So You Want it Shipped Eh?
Shipping is a huge todo when it comes to crafting supplies. It’s a debate that can get pretty ugly and some days, I bang my head on the desk and think, “have perspective folks!”.
Products today are coming out quicker than store shelves have space for. The world of the internet is here where choice is evident and known to most. Before the internet, chances are if we didn’t have a friend or a magazine, we didn’t know about other alternative products if the local retailer wasn’t carrying them on the shelf.
Yarn and crafting supplies can overtake a crafting store big time. When you look at stores like Michaels, they only have a sample of all of the yarns that are available on the marketplace, there are still many other choices out there. Their stores are only so big and they have to ensure all the products on the shelf have a demand or an interest by the consumers. While we here at The Crochet Crowd love yarn and would prefer to see more yarn, we have to have ‘perspective’ that our hobby is only one of many that is out there. I know what you are thinking right now… “Doesn’t the world revolve around yarn and take out the dry flowers area and put more yarn in!” Doesn’t work that way folks.
The internet, being global, we have to understand what we see online isn’t necessarily available to us on a local level. For example, a former crafting store in my region had no relationship with one of the yarn brands that I love. For the store to set up a relationship requires minimum orders and available shelf space. She didn’t have store shelving space and the items on the shelf were already selling fairly well. There really wasn’t a reason for her to get a new yarn brand when she didn’t the space and yarns sales were fine. For myself, if I wanted it bad enough, I have to turn to the internet as my solution.
Bang Bang Bang Goes My Head on My Desk Again!
Recently, I saw a comment from a women complaining about a promotion of yarn. The website was offering 20% off and they still have to pay shipping. She worked it out that each ball is 25 cents more than if she ran to her local store to get it. She went on how it’s a rip off and that if companies online are going to do sales, they should severely cut the prices to make it worth while.
The same person was going on about how much the rent is and has kids to take care of and etc. The place should have done a 50% off plus free shipping.
Perspective: So after my pretend goose egg from banging my head on the desk has healed. Let’s examine this more carefully.
After I picked up my jaw in the shock of the comments I had read, I was thinking to myself. This person’s living situation isn’t the same across the board with everyone that loves the yarn. Let’s face the reality, businesses are not in business to lose money. Occasionally it’s nice to be offered a deal but at the end of the day, if they go out of business, you can kiss the jobs they provided out the window. Not only the jobs that make and transport the products but also the retailers who rely on selling the products too. It’s very dependent on how businesses operate and people’s standards of living are connected to each other.
- Most people online buy the yarn online when it’s not local to them or readily available.
- Stores rarely carry all of the colours of the complete yarn line. There just isn’t enough space to do so.
- Time to drive/commute to the store plus more that is involved in that experience can far outweigh the costs of going to a yarn store.
For me, Walmart is my closest yarn shop outside of the Walmart, the next closest location is 40 minutes Spinrite Factory Outlet and then 2 hours is my next one.
To make a journey to the city has a price tag even without buying anything.
- Gas is about $35 round trip.
- 4 Hours of time just for commuting to the city and back.
- Stopping for coffee/snacks and/or having lunch in the city.
- Other spontaneous shopping while in the city.
For myself, just for commuting to the city with having a cheap food court lunch is about $60 and I haven’t even bought anything yet.
Paying an extra 25 cents per ball, even when I paid the shipping seems like I am ‘saving’ a ton of money by shopping online. Paying an extra 25 cents isn’t a rip off when I consider my journey to get myself to the store. City dwellers who have access to the stores close by need to remember that there is a significant population in our world that do not live in cities and have the extreme convenience.
For myself, I cannot afford to live in the city. With housing costs and all costs affected by living in the city, I simply cannot afford it. I live in a quiet country town about 2 hours from a major city. When I go to the city, it’s because I have a purpose for doing so. The cost of living in the country for me allows me to operate The Crochet Crowd. I am sure if I had lived in the city, The Crochet Crowd, as we have come to know it today would have never been created in the first place.
Then We Have our Overseas Friends
The biggest population to complain about shipping products seen in North America with the lack of shipping are from our friends where the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean separates us.
Once shipping outside of Canadian and USA Borders, the shipping prices immediately escalate with prices that are way above the normal of what anyone would want to reasonably spend on shipping.
For example, in Stitch-cation, there were three winners. One of our winners was in Saudi Arabia. The box to ship via ground surface which included trucks and shipping freighters going across the ocean cost me $110. The shipping equaled the prize itself. Turning the prize into a cost of $220 for me.
Another example, same size box went to Australia with the same ground and shipping services cost me $105. Another $220 in costs to me. Just for 2 of the 3 boxes outside of Canada/USA escalated the costs of the giveaway to $440 by themselves.
Yarn lovers are heavy to criticize companies for not offering shipping outside of the Canadian and USA Borders but the truth is, most people will not place and order and then heavily complain about the shipping costs itself. They are not offering these services as more people will scream foul than will actually buy the yarn.
There is a significant amount of companies in the USA that don’t even ship to Canada. I have never purchased on Amazon in my lifetime. Everything that I would want for the prices I love are never available to be shipping to Canada. It’s frustrating and I get why others would be frustrated as well. However, the truth for me is that I haven’t died and/or am I deprived because something wasn’t available to me to get.
Turn the Tables for Better Perspective
There are products available in other countries that are not available here in North America, nor is their shipping offered. Truth is, even if the shipping was available, the cost to get something across the ocean would be highly expensive and not make it worth our while. So let’s have perspective that the same issues exist for here.
If I had a magic wand, I would love to wave it saying, “people, let’s have perspective!” that what is inconvenient or not worth it to you may not be the same as your fellow human beings.
In the world of shipping and crafting, there is definitely a co-dependent relationship in place. There are usually always a deal to be found online. It’s just a matter of looking for it.