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Question [Not] Giving away the store

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by jim_p, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. jim_p

    jim_p SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    How do you guys handle it when a charitable organization needs to get some work done and asks that you do the work as a donation (i.e. free)? Do you refuse such requests, or do you handle it on a case-by-case basis, or what?

    I want to support my local community organizations, but after a while this starts to feel like those exploit-the-starving-artist posts like you see on Craigslist ("Need wedding invitation designed. No pay, but you'll get nice exposure and an item for your portfolio").

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. JbNormandog

    JbNormandog SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    If it is for an auction I will give them a gift certificate good for custom framing only.

    I won't give anything for free, I am concerned it will be expected next time.

    Bob
     
  3. Maryann

    Maryann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    It's worth their while to ask....they have nothing to lose.

    Without belaboring the point, I tell them I cannot be giving away framing because I have my own obligations but I will be happy to donate my labor. (If it's an organization that I wish to support). Almost all have been grateful.

    I'm getting a bit more hard nosed about requests for auctions. If it's an organization or person who has never been a customer or supported our business, I generally turn them down. (once again, unless it is a cause/charity that I wish to support). If it's a customer that makes the request, we give a gift certificate for custom framing.

    I have given away framing but it was for fundraisers of organizations that give us a fair amount of business.
     
  4. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    I do some donations, but I do limit the number of items per year. I try to keep it to 5 framed pieces or less.

    If I get requests after I've done five, I give coupons for a percentage off custom framing that allows me to remain profitable. I've also been known to do this for people I've never seen who show up on my doorstep asking for donations...

    The only donation that's ever bit me (this is a small town) was a donated item for a silent auction was bid on (and won) by the underage artist's father. :icon11:

    If anyone balks, I'm honest "I'm sorry, I'm already over budget with donated items". I've never had anyone say they didn't understand.

    Jan
     
  5. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    If the charity is that cash-strapped, they shouldn't be getting things framed in the first place.
     
  6. fireframer

    fireframer CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Quid pro Quo

    Most, if not all, non-profit orginizations have a board of directors. We ask that at least 3 other people from that board, besides the one making the ask, step inside our doors and have a look and a visit. This way we can introduce ourselves to the community and usually their stakeholders. Once they have completed their "mission" then we gladly help out with gift certificates or inexpensive but nice framing etc. Another thing is we make sure the charity is within a certain proximity so that our goods and services are recognizable. Rarely do they meet their requirements so rarely do we "give" the store away
     
  7. jsuth

    jsuth CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    In the past 2 months we have received more requests for charitable donations than at any point over the past 20 years, ranging from requests for custom framing, artwork or gift certificates. At one point we had 3 in one day, and another charity asked that we shadowbox 6 sports jerseys for nothing, other than a mention in the program. I know charities are getting whacked right now just as hard as businesses, but I think what bothers me is the persistence shown by some of the people inquiring. ("But it will be good publicity for your business!" "I know a lot of people around here," etc.) One lady even said, "Can't you just take something already framed off your wall and donate it for the auction?" If I'm going to donate something I prefer gift certificates. At least then there is the impetus for a new body to come through the front door.
     
  8. BatesMotel

    BatesMotel MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I will typically donate on old gallery framed piece of art. I think the gift certificate is a great idea and will offer that the next time. Although, I have had a few they said no gift certificates, so I guess I should then I have nothing to donate. As for framing something up that they pick out, no way would I do that. I would offer a discount on the framing for the organization but I would not be willing to shell out more money for the donation. If I frame something up it is with what I have in stock.
     
  9. jim_p

    jim_p SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I should add that what this charity was asking for was a printing and laminating job -- much less materials and labor than a framing job, which is why I might be inclined to do it THIS TIME :)

    For charity auctions I typically give a gift card... as someone else said, this will at least bring a body in the door...
     
  10. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Be aware that the more donations you make the more donation requests you will receive. Pretty soon you'll have people walking in unannounced and expect you to frame items for them while they wait.

