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Opinions Wanted DOCUMOUNTS.COM PRICES???????

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by JAYENESS/SPOKANE, May 18, 2010.

  1. cjones1344

    cjones1344 CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Yeah I just looked at pricing for 573235 on Documounts. If someone ordered 7 16x20's it would be $230. That's only slightly more than what I would pay for the footage needed to build them. I mean only like 20 bucks more.
     
  2. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    What I find shocking is that they can find buyers for the stuff at those prices. My regular independant vendor only gets $44.28 per case and has free delivery. This is their published pricing and not any kind of special pricing that I receive. Framers seem to have stopped shopping around and checking prices with the independants on so many items.

    What has happened to this industry in the name of free delivery is beyond me. POS systems seem to have played a large role in the loss of control. Framers have come to rely on the POS to take care of things and have lost sight of how much they are being charged. I guess as long as the mark up formula is in there we shouldn't compare or know what we pay.:nuts:
     
  3. Puppiesonacid

    Puppiesonacid SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    i find it funny to complain about tape, when the moulding prices are much more of an issue overall.
     
  4. cjones1344

    cjones1344 CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I live in small town Mississippi. I don't have many choices with suppliers. There are 3 suppliers that run a truck to my shop, and LJ is, overall, the cheapest choice I have.

    I agree that the moulding is much more important. I am just a little more offended by the tape prices because they are actually cheaper than what I can get it for anywhere around here. The moulding is at least not cheaper than what I pay for it.
     
  5. Puppiesonacid

    Puppiesonacid SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    maybe i got this all wrong... are they selling to framers, or to the public? if they are only sellling to framers. i will shut up, though the prices shoudl not be online.

    if any joe can buy them... then... yeah... just wrong...
     
  6. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    No the website is to the public. This website is not set up for professionals but rather to those looking to bypass framing businesses.
     
  7. Artrageous

    Artrageous PFG, Picture Framing God

    Why wouldn't you take advantage of a deal like that if you needed that frame and quantity? Why not use Documounts.com as another supplier?

    If someone offered to come to your shop and cut/join 7 frames for less then 3 bucks each, leave no waste and guarantee their workmanship, it would be foolish to turn it down.

    I'd exploit their site for any deals I could find. I'd check that site before placing an order with LJ directly.
     
  8. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    I 1/2 jokingly posted before on this thread.... that maybe we should be buying from Documounts....:popc:
     
  9. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    In one of the Documounts threads I said the same thing chalenging the complainers to use Documounts instead of LJ if they really do have a problem, to date I know of nobody who has switched to Documounts because the product is cheaper as they complained.

    As for suppliers posting their complaints about this situation, I do not think it is professional yet, i do admire this supplier for being honest as to who they are and not hiding behind a fake identity like some in the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest have.
     
  10. framerbob

    framerbob CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    well that was fun to read another 60 posts on this subject:popc:
     
  11. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I'd say the issue of whether it is appropriate (or a sound business practice) for one supplier to bash another on a public forum has already been thoroughly dissected.

    But I am compelled to address the statements above. They are just wrong in so many ways.

    LJ is not a forum sponsor and I don't recall that they ever have been. If Jayness got a call about previous posts, it didn't come from anyone at The Grumble. And anyone who has participated here to any extent already know that sponsorship on the forum doesn't buy you any level of protection from criticism.

    I'd suggest an experiment, Jayness. Why not become a Grumble sponsor and see what kind of influence that buys you here? If that's too rich, you could just ask Peter Ackermann at United Mfrs.

    I'm offended by the quoted comments. I searched and found only a half-hearted retraction later on. In my mind (and possibly only in my mind) those comments call into question the credibility of anything else the OP might say here.

    When dealing with an issue as big as you feel this one is, it's a sound business practice to check all your facts.
     
  12. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    For a group tired of the discussion yall sure seem to have a lot of opinions about it.
     
  13. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    Et tu?
     
  14. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Ohh yea me too!

    Since I'm not tired of it, I'm free to participate further. I don't see why anybody would care what one supplier says about another as long as the claims are true. For that matter I wished they would sound off about one another more often. I'll probably learn something and it may help me decide who to do business with or not.
     
  15. Puppiesonacid

    Puppiesonacid SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    There is only so much suppliers could complain about eachother over. Or that they know about eachother in general. One person said they need to take it up with their suppliers if they have issues with someone getting a much better deal to under cut them with.

