NSD 2010 9pm Hour: Where’s your shopping?

A lot of scrapbooking education and evangelism – important marketing for the industry – takes place through the efforts of local scrapbook stores. Yet those stores are becoming few and far between in many areas, even in places where there used to be many of them.

For most of the time that I’ve lived where I am now, it has been an hour-long one way commute to get to a local scrapbook store. One did open about 20 minutes drive on the freeway south of here but it lasted less than a year even though it was combined with an ice cream shop. Last spring, my medium-sized town actually got its own small scrapbook store but the store has been closed for months now due to personal problems of the owner. (It is still there, but it has remained closed all this time.)

So local scrappers here have to go back to relying again on our local Michaels & Target, reps from companies like Stampin’ Up! and MemoryWorks, and online ordering. Or we have to drive an hour each way to get to a store in the nearest city – and two weeks ago one of the stores in that city (Jacksonville) announced that it was closing its doors.

While attending the previous two CHA shows I’ve also been able to attend one day of the Craft Supershow and do some personal shopping. To me, usually so limited in my options for in-person shopping, all that shopping has been like heaven. I’ve gone home with loaded up suitcases! It’s been such a treat just to have so many products in front of me to choose from. Listeners of Paperclipping Roundtable have heard me mention often that my picks of the week were purchased at the Winter Craft Supershow in Anaheim.

I’m not the only one that has trouble getting my hands on products in person. Seeing products in person is different often – an in-person look can inspire a purchase that seeing a picture might not. Some brands are in wide distribution so I have no problem getting them at places like Michaels (such as K & Company). But other favorites are boutique brands and so a boutique store is the only option.

One of my favorite boutique brands is Technique Tuesday. They had a clearance booth at the CHA Craft Supershow in Anaheim. Other scrapbookers I talked to dismissed the clearance booths as “that’s just old stuff”. But to me, that was my chance to get my hands on stuff I normally have a hard time getting. It was new TO ME. And the low price was a bonus because it meant I could afford to purchase more than I normally would be able to. (And I came home with about half the booth – that mess on the floor next to my scrap table I showed earlier? It’s a lot of Technique Tuesday!)

This is what we lose when we lose the small local stores – the ability to inspire people to continue (or start) scrapping by putting a variety of new product in front of them, and showing them how to use it. I work in the industry, so I’m particularly motivated, and still have a hard time shopping regularly. For regular scrappers without a local store, that has to be even more frustrating.

So…this hour’s giveaway has to be Technique Tuesday, of course!

These are the Storytellers (Well Worn Journals) and Made In The USA sets, being given away courtesy of Technique Tuesday.

How to Enter:

All you have to do to be one of the lucky winners is leave a comment on this entry before Midnight U.S. eastern time on Sunday night, May 2nd, telling us how you shop. Make sure you include your email address in the line reserved for it on the comment form (for your own protection, don’t put it in the text of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Scrapbook Update staff can see it). We will need it to notify you if you are a winner. Winners will be drawn by random drawing from all eligible entries. One entry per person. (Note: If you are reading this post via an RSS subscription, click here and it will take you to the giveaway on the  Scrapbook Update website where you can fill out the comment form at the bottom of the article to enter.)

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81 Responses to NSD 2010 9pm Hour: Where’s your shopping?

  1. VickiF May 2, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    You are so right. The demise of the little LSSs is NOT a good thing. The box stores can offer huge idsicounts on some items, but so much they don’t carry. Ordering online is okay, but I am a touchy feely shopper. I have to look at it, touch it, then decide to buy.

  2. Renee T (italgal on BPS) May 2, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    Sadly, so many of our LSS have closed here too in Illinois. And, at their going-out-of-business sales, I have been able to purchase so much at 75% off, that I mostly shop for “consumables” now at the Big Box stores. Fortunately, I always get a coupon for Hobby Lobby, Michaels and/or Jo-Ann in the Sunday paper, so I rarely am forced to pay full price. Can’t tell you how much, though, that I miss a good crop or technique class!

  3. Diane S. May 2, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    I have a LSS 25 minutes away, but I do a lot of my shopping online-I patronize the LSS some, but her prices are much higher than I normally spend-as I wait for sales or get my stamps and papers from Kit clubs. I get more variety that way. I also have a hobby store in the town 10 min away that carries a very limited supply of scrapbook stuff. Most of my purchases are online though. But I love the idea of patronizing locally and I do when the price is right.

