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Tru-Vue Survey

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
No Miller, I won't sell it and I won't recommend it. Because when I have to charge $200, and my customer discovers that Michaels' version is better, and about 1/3 the price, my customer is not coming back and will probably bad mouth me.
Gosh, Paul, when I shopped our local Michaels store, their usual half-off price for framing with Masterpiece Glass was within about 15% of my retail price. They're not giving it away. 1/3 the price? Not a chance. My selling price is usually similar to their 50% Off price with comparable features, including optically coated, UV filtering glass.

Where did you get the idea that Masterpiece Glass is better than Musem Glass? In the very best situation, it could be the same product. But since it comes off the same coating machine, how could it be better?

Your emotional response to this issue could only be destructive to your business. You are denying your customers a perfectly viable product -- one they often want to buy -- and denying yourself a larger profit on a larger sale. This seems irrational to me.

What brand of glass do you sell, by the way?
 

pwalters

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Paul, which do you believe - do you believe TV when they tell you it's "not as good," or do you believe TV when they tell Michaels' customers, "It's the best you can get and you can't get it anywhere else"?
This is the part where I agree that TV has created a bit of a monster. I would bet that they thought that it would be adequate to allow for the names to show as if they are different product. Masterpiece versus Museum. Much like the debate of buying an Acura vs a Honda or a Bayliner vs a Sea-Ray. Both can make claims about their superiority when in truth they are essentially the same (other than perhaps cosmetically in many cases). Why is it that some folks will still buy an Acura for much more than they might be able to get the same Honda? Perhaps because they believe that while Honda has won awards and has a great brand reputation, etc to back up their value that the Acura is really a better car for all of the Honda claims.

Some, won't see that value difference. I get that. But again, I can't differentiate between this and a moulding vendor I deal with selling the same product for less to M's and me losing a quote. I wonder why there is no anger about this issue? I don't see much difference in the arguments or that anyone in this thread has expressed their thoughts.
 

Terry Scidmore CPF

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Masterpiece VS Museum Glass

I thought this post pretty much settled whether Masterpiece Glass was manufactured to lower standards than Museum Glass. Val posted this several years ago.

If Michaels is buying a lesser quality product, why are they telling their employees the composition and physical characteristics are identical to Museum Glass?


Museum-vs-Masterpiece....M's Version
This was sent out to all Michael's framing departments last week, in their weekly FRAMING TIPS newsletter, and shared with me....seems to dump the theory that Masterpiece is Museum "seconds", doesn't it? So....who's really telling the truth? TruVue or Michael's?

"Masterpiece Vs. Museum Glass: What's the Difference???
If you have been in the framing industry for a while, you have seen or heard of Museum Glass. Museum Glass is made by Tru Vue to be a top of the line glazing option available for custom framing.

Masterpiece glass is privately labeled Museum glass. It's composition and physical characteristics are identical. Masterpiece glass is manufactured exclusively for Michaels by Tru Vue. This means that it is only available for purchase at a Michaels frame shop.

What is different about these two types of glass? The cost for your frame shop to order the glass is significantly different. Masterpiece glass, orderable only through your Michaels distribution center, is priced at a discount to our stores. It is manufactured just for us, sent directly to us, therefore it is significantly less expensive.

Museum Glass is sold to frame shops all over the US and Canada. After it is manufactured it goes to our distributor, Larson Juhl, who then sells it to Michaels. It is delivered on their trucks to our stores on an emergency basis only. For this convenience, your frame shop pays significantly more for Museum glass.

Next time you place your weekly distribution center order, be sure that you order enough Masterpiece Glass to get through two weeks worth of production."
 

pwalters

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
So if Masterpiece were available, would independent stores use it without complaining about cutting around flaws? Or would they happily cut around them because the price is right?
I can say that if I paid $200 for a box of Museum that was supposed to contain 4 lites and I had to cut around and throw away 25% of it, I'd start a thread on the G about how crummy that was.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
So if Masterpiece were available, would independent stores use it without complaining about cutting around flaws? Or would they happily cut around them because the price is right?
According to Tru-Vue, "Conservation Masterpiece™ glass from Tru Vue® is the clearest, best framing glass available"

Therefore, it can't really have more flaws than what we are getting. See Terry's post also to confirm.
As for complaining, all one has to do is look at the name of this forum to know that complaining is never going away.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
...Your emotional response to this issue could only be destructive to your business. You are denying your customers a perfectly viable product -- one they often want to buy -- and denying yourself a larger profit on a larger sale. This seems irrational to me.
Your attempt at being coy and clever is both weak and transparent. My school is doing just fine, because unlike you, my opinions and endorsements aren't based on who's stuffing a few bucks in my pocket.

