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Running on Empty

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Tim, your scenario is correct. There are a good number of customers who never flinch when I quote them a price with CC. Like Kathy, there are times when I make the decision unless I’m vetoed.

However we all replace glass on frames don’t we? I know to the penny what every shop here charges for most glass sizes. I am right in the middle of them all. While I agree that I should alter my selling tactics I disagree with the “pricing game” you described. This sounds too dangerous for me! If you ask me (yea nobody did) you are just playing into the perception that we are too expensive.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Originally posted by BobD:

Emibub don't worry I am with you and the majority of the popular voters of 2000. I didn't vote for GW then and won't vote for him now either! Oh yeah and I will vote this time around again! To paraphrase "steal my vote once, shame on you; steal my vote twice, shame on me!"
:eek: :eek: Bob, Big ups on youself man but wot is yous banging on about? What prompted this outburst? But if yous watched the convention last night.......Hope is on the way........
 

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
OK I was going to try to refrain from commenting after FramerDave brought it up, thought it might fade away.


I was refering to Bob Carter's comment

"Get some business professionals to validate most of the stuff you see here. You are more likely to see emibub vote for George W."

I had assumed that you voted for ABB in 2000 from what I read, but again I made an assumption and have been caught again! Gotta stop doing that.

BTW what I wrote wasn't in caps, I wasn't shouting... Just spouting out that the electoral college and the popular vote counts don't always elect the same president. But having said this, PLEASE let's not fan the fire here! 20 years from now when last elections facts are in the history books some of us will have egg on our faces and some of us will be celebrating a hollow victory.

Vote, vote your mind and make sure all voters can make it to the voting booths.

oh yeah. the original question I charge $10.25 for reg and $15.25 for CC in 16 by 20 and $41.25 reg $61.25 CC for 32 by 40. I find I am low for the small frame sizes but a little high fo rthe larger frames than Larson suggests, but low all around for what my market will bear.
 

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Originally posted by Mike-L@GTP:
Would a face on the egg do?

Can't we all just get along?
I like it! I might have to use that under my name after today is over! What is the shorthand to type it out. by that I mean I know that : s : gives
 

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
The original question didn't have anything to do with pricing, but that's okay.

I don't remember what the original question actually was. It may have been rhetorical. I didn't think it was divisive.
 

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Bob, no shorthand. It's not a UBB graemlin.

It's a moderator secret.

 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Originally posted by BobD:

I was refering to Bob Carter's comment

"Get some business professionals to validate most of the stuff you see here. You are more likely to see emibub vote for George W."
Lordy, how did I miss that? I'll add to my list of defects that I am not very observant either. Come on Bob, C not D, I like to think I am a woman of mystery, surely my bleeding heart liberal nature is only obvious to the very keenly astute..........I've always considered myself to be very subtle......

Bob D not C, who is ABB?
 

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
One of these Bobs has gotta go. Should we flip a coin or make 'em arm-wrestle?

Oh, never mind. BobD is now Bob Doyle (he must trust us now) and BobC has been Bob Carter since before I was born.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Yes, any monkey should be able to do it.....
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Hi BobD-No apology needed-your opinion is fine and that is what sharing is all about.

I have to apologize for my remark using emibub. It was as horrible an analogy as I could have used-completely thoughtless.

I can't imagine anything that has less of a place on a forum like this than politics.

I promise I don't think I will change anyone's mind and equally I'm quite confident that no one will change my mind. I am metaphysically certain, though, that if we continue to talk about will most assuredly irritate one another.

I say we keep it off the forum
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Bob, I took zero offense, I hope it was said in good humor............I realize I am as subtle as a heart attack.

I do agree it is pointless to discuss politics on this forum..................
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
I don't kwite understand why I feel the need to assert my liberal points of view here. I suppose it is because I am trying to get across to you neanderthals who insist on invoking your half baked narrowly focused right wing gobbldy gook on all of us who are right.........
 

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
No, it's ME who should be apologizing for running out of clear glass.

Fact is, I found a few extra cases stashed away in the back, so I can put off any decisions for another month or two.

Thanks for all the input.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
<font size=1>I sincerely hope everybody knows I am kidding, like I said, subtle as a heart attack....</font size>
 

DTWDSM

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Politics, Sex and Religion, all things that people should keep to themselves in a public forum like this, no matter what you say someone will disagree with you.

Now glass prices are a different thing, though it seems that people disagree with that subject as well.

Jay this is not directed at you only because I know there are others that agree with you in that what I suggested is a "pricing game".

