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February 2012
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When Buying Fabric, Keep An Eye On The Prices!

Because this is NOT the first time this has happened to me, I want to tell you about my fabric shopping trip today, so you can keep your eyes open the next time you are out shopping for fabric.

I went into Joann’s today to get some denim fabric — sounds simple enough.  They had all their denim fabric on a round table type rack with a price sign above the bolts “denim $12.99 yd”.    Some bolts were 45″ wide and some 52″ wide, so I started picking up the fabric so I could read the bolt end to see if they were 100% cotton, or what the fabric make-up was.  WELL, I noticed SOME bolts had the regular printed $12.99 per yard on it, some had the “original” price blacked out and $12.99 hand written on the end of the bolt,  some had the original price blacked out and a printed new tag (from a tagging gun) with $12.99 on them, and ONE of the bolts still had the original $9.99 price on it.   I made up my mind very quickly that the $9.99 denim was exactly what I wanted —- AND I had a 50% off coupon.   When I went to the measuring counter I told the lady that I wanted to confirm the price to be $9.99/yard.  She scanned it with her little hand held device then informed me that the price of the fabric was $12.99, but was on sale 30% off (NO sale price was anywhere by the fabric bolts), so I’d be getting it for $9.09 per yard.  I told her that the price on the end of the bolt said $9.99 per yard, and asked if she could do a price over-ride to give me the price that was on the bolt.  I figured if she could do that I could maybe use my 50% off coupon.  Well, she did the price over-ride at $9.99/yard, but the charge slip showed that it was a SALE PRICE, so I wouldn’t be able to use my coupon AND I’d be paying more than the 30% off the newly raised prices.   So I asked her if she could do the price over-ride and take into consideration the 30% off as well to let me take advantage of the sale.   She really didn’t want to but finally said, “let me see if the hand held device will let me”, so she did figure the 30% off the $9.99 price and used that as the over-ride price and it went through just fine.   The facts are that all prices keep going up and up, however IF a company changes the prices, but leaves the end of the bolt with the old price, they are obligated to sell it to you for THAT amount, not the higher amount.  If you are not observent and notice the little things, you could end up paying the higher price, even though the price on the end of the bolt is the old price, simply because the NEW price is in the computer and that’s what you’ll be charged if you don’t question it.

We buy a lot of fabric and there have been times that we’ve gone in one week to buy certain fabric, and the next week the price has been raised by $2 or $3 per yard  —- in one weeks’ time!  Or some specialty fabric that all of a sudden jumps up by several dollars a yard.   I would suggest to you to check the prices very carefully on the fabric that you need — and if at all possible save up some discount coupons that you can use.  Most of all, be sure you read the prices on the end of the bolts and CONFIRM with the measuring person that the price you see is the price you will be paying!  You could just be saving yourself a couple dollars per yard by getting the price verified and confirmed.

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About The Author

Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author

Comments

4 Responses to “When Buying Fabric, Keep An Eye On The Prices!”

  1. staci says:

    Thanks for the heads-up! I find that so irritating: the games played for pricing, raise the price, then provide a discount so that you’re still paying more than the “pre-sale” price, etc.

    grrrrrrr!

  2. SueC56 says:

    Wow, very interesting. I’ll be paying closer attention from now on. I DID get one fabric that was in a high priced section but marked down (like it belonged in another section). I was very happy to pay the lower price.

  3. Kurrai says:

    This is very interesting. I don’t know about anyone else but I have also found that the width of the fabric is not the width printed on the bolt. It’s 1-2 inches shorter or maybe more. I sewing student of mine pre-washed her fabric using the same care instructions on the bolt and when we went to cut, the fabric was 5 inches shorter in width!!!! I can’t believe it would have shrunk that much.

  4. HI :) I am a professional seamstress. My local Jo-Anns’ (in ZANESVILLE OHIO) is FANTASTIC :) Of course, I admit..they KNOW ME :) I have been a FREQUENT customer for 20 years :) When I notice a price issue they check on it for me and automatically provide an over-ride. FRIENDLINESS counts on the CONSUMERS part :) To KURRAI… Make certain your students ALWAYS pre-wash their fabrics. I have ALWAYS pre-washed my fabrics. I pre-wash..non-washable fabrics too :) If it’s going into a garment that might be laundered..I PRE-WASH IT :) I have experienced high-quality cottons SHRINKING width-wise by 2-5″…. alongside 2-5″ LENGTHWISE (PER YARD) :( PRE-WASH!!!! Fellow seamstresses/seamsters :) GREAT WEBSITE :) THANK YOU :) Cheryl :)

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