Buying online is fabulous! You can get so many things for less money than you can from shops or small businesses like me. I am not knocking it as I too buy online. It is easy, cheap and convenient.

However, I thought I would take some time to explain a pitfall that an occur when buying fabric online and something that a returning client asked me this week.

I made this lady a pair of curtains at the beginning of this year. She loves them and now wants some more for another room which is the biggest compliment any small business can have I think. This week this client sent me an email asking for a price per metre for a particular fabric that I can supply which I gave her by return email. The reply came back that it seemed expensive as she can get it cheaper online and could I explain why.

Being a small business and working from home means that I don’t have a warehouse to stock 40 metre rolls of all the fabrics that I can supply. Buying in bulk reduces the costs which means that larger businesses that predominantly sell online can sell more fabric to a larger audience for a lot less. Fabulous! When on a budget it is great to be able to get something for less. It makes us feel great to have bought a bargain.

When I order the fabric I am only ordering the amount of fabric required for your particular window treatment so the price is generally higher as I won’t get the bulk order discount.

Your fabric arrives and you take it to someone like me to make your curtains. You have purchased your fabric to save you money but I then call you to say that on rolling out the fabric the quantity is wrong and there isn’t enough to complete the job or that there is a flaw in the fabric or in some cases that the fabric is seconds and that the pattern won’t match or the print isn’t consistent. It needs to be returned. This then becomes your headache. You bought the fabric and now you have to pay postage to return to the online company who may or may not agree with the fault. Hassle, delays and extra costs that you were not expecting.

When you buy fabric through me I am dealing directly with the fabric designer. The fabric is coming from the most reliable source. I will order your chosen fabric, which will then be checked for the correct quantity and for any visible flaws before being cut. This is part of the service that I provide. Should there be a discrepancy then I will speak directly to the fabric house to deal with the problem and get it rectified. You will end up with the completed window treatment and none of the hassle.

Sometimes a bargain is the best thing and the feeling is great. Sometimes that bargain turns into a costly mistake. I advertise that I will work on the customers own fabric as some curtain makers are no longer willing to accept the responsibility of checking fabric from an unknown source but I will always make the client aware of the possible pitfalls.

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