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I raised my prices.

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Sarah Winchester, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. Sarah Winchester

    Sarah Winchester CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    While I've always been satisfied with the money I take home at the end of the day, I feel I've been working too hard lately. Haven't had enough time to visit the Grumble, etc.
    So I decided to raise prices. Went through all items in my POS and took a hard look at each item. Some I raised only 50%, some went up as much as 200%. this included glass, mats, frames, assembly, dry-mounting, etc.......everything.
    Well, what did it do?? I'm not sure. Did this over the July 4th holiday so maybe there hasn't been enough time to tell.
    Still seem to be working just as hard. Haven't had anybody walk out because of the price. But sure am taking more money home at the end of the day.
    Not sure what this means, except I must have been leaving too much on the table.
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  2. J Phipps TN

    J Phipps TN SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Give us an example.
    CV Clear
    Acid free backing

    What was your price before and now!

    Mine was $146.00
  3. Sarah Winchester

    Sarah Winchester CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Before & After



    Happened to sell that moulding last week. Different size, but at new pricing. Customer didn't hesitate at all.

    And I'm not in a particularly affluent area, either.
  4. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    As above with no mounting, includes fitting and a black kraft dust cover with a wire strap hanger:

    $ 194.33
  5. Sarah Winchester

    Sarah Winchester CGF, Certified Grumble Framer


    ......gee, Dave, maybe I should go higher.
  6. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    $222 plus tax here.
  7. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    I came in at about $200 also. I'd say if you are within $20 of Dave, who is also in Michigan, your prices are about right. Unless you are located near Grosse Pointe, in which case you can jack your prices up another 25%.
  8. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    If you are not experiencing any price resistance from your customers then it is time to do a firm evaluation of your pricing. I know that the majority of my customers do not come to me with the cost being their prime consideration. However I'm very aware that even a customer that can afford the best will often have items they want framed economically and therefore it's important to have value priced mouldings and service offerings.

    It is not uncommon to have a customer drop $ 800 to $ 1000 on one or more pieces of work but also have a rolled up poster they want framed and mounted on the cheap.

    Give your latest increase time to mellow in and see how it holds with your regulars. A 62% increase is significant. The fact that you haven't met any opposition yet is indicative that you were considerably lower than your market would accept. Don't push it too soon though ...you may see some resistance. I'd give it a few months before doing any more "fine tuning".

    What you did was a bold move and proves that price is one of the "far down the totem pole" items if you first differentiate yourself from the competition.
  9. FramerRandy

    FramerRandy CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    My price would be $163 :kaffeetrinker_2:
  10. TessaE

    TessaE CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    mine was about the same plus tax
  11. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Those "trust babies" want 20% off all the time. That will be about right though(after the
    20% off).

    My price was within $1.00 of Daves.
  12. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    I've spent the past year plus since I opened doing alot of 50%-off-the-moulding discounting. In the past two or three months, however, I've really moved away from that, and now you have to have the coupon in hand (or mention it explicitly) if you want the discount. Interestingly, I think I got more price resistance when I was running the discounts than I am now.
  13. Mrs.B

    Mrs.B CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Sarah, I came in at $154 without mounting and before tax. I'm not in an affluent location either. Hear all the time that I'm too expensive. Compared to who, HL or M or JF? Probably not. I think you made a great business move for yourself.
  14. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Comparing prices for a specific framing design is not a very useful measure of our different businesses' success in terms of sales or profitability.

    I think it is more important to determine how much profit we can make on a customer-satisfying sale.

    For example, depending on the mounting and a couple of other factors, my price for that frame design might be between $181 and $220.

    For about half of our framing jobs, customers choose to buy the Museum Glass we routinely offer, which would make this otherwise-same design start around $250.

    Then, instead of that LJ moulding, I might have a similar-looking poly profile to offer at 20% less retail and 50% more gross margin dollars. That way, the framing is still in the $200 range, she gets a framing design she likes better, and I get more profit dollars.
  15. Harry FKA Harry

    Harry FKA Harry CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    $196 here.

    Just to wiegh in....
  16. Harry FKA Harry

    Harry FKA Harry CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

  17. surferbill

    surferbill SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm at $189.10 but I give a 10% discount a lot. I think I need to raise my prices too. ;)
    Ocean Art
  18. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Paul ...discounts attract discount shoppers as in Sarah's experience.
  19. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I know we don't actually compete, but I want to be more expensive than you! So ...tell me ...were you a dollar higher or lower. If you're higher I'll have to raise my prices!


