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Thread: Expectations when ordering online?

  1. #1
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    For those of you who order online, I have a question:

    If you order several fabrics that are part of a collection, and the store is sold out of one of them, do they ever contact you before shipping your order, to ask if you still want the other ones? Or do they just send what they have?

    I can imagine a situation where you need them all for a project with a deadline, and might not want to wait for a backorder... or where you'd be quite inconvenienced by having to search elsewhere for the "missing fabric".

    Just wondering what your experiences have been...? Or what your expectations are?

  2. #2
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Some of the sites have a list where you choose what to do - send what you have, cancel, follow directions I type into empty box below.. . I'm a fan of those

  3. #3
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    If its a store that doesn't have the box to check...(contact me i, etc.) then I make sure I type that into the notes on the order to contact me if any item is unavailable.

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I absolutely expect to be contacted if any part of my order can't be filled or if it is different than the ad suggests. This doesn't apply just to fabrics in a collection. I had that happen recently when ordering online, on ebay. The store contacted me to say that the shade of one of the fabrics was listed incorrectly, and did I still want it. I did, but it was very professional of them to ask. (In case you're wondering, it was crowsnestquiltingfabrics, a wonderful ebay fabric seller.)

  5. #5
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    I've have always been called to tell me they are out.

  6. #6
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I have another comment. I really expect a site's online inventory system to prevent showing yardage that they don't have. It would be very frustrating to put together an order and then find out that fabrics were listed, and orders taken, on yardage that didn't exist. I probably would not order from that site again. Most of the sites have this feature; they show the current number of yards available and you theoretically can't order more than they have. I'm sure the system can get out of whack occasionally, but it should work most of the time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster
    I have another comment. I really expect a site's online inventory system to prevent showing yardage that they don't have. It would be very frustrating to put together an order and then find out that fabrics were listed, and orders taken, on yardage that didn't exist. I probably would not order from that site again. Most of the sites have this feature; they show the current number of yards available and you theoretically can't order more than they have. I'm sure the system can get out of whack occasionally, but it should work most of the time.
    this is the norm at Joanns and that is why i will not order fabric from them. if there is a great sale like free shipping on $25 i will order batting or thread but NEVER fabric since each and every time i have ordered fabric i never received it as they were sold out. even after receiving an order i have gone as far as re checking Joanns and they will still have that fabric listed. i have called the manager asking why they would do that and i was not given a real answer just some round about Bull SH**

  8. #8
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    Many times I have been contacted.

    Many of the online sites are women running the business right out of their home. I have met some wonderful women by ordering online. When I know it is a small business I try to order as much as I can from them before using some of the larger companies.

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I do check the area asking my preference as to what to send, cancel order, etc...
    I also will do as previously stated and leave instructions in a comment box.
    Receiving a partial order, without my consent is not acceptable to me.
    I don't care whether they email or call me, but please, one or the other!!!
    I have also had them suggest another fabric, from the collection if my choice is unavailable. That was a nice gesture, also.

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    I get the cheapest fabrics from fabric.com and if you use their coupon codes (on retailmenot.com) they have a 30 percent off entire order if its over 50$ they also have some if your oder is less, and when you order it tells you how many yards they have in stock, and if its on backorder it tells you that automatically when your shopping, I love this site!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohmisslizzie
    I get the cheapest fabrics from fabric.com and if you use their coupon codes (on retailmenot.com) they have a 30 percent off entire order if its over 50$ they also have some if your oder is less, and when you order it tells you how many yards they have in stock, and if its on backorder it tells you that automatically when your shopping, I love this site!
    to add to this if it is the end of the bolt they give you what is let for free. I just got a little less then a yd for free when I ordered flannel. the other thing is something if they don't have it in one length they will call you and let you know. then to make it up for there mistake this is what they do if you wanted 2 yd but the have 1 3/4 of one piece and 3/4 of a seond piece they will send you all of that. the are also cut 37" and most time it is longer then that. great place to shop

  12. #12
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohmisslizzie
    I get the cheapest fabrics from fabric.com and if you use their coupon codes (on retailmenot.com) they have a 30 percent off entire order if its over 50$ they also have some if your oder is less, and when you order it tells you how many yards they have in stock, and if its on backorder it tells you that automatically when your shopping, I love this site!
    I love fabric.com also...I've bought lots from them. I didn't know about this retailmenot though...I have to go check that out!

    Wow...that is the best site! Thanks for sharing it, I'm sure I'll use it for more than the fabrics!

  13. #13
    quiltluvr's Avatar
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    I would very much appreciate knowing ahead of time if my order cannot filled as stated.

    Because of it being online, I would tend to feel the shop would have the responsibility to communicate to their customer for any reason they cannot fill the order. How else would the customer know? I think it would be a bad business practice too.

    It's a two way street. When the customer knows, "she" can then have the option to look elsewhere, see if it can be backordered, or make whatever decision "she" needs too concerning "her" project. It fosters good customer relations, which may lead to increased sales by recommendations/word of mouth, gains consumer confidence and develops good communication skills.

  14. #14
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster
    I really expect a site's online inventory system to prevent showing yardage that they don't have... Most of the sites have this feature; they show the current number of yards available and you theoretically can't order more than they have. I'm sure the system can get out of whack occasionally, but it should work most of the time.
    There are several valid reasons why the inventory shown can be off. Most likely the problem is that while most customers are ordering via the online shopping cart (which will track inventory perfectly), some customers will be ordering by phone or as a "walk-in" and that is where things get "out of whack"... until the website owner runs a program to synchronize the website shopping cart with the actual (physical) inventory. Commonly this is done once a day. Also... there's the whole issue of "shrinkage". If you have a new 15-yard bolt, and you're generous in your cuts, giving an extra inch or two, you don't actually have 15 yards to sell, you have more like 14. Or you might encounter a flaw somewhere in the bolt, and that reduces the actual amount available to sell (but you don't know that, until you're unrolling the fabric).

