Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by ianp, Aug 16, 2011.
You're right. Sorry. Can you delete my post?
And the judges give a 10 on the Snark-O-Meter to Mr Gumby! Well done, sir!
Guys if you're not sure about the business basics another good resource is the bookstore at www.pictureframingmagazine.com.
Omega Moulding also purchased the rights to Vivian Kistler's books and if I remember correctly she had a good one on pricing.
WOW......Sorry, really didn't intend to ignite a spark here, and I am very sorry to have written anything that may have appeared to be our markups. The mark up that was refered to in my post was taken from the question that was posted. I really did have good intentions to help, not hinder or upset.
Mr. Gumby looks behind him then takes a applaudes from the crowd..
Homie looks like the unwritten rules will bite you everytime... Maybe they are written somewhere if not should be maybe?
Intriguing - pricing, that is.
After mulling over the responses, and wanting to maintain the simple approach e.g., sample corners with pricing listed on the back, which, is how my pricing is set up with 2004 pricing...(I inherited the business in 2005 after my folks passed on...bless their souls) I will do the homework needed to determine the pricing for my local market.
Many thanks for all of the good feedback. I love this site.
OK...........I promise.... I am of sound mind and body as I write this. :icon19:
Seriously though, I know that the teasing is all in good fun, or at least that is how I am going to choose to take it, because I have an enormous amount of respect for you all, and I intend to keep it that way.
We do, do things differently from other shops, and I guess I am finding out that we may be more different than I thought, but I do not necessarily believe that being different is always a bad thing, as some of you have pointed out, as long as the end result comes to a fair market price for your area and you are able to cover costs, overhead, and end up making the profit you require to stay in business and support your family and way of life, it probably does not matter what formula is used to get there, and I promise, I will not discuss pricing any further, I have learned my lesson, and thank you to the moderators who keep this site safe and pleasant for all.
With that said, I do agree, that education is needed in order to make the decisions that we need to about how we all come up with our individual pricing structures. We did utilize many sources when we began 12 years ago, and continue to do so, taking bits and pieces from several to come up with what has worked great for us.
I write this because, I too have become an addict of the G. It seems like family to me on here, as I am very passionate about framing. It's more than just a job for me, and I feel that is the case for most of you as well. I realize that it may have been somewhat cryptic for me to be lurking around here and making posts when I have not made it possible for you all to really know anything about me or my company, and for that I appoligize, and I intend to remedy that straight away.
I hope that this post will be viewed for what it is........I wish to open the lines of communication with you all. My respect for you is great, and if it came off as anything else, please know that it was not intended. As I said, I do have an interest in all aspects of education, and I have already learned so much from all of you, and wish to continue to do so going forward. Sorry this was so long.
Thank you fellow grumblers,
We're glad to have you as part of our big dysfunctional family, Jeni.
ALL framers are welcome on this forum, whether they are home based, indy, franchise, big box, wholesale/commercial, or conservators.
We have a lot of opinions, but really are a friendly group. If you attend the WCAF show in Vegas in 4 months, you'll see what I mean.
Newbie buys first round!
You said it best. We are all co-dependents because it takes a special person to be a framer. You are among fellow artisans.
Jump into the frumble of the Grumble!!!
((((Thanks guys))))) Totally feeling the love!!!
May I chime in on how generous Jim Miller is as well? Thanks. We are very fortunate to have someone of Jim's character and integrity who is more than willing to share his wealth of information both in the classroom and out. I have called on Jim several times with questions on shadowboxes and have always received a warm repsonse and any information he shares he sends out right away.
Thank you, Jim.
careful, it may just be gas.
Or could this be his 5500. Either way we get the drift.:cry:
depends... if you're downwind.
Ooooppppsss........Guess you must have seen my lunch time entry! :icon11:
Good one Mark!
