Knitwits Yarns knitwitspenzance.co.uk
As all of our customers know, we do try and go the extra mile and help whenever we can. To this end we offer a layby service (where customers can buy their wool a bit at a time over the course of a month) and we do take back unused balls which are re-saleable (ie we don't accept really scruffy ones or ones that smell of smoke or yarns which we don't stock any more and we don't give refunds but do give credits against future purchases).
Incidentally - as an aside - do you know that the layby system started during the last War when wool was rationed? Yes, wool was such a rare and previous commodity that it was rationed along with your butter, eggs and meat. In this day and age of acrylics and polyamides, it's an amazing thought.
Anyhoo - I digress. As I said, we will accept unused balls and, in fact, sometimes it can be really useful as we may have a customer desperate for a bit more of a particular dye batch and on numerous occasions we've managed to marry the returned ball with the desperate customer and everyone's very happy.
Well we - and at least one other local shop I know of - have been having a spate of balls returned which have been partly used. Presumably the knitter has only needed to knit a row or two of a new ball and has cast off so they've thought, "well, I'll re-wind this really carefully and no-one will know". I had a case on Monday where I was fiddling with the returned ball and I wasn't happy and thought it didn't feel right but I didn't have electronic scales in the shop so I couldn't prove absolutely that the ball was underweight. Took it home and weighed it and the 50g ball weighted 41g. 9g had been used. I can't re-sell the ball but I've already credited the customer as she bought more wool at the time.
I've now brought the electronic scales into the shop and have put up a big notice to say we will weigh returned balls if they feel underweight. The reaction from customers has been unanimously one of shock that fellow knitters would steal off a wool shop like that - for that is what it is - stealing.
Am I being naive here - is this a common problem? - or does everyone else out there in cyber space agree that it's outrageous theft?
Is this the effect of the recession?