Am I passionate about my views? Yes, sometimes, and for that I make no apology. However, I also make it a practice to support those views with logic and facts.
 

John Ranes II CPF GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
In review...

Paul Cascio said:
According to Tru-Vue, "Conservation Masterpiece™ glass from Tru Vue® is the clearest, best framing glass available"

Therefore, it can't really have more flaws than what we are getting...
Paul,

YES - It really can have more flaws. I was also one of the educators, along with Jim Miller, Rob Markoff, Ken Baur, Meg Glasgow and David Lantrip who were invited to tour the AR facility in Minnesota, last week (more on that later).

One of the things we learned and saw were the defects being highlighted and rejected in the very sophisticated, complex and expensive process used to create this premium glass.

I firmly believe that Michaels is bringing their "unique" product to market at a substantially lower price due to three main reasons...
  • It costs less to produce due to the flaw rate hence they buy it better
  • Their volume allows them to negotiate a better price than just about anbody, save another National Craft Chain or National framing distributor
  • Their own internal pricing structure has them keeping the price lower than "normal". Someone at Michaels obviously feels that this has great marketing value to them, IMHO, where they will gain more than they loose in customer loyalty.

The points above have all been made by others, just a little differently...but collectively it's the way things are...

KenKBConsulting said:
...I just completed a tour of the facility that applies the coatings for the premium glass on Tru-Vue products. Until you see the incredible detail and the scope of creating this product you think it IS priced high.
After viewing what it takes to make it a consistently high quality component, I left with a new appreciation and the belief that it is worth every nickel...
Indeed - the Robotics, the custom built chambers for applying the multiple layers, the engineering and technology, the automated washers at both ends and the inspectors - far exceeds anything invested by a manufacturer in our "small" industry.

John
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
John, what did you see happen to a piece of glass when it was rejected?

For argument's sake, let's accept that. So, sell it to us too. And stop telling the public it's the best and only available at Michaels.
 

FramerDave

PFG, Picture Framing God
If the glass identified as having flaws were tossed into a dumpster rather than being sold as Masterpiece, the price we all pay for Museum Glass would be higher. So in a perverse way the big boxes are subsidizing Museum Glass.

So would we all be willing to pay higher prices for Museum Glass to spite the Big Boxes? As it is a lot of framers still complain that it's too expensive.
 

John Ranes II CPF GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Paul Cascio said:
John, what did you see happen to a piece of glass when it was rejected?
It would either be trashed (Recycled outside of our industry) or downsized into smaller stock sizes. This happens more with Museum Glass, hence more labor and more waste.

...Also, why is TV telling the public something that contradicts that? And why can't we buy it too?
It still is the "finest"...probably about the difference between buying a brand new Mercedes custom ordered Versus buying the "Demo" model off the showroom floor, that a few dozen people drove. Indeed you are going to certainly pay less for the Demo...and they are NOT the same, but is it still the "finest"?

As an independent retailer, I don't like it either, but if I really wanted to buy it, I'll bet I could if I opened a couple hundred Craft Stores and signed a contract for a similar volume of glass. :D

John
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
It would either be trashed (Recycled outside of our industry) or downsized into smaller stock sizes. This happens more with Museum Glass, hence more labor and more waste.

John
Exactly as I thought.
 

Grey Owl

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Paul,

...
I firmly believe that Michaels is bringing their "unique" product to market at a substantially lower price due to three main reasons...
  • It costs less to produce due to the flaw rate hence they buy it better
  • Their volume allows them to negotiate a better price than just about anbody, save another National Craft Chain or National framing distributor
  • Their own internal pricing structure has them keeping the price lower than "normal". Someone at Michaels obviously feels that this has great marketing value to them, IMHO, where they will gain more than they loose in customer loyalty.
......
There is another reason Michaels prices are better. The cost for selling to Michaels is less than selling through distributors. Private label brands have less marketing, sales and advertising costs, because these costs are picked up by the private label company. With fewer costs, they can sell for less.

This is true of all private label brands. For example with milk, the private label brands come from the same production line as the premium milk, the same cows as the premium milk and the quality is the same. It is just that the premium milk costs $2.00 per gallon more.
 

pwalters

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
So, assuming that Paul has more information than I do when he says "because unlike you, my opinions and endorsements aren't based on who's stuffing a few bucks in my pocket.", am I to assume that I might be the only one who isn't getting money stuffed in my pocket (notice I am not making that g-string joke here that I wanted to - amazing restraint on my part), that understand TV's perspective? Oh and how do I get some of that alleged money?