Most likely I have been in the retail framing business longer than 95% on this board. I have no sympathy for home based framers. I have never known one who sales pitch doesn't go something like this. "The retail framers can't possibly compete with me because their costs are so high". "I undercut all their prices". Their work is usually pedestrian and shoddy. Unless they went out of a retail location and have become a home framer they don't have the knowledge and experience to produce a top notch product. It's from my experience of reframing their work for years. I'm not saying I have done this but their's a way to fight back. Contact city or County about zoning and having a business in a residential neighborhood. Probably against zoning. Also contact these same people to see if they have a current business liscense and resale tax certificate and have sent in sales tax. These are public records. If they don't do that you can be assured they don't pay the IRS either. Virtually none have insurance, an accountant or send in State and Federal withholding. Notify distributors you won't buy from anyone that sells to home based framers. They all claim they don't do it but some do. Out them on the Grumble. Out of respect for the dozens of retail framers I personally know that have gone out of business recently it's almost an obligation for us to stand up for legitimate framers. If you think this is harsh than tough. I believe competition is very good for business, not unfair competition.
unfair being any one you feel you can't compete against no doubt.
What are your thoughts on the Big Box Stores?
Aren't you more of a wholesaler, dealing with galleries and dealers? That would be like me, a whole different thing than a home based retailer.
So Robert, have you spoken out against the chain stores too, or do you just bully the little guys?
BTW, having a retail store doesn't make you a better framer; knowledge, skill and experience do.
Bron, I don't do any retail. I take no personal offense to what was said. I think some brick and mortar stores should take a better look around and see that their biggest competitors are the very suppliers they are buying from.
If my business is losing business because of my competition, then it's my fault.
I decide where I'll work from, what hours I'll operate, what services I'll offer and what prices I'll charge. My business grows or diminishes based on my decisions, not on what any competitor does. At best, my competition keeps me on my game, at worst they annoy the heck out of me.
Whining time is over.
"Whining time is over."
To paraphrase Patsy Cline.
Storefront framers make similar claims about undercutting their competition. One popular Grumbler even claims to sell at half the prices of the craft stores. Low-price framers, no matter where they work, can win when price is the customer's primary consideration. Like it or not, selling low price is a fair tactic.
Some home-based framers fit that description, and so do some storefront framers. What's the difference? I agree that shoddy work always has been a problem in the framing industry, but it is ridiculous to lay that criticism only on framers who do not work in storefronts.
All businesses are required to meet certain legal requirements, and compliance is a fair expectation. Admittedly, it may be easier for a home-based framer to skirt the law, but business operators who fail to meet all of the legal requirements deserve to be prosecuted, no matter where they operate. Some storefront framers skirt the law, too. Would you give them any exemption?[/QUOTE]
After a framer boasted about his 30 years of experience, an Australian friend, himself an accomplished framer, suggested that it might be 3 years of experience ten times over.
Regardless of where they work, what can you say for framers who have earned no framing credentials and stopped improving their expertise years ago? Other than spending decades in the back room, how many "legitimate framers" could prove their expertise?
Your bias is misplaced.
Now shut the #### up, close your store, buy some CPF initials, and start selling out of your house like a good framer.
Well, I have owned my shop for 35 years now, I have 10 framers on staff, and we are usually fairly busy. I have seen home based framers come and go, including some that used to work for me. None has ever made a dent in our business as far as I know. What should concern all of us much more is keeping up with changing times and buying habits. The enemy is not the home based framer. The enemy is the Internet and the Big Box framer, and sometimes our own suppliers. We need to change with the times or go out of business. Most custom framers are gone, and for reasons that certainly do not include home based competition. I have writtene extensively about this here: http://www.framersworkshop.com/News/DECOR/Decor052010/index.html
We should be talking about what we can do to compete with the Elephants in the room, not the home based framer.
Plese fill out your profile so we know who you are.
Global Arts Picture Frame CO in Chevy Chase, MD is a private company categorized under Picture Framing. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of less than $500,000 and employs a staff of approximately 1 to 4.
I can find No Website
"buy some CPF initials". Could someone please explain what this quote means? I currently have these letters on my business card, frequently educate my customers what they mean, use them in ads and frankly am looking forward to challenging myself to add the letter M in front of the CPF. I am finally finding my voice on this forum. Comments like the one above say a whole lot more about the person that said it than it does about those of us that have earned the CPF designation. I also don't hide who I am, my web site info, and where exactly I am located. I am no longer going to remain silent while certain grumblers spout off about the PPFA and the certification process, get over it and quit trying to demean what I am proud to have accomplished.
