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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Still think you're saving money at Michael's?

I can't count how many times a scrapbooker has told me they don't like to shop at the local scrapbook stores because it's too expensive.  The commonly held belief is that it's better to buy at Michaels or Hobby Lobby with a coupon whenever possible.  Are you one of those people who won't buy without a coupon?  Well guess what, you may not be getting the great deal that you think you are.

In an article on the website for the Attorney General for the state of New York, the A.G. summarizes a $1.8M settlement between Michael's stores and the state of New York for falsely claiming huge discounts while customers were actually paying full retail price.  The state alleges that the retail craft giant used deceptive trade practices daily for over two years, fooling customers into buying items they thought they were getting at a discount.

While the article only mentions the issue of Michael's custom framing, it is easy to imagine that a company that would stoop this low on a daily basis would also use some of those same practices to deceive customers in other ways.  Which then begs the question, are you really getting a discount?

I have always been a supporter of local craft stores and have made it a point to promote my local scrapbooking stores at every opportunity.  Local stores are not just selling you a product, they are selling you their services, their knowledge, and their expertise.   I firmly believe that you get what you pay for, and while you may be getting a discount by shopping at the big chain stores, when you shop locally, you are investing not only in the product you are purchasing, but also the people who sell it and the community you live in.  

So next time you need to buy craft supplies, think twice about where you spend your money.  It may be costing you more than you think.

To read more about the Michaels settlement, visit: http://www.ag.ny.gov/media_center/2011/sep/sep19a_11.html

To learn more about supporting local stores in your community, visit: