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Opinions Wanted I do it for free sometimes


SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I just got an iced coffee from a lady who needed me to put a canvas in a frame....
Whom I DID NOT CHARGE .......;)

She's coming in this weekend with a baptism gown! Can't wait!


SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
How about "just" stretching a painting for ctroxtell? I'll bet he would be willing to buy his own strainer frame and he surely would appreciate it and recommend you to all of his friends.

... but only if you did it for the same price!


pete plastic

How about "just" stretching a painting for ctroxtell? I'll bet he would be willing to buy his own strainer frame and he surely would appreciate it and recommend you to all of his friends.
Aww, I think he means well. I'm as much of a cynic as the next guy, owing to how long I've been in this biz (25+ yrs), but this dig seems a bit less than charitable. He just needs some education about our cost/benefit ratio without coming from our pedestal mount.


SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I agree, Pete, but if you know Jim you also know he met no malice. Just saw an opportunity to make a funny.


In fact, if you read back, Jim probably gave the most helpful answer on that thread, as usual.

Pat Kotnour

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I find myself prone to doing little things like putting a wire hanger on a
customers smaller size frame at no charge. I realize every penny counts but I use the opportunity to ask the customer to remember my shop for any custom framing they may need done. I also ask if they would be so kind to send their friends in if they could use my services.
I have had many of those people come back with custom work to be done. So am I doing a smart thing or throwing away money??:kaffeetrinker_2:
I've always been of the school that if you give the customer more than what they are expecting, they will always be back and most of the time will send others to you. Word of mouth advertising is the best and most lasting way to get the word out. The little bit that it costs you for great PR is very well worth the cost. But, it sounds like you have already found that out.

Ray Bragg

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
I too used to ofer a free wire service, in hopes of druming up goodwill. Then I stopped about a year ago when I noticed the same people coming in again and again wanting me to wire there art and never even looking at buying anything.

Then yesterday I had someone come in with 8 brand new pieces, purchased at a BB, whos name starts with an M. The tags were still on the pieces. When I told her that it was no longer free and quoted the price she said " well the last 3 times she had come in it was free" And i said that was then this is now.

The new world, we cannot afford to keep giving it away!!!!!!

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
...8 brand new pieces...quoted the price she said " well the last 3 times she had come in it was free"...
Seriously? Do you suppose she thinks you're trying to rip her off now? That's one clueless [strike]customer[/strike] consumer.

Looking back at the comments in this thread, the popular justification for occasional freebies is the assumption that the recipient will feel an obligation (or at least a desire) to bring back a paying job sometime in the future, which may be a sound practice if we know the customer to be so inclined. But consumers like the one you describe betray that justification and remind us that not everyone understands how business works - or cares.

Mark D

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
I apppreciate all of the feedback. I want to clarify again that anything that is done at no charge in my shop is represented as a ONE TIME only "special deal". And, again, I encourage folks to come see me for
their custom framing needs and to refer me to their friends. I have
generated many orders and increased revenue by doing this form of "advertising". I don't do it often, just when I see potential in the situation. The bottom line is the cost of a piece of wire and hanging hardware. Not a bad investment to give the customer a "feel good" experience in your shop and educate them on your custom services as at the same time.;)


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Doing little things like that is wonderful business. We always say, "First one's free!" Another thing we do is cut up scraps of conservation glass that would normally be tossed -- Clear, Non-glare, Museum, doesn't matter -- into standard sizes, up to 8x10, and, when we fit a photo into a ready-made photo frame, will pop them in as a "free" upgrade. That way, you're limiting waste, and you're promoting your commitment to preservation framing.

People remember the little things.

Al E

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
How about a change in perspective? You are not so much saving them money as time and hassle. The tasks being enumerated are but trivial chores for us. Not so for that prospective customer. These are not the type to do it themselves, for whatever reason. They appreciate what you did and see it as a favor more than a "freebie". That is why some insist on leaving money. Because they don't want to be in your debt for a favor.

I base this on observation that they are more pleased by having their burden of fixing the problem lifted than saving the usually small sum of money. But they are pleased about both.


PFG, Picture Framing God
As I have posted earlier, we often do these things.
We will even frame a photo of someone who has just passed on for the memorial service at no charge.

I am surprised sometimes at the almost anger expressed towards these "freeloaders" that I have read in some of the posts.
I think it's a case by case situation.
I have often had customers literally force money on me when I tell them it's "no charge".
Maybe it's a geographical difference. Different parts of the country, different attitude.:shrug:

Central Phoenix Arizona isn't exactly the "Gold Coast" of AZ. but the people are good folks.
We also service Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Fountain Hills as well as Tempe and Chandler.

Spending a lot of time on the Grumble and on FB and youtube, how many customers does that bring to you?
You can trade a little of that time and do some pay it forward, good will stuff and I still believe it pays off down the road.
As I have said before, at least in our situation, we get more than we give and it's a win/win situation, at least for us.


PFG, Picture Framing God
We don't do it "For Free" but for a donation to Guiding Eyes for the Blind. That way, we aren't exactly giving it away, and a great organization benefits. We have two store dogs who are GEB graduates. Everyone (almost) adores them, and are happy to support their organization.

And it is a real study in humanity. They really run the spectrum. All the way from "Oh, I don't have any cash on me. I'll catch you later" (Uh huh) to "Here's $20 for the animals" when all we did was what we consider a small task.

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