Tuesday, October 03, 2006


There is quite an uproar in the knitting community that could definitely dispell any images if grandmotherly knitters in rocking chairs.

Quite a few knitters are in arms over a keystone pricing scandall that has raised the outraged cry of "Price fixing." Sarah's Yarn was notified in early September that Tilli Tomas Yarns received notification from other retailers about her low prices. They stated that unless she adhered to the keystone pricing, they would no longer due business with her. Mind you, she paid the same wholesale price as all the other retailers and she decided to resell it at a price that met her profitability needs. Tilli Tomas was asking her to raise her price, to the same price as all the other retailers. I must admit, but those acts sound like price fixing to me and to several other knitters. These practices go against a free market and seem to go against the Price Fixing Primer I read on the US Department of Justice website.

Knitters, being the close-knit (yes, I meant that pun) type that we are, decided to tell other knitters and to keep telling other knitters. The word about Tilli Tomas's action began to spread from podcasts, to online knitting groups, to blogs. Two new blogs have popped up to help educate consumers on which yarn manufactures artificially keep their prices high by demanding keystone pricing and which yarn companies allow resellers to decide on a fair price. You can find them here and here. And people think knitters are calm. Remember, we have pointy sticks with us at all times and think about how uptight we might be if we didn't have knitting to keep us calm.

Sarah's Yarn has been working with Tilli Tomas who has recently responded to her that they will drop their keystone pricing policy, but they haven't responded to her request for more yarn either. Hmmm, I'm not sure how well that sits with me. Here's my take. I have a few balls of Tilli Tomas yarn coming to my local yarn store for me to pick up. I will still buy them because my LYS owner has already paid form them. I'm not going to leave her holding on to them. To me, that is not the right thing to do. Tilli Tomas has their money, I'm not going to stiff my LYS, which brings me to this aspect of conscientious consumerism.

The internet is a fantastic resource for finding deals and cheaper prices and I use it. I also shop at my LYS on a regular basis because I want to see it stick around. Spending a little bit more at her store is worth it to me because of the services I receive and because I love having an LYS close by. What certain yarn manufacturers is doing is not in the best interest of the consumers, their end customers. Nor is it fair to the LYS, no matter what they say. Discount prices online is not the downfall of LYS, instead, it should be a gateway to the local store. Nor do discount prices cheapen the quality of the yarn, which is an argument some have used. Only the yarn manufacture can control the quality of their yarns. There is a place for online retailers and LYS in the knitting community. Keeping prices artificially high does not help things at all.

If you are opposed to keystone policies, then check out the hyperlinks above. If you aren't, then continue knitting and buying as you do now. It is your decision, that is the beauty of a free markt.

Who would have thunk that I would ever use the word "brouhaha" in a knitting blog. What a great word.

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