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Comparing Prices


Grumbler in Training
I have a "nice lady" customer that I dread to see coming in the door. She always has a large painting to be framed and she wants everything on it. The other day she comes in with a numbered print which with 2 mats and a fillet ends up a finished size of 33x41. She wants 3 gold lines and a 1/2 inch marble strip on the top mat. She selected a 3 1/2 inch gold frame. Everything is oversized and she wants it acid free. Wholesale prices:moulding=5.65(15 ft), fillet=1.15(14 ft), mats =14.28 each, marble=12.00, she wants reg. glass. Please, if any of you feel so inclined, give me a rough estimate at what your frameshop would charge for this job. I gave her my price and she started gasping for air and explained that that was a lot more than she paid 4 years ago for the same job. I told her that prices have gone up quite a bit in four years and that this job is labor intensive what with the gold lines and the marble. I don't want to tell you my price yet as it may influence your prices. Help!!!!!
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True Grumbler

I just have a minute but I thot I'd run my costs past you ... since you asked.

Frame: 223.13
Fillet: 50.75
2 Mats: 144.00 (72 ea.)
Glass: 51.50
Decoration: 60.00 (1 hr. labor)
Museum mount: 60.00
Total (if I added correctly): 589.38

PS: if she wants acid-free I'd strongly recommend UV glass.

My thots ...



My totals would come to $864.58 + tax of 8.6%

Broken down like this:

Mats 136.66 (68.33ea.)
Frame 412.50
Fillet 91.84
reg glass 47.98
conserv mount 51.74
3 lines 55.50
panel 37.00
labor/supplies 31.36

Hope this helps. Alex


This could become a really cool thread. Make sure everyone enters their price.


PFG, Picture Framing God
We will try to give you our prices, but we seldom ever do gold lines and marble papers.
Frame: $360.00
Fillet: $38.64
2 Mats: $40.00
Decoration: $47.00
Museum mount: $25.00
Total: $534.79

We also don't have a special scale for over sized materials, is this what everybody does? And further we figure our moulding prices on chopped in case we have to order chopped with no decrease in mark-up. The comparison is interesting but how it relates to geographic areas in even more interesting.


Our pricing for a 3 1/2 carved swan and basic fillet:
Con. Mount:76.28
3 Lines + Paper:74.00

I tell people we specialize in a custom finished frame and once it's done, it's not like appliances or carpeting that get worn and replaced...if it's done right to begin with, their great grandkids will be enjoying the piece 100 years from now. I also explain the price jump in oversized pieces. Sometimes this helps and sometimes people still think I am independently wealthy and should give them a "deal"! I also tell people (when they push) that I will never compromise our quality work and high standards just to meet a competitor's price. They can get the frame done well or done cheaply.


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Iam assuming the moulding price you are usinmg is length price? I am not where I have my pricing but would estimate the job at about $551. Of course, Utah is the third world of frame pricing, and we would probably get a lot worse reaction from our typical customer.


<span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><
Frame 363.28
fillet 83.72
glass 49.37
mats 137.44
Deco. 54.30
con mt 46.68
fit 35.50
Total 770.25

That's what it would be...IF I had a 3"gold swan mldg for that price. The only one I have like that is $852.60, which would change the total to 1,259.57!

Ron's dog's flea's brain on acid

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
2 Mats........100.00
3 Gold Lines...46.80
Marble Panel...55.00
Cons. Mount....39.10


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Frame $325
fillets 64
mats 80
french marble 71
glass 32
cons mount 25
fitting 22
p.s. this is Canadian$, so it's a little low in my opinion, but it's a balancing act between what our skills are work and what the traffic ( in your area ) will bear.


Grumbler in Training
Well, first of all my customer has nothing to complain about. She is getting a great deal, her last I might add. The prices were interesting, ranging from a low of 534 to a high of 864. My price of $475 fell far short. The average price from these estimates is around 675. She has sent me quite a bit of business and she is the secretary of the local Federated Garden Club which has several things framed yearly. BUT, I know now that I can go up on prices involving labor intensive jobs. Thanks to all who contributed prices and now I must go and sulk for awhile.


PFG, Picture Framing God
courtney;I'm glad to be of any help but be cautious .As Decor's priceing survey says and as I tryed to mentioned prices can vary greatly depending on your geographical area and even what city you are locatted in.I think this comparison shows the different cost of liveing in each area more then what you should charge.Maybe it would be better to check the prices of your competition.


