Sunday, April 29, 2012

RIPPED OFF!!

If you are a regular reader you know that I am lucky enough to Snowbird ‘down south’ each year…go on Shop Hops and Quilt Shows and visit Quilt Shops…lots of quilt shops.  I have a fairly good idea of what fabric costs down in California….  :o) When I left in March fabric was $10.50 a yard…with the talk of it going up to $11.

We travelled up the I-5, with a two day stop in Portland, OR and I stopped in at Pioneer Quilts Quilt Shop…fabric was $10.50 a yd.  Now Pioneer Quilts is about a five hour drive to the Canadian border.  My guess is that fabric is about $10.50 in Bellingham, WA located 20 minutes from the Canadian Border. 

I’d like to know what happens to fabric between there and HERE??  Why are we Canadian quilters/sewers paying SEW much for fabric? 

Yesterday I bought this little stack of Homespuns…1/2 metre cuts (1 m.=39”) so about 19 inches of fabric in each piece.  The bottom black piece was from Kathy Schmitz’s line called Full Circle..the shop didn’t have any black Homespuns so I am substituting this…I needed 2 1/2 metres.  

Are you sitting down??  Total cost was over $80!  And that is with a 20% off discount because it was the ‘last Saturday of the month special’!  Today this little pile would cost over $100! 

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I jokingly said at the till ‘WOW'…are you sure that’s right?’  The sales girl thought it was high too  and checked and sure enough…over $80!!.

Would you believe Homespuns are $19.99 a meter?  The black Kathy Schmitz piece was $17.99!  YIKES!!

Now before you say stop shopping at this Quilt Store…IT ISN’T THIS SHOP…they ALL have prices like THIS! 

So what I would like to know is, WHY the big mark up on fabric??  When I compared the price of patterns and books they are roughly the same…notions are the same, GO! dies are the same…WHY the HUGE mark up on FABRIC??  I mean OK…a couple of bucks maybe BUT over $9 a metre is WAY TOO MUCH!!

So my reason for writing this?…I really want to know what happens at the border?  What is the custom’s duty on fabric?  If I drove over to Bellingham,WA and bought a yard of Homespun fabric, then paid the duty, would it come to $19.99 a metre??  Inquiring minds want to know!!

I think this also means that NEXT YEAR this Snowbirder needs to buy more fabric..WAY more fabric!  What do you think?

Have a Sunny Sunday and Happy Quilting!~P

46 comments:

Lori said...

I'm interested to know what happens at the border too!!

Shakerwood said...

I don't know but I am glad I have enough homespun to last for YEARS. It's hard to find new homespuns no matter where you live!!

marilyn said...

That's crazy. I have a hard time paying $10 a yard for fabric. I think at $20 I would have to give up my hobby or switch to using old clothes like they did way back when.

Bev said...

I don't know what happens at the border but I have an online fabric shop in the USA and have tons of Canadian customers. I wondered about that because even though we discount shipping to Canada, I always wondered. Love your work by the way!
Cheery wave from Bev

Regina said...

cough cough choke choke.... that's CRAZY!!! Wow...

Carol said...

Maybe it would be cheaper for you to mail order your fabric.

gisèle said...

Paulette vous avez eu de très beau tissus. j'ai hâte de voir vos réalisations. Bon dimancche. Gisèle

Poppyprint said...

Well, I was just shopping for fabric in Bellingham on Friday as a matter of fact, at Fourth Corner Quilts. Most modern fabrics are $11/yd, but I did pick up some Anna Maria Horner voile in an old line for $9/yd. At my LQS in North Vancouver, fabric is about $15/m. I always declare how much cotton I have at the border and I've never had to pay duty or GST, even when it's over $300 and I've only been gone one day. I want to support my local shops, but geez, it's pretty tough to argue with 40% off for the exact same fabric! I think the Canadian wholesaler must have import duties/taxes that they have to pass on to the retailer (so much for Free Trade, eh?). Ever noticed the difference the price of a bottle of wine between here and WA? INSANE. We pay heaps of tax...not just what you see on the bottom of your receipt. My advice is to stock up next winter!

Mary said...

YES that is a lot to pay per metre or YARD. I've not bought any Homespuns and have quite the stash. Hoping I can shop my stash more and more as I see the prices rise.

Caroline Ingalls said...

Just a word so you can feel lucky even in Canada: here in France I pay around 26 US $ for 1 meter and there is no way I can find any Homespun :(

Missy Shay said...

I guess you will be making quite a dent in your stash until you travel again. When I lived in PA and would visit Canada, I noticed the prices were always higher in Canada on stuff, but I was told it was because of the difference in the money. I really don't understand all that stuff. I now understand why busloads of Canadians would go shopping at the Erie mall.

Anonymous said...

Come back to Oregon, yesterday I took a class at Grandma Attic in Dallas Oregon and I paid $10.59 a yard for Windham Fabrics by Nancy Gere with no sales tax. Enjoy that fabric it's gold! Sally from Oregon

Sunnybec said...

