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News article - Framed, Saving your money, temper & your art

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by maryframer, May 1, 2009.

  1. jsuth

    jsuth CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Wow- she's in on our secret that frame moulding is sometimes marked up 3.5 times its wholesale cost. What a racket! Perhaps someone should point out that the computer she's typing on consists of about $5.00 worth of plastic and metal.
  2. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    Fascinating. On her website, to the left of her response, is a list of her favorite links, including Riedel wine glasses. Framing costs her a vital organ, but she's willing to pay $25 for a single wine glass?
  3. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    I made a comment about how newspapers around the country are failing and she is lucky to have a job for the time being................
  4. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Forget Riedel... Crypton fabric makes Riedel look like Kmart. We looked into Crypton and the wholesale to a distributor was $30+/yd. :eek:

    I say pick up the 1 week old out of the gutter newspapers she is employed by until they fold or fire her. :fire:

    She should make friends with a retired diamond seller.... the stones alone smack a 10X mark up.... and if you "discount" cheaper than 30% you have to get permission from DeBeers or they will never sell to you again. Diamonds aren't forever, just the payments. :icon11:
  5. ardian

    ardian Grumbler in Training

    If she would be so succesfull how come.....

    If she would be so succesfull how come she have the time to search for cheep frames and framed artwork so she can use the frames.
    Or If she would find here self in anyway as artist then I would never take someone artwork and kill it b/c I need the frame, What the ......is she thinking..I'M sure she dose not know nothing better, The way she collect frames thats how her writing sounds like, Imagen you wast money on her books. I feel bad for really good writer that they don't have the chance to get up there but always some wanted brains take the stand and maybe she got where she is in the same way how she searches for frames and get someone else artwork out, Imagen her coming to look for job she wont leave you alone until you say oki let me get here b/c she is annoying. WHO CARES WHERE DOSE SHE LIVE OR HOW MAY KIDS SHE HAVE IT TELL HER TO GO TO DR PHIL.

  6. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    From what I have learned.... I don't want to become syndicated... not at $5/ a week/ newpaper. So she is making about half as much as a framer.. maybe. Maybe they are just equal....... but is that still any reason to bash framers??? No.
  7. Beveled

    Beveled SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I sent an email to her yesterday, which I made very civil and informative. Now after reading what she wrote, I'm angry again. She's being very vindictive, and childish IMO. Heaven forbid she should admit she might be wrong.

    I don't know who told her that we mark up 3.5 times, but we have never marked up that much. What we do mark up includes our labor, and that part isn't mentioned.
  8. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    What is the markup on what she sells. 100% (no material costs)

    ....and no material substance
  9. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Here's a civil response I posted at this link:

    http://www.marnijameson.com/?page_id=54">Marni Jameson


    Custom picture framing is more of a manufacturing business than a retail business. Retail margins hover between a 40% to a 60% COGS. If you were buying a picture frame moulding by the length then a 2 X margin would be a normal retail mark up.

    If you are expecting a custom framer to employ a normal retail margin yet cut and mitre and join the frame, cover overhead including facilities and equipment and be profitable... it just isn't possible.

    Yes, I agree that custom framing is expensive. So are custom draperies, custom furniture, custom tailoring, custom anything for that matter. Custom work entails a learned skill set and is labor intensive. To imply that custom framers overcharge and are making obscene profits is just plain ignorance of what is entailed in proper framing.

    By your reasoning your cost of goods for producing a written document for publication is next to nothing. Unless you account for your word processing equipment and educational training, research time, etc. the only cost of goods you incur is possibly a sheet of paper. How do you sleep nights making such an obscene profit???

    When I submitted it it said that it was waiting to be posted after moderation... we'll see if she actually does post any responses.

  10. Beveled

    Beveled SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Well said Dave. I also posted something awaiting moderation. We'll see if it shows up.

    Once again, you choose to take hearsay rather than consult the true source. Your “friend” who says we mark up 3.5 times, cannot speak for everyone. My business has never marked up that much, and what we do mark up includes our labor to cut, join, assemble and finish. Other retail such as jewelry and furniture has no labor involved, yet most people are aware that their markups are 3 and 4 times cost.
  11. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I couldn't resist sending her an email.

    Dear Ms. Jameson:

    I’ve been following the framers’ commentary about your column, and just now read your recent comment on your web site.

