Author of The Blackout Book and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted
2020 has been a rough year for everyone and the holiday season promises to be different from any in our memory. times are tough from both the sides of the consumer and the small business owner.
For the first time since I started my website, I won’t be writing a new post filled with Amazon Prime links for Christmas gifts. I won’t be recommending things from big box stores or giant corporations. There are a few exceptions where those purchases do support small business owners and authors, and I’ll discuss that in a moment.
The new round of lockdowns has business owners who were already on thin ice scrambling to survive. They must now change all their previous marketing strategies to try to take advantage of the busiest shopping time of the year – the fourth quarter.
Here’s how you can support small businesses, your favorite websites, authors, artisans, and local folks this year when you do your Christmas shopping.
The things I’m personally recommending this year
This year, there are a few products and companies I’m recommending for your holiday gift-giving. (Or buy this stuff for yourself – I’m not judging!)
- Get Selco and Toby’s newest book: SHTF Survival Bootcamp is a paperback textbook from their popular online course of the same name. When you grab it, send your proof of purchase to [email protected] and you’ll receive an exclusive online course absolutely FREE and ONLY available to buyers of this book (Learn more here.)
- Take a course: Check out all of our courses right here.
- Become an herbalist: Check out Cat Ellis’s online Herbal Skills Intensive course. (Use the coupon code Daisy50 to save $50 on the price of the course.) If you aren’t familiar with her, Cat is the best-selling author of Prepper’s Natural Medicine, among other herbal preparedness books.
- Grab some CBD products: Organica Naturals is a family run business owned by folks I know personally. Forget the giant facilities and machines – get your CBD directly from people who use the product and have been studying it exclusively for years. And through December 1, everything in the store is buy one get one free!
- Get some seeds: Seeds for Generations is a family-run business out of southern Virginia. (I know this wonderful family, too.) Check out their products here. They’re having a MASSIVE sale this weekend so jump on it now. And remember, with the lockdowns, seeds are like solid gold right now, so be sure and stock up for yourself too.
- Check out our PDF books. Check out some preparedness books you can only buy in our online store here. They’re very reasonably priced.
- Find the latest offerings in prepper fiction. Check out this page to find out what some of my favorite authors have self-published recently.
Your purchases of any of these products help families pay their bills. They don’t help some CEO buy a villa in Italy as a fourth home. This year has been one in which we’ve all had to pivot our businesses to focus our efforts strictly online and your support means the world to us.
Shopping where you live is a great way to keep money in your local economy. Consider the following:
- Shop from local businesses that are struggling to stay afloat. See if they offer curbside pick-up if local ordinances don’t allow you to go in and browse.
- Buy from local folks selling things on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace. Be sure to meet up with them safely in a public place.
- Look for local courses and instruction – buy shooting lessons, gardening classes, dance lessons – anything that may be re-opening in the new year.
- Get gift certificates from local restaurants, salons, and other businesses
One thing to remember – if you are buying something for use in the future, it’s an unpleasant thought but you could lose your money. If the holiday season doesn’t go well, some of these businesses may not be around in the future for the use of gift certificates or lessons.
Online shopping is still alive and well. I’ll offer my own online recommendations below.
- Online courses from real people – not giant corporations
- Etsy or eBay sellers
- Blogs and websites with custom items for sale
The goal here is to support small businesses, not giant corporations. So if you go to BigBoxStore.com instead of DebbySmithCrochets.com, you’re not really helping the little guys as much.
Some notable exceptions
There are a few exceptions in which large corporations are actually helpful platforms for small businesses. Because of this, I am by no means suggesting a boycott of Amazon. Love them or hate them, they’ve allowed independent authors to find their audiences and small business owners to reach more buyers.
- Authors: Amazon along with Kindle offers a way for independent authors to publish our books and reach a wide audience without thousands of dollars of outlay. They are the least expensive and easiest way for us to offer physical books without going through a traditional publishing company. Our percentages are far higher, too, than with a traditional publisher.
- Artisans: Amazon Handmade and Etsy both offer platforms where artisans can offer the goods they create to a wider audience.
- Subscription Boxes: Amazon offers a number of subscription boxes that are the creations of small business owners. You can find almost any monthly subscription box you could imagine here.