Everyone has the right to thier opinion but hear me out, take a pricing class in Atlanta, take Bob's Retailing class in Atlanta and talk to any (high volume, above average, successful, respected, whatever description that you want to use) framer and ask them if they use the "pricing game"

I offer a fair price for an above average product and service. Some are higher than me and some are lower than me, (same as you Jay). Some do play "pricing games" and some do not. It is easy to use price as an excuse but let's face it study after study will tell you that price is not the number one factor for our customers. If you play "pricing games" then it will show to your customers and it will hurt your business, be fair and you will always win in the long run.

Now I know that nobody here is in the glass repair business, so who cares if you are a couple bucks higher or lower than your competition on a single piece of glass. Look at the overall picture (no pun intended), what are you in the business for? Replacing glass or making customers happy with the best quality home decor for a fair price.

What is a fair price? Stop thinking like the owner, it does not matter what you think is a fair price, what matters is what your customer perceives as a fair price. And once again this all depends on your marketing and sales skills.
 

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Originally posted by Ron Eggers:

Oh, never mind. BobD is now Bob Doyle (he must trust us now).
Always trusted the people here, just finally went and updated my profile. I figure after 100 posts I should make a commitment to the group!
 

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I know what you mean Bob. When I hit 10,000, I plan to tell everyone here my REAL name.
 

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Originally posted by Jerry Ervin:
What does politics have to do with the price of Ron's clear glass anyway?

In reference to this thread? Or in general


Re this thread, mainly a tangent that needs to stop!

In general politics affects the global market and that affects price here.

Did I mention this line of thinking, in this thread is tangental? So..... Jerry what are your glass prices like? Do you have any regular glass left? I just sold more NG reg glass today. 3rd piece in 2 years! I have NG-UV priced higher than Museum, solely because I don't want to buy another case of it ever again!
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Tim is right on target. The object isn't to be the lowest, it isn't to be the highest. It is about getting the absolute most from a product.

And that means the most sales, the most profit, the most turnover. That doesn't mean pick any two, it means all three.

Once you develop the skills and tools to be able to determine that mystical, magical Holy Grail, Do it again.

Why? Because something has changed. Something in your market, something in your costs.

It requires constant monitoring and validating.

Nobody ever said it was easy and we have to acknowledge that it requires work. Simplistic answers and formulas are so misleading and cannot generate the best results.

This thread started as a self-affirmation on a decision to not carry a product that generates around 70% of the market share of glass.

That alone should have raised many flags on how we do business.

We tend to not look at the numbers, especially whenthey don't fit our philosophical decisions.

Pricing is probably way down on our list of problems. Related and co-dependent, but hardly a root cause
 

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
This thread started as a self-affirmation on a decision to not carry a product that generates around 70% of the market share of glass.
Oh, man, that was THIS thread?

I'm skeptical of that number. How come regular glass represented less than 10% of my glass sales when I offered both? But let's say it's accurate.

The way I approach the decision is to try and imagine what will happen if I no longer carry this product. Are more customers going to walk out? Am I going to lose sales? Am I going to price myself out of the market?

I didn't lose sales when I dumped the pulp mats. If I'm bidding on a low-end volume job, I can order whatever I need on the next truck.

Realistically, I'll carry a case or two of regular glass and UV glass in all the sizes. I'll also keep a case or two of Museum glass.

Customers suffering from sticker shock are usually most concerned about the price of the frame itself. Sometimes they'll say, "Do you have any plastic frames?" Even if they ask about the price difference between reg and CC glass (and I'll tell them - It's no big secret) I can't remember ANYONE opting for the regular.

Most of the regular glass I've used lately was to replace broken glass. At least one piece was going into a garage window.
 

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
That's exactly right, Jerry, but I need to point out that the 'A' and 'B' framer comment was theirs, not mine. I kinda enjoyed repeating it, though.

I don't think my CC glass and premium mats make me a better framer and, by most standards of measurement, they are probably much more successful than I am.

I've just got this little niche here and, mostly, it works for me.
 

stud d

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
so this was about glass...well today in about an hour time we sold, one piece of museum glass about 24x30, a piece of den plexi about 36x48, and about six pieces of museum glass around 16x20. it was the customers that made the choice, dont you love when they overhear what each other is doing and need to do it also? sold by three different people all at the same time. we did not know what each other was selling, but we were all pretty happy that the customers talked to each other as to how they were glazing their pieces. it was nice

d
 

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Ironically, the first two fits I did today (okay, they might have been the ONLY two fits I did today) had regular glass.

I'll take that as a sign that I should stop preaching about glass on The Grumble.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Ironically Jerry, the "Big" BB Michael's and Aaron Brothers don't carry regular glass. I've had several people come to me for glass replacement because they can't get regular at those stores. Just had one the other day. They were quoted $90 to replace a 36x48 and I was able to do it for $60 including fit. It was a poster they did not want UV glass and Michael's was not able to offer them a choice. Glass replacements are probably my least favorite thing to take in but I'll gladly do it.

