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farmgirlnow
Chatty Knitter

USA
106 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2005 :  2:26:11 PM  Show Profile Send farmgirlnow a Private Message
I have a question about something that recently happened to me. I will try to keep this short and not make it a long drawn out story (that is not be easy for me...)

Last month I had to go to a city which is a 2 hour drive from me. I planned in enough time to visit a yarn shop there that has all the yarn and tools I normally can only get via mailorder. I planned to get some 40" addi turbos for my new adventure "magic loop".

I bought a #6 40 inch and a #8 47" (they didn't have any 40" and said all the needles that they had were in the display).

When I got home that night I realized that what I really had needed was a #6 and a #4...so I had bought the #8 by mistake (what can I say...I was so excited to be there, I choked and forgot what I needed!). I checked the receipt and it said all merch returns will be store credit only, so I thought, no problem I just want to exchange it.

I thought about calling them to see if I could mail it back and send them postage to return the correct one to me. But then I decided to wait - I had to go to the same city again exactly 1 month later, so I didn't think that would be too much time past the purchase. Plus, I had seen some yarn I wanted to buy, but I felt like I had spent my limit that day...so this time maybe I could get a little yarn too.

This store is a bit off the beaten track, so I had to drive to the opposite side of town than I needed to ultimately go to. Had to deal with city traffic on a work day, no left turns where I needed to turn left...you know, all the stuff a country girl gets frazzled over. I lost so much time going there and here is what happened...

They said that all needle sales are final and they wouldn't exchange it.

I was pretty stunned as I would have thought buying the wrong size needle was a common mistake, but I guess it's something that only I would do. I told them that I had just picked out the wrong size, I just wanted an even exchange but they pointed to a sign on the wall that sure enough said "needles and accessories sales are final". I didn't see this sign as it is on the wall not where I faced that day when I paid, but I don't doubt it was there, just that I wish they had mentioned it. They knew I was from out of town because I mentioned how hard it was to find their store (they said it is even hard for people in their own city to find it) and I asked them for directions to where I needed to go after that. Also, I had really wanted a 40" needle and had asked if they had more stock, so they knew that I wasn't getting exactly what I wanted in a needle, it would have been nice if they had pointed out the needle policy then. But again, I am not saying that they didn't have that policy, only that it would have been nice. I am not saying they HAD to point it out, just that I certainly gave them enough hints that I was a newbie there.

I don't know why but it made feel so stupid. I just couldn't think after that. I still neededed the #4 40 inch needle, I even picked it out, but then I didn't buy it. I also looked at that yarn I wanted, but I just decided that I wanted to leave. After leaving work early and driving like a mad person to get there before they closed, I just felt dumb and drained.

Don't get me wrong, I admit I didn't ask what their policy was, and I picked out the wrong size so I am fully at fault.

So after that LONG story here is my question... Is this a normal policy in yarn shops? I understand limiting yarn returns, but needles?

I am not sure what answer will make me feel better, but I would like to know if this is typical.

Thank you for listening to me vent!

You guys are the best!

Thanks, Julie

RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2005 :  2:32:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
In my experience, it's a fairly normal policy - since needles don't show wear as quickly as yarn, what's to stop you from buying one set of needles, finishing a project, and exchanging them for a new size saying "I bought the wrong size" (well, my fiber ADD stops me, but still)

Not to say at all that this is what you're doing, but unfortunately I think policies are often put in place because of the worst kind of person, rather than assuming the best....

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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HeatherM
Chatty Knitter

USA
152 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2005 :  2:34:09 PM  Show Profile Send HeatherM a Private Message
I know of a yarn store that won't accept needles back because they found that people were buying them and using them, then returning them in the same package. That led them to make needles a final sale item.
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kbshee
Permanent Resident

USA
4166 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2005 :  2:35:45 PM  Show Profile Send kbshee a Private Message
Julie, I think it is a pretty normal policy IF the package has been opened. Had you opened yours? Did they ask if you had? It does seem to me, though, that if they print their return policy on the receipt that they could easily add 'needle sales are final' or have a sign at the register stating same.



kim in oregon
http://kbshee.blogspot.com
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HellaHelen
Chatty Knitter

USA
344 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2005 :  2:52:09 PM  Show Profile Send HellaHelen a Private Message
I'm sorry for all that trouble, Julie. Yes, it is pretty standard practice that needles are non-exchangeable, precisely for the reason that it would be easy to use them and return them afterwards. I'm surprised, though, that they didn't make an exception, given your situation--it seems that stores are often more flexible in real life than their written policy would lead you to believe, particularly if you talk to the owner or manager.

Now go get yourself some size 4 40" needles and get knitting!

:)

Helen
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klfrazier
Permanent Resident

1745 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2005 :  3:37:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit klfrazier's Homepage Send klfrazier a Private Message
As everyone else is saying, this is a very common practice at most of the LYS's that I've visited.

