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P.P.F. Eh? Dues

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by jvandy57, May 8, 2003.


Are you a PPFA member?

  1. Yes

  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  1. jvandy57

    jvandy57 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Because of a thread in business issues and comments made about the dues, this poll asks the question What Would YOU Pay?
  2. Barb Pelton

    Barb Pelton SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    So, I'm the only one(?) that would pay more than $500. for dues to our professional organization?
    OK, out of the 16 that has voted, so there is hope yet that I won't be alone. Geez, I sponsor community events that costs me more than $500.!
    I gotta confess, I'm feeling rather dissappointed.
    I pay more annually each for my Chamber of Commerce dues and NFIB. (Not that I want to pay more, but I think at $90.00, it's a bargain). What's really unbelievable is that if someone came into any of our stores and wanted to frame a average size print for their living room, "and could we do it for less than a $100. bucks, please?", we'd be slightly grinding our teeth and giving them our best sales pitch! We'd probably think they were a little on the chintzy side. The cost of one mediocre framing ticket, one ticket out of one day for a year's membership in a professional organization.
    Well I shouldn't be surprised. I was just mind-boggled last summer at the amount of people who didn't want to send in a lousy $30. for FACTS.
    The sad thing is the people who are complaining the most are probably the ones that NEED PPFA the most.

    Yesterday, I spent the day at our Jr. High School career day. I was one of many professionals that lectured to several classes most of the day. In my lectures, I mentioned that those wanting to pursue a career in framing would most likely be most successful (along with a business degree with perhaps a minor in Art) by belonging to PPFA, and studying to obtain a CPF. By doing these two things, one distinguishes themselves as a professional. or SO I THOUGHT!

    Well, I guess the PPFA sticker HAS worked for me--without it, I don't believe I would have been invited to lecture along with a lawyer, a doctor, an accountant, a banker, a radiologist, a vetinarian, a professional musician, a city councilman and an architect. At least, I didn't see any of the non PPFA competition there. Then again, they probably all thought it would be silly to spend a day counseling kids for free when they could be huddled in their back room "generating some real income".

    Sorry, Jerry! this touched a raw nerve.
    You can have your topic back now and I'll duct tape my mouth shut.
  3. B. Newman

    B. Newman SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Barb, I agree with you, but (you knew there would be a "but" didn't you?) but there is a difference between what I think dues should be, and what I could actually afford.

    However, that might be a good thing. That might separate the "real" businesses from the "wanna-be's". In many ways, due to many reasons, I am truly, only a "wanna-be". Right now, anybody with 90 bucks (and, c'mon, anybody who wants to, could come up with 90 bucks) can belong. In fact, this past year it has only been 25 dollars!!! Oh yeah, that's a real investment :rolleyes: .

    Do I think Framer's Select is worth what it costs? Yes. Can I afford it? No. Do I think a CMC is worth what it costs? Yes. Can I afford it? No. I can't even justify it's investment at this point in my business life.

    So what of the PPFA dues? If it cost $500, I simply could not belong. But on the other hand, who'm I trying to fool by belonging? Me? Maybe. Sometimes it even works!

  4. B. Newman

    B. Newman SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Now, another completely different thought. (The reason for a separate reply.)

    If any framer/member could actually, physically (fiscally) prove that customers came because of their membership, ANY cost for dues could be justified. When, and if, the PPFA begins to work with the membership to advertise to, and educate, the public to the "value" of using a PPFA member*, then the membership will grow, and the costs will be totally worth what ever it costs.

    (Of course, I've only said this 40 jillian times! :rolleyes: )

    *CLARIFICATION Please understand that I'm not saying that ALL PPFA members are professional and competent. Neither am I saying that non-members are NOT professional or competent.

  5. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Sending $95 to the PPFA or $30 to FACTS is an easy "leap of faith." If you are so inclined, you can view those funds as charitable contributions. (Check with your tax advisor. ;) ) You may not even expect a lot in return - though I believe you'd get plenty.

    If the price of admission were, say, $1,000/year instead, I might be more likely to say, "Show me the beef!" (Boy, am I old!) I'm not saying I wouldn't pay it. I'd just want a clearer picture of what to expect. And I'd want to make certain that I am prepared to make the personal committment of time and effort to back up the money.
  6. Barb Pelton

    Barb Pelton SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I see what you are both saying, and I respect that. I suppose I think that as one of the smallest businesses here (surely, I am!) that if I could do it, anyone could. I have to remember that during my first 4 years, while I was working out of my home--no, I couldn't have afforded much then. I've gotten alot from PPFA. Better rates on my insurance, continuing education, Hitchhikers was worth so much those first couple of years. I think a person is really going to get out of something as much as they put onto it.

    Well, I'm almost late for work, so well think more about this today and comment some later. Or maybe not.

