Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by DanPat, Oct 1, 2012.
This is how we do business.
Buy low, sell medium high.
With international, crescent select mats,af foam core, conservation clear I'm at $125.00 with af blue dust cover. I have the advantage of a owned and paid for location and equipment that allows me to complete the project in about 20 minutes.l
I don't know where this "race the the bottom" notion came from but it's very misleading. What we've tried to do for the last 34 years is to to lower the price of our product to reach a larger customer base. I'm proud that we've been able to make custom framing accessible to more and more people. I think our industry is heading in the wrong direction making framing more and more expensive when we should be working to lower it's cost.
It's entirely possible to offer value framing and make a very, very good living; indeed, I think value framing is more likely to do that than the current direction toward expensive framing. Jeff and I aren't engaged in a "race to the bottom" but, rather, in a race to offer our customers the best deal we can and at the same time, or perhaps as a consequence, to make a good living from our businesses, and in my case and I imagine in Jeff's, we've done just that.
Well, keep on going, guys.
You've got it down to $125 now.
Whether a business or equipment is paid for should not be a factor.
Charge whatever you want. Your prices are 1/2 to 1/3rd of what the rest of the country and industry is charging.
(with the given moulding, not "equivalents")
I'm sure that there is someone down there that can frame it for $50 in 10 minutes.
Keep in mind, I don't care what you charge. You only hurt each other.
I don't think the few framers represented here on this thread or on the Grumble are an indication of what the rest of the country and industry are charging.
My prices fall in line with Jeff and Warren's. My profit margin is higher not because of my low prices but because of my lower overhead.
i would be interested in the demographics of different areas. population, no of framing outlets etc.
I know in my town, while most of us are busy we could not lower the prices to half, and put on more staff, as i don't believe there would be enough demand.
our population 100K, i think last count 9-10 framers - 8 of us all around the same give or take 10% the other 2 - 50 to 100% higher. no one is cheap (sorry inexpensive) here.
I know in our cities, as i visit framers, some of them are half our price, but so far i have only come across 1or 2 i would class in the very low price. But i would also class their work as very budget, and customers are receiving what they are paying for, certainly no conservation framing.
I think to support those prices you definitely need the volume or you would not survive either.
hence the reason why most online shops are inexpensive, as they reach a much broader population.
I don't think its worth bashing each other about high or low prices, it should just show how different demographics and models work. Not one is more superior then the other, as any business is still susceptible to demand.
I have always been mystified by the price checks on the grumble. I don't think price comparisons from across the country are a valid method to justify pricing.
While my pricing might be low compared to some, I price by cost. After 25 years managing food and beverage operations I am very aware of the margins I must run. I don't use a preprogramed pos system to determine retail.
If money is left on the table, so be it. Horry county has one of the lowest pay scales in the country and pricing that works elsewhere would result in fainting at the design table here.
I also run a lower margin on conservation mats because I am surrounded by shops that push paper mats. I decided long ago to use conservation matting because I care about the appearance of the work two years down the road. I hope this sets me apart.
My frame shop started in 1992. Although I would always like more business, I am quite content with the volume I maintain and love to come to work everyday.
Rather than price check the grumble, I would suggest that pricing is a local concern, best solved by shopping your local competition.
My best to my fellow grumbles,
When I say that I don't care what you charge, I really don't.
I DO care about my fellow framers and I'm not trying to argue.
I want everyone to do well and not have to kill themselves doing it.
I've been framing for 43 years and hopefully I have something to offer.
I have heard before that your area in SC has the lowest average income in the country.
Maybe this is something that needs to be addressed. As long as this is accepted, it will continue or possibly go lower.
This is a very diverse country. Why does your area have such low average income?
Maybe the people representing you in your state need to be changed. As long as you support them, the status quo will continue.
If they are driving down average income to bring in corporations, what is the upside?
The corporation gets a tax break. What do you get out of it?
More jobs at a lower rate with zero benefits may not be such a good thing.
When the average, middle class guy makes a little more, he/she spends a little more.
They spend a little more and you make a little more.
You make a little more, you hire another worker to help with the extra sales.
Then the new worker makes a little more and spends a little more.
It comes from the bottom up, not from the top down.
I think it's easy to become automatic when defending a way we do biz.
I think it is healthy to look introspectively at the biz, too
I sorta think the 'I don't care what you charge' philosophy might be a little hollow. if one really didn't care, i suspect one wouldn't care to respond.
Pricing is fluid, dynamic and critical
If you wish to make as much as possible, there is a track
If you wish to make a higher calling philosophical statement, there is a track.
rarely do those tracks intersect.
Imagine you want to go into the car biz
first, you pick a brand
The guy that picks Aston-Martin has a reason
So does the dealer that sells Altimas
big difference is A-M dealer is convinced his client knows/understands his brand and will gladly pay his sticker price, all the while wondering why more people 'don't get it'
Altima guy accepts it's no A-M but sells a ton o' cars and knows his client understands there are 5 other Altima dealers in town and knows he better be great on price, first, but very good on service, selection and availability, too
He wonders why other dealers 'don't get it' as he drives home in his Aston Martin
Those of us that have been able to 'peek' behind the curtain at Warren's philosophy understand that distinction.
Race to the Bottom?
I've had the pleasure to know well most of the truly great players in this trade. Warren may not be in a class by himself, but it won't take long to call roll.
$290.05 in Nawlins.
I know that pricing the same frame in Carmel California and Marshalltown Iowa is going to show very different results.
I'm not sure if I'm using the right values (mat size vs image size) to end up with a 20 x 24 piece but it seems like we are a bit higher than most on the Grumble. I have customers bring in pieces that they priced at my local competitors and we are always well below them. Even the large chains with the 50% off discounts. I use an adjusted keystone formula except glazing. I'm still unsure why lifesaver seems to reset my markup every time I do an update even though it doesn't update any of the glazing costs. Regards CFI
When changing prices for mats, mouldings, and fabrics - change the markup multiplier factor. Then when the new cost comes in, with your next update, it will use the same calculation rule to set the retail price. (taking any increases into consideration) ...or you can lock them individually if you'd rather adjust the retail price yourself and ignore the increases.
Markup multipliers can be set globally by vendor, globally by wholesale price ranges within a specific vendor, or individually by item #.
Glazing prices do NOT automatically update in any POS, nor do labor or specials. These are things that require manual periodic review and adjustment.
There is a thread in the computer forum with tips, that shows where all the prices live.
Separate names with a comma.