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View Full Version : Group gasped at my KPs


knitpurlgurl
09-27-2008, 09:07 AM
So I went to a yarn shop (one I frequent weekly) and was looking for a contrasting yarn for a project I was working on. Needless-to-say, I brought my project with me so that I could better tell what would work. The YS employees GASPED when they realized that my work was on KPs! What is the big deal? One of the employees told me that she secretly owns and loves her Options set, but that KnitPicks is a bad word in their shop. Now I feel really self-conscious and like I can't bring any projects to the YS for knit night that aren't with needles they sell. I didn't feel so bad about it considering I support the shop and buy oodles of yarn from them. But when they gasped as they did, I was really embarrassed and self-conscious. :waah:

Doublereeder2
09-27-2008, 09:47 AM
Shame on them for making you feel bad! Especially when you give them your business for other things. Use your KPs proudly and take your projects in with a big smile.

vaknitter
09-27-2008, 09:47 AM
That really stinks and I'm sorry they embarrassed you and made you feel self conscious. Knitters are generally such a wonderful and caring group of people that I don't understand such caddiness ! My LYS is much the same way so I totally get how you feel - in fact I quit going to knit night b/c the owner is sooo caddy. Someone admired my sock yarn and the owner was bent out of shape it didn't come from her shop. I clarified that it had been a gift from my mother in NY and not from a competitor, but then she made a generalization about how knit night is for her customers. I have taken classes there and bought plenty of yarn so I was pretty upset. That is why I am sooo happy to have a brand new LYS that opened this week and I will go visit today.
I wouldn't worry about the the needles and continue to go to knit night. If they say something again just tell them honestly that you love your KP needles.

Mike
09-27-2008, 10:45 AM
I would go ahead and bring the projects on Options and if they gasp again ask if they'd rather you not shop with them.

Sometimes it takes a slap upside the head to get businesses to realize what they're saying.

KnittinMitchie
09-27-2008, 11:03 AM
KPG Tell them to shove it. You knit with what you like and they can just get over it. Do not feel embarassed. I'm KP user and I will gladly show them off.

Simply_Renee
09-27-2008, 11:06 AM
I'm with Mike here on this one. How crazy is that? I can't imagine one shop being big enough to contain all of my knitterly needs. I too, love my KP needles.

And you buy your yarn there WEEKLY!? They would be crazy to lose you to being that petty. Bring your needles anyway and be strong! You are absolutely justified to be there.

GinnyG
09-27-2008, 11:28 AM
How odd. I cannot imagine any store, knitting or otherwise, thinking that your only source of goods would be them. You don't hesitate to wear a different brand of clothing when you shop at a clothing store.

I use my options at every class I take at my LYS and have never felt bad or uncomfortable doing it. That is absolutely an unreasonable expectation!

evona
09-27-2008, 12:22 PM
I'm with the rest of the group! Take them and tell them if they don't like your needles you can shop elsewhere. How horrible that you were made to feel embarrassed!

Jan in CA
09-27-2008, 12:25 PM
Oh for heaven's sake!!! :!!!: That's just dumb and they could lose good customers that way! I'm with Mike as well. I'd go in anyway and when they gasp ask them if they'd prefer you don't shop there at all then?

BTW..not all stores are like that. Sure they want you to buy the products they sell, but most are not so narrow minded that they'd lose a good customer over one item! Case in point - I was at my Knit Night last night and there were 10 of us sitting around the table and SEVEN of us were using Options!

rachael72knitter
09-27-2008, 12:40 PM
Knitters are very particular about what they like and use. We don't switch needles to another brand just b/c that is what our LYS sells in their shop. I can't imagine going to a shop to knit and having them judge me due to the needles I was using or yarn.

Quite honestly, stories like this are way I fear going to the LYS's in my area and gravitate to the craft stores and on-line. No one to judge me for what yarn I choose or needles I buy.

I know it is not all of them, but. . .I still sort of have this phobia about them and going to knit groups. Maybe I am being irrational, but being so knew to the hobby, and so in love with it, it would really crush me and thwart my confidence in it if I had someone gasp at my project or tsk,tsk,tsk at me.

So. . .stories like these really have more impact than one would think, and LYS's and caddy ppl should really take this type of incidence and into consideration.

lelvsdgs
09-27-2008, 12:42 PM
I would go ahead and bring the projects on Options and if they gasp again ask if they'd rather you not shop with them.

Sometimes it takes a slap upside the head to get businesses to realize what they're saying.
I totally agree with Mike. That is ridiculous! I have to say that I've found similar attitudes in a particular LYS here and so don't shop there. They are really doing themselves a disservice to treat customers that way.