    Perceived Value, ya' know...

  20. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    I think a little price-fixing is in order. You're the low framer on the totem at the moment Jennifer, step up to the plate! ;) :) Then we'll get to work on Randy and Tessa....
  21. J Phipps TN

    J Phipps TN SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm the cheapest one and I just raised my Larson Juhl prices.

    Maybe I should do it again!

  22. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Ok, so I wind up at 198.50.
    Harry's across town ... Harry, you're leaving $2.50 on the table!
    Better go up!

    Jim, agreed. It's unlikely I would even sell the design described. If they were using that mat I'd be showing a double at least, and probably talking Museum. If they were trying to "save some money" I'd have some of my stocked items out and getting better margins on them. But, that said, it's sometimes useful to find out if you're completely out of wack or not. (Or at least to understand your prices relative to your neighbors. I think local price comparisons are more useful than cross-country ones.)
  23. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jim's right, of course

    But, successful pricing ought to include a strata of very competitive pricing, a strata of middle of the road market pricing and a strata of "how high is high" pricing

    While much easier to "just go up" across the board, it may not reflect the wisest choice. Too often, we hear, with great justification (actually rationalization) that "I'm doing less work but for more money". I guess the true measurement of that statement ought to be "Is that more money for that single order" or is that "my overall business is growing because of my price increases". The key is to do more work for more money. Declining transactions ought to be a giant Red Flag

    We want to simplify this most complex issue when it needs a little refinement

    Not to plug my classes, but we look at exactly this dynamic in my "Growing" class
  24. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    Cliff, sometimes the client wants what the client wants. I took in a project yesterday morning -- a Fazzini poster of the 2007 All-Star Game, personally signed by Fazzini himself. Customer didn't want to hear about mats, etc. She wants it slapped up against the glass and with a skinny black frame. And that's what she's going to get.
  25. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God


    Carry on.
  26. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    $138.00 plus tax with no dry mount.
  27. ACFramer

    ACFramer CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    $160.00 plus tax...

    Definitely should consider raising my prices as well....
  28. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Shouldn't the question really be what is your profit on that order? It really doesn't matter what you sell it for, what maters is what do you actually make on the order.

    I am guessing that Jay has the highest profit :)

    Sorry I just read earlier posts and agree with Jim, profit is what matters.
  29. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Depends on his COGS!

  30. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    I hear Jay has to buy LJ at retail...

    What is your closest competition selling the same package for?

    Just like in sports betting...it's not always the final score that determines the winners
    ...it's the spread.
  31. Barnett

    Barnett CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Came in at $210. Located in the Philadelphia area.
  32. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Cliff, thanks for that concise statement, which goes straight to the point I failed to make earlier. Comparing prices, whether across town or across the country, does little toward telling us whether our prices are "completely out of wack or not."

    That is, Framer A might be able to sell a given design for $Z profitably, but Framer B might need to sell for $1.5xZ in order to make an equal profit. Considering all the differences there could be among framing buisnesses, a range of 50% in retail prices does not seem unreasonable.
  33. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Bob, I am doing less work for more profit. I do not care to have much more work, but I'm still gaining money. Are you saying my business is an exception?

    Since 1999 I have completely changed the complexion of my business. I have walked away from marginally-profitable, capital-intensive commercial orders and concentrated my emphasis on those niches I preach too much about. As a result, I really am doing less work and my revenue has dropped significantly. Instead of three employees, it's now one part timer and me.

    While reducing my revenue, selectively and on purpose, I have also reduced inventory, brushed up my buying habits, my selling habits, revised marketing and advertising tactics, and generally "trimmed the sails" of my little business.

    The bottom line is that my bottom line has continued to look better every year. Some years are more better than others (can't believe I just said that), but there has been only one loser out of 19, and it wasn't too bad.

    To be sure, declining sales could be disasterous without careful control of costs and profitability at the same time. But as a business strategy, it works for me. Am I the only one?
  34. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    So there I think Jim, is the benefit of comparing prices, at least across town, that is. Unless you are living/selling in a vacuum, and you are the one with the 50% higher prices and you don't have something else going for you, you need to figure out how to reduce costs and get in the same ballpark. Or you could be the one guy out of the lot, that is selling for only $Z and maybe you should raise your prices.