  4. frances m grillo May 2, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    i think i do too much shopping and not enough scrapping!

  5. Carol Miller May 2, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    I use to have 3 scrapbook stores within 3o minutes of me. But I since moved & the closest is 2-3hours ouch. So, I have had to do all my shopping online for the lines only sold to independent stores. I miss browsing the stores

  6. Michelle M May 2, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    I do some shopping at my lss that opened here in town last spring but it’s a bit pricey and not a big turnover in stock. there is another lss 8 hours away on the other end of the province [as is the only Michael's on the island!] where I bulk shop once or twice a year when I get over there. I pick up the odd thing at Walmart {adhesives and martha punches mostly] altho I got a fantastic deal on Autumn Leaves acrylic stamps there last week{ boxed set for $19.99 with seven different SETS of stamps!!!}. But mostly I resort to on line shopping!

  7. Virginia Chapman May 2, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    I do most of my shopping online. However, when I visit a different city I try to find a scrapbook store with my TomTom….and off I go. I find that I do make purchases at the stores because “seeing is believing” ….it is so much better in person for the specialty lines.

  8. Kathy Nichols May 2, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    I shop at Michaels mostly. And I also buy alot of procduct online.
    Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  9. Tina V May 2, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    I try to purchase at my LSS just 10 minutes away but I have a hard time paying full price when I know I could get an item with a coupon at Joanns or Michaels (which are 45 min. away). I tend to shop in chuncks, when I am at a store with great deals I stock up and don’t shop for several months. Once in a while I will make a special trip to a large LSS about an hour away if they have tempting sales.

  10. Julie M. May 2, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Sad for me I have nooooo scrapbook stores, and I recently lost a joannes (now there is 1),
    no hobby lobby, no art stores, no ac moore only a michaels.
    Can you believe I live in a college town? So I have resorted to online shopping, which I have to admit is dictated by shipping charges, and I can only buy with great sales or bulk shipping.

  11. Sonia Vest May 2, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Both independant scrapbook stores that were within 20 minutes of my house are now closed. Most of my scrapbook shopping is done at the local Michael’s and Joann’s. We have two Michael’s within 20 minutes and Joann’s is 5 minutes away. I love the coupons-never buy full price is my motto! I occasionally purchase online either from store websites or Ebay. Best deal was a brand new Cricut Expression in the box for $168 on Ebay :)

  12. Evelyn Sloppy May 2, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    Most of my buying is online, as the lss is a bit pricey, and slow turnover of product. I go to a couple of scrapbook conventions every year, so that shopping is wonderful. I love seeing the product in person, I buy much more that way at full price. I also use the coupons to shop at the local Michael’s. I feel the lss’s would do much better if they were to put some incentives out there – discounts to frequent shoppers, great classes, crops with giveaways, etc. They are competing with online stores who have great turnover and prices.

  13. Keely May 2, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    my in-town LSS closed earlier this year due to the owner’s medical issues. i’m lucky to have and Archiver’s and Michaels with a good sb dept but my fav is a store about 20 minutes away. it’s a large home dec and craft store with a fabulous sb selection. i am also lucky to have friends in phoenix and houston where they have AMAZING LSSs!!! yeah, i’m pretty lucky :)

  14. Christina May 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    I mostly shop through a buyers’ cooperative a goup of swappers started at least seven or eight years ago. It’s my go-to place for the newest supplies. Both of my LSS closed within the last 18 months. Such a huge hole to fill. If I need tape or glue, it’s Walmart. For anything else I either shop my own supplies or drive as far as 60 miles away to a chain store.

  15. Teri Weber May 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    Love my lss’s! I am so lucky to have about 4 of them that I can go to in less than 1 hr.
    Each one is unique in their own way. And there is just something about lss that makes you feel good, everyone is so happy shopping away! hehe

  16. Ginny May 2, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Money is tight for me, so I stick with places I can use coupons, clearance, online deals, etc. I can’t afford paying full price.

  17. tape May 2, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    I don’t have a scrapbooking store near me, so I shop on the Internet. Luckily, there are a few good online stores in my own country, but for the widest selection of the latest and greatest I have to go foreign.

  18. Melinda Wilson May 2, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    I am very fortunate to have two LSS in my town. One is about 20 minutes away and the other is about 35 minutes. I can get to a Michaels faster but I only use this for my adhesive type products.

  19. kris May 2, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    I still try to go to the local stores whenever I can. Although some have closed and the ones that are still around are a bit farther I want them to stay around! Luckily I do not have to run as often …because of the store of supplies I have on hand.

