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FramerSelect..good for Framers?..good for Jay?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I will visit your website, But can you briefly describe on this forum how your company can benefit framers.

I spent over $1200 alone on one Internet Art/Frame business. They said they would drive local customers who bought art from them, to me to frame. The client could pick up the framed art directly at my gallery.
Not one customer - and they dropped that company to start an on-demand printing company. Good luck!

The only marketing that I saw them do was directly to their potential customers - the framer.

How is your company different and how will you market to OUR potential customers?

The Internet and marketing in trade magazines alone WILL NOT WORK!!!
Sponsor Wanted

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Hi Less- I joined FS about a year ago, and honestly, we haven't had a referral that we could call a sale. But I have had pages of people in my area that bothered to log on to the site to find out about me. But direct referrals, not yet.

But I'll tell you a few things that have made the dues worthwhile. They printed up a wonderfully produced mailer that I couldn't have done by myself.

They have started working on some vendor relationships that will allow me to buy at prices better than I do presently (and I think I'm a pretty shrewd buyer).

And most importantly, they have brought me into contact with some of the brightest people in the trade. People like Marc Bluestone and Rob Markoff and John Raines and Derek Vandenburg (and many more)are now friends. We share a lot and speak and email at our leisure. That's something that I wouldn't have had an opportunity to do before. Association is a powerful benefit.

But it ain't for everybody

B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
"Good for Jay?" I absolutely hope it's good for Jay! I have no doubt that he loves this business, but none of us can do anything like this just because we love it!

How long will it take? Who knows, at the bare minimum, it took most of us 12-13 years just to get through basic school, not to mention any advanced studies. The fact that they are advertising in magazines consistantly WILL eventually pay off. Will it take years? It might. But where would they (or we) be if they didn't? And I don't see anybody else even trying.

For less than the cost of most YP ads you can have national advertising. Sounds like a deal to me! If my family situation was not what it is, I would do it in a heartbeat! Like I said, "my dream world exists!"


The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Originally posted by lessafinger (and lifted from another thread):
Don't mean to come off with attitude, but I do think it's a topic worthy of discussion - No?
Maybe not. Oh, **** , at least I tried.

<U>You'll get use to me?</U>
I hope :( :( :(
Nope, not yet. Not me, anyway. Still waiting. Sorry, Less . . .


PFG, Picture Framing God
And that's the problem. $120.00 per month may be a small amount to some framers, especially the larger ones, but to most, it is serious money.

I agree with Bob, associations can be built through networking in a given organization. Of the names Bob mentioned, I believe all were established on The Grumble long before FramerSelect came on the scene, all except Derek Vandenburg, I don't recognise that name at all. I guess it's all in how you want to use your advertising budget. It could also be called dues in associations which would be more appropriate at this stage of the game.


Rick Bergeron - CPF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Ditto everything that Bob said. We joined over a year ago.

We have been members of other referral based organizations and our experience is that it takes several months before meaningful referrals are seen. My opinion is that six months is not enough time to build that confidence level. The organization is still very young. Our initial commitment was (and still is) 24 to 36 months for us to routinely see perfect framing customers as a result of Framer Select.

I might be the last person to realize this, but the magazines that FS has regular ads are not limited to the subscriptions. Many of the magazines are in racks beside the checkouts at most of our local home improvement stores, warehouses, call them what you like.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
It will be good for the framers long before it is good for Jay.

In my opinion, looking at the 'return on dollars invested', each member will see something before FramerSelect itself does.

How much of a return is needed to justify the investment? Not very much is needed. As a member just the expense I saved in creative costs for graphic design, copywriting, photography, and printing have made a big dent in the annual membership.

Have you considered that the ads may helping the entire industry? Well, every magazine reader that sees the ad and THINKS ABOUT YOUR SHOP and how its been a year since they were in to see you, you're now are getting a return with no dollars invested. GREAT! We all are winning with the efforts (& $) being put forth. And we as a group look a whole lot better, those ads are hip, classy, and appeal to a wide demographic range. Not many professions of our size have someone putting out such a well thought out image to ATTRACT CONSUMERS. And don't we have to do this first before we can EDUCATE them? We can talk/educate all we want, but with no one NEW to listen . . .

