Friday, 28 December 2012

Online fabric shopping - Mood Fabrics

Welcome to part two of my online fabric shopping reviews!

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!

21 comments:

  1. As you say, they might as well just say on their site that they don't offer international shipping.

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    1. Yes... either that, or I'd love to hear about somebody who thought their shipping was worth it!

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  2. Holy smokes ! That's ridiculous! I agree, why even offer international shipping?

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    1. I know - I'm always disappointed when shops won't ship to New Zealand, but if they were clear on that from the start it would be less sad.

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    1. No problem! I'm really enjoying the discussion about fabric shopping online.

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  4. HA. Yeah, I tried ordering from them about 6 months ago. What a joke. I gave up at the whole 'you must telephone us in person' part. Seriously, if places like Gorgeous Fabrics and Emma One Sock can do SUCH a fabulous job at selling fabric to internationals, I see no reason why a bigger company like Mood can't get their act together.
    I'm tempted to boy cot them when I hit new york next year... but I just can't. That said... if you need me to bring anything back for you - I'd be happy to post it across the pond! :)

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    1. I'm glad it's not just me that thought it was a silly process. And I appreciate the recommendations for some more friendly shops!

      Ooh, let me know when you are heading to NY and I'll think about it...

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    2. Late Sept next year - so you've got plenty of time to consider your options :P

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  5. I'm with PoppyKettle my quote was $230 in shipping and I got the same response. Australia and NZ is not the back of beyond. Saying that I will shop there when I got to NYC. If your after a specific fabric trying googling it, I found Farmhouse fabrics had the Marc Jacobs fabric I was after for the same price and shipping was reasonable, either $18 or $26.

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    1. Welcome to the blog! Thanks for commenting :-)

      Interesting, isn't it? I mean, if they don't want our business down in the southern hemisphere, why don't they say so?

      Good idea about googling for specific fabrics - thank you!

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  6. How utterly ridiculous! Hundreds of other companies are willing and able to ship to Australian and NZ, so what makes them so special that they can't? Honestly, they're just wasting people's time with the whole "ring us to arrange a completely unreasonable shipping quote that will inpsire you to cancel your order" business. It would be much easier if they just said they wouldn't ship there.

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    1. You've hit the nail on the head. As Melanie (poppykettle) said, I'm not really inclined to shop with them in future, even if it becomes more convenient!

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    2. Yeah. Talk about a sour after-taste that lasts and lasts...

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    3. Although you got your fabric in the end Melanie. Hehe.

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  7. How annoying! I looked at stuff there too but was put off by the phone us thing. Have you checked out the NZ post freight forwarding service yet? They give you a US address, let you kbow when it arrives, and charge you postage from us to nz. I've only used them once so far, for 3 yards of viscose knit from an e bay seller, and postage to NZ was $22. I can see it working well where free US shipping is offered or where people just plain don't ship tp NZ.
    I've just bought some nice stuff from EmmaOneSock. The shipping was heaps less than the option it made me choose when I ordered. Tissu fabrics in the UK also looks quite good. These reviews are really helpful, thank you!

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    1. I have heard about the freight-forwarding - that sounds like a good option!

      Thank *you* for reading and providing your own recommendations! I hope we can all get something out of sharing information :-)

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  8. I find it fascinating that fabric.com can fill a box with fabric (about 10 yards - in their language - depending on the weight of the fabric) and send it to AUS and it gets here within a week - and you know before you check out how much it will cost - and yet other fabric places charge like a wounded bull and take forever to get here.

    Fabric.com doesn't have as great fabric as some of the places - but at least they want to sell internationally.

    I won't even go into the rude response I had from fabricmart.com!!!

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    1. It's really interesting to see the different attitudes to international customers, and thank you for your input... hahaha, sounds like you had an, um, 'different' experience with fabricmart!

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  9. Sorry for the rant - you hit a sore spot!!!!

    Enjoying your blog.

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    1. Oh, no problem - rants are fine here :-D

      Glad you're enjoying the blog!

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