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Masterpiece Glass Came In

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Kirstie, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. Warren Tucker

    Warren Tucker MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    How do you "make a stand", "compete"? It's simple; it's what I do. Quit selling the stuff since there's no way you can compete. Offer it but don't sell it. That's what we do. We frame a heck of a lot of pictures with regular glass that we get a very good deal on. Believe me, the vast majority of our customers don't care and as proof of that stanement, I'd offer my bottom line. No one in my shops likes the stuff,; we hate to handle it; we hate to clean it. We tell customers it's not worth the price, and I sincerely believe it isn't; I don't use it on my framing and I enjoy my art as much as anyone. I can't even imagine an instance where I'd want to use it. Maybe in a shadow box but no one objects to our boxes with regular glass. We have a cabinet shop that makes display cases for jewlers, realestate developers (tables with site plans in the top) and they're more than happy with regular single strength float glass for the former and double strength for the latter. We're making new fixtures for a small clothing boutique: double strength float glass and they love it.
  2. HB

    HB SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The only thing that keeps a company ethical is the competition & demand for a product. Supply and demand. No matter how us small independents like to think we would (and are) have our clients best interests at heart, in the big corporate world, it just doesn't seem to work that way. (God bless those senior managers who break the rule!)

    In my way of thinking, no matter how loud we bark, we have no bite until, we stop buying from TV. And that will only happen when either someone else starts selling a similar product at a better rate with the same distribution service and availability.

    If we stop promoting MG glass, I don't think we will hurt anyone but ourselves - the customer will eventually find out that they can get superior glass at the big boxes than from the independent custom framer who claims to be the best! Besides that, we would be leaving cash on the table.

    Best to encourage some competition on the manufacturer level than on the retail end, is the way I see it. In the mean time we may need to watch very closely our prices on the stuff.

    That's just my opinion.

    Happy glazing!
  3. HB

    HB SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Warren, do you really think that the little bit of MG the few of us would actually refuse to promote (including yourself - even if you could sell 5 boxes of it a day) would make any difference to TV?
  4. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    Well, the reasoning is since the indie framers sell MG and BBs sell the "rejects", the non-rejects line would grind to a halt since nobody is selling it.

    It would work assuming enough framers don't sell it and the "rejects" sold to BBs are really rejects and not MG sold cheaply under another name.
  5. HB

    HB SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Nobody? You & I both know that to get everyone on side would be impossible - maybe 10% is my guess at best!

    Even if everyone quit selling it, they'd raise there prices a bit to the big boxes & sell it all to them...wouldnt they?
  6. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    If anyone here believes that the BBs are buying 'rejects', I have some ocean front property in Arizona I can let you have at a really good price.
  7. D_Derbonne

    D_Derbonne PFG, Picture Framing God

  8. HB

    HB SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Perhaps our suppliers are making too much on it - maybe we have to get better pricing from them?!
  9. Warren Tucker

    Warren Tucker MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    No, I don't think that our stopping selling MG would hurt TV, and that's not the reason I don't push it. Remember, I still sell it if a customer asks for it. I'll never offer a product that I have to sell for $100 if a competitor can sell it for $50. Our prices for a complete framing job are so much lower than the BBs that I could probably sell TV glass and be less expensive, but I just don't like the idea of it. BTW, I wouldn't reccomend it to my customers if I could sell at the same price the BBs do. I've never thought the glass was worth the premium, and no one here has ever liked working with it.

    I'm supprised that I'm the only person here who thinks the stuff is over priced and ultimately worth it. It's a problem in the beginning and it's going to be a problem down the road when packages are taken apart for whatever reasons. You sure as heck couldn't sell it to me.
  10. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Ive said that at least 4 dozen times.

    Carry on.
  11. stud d

    stud d SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

  12. Shan Linde

    Shan Linde True Grumbler

    Just glazing

    Trying to keep this to just ONE topic. O.k. I can't

    Ultra violet filtering acrylic is the most economically priced product for a customer that wants UV protection on their art. It should be easy to sell more of it when price becomes an issue comparing it to all the other products. AND I think that the facts (although I am not 100 percent sure) will show that it protects the art the most.