    In my old business we did so much that I had to institute some formal policies. We were getting over 100 request per month and I even had a choice on our phone answering system for "requests from our philanthropic committee".

    This was our policy statement:

    Due to the volume of requests we receive for donations, it has become necessary to implement policies and guide lines which I'll outline here:
    All requests for grants and donations should be submitted in writing on your charitable letterhead at least 30 days prior to the need for the donation. Merchandise or gift certificate donations for activities related to the visual arts are the most commonly granted requests. Cash donations are generally not granted, nor are requests from organizations which are funded through major contributors, such as United Way, to which we contribute annually.
    If you have received a donation from our company during this calendar year, you are generally disqualified from receiving another donation due to the number of agencies requesting assistance.
    Our philanthropic committee meets monthly to consider all requests properly submitted and those requests which meet our guidelines and fall within our budget for donations are then awarded. Please do not call to find out the status of your request. We receive over 100 requests each month for donations and cannot possibly grant or respond to each request. If your request is granted, we will notify you of the acceptance within 30 days after receipt of your request.
    Due to the volume of requests we receive and the amount of charitable contributions we make each year it has become necessary to respond in this manner.
    Thank you for your request and I assure you it will be evaluated. We hope your organization is one of the many we are able to assist this year.
    Sincerely.
     
  11. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner


    Nice one Dave, LOL!!!

    I'd also add:

    The request must be notarized and submitted in triplicate with a non-refundable fee of $100 to cover the costs of our committee...
     
  12. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The committee cocktail bills did put quite a dent in our budget...

    :p
     
  13. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    We say "Our charities this year (and every year) are the Animal Shelter and the Community Free Clinic." This is the line we use for the "Send Me to Cheerleading Camp" type fundraisers.

    But we keep a small stack of stuff that didn't sell as donations. Some of it is, indeed, old framed art.

    If you have ever had to do the soliciting, you will know that you have a very warm place in your heart for the businesses that say 'yes'. Not so much for those who say 'no'.
     
  14. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Ellen it is much easier to say “no” when you have a clean conscious i sn't it? Guys if you don't want to give, for what ever reason, grow some and tell em no!

    Before I had a chosen charity I did give out a form with questions anybody would want to know. It basically asked: Who are you? What do you want? When do you want it? What will you do with it? Very few people looking for a donation would even bother to answer those few questions. I don't give it out any more. I just say no!

    Each year CASA has an art auction. I have never cut them off but I have framed up to 12 pieces of art for them. The framing is decked out big time. Its a great crowd to feature your skills? I have also donated photography. I have never asked for a thing. Still they shower my business with more attention than I could ask. They give me a stack of free tickets, plaster my logo all over the joint and feature me in the program. I don't ask for any of that. It's funny how mutually beneficial genuine relationships can turn out.
     
  15. Beveled

    Beveled SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    We get hit up major for fundraisers in the spring, summer, fall. Since I am an artist, I most often donate my prints, framed. Also because you can claim on taxes fair market value this way, instead of cost only on originals. Depending on the charity, I sometimes donate originals for more upscale events. Someone else mentioned donating older framed art which we do too, things that haven't sold. Usually whatever we donate is not too tough on our pocketbook.

    Once I had a person come in from a religious daycare center with 8 posters someone had donated. She had the audacity to ask that we frame all 8 for them at no charge. I politely told her that we would be happy to frame them at a discounted price.
     
  16. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    I curious about this. So a print has more value than an original, of the exact same work, as far as taxes are concerned?

    I also wonder why CASA weirds out when I tell them that I do not need a donation receipt. According to my accountant, I deduct all business expenses. So when I frame for a charity, the supplies are already deducted. I can't deduct it twice. Also since I can't deduct more than my costs, the value of my donation is insignificant from a tax standpoint.

    Are you deducting the cost of the prints when you buy them and again deducting the donation later?
     
  17. Maryann

    Maryann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    Jay, your accountant is exactly right. You cannot deduct fair market value.
     