JustAFloridaGirl
09-27-2008, 03:07 PM
I agree with Mike and everyone else that says to offer to shop elsewhere if they make any more snide comments. Having worked in customer service in one form or another since I was 16, I'm appalled that anyone working in a small store would act like that to a valued customer. I mean, generally, in bigger stores if you threaten to shop elsewhere, trust me, the clerks don't care, they have enough clientele that WILL shop there no matter what. However, the nature of an LYS dictates that they can't generally afford to start alienating customers.

In fact, I'm not sure I would wait until it happened again, I might sit and write a letter to the owner describing the incident and letting them know how it made you feel, including that it's shaken your trust in the store as a whole. And if the owner doesn't care that the employees acted in such a manner, they have no business being in business.

bjhac2010
09-27-2008, 03:30 PM
I agree with Mike and everyone else that says to offer to shop elsewhere if they make any more snide comments. Having worked in customer service in one form or another since I was 16, I'm appalled that anyone working in a small store would act like that to a valued customer. I mean, generally, in bigger stores if you threaten to shop elsewhere, trust me, the clerks don't care, they have enough clientele that WILL shop there no matter what. However, the nature of an LYS dictates that they can't generally afford to start alienating customers.

In fact, I'm not sure I would wait until it happened again, I might sit and write a letter to the owner describing the incident and letting them know how it made you feel, including that it's shaken your trust in the store as a whole. And if the owner doesn't care that the employees acted in such a manner, they have no business being in business.

I never post but have been a member of this forum for a long time. This seems a perfect place to get my feet wet.

I agree with the above poster.
I would send off a note letting them know how they've made you feel.
It's possible, they don't even realize the affect they're actions are having on people.
It's also possible the owner is unaware of this customer alienation.
I would be pretty darn unhappy if my employees were ostracizing customers.

BTW, I just got my set of KP's 3 days ago... Love Them! :happydance:

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
09-27-2008, 03:37 PM
i see it this way: if they have such a big issue with you using your KP's (which i'm drooling over btw!!!! but it's susan bates for me...) then they can GIVE YOU, FREE OF CHARGE a set of their needles.

This is why i don't go to sewing or quilting classes at my local sewing center... the snottiness when I told them what model my machine was (the "oh.... WAAAAAAAAAAAAL MART"... yeah, given i've gone through 5 machines i did buy mine at walmart) just means they shot themselves in the foot because i'm now ready to spend 200 bucks on additional parts (feet and needles) for my machine.

Wouldn't it be nice if we had those transporter things like in star trek so we could all get together and have our own knit nights????

pixiepurls
09-27-2008, 04:19 PM
I think knitpicks is like walmart, it puts small business's out of business... or it can. Truth is you could have had yarn in your hand from another shop or an "online store" and it's pretty much the same thing. That's awful they gasped, should have kept it to themselves....

If your in their shop and you buy yarn there, then it shouldn't be an issue. if you came in all the time and only got advice and never bought yarn then I could see being frustrated.

Mommy22alyns
09-27-2008, 04:22 PM
That's just flat out silly of them.

SBG
09-27-2008, 09:13 PM
Knit Picks is like Walmart? I thought it was a relatively small company.

I think the LYS people were rude and I doubt I'd go back. I knit for fun, and I'm on a budget. I don't need people judging my lack of taste or fiber non-snobbery.

Jan in CA
09-27-2008, 10:56 PM
Online stores in general do damage to brick and mortar stores, but that is no excuse for the kind of behavior this LYS exhibited. If you want people to shop you need to treat them nicely. Most of us shop online for a few reasons, price and choice. My LYS isn't all that expensive, but they don't have everything and they definitely don't have quantity within the brands they do have.

KnittinMitchie
09-27-2008, 11:21 PM
i have only gotten stuff from one LYS and sent my mom to investigate it first since she lives closer ( more like it would take me 2 days since it's in ohio and i'm in texas) They only reason I sent her was to check out their fiber. which I LOVE. They even carry their own yarn line. Since they have a website I placed an order. Well a week went by and I had no order confirmation or anything. So I called and ended up spending an HOUR on the phone with the shop owner talking fiber and teaching techniques.

Since it took them SO long to ship my order(i'm talking 2 months) they gave me all kinds of fiber goodies :) I'm talking $30 or so worth of free fiber. I will go back nad by yarn in person but wil not order from them online was not happy about that.

They have moved location but did not post anything at their old store. I had to hunt on Ravelry to find out the new address and hours.

RuthieinMaryland
09-28-2008, 09:06 AM
Hi, KPG and everyone! :waving:

One of the things I find that makes life its most pleasant is GOOD MANNERS!

Regardless of the issue, it's just not polite to treat someone in a way that makes them so uncomfortable. If you had a valued guest in your home, you'd go out of your way to make them comfortable.

