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JoliGee
Chatty Knitter

223 Posts

Posted - 11/26/2005 :  08:48:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit JoliGee's Homepage Send JoliGee a Private Message
Retailers:
How many of you charge for "fixing" or helping people when they are stuck? I saw a sign at a LYS announcing that they would help you if youwere stuck on a project: $10 for the first 15 minutes, $5 for every additional 5 minutes after that. is this widespread? I know that actual lessons cost, but lending a helping hand? Who out there charges for 15 minutes sessions?

HoJo
Permanent Resident

USA
1474 Posts

Posted - 11/26/2005 :  7:04:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit HoJo's Homepage Send HoJo a Private Message
While we haven't started charging yet for helping, I think we may end up going this way fairly soon. We have a number of knitter/crocheters who come in for help - and suck up 1/2 hour to hour of a staff persons time. They want help immediately and for as long as they need, with no thought to staffing (are there many other customers, do other staff members need to go to lunch, do other customers also need help, etc.).

Putting the sign up gives us a way to help manage those customers - many of whom actually do need a lesson not just a "little help" on a project.

We've been open almost a month and every single day we get multiple people coming in for help on projects not purchased at the store, we haven't ever said a word or charged, but as we're seeing some come in day after day - a sign like that may cut down on that.


HoJo

Our estore: www.fullthreadahead.com
Yarn for the mind, body, and soul

My blog: www.fullthreadahead.com/blog
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Calamintha
Permanent Resident

USA
2886 Posts

Posted - 11/26/2005 :  10:01:30 PM  Show Profile Send Calamintha a Private Message
My LYS will help people with patterns for free as long as the yarn was purchased from them. That makes sense to me. I wouldn't expect them to help someone if they had not purchased the yarn there. I can understand that staff people cannot spend a long time helping one person with a problem but I think I would find it off-putting if there was a sign up saying that people would be charged for asking for advice. The questions that I have asked could be answered in a couple of minutes.
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yarnlover
Permanent Resident

1744 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2005 :  06:26:37 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message
As a LYS customer, if I came in for help that was more than quick advice, I think I'd prefer being told that the help I needed was more than could be given at that time, but...

"We have open knitting sessions for $xx per hour where a staff member is there to help on projects. Our open knitting is every...whatever day/s... at ...time... Please come then for help with your project."

or something similar.

I would find it hard to concentrate on what someone was showing me (if it was more complicated than a quick question) when they have to interrupt to help another customer, or if I knew they were ignoring another customer. I'd rather have a specific time for help, and pay for the attention I needed. The sign stating there would be a charge for help would not be appealing - it might scare off knitters who just need a tiny bit of help and will become regular customers because they got the help they needed. Just my opinion.



See My Stuff: Here

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The Irish Ewe
Permanent Resident

USA
1052 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2005 :  09:22:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit The Irish Ewe's Homepage Send The Irish Ewe a Private Message
I just have a sign behind the counter that reads "We will be happy to help you with ANY knit or crochet project you may be stuck on, and you don't need an appointment or lesson for 15 minutes or less of help. Just please leave an apporpiate tip in the Cookie Fund Jar."

Granted, a lot of people still won't pay, but more often than not they do, especially when I point out the sign and jar to them before I help. I don't care if it's just a quarter, and I often will say that, it's more that people realize that some change or a dollar or two for work, advice, ect. isn't outlandish to ask for (this doesn't apply to yarn or patterns that people are buying from me, obviously, but rather walk-ins with yarns or patterns I don't carry)

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

USA
4723 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2005 :  09:52:55 AM  Show Profile Send Ditzy Girl a Private Message
My lys has Project Knitting Sessions Daytime & Evening . Ongoing Mon am, 1st. 3 Wed.pm,1st 3 Sat. am. Depending on what you need $20 for 2 hrs or $10 for 2 hrs. You also give the money to the person who helps you not the store. I find this reasonable and there is always someone there to help you. You can bring in anything knit or crochet even tatting. I love it and so do the others. It is fun to chat with the other ladies and see what they are doing. If you have a quick ? just drop by and they will answer. This shop has service and friendliness. This is why it has lasted over 20 yrs.

Zola, Seattle, Wash.

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JoliGee
Chatty Knitter

223 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2005 :  11:29:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit JoliGee's Homepage Send JoliGee a Private Message
Interesting. Some good solutions! I think it's wise to protect yourself from customers who may expect too much "customer service," so to speak. i was a littleput off by the sign, however. Maybe it just needs to be reworded.
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maggy24
New Pal

23 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2005 :  6:49:06 PM  Show Profile Send maggy24 a Private Message
This is an issue we've struggled with for the two years we've been in business! We offer on-going sessions at $15 for 2 hours twice a week...and a social knit night (social only). We also help with quick fixes any time. However, the best thing we did was to pay someone to be there for free help on any project once a week for a few hours. That way, if someone needs extensive help, we suggest that they come during that time to "get uninterrupted help" where we're not jumping up to do sales! The customer understands that the staff is also required to sell yarn!, but that we want everyone to have a chance to excel in their skills. So far, so good!
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Schleppenheimer
Seriously Hooked

USA
627 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2005 :  9:32:34 PM  Show Profile Send Schleppenheimer a Private Message
HoJo, I'm absolutely amazed that you so often have multiple people who ask for help who haven't purchased yarn or patterns from the store! I know this happens (as I've read about it often on KR), but it still amazes me. I have to admit, I did this very thing, ONCE, when I was young and naive and needed a very quick answer. I have NEVER done it since then, probably because the old lady that was supposed to help me was really nasty about the quality of the yarn that I was using (I was a poor married student and couldn't afford quality yarn at the time -- something this old lady apparently didn't notice). But, to her credit, she did teach me a good lesson -- don't ever ask for help from a store if you haven't purchased your project from said store!

Kris
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HoJo
Permanent Resident

USA
1474 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2005 :  09:39:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit HoJo's Homepage Send HoJo a Private Message
Kris:

One of the reasons is that the yarn store closest to us has a reputation for not being helpful, so since we're new and people had bought stuff there originally, now that they need help - we're the only show in town.

That's one of the reasons why we're not saying anything right now and making sure they get the help they need. We're hoping the next time they need supplies they'll think of us first since we were so helpful. I'm hoping this will payback in the future as people come and shop with us. However, if it doesn't bring them back to us for purchases, we may need to re-evaluate as it does take alot of time.

HoJo

Our estore: www.fullthreadahead.com
Yarn for the mind, body, and soul

My blog: www.fullthreadahead.com/blog
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