  18. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I get hit up for donations just about every week.........:faintthud:
    I do have some prints that I purchased a while ago that I frame up with scrap.........Its really hard to say NO to the people that come by for the kids that are sick or the families that have lost everything.......:shrug:
    I have 3 major ones that I do.........when it comes to money donations.........NO way...its always a print or framing.......:D
    But I am getting better at saying NO!! :icon19:
     
  19. GUMBY GCF

    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    Dave I think I was on one of your committees once I can't seem to remember much from that meeting!~ Hummmmmm


    We get hit up by almost every school & youth group in the county. Alumni groups etc.
    Usually only gift certificates.
    We always check to see if they are a customer ( they are all tax exempt you know so we keep records. We donate according to what they have spent, any where from 2-5%
    We ask they leave the information & inform them of this policy.
    Most never even come back.
    We also let them know that the Art organizations/Art Teachers get top priority.

    We also Have in the past done a 50/50. If you want to buy something I will donate 50% of the price..That has actually worked more than you can believe.
    If you do not ask the answer is always NO. If you ask the answer now has a 50% chance of being okay.
     
  20. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'm unsure why this thread is so interesting to me.

    The only charities that never come back are the smart ones. I probably wouldn't give anything to a charity that was willing to spend $2,000 - $5,000 in hopes of getting a $20 - $50 gift certificate. Maybe the math corrects itself with volume? I suspect that any charity foolish enough to play this game would be gone quickly.

    On gift certificates I gave a $100 certificates once. A young couple brought me like $4000 worth of personal work once. They came in a few months later to collect a donation for their cause. Another shop had donated some crappy, stained, dented print from the 80's (I do not think it was anybody here) and the charity wanted me to frame it. I should have done it but following some of the advice on the G, I gave a gift certificate. This would get somebody else in the shop right? The purchaser came in to get the piece framed. After insisting that she wouldn't spend more than the $100 I asked what she gave for the lot. She gave $3. That's probably a commentary on my shop and the quality of the art but lets not go there. I would have helped this cause and my wallet more by handing them a $5.

    I really do believe that we should support the community that supports us. Dying kids and abandoned animals don't buy framing. Groups supporting them shouldn't either!!!!!!! Again my suggestion is to pick a cause you believe in and decide what roll you can play in supporting them. Devote your yearly donation into that charity and make a real impact. Tell everybody else “no” and save everybody a lot of time.

    I can think of at least 3 or 4 grumblers who already do this. The most vocal ones I can think of would be Applewood with their CF project and Ellen. There are others I know who aren't vocal and I won't share here.

    My wife is GM of a large restaurant and she is given a budget of something like $500 a quarter to support local causes. This is in the form of food and/or gift cards. She says she fields something like 10 pleas a day for donations. I couldn't imagine dealing with that.
     
  21. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    The United Way in our area came in with a request: frame ten of their pieces in exchange for two Audubon prints (part of a modern re-issue) valued at $1500 each. I immediately went to EBay and saw that their values were more like $200. The UW rep insisted that these were worth way more, and we went back and forth for a while on the valuation, each of us sticking to our cases.

    But I said Yes to the job. I'm a big fan of the United Way. And my 14-year-old son needed the volunteer hours, so he put in a lot of time under my guidance doing the grunt work - picking mats, measuring, sizing, learning the Wizard, cleaning glass, and some of the fitting.

    I followed up on the event that these were framed for. We had framed two additional Audubons for their auction, and I wanted to know what they auctioned for. Human nature, right? Guess what: the rep wouldn't tell me. We all know why: they went for very little. And guess what else: the rep bought one herself.

    Our two are still here, unsold, with great framing, at $800 each, and absolutely no interest.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In our small town we get asked every week for a donation, and we comply, to varying extents.