Hey, the loser who wrote that probably failed the test 18 times. Just ignore him! I'm sure he's not someone who is having trouble with some organization handing out an accreditation then having nothing to do with how people use it, because that would be insane and impossible.
More than 99 out of every 100 people on this forum completely have your back don't focus on the negative.
Folks, I think we need to take things down a few notches. We can do without the tension or aggressive attacks. We're all on the same team.
Just a reminder, we all agreed to this....
When people are vicious, it tends to be a turn off which stifles participation. We want all framers to feel welcomed on this forum, to encourage an atmosphere of sharing and participation.
All of us are basically guests in framer's "home". I think we should be respectful of that.
Thanks in advance
Okay, Mike: you cut me off. For the very first time, I wanted to fall to this person's level. Been here since the G started and have never before been so put off by any such closed-minded person.
But I won't because you asked we not.
Is it okay to hope he'll run into an HB framer who eats his lunch? No?
Well, all right then. Maybe he should out his age: might explain some things.
Cathie, don't be discouraged to say what's on your mind. An open exchange of views and thoughts is what makes this forum work.
There are small minded individuals who think they know what's best for this entire industry. I disagree with their views and I'm willing to say my piece. I doubt anything that I or any other home based framer could ever say would sway their opinion.
Nothing after Robert's post should be taken seriously. He posted something inflammatory and certain people need to fire back. Pew pew! The vast overwhelming majority of you are diametrically opposed to him. Nothing more constructive can come from the thread. So don't let your hearts be troubled.
Arrogant (censored) Need Not Reply
Interesting stuff going on here...
Due to the type of responses some of you shoot out I feel I'd much rather get off the computer and forget I found this site. Those first two comments alone got my blood boiling. That's no way to respond to a guy who is thanking y'all for good advice. :kaffeetrinker_2:
Don't say I didn't warn you.
Totally agree with you and that is exactly the reason I haven't put in my $0.02. I actually think that he were baiting the hook to see our reaction and is now sitting back and laughing because so many of us did take the bait.
I am a good HB Framer and should be offended but in my opinion it is much better sitting back and say nothing instead getting vocal and feeding the fire. If you don't show any reaction physically or verbally those type of people usually go away because it isn't any fun for them - and besides - if he was serious he has a right to his own opinion we, just don't have to agree with him.
The fact is that many company's, mine included, would not survive without the support of HB's as well as the SF.
The fact is that some of the good advice given here on the G is given by people who have acquired the MCPF or CPF designation, but don't have a shop at all, or are not running a full sevice opperation anymore. Some have left the business and others have moved from SF to HB. Does that make their advice less worthy? Of course not.
The fact is that some of the HB framers have the MCPF & CPF designation and have been very active in PPFA, even serving on the national board of PPFA or within their own chapter as an officer or board member.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to see a lot of work done by both BB, SF, and HB and believe me there is good and bad in every category. Some of the best framing I have ever seen has come from HB and SF both, and believe it or not, the BB's also. Some of the worst framing I have ever seen has come from all 3 as well.
The fact is that the industry is struggling, and beating each other up is very unproductive. There is a wealth of knowledge out there and the smart one's will take advantage of it whether the one giving the advice has letters behind their name or not. Many of the companies that are members of PPFA, and the people who give advice here on the G on their behalf, do not have the letters behind their names. Does that make their information less viable or valuable? Of course it doesn't.
You aren't going to eliminate all your competition. The best way to stay in business is to find your niche, stay price competitive, and do great work. Worrying about what the next guy is doing will do nothing for you except give you ulcers. The best way to compete is to be better.....and that is a fact!
Less Likes Kristie
Less doesn't take offense to Robert's post. it is understandable in todays climate. Less appreciates an honest point of view - right or wrong. This economy creates a lot of stress. UnSeal helps.
Elmo think Less talk funny...