<span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><
I'm curious, does the CPF teach you anything about pricing?
Some are only doubling the cost of goods on the mats. Granted you may have the inside cut left but what if you goof. I think the errors in mat cutting should be built into the price just as waste for molding.
Courtney, give her the real price and then a discount if you feel she does you that much in referrals. Some people still think you can buy a pack of gum for a nickel!


When we have customers complain about the price, we tell them the frame is the variable and that they might want to choose a less costly one. If they say we're more expensive than the guy down the road we tell them that we do not gaurantee to be the cheapest, but we are one of the best and if they are looking for a quality custom frame made especially for them which will last several generations, they're in the right place. Sometimes we've had to patiently explain the differences in materials (not to mention buying power) which can greatly effect the pricing...ie:What type of backing is the other framer using? The last time I got into this discussion, I lost the cheap job I didn't want to do anyway, but got a better job using only museum quality materials and methods!! I find this a touchy area with customers, but I believe you should stand your ground on pricing and feel confident that what you offer is a quality service, not cheap framing. That's why God invented Michael's (ha! ha!). Usually, if you do good work, people will use you whether you discount or not.


A little late with this but here goes..
Frame $339.00
Fillet $ 64.40
Specialty work $84.00
Glass $ 23.00
Museum Mounting $ 42.00
Fitting (Labor) $22.00
Total $688.40

And I would still give my designers and wholesalers(Photographers and such) their discount 25% and 50% this is why my designers and wholesalers stay with me..


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
JOHNG--What is your cost of goods? How do you make a profit with a 50% discount?


Mel I'm sorry I did not mention this off the bat but I dont wholesale to someone unless I am getting at least $600.00 per month from them retail. I have a 400-500% markup. and the way I look at it these are people I don't make a huge profit on per order but throughout the year I make a pretty penny. It is almost like a reliable source of sales, but then again nothing is ever completley reliable.


<span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><
It's not too late to raise prices before Christmas. Thought I'd bring this back for another round.


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
jframe; I thought about this when I started the Game Face thread. What pricing would you increase: mult factor on frames,mat or glass prices, fitting costs? Just curious, but could use some advise.

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I think this a really great way to bring some real world examples to play and pricing has such a local flavor (as it should). But if I could offer a couple of observations, this might be helpful. The first was by using a little salemanship when price became an obstacle, since the piece was 33x41,I would've dropped it to 32x40 to keep everything from going oversize. I don't know if the 1/2" was critical, but a 32x40 mat is a lot less than 40x60 etc. The second was the tremendous disparity in pricing for apples to apples(glass, for example)This is why shopping your market is so critical. The range went from $23 to $51. If you're the only one selling at $51, you might be too high and probably have some sales resistance; if you're $23 you are way low and should go up. How high? That's what some shopping will tell you. In addition, there were a lot of goofy price points like $76.28 and $68.72,and many more. Why not $77 or $69, or even better $70. It's little things that like these, that might produce a dollar here, a point there. Nobody will ever notice the 62 cents difference and it's just a smarter price point. Just a couple of observations. Also whomever suggested making these adjustments right now is dead on right. What's the old expression? You gotta go fishing when the fish are biting.


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
We also end up with those strange price points; but for a good reason. We have factored our mark-up to a certain level. Certain products are exactly 400%. Some are only 300% It would be just too confusing and inconsistent to round everything up. I suspect that some of the pricing software would have a problem with it as well.
Something else, who is going to question $561.21? To me it sounds so "custom"!

Lisa Kozokowsky C.G.A.H.
Frameswest Inc.

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Lisa-I understand why your price points are at odd points. But that's exactly my point. Don't price exclusively to margin (and use margins, not inflated markups as your ratios).Go into Dillards or Nordstroms or any better store and look at those price points, or closer to home look at your art. Don't they always end in round dollars. It's just a practice that you see successful retailers use and it might provide a little extra margin. It's just a suggestion. We use Fullcalc and we assign all of our prices on the templates. It works for us. You might try it.It won't cost anything except for time


<span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><

Only you can judge how much you can raise your prices. I'd probably do no more that 10% at a time across the board. I have a feeling that we need to be paying way more attention to shipping and handling charges. Some of them have changed drastically.
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