    I dont' think we want to hear about which customers switched over, and them battle it out or so on :sleep:

    Nothing this big comes along enough for them to get all worked up about, and yet all of them should be upset over this.

    The entire industry should be angry over this if it is to continue in the long run. It cuts out the suppliers main customers, as well as some of ours. Its just now the site has a large backer than it did before that can make them more dangerous over all in the long run. has anyone seen ads for it anywhere yet?

    I haven't seen any change because of it in my store... yet, or its there and i will never know since my customers would do it all themselves, but if one day people come in wanting those prices from us, we are all up a creek. I only know of one of my "customers" that comes in for glass because he orders from another web site.
     
  16. cvm

    cvm PFG, Picture Framing God

    Tim, I don't think many of the 'complainers' are 'complaining' that Documounts has better pricing than L-J, because they don't. The thing that people have a 'problem' with involves the bigger picture; vis a vis the fact that a major supplier to our industry competes with the same retailers that it sells to as well as the retail picture framer in gereral. And it does so by providing the exact same product to the general public that it sells to the retail framer, except this supplier sells to the general public at price points that would only allow the framing retailer razor-thin margins at best were the retailer to match the pricing.

    Example: Anyone can go to the Documounts site right now and buy ten Nielsen #15-20 frames chopped to 24x36, including hardware and shipping and receive those frames at their doorstep for a retail price that is 2x the wholesale 1000ft length price.

    Capiche?
     
  17. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Capiche, but...there have been many who have complained that the prices are below wholesale and or belwo what LJ sell the same product to them for.

    FYI, your example above, the frame comes out to $27.50 each and shipping is $41.50. In my store the frame only is at 25.00, if you are buying 1, with no shipping. I make a good profit on this, others can as well.

    THe problem here is that people are goign to this site and looking for a price that supports their argument but fail to mention all of the prices that do nto support their argument. Lets all remember that this company has been around long before LJ bought it and I never ever heard anyone here complain about them. From what I can see LJ has not chenged the way this company does business or any of it's pricing structures (at least nay major change). My guess is that many of their customers are ones that would never walk into a frame shop anyway, they are online shoppers and before there was an online option they bought ready made items from the craft stores.

    Now I am not sticking up for LJ here, I think there could be some inmprovements to how things are done to make some in the industry happier but let's face it if many of you were in charge of LJ and you needed to have a wharehouse in the Pacific Northwest and you needed to increase profits for Mr Buffet and an opportunity arose to purchase this company most would have probably done the same thing.
     
  18. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I think these are good ideas. Use Documounts as your source. And let your LJ rep know that you are doing so. Tell the rep that Doc's has better pricing for the exact same products and you would be a fool to buy from a higher source.

    When the reps feel that their commissions are suffering because of this "shady" business practice the reps will be on your side. As an ex-rep I can say that while customer satisfaction is important the money in the wallet is key. If you as a framer are feeling the pinch then share that feeling with LJ and with LJ's reps.
     
  19. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    OK, whether you like it or not, LJ has NO CHOICE!!!

    The number of independent frame shops will decrease.
    Online buying will increase. It's obvious if you look at the studies of generations. Gen-Y will buy MOST products online.

    As an example, a friend's daughter recently got married and the friend insisted on visiting possible reception sites. The daughter used her phone to go online and check references, menus, and options. The daughter made her decision based on internet info EVEN THOUGH THE MOTHER HAD DRAGGED HER TO THE SITE!

    A supplier of the size of LJ that is not positioned to take advantage of the online distribution channel inevitability, will not be in business in the future.

    Jay Goltz likens the framing industry to the Bicycle industry. Today most of the units are sold at BBs or online, while most of the dollars go to small independents. Framing may well be like that.

    Unfortunately for us, the interim will not be so obvious. There will be much fallout and many of us will not make the transition.

    LJ can not survive on what will be left of independent frame shops. They must keep us as viable as possible for as long as possible to keep the profit margins up (they still make more $ from us), but eventually, we will not have sufficient numbers to maintain their business. They MUST go online!

    There are a number of ways to take advantage of the online distribution channel. A smart supplier will try to position for all of them, so they can easily move to the model that gains traction.

    In the meantime, we independent frame shops must continue to position ourselves for a dramatically changing demographic. I don't think we should beat them up for trying to survive.
     
