Christmas tree vendors brace for rush in spite of new Amazon service

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- With just a few days until Thanksgiving, people are buying many Christmas trees at the N.C. State Farmers Market in Raleigh.

Farmers and sellers who set up shops for the Christmas season told ABC11 business was a bit slower the weekend before Thanksgiving compared to last year, but they anticipate a big rush beginning Black Friday.

Vendors will be facing new competitors this year like Amazon.

The online retail giant is offering live Christmas trees for the first time this year.

The trees, sourced mainly from North Carolina and Michigan, cost anywhere from $20-$110 and with free Prime shipping, can be delivered within three to seven business days.

"It doesn't surprise me," said Luke Goss of Ashe County's Goss Tree Farms. "Amazon does everything."

Goss said while his family's business mainly sells wholesale, they aren't involved with Amazon and aren't that concerned about the new competition.

"Our trees- we're more focused on quality over quantity," he said. "These trees here, you don't find them in Lowe's and Home Depot. Amazon is- they want to go for a cheaper tree, something that is more affordable to somebody else."

Consumers picking out their trees at the Farmers Market on Monday said that while there's something to be said for convenience, they're in it for the experience of choosing just the right one.
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