This time I 'went shopping' at Mood. I hear great things about their selection and quality, not least because they are currently sponsoring a number of my favourite blogs.
Their website has a lovely interface, which makes it easy to search and browse. They have great descriptions of the fabric types, and a huge range of plain and specialty fabrics to choose from. I also appreciate the descriptions of fibre content and suggestions for making up different fabrics.
There's no information on their website about international shipping, other than to say that you have to phone them to arrange delivery. So you can order online (easily), but the confirmation email tells you to call their New York store during the next working day to progress your order.
Ooookaaay. Luckily my cell plan includes $2 for up to 60 minutes to the US. I had a small window between about 7am and 10am when I was awake AND their shop was open. Less than convenient, but doable...
I'll pause here to say, I've bought thousands of dollars worth of products from various places overseas in the last ten years. And I have literally never had to go through such a customer un-friendly process to arrange shipping.
So I called them as soon as I got to work the next day, at about 7:30am my time. The lady on the other end of the phone was friendly and efficient - and then she gave me a quote of $250-$300 shipping for my $80 of fabric. She was very apologetic that for some reason they only ship via UPS, and was happy to cancel my order right away (I got that confirmation email within seconds).
I asked via Twitter what the story was - I got a vague answer about 'planning to improve service for international customers'. Their blog mentions nothing about this, so I'll believe it when I see it.
I don't know their reasoning for needing a phone call rather than an email confirmation, but I can live with that. I can't comprehend their lack of affordable shipping options, other than they obviously get enough local business that they have no interest in shipping outside the US.
They do have a lovely range of products. But I can't see myself spending money there. Frankly, I don't know why they even allow international orders - who in their right mind would pay for that shipping!