As for your prior expirience - you can't compare FramerSelect to other internet businesses because it is not an internet business. It is a business with a web site. And the concept can't be contained in a web site, because a web site can't contain the whole concept.

HEY 'Lessa' - I've been dying to know the meaning of your name. Is it true that you are missing a finger? :D Was it a 'late night chopping a frame' accident?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Got your message Ron, Thank you.

Eric, My digits are all here. I just like to remind myself to be respectful of that chopper.

I for one - believe it or not give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

The only problem is, that I have wasted a lot of money and trust doing that. Still, I will not give up hope.
I have no doubt that everyone that I have given money to has good intent, but, (one of my favorite sayings) “The road to **** is paved with good intentions”.

You have answered many questions as to some of the benefits.
For ME there is great technical and business advice from Décor, PFM, books, and the Grumbler. (if I don’t get booted out). The real power of an organization like FramerSelect and the PPFA is their ability to unify the industry and market to our potential consumers.

I have seen their beautiful ads in the trade magazine, but since I do not subscribe to many others, I would like to know how and where are they marketing to our consumers?

I would love to give money to FramerSelect, whether they send me a customer or not, if they truly build the awareness of the CONSUMER.


PFG, Picture Framing God
I am one of those shops that feels that $120 /Month is a big investment,and due to some problems that is why I haven't joined. However There is another similar avenue ,AFC. If I'm not mistaken this is supposed to be a non-profit effort( other than administartive cost).It has the assets of anyone who pays the surcharge added to suppliers payments.The AFC is constantly saying they don't have enough funds to do what they'd like .
So my Points are The AFC has been around for some time and they aren't doing as much as Framer Select is.AFC has a much larger income(Cumlatively and maybe monthly)And they are Non-Profit.Has anyone seen the Funancial reports for doing something like this? Ibet the expenses are monumental. Jay is the man as far as being sucessful .So I don't think he'd start something that had no potential and didn't look doable.
But as I'm hearing some haven't had any referals as yet. I didn't and still haven't gotten any from AFC but I still contribute.Maybe it takes (AS already said) longer than we realize to make this work.I wish I could afford $120 a month extra ,I know what i'd do with it.

Framer X

Not-For-Profit not Non-Profit.

RE other "administartive" cost: Your AFC support
is mostly a support of those employed by the
AFC. While the "salary" part is in line with
being only slightly excessive, the travel and
expenses is far beyond reasonable. In other
words, if the compensation is not enough, find
other areas to make the compensation match
If that is not enough compensation, then you
need to get even more creative with the
accounting. Like having a budget line that
pays "public relations," as an outside PR, but
outside PR ain't so outside after all.

The AFC has no Board, Charter, or rule governing
it's operation. Now that's a gravy train!
People give you money with no accountability.
That makes for some great "Funancial reports!"

Meghan MacMillan

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Before Framer Select was officially launched I attended a presentation Jay Goltz made about it. He made it absolutely clear then that he was starting a business venture not a service organization.

If Bob C. hadn't already posted my reply would be very much like his.

Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
$1440/year *IS* a lot of money for those of us with small shops and a stretched marketing budget.

In the big picture, their program gives incredible exposure that we would not otherwise be able to afford. (they pool the money and advertise monthly in about a half dozen consumer and designer magazines) They also offer protected territories for members.

I think the concept and marketing materials they provide are top notch, and we made the decision to sign up this morning. They claim to have a pile of leads already accumulated for this local area, to be emailed in the morning. We are the first shop in our state to sign up.

With Mr Goltz at the helm, I think it has a good chance of getting exposure and bringing industry awareness to the public.

Heck, the yellow page ads cost us about $900/month. (with a poor return on investment so far) I think it's worth trying for 6-12 months... Will check back with everyone in six months with my results and personal opinion of the program.

I'd also like to check out some of Jay's books.

Mike (still very much in learning mode)

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Originally posted by Mike @ GTP:
...Heck, the yellow page ads cost us about $900/month. (with a poor return on investment so far) I think it's worth trying for 6-12 months...

