13 February, 2020
Cheap Craft Supplies Online – Some Money Saving Tips
Today there are so many places to purchase cheap craft supplies online. Some of them are great and treat the customer like gold, while others let you know that it really was too good to be true.
Chain Craft Stores
There are several online stores that also have brick and mortar stores. Places like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and JoAnn have stores scattered throughout the country. But depending on where you live, one of these stores may not be in close proximity. If you have ever done any price comparing, you will notice that these stores can be rather pricey when paying full price. Unless you have access to their many coupons, I don’t recommend purchasing any “big ticket” items. Wait a week and check sales again and you will most likely have better luck.
If you can find a coupon for free shipping, be sure to grab it as well. Getting stuck with shipping charges can really add up quickly. A recent order of two crochet patterns cost an extra $4.95, the patterns were only $4.00 each. Yes, ouch! I contacted them to see if I could get an electronic download to get out of paying postage, but they didn’t have that available.
Big Online Stores Make For Bigger Selection
There is definitely a larger selection of items when you do your search online, so much it can be overwhelming. Make a list of items you need and them comparison shop between sites (including shipping). The only thing is with online, you don’t know exactly what you’ve ordered until you get it, unless is’t something you’ve ordered before. If it’s a something new to you, check into their return policies as well. If it’s difficult to return, I tend to shy away from them. I don’t want to pay shipping charges twice and end up with nothing.
The one BIG Online store I normally go to is Amazon.com. As a Prime Member, I’ve never had any problem getting my items sent to me. I get continuous updates on my phone when my packages ship, when they will arrive and when they have been dropped off. Their return policy is quite easy also now that they’ve partnered up with Kohl’s. All you have to do is print out the return slip and take the item(s) to the Kohl’s return counter. That’s it, easy peasy!
Ebay, Etsy, and Pinterest
These three sites are also good places to look for craft supplies. There are people out there that like to buy in bulk and turn around and sell them on these websites. Again, you have to shop around on these sites because I’ve seen some of the prices rather inflated.
Smaller Online Craft Stores
There are probably hundreds of thousands of outlet and smaller craft stores online. I would really take my time going through these if you can’t find what you want with the larger stores. Read their reviews and ratings. If they don’t rate very well with customer satisfaction, then guess what? But also be aware that some of those reviews may be fake. I have noticed lately that on Amazon.com when I read a book review it will say if it is a customer purchased review or not. I would hope that these particular reviews can be trusted. Anyway, if there are a large number of reviews, and they are on the positive side of things, you can take that for what it is. It also means that there is good traffic to the site if the are a lot of reviews. If there aren’t very may reviews then there probably isn’t very much traffic to the site. There can be a number of reasons for this though and it doesn’t necessarily mean the merchant is a bad one. Maybe they have just started the site, reviews are a recent addition to the site. It may even be a new business that has the best customer service and products in the universe. It just all depends on a lot of different factors.
Another thing I look for in these smaller online stores is where are they located? If their address is in the US, I’m a little more likely to purchase. Years ago I made the mistake of not paying attention to the delivery date on an item when I ordered it. After looking up my receipt, it said 4 to 6 weeks! Yes, it was literally coming from China-the slow boat from China! I needed that item for a Village celebration at the end of the month (3 weeks!) and that wasn’t going to work. Luckily they let me cancel the order before it shipped and everything was all good. = )
Can You Really Save Money?
The answer to that is yes. But you have to do your homework.
- Comparison Shop
- Use Coupons
- Read reviews and ratings
- Does it offer free shipping?
- What is their return policy?
- How long will it take to receive, am I willing to wait that long?
- Where is their warehouse located?
Don’t jump into the first thing you see on a website, look around because it isn’t the only one out there. Just because they say that they have 3 left in stock and 4 are in shopping carts does’t mean a thing. They do that on Etsy I’ve noticed to get people to buy without thinking.
Disclosure: Some of the above links are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.