    Read the data sheets very carefully.

    AND what does it mean filters 97%. OF WHAT?.

    SECOND topic.

    I am not suggesting that one doesn't need to pay attention to the markets at work. Fox River Mill closing (who will make 100% rag board now?) Or the big boxes producing better and better product (less and less deviation (not the right word) in the market). Or for that matter that the" French " are moving into the District of Columbia and planning on opening 3 to 5 stores in the next few years. (oh...french my customers may say... we want that!)

    Third topic.

    Small business is at such a terrific advantage right now in the market place.
    On the open waters while in a small craft--- the small boat always gives the right of way to the ocean liner. WHY? Because the huge boat takes an enormous amount of energy, time, space to change course.
    What will independent picture framers do to stay in business? Change is certain.

  13. stud d

    stud d SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Shan...what is going on with the french? I have no clue from your post.

    What and who is Fox River Mill...what do they have to due with Rag mats? Since Crescent and Rising make them they still are available. I am sure there are other companies that make rag mats too. Then of course there is Bainbridge.

    The 97% has been discussed at lenght on here, go to top and search, sure you will find atleast six posts on the subject.

  14. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    Considering that there are probably less rejects coming off the line than properly manufactured product, and considering that the BBs are probably ordering way more than the indies...maybe we are the ones getting the rejects.

    Just a thought.
  15. Mecianne

    Mecianne SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This about sums it up for me

    So what you're saying is that if TV stops selling "masterpiece" glass to the BB's, then we can reverse the French invasion by sending them back across the ocean in small boats made of 97% acrylic and hope they get steamrolled by an oceanliner?
  16. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God


    You crack me up!

    There is a beer up here with your name on it.
  17. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    LMAO Meci, more beer to ya!!;)
  18. pollyann

    pollyann CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Today I went through 3 pieces of 16x20 masterpiece to get one piece I thought was acceptable. My second job I went through 2 18x24 pieces to get one good one. A life time ago (it seems like) I used Den glass, and never had this problem. I don't have this problem with Con. Clear, and I never had the chance to use Museum glass. If what we get isn't seconds, or inferior, I would hate to be an indie and waste as much of this stuff as I do daily. So take it from someone who uses it every day, it's junk!
  19. Susan L. Young

    Susan L. Young CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Stating opinions based upon logic, that's all:

    I sell Museum Glass consistently. I pay for it, and charge dearly. I do not follow TruVue's 'suggested markup' which is a joke. It doesn't account for increased scrap percentage, increased labor in handling, increased risk when you break a piece, etc.

    I am not bashing TruVue. Just asking questions and theorizing. As business owners, we ARE responsible for our own destiny as Jim said.

    Because I do pay for 'Museum' I expect to get 'Museum.' This stuff needs to be darn perfect, or so close it's not noticeable. I return-to-vendor any Museum Glass that I cull through (sparkles/glittery spec are my main complaint) so my clients don't do the cull for me after I've sold them Museum.

    My distributors issue a credit and then get their credit from TruVue. Good for TruVue for being profitable. Good for me for being profitable and making informed choices for my business, and not 'rolling over and playing dead.'

    I mentioned the possible presence in the marketplace of some alternate 'museum' glass. A little healthy competition never hurt any of us.

    Of course the BBs get pricing advantages due to volume. So do I when I buy volume. We all should. I don't plan to wage a buying protest against TruVue, too busy running my business. I do plan to always look for better options, whether they be in cost reduction, labor reduction, etc.

    If I were to ask TruVue about 'masterpiece' I would expect an honest answer. If there is a deception in the marketplace, there is the problem. For the right purchasing volumes, anyone should be privy to pricing breaks.

    That's all, folks. Great thread. Now go clean some glass...
  20. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The picture keeps getting bigger. Taking a step back...

