Monday, September 5, 2016

Don't Let The Price Fool You

We have heard often that you get what you pay for.  For most things, this is pretty factual.

This isn't necessarily true in the world of fabrics.


 Cotton and flax.com
cotton and flax.com

I've learned through the years that what you may well pay high dollar for in a shop is no better than some fabrics you find elsewhere.

For instance, I for a while used a wholesaler in TN, and honestly love their fabrics--they are high quality ones from places like Andover UK, RJR, Kaufmann, South Seas, Cranston, Timeless Treasures, and so on.  You will pay a pretty penny for these names in a quilt shop.  Through the wholesaler, I can buy these brands for as little as $2 a yard (by the bolt of course), rather than pay the upcharge of $10 to $15 a yard in the small shop.

Now, if you place a bolt of fabric I buy from the wholesaler against the one exactly like it from the retail shop, you won't find a bit of difference...except the price.

Does the higher price of the retail shop make that product any better than the one in my hand at a much lower price per yard?

No.

Something I've learned after joining in some quilting groups and forums, is that there seems to be a price snobbish comparison...that she who pays the most per yard wins.  This is foolish.  If I can purchase the same product, same quality, at a lesser price using a wholesaler, why not do it, especially when I make to sell?  Why should I pay $12 + per yard of fabric and pass that cost along to the customer, when I can buy it for $2 wholesale (have to buy the whole bolt but at 15 yard bolts I'm getting 15 yards at $30 vs 15 yards at $180) and pass the savings along, and the customer gets the same quality?

It was like this in making nursing scrubs as well.  I sought out high quality fabrics, and those are not cheap if you buy retail...hence the wholesale findings.

I guess I just don't understand the mindset that the price tag means the most.  I'd much rather purchase quality at a good price and pass savings on to my customers...than to pay through the nose and have to pass that along too.  It makes no sense to me to spend more than needed for the same quality.

Tonight I found some beautiful Andover Makower UK Downton Abbey fabrics.  Quilt shops sell them for $10 on up per yard.  My cost would be $2.83, on a 15 yard bolt.  Now, I love Downton Abbey but there's no way I could pay the $10 for a yard, not when I can buy it for significantly less and resell what I don't use.  Would that price difference make the quality of what I purchased any different than the quilt shop's?  Nope.

There are fabric wholesalers in KC metro and in TN.  Some of them require a minimum purchase of bolts to get the reduced cost.  These are accessible to anyone with a retailer's ID (sales tax ID through your state) and enough credit or cash to cover what you want to buy.  You don't have to be a retail quilt shop with a brick/mortar store to purchase.

My whole point after all the rambling--don't let dollar signs fool you.  Yes, support your local stores..but don't let the higher cost of what you pay at that store make you believe what you have in hand is superior simply due to the price on the end of the bolt.  The retailer in the shop has to raise the prices to cover costs and turn a small profit--that extra cost doesn't affect the quality of the fabric in hand, it just affects it's location.

Ok, rant done!


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