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Thread: Why is it??

  1. #1
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I TRY to support my LQSs, I really do. I want them to be there when I need something fast and in a pinch! Problem being, *I* think my money looks so much better in my pocket than it does in theirs!

    I went to a LQS/Sewing store to check on a FMQ foot for my Janome. $79.95! I don't have that kind of money...so I came home and looked online. I found both the closed and the open toe feet for less that $30 with shipping! I was totally amazed...what makes for that kind of difference in pricing?

    I know the stores have overhead, and expenses to pay, but sheese...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Gilla's Avatar
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    Whatever the market will bear. This is why many LQS go out of business. I try to support the locals, but I live on a limited budget and often times the chains have equally good fabrics, etc. at less expensive prices. You may not get the same service, but....

  3. #3
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Maybe it's a case of no overhead. No rent, employee salaries, etc. I know what you mean about the money looking good in your pocket. These days we're all trying to save wherever we can.

  4. #4
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    i may be off-base, but i've more-or-less come to the conclusion that all but the huge LQS are out of touch with the times. they seem content to cater to women who don't need to work outside the home to make ends meet.

    first clue? their hours. the nearest shop to me is only open 4-1/2 days a week! it opens late and closes early. by the time i'm done work, it's too late to go. that means if i want to shop there, i have to arrange my whole saturday to their convenience. none seem to be open on sundays.

    it's a bit of a shame, really. although her prices are higher than most of the places i shop online, they are (1) lower than a great many of the hoity-toity online shops; and (2) often "low" enough to compete when i need something special and want to buy in-person.

    i guess my money isn't green enough to count. :lol:

  5. #5
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I know exactly what you mean...our LQS is owned by a lovely person, but her opening hours are a little odd and as the shopping centre the store is in is a little out of the way....so often I give it a miss and make a list for when I go to our next regional centre about 30 mins away. There are 2 large chains, plus a quite large LQS there so usually I can find what I need between the three.

    I try and support our LQS, but fabrics are limited and far more expensive than the larger stores, so mostly I buy thread or small bits and pieces. Reality is, most of us don't have large amounts of money to splash out just to keep the little guys going....sad, but true of our times.

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    My LQS seldom has more than 2 other people shopping in it whenever I have stopped in. They have to pay their 2 worker's whether they only have a couple of shoppers or a store full...they could drop their prices and could more than make up for it by sales volume.
    Their yardage averages $9 up and one does have a wall of $5 fabric, but most has been sitting there for the last 6 months....truly what no one wants...

  7. #7
    Super Member OHSue's Avatar
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    I understand what you are saying. I have an LQS that I love and do often buy fabric there, but would never consider buying backing fabric or muslin there. I especially would never think of buying a notion there that I could find at Joanns or Hobby Lobby with a coupon for much less.
    But they are very helpful, free FQ with every purchase (no matter how small), good classes and good fabric selelction and reasonable hours.
    But I usually find myself buying my books at Amazon and my notions with a coupon.
    They are usually busy enough, but still find time to help you and ask about any projects.

  8. #8
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I think that with the economy being the way it is...we all have to tighten our belts to some extent, and they need to realize with chain stores around the corner they are sending us there when a lot of us would rather keep our money local and support the smaller business people. But I only have so much to spend each month and have to go where the prices fit MY budget.

  9. #9

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    [quote=PatriceJ]i may be off-base, but i've more-or-less come to the conclusion that all but the huge LQS are out of touch with the times. they seem content to cater to women who don't need to work outside the home to make ends meet.

    first clue? their hours.

    Patrice I think you are absolutely correct based on an experience I had about six years ago. I wanted a Bernina machine so I decided to try one out before spending that kind of money (it wasn't a top of the line model). I went to the only quilt shop in my area that sells them and asked if I could try one. As I was sewing, the bobbin thread kept tangling on the back of the practice piece. I jokingly said, why is that happening is it me? And the lady said "it must be". I was a bit put off by that. Then I asked about additional feet and the cost. I thought they were quite expensive, I asked her if I could use the snap-on feet that I already have and her response was "why would you want to". I got up and walked out of the shop, but I was so embarrassed. Let me just say that I would handle the situation very differently today. :twisted:

  10. #10

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    Sorry, I can never get the quote thing right. Grrrrrrr!!!

  11. #11
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I do agree that their prices tend to be much higher than on-line and their hours are horrible for working people. On the other hand, I think that something has to be said about the fact that your LQS gives you the advantage of picking up an item that you need right away. Isn't it wonderful to need something and go there pick it up and having it right now rather than days or even weeks later?