Unfortunately, we live in a Wal Mart world where people are used to being able to return anything they want - whenever they want - and that's just not good business sense for a small retail store. Most LYS's have pretty complicated return policies because things like books, needles and accessories are so easy to buy, use and return without anyone knowing the wiser. Yarns can be tricky too as the yarn companies churn out new yarns and discontinue popular yarns at such a rapid place. Don't forget the problem of sales too!

The return policy of one LYSO that I know is too long to print in it's entirety on receipts, she's had to rely on signs for the fine print. (You'd be surprised at how many people don't keep their receipts anyway.) Despite the fact that those signs are prominantly desplayed through the entire shop, most people don't read them.

They might have made an exception had you called immediately when you realized your mistake, but a month down the road they had no way to know if you had used those needles or not.

Kristin
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knottyknitter
Permanent Resident

USA
3702 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2005 :  5:41:09 PM  Show Profile Send knottyknitter a Private Message
Yup - pretty normal as others have said. It's very similar to the reasoning behind some women's wear stores that will take back pretty much anything EXCEPT formal gowns. Too many people use them as a "free rental" if you know what I mean.

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fiddlestix
Chatty Knitter

100 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2005 :  6:50:13 PM  Show Profile Send fiddlestix a Private Message
Well, I guess I'm going to be the lone ranger here when I tell all of you that my LYS has a very liberal policy concerning returns. I have often gone in and purchased supplies for a project, including the needles, only to find when I got home, that I already had that size. Sometimes I keep them because I often need two sets. Other times I return them to the store and ask her to apply the price to another purchase. No problem. The difference in this, though, is that I am a very regular customer. So regular, in fact, some people think I work there! I hope that no one will take advantage to the point that my LYS owner has to "crack down" on all us regulars, as it is wonderful to go someplace where everything's easy and fun and wonderful, and you just keep going back for more and more....and more!
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dragonmom
Seriously Hooked

USA
956 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2005 :  7:18:49 PM  Show Profile Send dragonmom a Private Message
i know my favorite LYS will take ANYTHING back, as long as it's in it's original packaging. (unless they've wound the yarn for you, then they want the label back). i bought some lovely ribbon a year and a half ago, and finished the project 4 months later, and they took back the skein i had left over (there was no way i was going to be able to use it, and it was $25!). i still had the receipt, and the bag(lol) so they were very generous about taking it back. another time, i ahd bought some yarn for a secret pal, and after a week, decided that it wasn't what i had envisioned for her, so exchanged it for somethign else, and the difference came in my favor. again, i had the receipt, and they very generously credited my card once again. i love these guys! they even keep a basket of "leftover" needles for knit night, in case someone forgets or loses a needle.

the world is knitted from one beautifully variegated skein and it's up to us not to drop a stitch.
http://dragonmadknitter.blogspot.com/
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farmgirlnow
Chatty Knitter

USA
106 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2005 :  7:42:27 PM  Show Profile Send farmgirlnow a Private Message
Wow! You guys are the best!

I can't believe how many people actually responded on the same day I posted. I was wondering if anyone even came down this far on the forums to see what the subjects were down here.

Thank you so much for letting me know that this is not that uncommon. I would never have guessed in a thousand years that you couldn't exchange a wrong size needle. I guess I just don't have much LYS experience, so it REALLY caught me off guard.

As people have mentioned, it no doubt stems from people abusing it. Figures.

But I have to laugh when it was suggested that someone may actually knit something up and then return the needles...ha ha haaa! That would never be me! I take forever to finish something!

Well, ya learn something new every day! I thank you for all for sharing your experiences.

Julie

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KnitSSK
Seriously Hooked

USA
656 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2005 :  06:46:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit KnitSSK's Homepage Send KnitSSK a Private Message
In the metro area where I live, it's become a real bone of contention and a huge topic at knitting groups. It came to light when someone bought needles at a particular LYS and got them to her car, and turned around and walked back in the store and they wouldn't let her exchange them. The total time that elapsed was no more than fifteen minutes! They referred to their policy and wouldn't budge. Obviously, the woman hadn't knitted up, even a scarf, with those needles. So, my point is that I understand the policy from the LYS point of view. However, customer service is customer service and there are times when the policy should be bendable. In the case I referred to, I can't begin to count how many people will not go back to that LYS anytime soon becuase of the one incident. Fair? I think so. This is a world where between the internet and knitting groups, the word gets around. Many LYSs, though, don't seem to get that.

Martha

Wanting to be knitting, not working...
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ceecee
Permanent Resident

1896 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2005 :  07:29:15 AM  Show Profile Send ceecee a Private Message
Another word of caution when buying needles under size 3 because of the no-return policy: check the millimeter sizing on your needles before you leave the store (or ask the store to check them with a needle sizer). The European brands' U.S. labeling does not always correspond to what we're accustomed to in U.S. sizing. For example, size 1 Addis are 2.5 mm, not 2.25 mm and size 2 Addis are 3.0mm, not 2.75. Inox is even more confusing with size 1's in 2.25 AND 2.5 mm and size 2's in 2.75 AND 3.0 mm. It's best to buy these sizes in a store so you can check the labeling, especially when websites do not list the corresponding millimeter sizing (and as I once found out, the listing was wrong but the online store let me exchange the needle).