Not that this is happening, but if it is then to be fair, perhaps if a company is paying you for your opinion, then that should be disclosed along with those opinions. Still express your opinion, but perhaps be up front about the relationship so that everyone knows the face value of the situation.

Additionally, and I could be wrong here, but from these comments I'm guessing that Paul doesn't actually run/work at a shop. Just the school. I have to admit, that does kind of ding the argument of not selling certain type of glass for me. I can't get rid of Museum because of an issue like this even if I am standing on some moral ground. Being in the business to sell picture framing to customers and not sell picture framing education to picture framers (or prospective picture framers) does create a slightly different perspective on things perhaps.

Not trying to throw stones in any one direction, but I have to admit that I was sitting here under the impression that all of us on this thread were in the trenches trying to sell this product against M's and that these were all impartial opinions. Foolish me I suppose.

I guess because I know I get better pricing than many of my competitors because of my volume (I love when a vendor accidentally sends me a statement for someone else!) I fall on the side of not having an issue with a vendor that sells to a bigger player at better prices. Even if they allow them to "re-brand" it. But I need TV glass to run my business since they are the best option out there in my market. If there were still an alternative that were viable, I would look at it.
 

Grey Owl

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
As far as cutting down 8x10 & 11x14.

Even on CC, which is our default unless I had a large job calling for those sizes I would not be ordering it by the case. (I do stock every size up from 16x20) Most of the time their are plenty of offalls to get your 8x10 pieces. For 11x14 I simply cut an 22x28 into four 11x14 as needed. Now if it were MG you would have to wrap each piece, but I would rather do that than stock expensive boxes in those smaller sizes.
I'm a smaller shop and I do a lot of smaller sizes and would also like 11 x 14, 12 x 16 or 14 x 18 sizes. [8 x 10 is a wasted size, easily cut and even Tru-Vue no longer carries this in CC.] Small sizes of MG are a pain to wrap and handle. I stock 7 sizes of CC [and not 16 x 20 based on my sales] and only 2 of MG.

I estimate my offcuts at approximately 33% [of the square footage] so that increases my cost by 50% which is a lot on MG. For example, for discussion sake only, say I'm buying 3 sheets of glass for $60.00, or $20.00 a sheet. If I have offcuts of 33%, I'm effectively loosing 1 sheet out of 3, so my real cost is $30.00 per sheet, or 50% higher.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Not that this is happening, but if it is then to be fair, perhaps if a company is paying you for your opinion, then that should be disclosed along with those opinions. Still express your opinion, but perhaps be up front about the relationship so that everyone knows the face value of the situation.
Jim does some paid gigs for TV. In the past we had all Grumblers that had financial relationships with suppliers listing that in their tag lines. That vanished a little over a year ago.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Paul, if you do a search of my posts, along with the word, "disclosure" you'll find that I have had to fight a long running battle with Jim Miller, and in fariness to him, others including John Ranes, who offer advice and ringing endorsements about products, shows, etc., without disclosing their paid affiliations.

This is wrong, and I will continue to callout those who attempt to shamelessly circumvent (directly or indirectly) their obligation to disclose. My concern is mostly for newbies here, who are unaware of these relationships and may unkowingly make decisions based on tainted advice.

It is highly unethical in every industry and in politics to not disclose these relationships. In reality, it also casts in a negative light on the companies they are schilling for.

As for no longer operating a retail business, that does not preclude my concern for the small, and especially independent, retailers in this industry. I've owned/operated three retail store, started with a very success home-based business, and penned a popular business column in one of our trade magazines for 10 years.

I'm out of retail only because of the success of the school and the travel demands it requires. At heart, I am and always will be a retailer and an entrepreneur.

I believe my track record in speaking out in favor of the interests of our small businesses, and against those businesses whose actions and policies are unfairly detrimental to the little guys, many of whom are now formers students of my school, is well established.

I don't have all the answers, and sometimes my opinions are outside the mainstream. I understand that and have no problem with someone disagreeing with me as long as it's not with underhanded cheap shots.
 

Paul N

In Corner
YES - It really can have more flaws. I was also one of the educators, along with Jim Miller, Rob Markoff, Ken Baur, Meg Glasgow and David Lantrip who were invited to tour the AR facility in Minnesota, last week (more on that later).
Hmmm, for some strange reason I thought I was reading non-biased opinions here (aside from Jim Miller's whose financial arrangements with TV are well known). Now it turns out (almost) all pro TV opinions were invitees...

