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Decor's Surveys

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by B Carter, Jan 14, 2001.

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  1. B Carter

    B Carter Guest

    Jan 2001 issue included a forecast type survey and my question is about participation.We have 4 subscriptions in 3 cities and 2 states, and we can't remember ever participating in any survey. How many of you have participated in any surveys(pricing, forecast, etc). I don't think anybody at Decor is selectively excluding us, that would take way too much effort.But you never see any statistical data on number of surveys sent out, number returned, etc. I guess I'm wondering if surveys are like the quotes in the mag;It's the same people month after month. Would like to hear if anyone is receiving these surveys. I, like Marc with the frame of the month articles, question the accuracy of these surveys
     
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  2. MerpsMom

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

    I have received them routinely in the nine years I've subscribed. Probably seven of the nine.
     
  3. Skoogdaddy CPF

    Skoogdaddy CPF Grumbler

    I have filled them out before, in fact, a couple of years ago they sent a brand new crisp one dollar bill as an incentive to fill it out. ONE DOLLA !?! shoooot, I filled that bad boy out and then promptly went a shopping spree. whoo hoo!
     
  4. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    As usual, the output is only as good as the input.

    Has anyone claimed that these are scientific surveys? My assumption has always been that they send 'em out and tabulate what comes back, without any effort to balance economics or demographics or any other 'ics. What we see is what they got, I think.

    My gut says home-based framers and small retailers would be most likely to respond, because they rely more on such data. Chain operators and sideline framers would be least likely to respond, because they are less reactive to comparisons, and sometimes they produce their own surveys.

    So, where could we get better information?
     
  5. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    I actually use these surveys as a selling tool. I'm often asked," How are your prices compared to other shops?" I tell the questioner about the surveys, the low , medium,& high prices for a given region. I explain we adjust our prices once a year to the middle range of prices for our region.
    This always seems to satisfy them and we go on to get the sale.
    So lets not discourage Decor, it's a valuable tool.
    John
     
  6. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    John-I don't mean to discourage Decor. I think this stuff is valuable. But only as valuable as it's accuracy. Decor is in the splendid position to gather this type of data. But take it to it's fullest capabilities. Gather as much data to create a meaningful survey. But I tend to agree with Jim's point, and that is they publish what they get with no real work or analysis on the gathering or dessiminating of data. My suggestion is to make these types of surveys as comprehensive as possible, including the most wide-spread mailing as your subscription list. As I said prior, we just are never asked to participate and I can't imagine they have selectively eliminated us. Jim, do either you or John, get these surveys and do you fill them out? I promise you if any of my stores were to get them, we would. If the numbers of mailings and responses were also published, it would help validate the data in my mind. Maybe they only send out 200-300(you know to save postage,etc). If I remember the subscription base for Decor is around 25,000. Say 20,000 are retailers-now you have a survey. This is what I'm asking
     
  7. Susan May

    Susan May Gone.

    Bob, I have been receiving Decor for about ten-12 years. I have never received any survey to fill out. I have often wondered where they get their information. Thanks for asking, we might find that we need to do our own survey on the Grumble.

    Sue
     
  8. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I haven't seen any survey requests in a while. But as I recall, they came as an insert in the magazine. If you don't read the mag thoroughly, you might overlook the survey form.
     
  9. JFEIG

    JFEIG Guest

    Have you really looked at the statistics in the Decor survey?
    If you take a close look at the figures, some do not make sense. THE TOTAL SHOULD BE THE SUM OF ITS PARTS. However, Decor's figures for total shop sales have never added up to FRAMING SALES and ALL OTHER SALES in the 18 years or so that I have lookes at the survey. I have also noted that the averages for various regions in some catagories upon occassion do not match with the national averages. How can all of the national averages be greater or smaller than all of the regional averages!
    As an example if the regional averages range from $10 to $12, How can the national average be $9.50 or $12.50. I do not emember if I noted this incosisitancy in the 2000 survey or not, but, I noted this in the 1999 survey.