    Have you noticed the diversity of opinions expressed here? It's comforting to know that we can find so many ways to run our businesses profitably in the same tiny industry. I'm not being sarcastic, I really mean that.

    For example, Warren and I have completely opposite opinions about Museum Glass. Warren's opinion is the same as Jay's, and Bob's has the same result regarding that product. Now, maybe I could run a viable framing business following Jay's model or Bob's model, but I certainly could not do it Warren's way, or Goltz's way, or Bluestone's way. I'm simply not smart enough. And who among us could function by the mass-marketers' model, with hundreds of outlets and centralized production? It boggles the mind.

    This thread reminds me that we all think in different directions -- some slightly different, some radically different -- yet we are all selling picture framing. Praise be to our still-almost-free market, and congratulations to all who manage to succeed within it.
  21. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Comments on the passing scene...

    Patrick, Shan's questions had to be pretty much rhetorical. She's a framer of long experience, and very well informed. She's just trying to make us think, I think. That in itself is a daunting task, but thanks for trying, Shan.

    Susan, if you could see how Museum Glass is made, you would understand how turning a switch could produce a completely different product on the same production line. I imagine changing the speed of the conveyor that carries glass sheets through the process by an inch or two per-minute might change everything. It is a highly technical, complex manufacturing process fraught with opportunities for flaws. I don't know what the rejection rate is, but it has to be high. I'm sure they're constantly working to improve the process. If it were easy, more glass-converting companies would be doing it.

    Several references have been made to the differential between our costs/prices for Museum Glass and Michaels' costs/prices for Masterpiece. Bob speculated 75%, Warren speculated 50%. None of us knows the real situation, but I don't believe the differentials are anywhere near that much. At 3x the profit dollars of Conservation Clear, my retail little-frame-shop price for Museum Glass is dangerously close to M's Masterpiece price. My guess is that their markup and GMR percentage is considerably less than mine.

    Tru-Vue has told us how Masterpiece glass differs from Museum Glass. There is no inconsistency or confusion about Tru-Vue's explanation. While some choose to assume the worst and call them liars with no proof of wrongdoing, I believe it is better for Michael's to not sell Museum Glass. Sure, Masterpiece is exclusively for them, but the rest of us have the better product. I do not see price as a major issue in this.

    Any framer who wants to sell a less-costly alternative to Museum Glass might want to consider the same maker's AR Glass. It is optically coated just like Museum Glass and identical in appearance, but filters only 78% of UV light; the UV filtering coating is missing. It's not suitable for preservation framing, but it would be a great improvement over non-UV filtering ordinary clear or non-glare glass for decorative-only framing, when protective features are not appropriate.

    Tru-Vue's advantage in the framing industry has been described as a monopoly. If it is that, it must be a very shaky one. Yes, they have the widest range of glazing products, a very effective marketing team, and one of the strongest distributon networks in our industry. However, consider that Guardian, the company that supplies most of the glass to Tru-Vue and many other glass converters in other industries, has the resources and technological potential to enter our market. Knight was a brand that made a big splash a couple of years ago, but it was not good enough.

    Denglas was a viable product that some thought was better than comparable Tru-Vue products, but they could not sustain a profitable-enough business. Somewhere out there, the Denglas equipment and technology still exists. Will someone try to re-start the Denglas product?

    The point is, we are in a rapidly-changing industry and some of the players are getting bigger all the time. Tru-Vue would be foolish to take its present market position for granted, and I believe they are wise to act aggressively to market their products to every segment of the industry. The same goes for Larson-Juhl and others who might decide to court big-bucks customers. Wouldn't you do the same?
  22. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    After talking with TruVue, and reading all 171 posts on this thread, I have come to these conclusions for my shop:

    I will continue to actively sell Museum Glass. Con Clear is our default glass, but MG is offered on the upper end jobs.

    I am giving the $75. Secret Shopper award to the framer who offers it.

    I am reviewing my pricing, but not making large changes. We may lower a little bit to be closer to bb pricing after we do more market research, but not much because we have too many framers to trust that MG scraps will be wrapped and actually used.

    Despite the send-backs, and extra work invovled, I still like the product.
  23. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    Well said, Shan!
  24. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    You would sell Museum Glass to Michaels at prices discounted according to their usage? I guess that would result in them getting a pretty good advantage in selling exactly the same Museum Glass we sell, with no hint of a quality difference.

    Maybe that would create a "level playing field" in the purest sense of the phrase. All players would be selling the same product -- me at my price, you at your price, and they at their price. Somehow, that would be more troubling to me than the situation we really have, but I guess Tru-Vue might have considered doing just that. It would have enabled them to do essentially what they have done, without having to consider anything further. I wonder why they didn't do it that way. Any guesses?

    Just guessing, I'll speculate that maybe they could not produce enough of it to meet the greater demand, and still have all of it meet the published specifications for Museum Glass. Their no-questions-asked replacement policy for flawed glass could become very costly.

    I guess if that were so, then maybe they could serve the greater demand by deviating from the published specifications on a carefully-contolled basis. That is, by reducing the quality standards on only a certain portion of their production. But that would raise a dilemma, wouldn't it? How could they sell "good" Museum Glass to us, and "not as good" Museum Glass to them? And what about that high scrap rate?

    In my wildest dreams, I could envision some marketing wiz pondering the possibilities:
    "Gosh, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could sell them optically coated glass? We could get a lot more money for it, and discontinue that unprofitable PerfectVue in the bargain. But we can't make Museum Glass fast enough, and the flaw rate is already too high. If we speed up production we're sure to have even more Museum Glass with flaws. Well, let's see...hmmm. Hey! How about we change the name for all of that slightly-flawed Museum Glass and call it an exclusive private brand?"

    Doesn't that seem like a plausible scene in the marketing department? Methinks someone could earn a raise with that kind of problem-solving ability.

    Just guessing, of course.:kaffeetrinker_2:
  25. Susan L. Young

    Susan L. Young CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Exactly, Jim. Same production line, different quality coming off. Not a physically separate production line. The production line makes optically coated glass in varying qualities, whether it be intentionally or due to quality assurance culling.

    Actual scenario in my business: I have a wholesale product line for industry X. Those products are first quality and sold per quantity purchased (volume buying saves me money/labor and thus my volume clients in certain very specific scenarios). These framed products are sold via liquidation channels at a reduced price...without my sticker on the back....perhaps I'll start calling them my "Masterpiece" line.

    Would I put these products in my showroom? No way. Would I sell them to certain clients in certain circumstances? Maybe, if (BIG IF) they know the difference. I don't want to incur 'customer returns' on my already-greatly-reduced, culled product. All sales final.

    This scenario is no different than the much larger one with TruVue and BBs and this glass saga.

    My only gripe with Museum is really having to do so much culling lately (past 8 months). If I pay for quality I should get it. Especially when someone else is paying much less for a flawed product that I may be paying top dollar for. I like that Michael's is getting lesser quality.

    I would like to be able to buy Masterpiece 'quality' for certain applications, just like I may buy el cheapo matboards in an application that can take them (commercial work where artwork is hanging up high and glass flaws would not be a problem).

    I do get concerned when our distributors don't carry Masterpiece. I would just like the option, if I could buy it knowing that 'It is what it is. All sales final.' Maybe the time will come.
  26. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Ah, finally we are getting some voices of reason.

  27. Susan L. Young

    Susan L. Young CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Important detail that was inadvertently deleted (by moi) out to my previous post (above): The culls from my wholesale line are pulled into another category. They are the ones sold via liquidation channels, under a different level of quality, at an appropriate price point. These are what I would logically equate to 'Masterpiece.'