I firmly believe that Michaels is bringing their "unique" product to market at a substantially lower price due to three main reasons...
  • It costs less to produce due to the flaw rate hence they buy it better
A few posts ago in same thread I thought I read it is the same process, but Michael's gets the "rejects". So how could that be much less expensive if it's the same process??
 

Paul N

In Corner
So if Masterpiece were available, would independent stores use it without complaining about cutting around flaws? Or would they happily cut around them because the price is right?
Let's ask some Michael's employees how much waste they're coming across.

Does anybody really believe that any company, Michael's or whoever, would accept a product, with alleged high waste and requiring more labor even if the price was right?? A flaw in EACH lite received by Michael's (Remember: No flaws = Museum Glass... according to the arguments here...) requiring cutting around?? Yeah, sounds very credible to me!

They might be better off buying that other more expensive glass......
 

johnny

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Paul, if you do a search of my posts, along with the word, "disclosure" you'll find that I have had to fight a long running battle with Jim Miller, and in fariness to him, others including John Ranes, who offer advice and ringing endorsements about products, shows, etc., without disclosing their paid affiliations.

This is wrong, and I will continue to callout those who attempt to shamelessly circumvent (directly or indirectly) their obligation to disclose. My concern is mostly for newbies here, who are unaware of these relationships and may unkowingly make decisions based on tainted advice.

It is highly unethical in every industry and in politics to not disclose these relationships. In reality, it also casts in a negative light on the companies they are schilling for.

As for no longer operating a retail business, that does not preclude my concern for the small, and especially independent, retailers in this industry. I've owned/operated three retail store, started with a very success home-based business, and penned a popular business column in one of our trade magazines for 10 years.

I'm out of retail only because of the success of the school and the travel demands it requires. At heart, I am and always will be a retailer and an entrepreneur.

I believe my track record in speaking out in favor of the interests of our small businesses, and against those businesses whose actions and policies are unfairly detrimental to the little guys, many of whom are now formers students of my school, is well established.

I don't have all the answers, and sometimes my opinions are outside the mainstream. I understand that and have no problem with someone disagreeing with me as long as it's not with underhanded cheap shots.
Wow, I thought I was the only one who cared. I was getting ready to print this thread out and go hire a therapist to figure out why it pissed me off so badly.

I used to argue here pretty hard until I figured things out, then I just stopped. I wondered why you were forging ahead in this thread when you certainly had to know that you could never win any arguments, and why. I mean, everyone you're arguing with here and who are agree with each other have a common thread.

I agree with you. If you're being sold you should know you're being sold. The practice isn't limited to vendors, but also trade organizations. It always just cranks my... whatever gets cranked... anyway it does it bad. Then my eyes want to bleed. Then I try very hard to shut the #### up, because it's none of my business. It's not my place to warn people. Info is buyer beware. They should know who they are talking to.

Some of us here make money by selling picture frames. Some sell info. Some rep products. At the end of the day it's all just something that you've read on the internet. It's still up to the reader to verify the info before they act on it.

Anyway you saved me a couple Gs in therapy. Thanks.
 

John Ranes II CPF GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Paul N said:
Hmmm, for some strange reason I thought I was reading non-biased opinions here (aside from Jim Miller's whose financial arrangements with TV are well known). Now it turns out (almost) all pro TV opinions were invitees...
Paul,

Are you really questioning the motives of a handful of respected educators who are simply sharing with you observations of what they saw inside the manufacturing process, during an educational tour?

My statement above was to stay as transparent as possible. Eveything shared was real and observed firsthand...would you prefer if this stuff was made up?

The folks at TruVue were open and sharing.... They listened about concerns within the industry including the expense of Museum Glass, including the concerns of Masterpiece Glass, including that at least two of us are not big fans of Museum Glass.

I am personally insulted that you might consider that the information I have shared with you to be biased in any manner.

Paul N said:
...A few posts ago in same thread I thought I read it is the same process, but Michael's gets the "rejects". So how could that be much less expensive if it's the same process??
Read the posts more carefully... the process is the same, but it is the "level of acceptance regarding flaws" that makes one less expensive. More yield and less labor.

johnny said:
...Some of us here make money by selling picture frames. Some sell info. Some rep products...
For 32+ years, I work as a framer and retailer, serving the public.

Jeff Rodier said:
...In the past we had all Grumblers that had financial relationships with suppliers listing that in their tag lines. That vanished a little over a year ago.
Not really Jeff...you'll see my signature box still reveals my affiliations. Prior to that, I would always make this known up front, if the subject dictated such.


John
 

Terry Scidmore CPF

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Actually, Alice, their marketing department is brilliant. Look at all of the press they get, look at how often they show up just here on the g. It really doesn't matter whether it is good or bad, they get the TV name out there over and over and over again, and repetition makes it stick in your mind.

