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Pricing Mats in Lifesaver

Discussion in 'Software, Computers, CMC's Techie Stuff' started by bruce papier, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I think we're missing something. We are trying to set up mat prices in Lifesaver. It seems to be set up to use the formula cost of material X markup = price. We use more (material x markup) + labor= price where labor does not increase at the same rate as the amount of material used. For example- if we were cutting a 16 x 20 out of a $10 matboard with a 2.5x markup plus $5 labor we get $11.25 retail. To get that same price using the Lifesaver method (as I understand it) you need a 4.5x markup on the material. Now suppose you have a 32 x 40 mat using the full sheet. Our price would be $25 for the material + $7.50 for labor (because it doesn't take much more labor to cut the larger size)= $32.50. Using their formula, the price is $10 x 4.5 = $45.00. That's nearly 40% higher all because it doesn't take 4x the labor to cut the 32 x 40. The difference becomes more exaggerated as you use more expensive matboard.

    Where are we going wrong? How do you fix this?
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  2. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    Charge more. Hint.. your pricing is too low to begin with.

    I also think you are messing it all up trying to add a labor charge to cut the mat.
    DarthFramer likes this.
  3. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I think you kinda have to. Otherwise, your small mats are too cheap and your large mats are too expensive. I don't think anyone (and I could be wrong here) charges 16 times as much for a 32 x 40 as they do for an 8 x 10.
  4. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    There is no simple formula for pricing all of the variations for mat pricing in a computer. I use a united inch look up table that decreases as the number gets larger, with a bump up if a 40x60 is triggered. The multiplier is based on the mat type, alpha, rag, fabric, etc. (could be the wholesale if I wanted to bother with tracking). The under/over averages out OK for me.

    (The look up table is a slightly refined version of one published by LJ some tears ago in their price list.)
  5. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    My 8x10 would be around $15 and my 32x40 would be around $58.... alot more if the mat cost me more, like a suede would be double at least.
  6. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I agree with you Pat. Our problem is (as far as we can tell) Lifesaver has one table for markup on mats. All mats that cost between A and B per sheet are marked up by X, all between C and D are marked up by Y, etc. There is no roll off on the markup according to size.
  7. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Great question concerning pricing of mats.

    One problem with pricing smaller mats with some POS systems is that you can accidentally sell below your cost. Price out a 5x7 in your pos and see what happens.

    In the example that Pat gave $10 mat cost / $15.00 retail 8x10.....so your COM is 67%. But at least she is selling above her cost, but $5.00 gross profit probably does NOT cover the cost of ordering the mat, the cost of receiving the mat, the cost of matching the mat to the order, the cost of inspecting the mat before cutting, then the cost of cutting the mat, and then putting the unused part back into inventory.

    If all you sold were 8 x 10's and all were different colored mats, and you sold all for $5.00 gross profit, you would be hard pressed to make much money at the end of the day.

    So consider include some minimum size price , eg 13 x 16 or 16 x 20. Most POS systems have a method, but sometimes it is difficult to figure it out.

    The argument is that you make your money when you sell the offcuts [part of the mat you did not use]. Well, I certainly have some offcuts that I haven't reused for 10 years; after 10 years if I did, they would probably be damaged. So I want to make sure I make a better COM on smaller mats realizing I may never sell the offcut.

    Another option is to have a package price for smaller sizes, where you can afford to sell at or below costs because you are assured you will sell the offcuts.
  8. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Since my POS is an Excel spreadsheet/database custom program and I am a one man shop, I can bias any problem outcome by Xing a different mat type box. or entering a supplemental price in an available box. I know my mat wholesale and keep my mat pricing categories up to date. Glass has a similar conundrum on pricing, but offcuts are a smaller issue. (I have had no problem with my suppliers keeping my moulding price data relatively up to date.)
    Grey Owl likes this.
  9. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    My POS is an Access database program so I know exactly what you are saying. I get my supplier pricing converted to an Excel spreadsheet, then import / link to Access. Not a problem.

    For mats and glass, generally only one change a year, so it is easy to keep up with them!

    Unfortunately, when I have visited different shops, I have found they generally don't understand their POS pricing and I have found several instances where special order mats are priced below cost! POS systems are great, but the framer shop owner still needs to understand what they are doing.
    i-FRAMER likes this.
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