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Thread: Just curious, quilting website questions.....

  1. #1
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    Cool Just curious, quilting website questions.....

    I am curious, what attracts you to quilting supplies websites? Is it prices? What they have to offer? What do you like to see on those websites? I am doing some marketing research and appreciate any input the pros here have to offer!

  2. #2
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    all of the above.
    i check them out if they are easy to navigate- prices are not ridiculous- have a nice variety/selection- offer flexable shipping options-
    if they load too much 'stuff' on a page so it takes forever to load- i move on-
    the best ones are ones that allow you to choose how much to see (as in 10 items showing- click here to see 20, 50, all ect.)
    if the shop seems to waste my time i will not go back
    so i guess time/ ease of navigation- user friendly is top on the list- with presentation being next- then prices- then shipping/ shopping cart features.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  3. #3
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    Usually what they have to offer, sometimes prices. If I have seen a fabric that I really love I usually check out the LQS by vieing on their website and sometimes calling before I drive anywhere due to the cost of gas. I don't mind driving there if they have what I want/need (usually want). If no one local has it I go online looking. There are a couple of shops that I know what they carry such as Moona Fabrics has more modern fabric lines (Art Gallery, Amy Butler looking fabrics) and because their prices are so good if that is what I am looking for I go there first. I would say it is a combination of choices and prices. I do try to support some of the local shops, especially those that go out of their way with opening up classrooms for free sew days and things like that.

  4. #4
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    I like to shop at stores, on-line or brick and mortor where they carry full fabric lines.

  5. #5
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    I am an avid window shopper - in person and online. I could do it for hours and never buy anything. But if it takes too long to load a page I will go spend my time elsewhere. Now, if I need something and can't find it locally, I will shop at where ever I can get the best price with the best shipping costs, and it is a reputable website.
    Linda

  6. #6
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    I live in an area where we have to travel to get to any stores other than our LQS. It is a great store but the owner can only carry so much stuff. I do go on line to look at whats new or get a list together and make th trip to where several stores are and make a day of it. With gas prices what they are, I will be doing more online shopping. Our LQS will try to get things that for us if she can. Sometimes they have to order too many of one thing to make it worth while for them to do it.
    Maggi Taffi

  7. #7
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    I go to online fabric and quilt shops because I like to look at what they stock. I like to see fabrics and different quilt patterns. If I am looking for something specific, I can usually find it. Although the colors on the monitor can't always be trusted, I haven't have very many unhappy surprises. I especially look at prices.
    I do shop at our local quilt shops also. I just have more time in the evenings to look and online shops are always available.

  8. #8
    Junior Member elseebee's Avatar
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    I shop a lot inline because I live in a remote area and don't get to the LQSs as much as I'd like. I want a page that is organized and easy to navigate. One thing I really like is shops that organize their fabrics by colors, manufacturer, designer, etc. That way, if I've seen a picture of a fabric, but don't know all the details, I can usually find it quicker. Plus, I have certain designers I love (like Holly Taylor), so when I see their name, I can go straight there.

    After I've ordered, customer service is most important. I want to receive my order in a timely manner- or hear from the website owner as to what the problem is. I also appreciate online stores who give you the option of "send me what you have", "call me if you can't fill it", etc.

  9. #9
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Easy to read site. If the site is not easy I will go to another. I google sites for what I am looking for and then go from shop to shop. Sometimes word of mouth that the shop has a lot of fabric or good prices. Free tutorials are helpful to some of us.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  10. #10
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    I look for good quality supplies, the ideas they offer for using the products they carry, and things that aren't available locally. Especially with gas prices over $4 per gallon and being 20 to 50 miles from other shops than my local, I try to check out stuff that my LQS can't carry for whatever reason and isn't able to order themselves (I have been able to SO some items, but others just aren't available through their suppliers.) The web sites' organization, photos of actual products and finished projects all help me make my decisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by sewhappy_5 View Post
    I am curious, what attracts you to quilting supplies websites? Is it prices? What they have to offer? What do you like to see on those websites? I am doing some marketing research and appreciate any input the pros here have to offer!