  20. cvm

    cvm PFG, Picture Framing God

    Tim,

    I don't want to seem argumentative, but already stated that onsey-twosies frames were not the issue b/c of minimums and shipping. The point that has peoples' dander is illustrated in my example:

    L-J sells Nielsen profile #15 anodic colors (not oem) chops to the general public at around 1.9x L-J's listed 1000ft length price; shipping included if minimums are met. You can extrapolate this out through the entire Nielsen offerings at Documounts, it's not an isolated example to prove a point. The fact that I buy Nielsen metal in quantities way less than 1000ft for way less than L-J's 1000ft price is moot. Now, if the average framer normally purchases 10-20 feet of Nielsen moulding at a time for less than the 1000ft price, then I agree with you: the furor is unfounded.
     
  21. cvm

    cvm PFG, Picture Framing God

    Cliff,

    I don't really think anyone's disagreeing with you; on the contrary and to the point of your post, this whole thread has really been more of a "heads-up... here's what's going on... look where we're headed" type of thing. What everyone does with the information is up to them.

    And Cliff, internet distribution to the end-user is only one prong of the new model they are slowly unveiling, as you may know...
     
  22. Puppiesonacid

    Puppiesonacid SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    they could at least try to raise the prices somewhat to give the framers a chance... this way all the new generations of people who get something framed will think its very cheap to do so... leaving us out of a job.
     
  23. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Frankly if I carried LJ, I would be upset, and what I'd do is take down whatever samples they offer on that website. But that's just me.

    LJ is free to run their operation any way they see fit. So are frame shops.
     
  24. danny boy

    danny boy PFG, Picture Framing God

    :popc::popc:
     
  25. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    Cliff, you are a very smart business person. I think LJ got where they are by making good biz decisions. They aren't going to fall on the sword and go down with the independents as we wither away. They are keeping themselves viable. We are responding in an emotional manner instead of a business manner. If it upsets you, adjust. Don't carry their product. But, if their product sells don't shoot yourself in the foot. Just make business decisions like they are.

    This is gonna sound awful but I'll say it anyway..........we see so many of these threads on LJ's perceived betrayals and BB's robbing us of our customers because some are frustrated and feel helpless and want to blame somebody. BB's have been here for years and nobody cared as they positioned themselves to take over the industry. We left the door wide open. Now people shop differently (online) and as we independents are rapidly dwindling rapidly not knowing how to adjust and we lament when our suppliers position themselves to stay alive. They are being disloyal. If Bob C were here he would tell us we are in industry of crafts people not business people.

    All this time spent complaining about BB's and LJ could be so better spent finding out where you belong in this industry and what you need to stay alive. Hurry, it's not gonna go away.


    Disclaimer: I fully admit I closed my shop because I knew I was not set up to weather the storm. I was also smart enough to see I needed to recreate my biz to survive and I knew I did not have the means to do so. I may have gotten into biz unadvisably but I went out with a full understanding of my weaknesses.
     
  26. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    A good business decision would be to pull every one of the vendor's samples from the wall. Demand that pricing is adjusted to a level that would be in line with what is given one frame at a time to the consumers. I agree that business is business and the vendor was the first to take that stance. There is a lot of room in the pricing for contract discounts.
     
  27. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I sell artwork on consignment for artists. I tell them that if they are selling at the local craft fairs and flea markets then their price is my selling price and they get that price minus my cut.

    They cry and moan that they can't accept that low a payment from me. So I tells them, I do, that they needs to sell it higher at the flea markets, to add my cut onto the price of their artwork and sell it at that price. I also say that if there is a piece in my shop then if it sells within a year I expect my cut. Because I don't want them using me to show off their artwork and sell direct to the consumer.

    That last sentence is the point of my rant. If LJ wants to use my shop to show off their moulding and then wants to cut me out of the picture and sell direct to the consumer (or "professional" artist) then I'll treat them as I treat my artists that violate my trust. There stuff comes down and I don't put it back up until the "problem" has been solved.

    So I agree with Jeff ;)
     
  28. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    This day shall appear in the history books. We shall declare it a holiday and call it "CONCENSUS DAY". Schools will be closed and all workers will have the day off with pay.:party:
     
  29. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    But it'll only be celebrated every 10 years..... Oh wait, that's Census Day.. nevermind ;)
     
  30. JAYENESS/SPOKANE

    JAYENESS/SPOKANE True Grumbler

     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  31. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Correct me if I am wrong, but to my knowledge LJ does not sell moulding to Micheaels. They are a back-up supplier for mats and glass. Michaels owns companies that produce their line of moulding as well as their look-a-like moulding.
     