  20. Marilyn B. Hughes May 2, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    I NEVER sneer at clearance booths! I have only a certain amount of money to spend and my goal is to stretch it as far as I can…..without any stores around me other than Michaels or Hobby Lobby, I have to do all I can. And just like you, what is “old stuff” to them is a gold-mine to me. So let them sneer. LOL That’s more for you and me!

    To really answer the question, most of my shopping is done on-line. Every now and then, IF Hobby Lobby has a product that I’m drooling for, I’ll grab a 40% off coupon and head their way. But with such a limited stock, I have to turn to on-line. And yep, I try to use the smaller ones (as an online seller myself I know how hard a sale is) instead of the big-box webstores. I usually get cheaper shipping and better customer service and have found some really great pricing.


  21. Marsha May 2, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    I usually shop online. I live in Atlanta and the larger scrapbook stores are and hour on the otherside of town. There is one LSS left close to the center of town, but it’s closed on Mondays & Tuesdays which are the days I usually have off, so I sit and shop online. I know the quality of most brands so that simplifies the shopping. And since we’re a major city, there is usually an expo sometime during the year, so I can get my fill then!

  22. serena May 2, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    have a a LSS just a few minutes away and that is where I spend most of my money!

  23. Janaina May 2, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    It seems crazy but I have a LSS but I control myself better buying online. So most of the time is what I do because when I go there I spend more than what I should

  24. Karen Hanım May 2, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    I live in Turkey and we have almost no scrapbook stores. So I do my scrapbooking mostly over the web and have it saved for me in the States where I pick it up every 6 months or so. I have found this to be a tremendously satisfying method. Recently when I have been back in the States I have gone to some chain craft stores and looked for products there, however I have to admit I have been much more pleased by my previous online shopping. There is more choice and i can find new products. I can purchase products that you never see in the stores. It has worked out great for me. For me personally it is easier to spend the money online than in a store.

  25. flowerdisco May 2, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    i am starting to venture online lately…getting tired of m’s, j’s and acm.

  26. Stacy W. May 2, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    I’ve been shopping mostly at Michaels and my local scrapbooking store.

  27. Lola May 2, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    I own a scrapbook store and wwe are very slow just hanging on by a thread. I really don’t know where my people are shopping. If we don’t have tge new stuff soon enough they order online. I think it is all about being the first to have what’s new no matter where you buy it. No one is loyal any more. before our store opened I never spent my money any where but with my two favorite stores.

  28. elsa May 2, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    I have an Archivers 5 miles from home, but found that joining a scrapbooking kit club was actually better for me. I like that the selections are made for me and that there’s a gallery with ideas that I can refer to and learn from. Thanks for the giveaway!

  29. Terri Harmon May 3, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    I am so blessed to have lots of options for scrapbook shopping. I have an LSS in my own town (just minutes away) and another great store about 35 minutes away. We also have the big box stores just a short drive. Every spring we are treated to the Great Lakes Mega Meet where all the vendors show us the latest and greatest and classes teach us new techniques. In spite of this I still enjoy kit clubs but finally had to drop one of them because I just couldn’t afford the expense and could never do all the projects (I have enough to keep me busy for the rest of my life).

  30. Allie May 3, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    I used to live near my LSS but I moved and for the last year and a half I have been 45 mins from a store. It is not an issue for me to travel there if I want to buy things as I need to go to that city to get groceries anyway. The thing that I find difficult, however, is that I am online a lot looking at all the gorgeous and CHEAP!!!! goodies that Americans can get. Locating goods in New Zealand can be difficult and when I do they are always about 3x the price of the American stores with the exchange rate and POSTAGE gasp :(
    I have bought a few times from but it costs more for postage than it does to get the goods themselves so I have to limit that.
    I try to use things like inks, ribbons and sewing to add pizazz rather than product and it is OK so far.

  31. Linda May 3, 2010 at 4:50 am #

    We have one small (very small) lss about 10 miles away. It has very little product and more a clique scrap space for friends of the owner, so I rarely go there.

    CKC was 4 hours away last weekend. We went, just for the shopping. I dropped 5Cs just because i’m desperate for new supplies and inspiration. (Also, I want to stock up against the day when there isn’t anything available!)

    I used to shop at the store in Jacksonville on my way to Florida (I live in NY) but they’re closing now. I used to shop at a store in South Bend, Indiana on my way west. They closed too. It makes me sad.