Buying supplies online: Good or bad idea?

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered some yarn online to complete a project for a friend at work.  I got it a week later, to see that it was the wrong colour.  I wanted a grassy green or khaki green.  What I got was luminous green!  I was pretty bummed, I spent more on yarn online than I would have done if I had just walked to the shops.  I asked the seller if I had received the wrong yarn only to be told that ‘We have your order as apple which is what we have sent you’.  OK, thanks…. (I would share the pictures but I don’t want this to identify the seller)

I learnt something interesting when I did an online course on the mind.  Our interpretations of situations and senses can often be very different to everyone else’s.  In fact, there is very compelling evidence that that is so for colours.  I suppose you all remember that dress that broke the internet?  Blue and black v white and gold.  This is a prime example that we view and interpret colours differently from other people.

Blue and black vs white and gold (BBC, 2015)

I knew this when I bought the yarn.  In fact, this was the first time I had ordered yarn online.  So why did I go ahead anyway?  I was desperate to get the project finished as quickly as possible but depression stopped me wanting to leave the house.  As a result, the project will be finished late, my friend will get them late, and I will only have my silly self to blame.

So I’ve learnt my lesson, buy yarn from the shops!  However, other supplies are quite easy to get online.  The banner you see on this blog site, my crochet hooks, I bought online.  I would never have found them in the shops.  In fact, it was cheaper to buy that set (23 hooks, six tapestry needles and a case) than it would have been to buy each item separately.  OK, they are not pristine quality, but they do the job perfectly.  Other supplies like row counters, stitch markers, safety eyes and other accessories are fab online.  The choice is extensive, which allows you to decide how much, or how little, you want to spend.

Of course, quality is dependent on price.  I have bought very cheap stitch markers which snap just by looking at them and tape measures have not been accurate.  This is something to bear in mind.  Another factor is where you are ordering from.  I ordered stitch markers which took a month to arrive because they were from China (and I paid the cheapest shipping fee), if I ordered something which was important to finish a project, for a friend, I wouldn’t find that time acceptable, therefore I would pay extra.

The reason why I go cheap is because I am poor.  If I were to spend far more money on supplies, I’d never have any!  I had this conversation with a family member a couple of years ago, who could not understand why a moderate to expert knitter wouldn’t spend money on good quality yarn, to which I said ‘If I did, I’d never knit or crochet anything again.’

There’s taking rough with the smooth, then there’s buying tat.  So, for me, online shopping and browsing is a life saver as it allows me the options to buy cheap or moderate quality supplies, depending on what the item is.  But I still enjoy browsing in the shops, nothing beats seeing, feeling and holding what you want to buy in real life.  It’s just a case of seeing which option is best for what.


3 thoughts on “Buying supplies online: Good or bad idea?

  1. That happened to me once. I thought I was getting sunflower yellow and I got a pale yellow, which did not go with the color palette I wanted. It is risky buying online, but sometimes the sales are worth the risk. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. so true!! I buy those yarn-cards whenever I see them. the ones with the different bits of yarn stuck to them so that I have a library of the different colours. I’ve made some big stash-mistakes too though!!! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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