1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. WELCOME Grumblers
    Backup is now done at 3PM EDT. You may find the server down for up to two minutes at that time.

Question Multiple Opening Mat Charges....

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by John Ranes II CPF GCF, May 4, 2009.


What do you normally charge for Additional mat openings?

  1. No charge for extra Openings - Easy to do!

  2. $0.50 per opening

  3. $1.00 per opening

  4. $2.00 per opening

  5. $3.00 per opening

  6. $4.00 per opening

  7. Even more per opening - I hate them!

  8. Almost Always add a layout charge of complex layouts

  9. Disount on complex multi-openings as we own a CMC - Easy!

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This will be a fun and educational survey - I honestly expect a pretty large range of responses and prices when it comes to this type of project.

    For the sake of simplicity, let's compare one mat project in this survey....
    • Single layered mat with 50 openings
    • Slight layout to project...but pretty symmetrical with all openings the same size.
    • Conservation quality board (Bainbridge 8511 Sea Mist or Crescet 1602 Silver Gray)
    • Outside Dimension is 21x29inches

    What I'd like to know is your overall retail price (reply to the thread), and because this might get pricey with additional openings charges, would you discount it on a single mat, single customer?

    The survey will examine the Additional Openings Charges and you will be able to check more than one box!

  2. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    With a simple mathematical matrix of exactly the same openings, I charge less than my per unit rate.
  3. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    OK...but what's your final price Jerome? :)
  4. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I have one customer that has a 40 x 60 mat cut with 48 identical windows - I charge a flat fee of $40 plus the charge for a single opening mat for the job. Vs $4 per window as the regular charge for additional window openings.

    Oval openings having no up charge as well.
  5. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I charge a minimum of $4.00 per window. The price goes up or down depending upon the difficulty of the layout but still a minimum of $4.00. If it is a random layout with different window sizes and shapes, I charge an hourly layout fee plus window cost. With the CMC it makes it easier to cut but the layout can still be a PIA.
  6. auntiesarahjayne

    auntiesarahjayne MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    with no cmc

    since the holes are same size, I charge $1 per hole, figuring about an hour labor between design time and cutting holes, on top of price of mat.

    Price came out to about $84.

    If design was different size holes, would cost more.


    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    John here is what I come up with
    $185.00 one up
    $155.60 two or more

    And of course my guess would be $395.00 before discount at any JoAnn's/M's.
    This is of course a guess anyone know what they would charge?
  8. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    It depends on the size of the mat. The bigger the mat, the larger the charge for each additional window in the same mat.

    My charges start at $2.00 for a small (8X10); $3,00 for medium (up to 16 x 20) and $4.00 for larger than that, up to 22 x 28. After that it is time, materials, and mental anguish.
  9. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    A price please...

    I provided the size of the mat in this exercise.... 21x29 Inches - 60UI.

    The openings would have to be small...say 1-1/2 x 2-3/4 each in order to fit 50 openings into a mat this size.
  10. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    The closest one to me charges $7.50 per opening.

    So in reality, I guess that is $3.75 depending on the discount du jour.
  11. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I'd probably charge $ 122.42+ tax.

    Normal charge for B8511 mat: $ 25.42.
    49 xtra openings at reduced
    rate of $ 1.75 per opening: 85.75
    PFD (Profit for Dave) charge 11.25

    Total w/o tax $122.42

    This would not include attaching photos to openings. I'd charge about a buck a piece for that and use linen or Framer's Tape.

    I normally charge $ 4.00 for an extra opening and reduce for multiple openings if simple layout.
  12. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    $128 + tx
  13. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    148.00 plus tax. And I dont have a wizard.

    $28 Mat
    $100 for openings
    $20 Anxiety Charge

    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Dave you need to give yourself a raise... LOL
    By the time you pull the board set up on the Wizard collect all the cutouts throw them away trim it down collect the money there is at least 20min.
    Besides dinner & a drink will cost you $25.00 including tip.
  15. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    No one else sell multiple opening mats?

    I really am surprised at the low response thus far on this poll, although I think I've found the range and information I was searching for, just with the few responses so far...

    I think that a sliding scale based on the number of openings (where the price drops per opening over 20+ openings) and price definitely drops if the customer order more than one mat. (Thanks Dave)

    For the customer ordering a custom framing job with 3-8 openings, we are going to charge a base mat charge + $4.00/additional opening/mat layer. So in the test mat sample I proposed, starting this thread, our normal Charge would be $224.99. :eek:

    Thinking this through, we'd probably discount this job, so we've decided that we're going to build it into our POS pricing, that multiple opening mats with more than 20+ openings will drop to $2.00/opening. And if more than one mat is ordered, then the surcharge will drop to $1.00/opening. This would put the retail prices at $126.90 and $77.99 respectively.

    Keep voting nonetheless folks!

