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Price Check! Please? I'm so confused....!

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Pangolin, May 19, 2012.

  1. tfg

    tfg True Grumbler

    Do you guys show a price breakdown to customers?

    I always do. It especially helps to help them understand the "extras" that they have added.


    Frame(inc. fitting and labor) - $75.00
    Matting - $30.00
    Glazing - $30.00
    Base price $135.00


    DM- $30.00
    Add Mat - $20.00
    AR Glass- $75.00

    I find when I do a breakdown and show them that the base price is really $135.00 and with the extras it comes to $220+ it's a lot easier for the customer to take in.
  2. pwalters

    pwalters SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I went to Mortons steak house Saturday. I'm glad the waiter didn't tell me that I should have gone to Applebees to get a steak that was fine.
  3. Sister

    Sister MGF, Master Grumble Framer

  4. Sister

    Sister MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    tfg, no we do not break ours down. It just works better for us to give one price for the job.
  5. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    Great topic folks, but please remember that we ask folks not to post wholesale prices or markup factors on the open forum.

    We don't want someone finding that on a google search, and getting the wrong impression about the components that determine the overall price. (by looking at just one piece of the puzzle, which can have a lot of waste, such as mats or glazing)

    Thanks in advance
  6. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I "TRY" to never go by price with people. I absolutely HATE IT when they come in to my shop and say.... "I dont want to spend a lot on this"
    Same ole scenerio we all have.

    I agree with Ellen.... show them your best design...and that doesnt HAVE to be a freakin water guilded gold frame..... and go from there. Most of the time they go for it. Get them to go for the design....... take the $$$$$ part of it out of the equation.
  7. pwalters

    pwalters SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Thanks Mike. Always good to have a reminder on a sensitive topic like costs.
  8. Pangolin

    Pangolin SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This is long, but I tried to address every concern and question I saw since I last posted on this thread. I appreciate all the questions, input, and discussion!

    He lives a few blocks from my shop. My guess is that he checked around with ther local shops, got similar quotes, and ended up having to go out of town with a fake set of info or another smaller picture to get a quote in the price range he wanted just to have a printout to show me.

    If he shows up again, he'll just be a pain. I wouldn't put it past this guy to try this again. (But I'm not going to let him!)

    I can't buy the museum glass OR the frame for as cheap as you quote to frame it. I agree custom framing is expensive. But, I have to cover my overhead, and I've taken advice from Jay Goltz and a variety of other really good framing (and other) buussinessmen on pricing. My frame materials are priced just like Jay suggests in his classes, so I doubt I'm that far off a reasonable price.

    Because after showing him the samples, and discussing the pros and cons of each type of glass, the customer decided that's what he wanted. I even told him that personally I would go for UV Clear, but he WANTED museum.

    He didn't take it to a chain. I did see the "quote" which didn't have ANY information on it as to size, materials, nothing. Just the store name and address and a final price number. It was bogus. The customer told me that the other shop was going to give him the museum glass at cost ... what framer would do that? It was a lie. It was buyer's remorse, and the customer is jerk.

    Awesome Warren! I wish I could do that. I have neither enough capital to spend, nor enough business to cover that kind of buying. I never expect to. It's nice to know someone can do that. Not all of us can. Most of us aren't in a position to do that. Please be understanding of those of us with different business models and different resources.

    Also, much to your happiness I'm sure, I do not have a POS. (Which I've been lectured on several times to get one by other Grumblers who I respect a great deal. I just haven't been in the position to get it and set it up.)

    Oh, there was a signed order form and everything. I'm going to change the policies on the order forms this week. "No refunds or cancelled orders after 24 hours." That should at least help me if I have to recover costs on ordered materials. I can always decide to be nice after the fact!

    Because .... THAT is what the customer wanted. We went through a half hour of picking things out - frames, mats, glass ... every detail. He wanted a bigger frame (3" wide), he preferred wide mats, he much preferred the museum glass. Who am I to tell him I refuse to frame it the way he wants because it is a $10 poster? That isn't my decision. It's the customer's.

    I have had moms come in and frame their kids' art in gold-leaf frames. I've had customers with original Picassos want a metal frame and Conservation Clear glass. I've had original Peter Max's come in and all the customer wanted was new regular clear glass put in the frames ("Oh, and blow as much of the mold off of them as you can"). I've framed cement horse hoof prints in shadowboxes with museum glass. It's all about what the customer wants. And If they are happy to pay for it, I'm happy to offer it and do it the way they want.

    He wanted it. He apparently uses "acid-free" on everything he owns. Yes, I explained to him that once it was drymounted the acid-free issue was sort of moot. He wanted it. He wanted the piece drymounted because he wanted it to look flat. He wanted the museum glass because it made the piece look better and he didn't know exactly where he was going to hang it, so reflections might be an issue, UV might be an issue... etc. All back to "It's what the customer wanted."