    There are peak times, Spring and Fall, when the requests are almost daily. All the causes are good, and it's very hard to say No, because it's a small town, and turning down a request is not an alternative. We're in a poor area of Ontario, and the businesses that have shut down include Hersheys, Hathaway, Stanley Tools, and many more. The unemployment rate is very high, and tourism is the driver, keeping the town going year-round. So businesses that are going concerns are expected to support donation requests.

    We never donate cash. Some years ago one of our suppliers sold us plaque-mounted images using left-over melamine from the offcuts of liners they make, and cut-outs from art catalogues. These cost us less than $3 each, and have silent-auctioned for $15 and more. We give these out in batches - the requestors select whatever they want.

    Gift certificates for auctions don't raise much at the auctions. People like hard assets in some form.

    The approach above - select a charity and support it alone - sounds good. My staff and I may try it, but given the circumstances, it may disappoint a lot of people. Perhaps if it were a single charity located here it may work. Perhaps the Food Bank.

    Now back to work.
     
  22. couture's gallery

    couture's gallery PFG, Picture Framing God

    SMALL TOWNS ARE REALLY TOUGH... because most everyone knows everyone and you have to be careful who you say no to..it may come back to bite you..we get almost weekly requests for donations, and it seems to be getting more so as the economy sinks even more here..we try to please all but will soon have to start saying no to some...which some to say no to is the problem.
     
  23. GUMBY GCF

    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Jay
    My response was for the method Cook's Art Supply & Framing Inc. sorts out donations.
    If you notice the bussiness is a Corporation.
    I have my pesonnal causes that I choose to donate to.
    Guess I should have mentioned that.
     
  24. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    Perhaps I wasn't plain enough...

    When one gets tapped to DO the soliciting, one has to go to businesses and beg them for things that someone would actually buy for a generous enough sum that money will be raised for whatever charity. This is incredibly hard work.

    I have done the begging, and I am telling you that the ones that donate SOMETHING are remembered fondly. The ones who say no are remembered,too.

    I personally have money to spend. The board of directors has money to spend. The people who read the charity newsletter have money to spend. They are all in touch with said charity because they have at least a passing interest in it.

    They see your name. They think kind thoughts, and you never know what seed has been planted.

    The SECRET is to give something that might be attractive for someone to bid on. (not a print of a goose with a country blue bow around its neck) So you buy a TK calendar and frame the pictures. Calendars are like 75% off now... 12 pieces of art for $5. You don't gotta LIKE the art...
    And it's not like you don't have scrap mat and scrap frames around. It might take you an hour to knock out a couple to have on hand. Price it out as if it were custom work, so they can put down that the framed artwork is worth $200.

    Gather those warm fuzzies. The indigent sick may not be grateful, but the doctors on their board of directors are. And you can BET the person tapped to do the begging is...
     
  25. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Couldn't agree more, Ellen. The task of asking for a donation is incredibly hard. That's why we can't say No. But the volume of these requests is a killer, and there's no easy answer.
     
  26. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Barking spiders, only! The math of charitable deductions is not favorable to a frame shop.
     
  27. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Even when I don't give to a charitable organization's request I always thank the volunteer solicitor for the work they are doing. It isn't easy. I worked on United Way campaigns for several years and decided I couldn't do it anymore. Some folks have the kind of makeup that they can do it but I found it extremely difficult.
     
  28. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    Well, you folks clearly get the respectable charities soliciting you. I get the freaking Moonies. I'm not BS'ing you. They come every few weeks, sending in some teenage grinning idiot, and I'm not BS'ing you on that, either. The kid they send in is literally a grinning idiot, and they always stand about a half-inch away from me, so that I actually have to put my hand on their chest (never any chicks) and push them away...towards the door. And they always want cash, on the spot.
     
  29. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    I guess I'm rethinking things. I need to get me some real cheap garbage to give away. Then I'll be king of the donation world and they will all love me! As usual the best system is usually the most simple.
     
  30. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I like your idea Ellen. I'm going out to buy some of those calendars and use scrap material from the shop to frame some nice pieces.
    I will be careful about who to donate to though. I too get many requests. I will think about writing a policy on that as well, which I can then hand out.
    Lots of useful advise!
     
