ArrowOver the last two decades, Rayne has noticed, consumer buying habits have been subject to a digital revolution. With the rise of online shopping, purchases that would have been made locally, or even via mail-order, are now being made at lightning speed over the internet. It’s really a head-scratcher to think of something that can’t be bought and paid for through a computer. Water treatment is no exception. From the most basic of under-sink water filters to premium whole-house water filters and softeners, a healthy cross-section of products from all over the water treatment industry are able to be purchased online. But with anything you buy online, and most crucially with water treatment equipment, it’s important to keep in mind one of the most essential pieces of advice. Most of the time, when you’re looking to save a few bucks online, you often find that you get what you pay for. Here are just 4 reasons why buying local beats buying online.

The guy around the block is more accountable to you than the guy across the globe.

This is obvious. Johnny the water treatment guy, who you have a realistic chance of running into at the grocery store or golf course, is going to have much more of a vested interest in selling you reliable water treatment equipment than the faceless agent of an online water treatment company with a slick website but no physical presence in your community. This is one of the unspoken dangers of online commerce: the lack of accountability on the part of companies whose only overhead is a virtual online “storefront.” When you need assistance, the local dealer is only a phone call or short drive away, ready and willing to help solve your water treatment issue, since a happy customer means possible referrals for him down the line. But when something goes wrong with the equipment you bought from an online company, they often don’t have a service department to speak of, and you’re sadly left out to dry with your broken equipment.

When you buy local, you money stays in the community.

Money is the oil that keeps a local economy lubricated. When you purchase something from a local water treatment dealer, it’s more likely that your funds will stay in the community, improving the local economy and, in turn, improving conditions for you in the long run. But when you buy online from a company with no local presence in your community, that money logically has little to no chance of bolstering the economy of your area. It may not even remain in the country, depending on where the company you choose sources its equipment from. If you care even one bit about where you buy your products from, you should always try to buy local.

Local companies can’t make up their reputations.

With the rapid rise of online review sites like Yelp, foursquare, and Angie’s List, local companies now have a long virtual paper-trail reflecting their business reputation, and it’s created by people who are always right: the customers. There’s no discounting the psychological power of a wall of five-star reviews on the review page of a business on any of these sites, because it projects consistency, reliability, and customer satisfaction. As social creatures, we tend to patronize businesses that have a previous history of providing excellent customer service, and since we can easily add to a company’s sterling reputation with our own review, any self-respecting company knows that each new customer holds a bit of power in their typing fingers to further enhance, or potentially tarnish, a company’s reputation if they believe they didn’t get the level of service they feel they deserved.

Buy local and protect yourself from online scammers.

This is the sad reality of the internet: for every legitimate local business out there with an online presence, there are a myriad of fly-by-night operations with no intention at all of providing any product or service. With the right web designer, these unscrupulous predators can put up a flashy-looking site that promises the world, but delivers nothing. There’s a reason why a popular name for internet scams is “phishing,” since a slickly-designed website is the perfect “bait” for reeling in innocent victims who are all too eager to share their credit card information in the hopes of either saving a large amount of money or trying out a supposedly “revolutionary” water treatment technology that turns out to be pseudoscientific nonsense. Meeting in person with a local water treatment company you found online, however, is a much safer tactic. Since you can use the power of the internet to research the company’s reputation, find their physical address, and even browse their selection, all before you even decide to set an appointment with them. Why take a risk with a company with no sense of duty to deliver on its claims, when you can select an established local company (like Rayne Water Systems)and keep then honest yourself?

These are just a few points to consider when deciding between a local or online water treatment dealer, but in the end it’s you, the consumer, who gets to decide what you want most from the water treatment company you choose. Is the most important thing reliability, accountability, and excellent customer service; or is it saving a couple bucks now at the risk of being stuck with inferior equipment down the road, or simply getting scammed out of all your money at the click of a mouse?

To schedule a free consultation with a Rayne Water Systems water treatment professional on how easy it is to improve the quality of your water, and for a free, basic, no obligation water test, visit www.raynedrops.com or call toll-free: 800.594.3300