    Also keep in mind that after you pay shipping the price will be higher than listed. I prefer to pay a little more and be able to touch my fabrics and get the true colors rather than guessing from printed pictures. If you get a defective item you can exchange right away instead of waiting for weeks for a box to put it in and then mail it and wait for a replacement or even worse, you having to pay for the shipping on the return.

    When I put all this things into perspective, I have to love my LQS even if it charges me more.

    With that being said, I keep an eye open to make sure they don't over do it with the charges and I wish they had better hours. I have had to rush from work to make sure I am in before closing time, but sometimes if I call and let them know I am coming they wait for me.

    Maria

  12. #12
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    the first time i saw LQS prices i nearly fainted. i swore then and there that i would NEVER take my business to an LQS.

    since then, i've gained more experience shopping for quilting fabrics and supplies. i've learned to compare LQS to online prices by adding in the cost of shipping before i do the next-level math. (of course, since my nearest LQS is an hour away, i also have to factor in my time, gas, and the inevitable who-can-go-to-savannah-and-NOT-stop-for-lunch? expenses.)

    the LQS nearest me usually has a very nice selection of fabs on sale. her regular prices average $1 less per yard than other LQS i've seen in person and online. in fact, at least half of the yardage in the joann's down the road are priced higher and none of them are nearly as nice. her notions are priced competitively when compared to almost any other source. they're very nice people. i could go on. suffice it to say that i could write a nice long list of compliments.

    my intent is not to "slam" this LQS or others. i enthusiastically recommend it often to others i know like to shop in LQS.

    still, as an individual, i remain stuck on two key points which seem to apply to LQS in general. all but the sale fabs are priced higher than i normally pay online - shipping included. and i have to rearrange my life to shop there.

    if LQS are content (and can stay in business) catering to a narrow slice of the market, and if their customers are content to cater to the convenience of the LQS, i say "more power" to all involved. freedom of choice and all that.

    it simply does not work for me. and i won't "work for them." :roll: :lol:

  13. #13
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Maybe part of the price difference in the feet was brand name at the LQS vs. generic online?

    I have to agree with Maride, I much prefer shopping locally. I have several wonderful quilt shops within an hour's drive and seldom buy fabric online anymore. I was often so disappointed with the colors, textures, and quality when I did that I wound up spending more to "correct" the situation than I would have if I'd just stayed local. :roll:

    Several shops here are open at least one evening a week, all are open six days a week for at least seven hours. One is open seven days, nine hours a day, eight on Sunday. I have never, ever had any complaints with customer service at any of them and have written more than once to thank them for exceptional service. I know how very lucky I am to have them so close and will do my part to keep them here. :oops:

    No, I don't have money to burn, but I'd much rather spend what I have to benefit neighbors than send it all over the country to strangers. If someone here keeps their job because of that, so much the better! :D

  14. #14
    Senior Member ai731's Avatar
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    I know what you mean. I'd love to shop more at my LQS because I want to support the local shops, but not to the tune of paying double for fabric that I can get at the big chain store in the city or online. Luckily, my LQS sells really good batting at a very reasonable price, so I buy my batting, and the occasional FQ at my LQS, and most of my fabric and notions either online of from the big chains.

    Jan

  15. #15
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I won't support a LQS that has snobitude. Just because the store is local doesn't mean a thing to me.

  16. #16
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I have one shop about 20 miles away that I LOVE! Go in, and the owner is chipper, glad to see me, and ever-so-willing to help. I try to buy at least one or two things from her every time I go, because I want her to succeed. I'm willing to pay a bit more for those few items.

    The shop in the town where I live however...my sis in law, Peggy (candella59) went in there one day without me. Peggy is a brand new sewer/quilter....in the past two months, she's done just two projects, and they are her first. She's also quite shy and embarrasses easily. She wanted a solid for a border for her first quilting project, a set of placemats. The old snag in this shop informed her that "this is a REAL quilt shop, and REAL quilt shops don't carry solids." :shock: Peggy asked if that was something then, that she would have to pick up somewhere like Joanne's. OMG! You'd have thought she'd asked the woman if she was wearing panties that day! She had a sarcastic remark for Peggy, who left the shop nearly in tears... we don't go back there at all....