  16. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    My price is embarrassing low to mention here. To avoid lying I'll just offer nothing. I still don't think I'm missing out on much considering a 50 opening mat is a rather unusual event.

    A friend of mine asked one time "Its a hole cut into a piece of cardboard, how much could it possibly cost?" I should point this thread to him because it can cost a couple of hundred dollars I guess.

    With photography and more and more framing, I'm pricing out labor with the most caution. With more advanced designs like this, I'd add for labor but not a per/corner charge.

    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Okay John you just crossed over to the BB catagory..

    $224.00 at 45% off would be $123.20.
    $224.00 at 65% would be you guessed it $78.40..
    Now all you have to do is spend $1000.00 month and advertise that...
    Look Out BB's here comes John.. LOL

    John to me at $77.99 that would be leaving a lot of money on the table but you know your customers best...

    Electric & gas the more I use the more I get charged not less. of course that is unless you are heating over 5000sq ft maybe they would reduce it.
    The more hours I have an employee work it cost me more not less.
    Of course if you have an employee that you do not keep busy then it may not cost you more but it will still cost you the same......
    Also if you have a CMC that is being under utilized it may never wear out...
    Just remember you will have to replace that CMC someday.
    Is it earning enough to pay for its replacement + some profit?

    I figure $.85 to $.50 a corner will pay my overhead, profit, & CMC replacement. (smaller the mat the more my markup)
    I have to say I am going to refigure these prices since I just got a new Wizard 8500 and it cuts so much faster than my old Wizard 5000 I may be able to trim those price a tad.
  18. JWB9999999

    JWB9999999 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    We charge $2.97 per hole. No discounts on quantity or multiple mats. But we almost never charge a setup fee either, as long as the openings are to a standard pattern already available in Wizard (ovals, rectangles, etc.).

    So your mat would cost you $148.50 for the holes, plus the charge for the mat itself. Double mat it and double that price.
  19. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Price Quotation - Multiple Opening Mats

    It seems that most of us would retail this in the $120 - $160 range.

    I ended up recognizing that I would discount my $224.99 POS retail price to $126.99 to the customer on the street, which I believe to be fair and profitable.

    I was actually providing a price quote for a reseller (wholesale customer) who would purchase these in quantity. I quoted $70.74 for a single mat and $46.24 for multiple orders of 4 or more of the same design.

    Interestingly, I was turned down. :(

    Doing a time study on this project, I felt that I could still be profitable and also felt that this left room for the reseller to make a decent margin also - curious as to other's views on this particular project.

  20. Richard Darling

    Richard Darling SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    In my limited experience with resellers, they often get quotes at cost of materials plus shop time. Design, set up, etc are not charged, at least in an ongoing relationship.
  21. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Interesting John,

    Does that rejection mean that they found a cheaper source, or did they just keep on looking?
  22. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That is not the case in the printing industry. Pre-press services are an up front charge as is press prep and cleaning.
  23. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Checking out new sources...


    They actually have a current source from Australia...I would assume paper mat or white core....but the type of board factors only a small percentage of this pricing.

    They were looking for a more "local" source. You would think that the shipping from Australia would have weighed in our favor.

  24. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    John I think your $50 price is fair and that's in the range of my everyday price. Still consider this. If they bought 4 a month your charge is about the rental on a CMC. Toss in another $12 and they are even steven doing it themselves. Now if they are doing 10 or 20+ per month they are crazy for not doing it themselves. Again this wouldn't be a "typical job" and I expect the quotes to be broad. Still some of these prices are shocking even me.
  25. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Fuzzy Math...


    One might come to this conclusion if we didn't pay an employee anything for cutting these four mats and pulling the boards - estimated time = 1 hour; and your supplier donated the matboard. (And if you, the owner of your business is doing the work, your time is even more valuable!)

    True leasing or ownership of a CMC might be closer to $400/month when you factor in all variables.

    So my deep discounted wholesale price of $47 might be "fair" but it is about the same as your everyday retail price? Am I understanding this correctly?

    You are correct in that it is predictable that this project would generate a broad range of responses. I realize that each of us must be comfortable in arriving at our prices, but still too many framers undersell their worth.

  26. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Do you store matboards in the next county over and drive them over one board at a time in a Hummer? Maybe I have a different project in mind than what you're dealing with. I could mat and mount an entire days worth of framing in around an hour if I focus. I even frame at a rather casual pace. I suppose this could get into the one hour range to design the opening and I would charge for that time as I indicated. After the design is done, I can't imagine how creative the math would have to be to get anywhere near the 1 hour mark. Also when charging per opening about what the mat costs, what difference does it make who pays for the mat? I have a three opening mat I sell to a photographer and I cut a few months worth at a time in an hour or so.

    Yes. Many proudly price as if the CMC was never invented. They use the ways of the past as a way to justify the prices of today.