    So, I am selling product at three price points: onsey custom piece, bulk wholesale items (note: BULK), and bulk liquidation items (due to bulk and lack to being top quality).
  28. Shan Linde

    Shan Linde True Grumbler

    Slight Frakenthread

    If Truvue folks are paying attention (and they usually do) they will figure out a way to address the issue. Maybe the marketing department has been trying to pump up Masterpiece glazing sales. A sure way to do that is make it unavailable to some market segments. (think about it)

    Also, when we develop our independent companies it is really important to pay attention to our own specific markets. The fact that a French picture framing chain is moving into DC- does not affect Jim in Ohio. It will have impact on the market here...which is what any framer in this area needs to consider . I was simply trying to point out that sometimes what the BBs are doing is worth considering AND sometimes they are just easy to take aim at. ( yes, I do need my editor)

  29. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Several framers have said that they would like to be able to buy Masterpiece Glass. Why? What's the attraction?
  30. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God


    Why do you offer poly mouldings?

    I would think that price points would have something to do with it.
  31. HB

    HB SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    To see what it is!!!!
  32. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    OK, what do think that price should be? Assuming Tru-Vue is monitoring this thread, let's hear how you would pursuade the maker to see it your way. How would you have them justify a decision to sell a reduced-quality product at the specific price you want to pay?

    "Because that's what I want" probably won't make it.
  33. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    If you want an optically coated, anti-reflection glass of lower quality than Museum Glass fro non-preservation framing jobs, why not use Tru-Vue's AR Glass? It looks exactly the same (same optical coatings as Museum Glass) but filters less UV light. It costs less than Museum Glass -- and maybe less than a flawed, unwarranted Museum Glass would cost.
  34. brian..k

    brian..k MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Well Jim concidering that Pollyann mentioned that it took her 5 sheets of masterpiece to do 2 jobs, my assumption is that masterpiece should be pretty cheap in comparrison to Museum. Lets see thats a 2 to 5 ratio of usable to non usable product, so like 40% cost of Museum sounds right to me. I'd most definitely sell masterpiece at those prices. Assuming that that's not a realistic norm I'd still sell it at 60% of the norm.

    My favorite part about selling the inferior product would be mentioning to my client that this is the product the BBs are trying to make the customers believe is the best product available. That alone would make offering the product worth while. You see by not allowing us the option of selling the product it prevents us from doing just that.
  35. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    It's amazing how long this poor horse has lasted - when NO-ONE knows for sure what they are talking about. If Masterpiece really creates that much waste, don't you think that that BB is going to tell TV where to stuff it? Does anybody know exactly how much is being paid for this stuff instead of speculation? All that I know is that I can buy and sell Museum Glass and make a good profit from it - and I am just a tiny one man shop. They told me when I started that I couldn't sell high end frames in Sussex County - I can, and I do, and I make money doing it. I don't care what the BBs do - I can't compete with their buying power and marketing - but I can find customers to buy what I sell!
  36. brian..k

    brian..k MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I wonder what the all time record for replies to a post is? Anyone know? I must say that this has gone on much longer than I'd have imagined it would.
  37. RoboFramer

    RoboFramer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Apart from TV's museum glass - what else do you have on offer that provides UV protection with optical coatings?

    In the UK we have 'Flabeg' but we won't buy it under that name - seems they (Flabeg) are happy to sell it and let their distributors call it what they like - one supplier cals it (insert suppiler's name here ...........) 'Museum' .... Nielsen call it 'Clearcolor UV'

    It's 'waterwhite' and therefore clearer than TV's museum - no ripple and no color tinge - UV blockage is 90% - and I'm not going to quibble over another 8% unless maximum UV protection is required over clarity, then I'll either sell CC - or, if reflection is an equal issue - TV Museum.

    THe Flabeg glass comes without the UV filter - still waterwhite - but as that lets more light IN, it actually offers less protection than bog standard glass, and I don't see the point in a premium being paid for a product that accelerates demise of artwork - esp when that premium is being paid, not only for the visual properties, but also because the artwork is 'worth it'

    Also there was Schott Mirrorguard but there is some sort of problem with that at the moment - Flabeg is a great default 'museum' glass for me. It comes in boxes of 4 sheets (4'x3') anything different is cut to order and you pay a premium for that - plus it's been handled and won't come in a box - so I buy the full sheets and rarely have to clean it.