I'm not willing to limit my customers choice. I'm not crazy about Less's term "Throw Away Art", but I'm not kidding myself into thinking I have to frame everything to the nth degree......I suppose it would be different if everything I took in was fine art and irreplaceable.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Ironically, Ron and I started our posts with the same word.......it gets spookier and spookier.....
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
My favorite story on selection deals with the most mundane of all purchases-an oil change.

I drive luxury cars-well known high end cars. I have always had a passion for fast cars and classy women (or is it the other way around).My wife is proof enough.

The problem is that there are certain expectations when they see my cars-that this guy will always buy top of the line services. So, when I pull into get my car serviced, they roll out the most expensive sales pitch.

Hence, the oil change

I always get the pitch that I should only use the synthetic oil. You know, protect the investment, etc.

And they are right. It is a superior product, it will absolutely extend the life of the vehicle, they even make the claim that it provides better mileage yada yada yada.

Except the oil change is now about $100

Now, I appreciate that they have choices and I don't take any exception to the fact that they are trying to upsell me.

But, what do you think the chances are that I would go back, or even get it done there, if that is all they offered?

I'll take that 10w-30 everytime at around $24.99.

They even offer a lesser grade, but they let me make the decision based on my needs and my budget.

And the choice is mine

They give me the options, tell me the benefits and I decide.

I can't argue what they are selling me isn't legit or that their claims aren't truthful. I just want to make that decision

When we take away the decision making ability from our customers, do you really think they appreciate it?

Would you appreciate paying $100 for your next oil change?

Rest assured that there are those that do get the $100 job and wouldn't have any less. And, I'll bet that it probably doesn't have that much to do with the sticker price of the car.

But, the wise oil changer offers all of the above-sells up when he can, offers what he should and sells as much as he can to the widest possible clientele.

How come it doesn't apply to glass?
 

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
How come it doesn't apply to glass?
Bob, I think it might be because, on a "typical" $250 framing order, we might be talking about $15-20 difference in the glass. If people were coming in to just buy a piece of glass, I'll bet there'd be more price-resistance.

Anyway, I think I've said about four times on this thread that I'll almost certainly keep a case-or-two of regular glass on hand. I just don't expect to use it much.

I'm the guy with 2,000 mat samples and 5,000 frame samples. I'm ALL about choices. But the customer who spends 30 minutes agonizing about mounting options just doesn't seem to worry about regular vs CC glass. Maybe I'm just a **** of a salesman, ya think?

I like your oil-change story, though. My favorite is still the iced tea story.
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Ron, this is my final say on this matter. I think you should keep a case-or-two on hand.

I'm glad we could clear that up!
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I need to add a quick thought to my "world class" wisdom.

This really is a great lesson in salesmanship.

The "better" drive attendant should attempt to sell me the "upgrade" product and he should do it by selling the benefits. That is his job and he does it well, I take no offense.

But, too often, we see the pushy, not very polished approach that instantly turns most of us off. It really is about good salesmanship

The worst offense is for the "other" type that nevers offers the upgrade. He thinks (perceives) that I don't want it or won't pay for it.

We make the same mistake everyday when we think we "know" what our consumers want. We simply cannot think we are the best craftspeople, the best designers, the most tasteful artists, the best marketers, the best salespeople (man, how long can I make this list?)

So, what should we do? Offer the best, then move done. The easiest way to sell up is to sell down.

But, what about the client that drives in and says all he wants is the basic oil change with 30w?

Isn't an affirmative action to list a quick benefit of the next up option for "only a few dollars" more?

If I say no, the basic is fine, shouldn't I as a consumer expect to get what I want? Isn't this exactly where "pushy" comes into play?

But, how about the "few dollars more"? Should you upgrade to a product with a lower margin? Even if it generates a few more Gross Profit dollars?

Isn't that exactly the same as discounting? Am I not offering a product for a lower than "fixed" mark up rate with the hope of selling more?

Or, is that good salesmanship with the opportunity to make more sales?

All the above can be dissected and debated with apparently conflicting points of view

But all can be accomplished with a little professional salesmanship in a carefully crafted marketing plan

Who thought a dad-gummed oil change could have all these implications
 

Sherry Lee

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I just read this fascinating thread. It is as varied as prices charged for glass! How can that be???...the varied prices for glass, not the varied thread (I've got that one figured out!)


