Just recently I have noticed that either the Royal Mail is getting wise to the amount of online fabric shopping I do or the folks at Customs are a little more efficient than in the past and I have had a big increase in the number of customs charges I've had to pay.
I don't really object to paying the duty, it's one of life's certainties that we will pay taxes and die, but I do object to the handling charge that comes with it. I don't quite understand how it's worked out or why it even exists and as a result I'm getting really cheesed off.
Sometimes I have to shop overseas because UK sellers just don't have what I'm looking for but for the most part I can find what I want online in this country. So why don't I use the UK shops more often? Part of the excuse (it's not a good enough reason, hence - excuse) is that I have a set of go-to shops in the US and I know what they have, trust the seller, like the shipping speed, blah blah blah. It's quick, it's easy, and it's already bookmarked on my computer. I have to think a bit harder if I want to buy more locally and when the money is burning holes in my paypal account I am too lazy.
I know I'm not alone here, I'm bearing my soul to you now - telling you my deepest secrets, 'fessing up to crimes against my own economy whilst all the time moaning that there's no local quilt shop.
Something has to change and I am taking the first step towards changing my habits. If you are in the UK, or Europe why don't you take the steps with me?
Over the next week or so I'll be featuring a different UK based online fabric shop each day, and getting them to tell you a little bit about themselves.
After you've 'met' everyone I'll set up a page here on the blog with a quick go-to guide of where you can shop 'locally'. Make a note of them, bookmark them, and let's try and support our own economy.
Come back each day this week and see what the featured shop has to offer. We've got giveaways, money off codes and more eye candy than is really acceptable. Maybe you'll find someone you didn't know about before, maybe you have used them and can tell us how wonderful their customer service is.
I hope you'll help me support them and (more importantly) enjoy finding some new places to shop!