  31. GUMBY GCF

    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Jay your OKay...
    It is what fits for each shop..
    The point that has already been made is when you do donate, just remember what ever it is , It represents your store to the people who may never of heard of you. If you give them something no one wants then why would they think you had anthing they would want to come & see you for.

    If you give a gift certificate Have a complete story about your store & a picture of it or your staff that will be dispalyed with it. In short a big 11x14 ad explaining all the great things about your services & products matted with a paper easel back that they can display.

    The gift certificates get lost by themselves.
     
  32. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I had someone suggest to me at one time to give out a "letter of intent" to donate.....like a "come back next year and I can figure you into my costs" type paperwork..........Especially If you already reach what you projected at the beginning of the year:shrug: I haven't done it yet...........you know good idea and all just havn't implemented it yet!! :D
     
  33. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    If you give gift certificates consider giving four $ 25.00 certificates instead of one $ 100.00 certificate.

    They may auction them off individually getting four people in the store or even though they may go as one item the receiver may re-gift them separately.

    Always include an expiration date on gift certificates.
     
  34. GUMBY GCF

    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Dave
    Thats a good one Dave.
    State of oHIo does not allow for expiration dates on Gift certificates.
    If you want It to have an expiration date you need to call it something else.
    Frame Dollars, award points, Frame coupon what ever. make sure you have the expiration and it has no cash value printed on it clearly.
     
  35. Maryann

    Maryann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    I don't have any idea of Ohio law but in Pennsylvania, you can put an expiration date on a gift certificate only if it is giveaway. If it has been purchased, it cannot expire. Of course after so many years of being unclaimed, the money is supposed to be turned over to the state. (Do you think Walmart does that?)
     
  36. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Here is the best ever, World Class, answer to requests for Donations

    In fairness, i must give creditto Bill McCurry as we came up with the idea at dinner afew years back

    We get bombarded, like jay's wife, for requests

    We established a fantastic program using the charity to raise money and awareness for us, while creating hard cash for them

    Now, realize that about 50% of the garbage donated to these causes is exactly that, garbage and probably ends up as such

    We tell them to include us in their newsletters and email correspendence as a "Preferred Vendor". Understand that charity members are typically fiercely loyal to the cause and are more likely to support a fellow member than not

    So, we offer a "20% Rebate" in lieu of discount. In essence, a client brings in work with the email or newsletter. the work is $200. We mail a check in client's name for $40 to the charity, we get a full margin sale and hopefully a loyal/satisfied client. In turn, we get a tax deductible contribution of $40 and the charity gets the mother's milk of every charity-cash. What can be easier? We get our name out to a huge community of fiercely loyal members

    Here's the rub

    Almost no one has taken us up on it, but when they do, it works pretty well

    It also ends the "What can you give me?" question
     
  37. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    Bob:

    That's really the best solution!!
     
  38. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Brilliant Bob. I like the idea but when you say that almost nobody takes you up on it I presume you mean the charity requesting a donation.

    I'd tend to expense any donations sent as a result of the publicity as advertising expense though. Same result tax wise and more aptly reflects the money outlay.

    It's actually a variable advertising expense. No results no cost. Of course even if no one redeems your offer you still get the publicity.
     
  39. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Dave-It baffles me that everyone doesn't jump on the idea and incorporate the same strategy to member businesses.

    Imagine, like Ellen, all the biz owners in the Guide Dog Charity. I m certain that every charity has a framer or two, a muffler shop, a bakery etc. Those are dues paying members and contributors-who wouldn't prefer to patronize a fellow member?

    I think that because it may require a little work many simply don't do it. i had one that actually said that to do that would be an endorsement by mentioning the name. I guess when they have a Bike-a-thon and Discount tire pays for the jerseys along with emblazoning their name across that jersey that's not an endorsement.