  11. #11
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    1. reputation (esp. when someone on the board speaks highly of or recommends one of their notions)
    2. ease of navigation through site and variety of items
    3. cost including free shipping
    4. if the site offers other things... I am likely to navigate to that site and stumble upon something I want (ex: Leah Day has great tutorials on FMQ; after I check out the info, I end up buying something.)
    5. Samples of completed projects using the notion or tutorials on how to use it help.

  12. #12
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Lots of choices and reasonable prices! I'm a gadget freak--can't help myself, if it looks handy, I buy it I'd also like a more visible newsletter sign up so I can opt out of them. If you have good products and reasonable prices I don't have to be inundated with a gadrillion emails and newsletters because I will most certainly come back. Also, shipping is a biggie. I've had a site charge me for priority shipping but didn't ship for 4 days!
    Bernie

  13. #13
    Junior Member Christine George's Avatar
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    I like the Connecting Threads site because it's so fun to look at. They make it colorful and zesty. I will confess though, the only thing I buy from there is thread. Good spot for that. Fabric? I like "Thousands of Bolts". Not as colorful, but I can buy end cuts from there for great prices (cuts that are like 13" x WOF). I love scrap quilts and string quilts so those cuts work great for me.

  14. #14
    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    I like quality products, plenty of choice and reasonable shipping. It's great if you can set up a search engine that actually works, and will pull up, for example, all "green prints" when I want them. All too often I'll try to do something like that and all I get is "no products found". Really? A whole site without a single green -- or blue -- print? No, that's a lousy search engine, and it means I have to waste a lot of time going through the entire site, so I don't bother. I do buy a lot from the Connecting Threads site because it's fun to look at and well organized. I really like the fact that if you buy $50 worth of fabric, the shipping is free. I'll often make sure I buy that much in order to get the free shipping. They have low to reasonable prices and great fabrics. Why can't other sites do it?

    If it's a new site, I'll buy a very small amount just to see what kind of quality and customer service I get. I once spent quite a bit at a site, based on excellent reputation, and the fabric was horrible. So horrible I now use it for practice only, and it wasn't cheap! But customer service was nasty, and there was no way they'd let me return it. You can be sure I'll never buy from them again. The kicker here is that if I mentioned the name, everyone on this thread would recognize it!

    I keep going back to sites that supply quality fabrics for reasonable prices, and who treat me like a customer should be treated. I'm a nice person. I will bend over backwards to help make something right. I am 100% kind to the person in customer service, no matter how badly they treat me. I've never lost my temper on the phone. I just don't use the site again if customer service gets nasty with me. (Oh, you'd be surprised!) Customer service is your front line, the "face" of your site. If they can't be nice to customers, regardless of circumstances, then you will lose customers, full stop. That doesn't mean they have to "cave in" every time a customer makes a demand. I have no problem accepting the boundaries of a transaction, what they legally can and cannot do for a given transaction, as long as they are explained clearly and kindly to me. No problem, and I think that would be true for most anyone, unless they have a chip on their shoulder. But don't sell me $11/yard fabric that is so thin is practically transparent, and then refuse to take it back!

    Oh, and I shop on line because I only have one decent Quilt Shop available to me, and while it's very nice, it doesn't carry everything. So my on line purchases supplement that.

    One thing I would LOVE to see in an on line store is coordinated fabrics, so that when I'm putting a quilt together, I have all of the coordinating fabrics in one place, and I don't have to go from shop to shop, and just hope the colors will coordinate. So carrying a line of coordinating fabrics would score high on my list.

    And finally, having a design board, where I can put fabrics and look at them next to each other, is high on my priority list. Even if the colors don't ring true on my screen, and I don't have a lot of problem with that because I have the latest Mac, and they are fabulous for colors, but you never know under what conditions the photos were taken -- the wrong light can throw colors off. But being able to put the fabrics next to each other helps to make up for those kinds of problems.