Johnny, I totally get what you say! Sometimes my head is spinning from the gymnastics I see here. But, heh, it brings a lot of points of view together for us to pick through.

For those educators who got to go to the TV facility, did you see Masterpiece glass being made, packaged, and ready to ship? Did you see boxes of Museum glass and boxes of Masterpiece glass stacked up all over? Just curious if they do Masterpiece on one day, Museum on another, the way glass is made for the glass market in general?

Or is Masterpiece made at one place, and Museum at another?

Did they tell you the flaw rate ratio for Museum Glass and for Masterpiece glass?

Just curious - TV asked me last year to send them a sample of some rather flawed cc I recieved. I circled and counted 56 flecks and bubbles in an 1 1/2 x 16 inch strip from the center of the lite. TV was gracious about it, said they had been having trouble with the coating, and replaced 3 boxes. But given the highly sophisticated machines and scanning devices you saw, the flaw rate seemed a little high, or something wasn't working right along the inspection line for a while. Especially if they can simply dial up a different ratio for the amount of flaws that are allowed to pass through inspection.

I don't think the machines and scanners are new - the SEC filings show these as capital improvements from 2008 and possibly 2007. TV points out in the SEC filings that their manufacturing improvements were making their products cheaper to produce in 2009.

Johnny - full disclosure for your piece of mind. I don't recieve a penny from anyone. Don't hate TV. Don't hate their products. Just have a curious mind.
 

Terry Scidmore CPF

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
It dawned on me that perhaps the flaw rate for my store is set to allow more flaws than for Michaels or others.

Now if I could just get my distributors to give me the discounted, higher flaw, lower price rate to go along with it.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Paul,

Are you really questioning the motives of a handful of respected educators who are simply sharing with you observations of what they saw inside the manufacturing process, during an educational tour?...John
I think you're being disingenuous when you call it an "educational tour".

Seven "repected educators" just happen to be in Minnesota, on trips that were paid for by who? That you have the audacity to refer to is as an "educational tour". And then to claim insult too...
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
For those educators who got to go to the TV facility, did you see Masterpiece glass being made, packaged, and ready to ship?
Yes.

Did you see boxes of Museum glass and boxes of Masterpiece glass stacked up all over?
Yes.

Just curious if they do Masterpiece on one day, Museum on another, the way glass is made for the glass market in general? Or is Masterpiece made at one place, and Museum at another?
As the glass exists the coating machine, its surface is scanned by automated equipment, and then it is sorted to different conveyors. The best of it goes into Museum Glass boxes at the end of a conveyor. Glass with a higher flaw rate (about twice the flaws acceptable for Museum Glass) goes into Masterpiece boxes at the end of another conveyor. The coating process is highly sophisticated and involves four layers of certain chemistry applied in a vacuum chamber. The rate of flaws is much less than it used to be, but as glass production goes, it is still relatively high. The glass with flaws exceeding both of the programmed acceptable rates goes into the dumpster at the end of another conveyor.

Did they tell you the flaw rate ratio for Museum Glass and for Masterpiece glass?
Not exactly, but they did say Masterpiece Glass has about twice the flaws of Museum Glass. That is pretty much meaningless information, though. What good would it do for us to know, as a hypothetical example, if all flaws less than .0009 diameter were acceptable, or perhaps up to four flaws less than .001 were acceptable? Perhaps the reality is that every sheet of coated glass has flaws, most of which could not be seen without magnification. The inspection process is to identify the flaws that might be visible.

Just curious - TV asked me last year to send them a sample of some rather flawed cc I recieved...TV was gracious about it, said they had been having trouble with the coating...But given the highly sophisticated machines and scanning devices you saw, the flaw rate seemed a little high...
This conversation is about the optically coated glass produced in Faribault, Minnesota. Conservation Clear glass is produced in another plant, and we did not see it made. In any case, the optical coating process is highly sophisticated and unique. The UV coating process is entirely different than the optical coating process.

I don't think the machines and scanners are new - the SEC filings show these as capital improvements from 2008...
If the money for new scanners was budgeted in 2007 or 2008, it might take a year or two for the custom-designed equipment to be built, installed, programmed, calibrated, and set into production. The fine-tuning process on this equipment is ongoing, and probably always will be, until it is replaced by something newer.

In manufacturing technology, "new" might refer to the latest installation, as opposed to older equipment. In this case, "new" refers to the production line built a few years ago, as distinguished from the older, original machine in the same building.

