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5 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Michaels Employees

A simple craft project can turn into a big headache if you're not heeding these warnings.

In 1984, Michaels had just 16 stores. Today, it's the largest arts and crafts specialty retailer in the U.S. with more than 1,000 locations. The stores can be found in 49 states and Canada and sell everything from holiday decorations to scrapbooking supplies to yarn. But even if you're a mega-fan of the chain, there are a few key things you'll want to keep in mind while shopping. Read on to discover warnings from former Michaels employees, from the one thing you should never spend your money on to the most hectic time to shop.

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Go to a different store for custom framing. 

Photo wall picture frames

Michaels is an easy place to get your custom framing done, as they offer multiple colors and sizes. But you might experience sticker shock when you get the bill.

A former framing department employee with the username @julie_vanderlee explained on Twitter that the reason it's so expensive is that shipping is factored in. "Every single custom frame is produced to specs in their North Carolina factory and then shipped to the store." According to a Reddit discussion, there's another factory in Texas.

If you do decide to get your pictures framed at Michaels, don't expect to get your project back quickly. There's an entire recent Reddit thread dedicated to former framing employees discussing the decline in quality since the pandemic and how many items have to be redone.

"I haven't had a single delivery the last year that didn't have one reorder necessary," wrote one commenter. "How can they expect quality work with poor quality products and then not enough hours to complete orders proficiently?" wrote another.

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Former Jo-Ann Fabrics Employees.

Expect confusion around the holidays.

michaels store fall
Sundry Photography / Shutterstock

Saw something in a flyer or online that you're excited to pick up for the holidays? Don't be surprised if you or an employee can't find it in the store.

There are multiple Reddit threads in which current employees have shared photos of shipments piling up in the stockroom ahead of the holidays. In one thread, the boxes are stacked in a store aisle. Here, a commenter said, "Looks like a lot of stores are in this shape. Too much freight coming in, not enough staff not enough payroll/hours and no assistance from higher ups."

"Our freight is stacked all along the walls with an adorable little ratway leading from the store doors to the emergency exit, compactor and the office," commented another employee on a photo of a stockroom.

Be sure you want to give your personal info.

Homepage of Michaels website on the display of PC, url -

The way to get most of the coupons and discounts at Michaels is by signing up for their rewards program, as they'll email and text you about promotions. But, if for some reason, you don't want to give out your info, be aware at checkout, as employees are asked to get as many new reward members as possible, in some cases even by lying.

"My old store manager would make us do the whole 'Oh let's check if you're a rewards member! What's your email and phone number?' trick if the customer said they weren't sure and sign them up without their knowledge," said former employee StrawberrySquare6825 on Reddit.

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You might be overpaying.

michaels craft store stickers
melissamn / Shutterstock

If you're not taking the time to do your price-comparison research, you very well might be overpaying at Michaels, as the store price matches.

"We price match online and brick-and-mortar stores," explains employee UnidentifiedCrisis87 on Reddit. "It must be a current valid ad with the date printed on the bottom showing it's valid, or if it's online you need to bring it up on the actual website. Amazon has to be shipped and sold by Amazon."

Don't ask for the final price before everything is rung up.

the outside of a Michaels store in Vero Beach, Florida

It's exciting to stack coupons, but remember that employees can't tell you the final price of everything until after they've rung it all up.

Former Michaels employee @DisneyMagicalMom shared a video on TikTok about a common experience she had while working at the crafting chain. "The 50 percent off discount doesn't apply… until after I've scanned everything and hit the enter button," she explained. So, don't get disgruntled with employees if you don't immediately see your discount appear on the screen.