    Thank You, Dave!!!!

    I don't go upscale on everything. This particular customer pushed his choices that way. He never once said it was too much. He was there picking things out for quite awhile. He had the total in his little ear before he handed me a credit card to swipe. He ddn't ask for time to think about it. If he wanted a couple days to think about it, that would have been fine. He didn't ask for that. He handed me a credit card, was super excited about how the piece would look. I don't push customers toward anything - I might lead them to a good design, but there's NO pressure in my shop.

    Wonderful! I'm offended by the cost of custom framing too. So, I'm wondering - Warren, Gilder, would you two do me a huge favor and pay my rent, buy my materials, and pay my bills at home? That way, I could practically give away framing for free, which would make my regular customers love me even more than they do now, and assuredly the word of mouth they would provide would keep new customers coming in so fast I'd have to hire help. :p

    (Yeah guys, I know that was snarky. If you were in my current position at work and home, you'd be a little snarky about those kinds of comments too. Try to cut those of us who charge more then you do a little slack. Most of us aren't in your positions, and don't have businesses like yours. I'd love to charge less, I can't. And if the customer picks the most expensive thing in the shop, why should I charge them only enough for the least expensive thing - that definitely would not be business or financially savvy.)

    No, I used to but not anymore. I found that people were very price-sensitive about the "parts behind the scenes" no matter how well I attempted to educate them. Any most of my customers don't care - they want the final price, and they are happy with that. They all know the final price before they hand me payment, and I'm happy to break it down for them verbally, but I don't give them printed info about prices on indivicual parts.
  9. Sister

    Sister MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Pangolin, I think you are my new best friend! Well put.......Cheers!
  10. JWB9999999

    JWB9999999 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I agree with the folks saying to sell the customer whatever they want. It's not for us to judge the worth of the items being framed. I sell $800 poster jobs, and I sell $50 poster jobs. I get mostly the later, but really love the former. It all pays the rent.

    $453 is what I would charge for the job using the stated materials. I didn't have a chance to respond to the original question before.

    I think most of us have heard how price (in general) is the fourth and least important of the criteria people use when selecting a frame shop. But for some customers it's number one, or important enough that they'll walk even if everything else is great. So how to combat the price issues we encounter without compromising on quality, design or service?

    One thing worth some thought is how Warren, Jeff, myself, and various others manage to keep their prices relatively lower via bulk purchases of materials. The low prices in turn drive up our volume of sales, which feeds back into buying more materials in bulk. Buying in bulk also drives down our costs, as we often get discounts much better than "normal", which allows us to sell at an even lower price. Over the last few years, I've seen Grumbler after Grumbler post how they couldn't ever buy in bulk. They don't have the capital. They don't have the customers. They don't have the space. But my thought is: maybe you don't have the customers because you don't buy in bulk and thus can't match the pricing of those that do buy in bulk.

    Just food for thought.
  11. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That's what I meant. You cannot do anything (with the CC company backing you) that you don't have in writing with the customers signature verifying "I agree with the above terms and conditions".
  12. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Sorry. I didn't mean to offend. I meant my point to be that the customer owes us the feedback before the complaint.
  13. Pangolin

    Pangolin SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    No offense taken. I'm just really sick of customers not being up front about things. You are right - if the customer has a problem with anything, they need to tell us BEFORE we run that credit card. Sadly, they don't because they've been taught that they are always right - which, at least in my experience isn't true. Sometimes the world (or a store) just needs to say "No" and stick to it.

    This customer was thrilled with his choices when he left my shop after paying me. Then he changed his mind. I've had customers wants refunds three months after the work was finished just because they changed their minds. One even wrote bad reviews of my shop everywhere she could because she was mad that I wouldn't give her a refund on a year old order that she hadn't picked up beause she broke up with the guy she was framing it for. Huh? How is that my problem?
  14. JWB9999999

    JWB9999999 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    People are strange. About 1-2 years ago, I had someone bring their framed art back to my store and ask for a refund of something we'd framed approximately 7 years before "because they were tired of it on the wall".

    Um.... no.

    But that reminds me to go ask Chrysler for a refund because I'm getting tired of my 11 year old car.
  15. Lance E

    Lance E Member

    Michele - we are also in NZ and sell MG frequently - it's an option, some will want it some will not. If you don't offer it but they know about it or see it later they could be offended and never return to let you know. Cost here is ridiculous, there are a variety of vendors but there is no major price contest at this point in time.
  16. Less

    Less SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    480 More or Less depending on the customer

    Less likes Warren - glad he is not a neighbor, although his business would likely be a little different in Connecticut. :0
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