, the people go there because of the prices and selection available. The main problem with this is that these retailers are not looking to help the sport of airsoft but rather make money nor are they the ones who run your fields or care about you. I do realize that the entire premise of a business is to make money so I do not fault them for that but rather I wish to convene why if possible you should try to buy from your local airsoft shop or smaller retailer.
I'm not trying to say that you should never buy from these companies and sometimes you need to because they have the stuff you need but what I am trying to say is that you should if at all possible by local.
Why You Should Care
When you buy online you are supporting a monopoly these companies are not the ones you own your fields, they are not the ones who help you when you're gun has some trouble, they are not the people who greet you and help you when you walk in that door to your local field, they just simply suck money out of your local airsoft community and put it in their pockets. In most cases, fields are usually owned by the local store. It can be very hard for these small stores to make a profitable business when they are to compete with the airsoft giants and then as a result fields close or never grow. In the giant retailers, you are just part of the system and if something ever happens with a product, there is no one who really cares about you because you are but a speck in the millions of dollars they make.
Do you feel more welcomed when you walk into a local restaurant and are greeted by the people who are friendly and nice or when the person who works a Walmart and as if it is a rhetorical question asks, "Hi, how is it going?" with their head down scanning your purchases? Do you really want to support a monopoly when you could be supporting the people who put hard work into your fields and actually care about you? Is it really worth the $10 savings?
Do you feel satisfied when you spent your hard-earned money just to become customer #3194326?
Buy local or at least find a reputable small shop!
Most of these small stores have very close or the same pricing including free shipping over $100 etc. A big advantage to buying local is that the customer service you receive will usually be better than a giant retailer will. When you are the person who gives a guy the money he uses to pay for bills and food he is going to want your business and want you to come back. This may come out to be more of rant but if I can encourage just a few people to support their own community and help grow airsoft it is better for airsoft as a whole.
You may not realize it but airsoft here out east is not very big like in Cali and small airsoft shops are critical to its survival. If you read this and don't at least look at buying local, I hope you enjoy being customer #3194326
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors.