Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Cracking the Herrschner's code

It should be easy, but it's not. For some reason, all the sale yarns (which change every Thursday) are horribly displayed, with color samples the size of Chiclets. Sometimes they give you the manufacturer, yardage, gauge, sometimes not. Our good friend Benne sent them a scathing email about it a while back, and they got better. But they aren't great at displaying yarn. You'd think their specialty was hardware or something.

Yesterday, I searched their sale pages ONCE more for a few extra balls of Solista. Did an entire site search. No luck. Then I remembered that Herrschner's sometimes hides its yarn in plain view. So I did a search for the colors. Here's a good example-

Using the search term "yellow and white", I found a picture of Solista-and the following description-

Yellow and White: "Yellow and White"

Yellow and White

Item #: YY710925-1142
Our Price:$3.97
Desired Qty:

Notice that there is no description of the yarn, and the name isn't given at all. Searching by the item number does not yield results. The photo of Solista and that itty bitty swatch tell it all. The verifying indicator is that Yellow and White's stock number matches Yarndex's color chart, which shows that Solista yellow and white is color number 1142. All colors of Solista are in stock, but I had to trot over to Yarndex to get a good color list, because Herrschner's had not linked all colors of the same yarn in a group. You must stumble on them one by one.

I learned about the Herrschner's oddities last year when we all fell in love with Paton's Katrina. There was a swatch, and all it said was 'black'. The price made me do a double take. So I took the item number over to Yarndex, and found that the item number had common elements with the black Katrina.

Similarly, two weeks ago, there was a listing for Brilliant Black. I did a bit of searching for Brilliant Black. As it turns out, the listing was for Paton's Brilliant. I checked this morning, and a search for Brilliant Black brings up a picture of a purple ball of Brilliant.

Hope you find this helpful.


Suzann said...

ah ha, I have to try that, cause I have given up on Herrschners. There is only so much searching I am willing to do. Websites that make it difficult to find items or that don't list what you are buying, besides the item name, make me crazy. I wish everyone who sold knitting needles would list them by mm. How am I suppose to know if an item is 2.25 or 2.50mm by listing it as size 1.
I am such a cranky old cow :-}

Joan said...

OMIGAWD! (wiping my eyes) You deserve an honorary degree from the FBI academy for your sleuthing. The Herrschner's site gives me a headache so I never shop there.

junior_goddess said...

The yarn was .97 a ball on the first go-round and I was going to run out! I needed more.

I am genetically programmed to seek out a bargain. But they ARE a pain in the ass.

kellygirl said...

Ditto what Joan said. I am programmed to hit delete when I see their "sale" e-mail. What a poorly engineered website.

Having a Knit Fitt said...

Thanks for the Yarndex link! How useful.

benne said...

I have almost completely stopped shopping there because I have too much trouble finding anything, and the scans make me crazy. I think you should send them your post and the replies. Give them a kick in the pants. They could make so much more money if they had a decent website. I feel a rant coming on. ;-}

Sandra D said...

That is unbelievable, you had to search on yellow and white to find the yarn! One time I ordered from H and the online color did not match the color on Yarndex or in their print catalog, so I took a chance and got it anyhow because I am a sale fanatic, too. The last time I ordered, 3 of the 11 skeins were a different dyelot. I wanted to just exchange the 3 if they had the other dyelot in stock. Customer service said that they didn't know what dyelots they had in stock, no way to check, so I would have to send all 11 back, and request same dyelot. What a lot of trouble, so I just gave up on it. For some reason, I am no longer getting their email sale alerts, but I'm loathe to restart them, not worth the hassle for yarn I don't need anyhow!

junior_goddess said...

Well guys, I wrote them, explained the problem, and sent a link to this blog.

"There is no doubt that you have excellent buys on excellent yarn, but I find it difficult to navigate your website. I recently purchased some Skacel Solista that was on special, and tried to find more earlier this week. It was not easy. I eventually found some, but not because I searched by item number, manufacturer, fiber content, or yarn name. I crawled WAYYY out on a logic limb, and searched by color. That's not even reasonable!

I wrote about my experiences on my blog, and the responses I got agreed ACROSS THE BOARD. Yarn shopping on your site is difficult at best, and is costing you sales revenue. People get frustrated by the set-up and lack of information.

Here's a link to my blog, so you can see how people responded."

Maybe it will help?

smariek said...

How interesting. That's way too many hoops to jump through. I have little patience for that sort of thing, time being limited at all. I do get their email ads, but usually delete it because the few yarns they advertise on it don't really interest me (mostly from unfamiliarity, for all I know, they could be great buys).