You're absolutely right about the Yellow Pages advertising. I did it for a long time myself. Almost $1,000 per month for that now seems crazy, when you consider the alternative advertising that same money would buy -- much more effective advertising, at that.

On the recommendation of Jay Goltz, after 13 years of medium sized YP display ads, I have changed to in-column ads. No regrets. Thanks, Jay.

The savings of about $700 per month pays not only for my FramerSelect membership, but also a good share of the cost for my direct-mail program, which works.

Bob Carter mentioned the pre-printed direct mail pieces from FramerSelect. He's right -- they're more professionally designed and printed than anything most of us could get at a similar price. What a deal!

If FramerSelect were just a referral program, I probably wouldn't be a member. It's the other benefits that make it worthwhile for me. One of these days the referrals will kick in, but there's plenty of other value in membership.

I'm sure Jay will eventually make money with it. It's a big investment that he (and we) would not make if we weren't serious about its success.

Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
I came home tonight to find an astounding 178 referrals waiting via email. (my first day w/FS) Granted, some of these are probably a year old and have been accumulating since the program started. (we are the first member in this state) Even if just a few turn into sales, I'll be thrilled.

Will keep you all posted, and I think I also agree about the waste of money on YP ads. Our first ad (of 3 books) has only been there since April '02, but I can count on one hand how many folks have come in due to the ad. I plan to give that a bit of time also, but I've learned a lot here from the Grumble; and will be slicing up those funds more efficiently next year. (Direct mailings to new homeowners, previous customers, community events, reachout projects to companies, etc)
Grumbler in training
Member # 1420

posted 07-11-2002 10:19 AM
Hello Less,

You asked for more information to clarify the FramerSelect program. Thank you for the question. That information follows.

First, I would like to say that FramerSelect is not a stand-alone marketing program. It is a program that provides tools for independently owned frame shops to use in conjunction with their local marketing to differentiate themselves from their competition.

It is designed to use the power of Branding, through national targeted advertising, to attract new customers and to reinforce your existing customers that you are one of the best frame shops in America. Customer retention being equally as important as obtaining new customers.

Secondly, it has been mentioned that $120.00 can buy ALOT of local advertising. I am suprised at this statement and suggest that if indeed $120.00 did go along way locally, I question if it is advertising to the best possible audience.

Next, Betty's yellow page story is very accurate. Marketing is very different than advertising. Marketing first requires figuring out exactely who you want to advertise to. Effective marketing requires consistently staying in front of the consumer, getting into their brains prior to their actual need of your services.

Finally, FramerSelect is constantly evolving. We continue to develop new programs for our members, many based upon requests from our membership base. The roots of FramerSelect are in the exact same principles and strategies that Jay Goltz has developed over the past 24 years to build his "independently owned, custom framing business" to the largest in the country today.

With that said, once again I thank you for your question, and here is the information you requested.

Jeff Grabowski


FramerSelect is a national affiliation of independent frame shops whose mission is to raise the level of professionalism in the industry through consumer education, cohesive marketing and shared business expertise.

In an industry where there is no accredited education or trade licenses required, FramerSelect differentiates better frame shops and helps grow their business.

Each independent frame shop must first meet the following criteria to be recognized as one of “The best frame shops in America.”

1. FramerSelect requires the following of each member:

q Framing Focus (50%+ of their revenue is generated from custom picture framing)
q Offers all aspects of Preservation Quality framing
q Current design styles, techniques, and products
q Extensive selection of moulding and mat board samples
q Participates in ongoing trade education
q Dedicated to complete customer satisfaction

2. FramerSelect members must be nominated and/or approved by two or more of the following:

q Industry Field Representatives
q Leading Industry Suppliers
q Current FramerSelect Members
q FramerSelect Membership Committee
q Framing Customers

3. FramerSelect members must adhere to the following professional business practices:

q Have all applicable business licenses
q Located in a business district
q Open traditional business hours
q Fully insured
q Guarantee all work
q Maintain pricing integrity
q Provide timely turnaround on framing orders

FramerSelect members are identified by their high standards and dedication to provide exceptional framing and superior service.