    The shop where I saw the presser foot for my machine? Beautiful big store...and the folks are friendly when they pay attention to you...but way over priced in my opinion. Considering that I'm a beginner, I can't see paying $120 for the fabric to make a quilt top that I know is going to turn out less than perfect at this point. I'm still "practicing"... so the LQSs aren't going to be making much profit from me for awhile until I get more confident. I just can't afford to pay $80 for ONE foot when I can get two for less than $30...as much as I would love to have them stay in business and be there for me when I need them, I can't do it...
    ~sigh~

  17. #17
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    OK, don't hit me -- but I LOVE my LQS!! Their prices are very reasonable -- most fabric is $5.95 yd. They have lots of patterns and "gadgets". Their hours are reasonable and the only thing I don't like is they're closed on Wednesdays....They have great classes at reasonable prices (most are $20/$25). And the service? Well, it just can't be beat!! I took my blue/yellow blocks from the swap and said, "help me". Well, they picked out a beautiful green that coordinates with other greens in the blocks as well as brings out the pretty blues and yellows. (I have the fabric cut to finish the top and it's next on the list so hopefully I can show it soon.) They also have a "card" system -- each time you spend any money, they punch your card and when it's full ($200), you get $20 off. (They also round "up" the amount so you don't actually spend $200 before your card is full...)

    I just don't know what I'd do without them.... :D :D


  18. #18
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    i think the luvable LQSs far outnumber the SnobShops. thank goodness!

    sewjoyce, i don't want to hit you for loving that shop. i might want to smack you around a little, though, if you didn't appreciate such a jewel. my only complaint is that it's too far away to shop there myself! :cry:

    i'm tempted, sometimes, to exploit an LQS for research and then buy elsewhere. i might do it, too, if they treated me badly enough. for the mostpart, though, i'd want to show my [secret] appreciation for the chance to preview my purchases in person. if they had what i wanted but i truly couldn't pay their prices, i'd hunt around until i found something i could afford and buy it. fair is fair and, after all, they provided a valuable service - whether they knew it or not. :wink:

  19. #19
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    LQS lightbulb for my sewing machine $30.00
    Online $15.99
    Why would I want to support the LQS? I could'nt believe the difference.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    I won't support a LQS that has snobitude. Just because the store is local doesn't mean a thing to me.
    The LQS near me is way overpriced, and the people there are just mean. The couple times I've gone in there, they looked at me like I was a freak (yes, I'm younger than the average quilter, but come on), and they ignored me when I tried to get help. So I just don't go there anymore.

    I'm lucky in that there's a fabric outlet not too far from my house -- last year's designer fabrics for between $2.98 and $5.98, and the place is HUGE. They also have cheaper fabric for $1.89, which has been a real godsend for me as I'm practicing my machine quilting. The newer stuff in the front of the store is $8.98, but I avoid that stuff, because I'm cheap ;)

    I had a real good laugh a few weeks back -- they had this nice looking green fabric with gold stars selling for $1.89, which I grabbed a couple of yards of for some Christmas projects. Went to Joann's later that day, and they had the same exact fabric selling for $8.99!

  21. #21
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    was that the darning foot? it has a spring on the shaft. i have two of them and dont' remember them being that much money. but i have a Janome MC4800.

  22. #22
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nativetexan
    was that the darning foot? it has a spring on the shaft. i have two of them and dont' remember them being that much money. but i have a Janome MC4800.
    Yeppers....that would be the one...

  23. #23
    thismomquilts's Avatar
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    I believe each LQS has it's own personality. The one that was CLOSEST to me was the worst - she was so busy with her classes or her own projects that she never had the time of day for any casual customer. One that went out of business (due to not enough business) was run by an older couple who just wanted to provide a place for ladies to come in and spend their time there... so sweet. The one I usually go to - I feel like Norm walking in to Cheers!! :) I took my stepdaughters in to choose their fabrics - they got a big kick out of it!! Then there's THE one - too far to go often but when I walked in after not having been there in almost a year - they REMEMBERED me!!! I was shocked...

    I am one of those 'women who don't work outside the home' but still have a schedule to keep and don't always get to go during open hours either but if I really want to quilt with their fabric or buy whatever - I just work my schedule around theirs!!!

  24. #24
    Member Marnie's Avatar
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    I paid $39.99, here in Canada, from the shop where I bought my Janome.

  25. #25
    wordmama's Avatar
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    I know my LQS owner from my quilt guild. She really takes a personal interest in all of her customers and treats them well. I can't get down to her shop as often as I'd like. I shop sales and the clearance racks. I buy books there, but not often, because I like the immediate gratification. Her fabric is good quality and that's important.

    I also shop another place that's closer to my work when I need something right away. They don't have a lot of fabric, but I can usually find something that works.

    I also shop at a store in Shipshewana in Indiana Amish country that has good fabric and good prices. The staff are very helpful.

    I guess I like shopping in person. I haven't seen prices that are that good on the internet once you figure in the shipping and I don't always want to spend a big chunk of money ($50 or more) to get free shipping. Plus I don't trust color matching online.

    I like supporting my LQS's because of the "extras" they provide in service and accessibility.

    That was long. Sorry.

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