Friday, April 3, 2009

Limited Edition? KMA!

I have officially decided that the economy has made everyone crazy. Stable, reliable companies have started flaking on customer service, making irrational statements, or making insane business decisions.

Ignoring some of the crazy things computer gaming companies have said and done in the past couple months (Sony? Wise up!) let's focus on the world of fiber, yarn, and other homey type items for a moment, because that's what this blog is (supposedly) focused on.

In the past month, I have seen a huge rise in companies offering "limited edition" yarns and patterns. This past week, Knit Picks announced that their Palette sock yarn samplers (which have been so hugely popular they are almost never in stock) are going to be discontinued. Wha?! Doing the math for a moment, if you wanted to buy all three sets with enough to make a pair of socks in every color, you'd have to spend $210. I don't know many people that have that money laying around. My goal was to do just this, though, but one color set at a time. That's $70, which is a huge chunk of change all on its own. Knit Picks is also the company who created one of those adorable Sock Monkey patterns, also wildly popular, as a limited edition. I think it was avalable for all of a week before it sold out. And don't GET me started on the whole Wollemeise situation... that's a blog unto itself.

Now yesterday I get an email from DVO, an electronic cookbook company. I only use their organizing software, but they offer 100's of titles with pre-formatted recipes. Famous names like Betty Crocker, Taste of Home, etc. They're discontinuing their "Buy all our titles now!" package, because supposedly they lose too much money every time they sell it. BUT WAIT! We'll sell it to you for the next two days, then it's GONE! Hurry! Drop $400 in our wallet! Please!

I find that their cries of "Oh, it hurts us" less credible when they urge you to buy it... and then send you reminders every day.

Look, people... and by people, I mean companies... if customers want to give you money for something, and you make a profit with it, LET THEM. This "Limited Edition" nonsense may give you a short monetary boost, but it will hurt you in the long run. My husband's pay schedule has changed to less frequent but larger payments. Since I rely on sales for my own income, I'm pretty much at the whim of the market. I may not HAVE the money by the time your super-duper item's deadline occurs. I will probably have bought all these items eventually (well, not the cookbook package... I have too many titles already) but I am NOT going to make myself crazy trying to SCRAPE UP $210 for yarn on YOUR schedule!

All it looks like is that companies are afraid the money is going to run out, and they want to grab as much of it as they can before it dries up. Stop acting desperate.

I realize these are last-ditch efforts companies are taking before they have to start firing people or cutting pay, but honestly this kind of economy is where the cream is going to rise to the top. And if you're left standing at the end of all this, but you've put a bad taste in my mouth with your behavior during a crisis, I'm going to stop shopping with you. I've already dropped one supplier for flaking on customer service, care to make it two?

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