    And then... there's the problem that two three-yard cuts do not *really* equal six yards...




  15. #15
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    Some of the sites have a list where you choose what to do - send what you have, cancel, follow directions I type into empty box below.. . I'm a fan of those
    Me too!


  16. #16
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite Fabrics
    There are several valid reasons why the inventory shown can be off. Most likely the problem is that while most customers are ordering via the online shopping cart (which will track inventory perfectly), some customers will be ordering by phone or as a "walk-in" and that is where things get "out of whack"... until the website owner runs a program to synchronize the website shopping cart with the actual (physical) inventory. Commonly this is done once a day. Also... there's the whole issue of "shrinkage". If you have a new 15-yard bolt, and you're generous in your cuts, giving an extra inch or two, you don't actually have 15 yards to sell, you have more like 14. Or you might encounter a flaw somewhere in the bolt, and that reduces the actual amount available to sell (but you don't know that, until you're unrolling the fabric).

    And then... there's the problem that two three-yard cuts do not *really* equal six yards...
    All excellent points and many I would not have thought of but they make perfect sense.

    What do you mean two 3-yd cuts do not equal 6-yds?

  17. #17
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I would definitely want to be notified prior to the order being filled. I like have the check boxes and also put comments specifying what my expectations are. I also like having the quantity available listed, but if I absolutely must have something, I will call or email first to make sure they have the quantity I require (especially long cuts as I prefer not to piece borders unless I have to). I would be open to suggestions for similar items to use in place of what I ordered.

    A few months ago, I received a package I wasn't expecting. It was a backordered item from an order I placed 4 months prior! No warning, no asking if I still wanted it. There was no estimated date on their website. I thought it was discontinued. It wasn't worth the hassle of returning, so I kept it. But I have not ordered from there again. If you don't have it, say so. If you can give a resonably firm timeframe for backorders, please communicate it with the customer so we can make an informed decision.

    It's good you are polling your potential customers...to me, it shows you care how we feel! Good luck! :)

  18. #18
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffany
    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite Fabrics
    And then... there's the problem that two three-yard cuts do not *really* equal six yards...
    What do you mean two 3-yd cuts do not equal 6-yds?
    Sorry! I really wasn't being very clear on that one!

    What I meant to say was: if you need six yards all in one piece, or a four-yard piece plus a two-yard piece, then even though it adds up to six yards, it still won't do (if what's available is two 3-yard pieces).

  19. #19
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Exactly!!! If I want to do borders in a continuous length, I would not be happy being sent two pieces instead of one whole length!!

    Another thing I encounter... Not all websites tell you how big the swatch is that you are viewing. I love it when it is stated, it could be 2X2" up to 12X12" we would have no idea...and that can make a difference to me and what I am looking for.

  20. #20
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Lots of places will just place a ruler on top of the fabric at the bottom of the picture -- that helps tremendously!!


  21. #21
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I placed an order this morning with fabric.com...After I hit place order...my computer thought...and thought...and thought...and thought.....now I'm in a quandry..do I hit place order again??? do I try to cancel?? wonder if they got it??? Then I noticed they had a place for Live Chat on the sidebar....GREAT!!! I got a live person in like 5 secs...problem solved...it was great..wish all the stores had this..My order has even already shipped! I do love that site!

  22. #22
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandpat
    I placed an order this morning with fabric.com...After I hit place order...my computer thought...and thought...and thought...and thought.....now I'm in a quandry..do I hit place order again??? do I try to cancel?? wonder if they got it??? Then I noticed they had a place for Live Chat on the sidebar....GREAT!!! I got a live person in like 5 secs...problem solved...it was great..wish all the stores had this..My order has even already shipped! I do love that site!

    I also love fabric.com -- and their little special deals you get occasionally. The other day I got an email from them stating "happy anniversary" -- it had been 2 years since I had first started ordering from them and they sent me a 20% off coupon....I used it that day :oops: :oops:


  23. #23
    Senior Member zkosh's Avatar
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    I order from a number of online shops and I have had wonderful service. In many cases the order has arrived very quickly. I also like that many shops notify you when the shipment is sent. I have been able to locate coordinates of fabric that were sold out in the LQS and been able to take advantage of sales, closeouts, and other great offers.

    I just have to watch myself that I don't find too many offers irresistible. :D It is so easy that happens sometimes. :!:

  24. #24
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    It happens ALL the time to me....yesterday..DH just smiled and said "My mom used to make quilts and she never bought all that stuff"...and I said " yes...and she cut up the clothes you were wearing and used flour sacks to boot...want to run get me some of those?????" :wink:

    Actually...he doesn't care and loves what I make..He just likes to play with me. :roll:

  25. #25
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825
    It's good you are polling your potential customers...to me, it shows you care how we feel! :)
    Katie, I asked because I do care what people think. One of the differences of selling online is that you don't really know how well you've done in terms of pleasing your customers. Occasionally we get some feedback, but the vast majority of our customers just quietly go their way without a comment. Unlike when you greet customers face-to-face, and you can see a smile or a frown or a puzzled look.

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