Saturday, April 7, 2012

When is it "bait and switch"?

I've been away from quilting for about a month ... with vacation and a variety of other competing efforts -- including my 1/2 marathon training!

Now a moment for a vent ...

Feeling pretty good about my Confetti Quilt and the Wall Art I created from Rachel's Curves Class -- both comprised of solids.  So I headed off to JoAnn's this morning to buy some Kona solids for my newest effort.

I left the house armed with the following coupons:

  1. 25% off your total regular-priced purchase (valid April 5-7)
  2. 50% off any one regular-priced fabric (valid April 1-7)
  3. 20% off your total purchase (valid through April 28)
  4. 40% off any one regular-priced item (valid through April 14)
  5. 25% off your total purchase regular priced purchase (valid April 5 - 7)
  6. 40% off any one regular priced fabric (valid April 1 - 14)
They came to me from various sources:
  • #1 & #2 were put into my bag when I was in the store last week,
  • #3 was a postcard mailed to my house,
  • #4 is from the periodic flier that they send to my house,
  • #5 & #6 were from JoAnn's iPhone ap
Unfortunately, the only one I could have used today was #3.

You see, JoAnn's took their premium solid fabrics and marked them all down by $1 per yard from April 1 - 14.  As I walked around the store, I saw numerous instances where small discounts were provided to prevent the coupons from being applicable.   Note ... the $1 off sale ends on 4/14, just after all 5 of the coupons that are restricted to regular price items expire.

Now don't get me wrong, JoAnn's has the right to execute the pricing strategy that they feel is appropriate.  What irritates me is not that I couldn't get 50% off the 4 yards of Kona solid I wanted to buy, it was the fact that they wasted my time by sending me coupons to encourage me to return ... but I can't use the bulk of those coupons.  And more importantly, they have created a set of expectations (SALE $$$) and delivered a very different experience.  

So I left empty handed and headed off down the road to my LQS, a local business, where I paid $6.99 per yard for my solids, picked up some smaller yardage of prints ... and came home thinking it will be a long, long time before I head back into JoAnn's again.

What's your experience with JoAnn's coupon conundrum?

Happy quilting!

All the best


  1. Exact same thing happened to me! I packed all three kids to JoAnn's in order to buy Kona for myself and 10 yrds of white Kona that I'm sending over with someone visiting my friend in Italy. Left the store with two screaming children and no purchases at all. I was so irritated. I came home and found out that is having a sale, put together a group order with some friends and got my Kona at 25% off--costing me less that it would have at JoAnn's with their 50% off coupon. No exactly a great "sale" this week over there.

  2. This is interesting! The only time I've noticed the small discounts are with the magazines - often 10% off. I don't shop at JoAnn that much any more, but I often used to go in there with a 40% off coupon only to find the item I wanted was already on sale for 40% off - fine by me. I'll have to keep my eyes open next time I'm in there.

  3. I have had the same experience. If I know I want to use a coupon on yardage, I check online to make sure it's not on fake-sale before I go to the store.

  4. I'm with you, Lisa - the same thing has happened to me several times and it always irritates me (especially because it is an hour round trip for me to go to the closest Joanne's). I'm at the point now where I don't buy fabric there anymore. I shop the terrific online stores and my local quilt stores for all my fabric needs now. The only thing I buy at Joannes is batting (when it is on sale) and blades for my rotary cutter because the coupons I get can usually be used on them.

  5. I don't shop at Joann's - my Mom and sister do and then do nothing but complain about the coupons. Why bother? I can get much better sales on-line and it is delivered to my door! I also believe in supporting my LQS - need to keep local businesses.

  6. I do a lot of shopping at Joann's, because it's the only place locally that carries Kona cotton. But I wait until the Kona is either 40-50% off or not on sale at all with a 40-50% off coupon. You should have been able to use the 25% off total purchase coupon today, even on the Kona - but it's still better to wait until you can use the larger coupon. I by in bulk when I can get it for half off - usually at least six yards of each basic color we use frequently. For me, planning ahead is cheaper than buying online! Sorry you had a bad experience....

  7. Usually the same thing happens to me. You go in thinking you are going to be able to stock up on some things, but alas, everything is 'on sale' so none of the coupons are applicable.

  8. I noticed the same thing this past week, when I was planning to use my 50% off coupon on some Kona. I've started ordering solids online if I know what I'll need in advance.

  9. I really wish I had that issue! My 'local' fabric shop is a 120 mile round trip to Leeds, which is far too far especially when you add in UK petrol costs. So, in reality I buy all my quilting fabric from the fabric shack in the US, over the internet. I understand what you mean though, they're drawing you in with the promise of a price reduction and hoping that you spend anyway regardless of the fact that they've rendered the coupon useless. Why don't you write and complain, send them your useless coupons and say you won't shop there again, and see what they send you?

  10. I am with you sister. I pretty much leave my Joann's coupons at home anymore, cuz I know everything I want will, like you saw, have some sort of 'discount'.
    And another thing! The most expensive fabric I see these days is at Joann's -- as much as 13 or 14 dollars per yard! And they are always sooo stingy with their cuts. Not quite a bargain.
    Welcome back!!!

  11. Hi Lisa, I had this VERY SAME discussion with my mom last week. I get so disgusted with the plethora of coupons that I get from Joann, only to be able to rarely use the ones I need. And I agree with smazoochie....they are terribly stingy with their cuts. I prewash all fabric and I rarely end up with the yardage I actually paid for.

  12. yep...I have learned. I love getting my solids at JoAnn's and I love getting my DS Quilts fabrics there. But I have learned that with the coupons, I make sure ahead of time if any of those are on sale. b/c if they are, I know I wont be able to use the coupons. I live 45 minutes from the nearest Joanns and I'm surely not making the trip if I can't use my coupons! Another thing I hate is when their Kona solids are on sale and I drive all the way there and they have none of the colors I'm after...another disappointment! Sorry you were unsuccessful at Joanns but it sounds like you made out at the lqs!

  13. I am surprised at how many comments were made regarding Kona at Joann's. I always felt it was a very cheap quality Kona, even though the label says Kona, I have my doubts it's made with the same standards as the Kona found elsewhere?

  14. I've had the same problem! Also I refuse to buy the coveted DS Quilts fabric that they price at $13.99 a yard. If I were to use a coupon, they are still selling at would normally be full price. Sometimes they mark down or put things on sale that are unadvertised and I make the trip for nothing cuz I can't use coupons.

  15. I agree with everything you wrote. In fact,after my last trip there I vowed not to even look at another of their coupons. Coupons? We can't use no stinkin' coupons!

  16. I agree that the coupon situation at Joann's is very frustrating! Once upon a time you could use the coupons for items that were on sale, and if your coupon was better than the sale, then you got the better price. I go into Joann's to buy Kona as well. I'm rethinking this since my last experience with their Kona--I bought some yardage of Kona grass green and realized I needed a little more a week later...went back with a swatch of what I had already bought, and the three remaining bolts of Kona grass green were all different from each other and different from my swatch as well! I don't know if anyone else has had this problem, but I've never had that problem with other Kona colors I've bought in other places. Is this a Joann's issue or a Kona? I have heard tell that the Kona at Joann's is not the same as the Kona you would find at a quilt store. And yes, I don't understand how they price the DS Quilts fabric so much higher than other quilting fabric!

  17. I seldom go to JoAnns...they are clear on the south side of the town and it is not worth the trouble to go when I seldom can use a coupon. It is just like you said...everything is marked down just a little, till it the coupon cannot be used.


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