Friday, September 29, 2006

Word Of Mouth

Here is "word of mouth" information provided to us by various resources. Much of this "word of mouth" information can (and will) be substantiated by follow up phone calls to the manufacturer. Please let us know if you (or anybody you know) has written documentation from any of these "word of mouth" companies.

Bollicine,100% KEYSTONE (WOM) -- Distributed by Jean Dunbabin at Cascade Yarns. See Cascade.

Cascade,100% KEYSTONE (WOM) -- Cascade has reportedly stopped shipments to retailers who sell below 100% keystone. Contact Jean Dunbabin at for verification.

Submitted by a retailer (originally written to her attorney)

On April 25th, I received an email from Jean Dunbabin stating that they had received numerous complaints from other merchants about my prices. I've attached her original email and my response to it to this email and have also copied and pasted it into the bottom of this email in case you can't open the file. I called Jean Dunbabin on the phone after I received her original email asking her what was going on and at that time, she said just to forget her email and that it "really wasn't a big deal". Then on June 16th, I received a phone call from a Cascade representative named Stephanie telling me that Cascade will no longer be doing business with me. I have a portion of this phone conversation on audio tape which I will send you in a wav file soon. I then sent another email (also attached) to Jean Dunbabin asking about my account and what was going on. I never heard back from anybody from Cascade even after numerous contact attempts were made and none of my in-house orders have been filled by them. We informed our customers about their Cascade orders and suggested that they call Cascade to complain. I have also attached an email from one of my customers after she contacted Cascade about the situation. I also have numerous emails from very upset customers (not attached, but available). I was required by Cascade to place a minimum initial order of $1000 to open an account with them (which I did) as well as provided them with all required paperwork (DBA, Tax ID number, references, etc.). Many man hours were spent adding their yarns to our site.

Classic Elite,100% KEYSTONE (WOM) -- At TNNA a retailer was told by a Classic Elite Sales Rep that Classic Elite does not sell to companies who sell below keystone.

Cleckheaton,85% KEYSTONE (WOM) -- Distributed by Plymouth Yarn Company. See Plymouth.

Di.Vé,100% KEYSTONE (WOM) -- Distributed by Jean Dunbabin at Cascade Yarns. See Cascade.

King Kole,100% KEYSTONE (WOM) -- Distributed by Jean Dunbabin at Cascade Yarns. See Cascade.

Lane Borgosesia,100% KEYSTONE (WOM) - Distributed by Trendsetter Yarns. See Trendsetter.

Plymouth Yarn,85% KEYSTONE (WOM) -- Plymouth has reportedly contacted retailers who sell below 85% of keystone. Contact Christine at Phone: (215) 788-0459

Submitted by a retailer:

I have been selling Plymouth yarns for over 2 years. Recently, a Plymouth representative by the name of Christine called me telling me that I needed to charge at least 85% - 90% of keystone price. She has called me two other times since then telling me to hurry up and make the changes. She also mentioned other merchants calling her to complain.

Trendsetter,100% KEYSTONE (WOM) -- Trendsetter reportedly will not sell to any retailers who do not sell at 100% keystone.

Submitted by a retailer:
At TNNA a couple of years ago, I opened an account with Trendsetter and
purchased $1500 worth of yarn. A few weeks after TNNA, I was contacted by
Trendsetter stating that they were cancelling my new account since I prefer to
sell for less than keystone. They refunded my money and never shipped me any
yarn. If I'd have known Trendsetter's policy upfront, I'd have never wasted so
much time in their booth at TNNA and would have opened accounts with yarn
companies interested in selling yarn.

Tahki Stacy Charles,100% KEYSTONE (WOM) -- TSC reportedly will not open an account with any shop who sells below 100% keystone.

Submitted by a retailer:

In response to our wholesale account inquiry, Tahki Stacy
Charles responded,

Thank you for your interest in Tahki Stacy Charles, Inc.
yarns. Unfortunately, we do not sell to discount stores.


A Note To The Yarn Manufacturers

Welcome to the Consumer Friendly Yarns site -- we are so glad you're here!

This site was created for the knitting and crochet communities (at their request) so that knitters and crocheters can be informed consumers regarding which yarn manufacturers require retail keystone pricing and which don't. Due to the recent exposure in the media and on the internet regarding the issue of keystone pricing within the yarn industry (specifically with the Tilli Tomas/Sarah's Yarns issue), knitters and crocheters have expressed their opinions regarding the practice of keystone pricing and many have chosen to buy only consumer-friendly yarns (those yarn manufacturers who do NOT require a specific mark-up of their yarns, whether it be 100%, 90% or any percentage of keystone) and have requested a list of "friendly" and "unfriendly" yarn manufacturers.

Our mission on this site is to accurately report the keystone pricing policies of all yarn manufacturers (large and small) and to be a reliable resource for the knitting and crochet communities to refer to before they make yarn purchases. If you (as a yarn manufacturer) notice that we have inaccurately reported your keystone policies, or if you have changed your policies recently, PLEASE contact us immediately and we will update our site accordingly.

For information regarding the Tilli Tomas/Sarah's Yarns issue, please visit Sarah's blog and navigate your way to the September archives (on the right navigation bar), specifically September 5th, 2006 and upwards. Other links to sites, podcasts, and threads discussing keystone pricing are listed below:

Whether price-fixing is illegal is still up for debate (although we have been informed that class action suits are being initiated). What we do know is that whether it's legal or not, most knitters and crocheters do not like the idea of yarn manufacturers requiring retail keystone pricing, consider it unethical, and are apparently willing to stop purchasing the yarns made by these manufacturers. Links to just a few of the sites with information regarding price fixing are listed below: