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Latest LJ endeavor

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Creative Chicks, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. JbNormandog

    JbNormandog SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I have a few art catalogs in house that are opened once in a blue moon.

    If someone asks me for a site I send them to postercheckout.com where they will in turn send it to my shop and I get a small piece of any sale.

    I think Larson is doing a good thing. If they do the same thing I will send them all referals for art. They have proven themself to me and are by far one of the best companies I deal with. I didn't take them on for the first 18 months I was open because I didn't like the rep I met at a show. He was a jerk!

    Then a new rep named Bonnie came in and she is by far the best rep I have met. She works to help me and their driver is really in my corner.

    Larson is doing something, where as most companies are only marketing to framers, they at least are reaching out to the public.

    I am excited to try it. Worst case scenario, it doesn't work and I'm out nothing. Best case, I get a few new sales that I probably wouldn't have gotten if it weren't for their exposure.

    In any case, Larson...Thankyou!
     
  2. Doug Gemmell

    Doug Gemmell SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The only thing that would bother me is if they listed just their "partners" on the referal list of this endeavor.

    I like LJ and I understand the "reward only those who buy the most product" concept. We typically buy $2/3K per month from them and are not considered a "partner".

    I don't want to limit myself to one moulding company. I'm willling to pay the price of no referals on their existing list and higher prices but if they continue to create referal lists omitting me, I will shift more of my business to other suppliers.

    Another supplier has recently started offering free delivery in our area which would make the shift painless.

    As I mentioned, I like LJ, the people, the service, and the product. I would just rather not see one company become overly dominant and drive others out of business.

    We need more moulding choices, not fewer.

    Fire away partners....
    :cool:
     
  3. Elaine

    Elaine SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Doug - I'm a partner, and at the level of sales you mention per month, you should be one unless I'm mistaken. Have you asked your Rep about it??? That is, if you want to be one.

    I have had a very good experience with LJ, and they do not dictate to me how I display, or run my shop. If I have more LJ than any other moulding on my wall, it is because they have the largest variety and the better quality and customer service.

    What we need in this industry is better run and better quality companies that are in it for the long haul. You have to believe in what you are selling before you can sell it.

    my 2 cents

    Elaine
     
  4. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    I agree Doug at that level you should qualify to be a Partner. And since you qualify why wouldn't you want to? Additional marketing materials and better price break to qualifying partners. Jump on it! You still control your business and they won't try to control you.
     
  5. SteveT

    SteveT CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Once I became a "partner" they started telling me who I could carry and and how much of each. When I would not take down my Omega they raised their prices, and I threw out three garbage cans of moulding the next day.

    It made a lot more room for more Omega moulding samples.

    One thing I have learned with LJ is that they will tell you what you want to hear and keep on doing what makes them the most money. I'm sure they will send the customers to their "partners" first, if you can even find the non-partners listed on the poster site.
     
  6. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    I am a partner and I have not experienced that with the two different reps that I have had. I have had both of them come in and reset my walls for me and they always include the compeitors corners. If they ever take any down they always ask me first. There are monthly(yearly) quotos to meet to be partner and recieve special pricing but I can't believe they will cut you off if you miss a month here or there, at least that has not been my experience.
     
  7. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    Any company is only as good as the rep with whom you do business. Keep this in mind when you hire someone...
     
  8. Elaine

    Elaine SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I have never had any experience like SteveT. I am a small shop and I have occasionally missed the target mark for sales - never have I been threatened to have it taken away.

    Many offers to redo my wall, but I like to do my own in my own way - not a problem. Love my Rep!! and I know Gary reads this forum [​IMG]
     
  9. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    On the question of the Redoing of your wall By your LJ rep or any other . It would seem to me that they can only do that in your presences and if it is not what you want done I can't imagine how they could achieve it if you simply said NO!. It may cost you your PARTNERSHIP with that REP, but then maybe you should consult the Corporation in that case. I think Ellen's advise may have a very large bearing on what and how any rep does things. When you agree to allow a rep to do things in your shop you are in effect HIREING THEM and their comapny.And if the Company doesn't benefit you than maybe you should FIRE them ,unless you are gainning more than you are loseing.
    BUDDY
     
  10. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Just talked to my branch manager today and letters should be reaching everyone that sells LJ in the next week or so explaining exactally how the program works. From what I learned today there is a lot of speculation and misinformation included in this thread. The basic nature of the program is print on demand limited to a small pretermined number regardless of size. High end art paper or canvas. Every shop that sells LJ does not automatically qualify. There are certain physical requirements, ie: high speed internet, credit card , couple of in store examples. All of the details will be spelled out in the letter straight from LJ. Then you can decide if you want to participate or not.
     