    ------------------
    Jerome Feig CPF ISA
    Field Art Studio
    Pleasant Ridge, MI
    248-399-1320
    248-399-7018 fax
     
  10. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    What about that Merp's Mom? Jim says maybe they insert the survey in the magazine. As our most experienced filler-outer, did you receive the surveys in the mail or in the magazine? If they left that same Dollar bill inserted the magazine, just like Skoog, that bad boy would've been recirculated in a heartbeat.I just don't think they send many out. I understand where Jerome is coming from, but in defense of Decor(who would've thought I'd ever say that), national averages are skewed by population. If a lot more returns come from the Northeast for example than the Pacific Southwest, the averages by region are going to skew the national. It doesn't always add, but I'm sure they are reporting what they have. Maybe some totals of the survey would shed some light. The one figure that always blew me away was the profit figures showing 35% and such profits. I've never spoken to anyone who ever indicated much more than 10-11%, and I think that's great. But it's like Kistler's explanation of terms in this month's journal:I don't think a lot of framers know the correct terminology or how to figure it. More amazingly, the folks at Decor publish the stuff as fact, indicating they don't either. Just because someone says it, doesn't make a fact. But publishing it gives it a whole new legitimacy
     
  11. MerpsMom

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

    I received them in the mail. They take awhile to fill out, hence the dollar bill incentive which tickled my funnybone also. I haven't received one in a couple of years, so they either tired of my answers or found greener pasture. Or--a likely possibility--I forgot to mail it back in. [​IMG]

    I'm not sure I believed much of it, sorry to say.
     
  12. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Mom-Thanks for your answer. I wonder who does get these surveys as several of the most influential people in the trade don't, who does? But I agree with your assessment. i don't put much stock in the data either. And, that's the unfortunate part. What a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our trade. Yet, we get less than reliable information fromthe only source that we all pay for. I hope someone from Decor takes these postings in mind. It sure would be helpful
     
  13. JPete

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

    MM, I think you are influential. Maybe it's good the surveys are by the norms rather than influence! [​IMG] Just couldn't resist that one Bob.
     
  14. B Carter

    B Carter Guest

    Heck, that was exactly my point. MM said she hadn't received any surveys for several years. Jim, Sue, MM-I mean if these guys aren't getting them. After all, I think these guys are influential. Certainly, I like to read their thoughts. Jim is on a panel at Vegas as we read showing his expertise. And all I can say is nobody asked me to participate(in Vegas or the surveys)
     
  15. Susan May

    Susan May Gone.

    Bob-

    When did I become influential? [​IMG] I don't think of myself as a big name in the industry, but when I have something to say, I say it. But, does that make me influential?

    Sue
     
  16. JFEIG

    JFEIG Guest

    Bob,
    I realize that each region has a unique average independent of any other region.
    My comment refers to the MATH. The national average cannot be larger (or smaller) than the average of all components of a sampling.

    ex: If there are 4 regions with averages of 20, 21, 20.5, 21.5... the total average cannot be 22(or 19.5)! Take a better look at the surveys.

    By the way, even with the problems with the accuracy in the statistics statistics I still use the survey to my advantage.I show the figures as they are next to my rates in a chart to my clients.

    ------------------
    Jerome Feig CPF ISA
    Field Art Studio
    Pleasant Ridge, MI
    248-399-1320
    248-399-7018 fax
     
  17. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Boy-I can't win for losing. First,I'm called for not considering Mom influential, then as a courtesy to those not receiving surveys, I'm called for including some one as influential. Then I'm called for suggesting that the uninfluential should be included as the norm. Is it the point I'm making or is it me making the point? For everyone that is completely satisfied with these surveys-good for you. I just don't think they are accurate nor comprehensive. It's a missed opportunity that I wish was taken better advantage. For Jerome-Do the following math: Region A has 10 responses equally $500. Their average by region would be $50. Region b has 3 responses totalling $100 for an average of $33, and region c has 40 responses totalling $10,000 or a regional average of $250. If you total the regions($333) and divide by 3 you get $111. But if you total the responses(53) and the dollars($10,600) that average becomes $200. In spite of all this, I would like to close the thread. The comments have nothing to do with participation. As a final thought, like Merps Mom, I too, sadly don't believe much of it
     
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