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Opinions Wanted "I'll pay you Tuesday for a discount today"

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by jim_p, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. jim_p

    jim_p SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Now that I'm getting a fantastic reputation among the artists in my area, I'm starting to get a fair bit of the following: an artist comes in and wants to get some work done (matting, giclee, shrink-wrapping, etc). I quote them a price, then they say something like "Can you do better than that? I'll bring you a lot more business!"

    I'm sure folks hear that sort of thing all the time, and you're all nodding and going "uh-huh"... most of the time the promised business either never materializes or it's a lot less than they promised (i.e. on their next visit they buy two prints rather than the five for which I normally give a discount).

    Thing is, I *do* want to encourage volume business and referrals... does anybody have any ideas for how to separate the true deals from the posers? I was thinking of something along the lines of a rebate program (for when they come back) and a referral bonus program (for when they send someone else my way). Have other folks tried this, and how well does it work?
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  2. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    I'd tell them "sure!! But I will do better when the orders start coming in and you'll get a refund / discount back!!"

    Please note there is an "s" at the end of "orders".....:) Who knows what the future may bring.
  3. Dermot:

    Dermot: In Corner

    Discounts should only be on confirmed orders…………..not promises………

    Will any of your suppliers give you discounts for promises!!!!!
  4. Maryann

    Maryann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    We promise a discount after $XXX . If we're truely getting a volume of work, we'll give them the discount...but no discount for promises.

    The amount of orders and the amount of discount are dependent on the type of work, how we can order the materials (can place orders to get a better discount ourselves) and the PIA factor.
  5. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Give them a coupon for xx% off their next order. If its a true promise, it shouldn't matter so much!
  6. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That is a customer who thinks your prices are pulled out of thin air, and that you have plenty of profit to give away.

    My response would be to look really excited and say something like this:

    "Really? That would be wonderful! I need more business. Exactly how much more business can you bring me, and when? If I can buy 100 sheets of matboard, or a pallet load of glass, or 1,000 feet of a frame moulding at a time, I can get a better price. If I can buy in truck loads, I bet I can beat the prices from Korea. Mrs. Customer, are you prepared to start out with an order for 50-100 or more frames and pay a deposit of half? If so, I will be pleased to adjust the price and pass the cost savings on to you."

    Of course, the reaction to that would be something like, "...Well, I can buy only one or a few at a time, but I'll do it more often."

    To which I would reply, "Oh, OK then, I will continue to build them as you order them, and I really appreciate your business."

    BILL WARD SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    "you'll get a refund / discount back"

    in store credit (ONLY!!!) ... at the end of the year IF you meet the minimum $$ reqiurement!

    this is THE only way to handel this thing---no $$ out of pocket!
  8. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    It's a common event, the good customers won't approach you that way, they will be coming in with more and more orders and you will be offering them the deal for their continued business.

    When ever I hear, we have alot more stuff to frame, I would like to say, but don't..

    "What do you think this is a market in Mexico?"
    "I've never heard that before."
    "Do you think I was born yesterday?"

    Chin up, while helping out artist is admirable, they have no money and eventually they will learn to put a frame together on their own.
  9. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    I would go with a Frequent Framing Card. Bring in the receipts from 10 frames, get the average amount purchased off the 11th one. Thus if the artist spent $20, $15, $40, $5, $17, $30, $25, $35, $10 and $29 on ten frames, then they would get $22.60 off their next purchase.

    Our local shoe store does this.
  10. deaconsbench

    deaconsbench SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    An excellent, all-positive response. :thumbsup:
  11. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This is my favorite ditty from my buddy concerning such matters.

    "I was born at night....... It just wasn't last night"
  12. osgood

    osgood SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've heard this many times, but it has never happened.

    These are the people who will dump you the instant they discover another framer who is 'cheap', no matter how many times you have bent over backwards to help them by framing something for them at a moments notice!

    Discounts are probably best given only for volume orders, not one, two or three items! 10 or more, exactly the same!
  13. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    In 19 years of business, every time I have heard this and fell for it I got burned.

    Every time.