  11. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    As a moulding rep, I have NEVER presumed to ask or even suggested that I would rearrange my accounts walls.
    I was once involved in a scandel where a rep from another company was caught removing my company's samples.. and throwing them in the garbage or taking them away...
    I was asked not to go near that section of my territory until it all got settled.

    I WILL ask permission to "weed" the corners and swatches of fabric... but then I give them to my account to dispose of.... that way they can check and make sure they don't have any orders on file..
     
  12. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Baer, it has certainly never been my experience that LJ presumes to change your walls. It is a merchandizing service that they offer if you want to take advantage of it or not. I for one don't mind free labor once every year or so for two people to come in under my supervision and spend half a day or better taking my walls down and reorganizing them. Did I mention the FREE LABOR PART! [​IMG]
     
  13. Val

    Val PFG, Picture Framing God

    How do they re-organize it? By vendor? By oak/cherry/silver/gold/black/colors? By size? By low end/high end? Only theirs? Theirs and the other vendors combined? Take out? Add to?

    I'd love to have someone do that here! We've been working on that for months now, and can't seem to get it right. Still looks a mess. My LJ rep has offered to do it, but I felt guilty taking up so much of her time, and felt a bit terratorial about it, but now...I may take her up on that.

    BTW, my Nielsen/Bainbridge rep (Curt, you still with us?) offered to "thin out" some of "theirs" for me (referring to matbd.) I'm fairly certain he was kidding.
     
  14. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    My experience is that they will do whatever & however you want. Last time I had may walls rehung at my request we mixed in framed samples, hung some by collections, kept one area for new collections and another for monthly sale specials.

    Do they want you to sell more LJ than Brand X, sure but so does brand X, Y or Z that is how they make their living. Are they going to insist you take others down to put more of theirs in, haven't felt that.

    Want certain perks, have to reach certain levels. Want to be a partner, reach a level. Want better pricing, buy at a certain level. It's like that in everything. Want to win a certain prize in a sales contest, gotta sell a certain number of boxes of cookies to do that. :D
     
  15. Val

    Val PFG, Picture Framing God

    My LJ driver just delivered this to me:

    (Letterhead here)
    ARTAISSANCE
    Life is one big canvas

    "Dear valued Customer,
    I am excited to let you know that Larson-Juhl has made the decision to enter the art publishing business! This new division of our company is named ARTAISSANCE.

    We believe Artaissance is the perfect complement to our existing business and supports our ongoing goal of helping you to profitably grow your business.

    We are pre-launching this initiative in three markets: Atlanta, Indianapolis and San Francisco. Next year, we will gradually introduce Artaissance into additional cities.

    Artaissance beings a unique offering to the marketplace. Images will only be printed when ordered. This print-on-demand model allows us to offer variable sizing and a choice of canvas or paper on each image. The consumer can select their image, size and substrate according to their personal style, taste and needs. Sizes range from the smallest at 6"x6" to the largest at 54"x102" on canvas and 32"x52" on paper.

    Through an interactive on-line catalog, consumers have the opportunity to:
    1. Choose their artwork
    2. Custom size the image.
    3. Select their neighborhood custom framer
    4. Make a payment through PayPal with their framer
    5. Visit their framer to pick up their order
    6. Explore custom framing alternatives

    On September 25, www.artaissance.com will go live and you will be able to learn more about our vision, image selection, and how the process brings the consumer and the custom framing retailer together. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please call 888-351-0169

    As always, thank you for your business. We are thrilled to share Artaissance with you!

    Sincerely,
    (signature here)
    Steve McKenzie
    President & CEO"
     
  16. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Absolutely True Stephanie!

    Lori,

    Let me understand: You wouldn't mind the perks, but don't want any of the liabilities? ;)

    I'm sure that LJ has done some research on this, and you should also recognize that affiliate web programs have been around for a long time in other industries and products.

    The program has all sorts of potential. Garnishing a small portion of online sales is one reason to participate; driving a few new customers to your door is another reason. If this succeeds only to a minor degree...it will be a good thing - I think it will do better than that!

    We already compete for some online art sales. Do a Google search for Charlie Harper Serigraphs for instance. Why let the other dot coms take this business away from us (Independent Retail Framers)?

