Last week, in the middle of that freak mid-afternoon blizzard, I popped into Windsor Button to pick up some Wool-Ease for my Dad's mittens. At the same time, I also perused the Cascade 220 section hoping against hope that there would be some yarn to match my scarf. There wasn't.
At the checkout, I inquired about the Cascade 220 color card, explaining my desire to find some yarn to match my scarf.
Windsor Button Manager: No, I know that we don't have any of that color. But let's
check the card to see if the color is still available.
Windsor Button Employee: Look! Isn't this it? [Points toward colorway 8012.]
Subway Knitter: [Holding scarf to colorcard] Yes, it is. That's wonderful! Can you order it?
WBM: Well, unfortunately no. I would have to order a bag of 10 skeins, and we don't carry this color right now. The yarn would take a while to arrive, and you probably want the hat pretty soon. But, I could give you the color number and you could check at another store or online. [Hands me a pen and a piece of paper.] You would have to pay shipping, but you would have your yarn sooner. Have you tried Hello Knitty? They have pretty good prices.
WBE: Or, Littleknits.com?
Now, based on my last experience with yarn research, you can imagine my surprise. Here was a store which didn't have exactly what I needed, a store that knew I probably wasn't going to buy my Cascade 220 there (but also knew that I was about to purchase some other yarn and a pair of needles), which was volunteering to give me the necessary information so that I could buy the yarn somewhere else, and was, in fact, making recommendations about online yarn stores with decent prices.
Maybe it wasn't the best business decision in the moment, but it certainly was the best business decision in the long term. Why? Because, I am completely confident that I can go into Windsor Button, shop for what I need, and be comfortable that I will never get a hard sell.
What Windsor Button didn't know what that I would tell all of you about the experience. So, next time you're downtown, please stop by Windsor Button. It has a very nice yarn selection, and very nice staff people to boot.
As it turned out, neither online retailer stocks that colorway (has anyone else noticed that Hello Knitty has cut back on its Cascade 220 selection?). So, when I'm ready to buy I will also check other LYSs in the Boston area. I don't like to shop online if I can get the yarn locally.