Disclaimer: Yes, I still consult for Tru Vue. You are welcome to assume that I consult for every supplier of every product you have ever heard of.
 

Puppiesonacid

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
my survey for them....

GET RID OF THE BUBBLES!!!! 3 pieces in a row... not a happy day and it just started. cut around one bubble i saw just to find another one on the piece i was going to use.
 

Pat Murphey

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Approaching 80 posts in this repeat nonsense debate! Ms's has enough volume with TruVue to buy private label Museum Glass without going through a distributor. I'm sure that's where most of their price differential resides. I have to go through a distributor, who takes a profit and adds a layer of shipping and handling cost. I am happy to sell Museum Glass, anyway, because at my price points it sells and adds a geat deal to my bottom line. Whiners - get over it. :p:p
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Paul,

Are you really questioning the motives of a handful of respected educators who are simply sharing with you observations of what they saw inside the manufacturing process, during an educational tour?
Yes, that is precisely his purpose. Shooting the messenger is his favored tactic when he runs out of reasoning against the message.

I think you're being disingenuous when you call it an "educational tour".
Of course you do, but the fact remains: We went there to be educated, and that is what happened.

I apologize for contributing to the derailment of this thread, which was originally about a survey. A new thread should have started at post #23.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Disclaimer: Yes, I still consult for Tru Vue. You are welcome to assume that I consult for every supplier of every product you have ever heard of.
NO, people can not assume that, Jim, because there are always new people on this forum. And those are the people who are vulnerable.

You, me and all of us here, have a responsibility to be forthcoming and make a clearly worded and visible disclosure in each thread, whenever we post favorable views about products, services or companies that we have a financial relationship with.

Those who fail to do this should not be surprised when it's done for them.
 

Paul N

In Corner
Paul,

Are you really questioning the motives of a handful of respected educators who are simply sharing with you observations of what they saw inside the manufacturing process, during an educational tour?

My statement above was to stay as transparent as possible. Everything shared was real and observed firsthand...would you prefer if this stuff was made up?

The folks at TruVue were open and sharing.... They listened about concerns within the industry including the expense of Museum Glass, including the concerns of Masterpiece Glass, including that at least two of us are not big fans of Museum Glass.

I am personally insulted that you might consider that the information I have shared with you to be biased in any manner.
John, I always had the highest respect for you and you know that.

My point was that those who are pushing the TV marketing line here should have said (and I salute you for making that public) that they were invited, wined and dined by TV when they're expressing solid pro TV arguments in this thread.

I am NOT saying whatever compensation they received could have swayed their opinions, but they should have been more forthcoming about this fact.

Isn't that the same as lobbying??

And I call for those disclaimers that Jeff mentioned earlier to be reinstated. This way people reading posts here know that somebody expressing an opinion MAY have some kind of arrangement, financial or otherwise with the product being discussed.

Frankly, from now on I'd look upon any post by certain Grumbler industry experts about a commercial product with a healthy dose of skepticism - unless they have a disclaimer stating in advance their affiliations with subject / product being discussed.
 

Dave

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
... If only one out of every 50 customers buy it because of how high the price is the wasted time makes it not worth working that hard to sell.

...
I agree, Jeff. If I had only a 2% close rate on a product then I probably wouldn't put my efforts into it either.

In my case I have about 50% close rate whenever I show the
product. I don't suggest it in every case though because I've
worked with folks long enough to know when it would be appropriate.

I'll estimate that MG constitutes about 20% of my sales by volume
and about 50% of my glazing sales by dollars.
 

Paul N

In Corner
Of course you do, but the fact remains: We went there to be educated, and that is what happened.
Who paid for your airfare, hotel and meals??

You personally received ABSOLUTELY no compnesation for going to this educational tour?? Were you invited or you decided, on a whim, to pack and go to be educated??

When people go to WCAF / Vegas wherever, to attend your classes, you don't cover their education expenses, do you?? Why not, they are there to be educated after all!!

Actually you made it an art when it comes to shooting the messenger!
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I'm with Pat Murphy!

This argument seems a bit senseless really because in the end, we don't have a choice to go to a different supplier as long as no one else makes anything comparable to MG.

MG sells in my shop and I don't have to put extra effort into it. I show options. The customer then decides.

Is MP glass less expensive; I don't know. I know that I offer a different overall experience than M's does. Maybe our local M's isn't that good...could be it, but I never see customers at their custom frame counter.

Paul W; as for thrashing moulding suppliers delivering to M's; look up some old threads about LJ....more than enough complaining there!