    (And Ron, I think "Where's the Beef" all the time...I just don't say it out loud. Anyone under the age of twenty just stares at you when you do) [​IMG]

    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    AH KEEP THE MEMBERSHIP LOW I think we could raise it a little. Bu tcharge members a lower price for any ppfa services or products and charge none members a premium.
    Charge one price for members. Kinda tired and not well thought out but you get the idea.
  8. PurplePerson1

    PurplePerson1 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Because I am an employee and I am the one who paid the money to join PPFA, I have not seen any value to me except the prestige for our shop.

    If the cost was raised, I could not pay for it. I am hoping I can make the leap from $25 to what it is now until I can see some benefits for me. What I need is health insurance, but our shop is not going to sign up for a shop insurance program. It appears that I will not benefit as far as insurance is concerned.
  9. jframe

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

    I owned as shop for many years and was a very supportive PPFA member. I am now working for someone else as a framer and I see PPFA as an association for framing businesses and their owners. It just doesn't have much to offer the vast majority of framers who are employees.

    $25 seems like a reasonable amount for an employee to pay for membership considering the average salary in the industry. Some of those employees are CPF's who will be forced to let their CPF lapse because they can't afford the $140.00 recertification fee and the trip to another city to take it, or they can't afford to go the national convention to take it at a lower price. The only other option is to take the even more expensive tele ed. recertification course.
  10. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    You are sounding a bit like the orignial poster to this subject, Ian, aka Printmaker, with this "what does it do for me?" attitude.

    I hate to say this, but some people will never get it!. The truth is that we've all received PPFA benefits regardless of our support and membership. It occurs through forums like this and PPFA's Online Exchange, it occurs in the education that magazines and distributors have hosted over the years, it occurs in the quality of writing in the trade journals that we have in the U.S. and Canada, often penned by strongly commited PPFA members. The whole industry standard is raised when the elements within that industry have a common association, and that association's activites provoke professionalism, through education, certification, trade shows and individual pride.

    You don't think that framers are better framers due to their competition raising the bar? It happens, and PPFA has been a BIG Part of that improved standard. As my cross town competitor, Ron has stated, "If you are so inclined, you can view those funds as charitable contributions.........You may not even expect a lot in return - though I believe you'd get plenty." He's absolutely correct, in that you won't always see those benefits in unique perks for your personal benefit.

    I am currently conducting Mat Cutting Workshops in Italy -- You know the country, that produces all those beautiful mouldings that we use everyday. In my classes, the majority of framers here are cutting paper (pulp) matboard for fine original etchings; putting prints sandwiched between glass so that the wall shows behind; Cutting mats on 16x20 inch images that are about 1-3/4 inches wide, and other delightful techniques that are equally poor in mechanics and desgin. Did I also mention that they tend to price their products about 1/3 to 1/2 of where our retail pricing would be! No Trade Association exists here in Italy for retail framers.....coincidence? No, I don't think so.

    I've taught framing, marketing and mat cutting seminars in eleven countries now, and can tell you that the countries without a trade association produce the poorest framing.

    Countries that have a Framing Trade Association in place tend to produce better framing or improving framing. (US, UK, Spain, NZ and Australia.)

    You belong to PPFA (Regardless of the Dues) because you are committed to the industry succeeding. I subscribe to Decor, I subscribe to Picture Framing Magazine, I attend trade shows, I am a member of FramerSelect, and I have been a member of the Professional Picture Framer's Association since 1978.

    Yes indeed if the dues were raised, I'd be looking for more tangible benefits, but at the small price of PPFA membership today, I'll settle for the better industry that it has created.

    John (Bologna, Italy)

    [ 05-10-2003, 09:21 AM: Message edited by: John Ranes II, CPF, GCF ]
  11. B. Newman

    B. Newman SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'll tell you right now, if I had a CPF working for me, I'd pay for them to do whatever it took to keep that certification. Heck, if I could find someone willing to study to take it, I'd pay for that to start with! And then I'd market the hound out of it!

  12. Framerguy

    Framerguy PFG, Picture Framing God

    Woof, woof, Betty!! ;)

    I'm ready!

    I'm a really good study'er. And I am completely housebroken too!


    P.S. I haven't quite controlled that full moon and the sirens blaring thing yet but you probably don't get alot of sirens out there.
  13. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    Excuse my HERASY .I think the question isn't aimed at the Framers who have been members for some time .I have paid more and I am glad I am paying less. I also agree that if it cost more I take a deeper look at the value.However I think the PMAI dropped the cost to incourage non-members and fallen away members to take a look.Didn't they even institute a trial feethat was even less than the current decreased dues?
    Things are changeing and I think are about to get even a bit better.However i think the dues should increase as the perceived value increases and it should do it in steps.
    I say this with the full understanding that if the Dues where as HIGH as some have quoted we might have a bigger budget to do things with.However It also might decrease the mebership even further ( We aren't talking the Goltz theory here)We could loose members due to lack of perceived value ,but also do to lack of expendable operateing budget of a lot of shops.I don't think it was the concept of the merger to dwindle the membership to a FEW very sucessful shops,do you.
    However i would and probably will pay more but gradual increases and if they keep in step with improvements,which is what i think the plan is.
  14. PurplePerson1

    PurplePerson1 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    John, I don't even have the money to buy the magazines you mentioned. I am thankful my shop does buy them.