- “Ships from Amazon”: When shopping on Amazon, check to see who the retailers is. It’s listed near the buy button and will look different, depending on if you’re shopping on mobile or desktop. If it says “Sold by Amazon” then the product is Amazon’s. If it has a different name there, it’s sold by a small business and Amazon gets a commission for handling the transaction. Here’s an example – look for the red arrow.
So to be absolutely clear – I’m just suggesting you focus your spending on small businesses that truly benefit from your purchases.
Thank you so much for being a visitor to my website. Your support over the past 8 years has changed my life and the lives of my children. You’ve allowed me to bring in (and pay) writers from around the world to share their experiences. For some of those writers, the income they earn from OP has made an enormous difference.
Please know that even if you’ve never purchased anything, just the fact that you visit, read, comment, and share helps us immensely. Be sure you never miss a post by subscribing to our daily newsletter and get my 101 page PDF, The Prepper’s Workbook, absolutely free. This website will never have a paywall and the information on it will always remain free to anyone with an internet connection. If you would prefer an ad-free experience, check out my Patreon account, where you can subscribe for only $5 per month.
Some of you have been with me since I started this website in that tiny cold cabin in the Algonquin Forest, where my blogging journey began. I never expected that one day, I’d be able to say that we’ve had more than 25 million visits to The Organic Prepper but here we are, and it’s all thanks to our readers.
Whether you’re an old friend or a new one, thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
God bless you and your family, Daisy! Thank you for all of your articles that educate, inform, warn & challenge our understanding of current events.
I especially appreciate the articles from Selco, Toby, Jose and others who are willing to share their experiences as life in their countries went down paths no one wanted or expected.
I also appreciate the expertise & information many of the commentators share. Many of them have suggestions for a product or a skill that is well worth acquiring. Between the information contained in the article itself, & the information from the comments. … it’s like getting an advanced course several times a week.
You’re welcome, Daisy
I just ordered online, and while I will also support local small businesses, I bought an American made product. Liberty Tabletop is the only company in America still making flatware…in America. They have 4 different quality levels, and so many designs. Daisy, could you do an article on the importance of buying American made products, and perhaps share some companies? Well, off to find more American products!
That’s a great topic! Thank you for the idea!
I’m a devotee of keeping as much business in the community as possible. Of the dozen or so guns I own, all have came through the same local gun store I’ve been shopping at for 42 years. When you shop local, you build a relationship. Whether it’s a independent butcher or crafter or a mom & pop neighborhood grocery store
You might pay a little more, but it’s worth every penny for the first name service.
Great ideas! This year I did most of my shopping through Etsy, as well as the T-Shirt and mug store of a liberty minded blogger who has fallen on really hard times. He has some really great designs so that has been good to support. I’m looking forward to using my snazzy new shopping bags with fun mottos. (The Hooligan Libertarian is the blog if anyone is curious.)
I also decided to order a couple citrus gift boxes from US Citrus, since I want to help them keep fighting the good fight after the USDA forced them to stop shipping trees. Besides it’s just neat to be able to send a box of tree ripened sunshine to a family member. I haven’t been able to buy everything I need from local people but at least my gifts have been.
Since COVID Crazy has taken off, been trying to send all my business to the local small hardware store.
Unfortunately, they dont always have what I need in stock, so off to the big box store I go.
Also been trying to replace all my cheap china made products with higher quality Made in America products.
Also been looking for higher quality wood working handtools. But most of those are made in Japan.
Air gun slugs, there is a guy in CA who makes high quality slugs. Got 1000 slugs the other week.
While I too am trying to get more higher quality Made in US items, I’ll make an exception for things that are made in Japan. Items made there usually have great quality and it’s a pretty neat country these days. I hear you about the little guys vs. the big box stores – many times I want to give the little guy my business but they don’t always have what I need. Lately I’ve been giving more business to an Ace Hardware – they are part of a chain but this particular location is a family owned franchise and they have cool things.
Thanks, Daisy for this article.
I am a published author. I self published my book and it is for sale on Amazon. It hasn’t sold a ton of copies, but that’s OK. I didn’t expect it to.
With all the “cancel culture” we are experiencing, I have become very depressed about trying again with something new. My “conservative” values will be loud and clear in anything I write.
I do have copies available at a local store, and occasionally I sell a copy, but not often. This little store is struggling, as are most of the shops in my small town. We will have some late night shopping coming up.
I hope people will look for self-published books for sale on Amazon or other sites. It would help out a lot. There are some amazing books out there, but it seems unless the author is “woke” they are being taken down. Please, don’t let this happen.