    This assumes of course that as a framer you know all of your costs and how to set prices, etc. It has also been said that, your costs as a framer doesn't have as much to do with the retail price as other factors. (just because you have high costs, doesn't mean you can sell a $10. widget for $50.00 when everyone else is selling it for $9. , 10. or $12.)
  35. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    No Sir.

    I to have trimmed my sails/sales. At one time I had 2 stores and five employees. Today, it is me and my Mom helps part time. I put way more in my pocket than I did back then.

    Back then, I did framing for some local furniture stores. All but one is out of business now. They didn't change with the tide and their boat sank. When I lost them I lost high volume low profit work that required one to two employees a week to keep going.

    You can literally make more profit on 5 - 10 jobs per day than you can 20 - 30 jobs with low margins.

    If I hadn't lived it, I probably wouldn't believe you either.
  36. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Ah, but Jay's the master of adjusting his sails/sales. He only has to sell one 16X20 LJ frame a month for $ 9302.00!

  37. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Ah, yes. In a similar thread some years back, veteran Grumbler Marc Lizer (remember him?) said he would be happy with only one $10,000 order per month. Or something like that.

    I remember thinking I would be happy with that, too. Maybe that was the seed for restructuring my business in that direction. Thanks Marc Lizer, wherever you are.

    Come to think of it, he Grumbled a lot like Jay, as I recall.
  38. Sherry Lee

    Sherry Lee SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    I must about your example = "acid free backing"

    Is this "art" mounted on 'acid free' matboard or foamboard = "acid free backing"? My prices are different for each. Perhaps you used both???
  39. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jim asks if his business is the exception

    Of course, Jim is an exception by himself

    I am not suggesting that Jim and his model are in a class by itself; but, let's say that it won't take long to call role in that class

    Of course, shrewd planning and management can create what Jim suggests

    Now, who thinks they are the equal of Jim?

    Bottom line: If this were a successful strategy, then may I suggest that you raise all of your prices by 10% tomorrow; the Sept 1, another 10%; Oct 1, another 10% etc

    Somewhere you need some balance
  40. J Phipps TN

    J Phipps TN SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I don't usually charge a fit up charge or a mounting charge other then for the acid free backing. I know I should.

    I guess that is why my prices are way lower then everybody elses.
    I should reconsider my pricing structure.
  41. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    Absolutely, and it makes more business sense than many are willing to admit or too busy to realize.
  42. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    I remember once reading about a framer who decided to double his prices. He reasoned that he would make the same amount of money doing half the work. Sometimes this seems sensible.....
  43. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I've heard that too, Ellen. Heck, I've probably said it myself. Doing that by itself might work, but it's a crapshoot, I think.

    I think raising or lowering prices is action to consider in response to market conditions. That is, we all have to offer products and services that are competitive in our markets. I'm always impressed when some entrepreneural genius comes up with a way to change the competitive mix in his/her favor by doing something that enables him/her to attract more customers at higher prices than the competition. But, alas, most of us have to run on the established track.

    Profitability is another matter. That is not so market-driven. That is, we can improve our profitability at the same time we reduce prices, if we do it right. New products, betterbuying and selling, better use of human resources -- all sorts of things can make small improvements that go straight down to the net profit line and make it fatter.
  44. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Before you raise your prices by 50% -200%, I'd ask yourself how close you are to retirement? While such a tactic may appear to work just fine in the short term, but ultimately there's likely to be repercussions. IMO, only insurance companies can get away with such practices.
  45. Framing Goddess

    Framing Goddess SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm at $222 and about to raise my prices.
  46. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    We are $192.62, but we hardly ever sell a preservation package without a double mat, even if the second mat is underneath the top mat... But apples to apples, that would be our price. I think we will do a bump up...
  47. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Popcorn's getting expensive too!


    Speaking of popcorn ...I once dated a gal who would go to a movie theater just to buy popcorn (at an outrageous price!) just to take it home to eat. She didn't go to the movie ...just bought their popcorn!
  48. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I once dated a gal who wanted to go to this well known ice cream place that offered 70 flavors. The only problem was that it was a 50-minute drive. She was very persuasive (good looking) so I relented. So we get there and what does she order? Vanilla!
  49. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    Ack! This sounds sooooo familiar.

    Can we change the subject away from high-maintenance women to something better, like Framing Nightmares??
  50. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    But Paul ...over half my customers are "high maintenance women" so this discussion is really quite pertinent.

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