    Paying about £83 per 4x3 sheet at the mo' (about £160) for Flabeg - that's not list price.
  38. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Oh brian, this isn't even close..... that "Totally Useless Tread" went well over the 700 mark and crashed the system. I don't know if you can even recall it out of the archives..... but don't do it until your day off, and even then ... you're going to be kissing off your weekend. Serious. It was a GREAT thread, unlike this :bdh:
  39. Susan L. Young

    Susan L. Young CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Agreed, Baer. I'm done....with this one...

    I have Museum Glass to cut and clean tomorrow...seriously. Can't wait to collect to remainder due on the order.
  40. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    FLABEG sounds like one of the goofy names that IKEA gives all its products. (It's one of the fun things about shopping there.)
    :popc: Rick

    Or maybe it stands for Far Less Apparent, But Expensive, Glass. :icon11:
  41. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I think this thread is very good-people are thinking

    My gripe has never been with M's or A Bros

    But, with less than honest marketing by the seller

    Remember, this started because a client bought something at a major player at a price that, at retail, was lower than almost any of us could buy wholesale

    And, that subtrefuge was disguised as another product unavailable to us

    If the seller has simply said that because of the far superior volume of these guys, this is the price they can command, I would respect it; not like it, but understand it

    But a totally unfair selling arrangement puts me (and you) at a terrible disdvantage

    We can break out all the rose colored glasses and suggest that it doesn't to "my" business doesn't have many "typical" consumers

    The young lad that did buy that glass at a much lower pice for a very specific reason and the fact that got his mats cuts elsewhere is the oddity

    I don't know Shan, Jim says she is a good operator

    But, that small boat idea is all swamped

    Simply because the small boat(frame shop) can react and turn quickly presumes that the operator "sees" the big ship quick enough and turn the correct way, too

    Well, we can all see the big ship and how many of us don't think that big ship will affect us?

    Does anyone disagree with the statement that in the short time (20 yr) we have a net loss of over 10,000 small boats

    You will not convince me that this arrangement will do me no harm

    I am with Warren

    An as an aside the real beating of a dead horse is done by the people complaining of the beating
  42. Val

    Val PFG, Picture Framing God

    A Horse or an Orange??

    I'm with Bob on this one. If I've learned one thing from Bob C, it's about the buying advantage. Big Boxes are gonna have that. When I worked at M's, and when we had those 50-60-70%-off sales, and I asked a corporate big-wig "How can you guys do that?" and I was told "at 70% off, we still make a decent profit." I knew there was safety in their number$.

    But...it's that deception that's irkin' me, and the confusion of what-is-or-isn't Museum/Masterpiece Glass. (We've been told it's the same stuff but one is privately labeled and we've been told one is an inferior product/seconds...whaa???), so...what are we getting and selling, what are they getting/selling, and how can I best inform my customers without losing my shirt in the process??

    I can't compare apples to oranges unless I know what's an apple and what's a cow, and I'd certainly lke to opportunity to choose......ala paper mats -vs- rag. To many of my customers, they both look alike, I know they are not alike, I could sell one and call it the other but I won't....why is that different with glass? I digress.....we're talking about glass here.

    With very single post on this thread (Thank you Kirstie for starting it), I'm learning something, so call it a dead horse or a dead goat or donkey or cow or apple or orange... I want to keep hearing more about this, and when is TV gonna pitch in? There's too much wiggle room here, and something needs to be explained!
  43. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    You can always go and buy a few pieces at Michaels. If someone does this, tell us what it is like please. The young man who came to my store, the sale that precipitated this thread, bought his at A. Bros. and they sell Museum, not Masterpiece, according to TruVue.