  32. JAYENESS/SPOKANE

    JAYENESS/SPOKANE True Grumbler

  33. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    OK, my 2¢, on the pricing issue.

    I sell other things besides the framing. Some of those suppliers do have retail websites. They sell at their suggested retail on those sites. When I last looked in the back of my LJ catalog they had a posted retail price suggestion chart. I would hope that they follow their suggested pricing, if they don't then we'll have to match their retail. Then their wholesale cost should go down accordingly.

    I know my other wholesalers would give me that respect, of not competing unfairly with me. I would hope that LJ would give me the same respect.
     
  34. danny boy

    danny boy PFG, Picture Framing God

    :popc: :popc:
     
  35. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    Let it go. Really, you're not helping yourself.
     
  36. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jayness, I am not an LJ apologist. But really, the Micheals thing? And Joannes? You have not been around here too much. We have beaten that horse as well. And don't forget Thomas Kinkade. His art has to all be framed in LJ Moulding. If no then the DNA from his spurt pen disintegrates. No, really, it's true.....

    If you throw in a request for a discontinued LaMarche moulding I think you will have won the Grumble perfecta!


    Your reasons for posting were probably, IMO, self serving at best, and by posting you did yourself the worst service possible. Not really an LJ fan, but comparing them to the alternatives they are looking better and better.
     
  37. JAYENESS/SPOKANE

    JAYENESS/SPOKANE True Grumbler

    How would it be self serving to talk to a framer such as yourself who is in Maine? I sell to a handful of people on the Grumble. I brought up Michaels and JoAnns because up until the last year or so we along with several other smalltime wholesalers were these guys' backups for supplies, some mouldings (ie. Nielsen), mats, and glass (still have PerfectVue that was special ordered for them) and when they started dealing with LJ we were all forced out. I only went back on the Documounts topic due to the fact they are selling LJ exclusive products to see what framers thought of it. I guess it is a finer line than I thought between informing and bad mouthing. IN MY OPINION LJ is the Wal-Mart of framing suppliers with the shady things they do to their own customers. Why should it be up to you guys to ask for online pricing when you are supposed to be their bread and butter?
     
  38. JAYENESS/SPOKANE

    JAYENESS/SPOKANE True Grumbler

    I sent an email to Michaels to find this out will post reply if I get one.
     
  39. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God


    That chart is absent from the latest catalog. Besides I wouldn't worry about their frame prices, one, they sell very few frames, two they have it limited to sizes they are willing to ship, hence they sell very few frames.

    As it was posted by LJ here on another thread the majority of sales comes from matting. Not much different than Light Impressions.
     
  40. Candy

    Candy SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    You are correct.
     
  41. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    You're not helping yourself... :kaffeetrinker_2:
     
  42. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    I heard directly from the horses mouth, the owner of International Moulding sells to Micheal's, for what's worth.
     
  43. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  44. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Int'l makes some specific items which are not also sold to the independants. This is the integrity that keeps them out of the line of fire. Everybody should be able to sell to everybody else but don't place an identical product in a competitor's line at a small fraction of the price.
     
  45. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    This is true. :thumbsup:
     
  46. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Nicole, I asked that this thread be revived instead of a poster starting a similar thread. I had thought that by keeping the "LJ wants to kill us" story in one place that people would see what a long drawn out soap opera this story is.

    Some things refuse to die, so I think it would be best if this story line was quarantined in this one thread as opposed to letting it infect other forums and starting threads of it's own.

    For my 2¢ it's not the thread that should die, but the rumor that should be put to rest.
     
  47. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    I still find it disturbing that this thread and the other two just like it, were started by west coast wholesale competitors of LJ; and not by retail framers.

    I see them as mean spirited, wreaking of sour grapes, filled with mostly misinformation, and meant to incite an exaggerated reality. Ultimately, the goal of the rumor spreading is probably to hurt a competitor; and bring greater market share to themselves.

    The grumble is a lot of things, and we try not to stifle open discussion. The fact that these threads were not deleted is proof of that.... But this is really getting out of hand, and becoming a public embarrassment for the vendors. This isn't a place for vendors to trash other vendors, and make them look bad to their customers. (framers) In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it backfires and has the opposite result.

