From the November 2017 issue

5 Reasons to Shop Locally This Holiday Season

Chris Tidwell, CEO of local toy company Magformers, explains why smart shoppers stick to local stores and ditch the online checkout this time of year.

Brought to you by Magformers

As the holidays creep closer, many of us are on a time crunch. In-store shopping can be such a hassle though. From putting on real pants to running from store to store, not to mention searching through the aisles, fighting crowds and standing in lines – it can be stressful, and shopping online seems so much easier. Chris Tidwell, CEO of Magformers, gets it. But maybe there are some things you’ve overlooked. Before you click the checkout button, there are some things to consider.

When you order online, think about why you’re purchasing from one site over another, advises Tidwell. “Are you only worrying about finding the lowest price and overlooking some key factors?”

1. See it before buying

When perusing the digital aisles, however convenient it may seem, you run the risk of creating a bigger hassle for yourself in the aftermath. “When you shop in-store, you can touch the product and see the product. It’s right there, in your hands and you know what you’re buying and you know it’s authentic,” says Tidwell. “If you buy online, you can only see a picture that they claim is the right thing. You don’t really know what you’re getting until it arrives.” And if it arrives too close to Christmas, you’re going to be running to the store to pick up the right product anyway. Not to mention, the return policy online varies from seller to seller, so you may not get your money back at all.

2. Get additional insights

When you shop in-store, you get to interact with someone who actually knows the products in stock. “There is so much to be said about good old-fashioned customer service. You can ask them questions right there, and they can give you accurate answers faster than the reviews section online,” says Tidwell. Not only can they answer questions about the product, they can tell you which products are flying off the shelves, so that you know the toy you buy will be one that your kid has been asking for.

3. More convenient than a click

“My top customer is online, and I understand why. But shopping in-store doesn’t have to be inconvenient and we do what we can to make it easier for you,” Tidwell says. Magformers and many other toy companies put their products in many different locations to make it more convenient for you to purchase. “You have to go to the store anyway. So we have Magformers in stores like Target, so that you can grab it while you’re picking up bread and milk.”

4. Help local economy

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In a time when the big name stores are driving out the local mom and pop stores, many people are making more of an effort to shop local, and with good reason. When you shop at a local toy store, you’re helping your local economy, but even better is that you’re helping your neighbor. Magformers is more than just a toy manufacturer. They are a local toy company that started and is headquartered right here in Michigan. Buying their products directly through their retailers supports their Michigan employees.

5. Confidence in what you buy

If that’s not enough, shopping online can pose a bigger risk for your child’s safety. When you buy online, Tidwell advises customers to look at the listing closely. “Is the seller a third party seller? If it is, you might not be getting an authentic product, which can pose safety hazards to your child.” Authentic toys for children are required to pass inspection before they can be sold, to be sure that they won’t pose a risk to the child. Shopping in-store is an easy way to guarantee that the product you are buying is authentic, and thus safe for your kid.

Looking to increase your child’s creative play time? Magformers, founded with the architects of the future in mind, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of magnetic children’s toys and has been nominated for Toy of the Year 2018. Discover the array of Magformers sets at Magformers.com.

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