How much more sense does it make that when you have a valuable CUSTOMER in your shop you treat them with all the good will and good manners you can. You, and folks like you, are - after all - the source of their livelihood! Geesh!

But then I think a large proportion of the society's problems could be solved with better manners! :)

Not only is it WRONG to steal, cheat, betray, nag, invalidate, etc. etc. etc. - It's just so RUDE!!!!!!

People are important. You show that by treating them politely. If you don't, it's the equivalent of telling them they're not worth the effort of common courtesy. Maybe they don't mean it that way, but I can assure you that's how it comes across.

So when you go in there again, let those mean-spirited, ungrateful wretches know - politely - that you'd be happy to shop elsewhere if your choice of knitting needles offends them in some way! :roflhard: (That was polite, wasn't it?)

Anyway, good luck!

Ruthie :hug:

Plantgoddess+
09-28-2008, 10:37 AM
The behaviour of the people working there is wrong and if consistent will end with yet another lys going out of business.
On the other side as the former owner of a small retail business (perennials) it can be hard not to say something to a customer you know lives nearby when they come in with something you sell but they purchased elsewhere. Nobody is obligated to shop at local merchants and price is a consideration for almost everyone, but it's hard to compete and it's hard to be cheerful when trying to make a profit going up against online stores and big box stores.
That said again one of the best ways to compete is to always make a customer feel welcome and to offer your best service with a smile regardless. Not everyone is cut out to be a small retailer and it seems yarn store owners have that same problem.

Lisa R.
09-28-2008, 11:11 AM
It is written policy at my LYS that materials for classes they offer should be purchased at their store. But they don't strictly include needles in that. For my first class, the lady took me around and showed me various options for yarn, and then asked if I had the proper size needles or if I needed stitch markers, etc.

I've used my Options/Harmonies for the classes I've taken there, and no one said anything except to admire them.

I think the reaction you had was terribly unreasonable. My LYS pretty much only carries Addi, and while I'm quite sure they're wonderful needles, I got into knitting on a shoestring, and don't have money to by needles I don't need at prices twice or three times what I can get them for (and already HAVE them) elsewhere!

I think that some LYS just forget that not everybody is on the same budget. At my last class, some new bags had arrived. They were quite cute, and there was a lot of oohing and aahing over them, and two ladies snapped up one each--they were $60 bags.

Now, I've been online and around enough to know that it's not an unusual price for a nice bag....but there is NO WAY I could just casually walk into a shop with no thought of buying a bag, and come out having spent $60 on the spur of the moment. Obviously, to the clientele in there, I'm the odd one out.

I'm thrilled to have an LYS where I can go and learn things on my timetable and my budget...but I'm not on everyone else's budget and I'm quite thankful that there are places like KP that work for me.

In my case, it's not a matter of KP taking business away from my LYS. My choice is often between buying from KP or not buying at all, rather than choosing between buying from KP or buying from the LYS--because I can't afford the LYS prices most of the time.

An LYS would be wise to realize that, and be grateful for the times I'm able to save up and take a class or buy things from them.

LovelyLinda
09-28-2008, 01:20 PM
I think it is absolutely obsurd to expect customers to buy every single one of their supplies & notions needed for a class or knit night at that LYS. Yarn required for classes, yes they should be bought there but not all needes and notes. I also think owners should realize that knitters & crocheters are very loyal customers if treated like we're valued.

I am much more apt to return to the tiniest of shops in an out of the way place if I'm treated well. On the other side, I've chosen not to return to other shops when I've been treated poorly.

I love my Options and feel we should knit with them wherever we wish. :clink:

rachael72knitter
09-28-2008, 03:32 PM
I think if an LYS ecpected ppl to buy all their things at their store they would need to offer quite a bit of variety, and as far as needles go, most of them don't.

Maybe instead of poo-pooing the customer, they could ask what the customers would like to buy and supply that for them.

Gosh, wonder what they would tell the person who makes their own needles. Maybe they would just tell them to leave the store immediately since no store is making a profit off of that person with their handmade needles. Be gone with you!

GinnyG
09-28-2008, 03:46 PM
I may be in the minority but I don't feel any "obligation" to buy supplies for a class from the store I am taking a class at. The classes at my LYS are not FREE, while I don't think the price is unreasonable I usually pay $60.00 for a 4 or 5 session class. Generally there are 6-9 people in the class, if there are 9 people in the class I think that is pretty good revenue for the class.

If the LYS has the yarn I want at a price I can afford for the item we are making I buy it. But if I have something stashed or find something elsewhere I have no guilt about using different yarn.

NOW, if the class was free I would feel an obligation to buy my yarn tbhere but I am paying for the class.

That being said, I do shop at my LYS and often buy things on impulse when there for a class. But I would not take classes where I was restricted to using only their products (unless the class was free).

