I think the Row By Row Experience project is short-sighted. Why, because they started this project, four years ago, and the last two years it seems to have been it’s largest turn out. Yet, when you go to find the patterns to purchase or perhaps even download after the November 01 deadline, it is extremely difficult to find any that are available.
Many of these shops have an online presence, yet they don’t put their rows up for people to download or purchase.
Of the over 1000+ shops that participated, less than fifty of the over 200 that I’ve visited so far even have their row patterns online to sell, less than ten offer them as free downloads. To even find 2014 patterns online is next to impossible. I’m not saying they aren’t out their, but it’s not an easy task.
I have to say, I’m really disappointed that their is no ability for those of us online who can’t get out, or live in the USA be able to share in the experience after it’s over. Such a shame to use online sources to get the advertising needed, but then forget about the online community when the event is over.
As a brick and mortar shop, if your not online, then you are losing out on business you could gain by having an online presence. This holds true for the Row By Row project, if they weren’t online to advertise and get this around, the project would most likely flop. You’d have to advertise in magazines and shops to get the word out. By being online, they open themselves up to all the people who are online and spreading the word.
However, they are short-sighted in the fact that they offer no solutions for what happens after November 1, when shops are free to finally sell the kits and patterns online. It’s not as if they couldn’t setup a shop to direct sales to an email address for shops who have no online presence. Imagine all the other kits and patterns they could continue to sell by having an online presence after November 1.
As someone who is from the United States, living overseas, it’s sad to see that a project as large as this that is helping to promote quilt shop sales, would be so shortsighted as as to not find a way to help offline shops, and even online stores who just have a web presence but no shop with the ability to continue to sell those kits, and offer the patterns.
Of the patterns that I did order today, I was flabbergasted at the cost of shipping on these items. Many shops only offer USPS priority mail, at a cost of 5.95 to 7.95 and in many cases, the cost of shipping is more than the cost of the pattern. I’d rather pay the 93 cents it costs to ship, or even first class mail at 2.00.. call me cheap, but I don’t see why I need to pay 6.00 to have a pattern shipped to me.
If their were any rows I loved the most, it was the rows in Arizona from the various shops who participated. I really want them, yet I could only order one of them online.
Many shops want you to call and reserve your copy, I don’t want to call, I am online, what’s wrong with putting your product online to sell, even if you use a source like etsy, or payhip, or craftsy even to sell your products. I’m sure there are other sources I’m not even aware of.
Imagine, if your an online shop, why not offer a newsletter, and when people signup for it, they get the pattern for free, or like you on Facebook or Google, thus you can advertise your kits in the newsletter.
I know, it seems I’m on a negative track these days, but this experience has really taught me that according to quilt shops I’m a negative for them, but I could be a positive, a potential future customer because I have to order everything I need for quilting online.
So come on, get it together, Row By Row, give those shops who participate, who are looking for that additional business a way to sell online after Nov 1. Offer a pdf creation service so patterns are downloadable. Imagine the money shops would make if you took a small percentage, and they got the rest, even at 3.00 to 5.00 per pattern, even 10.00 those shops would still make money. It’s worth it to find a way for them to sell those patterns.
I could share with you the few that I ordered, but I’ll save that list for another day.. I’m thinking it might be worth it to give a more accurate list of what’s online to sell, because the Row by Row site also doesn’t have that.. they have the list of sites and supposedly the icons show the shops with kits online, but it’s not accurate.
I know, those of you who were in the states enjoyed this experience, and if I’d been in the states I to would have really enjoyed it, but I’ve waited months to grab up the patterns I liked only to be disappointed by the fact that they are not online and I am truly disappointed.
So, with that said, these are the free patterns I found before I gave up today, I haven’t given up, I’m just tired and need to do some other things tonight before I hit the hay.
Thank you to the Stitchin Post in Oregon, Tranquility Quilts, Cloth and Quilts (who also offers their 2014 pattern), and Stitch Online who all are offering downloads of their row patterns. When I find more I’ll post about them so you to can download them. I like them all.. I’ll be back. 🙂
To the Cary Row Company who is also offering their pattern for free, but you have to pay for shipping and it’s cheap.. 🙂 To ship their pattern is as low as a mere 93 cents (they have many options for shipping, I just chose the cheapest way to get to me) I like you.. I’ll be back. 🙂
Please take the time to thank these shops, I really appreciate that they thought of us still after this event was over.
I am in no way affiliated with the Row By Row Experience. I’m just a fan of this event as I love the idea that we get to support our local shops. Logos were obtained from the Row By Row Experience website for use in this post strictly to link to their site.