FramerSelect believes that consumer education is the key element in the advancement of the custom framing profession and that the independent framer’s knowledge and experience plays
a critical role in this mission.


___FramerSelect™ Membership Benefits___

Effective Branding
In-Store Identification
Window signage and countertop items distinguish you from your competitors by identifying your frame shop as one of the best in America.
q Front door and window decals
q Certificate of Recognition identifying your frame shop as one of the best in America
q “10 things to know before framing your picture – Your guide to custom framing” educational/promotional brochures
q FramerSelect framer’s apron, calculator, ruler, pens, etc.

Promotional Materials
Advertisements, brochures and mailers attract customers by sending a consistent message of professionalism.
q Counter top brochures
q Oversized direct mail postcards
q Digital Ad templates to use in your local advertising
q Custom frame design booklet

Market Positioning
Your frame shop gains prominence by association with the most recognized lifestyle magazines and recommendations from a variety of well-respected art sources.
q FramerSelect© places advertisements into an average of five of the following publications monthly; Better Homes & Gardens, Country Living, Country Living Gardener, Elle Décor, House & Garden, House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Living, Metropolitan Home, Traditional Home, and Victoria.
q FramerSelect’s art partners continue to grow and include the following; Artland, Artsmile, Bentley Publishing Group and The Ross Poster Group.

Strategic Marketing
Targeted Advertising
Advertisements placed in home décor publications attract better customers interested in interior design, art and framing.
q FramerSelect produces over 45 million ad impressions annually.
q The audience demographics are primarily female, with an average age of 44 and whose median household income is over $61,623.00.

Internet Presence
The FramerSelect website connects your store with upscale customers searching for a quality framer and provides details about your shop. Also, if you have your own website, FramerSelect offers direct links.
q Your frame shop receives it’s own web page on www.framerselect.com.
q Name, address, contact numbers, directions, photographs and shop specialties can be listed.
q Your personal website is hyperlinked through your shops web page and under the FramerSelect Art Link section.

Promotional Alliances
Art partners promote FramerSelect through website links and point-of-sale recommendations.

Proven Business Expertise
Business Package
Sound strategies and advice from industry authority Jay Goltz and other business experts help you grow your business and increase profitability.
q Six issues of FrameHead™ per year - a newsletter with business insight and applicable framing industry information.
q FrameHead - where framers go to talk shop. A member exclusive online exchange.
q FramerSelect Partners Program – Members team up to benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience.

On-Line Exchange
FrameHead -- A network of the most successful framers asking questions and comparing notes to improve everyday business.
q Shop Talk – A forum to discuss materials, techniques, design and equipment
q Business Talk – A serious forum for comparing notes on how to effectively manage your business
q Water Cooler – A casual forum for comments and conversation
q Classifieds – A forum to locate or sell artwork and equipment

Vendor Programs
FramerSelect connects you with the industry’s leading vendors who provide special offers and detailed product information for our members.
q Vendor profiles include; company history, product descriptions and contact information.
q Vendor incentives include; discounted prices, rebates, exclusive product, free product and new product introductions.

Extensive Referral Network
Advertising Program
Millions of impressions result in thousands of customers looking for referrals to the best framer in their areas.
q Magazine advertisements generate an average 3000+ referrals per month.
q The FramerSelect website receives an average 3300+ page views per month.
q Each member receives a monthly summary of all sales leads and referrals to their store. These names and addresses may be added to your database/mailing list for you to follow up on as you wish.
q You have the option to receive the sales leads/referrals via hard copy, email or on diskette.

Promotional Partners
Our art partners distribute thousands of FramerSelect brochures through galleries and with shipments of unframed artwork. Website links provide even greater exposure to a highly qualified audience that purchases art.

Framer to Framer
FramerSelect’s membership network extends your reach across the country. Whether it’s shipped artwork that requires repair or a customer who relocates or opens a new office in another city – you gain new customers and can better serve existing ones.