It's the same here in France Paulette, I don't know what the price of homespun is as I haven't seen any here, but quilting cotton is very expensive. I buy from USA and even with the delivery charge it's cheaper for me. Hugs

Mary-Kay said...

it's really hard to support your local quilt shop especially when you live on the border. Here in Windsor ON, fabric is roughly $16-17 per meter when not a hour away, fabric is $10 per yard. Buy local and all that sucks when it comes to quilting. Besides most of the fabric is printed overseas (Asia) and not even in our own backyard. I think that's why it's so expensive over here and not in the States.There must be a lot more duty on fabric that a store brings over when it's not made in the States. I don't think that customs checks where your fabric is made when you bring it over yourself. I know that anything made within the NAFTA trade group is duty free, you are supposed to just pay the taxes on it. So with that in mind, maybe we should be checking where all this fabric is made that's in our local shops and start questioning them about their prices. My sister lives in the States and used to work in a quilt shop. Guess where I buy 90% of my fabric!

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

I have asked the same question many times! I have been told that it is the duty they have to pay to bring it to Canada. What happened to Free Trade???
I do try to support my LQS, but when fabric is $18 - $22/meter, I cringe!
I also leave room in my suitcase when we go to Phoenix and try to stock up a bit when I am there. They have sale tables with fabric for $5/yard!!

Darlene said...

I've often wondered why fabric is so expensive in your neck of the woods!?!?!?!

A couple of days ago I had a discussion with my husband about the rising cost of fabric. He couldn't believe how expensive it's gotten.

I think you need to stock up next winter. :-)

Emma said...

It costs even more here in Australia. I can accept an increase due to shipping andthe extra handling, but $24/m is average here. There's always a lot of discussion about why, and it seem to come down to the fact that retailers have to go through distributors, and the increase is due to the prices they charge - certainly it's not the quilt shops making the big profit. Like you, I like to support my LQSs, but I can get twice as much fabric for my money (including paying postage) by ordering from the US. There's no custom fees, either. At least our dollar is strong, to help with all those international purchases!

Heartsdesire said...

Not sure why fabric is so expensive here, I can't imagine what quilt shop owners are thinking when they have to charge these prices just to stay in business. Since I've moved to Vancouver Island, I haven't found any quilt shops that I like so I shop online. Even with the shipping, dollar value, etc. it's cheaper. Of course, you don't get to paw through the fat quarters and touch the wool, but it beats spending twice as much on a piece of fabric. If you're taking a future trip to the US, check out Folktales in Lynden, WA, just across the border from the Aldergrove crossing. She has a lot of homespun. Not sure of the pricing, as I haven't been there for a while, but certainly cheaper than here and a very cute store. Lots and lots of stitchery patterns too.

WoolenSails said...

Our stores have gone up too, even Jo anns costs more.
Hard to walk out of a store without spending 100 bucks, so hitting us all. Makes me think twice about how I cut into it;)

Debbie

Synthia said...

If you order fabric on-line from the US do they charge duty when it comes into Canada? If so, is it a lot? The pieces you bought 'at home' certainly are lovely.

Lynda said...

Yikes I have a hard time with $10.50 a yard! I doubt that it will stop me from buying tho.

I'm sure that is you Paulette....I bet that song is about you.

That hiking trail is gorgeous. I don't think I'd be jumping in that water tho.

Susie Q said...

Hi Paulette, here in the UK fabric is expensive, especially for quilters, as a lot of quilt fabric here is imported from the US, so we are paying the price of the fabric and then all the duty and shipping which is added on. So I can quite understand your outrage, but everything seems to be going up at the moment. Susie

Unknown said...

Hi Paulette.

I used to import into Canada... not fabric, but nuts, bolts, etc. I looked at the tariff rates for cottons, and cotton used to make apparel is duty free. Cottons used for other things are rated at 12%. However, I also have brought fabric back to Canada when at the Puyallup fair, and have not paid any duty or tax. Also, if you stop at a laundromat and wash and dry your fabric before coming home, it is considered "used" and no duty will be applied. A trick someone told me but haven't actually tried it myself. Who has time to do laundry on a shopping trip?

Have a great day.

Siena

Loris said...

I thought it had something to do with the value of the dollar...though I'm not an economist and don't understand such things. I sure commiserate with your feelings though. The cost of fabric is scary.

Anna said...

Hey Paulette...I just got off EBAY and you can get a lot of homespuns...not sure what the exchange rate it but...sheesh, it has got to be better than that!

Vicki said...

Happy big 'O' birthday! My understanding is from our little quilt store is that there is a 'middle man' involved when stores buy from the USA and that is where the extra gets tacked on. As for what would happen at border if you declared fabric bought I don't know.
Happy quilting.

Tammy said...

Paulette, we are all paying more for fabric, even in the states. The reason, particularly for this last year, is that we had a bad cotton crop in the southern states, plus we promised and exported too much to China which left us a shortage. It's a matter of supply and demand. Come to Bham sometime. There are some good deals on clearance rack. There are three quilt stores in Bham, three more in Lynden. Some of the new Kaffe fabrics that just came out are $8.50. Not sure what your duty rate is.