    I don't want more flawed products. We have enough problems already. Luckily our suppliers are supportive, especially LJ, and take returns, but this causes work delays, and lost labor time. So I don't think I would want Masterpiece for the same reasons that I don't want cheap black mouldings which mar and chip. (Our black value line is ramin from Studio because we don't get waste and headaches.It costs a bit more, and we charge a bit more but we save in other ways.)

    What irks me is that TruVue has not manufactured MG in the full range of sizes, and thus we have more waste. I know they have added more sizes, but they just eliminated one, and the line up still makes it wasteful for us.

    Regardless, we will sell it when the customer wants to pay a premium price. I couldn't sell it to a doctor's wife today. "$125 more for Museum Glass? I'll go with regular UV."
  44. pollyann

    pollyann CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Then you don't want Masterpiece.

    I would be very surprised if any of you would truely want to have masterpiece at any price. Would it be worth slowing down your production? This is what I see happening for me, to the point of becoming concerned. We are wasting so much time trying to find a good piece to use that our production is falling. I go through 2 or 3 pieces for every 3rd job I do. I have to try and cut around the flaws.

    What I am finding is alot of glitter specs and scratches that run the entire length of glass about 1/2in in from the edges, also black specs (probably from the printing at the bottom) and what seems to be tiny chards of glass that get embedded in the coating. I am not use to wasting my time cutting glass over and over. I wear cotton gloves and line the glass cutter as to avoid anymore problems. I try not to have to clean it, but it seems there are always small smudges as well (where are they coming from?)

    So, would it be worth it to anyone, if the price what RIGHT, to waste that much production time? would it balance out in the end?

    I read that some would like the option to have Masterpiece quality for certain applications, what applications would you be able to allow it to go on? Is there any framers here that would actually let the glitter specs and scratches go? you would almost have to in order to make it worth it, or would you opt to go through a case to find 2 lites that are as good as Museum?

    From what I have read about the practices of most framers that post here I highly doubt any one of you would want to buy Masterpiece knowing it's an inferior product because you would not be able to let an inferior product go out of your front door.

    I may work for a BB, but I will be darned if I let the flaws go any farther than the back room. If it means going through a case to find one good piece than that's what we do at the expense of our production falling.

    Will it hurt them(BB's) in the end, unfortunately not, it will just put undue stress on me and my employees, but as any of you who have worked for one in the past, that's part of the course :(
  45. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    It appears from first hand experience that Pollyann has confirmed that Masterpiece is a flawed product and not just a repackaged MG product.

    I agree with her ...I wouldn't want a flawed product at any price.

    Pollyann seems to value quality and refuses to let the flawed product out the door thereby going through quantities of the glass in order to not let that happen. Maybe other BB's do that and maybe they don't.

    I'll stick with MG and continue to have customers buy it and be thrilled with the quality of it. From Pollyann's experience I wouldn't buy Masterpiece anyway.
  46. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Bob, I don't recall you explaining what exactly is "less than honest" about their marketing. Did I miss that? How are they misleading you?

    Not so, Bob. Re-read post #73. Whether or not you agree with my profit-based pricing method for Museum Glass, which triples my profit dollars-per-frame over Conservation Clear glazing, I can assure you that my little-frame-shop-cost is considerably less than half of the mass marketers' lowest 50% discounted price in my market.

    But Bob, Masterpiece Glass is unavailable to us. As you noted, this thread started because a client brought in optically coated glass that would not be mistaken for Museum Glass. Several here have testified that Masterpiece is not glass of the same quality -- which is exactly what Tru-Vue has said to all of us who have called them about it. Where's the subterfuge?

    Coming from you, a free-marketer at least as much as I am, "totally unfair selling arrrangement" seems an odd condemnation. Are you suggesting our suppliers should not make deals of that kind?

    I gave the archives only a quick review, but didn't find your similar condemnation of Larson-Juhl for their JoAnne arrangement. Do you feel differently about the LJ/JA deal? The TV/M deal is about the same, but on a much smaller scale. Tru-Vue is selling only glass, but LJ is selling everything at significant discounts.

