8 Secrets Jo-Ann Fabrics Doesn't Want You to Know

You might not realize how much you're missing out on at the beloved craft store.

Jo-Ann Fabrics is a household name, especially for avid crafters, knitters, and sewers. You might have ventured through the aisles in search of string for friendship bracelets, or a new dress pattern if you happen to be good with a sewing machine. With Halloween approaching, you may also be planning a visit if you're getting creative with your costume. But before you head in or shop online, there are a few things you should know about Jo-Ann Fabrics, according to former employees and retail experts. Read on to discover the secrets the craft store chain is keeping from you.

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1
Plan to stock up on yarn during certain months.

yarn at jo-ann fabrics
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Knitters are always planning new projects, which means you likely head to Jo-Ann's each time you're starting a new sweater. But rather than making multiple trips, Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, says that you should stock up at different points in the year.

"It seems that fall and spring are when the yarn selection sees big discounts—up to 55 percent off," she explains to Best Life. "Considering some yarns can get very pricey, especially if you're looking at needing multiple skeins for a project, this is a good fact to file away if you like crafts that involve them."

Another timing consideration is for seasonal items, which are majorly discounted after the holiday passes. "A few days after holidays, discounts will reach 75 percent off, but if you can hold off until about five days after a holiday, savings should reach up to 90 percent off around that time," Ramhold says.

You'll be that much more prepared ahead of next year's celebration, but if you've got your eye on something special, it's best not to wait too long. "The downside is that if there's something specific you want, you may want to pick it up sooner, lest you risk it selling out and missing out altogether," Ramhold notes.

2
Pay attention when buying fabric.

fabric at jo-ann's
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One of the main things you seek out at Jo-Ann's is in the name—fabrics. But there's a key component you need to watch out for when purchasing and having employees cut fabric for you.

On TikTok, it's a popular trend for former employees to share tips and tricks for shopping at different retailers. One former Jo-Ann Fabrics employee, Nicole Green, who uses the handle @nicolecares25, recommends asking for "end of bolt" pricing, if you notice that your selected fabric has less than a yard left.

"What you do when you go to the cut counter is ask them, 'May I please have this at end of bolt price?" Green explains. "Trust me, you'll thank me later because this will help stockpile your fabric, and it's like 30 percent cheaper than the original price. It doesn't matter if it's on sale or not."

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3
Use the app.

using app while shopping
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We all have apps on our phones that we barely use, but if you're hesitant to download the Jo-Ann Fabrics app, Ramhold recommends reconsidering.

"Not sure how much something should cost? Use the discount calculator in the app to see what you can expect to pay—just punch in the original price and the correct discount and it does the work for you," Ramhold explains. "In addition to giving you the after discount price, it also notes how much you're saving, so you can make more informed decisions about your craft supply purchases."

The app is also a great place to find individual coupons—keep reading to find out how you can make the most of those.

4
Stores take competitors' coupons.

the outside of a Michaels store in Vero Beach, Florida
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Jo-Ann fabrics is pretty well known for its own coupons, and they also accept those from competitors, namely Hobby Lobby and Michaels.

"Your local Jo-Ann store should accept those, but if there's any doubt, be sure to politely ask if that's the case," Ramhold suggests. "If not, be gracious, but if they do, then you can save even more on your purchases."

According to TikTok user @justbekind.co, who states that she is a former Jo-Ann Fabrics employee, the retailer also price matches, but there are some specific requirements.

Per the retailer's website, the items must be identical and in stock online or in-store at a local location. If you find the price on a deal website, the criteria also need to be confirmed on the other retailer's primary website. You can do this in-store or online, and you can even do so after your purchase by reaching out to the customer care team.

Jo-Ann's also price matches with select online retailers, including Amazon.com, Cricut.com, Dollargeneral.com, Familydollar.com, Hobbylobby.com, Homedepot.com, Lowes.com, Michaels.com, Officedepot.com, Partycity.com, Staples.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com.

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5
Stack your coupons.

coupons in wallet
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Some stores have strict rules on how and when you can use coupons, but Jo-Ann's is actually a bit more flexible. @justbekind.co recommends using multiple coupons for your purchase, otherwise known as "stacking," in order to get the best deal.

"If you have all of the different ways that you can get coupons—so the app, mailers, email, and text messages … all of those coupons have different codes on them," she explains, adding that there's normally just one number differentiating them. If you have four coupons that offer 50 percent off one item, you can use each of them to apply to four different items in your order.

Ramhold also notes that you can potentially reuse the same coupon twice. "Specifically this applies to paper coupons you receive during checkout in-store," she says. "Make sure they can be used online or in-store and if so, be sure to use it online first, then head to the store and use it again there."

6
Don't ever pay full price.

swiping credit card at store
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With so many coupons available, why would you want to pay more than you have to? In a Dec. 2020 video, @justbekind.co states that there's always a sale or coupon for you to use, and paying full price is a pretty big mistake.

"I cringe so hard when people pay full price for things," she says in the video, adding that employees also have scanning devices that tell them when specific items will go on sale. She recommends asking an employee directly if an item will be discounted soon.

"They can see right there if it's going to be on sale and what the sale's going to be, so they can tell you if this is a good deal or not," she adds.

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7
Pick up online orders in-store.

walking into jo-ann fabrics store
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The beauty of online shopping is having items dropped off at your doorstep. But if you're willing to make the trip to your local Jo-Ann's store, you can save some extra cash, Ramhold explains.

"Shipping can be kind of expensive if you order online, unless there's a coupon for something like $1.99 shipping on all orders," she says. "However, if you don't [have a coupon] and you want to avoid shipping, you can pick up your order for no additional cost at your local store."

Ramhold notes that this will only apply if the item is in stock at your store.

8
Ask for discounts on damaged goods.

row of thread on spools
Eric Glenn / Shutterstock

If you notice that an item on the shelf is damaged, don't overlook it, Ramhold says. If it seems like an easy fix with some Super Glue, you can opt to buy the broken item for a discount.

"If a kit is missing a piece or something is damaged, it's worth nicely asking if you can receive a discount," she tells Best Life. "For instance, a package of 10 Clover crochet hooks goes for around $88; however, personally, when I went to purchase them, I was given a hefty discount because there was only one pack there, it was missing one hook, and there were no individual hooks in that size available at the time."

In the same vein, @justbekind.co says that if a sale sign is still up for an item, ask an employee if the discounted price still applies. "If you thought something was going to be on sale because our sale sign was still up or something, just tell us. We'll probably change it for you, unless it's something super drastic," she says.

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