    As a picture framing business owner for about 20 years, I sadly realize that your dismal perception of picture framers is about as popular as it is inaccurate. You wrote, “The mark-up on frame materials is typically 3 1/2 times the cost of materials. ‘It’s the biggest racket out there,’ he told me. I felt vindicated.” You are not the only one who believes we want to cheat you and line our pockets with excessive profits.

    Here is a reality check: If the picture framing “racket” were all that profitable, everyone would be doing it. There were about 20,000 professional framers in the USA a decade ago. Today there are about 10,000 and the number continues to diminish. Like the tens of thousands of other small independent retailers who once sold custom furniture, clothing, jewelry, or buggy whips, Picture framers may not be missed when they are gone. Markets change.

    Custom picture framing is a lot like custom furniture building, and going the same way. Consumers can buy a nice-looking, upholstered armchair for about $499 at Crate-N-Barrel, et al, and have it delivered this afternoon. I have nothing bad to say about that chair, its makers, or its marketers, because it was probably made in Mexico or Taiwan or Korea by people who were starving before the American manufacturer moved its production there. Twenty-first century America apparently is the time and place for this $599 armchair, as it far outsells the more beautiful, custom built, heirloom quality alternative costing $2,000 or more.

    Without judging those who replace them, how do you feel about small independent furniture builders? You may know one of the few still around. He’s the guy with sawdust on his shoes and stain under his nine remaining fingernails who, after a couple of decades in business, works alone these days because there are so few orders. Do you demean him as a “pasty-faced” rip-off artist who marks up his materials 3-1/2 times? (Actually, there may be less than $400 worth of materials in his $2,000 chairs.) Do you complain that his custom designed and constructed chairs are not worth the extra price? I would enjoy having a custom built, heirloom quality chair if I could afford it, and I guess you would, too. In any case, I would not demean him or the value of his superior chairs.

    Like custom furniture, custom framing is more expensive than the mass-marketed imports. Like small independent furniture builders, picture framers are diminishing in number. That is the natural course of enterprise. My only distress is that you can’t wait to get rid of us. Personally, I had hoped the value of my work and expertise would be appreciated. And I would rather be missed when my pasty face is no longer here to greet you.

    James Miller, MCPF, GCF
    ARTFRAME, Inc.
    Hunters Run Center
    1698 Hill Rd.N.
    Pickerington, OH 43147
    Phone 614-868-5554
  12. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    You go, Jim!!!!!
  13. jsuth

    jsuth CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Nice work, Jim. You drew an excellent analogy, which will probably draw a churlish, poorly thought-out response. She has given you the concept for your next book, however - "Framing for Philistines."
  14. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Well done, Dave and Jim. After reading her defensive blog posting with its smarmy air of one-upsmanship, I was tempted to send a response. However, I feel well-represented by what you said.

    I guess I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, so after reading the original article she wrote I believed that Doug's suggestion

    I'd like to see someone, with personality plus, take Marni by the hand and spend some time showing her the cost benefits of preservation framing and offer up tips on economy framing for decorative art. The right person might earn some good PR for themselves and framers in general.

    would be an effective way to respond. However, I'm not so sure that presenting a truly informed and informative report to her readers is very high on her priority list. Perhaps the kind of pay scale Baer mentioned for syndicated writers is not much of a motivation to produce good work. But as the articles in our trade magazines by some of our fellow Grumblers will attest, for those with the right attitude, producing a quality product is its own reward.

    :kaffeetrinker_2: Rick
  15. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Marni wants to succeed by tearing others down, but she might do better by building others up.
  16. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."
    ;) Rick
  17. Cavalier

    Cavalier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Very few things irk me.

    People who talk about something she knows NOTHING about and rather, than ask how things are done, assumes that someone knows everything that is everything about framing from a "former framer." Sorry, ducks, if someone's a "former framer," chances are they weren't in the industry that long. Heck, I know about 4+2 spacetime. Doesn't make me a physicist just because I love reading Michio Kaku's books. (I just love the feeling of my brain exploding, that's all.) I could break it down in layman's terms, but don't expect me to get it completely right because I'm not a physicist. Same with "former framer."

    3 1/2 times, though? What's that ID-10-T looking at, the suggested Larson-Juhl mark-up for mouldings under $1.50?
  18. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Marni, if you are reading our little Grumble Blog we set up just to trash you, consider this.

