From recent and past postings, I've been doing a bit more than average thinking about "custom" framing pricing. By "custom", I don't mean milling moulding by hand, hand-leafing etc. I refer to what most of us do most of the time: we help select appropriate matting combinations, moulding, glazing, backing etc., all from pre-existing products, and then chop up the integrants to size and put the finished product together. Every time this subject comes up from new framers, we always hear the same song and dance about how one MUST adjust pricing according to location, market conditions, overhead, etc... Now, at first glance, this does indeed make sense. But when we look at virtually every other retail business, prices are always based on a "suggested retail price". This s.r.p. is "universal", for the most part... Do I expect to pay a higher price for a particular national magazine in New York City I would in Hoo Haw Tennessee? If I look to purchase a Toyota, do I expect to pay more at Dealer A than Dealer B because Dealer A has a higher overhead?!? Now, of course, there are sales (both real and fabricated), purchase incentives, negotiated discounts etc. etc. etc., which can dull one's perception of the topic. And yes, at the end of the business day, I can probably wheel and deal a better price from Dealer B than Dealer A. But, when all is said and done, should not this industry have a universal "suggested price list" for that which we commonly refer to as "custom framing"? It is easy to rationalize why we do not have a uniform price structure. For the buying (and not buying) public, our reasons may seem hollow. One of the main reasons we got involved in framing over 25 years ago was that I was tired of bending over and saying "Ahh", every time I had to go get work framed. In our industry, we already do business with that tiny minority of folks who have accepted our practices and policies. But I strongly suspect that many of the people we would love to see frequent our shops feel uncomfortable with the way framing is priced (and yes, I know this is not the sole reason we don't see these people). I'm not trying to start a in depth philisophical discussion on our business practices here... just trying to find out why we can't, or don't have an industry standard price guide to follow for what are standard industry practices and products? Just a thought. Lunch break is now over. Thanks for letting me rant.