    I'll give you an example. When I was electrician we often pulled very large cables in cable trays. For particularly difficult pulls we would use a tugger to pull the cable an electric spool to feed wire from the spool. With the right amount of rigging we were able to pull wire with 4 or 5 guys that at one time would have taken dozens and dozens pulling the cable manually. Once tuggers and spoolers became commonplace contractors could no longer bid wire pulls as if they hadn't been.

    When we did mass production framing we sold a three opening mat. Cutting that mat by hand was the most labor intensive part of the entire package. Today it would probably be 3rd or 4th. I wished there was a more polished way to say this prices up to what Jerry pointed out $7 per hole is unjustifiable. The cost of a CMC is already absorbed in labor savings. I understand further subsidizing that cost and even turning the tool into a money maker. Still we can't pretend like the cost of a CMC is ALL COST because is isn't. The money we spend on it saves us money else ware or none of us would buy it.

    Two hundred twenty five seems just a wee bit absorbent and you seem to agree as you're willingness to discount it. I pray that the guy down the street from my shop has a similar pricing structure. I hope this exercise has given you some piece of mind with your pricing. You say too many undersell their worth, I believe the opposite. That mantra has fadded alot even since I opened my shop.
  27. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    What your time is worth....

    Jay, I know that you're good and obviously consider yourself fast, but in my 30+ plus years our best employee would still take 3-4 hours to crank out that much work! :D

    Time it Jay. Start your stopwatch/clock...then go prep four 29x21 inch boards, cut 50 openings in each one. (You can do the layout ahead of time)...tell me what it really takes. Now pay that staff member, and their benefits and figure out what the labor costs.

    Agreed! The cost of materials is the smallest element in this exercise - hence the discussion.

    Indeed pricing out a single project 3 opening mat for a customer is still quite different than pricing out a 50 opening mat that would be sold over and over again in a wholesale arrangement. Hence this survey and discussion.

    Still - I don't know anyone that would charge $7/opening even in a one-up custom project, cut on a tabletop manual mat cutter.

    If indeed you are happy with your $40/mat in this exercise as a one-up retail price for the customer off the street (including your design time) then you are even less than the 50cents/opening and it appears that all responding to this survey are charging more than that (at this point in time). I honestly belive that this is not just "leaving money on the table"...

    Thanks for responding.

  28. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    Let us not forget that the $7 example is Michaels. So that is in reality $3.50 or there abouts depending on the week.

    Just sayin...
  29. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    I like to frame about 5 or 6 pieces at a time. If they each have double mats and I use your 1 hour example to cut 4 mats it would take me 3 hours to cut mats for 6 pieces? I'd fire myself if I couldn't work any faster than that.

    I've never understood a shop rate because nobody operates at 100% which tosses the whole idea into a tail spin. Still it may help in this discussion. At a shop rate of $60 an hour to mat 6 pieces would cost $180 in labor alone? :)

    Building frames take me much longer than matting. I don't even want to think of what the labor charge on that would be.

    Did I say that? I thought I refrained from quoting an actual price but added that my labor would be figured much more closely than a per corner arbitrary charge that would surely be altered later.

    Likewise though, if you're happy with your $250 set-in-sand then I am as well.

    I believe that goes well beyond “maximizing profits”...

    I think the biggest issue you face is that you do not work for that company and you are not a wholesaler. They are manufacturing the product and farming out the most expensive part of the project at or near retail. If they were doing more than a few of these a month, I still believe they could greatly reduce costs by doing it themselves. We may disagree on where that point is but CMC are extremely available and inexpensive when you're looking at a single mat darn near a monthly rental. Even at my price if they were to buy 10 or so a month, they may benifit by doing this work on their own.
  30. yfreeman

    yfreeman Grumbler


    You guys should take a look at the internet market.. but then again most internet companies don't offer customer service. Our price would be the price for the mat somewhere around $30-40

    If this was being priced out for a wholesale job it would have been much less.

    to put this in perspective .. we are cutting on a zunn - cuts at about 40inch's per sec.
    Using wizard software you just tell it the outside size. The opening size and how many openings. It does the layout for you.
    time for inputing info on the machine 2min (timed.) time for cutting 3.5min (timed.)
    4 pieces would only take 16 minutes.
    16min = $120-$160
    60min = $450-$600

    for all those that have the wizard software it should not take much longer .. if you have a relatively busy store you should be fine at those prices and you will see more customers walk through the door and stay.

    If you are in a small town or don't have a steady flow of customers .. out of a mall .. then the prices listed here don't sound out of whack as you still have to pay for rent and the food on your table.
  31. CAGallery

    CAGallery MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I am really surprised at your post. You work for a wholesale supplier to framers yet you charge way more than that to any of us framers who want to order mats. Why would you be charging less on the internet?

Share This Page