How to lose a customer

I had the strangest experience today. I have finally found a Local Yarn Shop that I will never buy anything from. This is a feat, so I have to share the story with you.

I had a little time earlier today, so I was poking around a yarn shop I had only glanced through before. I was specifically looking for Malabrigo (a yarn I keep hearing about), but I was also drawn in by this lovely sweater on display at the front of the store. I noted that the sign on the sweater said the pattern was free with purchase of yarn, and I hardly ever buy sweater quantities of yarn in an actual shop, but I thought I’d ask about it anyway. (I often buy small quantities at LYS but sweater quantities are 1) more expensive and thus better value to get online, and 2) LYS hardly ever have that many balls of yarn in stock anyway.)

When I’d been in the store previously I’d noticed that no one says anything to you — which is fine, I suppose, some places don’t want to bother the customer. Fair enough. This time though I actually had a question, so I went in search of someone.

I finally found an elderly lady who looked like she might work there, so first I asked if they carried the worsted Malabrigo. She gave me a rather disdainful look, said no, but they have many other lovely yarns to choose from. I nodded, and tried not to look annoyed. If I wanted other lovely yarns I’d have asked about them. I have other lovely yarns in my own house.

Anyway. Then I asked where the yarn for the sweater up front could be found. This is where it got wierd.

She said they didn’t carry it any more, that they didn’t like blah blah blah blah blah. She lost me there. I didn’t really care, I just wanted the pattern! So I asked if she could show me where I might find the pattern. And she said, “I won’t sell the pattern by itself, only with the purchase of yarn.” Or similar.  I won’t sell the pattern. I’ve never heard anyone say that in my life!

At this point, I paused. Was she going to tell me which yarn they recommend? Apparently not. Then I considered, do I really want to carry on this inane conversation?

The answer, of course, was no. I didn’t. I have enough rude conversations in my daily life with a 3 year old, I didn’t need one from a store where I very well may have spent some money.

So I said thank you, and left.

Honestly. Does she think people can’t find the pattern online? (In case you’re wondering, it’s here. Not for purchase, but I’m sure I’ll find it soon.) Why was she so rude about the Malabrigo? Why was she rude at all?

Let’s consider the glut of yarn shops in the Seattle area. Last time I looked there are 24. I’m not kidding, check out this list. I know not all of those are actually Seattle, but many of them are. We have many wonderful shops to choose from. Why on earth would I spend money at one that 1) never says hello, 2) looks down on me for asking for a particular brand of yarn, and 3) refuses to sell a pattern. This is the internet age people — if you won’t sell it, I’ll find someone else who will. Your loss.

I was vaguely reminded of how annoyed I was at the knit nights at some of the LYSs in Louisville (before the trendier ones opened) where they had the rule that you couldn’t knit there unless you bought the yarn there. Way to encourage community, people. So I can go to knit night for one project but not for another? Thanks, but no thanks. I loved it when a shop opened that welcomed all knitters with open arms, for the love of knitting, if you will, regardless of where they purchased that yarn. And you know what happened? I bought tons of yarn there after that. Because it’s pretty much impossible to go to a knit night and not buy yarn. Why did these other people not get that?

Anyway. I was just floored about the whole conversation. Not sell a pattern. What nonsense.

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6 Responses to How to lose a customer

  1. Jenn says:

    That’s the biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard. Do they not WANT customers? Jeez.

  2. Amy says:

    I cannot understand the “we don’t talk to you” thing… the LYS closest to me does that too. They don’t want to know anything about me or my knitting tastes… etc… heaven forbid they learn about the people that come into their store and take that into account when ordering yarns… 😦 I used to be an avid supporter of buying at LYS over online… but seriously my attitude is changing… 😦

  3. Liane says:

    I can’t believe that! I hope you can find the pattern somewhere else. Did that just ruin your day? You can come over and pet my malabrigo if you want. LOL

  4. liana says:

    I’m continually astounded by how rude people can be. Sorry you had to experience it. I’m with you though. if you can’t be civil to your customers, you obviously don’t need my business.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Oooo – now I want to know which shop it was so I don’t give them my money either.

  6. Leah Adams says:

    I’m dying to know which pattern and which store! Egads!

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