    3.5X's = SO WHAT!
    Even if that were true across the board.

    For general gift items some merchants might only keystone the product to arrive at a retail price. 2X cost = retail. I'll break it down for you. Buy wholesale at $1.00 mark it up 2x's = $2.00 retail and then subtract all of your costs in order to bring it to market. Maybe that lucky retailer makes 5 - 25% or .10 to .50.

    Now take the framer that marks up 3.5X's. So his $1.00 worth of material sells for $3.50 retail. BUT, he has to literally go in the backroom and manufacture the product. (extra cost of that SF. tools / labor / insurance/training and on and on ) So when he is all done do you think he has put an extra $1.50 in his pocket over the gift retailer? It just isn't so, because of the manufacturing process.

    Maybe you would like it better if the manufacturer of the custom frame and the retailer of that frame were separate. Let's see how that's works in a hypothetical way.

    The little frame maker in his own shop buys the material for $1.00 and makes the frame and then sells it wholesale for $2.00 to the frame retailer. The retailer then has to pay shipping to get it there, say a measly .20, so his landed cost is $2.20 and then he does the respectable thing and only keystones the price, so he charges a retail of $4.40. Yea that's a better deal for everyone.

    Now I'm being sarcastic and exaggerating like you do, but I guess you might understand because that is just the way you are, right!:icon11:

    PS. By the way, I posted a very civil response to your article on the sites I found.
  19. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    I still say we should just beat the snot out of her.
  20. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Careful Jerry, she is like literally afraid to go out of her house according to her blog because of all of the threats she has received from framers. She'll probably file a restraining order against you. :p
  21. osgood

    osgood SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    What a twit this woman is! Obviously has no concept of logic or business.

    I guess she really thinks she is making a contribution to life.
  22. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    that is why she is a freelance columnist.
  23. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    The irony is, she belongs to the 3/50 project which means she is supposed to be a supporter of independent business.
  24. Beveled

    Beveled SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I really think that was her exaggerated style of sarcasm. I doubt she is really receiving threats from framers. We pasty faced framers aren't exactly the physical type! :p
  25. osgood

    osgood SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've been thinking about this and I finally figured out what us greedy pasty faced framers should be doing -
    Spend something like $50,000- $100,000 on plant, equipment and supplies.
    Rent or buy premises to operate from.
    Spend more on education.
    Accumulate numerous other costs of running a business such as electricity, telephone, advertising, etc, etc, etc.

    Finally - to calculate the price for each custom framed item, add up the cost of all materials used! That's it, nothing else!

    Sheeeesh, I just can't believe that all you intelligent guys haven't passed on this to me before. Here I've been for 24 years trying to make a steeeeenking living........bad, bad, bad me!!!

    Someone, please, please punish me for my rotten attitude. I deserve it!

    Oh yeah, and would someone be kind enough to inform Marni whatsername that I have repented and changed my evil ways to become a journalist!
  26. maryframer

    maryframer CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I wonder if Marni would consider a "guest" writer on her blog.
    Bloggers do that all the time.

    She wouldn't have to print a retraction and it would allow the public to actually learn "accurate" information about framing and framing.

    *or* we could post a link to a video response on her blog (using a tan framer spokesperson of course!)
  27. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    she hasn't posted our responses.......
  28. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    Imagine that...
  29. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    3.5 times seems pretty low. Lets see all you need are the following to do what we do. I'll put new cost of equipment but you can save a few bucks buying used.

    Drymount........Heat Press $6,000 w/Vacuum $10,000
    Mat.................Manual Mat Cutter $2,000 CMC $12,500
    Glass...............Wall Cutter $2,000
    Fitting..............Point Driver $ 100
    Frame.............Chopper $4,000 Dbl/Mtr Saw $10,000
    Frame.............V-nailer $4,000
    Store..............Raw Lumber $5,000

    I'll do a basic opening inventory when I'm done kicking myself and wiping my tears for shelling out all the cash I dropped opening my store.
  30. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    As disturbing as her article was, and more disturbing her rebuttal was, what could be disastrous would be for her to publish this rebuttal in her papers. Unfortunately, I think she has had the last word. I dont think any letters to her at this point are going to change her mind. The racket remark just Burned me.