Less is a Jimmy wanna be, if you are a Seinfeld fan.
Ugh, well, I've been trying to ignore this post but I have to admit it annoyed me. A lot of the arguments during these horrible threads rely on really marginalized points. So...
Robert comments that he has never seen a home based framer that doesn't sell his undercutting. That's far off to one end of the spectrum. Jim uses the same defense liberals use to say that America is guilty of the same things as those who would do it harm.
There is a difference, of course, in buying by the box and selling while still making your margins and buying a chop and marking it up by a factor that would run anyone with overhead out of business. That's ignored and I can't figure out why.
The storefront operator will eventually go out of business.
It is, yes. Saying that home based framers can't have the knowledge required to do a good job is a really easy point to refute. However, it is more likely for a home based framer to be bad at it. It's not a dig on home based framers! Before anyone gets all upset, listen. If you run a storefront and you are lousy at it you'll go out of business. Some of those guys then sell out of their homes. If you operate out of your home and you're lousy at it you can get a job and continue to offer framing until the day you die. Nothing is going to stop you. You can also sell out of your home and be good at it, but the numbers are against you.
So it's silly to say that all home based framers are bad at framing. It's also silly to fail to acknowledge that there is a higher density of bad framers doing that because there is a much, much faster rate of attrition in storefront bad framers.
Not really interested in this. I do think that it's probably a lot harder to open up a retail storefront without the proper requirements than you think though. I've been caught before, just having a kiosk in a mall next to my store. I was, quite rightly I thought, treating them as the same business. The state saw differently and it cost me over fifty thousand dollars. I can't imagine trying to operate a whole store under the radar.
This is what got to me so I posted my sarcastic comment.
What can you say for framers who have earned no framing credentials? Doesn't affect my opinion of their possible skill level.
And has stopped improving their expertise years ago? Out of business.
That's such a loaded question. Again though, Darwin wins you know. If someone in a storefront is framing the same way they did in the 70s they are out of business by now. Excepting the obvious masterpiece hand carved and so forth. You have to keep improving or you're going to fall behind the curve.
What do you call a storefront framer who has survived for 3 or more decades but hasn't taken the exam or purchased the books and classes you guys offer?
I'm sure some folks will take this post as a bash against all home based framers and I can't understand why that is either.
And yes I realize nothing good is going to come from this post.
Johnny, I found your post to be well thought out and nicely articulated.
I've also been drinking heavily since noon.
Haha, ya well I had the window open for quite a while and kept walking back to the computer and typing in random thoughts.
A drink sounds good. I don't drink much. Went through a week or so of light imbibing about a month back after watching a marathon of Mad Men. Had about 12 drinks total which more than doubled my yearly intake.
Maybe I should go grab one before my next post.
Mr Buchalter...I work in my house(gasp!). Technically not as a framer per se, I make frames mostly to complement my OWN work, to be unique. I think the problem is not ALWAYS as simple as undercutting a competetor`s pricing,it has to do with what you offer,how different is it from the next guy(or girl, let`s not accuse me of sexism here..)that is doing framing either as a an HB, or a SF? Maybe you lose work to that "pedestrian" HB because his/her work is different,and more, for lack of a better term "fun" than your offerings. I think a lot of this hatred, yes I say hatred of HB`s is the natural tendency for someone experiencing poor sales, or profit margins to strike out at the "competition" that is to blame.HB`s are a natural target for someone who has the overhead,and hassles of a retail location,it is assumed that because someone is working in their home ,they are cheating,not paying taxes etc. I can say I definitely do, three states and federal taxes, good sir!! I also keep longer hours than I ever could in a retail studio environment. During the summer convention season, and the Holidays I work 18 hours a day many days, or rather, nights. What I create is very unusual and unique, and I have no real, direct competition as it were,and I`m not impacting you either..Heck I send people TO full time framers,YES I DO.I also have several international awards for what I have done. I`m not bragging, just stating a fact. Being told I am "pedestrian"is rather a nasty insult,really.Oh and I`m used to the "stupid" artist argument too, don`t bother....... L
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