Online Ordering Part 2: Fabric & Notions

As mentioned, I like ordering online. It frees up some of my very limited time. I don’t have to drive to multiple stores, tinker around until I am satisfied with what I want while maneuvering around other people doing the same thing…I can just tinker with an online cart and it will be sent to me.

For my next experiment, I ordered fabric and notions from 3 different online companies: Fabric.com, Fabricworm and Dove Original Trims. I can’t stand it when they take forever to actually ship from the store. Can’t stand it. I ordered from Zulily.com once and it will only ever be once because of that very thing. I like simple, clean websites with very easy navigation. A great website with a janky Yahoo store is a pain. Using Paypal also makes me cringe – I know how much money is going to Paypal and can’t help but wonder if the prices would be lower if it wasn’t for that or maybe the hard working crafters would at least get more (hello Etsy).

So, without further ado, here’s the fabric online ordering list.

Fabric.com

  • Selection. Huge, ginormous online selection. Ginormous. This can be a hindrance in the organization category. I searched for chevron fabric. I could see by the breadcrumb/navigation trail that they listed it as ‘zigzag’ first. Ok, resubmitted search for zigzag pattern. Then I found two options in yellow that I was looking for: one was an outdoor fabric and one was a cotton slub – neither are good for the baby blanket I’m going to make. Now, due to the option of looking through thousands of ‘pattern’ fabric or just using this janky search, I can’t say for sure that there wasn’t another cotton option, but this is about saving my sanity, not spending all day on a website. This is not a kill for me, just an observation that adds up. (PS, I feel validated in saying janky when I put in a search for “organic” and get PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) as an option.) However, you can get just about anything your heart desires. If you know you like Amy Butler for example, and who doesn’t, she’s easy to find with her own icon right on the front page. You can also search by designer. I ordered a ton, well, 4 lbs. of gingham. it all came neatly rolled onto a sturdy cardboard tube. I have no complaints.
  • Shipping. Ok, so there is free shipping over $35. That’s really good. So when I made an order for $71.64 on June 6, 2012 at 11 PM (so granted that’s more like June 7), I’d reasonably think they’d arrive by the 14th. I got a shipping notification on June 13th, 2012 and the package didn’t arrive until June 19th. That’s a bit too long for me. If I really don’t want the fabric I ordered for almost 2 weeks, and I don’t see myself thinking that way, or I just have to have something that only Fabric.com carries…maybe I’ll order again but right now they are on a back burner for me.
  • Cart. Eh. I don’t love their purchasing cart. I have an ‘account’ but for some reason as I enter the purchase process again, it doesn’t remember my addresses. What a pain. Paypal is an option if that’s your thing but I have no Paypal love.

Overall satisfaction: C

Fabric.com order

Fabricworm.com

  • Selection. Cute. Boutique-y, and priced accordingly. The most adorable patterns and options. They had my yellow chevron fabric, and when I emailed to ask if the 100% cotton was slub or not, just to be sure, I got a response in about an hour. They price the fabric at 1/2 yard, which is a little weird, and I’m sure it has something to do with using a Yahoo cart, but it’s not that big of a deal. They have good sales sprinkled with great sales – especially when you consider the caliber of fabric. I love the clean(ish) layout, the way the sections are broken up and the general navigation.
  • Shipping. I have ordered twice from Fabricworm and shipments have shipped in about 24 hours and arrived in about 3 days. That is perfect for me. Both orders were in the $60 range and shipping was $5.50. They do giveaways and have coupons/sales often enough to make me feel like I’m getting that $5.50 back, so I’m ok with it – especially with that delivery speed. The fabric comes neatly folded in a ziploc bag via USPS.
  • Cart. Eh. I don’t like Yahoo carts. It’s a pain to go back to the store and in the instance of my second order at Fabricworm.com they items from my first order were still in the cart when I made my second order…that’s janky. I concede Fabricworm is small and, like I mentioned, boutique-y, so I shrug it off. I also used Paypal for my order. Eh. If that convenience is there – it’s sort of like going to Burgerville – I might go there for convenience but I really don’t feel that good about it and everyone is a little poorer as an end result.

Overall satisfaction: A- (only because I don’t like Yahoo stores. If I had to consider price I might drop it a bit more, but my tax bracket level isn’t Fabricworm’s responsibility.)

Bonus: They’re on Twitter.

Fabricworm.com order #2

DoveOriginalTrims.com

  • Selection. Amazing. If you love rick rack like I do or have learned how much of a pain it is to make bias tape but hate paying $6 for a few yards, then you will love it too. I bought a spool of 50 yards of white bias tape and some lavender bias tape that was on clearance (!) in one order and a huge roll (12 yards) of 1 inch elastic in another. I am very happy with both.
  • Shipping. The roll of elastic shipped out the day after my 2 pm order on 6/22 and arrived on 6/25. Can’t complain about that. Shipping was $4.45 on the elastic order, $6.45 on the bias tape order, but at her almost-wholesale prices and speed, I can’t complain too much.
  • Cart. Well, I get the impression this store-site is a one-woman-show. While I’m not going to take the time to look at her source code, it looks like some purchased turn-key site from over a decade ago. At her prices, selection and speed, I can deal with it. The site is pretty easy to navigate, and well, again used the evil Paypal. It’s true.

Overall satisfaction: A

Bonus: Flo is on Twitter AND she posts some wacky/fun links sometimes.

2 Replies to “Online Ordering Part 2: Fabric & Notions”

  1. Do you know of a good online store for purchasing upholstery fabric? I mostly do home dec type sewing, and I’ve been trying to find a good online store that sells upholstery fabric at reasonable prices. Right now I’m making velvet draperies for my windows. I purchased my trim (a gorgeous tassel fringe) from an online sewing trim store, http://www.murraythemonsterstore.com. The same trim was almost 50% more at Joannes (even with my coupon). Even with the shipping cost I saved so much money- now I need to find a great store that sells fabric at reasonable prices too.This is a great list! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Well! first of all, thank you for the linkage! it’s always nice to have a new resource. Regarding home dec, I’m afraid that is one place I haven’t ventured. I know there are a TON of modern furniture restoration people in Portland – I’m sure someplace like that would have some input?

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