    What I say now is "I can give you a volume discount today if your order is large enough to warrant it".
  14. Dermot:

    Dermot: In Corner

    Jerry’s response it the correct one…..

    Have your discount policy worked before hand………once you actually have a firm discount policy, most likely based on volume, it gets a lot easier to convey this message “positively” to a potential discount customer
  15. mayos

    mayos MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    How about a spiff? Give them a commission on any business they bring into your shop? If a customer brings in a project along with the artists business card, the artist would get a cash spiff or a % discount on his next framing.
  16. Mikesshop

    Mikesshop CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    In store credit.

    I've heard this quite a few times. Especially lately. I like the spiff idea with an in store credit only. I do give my best customers a discount but they have earned it by the volume I have done for them. Never on a new account. :icon21:
  17. adoorubble

    adoorubble Grumbler in Training

    Artists and Photographers are trying to create streams of income from different sources and if they arrange framing or present their work framed to sell it and market it, they've got to get the prices down on framing to be able to price the work and compensate for their time to take it in and get framed, etc.

    If you have someone who's doing good work and he/she doesn't want to delve into doing the framing themselves, try to find a way to work with him/her. Let them buy the whole piece of mat and cut it all up into the sizes they needed and what ever is left let them keep it and bring it back. Make them corners out of scraps to show customers, especially on lines you can help them get a price they can mark up a bit, help them see that you could make 3 frames for X amount of dollars, but not just the "one" custom framing job. So they buy 3, get the one piece framed now and they have 3 frames ready for another piece. IF they send you customers, give them referral credits just as if they were a sales person in your shop.

    I personally think we should have a professional courtsey extended to fellow artists--and I consider us in the Arts field. Other professions do this. And do ask for your professional discount back when you want to buy art or have portraits done.
  18. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    I don't buy it. It's not our fault as framers that a particular artist's work doesn't command a high enough price in the marketplace to cover the cost of decent framing. And how about artists and photographers showing us the professional courtesy to understand the cost structure of what we do?
  19. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    There are several art associations in my area. I do offer a discount to those members and I advertise that in their yearly publication. To those artists that are not a member of those organizations, I do not offer discounts unless they are a regular customer. I do suggest that they join one because the benefits they receive far outweigh the minimal cost it is to join. If a new, just regular customer comes in with ten pieces in hand, I will extend a discount, but I will steer them to moulding samples in which I can get the best profit. I recently had a man bring 35 pieces in for framing. My discount just didnt seem adequate when the BB 30 miles away was 50% off. I invited him to please compare. He came back a week later, thank goodness.
  20. surferbill

    surferbill SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've seen the same thing over and over in my 27 years in business.

    They will promise you large orders in the future,
    and bring in one or two pieces at a time, and want the volume discount.

    I have a few artists that I've dealt with on a regular basis for years, but they are in the minority.

    Unfortunately, most artists I come in contact with are only interested in the cheapest price,
    and they will kick you to the curb if they can get it somewhere else cheaper.
  21. SportShots

    SportShots CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I have the same thing with editors (both mag & newspapers) and commercial photo clients. I handle it the same way I do with those who come in for custom framing.

    I will gladly give you a professional/trade discount if the deal is actually for resale and you have a valid State Resale permit. I will do so starting with the third order/job from me and my shop.

    The first two are at my normal rates. This will enable both of us to get the job done and see how we work together, you to judge quality and my capability to deliver on time and on budget. The second job reinforces things and the third rates the discount.

    Gets rid of one time price shoppers quick. Those who are actually looking for more volume will be back. This helps us both and keeps time wasters from coming in again while keeping the profit in my ballpark, not in the guessworking of someone who does not understand what it takes to frame their work in a professional manner.
  22. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    It seems to me, if your existing prices are bringing the "artists", your prices are already too low.

    You are correct, we have all had that line thrown at us. My other favorite is, "If you buy my Giclee and put a nice frame on it, and display it in your window, you will sell the heck out of them. I can let you have one for only $800.00." I actually had that one thrown at me two weeks ago.

    P.T. Barnum had it right, "There is a sucker born every minute."

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