In some cases the difference isn't a problem, but when you're getting an extra needle for working with 2 circulars, or you're trying to get the correct gauge, it can be frustrating.
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blr2449
Permanent Resident

USA
1378 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2005 :  07:32:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit blr2449's Homepage  Send blr2449 a Yahoo! Message Send blr2449 a Private Message
I did the same thing recently. Bought what I thought was the size Addi Turbo I needed, got home and discovered I'd gotten the wrong size. The LYS had a sign up that said needles were not returnable, but since I'd been in only 10 mins before I gave it a try. I figured the worst they could say was, "No."

Well, they said "Sure, come back in and get the size you need." Course, it's an LYS I frequent a LOT, so they know me. And I didn't have the money to buy another Addi, so I did go back in and exchange it.

Barbara
http://graniterose.livejournal.com/
If YOU don't talk to your CAT about catnip, who will?
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The Irish Ewe
Permanent Resident

USA
1052 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2005 :  08:09:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit The Irish Ewe's Homepage Send The Irish Ewe a Private Message
"So after that LONG story here is my question... Is this a normal policy in yarn shops? I understand limiting yarn returns, but needles? "

Think of it this way - Once I sell something, who is to say you won't use it and then return it? I've already turned over the inventory numbers, and done my bookeeping, and recorded the sale. Yes, I take needle returns, but only within a set time. Outside of that, I still might, depends on if they have been used or not, and honestly, if I get a call or email, I am MUCH more willing to exchange them then if someone walks in on the outside edge of the time limit.

It's not to be snarky or mean, but more often than not I will strongly encourage people to swatch in the store with needles before buying. It cuts down A LOT on returns. And I hated to put a limit on needle returns, because I happen to own 5 size 8, 16" circs myself :) But in a tourist area, I just couldn't take the loss anymore.

And as a side note - Most shops should be happy to mail out exchanges, just ask!

The Irish Ewe
Norway, Maine
http://www.TheIrishEwe.com
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ceecee
Permanent Resident

1896 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2005 :  08:47:28 AM  Show Profile Send ceecee a Private Message
Just wanted to add to also check before you buy size 10.5 needles. They can range from 6.5mm (most brands) to 7.0 mm (Addis, New Zealand made Bryspuns).

Julie,
Take heart that size 8's are a very useful size and Addis's are great needles. You can also list them in the "Needle and Tool Swap" section if you absolutely can't use them.
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terivan
Chatty Knitter

Australia
240 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2005 :  6:29:43 PM  Show Profile Send terivan a Private Message
I must admit that it didn't occur to me that I could return any full balls of yarn left over after a project has been finished. How else am I to build a stash ? However, as 95% of my purchases are by mail-order, it's probably not worth the effort, even if they would accept it.

Terry
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knittingbaglady
Permanent Resident

USA
1207 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  4:57:44 PM  Show Profile Send knittingbaglady a Private Message
My LYS has the same policy. But wouldn't someone remember you from the previous day? Or even week? I suppose it's a necessary rule, but it should be broken when needed.

Martha.

http://www.greenmountainknittingbags.com/
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Wen
Permanent Resident

Australia
3244 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  7:18:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit Wen's Homepage Send Wen a Private Message
My LYS allows you to take needles home and return them the following day for exchange. This is to give people the opportunity to knit a tension square and determine whether they bought the right size. Needles must be as new in original packaging.

After 24 hours sale is final.

Wen

2005 stats: 7 FO, 9 WIP, 1 frogpond.
http://photos.yahoo.com/whdayus
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  7:27:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by terivan

How else am I to build a stash ?


[:00]

Easy.

I shop faster than I knit!

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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Lace Lunatic
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
524 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2005 :  08:44:37 AM  Show Profile Send Lace Lunatic a Private Message
My local LYS also accepts needle returns without question. Once I'd bought the wrong cord length, another time an inadvertant duplication. Knowing that this is not the policy of most shops, I asked the owner:"So what if someone buys a needle, knits a project, and then returns the needle?". Her response:"If that person has so little money that they feel they have to return the needle after they've finished the project, I don't begrudge them the use of it." One of those moments that restores my faith in mankind.

Suzanne
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Savitar
Chatty Knitter

311 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2005 :  10:22:52 AM  Show Profile Send Savitar a Private Message
If you're still needing Addi Turbos, then you might want to look on Ebay. There's a seller from Hong Kong that has Addis (in German packaging) with very cheap shipping. Many folks from KR have purchased from him, as have I. It takes about 1.5 weeks to receive. Then if you make a mistake in the size, you haven't lost nearly as much money.
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