I live in an area where it is 100 miles round trip to the nearest craft stores, so I buy mostly online. Here is what I am looking for:
1-Sites that will ship within 2 business days and ship with a service that is not the slow boat to China. (Simon Says and Papertrey and Impress are horrible for this. Ellen Hutson is the very fastest place I have found).
2-Sites that have reasonable shipping for small orders.
3- Sites that do NOT tell you if things are backordered, rather than shipping an incomplete order, or even shipping and then refunding for an item you expected and thought had been shipped. This recently happened with Hallmark Scrapbooking and I was really frustrated as I purposely figured my order to have reasonable shipping.
I have had this happen before when they actually sent dies without the stamps and in one case the stamps retired and I ended up with dies and no stamps.
4-I like sites that have notifications so they tell you the instant something is back in stock.
5-Sites that have the occasional sale or the regular coupon for frequent shoppers. Another reason I love Ellen Hutson. Papertrey does not have sales. Simon Says sales are particularly frustrating because they are only announced on FB and AS you shop you can lose things from your cart as they sell out. You think you have what you need until you are ready to check out only to find out that half of what you just chose has been nabbed by someone else, even though the items were only put in your cart 2 minutes before.
6-Decent packaging, but not excessive packaging. I got a magazine last week, normal size magazine, in a box that would have held a king size blanket.
7-Sites that will take PayPal.
8-Good return policies.
9-Search engines that actually work. If I put in Polar Bear Stamps, I should still get Polar Beary Stamps and not nothing.
10-EVERY sale, promo code, etc. on the home page instead of it being a secret. A sale is going for 30% off and you don't know the code so they charge you full price anyway.
11-When you send a photo of a defective item they should honor a refund or resend. Papertrey is just horrible about this. You can actually send the item that is defective at your own cost to ship and they will ship it back to you and tell you to just use it that way anyway. I find that outrageous and this practice continues even though they have improved in other customer service areas.
12-Places that answer your emails in a timely fashion or give you a phone number where human beings are likely to answer the phone.