    If this meshes well with my existing website....I'm on board! :D

    Respectfully,

    John
     
  17. danny boy

    danny boy PFG, Picture Framing God

    My letter came today. I think its going to be fun and who knows, maybe more orders. [​IMG]
     
  18. Bill Henry-

    Bill Henry- SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I got the letter yesterday.

    Although I am not in one of the three test markets, I have some questions and concerns.

    I get the impression from the letter that the “consumer” may be able to order from their home. It is not clear to me whether they need to order from our in-shop computer. Indeed, it appears that payment must be done through us, but, perhaps, not the ordering.

    It is a major concern for everyone who does digital imagining; everyone’s monitors are calibrated differently. The reds on my Sony CRT may be significantly different from yours on a flatscreen, for example.

    Since so many people chose “art” to go along with their furniture, what will happen when the colors in this “print-on-demand” piece do not match their expectations i.e. what they saw on their/our monitor doesn’t match the print? From what I gather, the first time the customer will see the actual print is in our shop.

    At this point, they will have already paid for the print on PayPal. As dealers for <u>artaissance.com</u> we will be caught in the middle if the print is not what they were expecting.

    I doubt very much whether L-J would be willing to reprint the image and adjust the colors of the image to match their sofa, so we’re gonna take the heat when the print isn’t quite right. And, I’d be willing to bet that L-J wouldn’t refund their money.

    I am skeptical by nature, but this whole process really has me wondering.
     
  19. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    I beg to differ.

    I have not in 14 years in the art and framing business worked with any company that tries as hard to make me happy and make things right as Larson Juhl. If they extend their same business practices to their new venture, there is no doubt in my mind that they will keep me and my customers satisfied.
     
  20. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I am currently planning to do a similar thing with postercheckout.com This works to where the customer chooses and purchases the print online, ships it to my shop, and then I call the customer to come select their mats, frames, etc... I am sure this will work in much the same way. The purchase of the print is through postercheckout and the framing through me. The biggest difference I see is that I have the option to offer discounts if I like and they automatically give 10% off the print price. With the LJ Program, this may be a little different. Either way, I'm excited. Another way to bring new customers to the door!!! [​IMG]
     
  21. Bill Henry-

    Bill Henry- SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I’m not so confident, Jerry.

    Larson-Juhl has extraordinarily good customer service. No question. They will bend over backwards to replace or credit damaged moulding, resolve credit issues, etc.

    But, if you misordered something, like asking for a 20 x 24 chop, but realizing after you received it, you needed it 25 x 25, I’ll bet you would (rightfully) have to eat the boo-boo. When I foul up, I wouldn’t have the guts to try to stiff them with the loss due to my mistake.

    These “prints-on-demand”, I think, would be like that. They are essentially custom ordered, and essentially one-of-a-kind.

    Unfortunately, the Artaissance site is still under construction, so our questions cannot be answered there.
     
  22. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    I have received no letter and I am not in any of the three test areas, in fact i have no shop any longer. But in a direct conversation concerning the workings of this program ,as i understand it the payments will be handled through "PAY-PALS" ( the people who currently do a lot of EBAYS payments,and who Bill henery just mentioned before he said the framer would collect the payments). Now just like everyone else they are not perfect ( at least everyone I know). However in the very few transactions I have had with PAY_PALS ( in an EBAY purchase) there is a very orchestrated "DISPUTE " program and there are some very well defined methods of acceptable payments. So if there is a problem I would suspect the purchaser would report it to pay-pals who would negoiate it with LJ and the payments would have been predetermined by Credit Card Check or what ever method Pay -pals excepts. this would seem to leave very little for a framer to do other than act as the agent and inform the buyer of what they need to do if they aren't satisfied. as for the discount program from what i have been told that is still in negotiations as to what or how it will be handled so where all the definet problems are coming from is beyond my info. Has anyone called the 800 number with these same concerns?

    BUDDY
     
  23. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    And how much money are you making on the print? Nada!
    I know how much you could make on the art from LJ's program and I have to say it is better than the average wholesale we get from all the major art publishers. (I won't say the amount aloud on a public forumn.) You also get the framing order and any discount from LJ on framing will be offset but it is not as yet final.

    As far as colors being off from the monitor and the real thing when it comes in. That is going to hold true whatever company it is from. Is it really going to be such a big thing? No doubt there will be some disclaimer to that effect on web-site. Your other alternative is to either not sell art or stock everything ever customer could possibly want. (Now if the red on the monitor is still red + or -, I don't see a problem, if it is pink, orange or a completly unrelated color you can bet LJ will make that right.)

