June 27, 2012

What To Do When A Fabric Store Does You Wrong!

I know, I know.... it's been a while... I do have lots of excuses... but then again... this is my blog and I guess I get to it when I get to it!  LoL

I was reading a new to me blog the other day and the writer mentioned that she had bought a cute cut of material that was a knit. This piece was cut really badly so much so that she couldn't get the short sleeves out of it to make the  shirt she had planned on making! She ended up making a sleeveless top which is fine.... she make "lemonade"! Good for her!  But, there are a few things that we can do to prevent this from happening. I have worked for one of the big chain fabric stores and believe me when I say..... They Want Your Business! So let's see what we can do!

#1 When you are buying fabric in store; (no matter what kind) watch how they cut the fabric! If you are a quilter some stores will tear the cottons for you to guarantee that your cut will be straight! Although, it may also tend to make the grain pull. So either way you need to decide how you would like it done. Some stores won't do this at all. But, if you are buying a quilt backing that is one of the 72" or larger size....(especially a cotton)  ask them to tear it for sure... otherwise ask them (b/4 they cut) if they will take it back if you find when you get home that it is not even! This way you have what you want, not some material that they are just trying to get rid of! And believe me when I tell you that I worked with some people that didn't care how they cut fabric and we got back stuff that just could not be used for the purpose they bought it due to this lack of care! As long as a piece of fabric had not been washed or cut different from what the receipt said... we could take the fabric back. It was never we cut it, you bought it.... tough luck! That just isn't good business. Or at least that is what the company I worked for thought. I'm not sure if they still feel this way.

#2  If the fabric you are buying is a stretch/knit/lycra etc.... ask the cutter to show you how it lines up.... if they aren't willing to show you, that is a problem..... bring it to the attention of the manager! You are the one that has to take it home to use it and if it's lined up wrong..... it's a waist of your money and time if you can't even it up enough to be able to get your pieces out. Pattern companies usually account for extra material so there should be more than enough if your following the patterns guidelines....

#3 The fabric company's want your business.... and believe me when I say that if they are reputable, they will make things right!  They know that if they don't..... they will loose you as a customer and possibly any body else you decide to tell about the problem you had. So... this being said, talk to the manager or supervisor if you have a problem with how a fabric you bought was cut. Remember though... if your loosing your temper that isn't going to win a whole lot of points... as they say "You get more flies with honey than vinegar".  Most companies will try hard to fix the problem. If for some reason (only known to the company/store) they decide that they can't take it back.... (say maybe you already pre-washed it). Ask them what they can do for you? Maybe there was a flaw that wasn't seen ahead of time and now there won't be enough fabric to make what you had planned. Ask if they can give you additional yardage? Or some other discount. It doesn't hurt to ask.  Many a time if I as a supervisor or as a sales associate couldn't do anything for the customer,  they would ask to speak to the manager/or assistant. You would be surprised how quickly money back was handed over!  Like I said, the companies (especially the big ones) want your business! Complaints = bad business!!

#4 Try to be flexible!  For example; when one of my daughters was planning her wedding, she wanted us to decorate the reception area with white twinkle lights and also white toole. And I'm telling you... we needed lots of toole! 250 yards of it! I went to one of the local chains to make the purchase (they were having a sale.... 59 cents per yard! Yeah!!!). I asked if they had that amount in the store? The answer was no! Could they get it from some of their other stores in State? Yes! O.K. here is the being flexible part! First I asked if they could do this for me? She said they could. Then I requested that there not be any piece less than 5 yards long (I didn't want to be trying to decorate with all of their old odd pieces.... 1 yard or less long.... we were going to be draping these like a canopy and 1 yard pieces just would not cut it!!! Pun intended! LOL).  She said that they could do that. One more thing I asked was if there would be any extra charge for this? She said no!
I had to wait a week or two to get it all in one store, but it was well worth the wait! I paid up front for 1/2 of it, that way I got the sale price.  Then I paid the rest when I picked it all up.

#5 If all else fails, and your just not happy with whatever you have purchased; hopefully it's a one time thing. Companies do make mistakes, fabric gets printed wrong, people make mistakes too... just ask me... I make them all the time!  I try not to write off a store just because I'm not happy with something an employee did. Sure it's different when it happens again and again. I guess what I'm trying to say is if all else fails and you don't like the store, products or employee's. Find another store! Or if there isn't another one in your area.... as much as I'm one who loves to touch fabric b/4 I buy. Shop on Line. From what I have seen from reading other people's blogs there are wonderful fabric stores on-line. Life is too short to be un-happy shopping!

Now go.... shop.... sew! Have a great day!


Anonymous said...

This is some good advice, Jean! I especially watch when my fabric is being cut to make sure it's right.
I never thought about making sure the knits are lined up right--that information will be tucked away for the future!

Anonymous said...

This is great information to keep in mind while shopping.
I always watch carefully when having my fabric cut after being shorted one time.
The tip for making sure the knits are lined up is something I never thought about before.
Thanks Jean! :-)