What are your favorite online stitching supply sources?
Usually when I am looking for a new design, I am looking for a specific reason / person and I have a theme in mind, so I start by googling keywords and "cross stitch" to see what comes up. I do both a web search and an image search. That leads me to a huge variety of sources - some freebies, some shops, etc. It's also how I discovered the cross stitching blogs. Sometimes I find something, sometimes I don't. If I find a shop that has something similar to what I'm looking for, I explore the shop further.
I did pick up a few favorite shops doing this, and now I tend to go to them first and see what they offer:
- 1-2-3 Stitch: My favorite shop. I usually go there first and end up ordering quite a bit from them
- ABC Stitch Therapy
I've ordered from Everything Crossstitch as well. They used to offer a 2o% discount on your first order if you signed up for the newsletter, but I don't know if they still do that. They have a great selection and good prices, but I hesitate to recommend them because of a problem with my first order. It was taking FOREVER to arrive and I finally contacted them to find out where it was. I explained that one of the charts I ordered was for a housewarming gift and I really needed it to get started. The CSR checked the records and told me that there had been a shipping problem - my order was packaged with another and sent to the wrong address, so they were waiting for the other customer to return my order so they could send it on to me. I told her this was unacceptable to me and asked if they could please repick my order and send it out ASAP. She said they would, and it arrived a week later.
I know they fixed the problem, but I would have been more inclined to recommend them had they a) contacted me as soon as they found out about the mistake and/or b) repacked and shipped my order to me without waiting for the other customer to return it. Picky, I know, but good customer service is important to me. And unless I'm looking for something only they have in stock, I will tend to order elsewhere instead of going back. I haven't had the occasion to order from them again.
I also go to eBay quite often, especially when I am looking for something that's OOP. I've purchased a few things from Judy. She has a great selection and excellent customer service.
Mostly though, I will try to purchase at actual shops, even if their prices are a little higher. I know I am paying for their expertise whenever I have a question and for being able to see stitched models in person before I buy, so the extra money I spend is, IMO, for a good reason to help keep them in business.