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Question 100 signed guitars to frame

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by neilframer, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    OK, 100 framed signed guitars.
    I have framed many signed guitars over the years, I know what's involved.
    Only, they are usually only one at a time.

    Mathew Hale is the man on framing many guitars and I will reach out to him.

    This is about retail pricing with appropriate volume discount applied.
    They will be framed in simple tall black shadow box moulding, we usually use a 4 inch deep black moulding that we have access to.
    There will be NO fancy background or album covers or anything like that, just a signed Strat knockoff on a black gator board background with about a 2" border with black gator side panels and either regular glass or plexi.
    I know how to easily mount a Strat or a Strat knockoff so that's not an issue.

    Just wondering what you would charge per piece for something like this.
    Any input appreciated.
    (we're just finishing working on a job for 300 framed mirrors with z-bar and security hardware...:eek:)
    Got another order for 30 pieces for the same designer due on Monday and we haven't received the photos to be framed yet.....:oops:
    I thought we might get a break....:rolleyes:
    prospero likes this.
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  2. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Hey Neil you may have to pm respondents with your molding cost before they quote.
  3. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    I appreciate the response but I just wanted to shoot it out there as if it came into their shop without any prerequisite notion of moulding company or moulding price, just the basic style.
    Just like it came in out of the blue for a retail price.
    I will put in a retail moulding price tomorrow when I'm at the shop to add that to the info and I might take your advice about the PM with the moulding cost.
    Thanks, Ted for your input.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  4. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Is your client reselling or just displaying?
  5. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    They are for display.
  6. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I never landed a job this big during my framing career but quite a few came my way so I can offer some advice on quoting:

    First establish the client's expectations as to price. Many of my enquirers had no idea about framing costs and expected Ikea level prices.

    When do they need this? Again, many non-framers have no idea about the time these jobs take.

    If both of these boxes are ticked off I would price at my normal retail level with a volume discount of no more than 20% maximum. This is probably why I never did many of these jobs as customer expectation is usually that if they order enough I will start paying them:p. However, we all know it doesn't work that way, don't we.

    Good luck with this one - it certainly sounds as if you are doing well.
    prospero and neilframer like this.
  7. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I would estimate materials cost. Add 25%. Double that. Add hourly shop rate.
    neilframer likes this.
  8. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Thanks for your input.
    I played lead guitar in a rock band in Chicago back in the late 60's and the 70's while I was also framing.
    I might get to play these 100 guitars as I'm framing them....:D
  9. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    I may have to find out if the guitars have "whammy bars" installed because this means that the shadow boxes might have to be deeper.
    The whammy bars can be removed if it's OK with the client.

    When I played, I wasn't so much a "whammy bar" guy, I just liked to bend the strings and wiggle my fingers and I sometimes used a slide.

    I had this issue one time years ago when I framed a signed Strat.
    I framed the Strat and then found the loose whammy bar in the guitar bag afterwords...o_O
    I opened up the frame and attached the whammy bar before it was picked up and it just barely cleared the glass at the front of the frame...;)
    Rick Granick and shayla like this.
  10. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I'm guessing that might add considerably to the shop time labor cost factor. ;)

    :cool: Rick
  11. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Very True. If you did it for nothing they would want two. o_O I had a customer once who I sold prints to on a regular basis. He liked to haggle for the
    best bargain. I was already giving him 25% off retail (which was a bit naughty). I didn't have to frame them, just post them off as soon as I got them.
    He would order a couple, and then kept topping up the order with requests for further discount. It got so I was making maybe £30 on a £500 order.
    OK, I only had to walk to the Post Office and a bit of admin, but there is such a thing as profit margin.

    He got too greedy so I fired him. :mad: He can go pay full retail. :p

    Did I mention he was a Scotsman? :D
    artfolio and neilframer like this.
  12. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    When you fired him, did you say, "On yer bike !" ?
    ;) Rick
    shayla and prospero like this.
  13. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    No I said "Whist man diya think I'm made o' money?" o_O
    shayla likes this.
  14. NYJim

    NYJim CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I framed two guitars in the deep plexiboxes . If you want I can send you pictures and NY pricing ...
  15. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    neilframer likes this.
  16. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Thanks, David.
    We are constantly slammed with all sorts of framing designs and I will pass this on.
    I'm framing a signed baseball bat now and we frame tons of sports stuff, jerseys, bats, golf clubs, guns, etc, etc,...
    I would like to get samples of those mouldings.
  17. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    This isn't really outside of your normal production pricing. Shadowboxes are so labor intensive that the price per each doesn't tail off too much past a certain point. If you are fabricating your own mounts, or sourcing that out, you may get some scale of economy, and the same goes for the moulding if you can squeeze an additional 5% or so out of the supplier. I'm guessing you are looking at somewhere around 1200-1500 LF of moulding, and with that profile, it's probably 100-120 ft/box, so you should be getting the price somewhere left of the left printed column. Same goes for all your other materials. I would use acrylic and the supplier I use will cut it to size at no additional cost, so there is a ton of labor saved.
    With all that said I would never approach this from a discount from retail. I would figure my costs allowing a percentage for flaws and mistakes, and mark up from there including a factor for labor, overhead, and profit.
    Tooling up for one job so you can produce the product more efficiently can be more expensive than running the job as you would a smaller one, though this one would probably deserve creating jigs for positioning the guitars and mounts.
    Lastly, consider the other work that won't get done and the profitability of that versus this, assuming you are currently working at or close to capacity. If you are minimizing your margins to take a job that will compete with more profitable ones, you may be leaving money on the table in both instances. They came to you because they knew you could do the job, not because you are the cheapest.
    I'm not going to go through the calculations because it takes some time researching the pricing and doing a bit of bargaining, besides my costs and overhead are certainly different from yours.
    shayla and tedh like this.
  18. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    "With all that said I would never approach this from a discount from retail".

    Best advice I've seen in a long time.
    shayla likes this.
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