Debkcs
09-28-2008, 04:07 PM
I think we'll be seeing more of this as the economy worsens. What'll be going first? Crafts and other things that are deemed not necessary.

My LYS has a lot of trouble staying afloat. Part of it is the economy, which brings us to the second part, she doesn't stock enough variety.

Jan in CA
09-28-2008, 04:10 PM
I may be in the minority but I don't feel any "obligation" to buy supplies for a class from the store I am taking a class at. The classes at my LYS are not FREE, while I don't think the price is unreasonable I usually pay $60.00 for a 4 or 5 session class. Generally there are 6-9 people in the class, if there are 9 people in the class I think that is pretty good revenue for the class.



Most if not all of that money goes to the teacher. People buying yarn and supplies is how they support themselves. I fully support them asking us to buy the yarn in their store for a class, but expecting anyone who comes in there to knit or take a class to have only the needles they sell is ridiculous.

GinnyG
09-28-2008, 05:08 PM
I guess every shop is different. My LYS pays the teachers in "product" and in the form of a discount on their purchases. I don't think they are reimbursed anywhere near the income from the class.

A couple of the teachers I have had say they pretty much teach a couple classes a year just for the discount.

ArtLady1981
09-30-2008, 02:36 PM
I would send off a note letting them know how they've made you feel. It's possible, they don't even realize the affect they're actions are having on people. It's also possible the owner is unaware of this customer alienation.
I would be pretty darn unhappy if my employees were ostracizing customers.

I agree with bj. You should send a short note to the owner of the shop and let her know about the GASPING behavior of her employees. I betcha she will be mortified. Bottom line is...she doesn't want to lose a good customer! Her employees are boneheads...and she should be made aware of it.

Any shop owner knows that her customers own many accessories that were not purchased at her shop. Most shop owners are just grateful for any customer who walks through that door and lays their money down for anything!

Please don't let this go. Talk to, or write to the shop owner.
I wouldn't bother with the boneheads "Dumb and Dumber".
Go straight to the top.

lelvsdgs
09-30-2008, 09:36 PM
I agree with bj. You should send a short note to the owner of the shop and let her know about the GASPING behavior of her employees. I betcha she will be mortified. Bottom line is...she doesn't want to lose a good customer! Her employees are boneheads...and she should be made aware of it.

Any shop owner knows that her customers own many accessories that were not purchased at her shop. Most shop owners are just grateful for any customer who walks through that door and lays their money down for anything!

Please don't let this go. Talk to, or write to the shop owner.
I wouldn't bother with the boneheads "Dumb and Dumber".
Go straight to the top.
Totally agree with you ArtLady, tell the shop owner so they have a chance to fix what's broken. The owner can't remedy the situation if they don't know it's happening. If the owner does nothing, at least you have given them your feedback. Hopefully there will be some sort of change in the shop.

suzeeq
09-30-2008, 09:48 PM
The classes at my LYS are not FREE, while I don't think the price is unreasonable I usually pay $60.00 for a 4 or 5 session class. Generally there are 6-9 people in the class, if there are 9 people in the class I think that is pretty good revenue for the class.

Just want to point out that at some stores, they get nothing from the class unless the owner or employee teaches it; all proceeds go to the teacher. So requiring yarn for it be purchased in the store may be the only way they benefit for (possibly) having the store open later and extra utility costs.

Jan in CA
10-01-2008, 12:53 AM
Just want to point out that at some stores, they get nothing from the class unless the owner or employee teaches it; all proceeds go to the teacher. So requiring yarn for it be purchased in the store may be the only way they benefit for (possibly) having the store open later and extra utility costs.

I think that is the way it works at the LYS I frequent and the only way I'd heard of. I've never heard of paying in product or discounts.

GinnyG
10-01-2008, 05:06 AM
In that case it does make sense, my shop must be in the minority but it's the only LYS I've ever worked with so assumed it was "commom". I do know that just being there once a week increases the amount I spend there, even if I haven't purchased my original yarn there.

During class I always spend some time wandering around looking at yarn and projects and find something I come back and buy at a later date.

This spring when I took my Valpuri class there were 3 classes going on at the same time on one night with 6 or7 people in each class. It seemed like someone was always buying something. So I think my shop makes out pretty well, but I see it is not the "usual way".

LovelyLinda
10-01-2008, 07:37 AM
When I take classes at my LYS I have no problem buying my yarn there, in fact I usually buy yarn for other projects while I'm there That's a common practise because when I've taken quilting classes you are required to buy your fabric from that store as well.

However I do take issue with being told by a LYS employee that you can't take needles into their store if they don't sell them. That's just poor customer service and well a bit crazy. :zombie: