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United and 888 selling direct to public

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Larry Peterson, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    I don't know if any of you have noticed but it appears that United and 888 are selling direct to the public.

    I went to one of the sites and noticed that, without logging in, that prices were displayed. I thought maybe it was because they recognized me from previous visits. So I used a browser that hadn't accessed either site before and went through all the motions to buy something, taking it all the way to the cart with a PayPal payment. I abandoned the cart before completion.

    Just to make sure that it didn't recognize me, I went back to my main browser and went back to both sites. The cart was empty for both.

    I haven't seen this discussed for these two sites before so I thought I would mention it.
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  2. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Do they sell things that most frame shops sell retail, or are they selling components which are normally included within a frame job but not usually sold?
  3. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I don’t think that is new. I also don’t have a problem with it. They have to expand their market, I doubt they sell a lot to the general public, no one needs those quantities.
  4. Frances M.

    Frances M. CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    My Decor rep said that if I order supplies through Decor, they are something like 15% less than if I order through United.
  5. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Yeah, United's been at it for awhile. On one hand, it sucks. On the other, if it keeps them in business, that benefits us, and I don't know how much clout we'd have to change it. I used to be pretty freaked out about moulding suppliers selling to the public, (and still don't like it). But there seem to be plenty of folks who still come to us, so whatever. I did notice that Someone's knocking off Easel Mates and Flanger hangers now. Hard to protect a product when it can be copied and imported from Asia. Even if you have an international patent, can you really protect it?
  6. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The lines between wholesale & retail have long been erased.
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  7. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I don't know all the products that those companies sell, but I don't see Joe Consumer ordering stuff from them, with possible rare exceptions.
    Jim Miller and cvm like this.
  8. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Shayla, there is no such thing as a universal "international patent". If you want to have patent protection in other countries, you have to apply to each and every country where you want protection. Patent protection of items imported into the US that is protected by a US patent is a totally different question. If I remember I will ask tomorrow at my monthly Inventors Group (http://www.inventoriamd.org/) meeting. There is sometimes a USPTO representative or patent attorney in attendance. There are some regional entities that offer patents such as the EU.


    Dave, the now-defunct United was selling to artists for at least 40 years that I know of. I have no idea that Decor's policy is at the present time. The showing of prices on a page without signing in might be a bug in their HTML code.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  9. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    That appears to be the case.

    I checked several items:

    Crescent Select. Decor $9.62 UMS $10.10
    Sawtooth hangers #413T Decor $19.85/1000 UMS $21.30/1000
    Large Flangers #1369 Decor $20.29 UMS $21.30

    These thre3 were 5 to 7% cheaper on Decor.

    A couple of caveats.

    Decor doesn't have online ordering. You have to call your order in.
    UMS typically has free shipping on orders over $99. Decor shipping is unknown at time of ordering.
  10. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Thanks for the clarification. I was specifically thinking of Chinese patent rights, but didn't single them out. Are there inventors' groups all over? I know three inventors, (two with patents, one on the way), who would have fun in those.
  11. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Another thing about patents. They give you legal standing only. You have to fight to defend that legal standing. $$$$
    shayla likes this.
  12. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    don't know if anyone buys from AMAZON but they sell lots of things with quick, free shipping. I have no problem with whom suppliers trade
  13. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Indeed. Ergo, my '...can you really protect it?'. The inventor of a product is often ill-equipped to defend the rights, stateside or otherwise.
  14. PAckerman

    PAckerman True Grumbler

    The lifetime of a patent is finite. They do not last forever. The patent office regulation is here for you. After the patent expires the product is in the public domain.
    In the United States, for utility patents filed on or after June 8, 1995, the term of the patent is 20 years from the earliest filing date of the application on which the patent was granted and any prior U.S. or Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications from which the patent claims priority (excluding provisional applications). For patents filed prior to June 8, 1995, the term of patent is either 20 years from the earliest filing date as above or 17 years from the issue date, whichever is longer. Extensions may be had for certain administrative delays.

    shayla likes this.
  15. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

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