    Im with Jerry, Just knock her lights out. She looks bigger than me though.
  31. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Someone should dig out that YouTube link about Val's shop - that will show what a horrible bunch of rotters we framers really are!!!

    I nominate Baer to seek out this poor forsaken woman and schmooze her and give her a big Baer hug and show her how he makes custom frames!!! If Baer couldn't win her over to the Light side - we are all doomed indeed.
  32. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

  33. cvm

    cvm PFG, Picture Framing God

  34. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    My opinion as well, except you're one vowel off.
  35. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    I think that the best writer (s) among us, should compose a "letter to the editor" or "OpEd" piece and submit it to each newspaper where her article appears. I think the composition of the letter should not take place in the public forum though as it is obvious that people are looking in. This should be done in chat or by PM.
    I'm not that articulate of a writer but I would be glad to participate.
  36. jsuth

    jsuth CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I believe I see poorly framed art hanging right behind her. Since she feels that rummaging for frames at flea markets is equivalent to having something professionally framed, I think we should start a movement to educate the public on buying books in second hand shops versus buying them upon release, or worse yet, at book signings. Why pay $26.95 when you can pay $1.50? It probably doesn't take long for her books to migrate to the discount shelves.
  37. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Heck apparently you can buy her book brand new for .45 cents instead of being ripped off for $26.95. :faintthud:
  38. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Go ahead... keep provoking the fiery redhead. :p
  39. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Oh come on Johnny, she understands sarcasm! She said so herself :D
  40. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    But does she understand a boot to the ###?
  41. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    After reading her "rebuttal", lame-a$$ed rebuttal by Marni Cheapskate, I wonder what those Grumblers who though she was "being sarcastic" and her BS was "taken out of context" think now.

    Any answers to this simple question??

    Some of us invented sarcasm, dam it, and that yellow journalism was not sarcasm.
  42. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    I read somewhere that her next book is "MARNI always wins"

  43. MabSadie2

    MabSadie2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    She hasn't posted any replies yet. Here's mine. I know it won't do any good, but I feel better anyway.

    Dear Ms. Jameson,

    Nothing in your bio would lead me to believe that you have ever run a brick and mortar retail business. That markup you mention is the dirty secret of each and every retail business. Except that framers also have to cover the labor to fabricate picture frames instead of just marking the product up and sticking it on the floor.

    It may shock you to learn that on a picture framing order of $100, your framer, after materials, taxes, rent, insurance, utilities, payroll and payroll taxes may be left with $10 as take home pay. That is why you are receiving hostility from this industry.

    Your friend, the former picture framer, either owned his/her business at the height of the industry, before the big boxes carved huge holes in our market, or perhaps they were just an employee and never saw the bottom line.

    Either way, both our industries would be better served if you applied a little journalistic integrity to your opinion column. Write what you know, not what you speculate.
  44. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Is this whole thread about this one woman? WOW!

    Dave you compared framing to manufacturing. I would go further, we're prototypers. Every frame is a one of, with materials ordered for just that frame job. It is the only one exactly like it in the world.

    So when she comes in with one print she'll pay a premium for a prototyped job. If she then brings in 8 more like it then, since the prototype has been made we can offer a discount.

    But materials are ordered solely with one job in mind (chopped) and can't be used on another job. So it's not a knock off ready-made buta hand crafted one of. Like custom made shoes.
  45. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Good One!
  46. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    Unless you see another woman in here we're not aware of......:p
  47. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    When I saw almost 200 posts i thought, gee, i must be missing an interesting thread.


    So she's an idiot. She rants about the price of framing then had an expert in her article say, get it framed professional, it's worth it. Ignore her, the issue isn't how do we enlighten her, it's how can we forget her!
  48. danny boy

    danny boy PFG, Picture Framing God

    A Hollywood California woman brought about the term "Evergreen Slug" and all it represents.

    Maybe its time we refer to Mami Cheapskate as "A Snake in the Grass"!
  49. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    . . . . and the book seller wonders why people rush to CostCo to buy their books and how well the used bookstores are doing......

    Where do you even buy those sleezy 8x10 1/2" OT black frames anymore?

    I think we can all agree.... bashing this "writer" is a lot more fun and less political than other bashing . . . :D

    Mar.... take that thought and stick it back in the toilet where it belongs. She gives me gas on too many levels to count.
  50. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Sometimes you just gotta let off a little steam!


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