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Old 08-17-2008, 06:38 AM   #41  
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Carrollton, VA
Posts: 15,558

I live in a rather large well-populated area and I still buy almost everything online. There aren't that many LSS in this area and the craft stores just do not carry the greatest and latest. The Joann's closest to me has about 1/2 of an aisle of scrapbooking and stamping stuff. That's it! Michael's has several aisles, but most of the stuff isn't anything to get excited about.

I love shopping online. It makes me look forward to checking the mailbox when I come home from work. There might actually be something besides bills or junk mail in there! Yay! And I can shop online in my pajamas- try that at Michael's. LOL!
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:03 AM   #42  
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 46
Default Shopping

I had always been a must-touch-feel-smell-before-I-buy type of person, but 6 years ago I had to give up driving. Even though I moved from Austin TX to Center City in Philadelphia, I could not find the crafts supplies I wanted without a very long bus ride. It was very frustrating. In desperation, I became an online shopper. It can become very addictive, so I've learned its best to wait a day before pushing the "Proceed to Checkout" button. This is particularly true of those 2am shopping sprees when my blood sugar and therefore my common sense are extremely low.

About a year and a half ago I moved to Salem, OR and found myself living about 3-4 blocks from the greatest LSS, The Stamping Cat. Lisa, the owner, is happy to order things if she doesn't have them in stock, and I am so grateful to have a nearby stamp store of such high quality that I buy everything I possibly can there to support the business. There are still some stamping/craft/art things that I need to buy online. I tend to shop from a few online stores with exceptional customer service and free shipping with a minimum order (priority mail preferred--I still hate to wait once I've decided to buy!). I try to never pay shipping by saving up orders until the particular minimum is met. I also try to take advantage of sales whenever possible by signing up for email notification of sales, checking sites often and keeping a running list of desired items. The good thing about checking sites often (and getting good enabling advice here on SCS) is that I know when a bargain is a bargain. I also list the minimum sale required for free shipping next to the name of the business on my favorites list so if I need something quickly and do not want to make a big order I choose a store with a lower minimum to place that order.

The LSS here also has good sales, plus being willing to order things that aren't in stock. In addition, my LSS provides a card on which purchases are entered, and when the card is full, the customer gets ten percent of the sales as a store credit! It's fun to suddenly have a little pot of money to spend with wild abandon. If I am in need of something very specific, I try to call to see whether the item is in stock.

I'm not saying this to gloat over my good fortune in finally having a good LSS so close (well, maybe a little gloat--as fellow addicts know, it is better than having a spa in your backyard as far as rejuvenation goes!), but to suggest some online shopping strategies and the possibility that one of the LSSs that is a long drive may be willing to order what you want. And even those that don't have online shopping sometimes have a website outlining what brands they carry, etc. so a trip is not made in vain.

Also, with apologies to anyone who may be emplyed there, don't lament not having a Michaels or JoAnns nearby, and don't even try to call them about availability of a certain item. Most likely, even if they do have it (which is unlikely), the person you talk to will not have a clue what you are talking about. Wishing you well on becoming as poor as the rest of us who always manage to find someplace to spend our craft money, Pat

ps--The current gas prices are a good bargaining chip when arguing for a more liberal online shopping policy with your husband. After all, your identity can be just as easily stolen when going out to eat by giving the waiter your credit card to take to a back room where there could be a hidden card reader, as it is to shop by Paypal, particularly with the excellent suggestions given by others above.
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:34 AM   #43  
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Location: Central Wisconsin
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One more note to the OP - is a great online store. She's got great selection, doesn't list items as available if they're on backorder, offers free shipping on orders over $25 and she accepts checks & money orders! You can place the order as though you were going to pay with paypal or credit card, then choose check or money order for payment, print the invoice and mail it all in.

Cornish Heritage Farms also has excellent selection and service and you are able to print out your shopping cart and mail it in with a check or money order - they have free shipping on orders over $35.

If someone hacking into your account is what your husband is concerned about, though, you should always pay with a money order instead of a check. Your checking account number and the bank routing number, which are printed on the bottom of every check, are all that someone unscrupulous needs to drain money directly from your account.
~~Cheryl, with a "C"
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