    And remember, this is not a mandatory program, you don't have to participate. Heck you might not even be asked. Just like we don't like _itchy customer, I'm sure LJ doesn't either, and if they monitor (we know they do) and you are one of these -itchy customers already you may not even be offered the program, so you won't have anything to worry about anyway. :D
     
  24. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Exactly J. Paul,
    With both programs, you get the framing business, but ultimately the LJ Program will be much better, because you also get markup on the print. I don't expect either to be a large portion of my sales volume, but I do think both are good for the simple reason they "miiiiight" bring new customers to my door that otherwise would never get there.

    QD
     
  25. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Quickdraw, take a look at our sponsor:Liebermans and their ArtExploer program. I have this instore and do make sales off it and like telling my customers browsing the print rack that I have another 180,000 images for them to choose from. You make the sale and keep them off someone else's web site. Not tons of sales but certainly more than pays for itself and it is easy. [​IMG]
     
  26. Mike LeCompte CPF

    Mike LeCompte CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Lemme see if I get this straight: Thread upon thread on Grumble laments Big Boxes and how to compete. Now comes a program which can set us waaay apart from these guys--upgrade sales and get truly higher end customers willing to spend some really good money for higher quality art and ancillary framing choices.

    And people are complaining???

    Mystery to me.
     
  27. J Phipps TN

    J Phipps TN SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm with you Mike!

    We need to just say Thank-you to Larson and let all the other companies know how much we appreciate what Larson is doing for our business' and maybe they will start trying to help more too!
     
  28. Doug Gemmell

    Doug Gemmell SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Hey Mike and Jennifer, check the title of the forum. Some of us just need to come here and bitch and complain and grumble! [​IMG]

    And I think everyone is, and should be, taking a "wait and see attitude" between the praising and the grumbling.
     
  29. Creative Chicks

    Creative Chicks SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Mike,
    Please don't get wrong, and I think maybe you have. Nothing against LJ, and I'm not knocking them, and you'll probably never here me bash another company, but I had concerns running through my head and wanted to know what others thought. I definately didn't start this thread to defame LJ.

    Lori
     
  30. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    If you sign on to your account at ljcustomers.com - it has a FAQ for the program, which goes into far greater detail.

    Mike
     
  31. Maryann

    Maryann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Once again Larson Juhl is trying to make a difference in the industry. What other manufacturer is advertising and reaching out to the consumer? The more that they help us, the better that their bottom line will be and I think they have bought into that concept.

    LJ could GIVE the moulding for this program to some framers and they would complain about the space it was taking up.

    Like others, I'm waiting to see the details. Unfortunately, we're not in one of the test markets but I think it has great promise for the independent framer.
     
  32. Marjorie

    Marjorie CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I just went to the LJ website, clicked on "Local Framer" entered the zip code of my business and, "lo and behold" found that places in the next state (which is 10 min. from our gallery) and places 10-30 minutes away are listed but WE'RE NOT! In fact there was not one place in our zip code listed! Our sales rep will definitely hear about this one!!! [​IMG]
     
  33. Marjorie

    Marjorie CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I was so upset about not being listed that I forgot to comment on the new program. It sounds like a great idea...wish we were in one of the test states.
     
  34. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    Marjorie,

    If you are at "partner" commitment level, they'll list you on the local framer section of the main forum. It looks like their new site being unveiled this month will be for everyone, but only a select vendor in each geographic area. The FAQ says:

    Will you be limiting the number of Artaissance dealers in an area?
    All Larson-Juhl customers will have access to Artaissance imagery for their customers in 2007; however, only selected dealers from each market will be listed on the website.

    (visit www.ljcustomers.com for the full list of FAQs)

    I look forward to learning more at the Atlanta show this week.

    Mike
     
  35. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    Mike and Marjorie ,I am no expert nor have I ever been a PARTNER. But I did contact LJ directly and what I understood was that the THREE (3) states alreay mentioned were all that was being tested at this time( 2006,not 2007). And if you had any additonal questions they gave a 800 number to call.

    But my reasoning would dictate that if they conceede to shops simply because they were Partners or because they happened to have the bad luck of being just across the state line from a shop in a TEST state they should just open the program to everyone who does business with LJ. Which IS where they are heading but in stages.
    So unless Mike has an awfull lot of Clout with LJ I think shops out side the THREE test states should call and ask when they will be included and what they need to do to meet the requirements.
    BUDDY
     
  36. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Instead of coming on the G and complaining or second guessing the program, I have an idea....