    Having a JoAnne store less than a mile from my shop, I can assure you, that deal is much more disavantageous for us than any other supplier/retailer relationship I've ever seen in this industry. I don't like it one little bit, because it hurts my business.

    That said, I certainly would not call the LJ/JA deal unfair. I respect the company and their marketing decisions, and do not wish to diminish their importance as a responsible supplier to our industry, and ultimately to my business.
  47. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Okay, Jim, Let's throw the hats on the table and call a friggin' spade a spade

    I do not believe for one minute that there are two products, even with a "quality" differential

    I do believe, and I truly believe it, that some Marketing folks at TV decided they are not selling anywhere near enough MG glass to warrant production costs. They can say what they want and Grumblers can say what they want, but this product represents less than 7% of "dollar" sales by too many "reliable" sources

    Now, 7% of dollars might be 1 or 2% of lites; hardly a success story

    Now, let' assume (and this is mine and mine alone) that the marketing costs and production costs on this product are greater than any other line they make and they need to cover those costs and they need to Shift their Balance of Sale (Except, no one uses that tool)to generate a greater mass

    They have run promo after promo, rebate after rebate and I'll bet that needle barely moved

    So, if I'm Director of Sales, I'm going to find a market far greater than the entire market that I have been struggling to penetrate

    And, i can do it with one phone call

    Except they will not "pay" what I want (they read Warren's post and took my class -they did, BTW)

    So, as Director of Sales, I make a deal, but I want to create "plausible deniability",so we will call it something else, tell them it's something else and BTW, you can't have it

    Now, Jim, I have absolutely no connection with TV or anyone else. My loyalties are based upon what they do for me and the industry; not what they or anyone else pays me. Now, do not think for a single second that i am suggesting that you are not an honest broker-I know better. i do tout several vendors and PPfA, but when i think them wrong, we disagree. Everyone of them reading this is nodding their heads in collective agreement saying "Oh, yeah, he does"

    There are two easy answers to this dilemna

    Let's find a lab that can actually "test" these "two" products and see what differences are real; I'll put up the first $200. If i am wrong, i will publically admit it and you will never hear another peep.

    And, the second is that while I am nowhere the smartest guy on this forum (heck, i am rarely the smartest guy in my own shower), but, I might be smart enough to comprehend that there is no way in the world that a 400lb gorilla like M's and A Bros can be serviced from "rejects". Does anyone want to tell me that more than 50% of that product is a reject? what did they do with that 50% or greater mountain of glass before this deal

    Masterpiece, indeed

    Bottom line; Carry, don't carry it. Mark it up; don't mark it up. It matters not
    But, do not buy into the Marketing that this is in your best interests as an Industry

    I am dead serious about sending a few lites for testing
  48. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Bob, instead of spending about $8,000 to $10,000 for testing, spend 1/10 of that on a quick trip to Faribault, Minnesota. Take a tour of the plant. Talk to the people who work there. I'm sure you could arrange that sort of visit with a phone call.
  49. Shan Linde

    Shan Linde True Grumbler


    Just to see if I understand this.

    Any company can negotiate 'deals' with whomever they want. (I think we can agree on this)

    A company that has a premium product should not try hand off an inferior product and let the customer struggle with quality control.

    Independent business owners can choose to put together a buying group to co-op purchase products.

    Independent business owners can choose to NOT purchase a product if a company is deemed unfit (for whatever reason) or the product does not meet specifications.

    Just my own thoughts--- Tru Vue has nothing to gain by unsatisfied custom picture framers.They have spent years educating framers and supporting them through different marketing tools. (Which is not to say that I have agreed with 'everything' they have ever done)

    I am with Jim on this. Just ask! Go see the product production (go see the production waste!)

  50. HB

    HB SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'd like to see PFM or Decor visit the plant, take pics & write up an article about how the glass is made - amount of rejects etc etc.

    Can't you swing that, Jim? Or at least use your contacts since you do write for PFM?
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