Paul C; I understand what you are saying and do agree on the unfair advertising. However, where else would I buy my glass. Something similar to TV's glass, at a good (better) price point. I am sure if framers had more options, TV would be hurting badly. Until that happens, I'm pretty much stuck with TV.
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I have gone through TV facility in Faribault, MN also and I am not in any way connected to TV.

TV spent a day taking about 25 of us through their plant and I have to say it was very impressive. I learned a lot and the can see why the cost of the glass can be so expensive, after that tour I will never again knock their pricing, and I am very thankful that I have such a good product to sell to my customers.

As far as them selling off their flawed glass to M or other large distributors, BIG DEAL - I don't want their flawed glass because I don't have the time to cut around the flaws. If I were TV I too would find some way of getting rid of the flawed glass so that a profit can possibly be made from it - that's just good business.

I do agree with Paul that people who receive compensation from any supplier should make us aware of that with their comments.

just my $0.02 Joe B
 

John Ranes II CPF GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Bottom line...

Joe B said:
I have gone through TV facility in Faribault, MN also and I am not in any way connected to TV. ... and I am very thankful that I have such a good product to sell to my customers....
Good post Joe B - Thanks.

Ylva said:
MG sells in my shop and I don't have to put extra effort into it. ...Is MP glass less expensive; I don't know. I know that I offer a different overall experience than M's does...
Ylva, You are correct in recognizing that you provide a "different overall experience". Think about it - whenever you purchase almost anything, what you remember is the experience, and especially where the price is impacting only this one component.

When I hear of framers that are losing customers at the design/selection counter over the price of just the glass, I really wonder about their overall design experience that they are offering? When you sell based on PRICE, you've made PRICE the deciding factor.

TruVue has done some in depth studies (Surveys - remember, the subject of this thread :shrug:) of customer buying habits and it is VERY interesting to learn that the craft stores, aka BB's tend to draw a dramatically larger percentage of "avoiders"...you know the type. Those that walk in with item in hand, annoucing that they "Don't want to spend much" across the room, even before the door closes behind them.

How much time do you want to spend chasing that portion of the market?...Remember that even the craft stores don't capture them either!

I think that when providing a "unique and different overall experience", is how you make shoppers become real customers, aka clients. And this means hand-holding, educating, offering premium products, offering options, and listening.

John
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Here is the problem I have with Museum sales. Without exception my cost of the glass is more than my cost of the entire balance of the framing job. Using a 2 1/2 time markup on Museum the framing price automaticly doubles at minimum when using it. I can use hand finished mouldings and conservation materials throughout and the glass always costs more than the balance of the components.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
You, me and all of us here, have a responsibility to be forthcoming and make a clearly worded and visible disclosure...Those who fail to do this should not be surprised when it's done for them.
Who's surprised? Paul, we all appreciate you watching out for the vulnerable newbies.

Message to Vulnerable Newbies: When you want to learn about anyone who posts on The Grumble, click the name on any post and read their profile information.
 

Paul N

In Corner
When I hear of framers that are losing customers at the design/selection counter over the price of just the glass, I really wonder about their overall design experience that they are offering? When you sell based on PRICE, you've made PRICE the deciding factor.
I agree, losing a customer just because of glass is not good.

My issue is not with Museum Glass itself (I have sold over 8 cases of museum glass 22x28 - 32x40) just the last 6 weeks alone.

I could easily sell Claryl (@ $120 per case if I want to, since my customers appreciate the glass clarity way ahead of the UV protection). And contrary to what people here might think, I buy a very decent amount of TV glass yearly for my shop.

My beef is with the lack of transparency (no pun intended...:p) in some of the posts / posters here as well as the TV / M's affair.
 

johnny

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Enough! Take the bickering to PMs.
I'm glad to see the issues being addressed. I think they have been simmering for a long time. I also think that if they are addressed correctly then not only will the place be better for readers but reps will be stronger for it as well. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem like it's going to happen.
 

Frances M.

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
"When I hear of framers that are losing customers at the design/selection counter over the price of just the glass, I really wonder about their overall design experience that they are offering? When you sell based on PRICE, you've made PRICE the deciding factor."



Well in my case it was totally the price of the glass; we supplied the 12 agonized-over frames, the mats with French lines and the hinging of the prints. However after stringing us along on the glazing, saying they just couldn't decide between the Conservation Clear and the Museum Glass, the customer admitted they had purchased the glass at M's and would do the fitting themselves. I was peeved and I'm still peeved.

I like their product and I provide it but I'm not going to go out and buy a bunch of $300+ boxes of glass simply to have it. We have no problems wrapping scraps and if I can get what I need from cutting down large pieces and simply having one $300+ box of glass rather than $1200-$1500 of glass in stock so I don't have leftover scrap, well then that what I'm gonna do.