It would seem to me that one would take the cost of one lite (let's use 32x40 in this scenerio), work up the labor factor for cutting (which is the same no matter the size), factor in storing/breakage/shipping/what-market-will-bear and PROFIT. Then, take this total cost of a 32x40 and divide it by 72 which gives you cost/U.I. ("Z") THEN come up with your costs for given sizes. i.e. 18 x Z = the customer's price for an 8x10 piece of reg. glass.

How can there be so many variables?
 

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Might be time for you to pay another visit to Bob, Sherry.

What he's been trying to tell us (and I think he might be turning blue from it) is that price isn't just based on cost. It's based on what the market will pay, and no two markets are the same.
 

AWG

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Bob:

That's why we'll see you in Atlanta :cool:
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Yup, I'm signed up. I'll be the one with the confused look on his face!
 

Sherry Lee

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
There's NO doubt Bob would teach me a lot.

Ron, do note that I added "what-the-market-will-bear"! But even with that, I'm amazed at the price differentials. They are EXTREMELY different. Moreso than what I seem to see reflected with matboards, mouldings, etc. Just an observation......why glass?
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Thanks for the attendance, guys. I hope we can make it fun (now, if I can just figure a way to get a percentage....)

Sherry-it's not glass only. If you do any
research, you find the swing is wide and crazy. And that is not a bad thing, necessarily.

Let's look at you and I. Same market, radically different approaches, extreme polar opposites in overhead an expenses.

Does that mean my prices should be extremely higher than yours just because my overhead and salaries are?

Or does that mean your prices should be extremely lower than mine for the same reasons?

You mentioned enough variables in your equation to choke a horse. I often talk about how complex and dynamic pricing is.

This might be a case where I will suggest NOT THAT COMPLEX.

I really think mostframers undervalue their pricing to the detriment of further volume, but if they don't understand their market they truly don't know the parameters. Then, we price so high to limit our growth or we price so low that we limit our profitability.

The market price is always somewhere in the middle; the wisest merchant attempts to get as close to the high end without hitting that brick wall called consumer resistance.

Your needs, your market, your costs all figure into that magical Holy Grail called the correct price.

There isn't a single formula that will find that answer.

There is a reason why some just seem to always make the right decisions and some never seem to get it right. You have to know all the above variables, you have to test the variables and you have to validate the variables.

3x's this of 4x's that is sure a lot easier, but it just isn't the way the smart guys do it
 

Jerry Ervin

PFG, Picture Framing God
Originally posted by Bob Carter:

The market price is always somewhere in the middle; the wisest merchant attempts to get as close to the high end without hitting that brick wall called consumer resistance.

Now we are talking! How do we know when we have hit that wall? I judge mine based on the number of estimates written that never return. Although there could be a number of reasons, I believe that price is way up there among them. Just a quick check shows my percentage of "no close" sales orders. If the percentage gets too high, I start pushing cheaper moulding. If the percentage is too low, I start pushing more expensive moulding for a constant balancing act.
 

Sherry Lee

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I'm certain that the "bottom line" is the answer to anyone's test to the 'variables'. Regardless of the type of test used (assessing "no close sales orders", lack of sales in one glass or another, etc., etc.) the important matter here is that the store owner is examining these numbers....and bravo to those that are!!

I'm certain through all of our working years we can come up with a boss or two that had facts right in front of their noses and did nothing with the data - doesn't matter if it's retail, production, health care industry - any business!

Sure wish I could make it to Atlanta this year - would love to go to Bob's class, among the other great things Atlanta has to offer, but we'll make up for it!
 

negavert

True Grumbler
I got in on this thread too late, but it seems that at the beginning, before it transformed into a class about pricing structures, this was a thread about the continual flux and change about the kinds of materials offered in the framing industry. More specifically, about how the materials used in framing are getting better in quality and how better quality becomes a standard. We stopped carrying paper mats not because we wish to reduce customer's choices, but rather to focus our attention on providing materials that can best preserve the artwork and balance that need with the customer's desire for a good price. If you're concerned about choice and offer customers regular glass as a default so that they have that choice, I see no difference in that and offering customers cardboard for backing and using masking tape to seal. In the face of ever-improving materials, it makes sense to phase out the lesser quality materials, otherwise you'll find yourself constantly at the low end of the totem pole as far as what customers expect out of your shop. I'm up to the point now where I'm thinking of not restocking regular foamboard, instead carrying acid-free exclusively (aside from heat-activated foamboard for poster mounting). Let's face it, it's getting more and more expensive to stay in business, what with rising rent, utilities, insurance, etc. and the $75 job with regular glass and foamboard is simply not enough to pay the bills anymore. There probably was a time when a business can be run with $40 frames, but not anymore. Unless you increase the quality of your materials to raise the average ticket price, you're not going to keep up with the cost of business.
 
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