    The key is if it works, it works well, cost very little for either partner and generates what we all want-revenue
     
  40. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Do you have any spiffy written document that explains the benefits of the program to the charities? Seems to me it's a win-win-win situation.
     
  41. Twin2

    Twin2 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Bob, I've tried a similar 'donation' program here to support the ALS Society of Nova Scotia, thinking it would be a great way to raise money for ALS and at the same time bring in some more business. I printed up 'coupons' offering to donate 10% of the cost of their custom picture framing to the ALS Society. These were handed out during the annual Walk for ALS. As well, in November, I made an electronic version of the coupon, geared toward framing for Christmas and it was sent out with the monthly ALS newsletter. Not one person took advantage of this offer, which surprised me. I didn't figure I'd have a long line-up of customers taking advantage of my offer, but thought that I'd at least get a few.

    I have donated some framed prints to the ALS Society for various events - some for raffles, some for silent auctions. I've also donated gift certificates, some of which were redeemed (I'd say perhaps 25% of them).
     
  42. MerpsMom

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

    Where did I get the idea you couldn't use things like calendars to frame and then sell for profit? I know you can frame them for yourself, but not to the public.

    Am I nuts are have I been missing an income source all these years??

    Cathie
     
  43. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    I think you are right in this... but I have been known to live dangerously on occasion...
     
  44. Beveled

    Beveled SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Okay, now I'm confused!!!!???? I'll have to forward that one on to my CPA. :help:

    I do know that when donating originals you can only deduct cost of materials.
     
  45. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    What I did, when I had my shop, was to set a budget at the beginning of each year. It was based on a percentage of the previous year's sales.

    I would donate merchandise, services or gift certificates (never cash) to local charities. I kept a tab and, when the budget ran out, that was it for the year.

    I don't know how many organizations figured out that they should hit me up in January or February, but it was a relatively objective way to manage those requests.

    I honestly don't remember what the percentage was, but it seemed generous to me at the time.
     
  46. Maryann

    Maryann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    IRS Publication 526 spells out that when deducting inventory to a charity, you can deduct Fair Market Value or cost of goods WHICHEVER IS LESS.
     
  47. Beveled

    Beveled SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Dont ya just love Uncle Sam?:mad:
     
  48. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    Wouldn't you L-O-V-E to have a business where Fair Market Value is Less Than Cost of Goods?
     
  49. AWG

    AWG SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    It's astounding how much traffic a simple (seems to me) thing generates....

    Give or don't give. It's that simple. As small business owners Kassandra and I feel a need (you might not) to be a part of the community - the community that supports US in our endevours. It's helpful from an image and marketing standpoint. What's wrong with a nicely framed GC? The recipient gets the GC (which may or may not be redeemed - does it really matter?) AND a nice frame with my name and gallery info on the back. I get rid of some scrap, the charity gets a donation item, everyone wins.
    As for Jay's comments - I agree wholeheartedly that it's much simpler (if you want) to just let them know you have a designated charity - and that's the end of the story. For us, CF gets the money, time, and hard goods donations. Everyone else gets a GC

    Tony
     
  50. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    It's about copyright. The images in a calendar, a print catalog, internet site, or other source are nearly all copyrighted. As such, nobody is allowed to modify them or to profit from them without permission from (and probably payment to) the copyright owner.

    As usual, follow the money. If a customer brings in a calendar print for framing, we're off the hook because we do not own or sell the image. Sure, mounting and framing probably represents a modification of the image, but that occasional violation would not get the copyright owner any money in a lawsuit.

    The framers who get into trouble are the ones who frame large numbers of found images and then sell them. Selling large numbers of framed images usually involves marketing that is quite visible, such as in a newspaper, magazine, or maybe on an internet site. High-visibility advertising of framed images that are copyrighted and probably obtained free might trigger a lawsuit.

    Like Ellen and many others, I have tickled the fringes of criminality by framing a few found images and giving them away -- free of charge and without obligation. No money, no worries...probably.:icon19:
     
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