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"The Art of Choosing"

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Framar, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I just watched a fascinating interview with author Sheena Iyengar. One tidbit from this: Baskin Robbins became a famous ice cream store for offering 31 flavors. No one would ever patronize an ice cream shop that only offered three flavors. Yet 50% of Americans still choose only vanilla, cherry or chocolate when they buy ice cream

    What does this say for us in frame shops? I sell the same frames over and over and yet I have thousands of samples in my shop and, of course, every job going out the door is completely different.

    Here is the author's website and also has a TED talk and but if you search on her name there are many other links from which to choose.


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  2. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    I offer about 180 mouldings on my site, but 55% of all my sales are from three mouldings.


    And they are the same moulding, just different widths.

    #1. 26% 1 3/16" Flat Black Matte
    #2. 16% 1 1/2" Flat Black Matte
    #3. 13% 3/4" Flat Black Matte

    I have to dip down to #7 to find one that isn't black. And out of the top 25, only 8 aren't black.
  3. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Another example of her research indicates that we should be careful not to overwhelm the customer with choice. Limiting corner samples to the six-or-so that we think would work best will result in less confusion on the part of the customer.

    And make clean-up easier after the customer leaves.
  4. jim_p

    jim_p SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm sure this gentleman agrees with you :)

  5. Bandsaw

    Bandsaw MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    When the final choice is being made there must be at least 2 designs to choose from.

    Then ask the customer if they want this one or that one.

    Never get to a place where the choice is to buy this design or don't buy at all.
  6. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    This is an extension of the old 80/20 rule, in which 80% of your sales come from 20% of your offerings. Definitely a help in deciding what to stick vs. special orders.
    :cool: Rick
  7. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I thought some of her examples were contrived and the whole thing was a bit too critical of Americans.
  8. EMcBride

    EMcBride SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Tucson is an odd market. We have a Mexican influence with a lot of bright colors and rough woods. I sell a lot of barnwood looking framing. Roma's tabacchino line sells a lot. Then we get the northern and northeastern people that seem to go for the darker mats and gold or oak (gag) frames. A fair amount of black frames, but not one specific size. And if my customer is a young man, black metal nearly everytime.

    I'm not quiet when I think a customer is going in the wrong direction with their choices. Although I do have one customer, love her dearly, but when she leaves, I turn around and have empty sample walls. She likes her frames more then the art :)
  9. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    When I'm designing at the customers home or work-site, I generally start with 2 frame sample boxes. In most cases their selections will come from these.

    The first box [5 to 10 frame samples] are those I think will probably be appropriate, based on our earlier conversations. {also include gold for old; black for young; some based on what kind of art, etc.}

    The second box [10 to 15] is a "broad sample" of the kinds of frames I carry (eg, gold, silver, narrow, burl, smooth, etc.).

    I start with the second box to let them know I carry lots of options, and also get an idea of what they like. I then show them the first box which almost always has what they want; The few times it does not, I know which to bring on my next trip; even then, they generally go back to one out of the first box.
  10. couture's gallery

    couture's gallery PFG, Picture Framing God

    I think it's regional. We rarely sell a black frame. We are in rural citrus and cattle area and our best sellers are barnwoods and rustics with a lot naturals in browns and greens. Only balck frames seem to be corporate type jobs like hospitals and government stuff.

    We also sell a lot of blue and orange ( Florida Gators) and gold and crimson ( Seminoles ).

    We have over 2800 mouldings on the wall but concentrate the most popular 200 on two 8 sided spinners where we seem to do about 75% of our selections.
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