FramerSelect™ Marketing Tools
FramerSelect provides tools that assist frame shops with their local marketing program. These help differentiate members from their competitors and aid in attracting new customers while retaining the existing ones. Many are provided free of charge and others are available at substantially reduced prices.
q Press releases
q Ad slicks
q Logo usage
q Direct mail postcards
q Brochures
q Frame design book

Corporate Office Support
The corporate offices are open Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 6:30pm, Central Standard Time.
The FramerSelect staff is available to assist members with all aspects of our program including but not limited to;
q Business/marketing advice
q FramerSelect materials purchasing and replenishment
q Sales leads retrieval
q Website development and updates
q Technical support
q Marketing tools and logo usage
q Press releases

Membership Dues
Membership dues are billed on the first of the month. Our preferred form of payment is by credit card. We accept American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover. We also accept checks.

The cost of the program is as follows:
1 Store = $120.00 per month ($120.00 per store)
2 Stores = $160.00 per month ($80.00 per store)
3 Stores = $200.00 per month ($66.67 per store)
4 Stores = $240.00 per month ($60.00 per store)
5 Stores = $280.00 per month ($56.00 per store)

12 months for the price of 11
When you pay for a year’s dues in advance you receive one month FREE.

1871 N. Clybourn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-6060
(800) 444-8387

Jeff Grabowski
1871 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614

Posts: 4 | From: Chicago, IL, USA | Registered: Aug 2001 | IP: Logged


PFG, Picture Framing God
That is truly astounding, 178 referals first time out. The entire time I was with FramerSelect I never recieved one, not a single one. Had I recieved one or two a month, I would still be with them.

As for Yellow Pages, I havn't paid them a dime in over twenty years, I use the little tiny free listing. I recieve about as many calls as I ever did with a 1/4 page ad.



SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
When is a referral a referral? This is open to opinion maybe?

Without speaking for them, I think the earlier posts by Bob, Rick and myself were considering it a referral when someone walks into the store. (Guys, if I am wrong, please reply) This may be what some of us are looking at and saying that we 'have had none yet'.

FramerSelect sends a packet of info directly to the consumer with our business name on it. Since March we now get a printout of all those consumers that have inquired to the ads. It is their name and address. What we are getting, I consider to be LEADS. They are very good leads and need to be followed up with to turn them into referrals, sales, and then clients.

What Mike just got was a list of these leads. All members of FramerSelect get these. These are the sparks that turn into the flame of business.

And Mike, the name of your shop is perfect. After following your posts it is clear that you indeed 'get the picture'!
Hi John,

I just pulled the list of names from zip codes 91900 through 92199 which should cover your business area.

I came up with 521 names. You were sent some of these names while you were a member. When you discontinued the program, the names were no longer sent.

They were included in a mailing of our newsletter and sent in hard copy format. Now, members have a choice to receive them in hard copy, email or on disk.

To Eric's point, these are the names of consumers from your area who have requested information on FramerSelect and a list of local members.

We call them "referrals" because we referred them to a local framer. At this point, to you, they are "sales leads".

By taking the names and following up with a local mailer of your own, whether it's a FramerSelect postcard, a FramerSelect "10 things to know before framing your picture" brochure, or simply including the FramerSelect logo on a postcard/mailer of your own design, you connect the dots for the consumer.

1. The national advertisement in the home & decor shelter publications attracted their interest.
2. They sent away for information and a list of local framers.
3. We sent them a "10 things" brochure with your shop listed.
4. Maybe they need something framed now, maybe they don't.
5. You follow up with your own mailing identifying yourself as a FramerSelect frame shop and BINGO. The cycle is complete. They recognize that there is a framer in their neighborhood that is part of the organization they read about in Traditional Home, or House & Garden, or anyone of the other upscale magazines we advertise in.



SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Hi Jeff,

Thank you for the impressive and informative presentation. I wish for you and all of the your members, great success. It would seem that your business model has a good chance of doing so.

I will seriously consider joining for 1 year and supporting your efforts.

I have two questions with the understanding that your business will be allowed to evolve.

1. Have you considered using the power of a national television ad campaign, that would express the emotional power that framing can provide for the consumer that does not already know?