Sharon said...

WOW! I will stop complaining about $12 a yard here in Missouri...I just do not understand the prices!

Sue SA said...

I haven't brought anything on line yet, but it sure is getting tempting when patchwork fabric is $17 (Australia) per metre from an Australian Online shop verse $22- 24 in person from an Australia Quilt shop. I think some shops ship free to Australia if you spend enough money....sad because if retail keeps going this way there will not be any gorgeous shops to visit, so I can touch the fabrics and check the colours of bolts against my swatches. Age is not my barrier to online shopping, just my fear that it will become a temptation and I will spend too much money...trying to shop from my stash as much as possible!

Rosa said...

They are beautiful.Fabrics are expensive in my area.

Pen Pen said...

Gulp! Fabric is way too expensive, period...in my book. LOL

Anonymous said...

Hi Paulette, in Germany Quilt Fabric is about 20$ to 26$ per metre. I always wondered why it´s so expensive over here. Sometimes it is cheaper to order from a US online-shop, even with shipping costs and taxes.
And I wish you a very happy Birthday!
Greetings, Inka from Germany
inka(dot)mangels(at)elaborate-consult(dot)de

Abbe said...

In Australia we pay $22 - $26 per mtr!!! I can get fabric from the U.S. for $8.99p/yard plus postage all the way here is still under $12p/yd.
Crazee!!!

MooseStash Quilting said...

I was just reading on the quilting board this morning that Northcott, I believe it was, has a very cool line of fabric made for the Canadian market with the maple leaf and moose on it. It is only sold in Canada, and they won't sell it in the US because they get so much more for the fabric in Canada. Now why is what I would like to know????? It just doesn't seem fair.

julieQ said...

Well, I found the same thing, going across to Canada...I was so looking forward to shopping in the Canadian shops, but at $5.00 a fat quarter...I opted out! It is far more expensive there, and I am not sure really why so much more expensive!!

Anonymous said...

so who's making the money. I'm sick of paying 22-28 per metre in Australia for fabric and being told I should support my local shop. I would love too, but all it appears is that I am supporting the distributer because in Australia there is a monopoly on distributing (only a few so no competition) It's not the shop making the money. Chris

Quilt Hollow said...

It's crazy everywhere. I'm thankful for my stash. I lived in Europe for ten years and refused to pay the prices there....$11 is crazy here! I look for online shops that sell it for less....but getting far and few and oodles of shops closing. We all appreciate those quilters who are selling off their stash too. Lol

Carol said...

The reason for the higher prices in Canada is really quite simple. The fabric manufacturers in the US are not allowed to sell directly to stores here because they deal through a distributor who has the right to import the fabric and sell to the retail market directly. As a result, these distributors add their markup to the fabric cost and pass it on to their customers (the quilt and fabric shops) who add their markup. Because of this double markup, our fabric costs us twice as much as Americans pay. Since we do not have the population base to support the industry, we suffer from the inflated prices, and will continue to do so.

QuiltSue said...

Spare a thought for us poor Brits then. Fabric here costs almost twice what it costs from the US. We are constantly told to support our local shops, but really, with that sort of price differential, I'm sorry, but it's just not realistic. Anyway, I guess I am at least helping to keep my postman in work?

momssewingroom said...

Haven't you noticed that with a lot of things? Books and magazines have separate prices printed right on them. It used to be because of the dollar, but now they're pretty even.

Canada is a much smaller market and we have a lot more tax.

Cindy said...

Oh my, that's really expensive! I have no clue why but I would do like you said- stock up the next time you're 'down south'.:)

Loved the pictures from your hike- so pretty! And yes, I too think you're the Paulette the magazine is talking about! How exciting!!:)

Beverley said...

Sew expensive here in Britain. Around $22 per metre. I am enjoyinh my stash and only buy to finish a quilt.
Bev

Anita said...

That sounds painful! I don't know why it's so expensive, but I'd have to not buy it at that cost. =(

Allie said...

It's CRAZY. I remember the good old days [lol, sound like an old fart, don't I?} when I could get fabric for $2/yd. The price of cotton has gone up 80%! I think I'm going to get creative and find my fabrics from used clothing!

Marg Rowbotham said...

I agree when we come into Ontario and they will ask what do you have to declare and I will tell them some yardages of material and I buy as a rule in Florida and they don't go any farther how much I will tell them and they could care less about fabric. So why so much here in Canada.

Anonymous said...

Wow !! Those who don't own shop have nothing nice to say. Good luck to you when you blog about this in a negative way. When you have no shops to shop at. I live how you fail to mention that in Canada we have duty to pay. Then we have taxes to pay the we have to pay staff to help people. Then we have over head. If u want cheap fabric then by all means by the cheap stuff but don't complain when your quilt falls apart or your buttons bleed.