As promised in my post on Monday, I am sharing my observations on my visit to Scrap 4 Africa in Mount Edgecombe on that day. I hadn't been there in 6 months, reason being that I don't frequent the shopping centre where they are located so need to make a special trip if I want to visit AND I asked the shop assistant (in December) to please phone me when they had some new stock (as I was tired of visiting & not finding anything new. I never got a call. Towards the end of last week I got an sms from them to say that the shop was full to the hilt with new stock & it was flying out the doors fast so I needed to get there pronto!
I know I'm not firing on all cylinders at the moment, but as far as I saw there were no new lines by big name manufacturers bar Basic Grey Marrakesh (part of it - not the complete collection - about 4 prints) which I think I'm right in saying was released in February? Disappointing... There were some very pretty papers though & lots of "special" ones with flocking, glitter, etc, true to Scrap4Africa's signature style. I started looking at prices. These were all priced over R20 per sheet. Most papers were marked individually with pencil but about 15% were not. The 15% that appealled to me...as sod's law would have it!
Now I hate to be "hassled" by sales staff but I have given up wondering when ANY of their teachers (at least one, if not two of them are always there teaching) are EVER going to greet me or acknowledge my presence in any way. Apparently they are very nice...maybe they are just shy...I find teaching a strange choice of profession if that is the case LOL! They had some embellishments on sale dirt cheap - because they were VERY strange - but I managed to gather together a collection of "odd" assortments, figuring I could use the words that made sense & chuck out the weird ones, LOL! They had some gorgeous BIG punches in - at R360 (USD45) each!!!! And some AC thickers that I thought were priced "okay" - at R60 - R90 each - as I'd seen them in Joburg in March for R120. Until I came home & checked up on the overseas online price of them - only to see that it was USD2.69 - which translates to R21.50! For ALL types. Scrap4Africa have increased the prices of the foil & glitter ones even though American Crafts sell them ALL AT EXACTLY THE SAME PRICE!
Yes, I know there is no law against it, I'm just wondering WHY it is necessary...and WHY the bulk of their single-sided prints are R17.50 when they sell down the road for R3 cheaper per sheet - and further down the road for R5.50 cheaper per sheet? And why their shaped cardstock sells for R11 more per sheet than their competitors. And why their K&Co Lace cardstock has doubled in price since last year?? ALL THE WHILE THE RAND (our local currency) has been getting STRONGER and STRONGER with one US Dollar selling for roughly R11 six months ago & now selling for R8. Surely this means that prices should now be DOWN by 27% (8 divided by 11 x 100%+=)
I just can't understand it. Why are we now being asked to pay R6.50 for a sheet of Bazzill that 6 months ago was costing us R5.50? My calculations tell me that we should now be paying R4, but Scrap 4 Africa are asking R6.50 & the other LSS'S are asking R6? And the local online shops have an even more dismal colour selection than the real-life ones, and are still asking R5.50 per sheet. If you are like me, you are just NO LONGER BUYING IT if at all possible & have done the sensible thing & started buying online from overseas. I would love to give my local scrap shops ALL my business but I would be a fool to do so.
I will buy anything reasonably priced (that I like & want obviously) I will even succumb to being ripped off occassionally if I am desperate enough for a stash fix, but generally speaking, I am now "making a plan" outside of SA to procure my scrappy goodness. Not because I don't want to support local industry, but because local industry is doing something wrong. What it is I don't know, but customers are not imbeciles & can do the basic math...new stock should be coming in at 25 - 30% less but prices are rising. Something just doesn't add up...why are we not benefitting? Who is pocketing the extra cash? The government? The wholesalers? The retailers? Can anyone enlighten me?!