    Hope this helps.
    MacThayer

  15. #15
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    I am so grateful for these wonderful replies!!!! Keep em coming! It seems ease of navigation, shipping prices and customer service are the three top ones!

  16. #16
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    I'm about the prices first but I wont go back to a site where your looking at fabric and you click it and it's out of stock, fine if it happens once but I'm turned off when they are failing to do to updates and there are pages of fabric and notions I can't have!
    I love the ones with good search engines too. I like to know what's in stock as well, that is a great feature!
    *Rachel*

  17. #17
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    I buy almost all of my fabric on line. I like to have the fabric searchable by many different methods. I usually select a fabric on equilter.com and then look to see if other sites have it and fabrics to go with it. If their sites aren't as easy to use as equilter's, I leave them in a blink of an eye! To me, that site is the benchmark all should aim for. I can find the exact type of pattern, the exact color I want. That's what I'm shopping for. Then their feature of the "design board" is excellent.
    Last edited by TanyaL; 03-22-2012 at 04:30 AM.

  18. #18
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    I shop on line and in store. If I am in a rush I will spend the extra bucks at LQS. If not in a hurry, I get fabric info and search online for good prices.. free shipping, etc

  19. #19
    Super Member gramquilter2's Avatar
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    For me it is what they have to offer. If I can't find the product/fabric/tools/books in my home state, I shop on line.

  20. #20
    Junior Member SandyQuilter's Avatar
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    I hate sites that price by the yard. Seems they are trying to fool the buyer, even if it is not so.
    What I like:
    Sites easy to navigate
    Load quickly
    Have variety of fabric easy to locate by manufacturer/color
    Ease of checking out and returning to shop buttons
    What I don't like: a site that only gives an alphabet selection with no indication of what is under the J or K or S.

    SandyQuilter

  21. #21
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    All of the above, but I find that too many ads from other companies on a quilt site turn me off. I appreciate timely updating of available fabric, online BOM clubs, competitively priced fabric and reasonable shipping. I know packing is costly, but when I see a notion that I must have, it isn't the price of the notion but get turned off by outrageous shipping. A handy hint area with screened contributions from customers would be unique.

    I also like pictures of completed blocks or projects using patterns from books. Gasoline is getting costly, and a trip to the closest LQS costs me almost $6.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  22. #22
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    It's the kind of quilt blocks they show, and fabric selection

  23. #23
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Ease of navigation, fast page-loading
    Everything in the store organized logically, as in a real store.
    Fabric sorted by manufacturer and line, other items sorted by type - pins all together, Thread Heaven and thimbles together, scissors and snippers together, etc.
    Good selection, latest products - "New Products" category is helpful for frequent visitors
    Ease of placing an order
    Estimated shipping date and delivery date provided at time of order
    Prices not out of line - if everyone else is selling a product for $22 and one site has it for $32, I tend to assume that all their stock is likewise overpriced and I leave the site.

  24. #24
    Junior Member colleen1978's Avatar
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    When I visit a site...

    I am looking for reasonable prices and shipping, quality, and I like freebies such as patterns, quilt labels or computer wallpaper featuring fabrics I like. I also like the sites with design boards so that I can see my choices against each other. When you are scrolling through lots of fabric, it's hard to keep them all straight and know what looks good together.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Elaine433's Avatar
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    The first thing I look for is an easy to navigate site. If it is too slow loading or just a confusing site, I leave and go no further. If I can get around easily, I look for the type of fabrics that I like as far as style, colors, manufacture. Then I look at price. If all these things are good, I look at their shipping charge. If even that looks good, they have a new customer.
    If it doesn't look good, I move on. There are just too many stores out there carrying the same exact fabrics. I am probably fussy but I believe that with my money I can pick and choose where I want to shop.

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