Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A complaint

I love sale time, I admit I'd much rather buy something on sale than part with more money than I have too, reasoning I can spend the same amount yet get twice as much. Any one who sews will understand about being in love with $34+ per meter fabrics but not being able to justify 4 metres of it to be added to the stash. I'm on many fabric stores mailing list, which is bad for my bank balance and my stash.

On the 16th of June, I received an email from the Melbourne fabric store, advising of the start of their sale, the mailing list (VIP) members received 40% off store wide if you went in before Friday the 20th. After that the sale would be 30% off store wide.

Understandably, I wasn't interested in going as at that stage as couldn't get into the store with working full time.

I forgot about the sale until I received another email on Saturday morning 21/7 advising most wool was now 50% off, great I thought, thinking of the McCall's Coat pattern I recently
purchased. I was hoping for a red, pink or plum wool suitable for the coat.
I went in that day when we were in the area looking for furniture, darling Ben waited very patiently almost until the end. :)

It was quiet in there store, the ladies there were friendly, offering their assistance and taking bolts of fabric to the counter for me. I had a pleasant hour wandering around and then purchasing my fabric, I didn't get any wool as they didn't have the colours I wanted.

To the complaint part; today I received an email from the fabric store advising of that all* fabrics were now 50% off for the last 5 days till August the 12th!

I thought of the $100+ I spent (I'm not telling exactly how much :)), and I started to get annoyed, this seemed to happen to me on a regular basis with their sales.

I question the marketing strategy of the fabric store, they want customers to come in early and buy up, yet they will reward the customers that come in last with a bigger discount!

I don't flatter myself that I'm the only one that this is happened to, but this is the third time I have gone to one of the Melbourne Fabric stores sales and days later the sale is a percentage lower, so I thought I'd voice my opinion and frustrations.

I understand what running a business is like, in all businesses, even the big ones you have to watch the P&L, the margins, inventory etc, but at the same time you have to keep your customers happy, as without them you'll be won't be in business.

I'm not saying that I'll be won't be shopping there again, but I won't be going out of my way either which what I have done in the past, and since I live in an hour and 20 minutes away, I don't see how often I'll go there now.

Saying all that I have to say: I have receive good service at the Brunswick st. store, the ladies are friendly without being pushing, and they will help during sale time.

I got some lovely fabric from store (in the photo its the Karen Walker cotton stripe, Blue cotton silk animal print, raspberry silk seersucker, and pink and blue Milly fabric) I don't regret the purchasing the fabric as they are just lovely, but as I could of save over $50 it kinda hurts.

If you haven't been yet I would advise going before the sale ends. Get a bargain, cause I didn't.

Thanks for reading.



  1. That is tough and frustrating. On the upside for you I can't get good quality fabrics locally. Spotlight and Lincraft do carry some surprisingly good options but when I read about people buying wool, silk etc I feel frustrated that a city with great fabric stores are so so so far away. I know I can buy online but it's just not the same. And bring such a picky buyer I am sure I would only be disappointed!

  2. Such a shame really :( If the marketing program is deliberately like that, then it's not exactly a fair and ethical one. I've yet to make my way to the Fabric Store and honestly I've been champing at the bit to finally get over there. If I sign up to their mailing list, I'll be wary of such sales notices. Knowledge is power, but I agree - I'd prefer to have an extra $50 in my pocket where ever possible!

  3. These sales seem designed for people who live close by and can pop in three days in a row. I live 2 hours from any decent fabric store and I need to know way in advance if I'm going to plan a trip!

  4. I love The Fabric Store. It's arguably my fav place to buy fabric in Melbourne. Good quality and beautiful fabrics, huge range, great service (wonderful staff) and a non-intimidating environment. And, I do love their sales. But I absolutely relate to this post. I made a special effort to get in there on a Friday afternoon, only to find out afterwards that in fact the sale was continuing, and with a great % off - a little frustrating as a weekend visit would be so much easier. That said, I will definitely be back there :)

  5. I had a detailed chat in there one day with a very helpful assistant who explained how their sales normally work - that was back in November last year. When I was over in Melbourne in January, I got the first email about the VIP sale starting three days after I'd be home in Tassie. So I went in, pored over the rolls of fabric and they made me up a mail order sample card - you just ring and let them know which ones you want and pay over the phone and can pick it up later or have it mailed. Because the sales assistant had explained that they start with the VIP sale, then go general with 30%, then finally 50% off (all with some exclusions), I worked out which ones I definitely wanted and paid the 40% off VIP rate, taking a gamble that the pricier ones would still be there when it got to the 50% general sale. It seems like some staples never go on sale (white linen) and the late summer sale this year didn't include many of the merinos I liked. I've also had good experiences with ringing up describing what I'd like, and them sending me samples. Even if you are in Melbourne, this might be easier than trekking in? Doesn't cater for the "instant-fall-in-love with a fabric you didn't know you needed" scenario though ;-)