    If you don't like the program or LJ, or you just don't trust the program, or you just are not too sure and want to wait...DON'T PARTICIPATE, why come on a forum like this and start ripping it apart before it even starts?

    Some people just will never be happy.
     
  37. Mike LeCompte CPF

    Mike LeCompte CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Tim: AMEN
     
  38. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    My initial reaction to this concept was that it sounded like a "Win Win" proposition. After learning a bit more....I'm even more enthusiastic about the idea.

    Larson-Juhl is putting together a Print-on-Demand website that will target sales towards their partner retailers <u>and</u> other key LJ customers. Larson-Juhl has always created and focused on inovative ways to market and support their independent retail customers who support them.

    Now that makes sense! [​IMG]

    To confirm what some others have mentioned, they indeed will launch this towards the end of September in 3 key markets: Atlanta, San Francisco and Indianapolis. They plan to expand on these markets in January 2007.

    A couple of really great aspects of the program are...</font>
    • that the library will begin with about 1,200 exclusive images and eventually grow to 4-5,000 - This means we'll be working with a unique offering!</font>
    • Payment will go directly to the retailer (PayPal accounts) and invoices from LJ.</font>
    • Visitors to the website <u>must</u> select a retailer with whom to deal with. :D</font>
    I'm sure we'll all learn a bit more in Atlanta this weekend and over the next month from our sales reps as they get all the information...

    Regards,

    John
     
  39. PhotoKris

    PhotoKris CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    My LJ rep just left... he said any LJ dealer will be able to be listed, so long as they have internet access and a paypal account. Also said that the order will come with a $50 off framing certificate and we give that # to LJ when ordering the supplies and they will take the $50 off the order. They are going to be sending mailings out to the subscribers of several magazines such as architectural digest and house beautiful to advertise this. He also told me that Michaels, corners and AC Moore no longer use LJ mouldings and they will not be pick up points...
     
  40. SteveT

    SteveT CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    My LJ rep's have told me for years that they don't sell to Michael's anymore, but for some reason I still see their truck making deliveries to my local Michael's each week???

    Did your rep say anything about JoAnn's being on the plan?
     
  41. PhotoKris

    PhotoKris CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I didnt ask.. the JoAnns near me doesnt do framing...
     
  42. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Ok, the show has been over for a few days now and nobody has posted about this program. Did anybody ask about it so they can get the correct information?

    I did and it seems to be a no brainer, very little commitment on our part and LJ is the one who is taking all of the risk.
     
  43. Jack Cee

    Jack Cee MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    We have been of vacation for a week and am just now trying to read all of the posts and trying to remember my password. Sounds like a winner to me. Can't hurt and willing to try.

    Jack Cee
     
  44. Jack Flynn

    Jack Flynn CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I asked my rep at the show and as the Pope once said: "It is as it was." The rep mirrored what is on the LJ website. Trial rollout, expanded next year, walk before we run, etc. Program sounds good and the website info is a good explanation.
     
  45. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    OK! I saw the other thread about what was new at DECOR in Atlanta and I didn't see one word about LJ's program.

    Didn't anyone go by and get the details from the source? And if anyone did why aren't you all discussing it in depth ?

    There was a lot of speculation ,rumor and conjecture before the show .I would truthfully have expected at least one person to have debunked all those and come back and discussed what was discovered.

    So who is going to go first? Remember I am not in business anymore and didn't attend the show .
    BUDDY
     
  46. jframe

    jframe <span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><

    Maybe there isn't much to talk about yet, Buddy, since it is a limited trial. Give it a couple of months.
     
  47. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    I had actually forgotten about it. I spent very little time in the LJ booth but I didn't see anything about it. I would have inquired about it otherwise.
     
  48. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Site is up and running now

    http://www.artaissance.com/fecontents3/Home.aspx

    The site is up and running for the test market areas and you can experiment with sizes and prices and so forth and get an idea what is available. You can also register for email updates as new markets are added. If you are an artist you can submit your work for consideration.
     
  49. BILL WARD

    BILL WARD SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    just went to the website---saw the 'giveaway", checked the rules and O N L Y 3 states are allowed to enter!!!!!!!!!! great for them, crappy for everyone else.......do you feel it??? do you feeel totally discriminated against?? did you know your NOT welcome to play in their game??? If they do that in something so cosmically trivial, how are they gonna treat you in something that really matters???? wouldnt give them sweat in the middle of the desert!:mad:
     
  50. jframe

    jframe <span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><

    It is only a TEST run in 3 states at this time.
     
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