    I will once again politely suggest that vendors should NOT be doing this. Frankly, it doesn't sit very well or seem at all professional. If you have a problem with your competitor, pick up the phone and call them; or go through the proper legal channels.

    That's my personal opinion as one of several moderators, and as a retail framer.
    Mike
    Get The Picture
    Lincoln, RI
     
  48. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    I would be loath to even give them the title “competitor”

    True competitors in business act in a professional manner, which clearly the vendor who started this thread has not.
     
  49. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Mike, your comments are appreciated and duly noted. And, yes there is a "But".

    There is a battle going on, especially in the Pacific North West, that is in fact legal "doing business". It just happens to be very ugly and wavers on that fence of ethical or moral.

    The good news/bad news about Bob reviving this thread is so people can see that this isn't just this weeks conflict of the week. In the PNW this is a conflict that is having mortal out fall from the scatter effect; and it's not pretty or congenial.

    It's great to say "if you don't like it, sue; or pick up the phone and talk to them".... instead of going all Rush Limbaugh or O'Really on the subject. Unfortunately, that is exactly where our society has taken us, and it's unrealistic to expect different from certain factions of our industry.

    What is going on here in the PNW is totally legal. Larson did buy Documounts, from NW Framing which is right next door, and part of the deal was that LJ would be their sole supplier of everything that they can provide, which in fact was a huge hit for Framers Inventory (some estimates of close to 28% of their volume).... why so high? Because with 85 stores out of the 480 in the two states.... and doing a high volume of business.... the stakes are that high.

    Did LJ carve out office space inside of the NW Framing's office space and use the same front door.... yes. Does it appear ominous? yes. Is it legal? yes.

    As I said, there is some good news about this thread..... It also will provide a path to track back to the start of something, so when we all stand at another point in time and scratch our collective heads saying "wow, what a surprise... I never saw that coming". . . there is a point that says 'yes we did'.

    Am I doom, gloom and Judge Dread and say that all restaurants will some day be Taco Bell? No......... but, in one track of possibilities, it is possible. Do I think Warren Buffet has the edge... sure. Does it worry me? No, but it does give me cause for concern when a extremely diverse industry contracts to a hand full.
    When I first met my wife, and she was my banker, there were in excess of 6,800 banks and there was a lot of buying up going on. The smart money was saying that eventually there would only be about 9 majors and a few hand-fulls of rural independents. . . as they pointed to England and it's few banks. Well, we are down to under 500 banks, and we see what the 4 majors wrought . . .

    Can you imagine going to Atlanta or Vegas and the convention is held in 30,000 sq ft because there is one CMC/POS company (WVGLFF International), you get your hardware from MUM :icon11:, the Mat/FC would be the party booth of BAC Monsanto Unlimited, and of course the two Moulding Giants "A" and "B".... and in the back corner is a little guy for raw moulding FXY & B which is right next to FFFEFF&R fabrics and Attach EZ. The three classes you need are by Jim Miller, David Lantrip, Paul McFarlin; Selling the frame job, placing the frame package in the frame and using the Real Framing points, and Sealing and Proper Hardware attachment. (everything else is done at the factory in Chung Szu)

    [If you're wondering why I'm not on the teaching roster..... hopefully I would be dead before this happens.]

    I'm looking forward to 200+ vendors and some interesting classes in Atlanta.
     
  50. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'm confused about this. At least once a week some framer bashes the work of another. Often times they post pictures. BB bashing is daily forum fodder. Thrashing a garage framer doesn't even raise much interest it's so common. Isn't that all really the same thing - one competitor bashing another? But now....? I guess most frame shop customers don't hang here and moulding buyers do. Still this message is not so much different than 1000 others around here.

    Ah finally. Thanks for bringing this up. So many others seem to be disgruntled by the messenger rather than the message. You're wise to see right through that. Pointing out these inaccuracies and exaggeration would surely defuse the message and render it completely worthless. You should point those out rather than just suggest them.

    Oh well, that's all off topic. Back to the topic. When LJ first bought them, I could swear they announced that there would be some changes soon. Was that about documounts or another venture? I swear I think there was an formal announcement about documounts from LJ that they were going to change the site. This, as I remember it, was a response to address the malcontenment from framers that this site was causing. Does any of this ring a bell or did I just make it up on the spot?
     
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