Monday, June 18, 2007

My first hate comment

I'm moving up in the blog world kids; I actually got a nasty comment on my blog.

In response to my post about the Knitche charge, Knitting fiend wrote:

"Wow, you gals are way off base. The $5 is not "to just sit and knit" but rather is a credit toward yarn purchases. Did you even read the explanation Knitche provided before you decided to lead a boycott against the best yarn store in the area?"

Yes, I read it while I was in the store. I still turned and walked right out. To me, it sounded bitter and petty. I spend enough money on yarn as it is, and I support local businessess. The last time I was in Knitche, I dropped a lot of money. When I spend that much money two weeks before, I can't believe they want me to spend another $5 for nothing. Yes, I know this can be applied later. I still believe it's wrong in principle. I'm not suggesting a total boycott, just a boycott of this knitting night that charges you and you get nothing in return. I also suggested emailing the owner herself, which I believe a few people have done. She thanked me for communicating with her, and I think if enough people do, she may change her mind.

"All we knitters need is for one more shop to go out of business because the cheapos decide to buy for a few dollars less online. The only reason I could see that anyone would be upset about this policy is if they don't buy anything at Knitche but instead are using the shop as their personal social location, while purchasing their materials somewhere else. Kudos to Kathy for standing up to these freeloaders! And shame on you for leading an online boycott without knowing what you're talking about (or worse, knowing but purposely targeting this wonderful store!). "

I have ordered online about once in the last year, and I can't remember the last time I shopped at a chain store. I am certainly not a cheapo when it comes to yarn. I certainly don't shop exclusively at knit, but I have spent my fair share of money there. I am not a freeloader, but to demand money for something I can do for free anywhere else is just absurd. For god's sake, at least give us a damn cookie for that price. Myself, I prefer the beer.
Furthermore, many of the shops that have gone out of business recently were notorious for their poor customer service (eg Kool Knits in Naperville). I believe that this is in the same vein. Let's face it, the more time I spend in a yarn shop, the more money I will spend. Consider it advertising, which most businesses actually pay for.


Kerry said...

I have to say that I totally and completely agree with you on taking a stand. I can't imagine my LYS charging for people to go sit and knit. If I were an LYS owner I would be happy that people were coming in the door since most likely at some point they will buy something. And even if they don't, like you said, they will talk to their friends. If you provide a pleasant atmosphere their chatter will be positive. If you do something asinine like charge $5 for knit night their chatter will most likely not be positive. What's next, charging an entrance fee just to walk through their doors? There are always going to be people working on different projects and heaven knows how inspiring it is to actually see something in person. I can't tell you how many times I've seen something in my LYS that I've just had to do myself. And where better to buy the supplies than right there! One of the ladies that frequents our LYS recently started a blanket and I can't tell you how many of us walked out with yarn, pattern, and needles for the blanket that day. At a minimum of $100 per blanket depending on our yarn choices our LYS owner was quite happy I'm sure.

Miss T said...

You're absolutely right. Allowing people to come in and knit for free is one of the best things a yarn shop can do to generate customer goodwill and sales. It's stupid to charge for it--I would have walked out, too.

Jamisyn said...

Screw them for their nasty comments. You are entitled to think and speak whatever you want. Good for you for standing up for yourself and your beliefs. I, too, think it is ridiculous to pay for a knit night.

Lindsay said...

I agree, as well. I think one of the reasons knitting and crochet have become so visibly popular again is because they are activities that lend themselves to socialization, in an era when most of us rely on technology like text messaging and e-mail to communicate (yes, I realize the irony that I am communicating this opinion via the internet). The best way to bring more business into your shop is to make the community of customers larger. I am very familiar with Knitche and have shopped there on several occasions, and at all those times I found the customer service to be excellent. I suspect that this $5.00 fee has more to do with the fact that it is summer and people buy less yarn in the summer. I work at String Theory, and we are also open - completely free of charge - until 9:00 on Thursday nights. This time of year I am usually knitting alone at that time, but I can count on one hand the number of customers who come to the open knit night over the course of a month and DO NOT purchase anything. It has been my experience that knitters want to see the knitting community continue to thrive. I have also had my share "challenging" customers - and there is a much more diplomatic way of handling these situations than to charge everyone. Our philosophy is that we have a responsibility to all the customers who are in the store - if one customer requires more help than we are able to give in that setting they usually can get help from one of the other customers in the store, or we refer them to our class schedule and suggest that they sign up for a class where they can get more personalized attention.

On a side note - last I checked, Knitche closes at 4:00 on most weekdays. I think it is invalid to justify the $5.00 fee by saying that it offsets the cost of keeping the store open and making payroll. Whenever the store is open those costs are incurred, and someone decided that it would be wise (and I happen to agree) to stay open late for customers who are unable to get there during the day. I doubt very much that it costs more per hour to run the store on a Thursday night than during other business hours. Do you start charging a fee for Friday mornings if there is a dip in sales at that time?

Amanda said...

Wow. I can't believe that people sent you ugly comments. What this person doesn't seem to understand is that most people don't actually knit up a whole skein of yarn in a week, so expecting someone to buy yarn once a week when they want to get together with their friends is a bit much.

There's always going to be someone who brings in cheap acrylic yarn to a knit night, but even in those situations, the LYS should look at it as an opportunity to win someone over to the world of luxurious fibers - and not as an annoyance, like this store so obviously does.