    I would love to get my CPF, but the cost and the cost of recertification is waaaay beyond possible.

    I still would like to study for my CPF anyway and learn everything I possibly can, but a person has to have money to do all of these things you talk about. Where do you get all of that money?

    I think Jo is right, that the membership mainly is useful to the owner and not the employees.

    My goal now is to learn everything on the CPF test and use it for my own work, even without certification. I must be a member, to have the knowlege available.
  15. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    Susan N despite comments i have made elsewhere I think your comment here is a mistake. I fully understand about operateing on a tight budget,but getting your CPF is an investment even at the cost.
    Consider if you save the money and succeed ,don't you think you value to your employer will increase and as such maybe you could negoiate a raise or at worst be able to shop your talents elsewhere for a higher fee?Or at best be able to some day operate your own shop with CREDENTIALS to brag on.So CPFs are by no means just for employers .The certicicate of completion will only have one name on it YOURS.
  16. PurplePerson1

    PurplePerson1 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I truly would like to get my CPF someday. I am just frustrated at the moment.
  17. jframe

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


    Remember there is a CPF scholarship you can apply for.
  18. PurplePerson1

    PurplePerson1 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This scholarship is something I need to look into, but I need to do my studying first. I need that list of books, which I know has been discussed here before, to see where I am.

    I have also gotten this thread way off topic with my frustrations. We must get back on task.

    [ 05-11-2003, 08:12 PM: Message edited by: Susan N. ]
  19. Barb Pelton

    Barb Pelton SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    You comments have certainly shown me a different perspective--I haven't given much thought to employees becoming PPFA members on their own. As of last year, I have agreed as an employer to finance any expenses for studies/test for the CPF for any of my employees. I had one that was well into her studies when she left me for another shop (she moved to another town) and I have one now that is beginning to study. Of course, I feel I will benefit from this, or I wouldn't be doing it. I would think any employer would benefit from having a CPF on staff enough to pay for it, but that's just my thoughts.
    Would I pay for my employees to be PPFA members?
    I dunno. I suppose it depends on how serious they are. I DID pay the $30.00 for each of my employees for FACTS. We discussed it as a group and they all agreed it was a worthy cause for our industry. They were all willing to contribute on some level, but I didn't mind paying it on their behalf.
    Back to the original topic. Perhaps $500. is too little much for dues at this point. However--this is how I look at things:
    1--Will this benefit me personally?
    2--Will this benefit my business, so that eventually it benefits me personally? or
    3--does this benefit my industry, so that my business will eventually be impacted in a positive manner, and then I'll benefit personally?

    I guess I have to accept the reality that there are many people with a short sighted vision, and that dissapoints me a little. I happen to think that anything that strengthens our industry will eventually pay off for all of us.
    Ok-I realize I'm preaching to the choir here!

    Susan--I don't fault you for not wanting to pay more for the dues, and I'm so impressed that you and Jo are paying your own way! Wow! You guys are the kind of employees I want! Blue ribbons to both of you!

    Now, how can I go back in and view the results now that more people have voted?
  20. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    Contact your local chapter.....a list is on the PPFA website of the officers. Each chapter should have available for you the entire "Library" to borrow, if you cannot purchase the reading material at this time! [​IMG]


    [ 05-12-2003, 01:44 AM: Message edited by: John Ranes II, CPF, GCF ]
  21. jframe

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

    Barb, for the first time, I am not a member this year. It is a long stupid story about bureaucracy. Maybe I'll rejoin this year, but for now I'm a member through Marty. I didn't mean that framers should have their own membership if the shop is a member, I meant that framers could have their own membership if their employer chooses to not be a member, although it could be done both ways.

    I think that individual framer memberships are going to be necessary in the future to build PPFA membership. As in most other professional associations, the individual is the member, not the shop (or the law firm, or the medical practice etc.). I think framers should be able to feel like they have a stake in the profession. Some of them won't be framers forever, but some will go on to be shop owners or managers of large shops. Through prorated dues, they would carry the benefits of PPFA individual membership along with them in their framing careers, and increase their dues as they need other services.

    Purp, I know how hard those CPF book lists are to get hold of. I picked up a copy at Waxahachie last weekend. I'll send it to you if you'll email me your address, or I can fax it to the store.

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