I still maintain that if they are going to depend on a declining base of independant framers to maintain a profit stream and to increase their market for Museum Glass, they need to address the cost issue.
 

Dave

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
... the customer admitted they had purchased the glass at M's and would do the fitting themselves. ...
Ask them how that worked out for them... :nuts:

Penny wise and pound foolish. There are many professional framers on this forum who will not use MG simply because it is more difficult to use it. Can you imagine an amateur working with it???
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Frances; I don't completely understand the scenario? So you provided the frames, mats and mounting, but they bought the glass separately?

Did you price out the glass separately for them then?

I find that most of my customers have no clue about the separate parts of framing, nor do I provide a step by step quote. I will give them a different quote, for the full frame job, priced with MG or CC

I agree with Dave; let them try.
Did you inform them about handling the glass? What side should face artwork, how to fit, how to clean? My average customer wouldn't want to go through the trouble and even less likely after that information.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
This argument seems a bit senseless really...
I agree that the argument seems senseless, because there really is nothing here worth arguing about. Whatever your opinion about the company or its products, the information is what it is.

...we don't have a choice to go to a different supplier as long as no one else makes anything comparable to MG.
That's not exactly right. There are comparable products for every type of Tru Vue glass, although some of them are not exactly the same. For example, ordinary glass may be 2 mm instead of 2.5 mm thick. UV-filtering glass may block different amounts of light in different frequencies. Optically coated glass may be laminated, and UV-filtering is not available in some brands.

Tru Vue's major advantage is price, or availability, or in some cases, both. Other brands of ordinary glass and non-glare glass certainly are available at lower prices, but you may have to pay shipping charges or buy them by the pallet. Negotiate.

Other brands of UV-filtering glass may offer little, if any, price advantage and you may have to pay shipping charges. The same is true of other brands of optically coated glass.

In all glass types, you have alternatives. Tru Vue is not the only supplier of any glass product used in framing, but for many of us, Tru Vue is the best source.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
My average customer wouldn't want to go through the trouble and even less likely after that information.
There are a lot of people that would for a thousand bucks.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I'm with Pat Murphy!

This argument seems a bit senseless really because in the end, we don't have a choice to go to a different supplier as long as no one else makes anything comparable to MG.

Paul C; I understand what you are saying and do agree on the unfair advertising. However, where else would I buy my glass. Something similar to TV's glass, at a good (better) price point. I am sure if framers had more options, TV would be hurting badly. Until that happens, I'm pretty much stuck with TV.

It's exactly because there is not an alternative, that Tru-Vue has a special obligation. Companies with a monopoly, or even a dominant position in the market, have special responsibilities to protect competition.

Tru-Vue needs to make Masterpiece, and the use of its trademark, available to everyone in the industry, and at a price that is proportonate to their other glass products with respect to the price Michaels pays versus what other distributors pay.

Tru-Vue's current practice is providing an overwhelming competitive advantage to what is already the largest company in the industry.
 

JWB9999999

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Here is the problem I have with Museum sales. Without exception my cost of the glass is more than my cost of the entire balance of the framing job. Using a 2 1/2 time markup on Museum the framing price automaticly doubles at minimum when using it. I can use hand finished mouldings and conservation materials throughout and the glass always costs more than the balance of the components.
I found that I could not mark it up anywhere near that. I tried to when I first started offering it. I believe I sold something like 2-3 pieces in 5 months. So I cut my margin way down, and sold 5 pieces in a week. Dollar-wise I am still making MORE DOLLARS PER LITE in profit than with any other glass I sell, by far, but my margins are significantly lower.

The only downside to the lower margins is that if I ruin a piece myself while working on an order, or otherwise have a piece that is flawed beyond use, I make no money off the glass and actually lose money on the glass on that order. That hurts. But my staff and I have gotten adept enough at handling it that this situation probably only happens about once every 3 months.

Last time I checked, I was selling about 6% museum glass on orders, but I think it accounted for over 20% of my glazing revenues.

I go through enough of it that I order about 1-2 boxes a month. I stock it in 16x20, 20x24, 24x36, 32x40, 36x48 and 40x60 sizes, and generally I buy the boxes with the largest number of lites per box to keep the cost down.

I also generate so much scrap that I sell museum glass on anything 8x10 and smaller for a flat $10 fee. Customers love the deal, getting the best glass for a few dollars more than the regular clear glass, and there's the potential to get them hooked on it.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
You think that was the price difference between M's and indy?
For 12 lites I would be willing to bet it was that kind of price difference.
 
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