2. Is the exclusive territory model best for generating revenue for your company?

An ad that entices a person to have something framed may go to whomever they choose anyway. I’m sure there are many qualified framers in a given area that would like the opportunity to participate. There is power in numbers, and such a model may elevate the business as a whole.


Good questions. I'll try to keep this short.

Have you considered using the power of a national television ad campaign, that would express the emotional power that framing can provide for the consumer that does not already know?
Yes we've looked into TV ads, but, not that deeply. Here's why.

1. Cost. It's very expensive and very difficult to identify the right time, right station, right program to reach the right audience. Keeping in mind that frequency/consistency is key, to do this type of advertising properly to be effective would cost MILLIONS each month.

Example: to run eight 30 second spots per day at random times (least expensive) over 5 networks (A&E, VH1, TLC, TNT, E!TV) that cover only two cities (Highland Park and the Near North Side of Chicago - not ALL of Chicago) cost over $2600.00. To cover the entire US, or at least let's say 1000 cities (think about how many cities you would want to cover in your area alone) would cost near 2.6 million dollars per month. That's a cable ad, MUCH cheaper than ABC, NBC or CBS.

2. Only somewhere between 5-7% of the U.S. population patron custom frame shops. That means a large majority of the viewing audience is an unqualified candidate. It is extremely difficult and expensive to try to convert the customer that doesn't frame or who buys preframed OEM art through retailers such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Pier One, etc. It's better to go after existing framing customers and get them to stop going to your competitor and start going to you instead.

One last thing. We will produce over 45 million ad impressions this year. That is based on actual paid subscription sales of each magazine for only the issues we are in. Magazines also have a "pass around rate" which averages 6Xs the paid subscription rate. This is based off the total number of times the issue is viewed. For example, your friend comes over and flips through your copy of House Beautiful or you read the magazines provided while waiting for your doctor's appointment. With this in mind, FramerSelect's viewed impression increase to 2.7 billion. (although I would say that the pass around audience is not as targeted/qualified as the paid subscription audience)

Is the exclusive territory model best for generating revenue for your company?
We work directly with each member to identify and protect their specific trade area. We will NOT overload any area as "Select" is part of what we are all about. We don't feel it would be fair to put two members on the same block. However, we also recognize that consumers need/want a choice. Offering a choice adds credibility to the program. Therefore, members may share some common ground when you look at the far ends of the areas they service. In general, no two members are closer than 5 miles from each other. This will also vary depending on the density of their respective areas. Members in NY, Chicago or LA will be closer to each other than members in Wyoming, Nebraska, etc.

Hope that answers your questions and sorry, I guess I didn't keep it short.



CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Jeff. I talked to you briefly in Vegas and I may as well ask this publicly for the benefit of Canadian Grumblers;
1. Are there any plans to rebrand your ads to mention Canada, and not just "America"?
2. Have there been any "leads" in Western Canada, specifically Alberta?
3. What sort of "Canadian oriented" literature and support is available, or is planning to be made available to Canadian merchants?
Just wondering?
Hi Lisa,

I remember meeting you and our conversation in Las Vegas.

In looking at our program now as it relates to the Canadian market, there are a few issues that are preventing us from pursuing that area.

1. Magazine circulation.

The magazines that we advertise in DO reach Canada, however, in much smaller numbers than the U.S. market. We have been receiving requests from Canada looking for a Frame Shop recommendation, yet, in order for them to reach substantial numbers, we would have to begin advertising in magazines that are specific to Canada.

2. Promotional Literature.

As we discussed, we would need to create "Canada specific" versions of our ads, brochures, postcards, etc., which would end up doubling our expenses.

3. Cost of program.

Because of the exchange rate on the U.S. dollar, the Canadian framers would have to pay a higher price in Canadian currency to match the U.S. $120.00 per month. If we drop the price to $120.00 Canadian dollars, then we just reduced our revenue by about half while we doubled our expenses to produce "Canada appropriate" marketing materials.

All of this combined, it is far too expensive to proceed in Canada right now. However, we have not ruled out Canada entirely and in the future, we may offer a similar program.

Thanks for the question and the continued interest. I promise that when we are ready to enter Canada, you'll be of the first to know.

Sponsor Wanted