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Young customers.

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by NYJim, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. NYJim

    NYJim CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I know , I know that’s an old story but I still want to ask your opinion.
    Remember I’m asking today when recession , market is down, etc...

    I had a customer today a young man in his middle 20 ( I think ) he brought a wedding picture 20 by 24 and ask if he can frame it for $120 .
    Also he had something to stretch but we even didn’t open it.

    I said yes and showed him a metal frame that he didn’t like and he choose one of Larson’s and guess what - it was around $400 job with a mat and a glass.
    He was so surprised that he said – “ I know what I’m getting into now – I’ll talk to my wife and probably will be back “…..

    Now I’m thinking - the young people are not in a custom framing ( at least in my area ) – most of my customers are about 40 and up .

    May be I should find a way ( tell him that I can do that frame because I have a stick in the inventory so it will be cheaper for him, or something else doesn’t matter ) so I will make $50 on his wedding picture .Plus I will stretch another picture…..

    So I will educate him - he didn’t like metal so he has taste ….
    In this economy I may try harder instead of wait for my customer.

    What would you do .??
    BTW I’m pretty loaded with work – it’s not that I have nothing to do – this is just about young people and economy….
     
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  2. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    Well, two things. Some young people have money, and some don't. I have one customer, I think he's a framing addict. He likes surfing, and he's brought me several pieces with surfing themes over the past month or so. Price isn't an issue. If he likes how it looks, then the price is just fine. I did one piece for him, we settled on a Bella frame, and you know those aren't cheap. An hour later, the phone rings and it's him, he wants to know if we can go with the bigger Bella frame (the more expensive one). Of course we can.

    This week I had another young customer, fresh out of college, looking for a job, with a few things to frame. But she's on a tight budget. She had a 20x24 poster, already matted and mounted so all it needed was glass, frame and fitting. I showed her some options, and we settled on one of my value mouldings. Total cost: $102. Another piece she had, also already matted and mounted, was 12x12. I showed her a custom option that was $65, and then told her I had a very similar looking readymade for only $35. She really appreciated that I didn't try to upsell her. I was kind of happy to get rid of a readymade I've had in the shop for 2 years now. She came in today to pick up her poster, and was very pleased. She's probably 22 or 23 years old, and I'm sure that as long as she lives near my store, she'll be a loyal customer.

    Morals of the story?

    1) Don't assume that because they are in their 20s or 30s, they don't have money
    2) Have some attractive value options for those customers that are on a budget, no matter what their age
    3) Actively court the younger customer, because they have decades of spending ahead of them
     
  3. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'm in the center of a college town and I get young people EVERYDAY coming in total oblivious to what framing cost. They think it will be about 30 bucks and are floored when it goes over hundred. Parents will often be the first to take them to a frame shop and that helps get them accustomed to the process and it helps if the parents are paying. But once you help them get their first frame they can develop a report and a familiarity with the service. Younger ones also shop around much more so they might stay with you or drift around. I see it as a necessity to bring them in even if they don't necessarily become repeat customers at my shop. The industry needs new customers coming in a good percentage of my clients aren't collecting or building their nest anymore and are aging out of getting something frames every couple of months.

    Oh yea what PaulSF said, geez Paul don't you ever work?
     
  4. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    What's the question? What do I do about what?

    I think you're asking about young people? Customer's ages run the gammut. They are almost all women but of all ages. I don't specifically market toward younger people because that group isn't as "good" of a group as some others but I have plenty under 40 and under 30.

    Without reguard to your actual prices, because they don't apply to me at all, I have lots of choices between $150 and $400....lots! If they didn't bite at $400, I would certinaly sell them on something they would bite on right then. I rarely see a customer who walks with art in hand, come back.
     
  5. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Getting younger people interested in framing is one of the biggest challenges we face as our core clientele grows older. Being in business over 30 years, I'm happy to have a number of second-generation clients, which is very gratifying.

    Maybe an idea would be to have an event like a "behind-the-scenes" tour of the shop one evening, billed as a parents-and-kids event. This would have to be carefully staged and the place kid-proofed beforehand, but it might be a way to get the KIDS interested in what framing is all about. Then when they create their masterpieces they will beg mom and dad to get them framed, like they beg for the latest version of Oreos. By the time they are in their 20's and earning their own money they will have a keenly developed sense of the value of custom framing.

    :popc: Rick
    "Fiendish? Yes. But it just might work....Mua ha ha ha ha!"
     
  6. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    Or feature some art by artists that might appeal to people in their 20s and 30s -- Todd Goldman, Tom Everhart, Ed Heck.
     
  7. kdub

    kdub CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I agree with Paul. I try to never make assumptions about what people can/can't or will/won't want to afford. If it's important enough to them, they'll do it. I try to educate them the best I can about custom framing and the differences between a $25 readymade at a BB store and what we have. Sometimes they bite, sometimes they don't.

    Either way I have nothing to lose and I hope that when the need for a quality framing job does arise, they'll remember how I worked with them and come back. I've had it happen before and it may happen again. Plus, they won't be 20something's forever.
     
  8. Turnip

    Turnip CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I wouldn't assume that people in their 20's or 30's would be into this art.
    They're young, not 7.
     
  9. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    Todd Goldman's got a wicked sense of humor. One of his pieces shows a woman with the text "you call me a b*tch like that's a bad thing" -- that's not for kids.

    And Ed Heck's one of the hotter artists around now. Those aren't kids paying thousands of dollars for his pieces.
     
  10. Turnip

    Turnip CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I guess it's mostly me, or the market I'm in. There's something for everyone, I suppose.

    I know Mark Ryden is popular, although, again, not my thing. But the work does attract a large market.
     
  11. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The 2006 Consumer Survey by PPFA has some very interesting information on buying habits by age
     
  12. Ruth

    Ruth MGF, Master Grumble Framer


    I've framed quite a few pieces of Ed Heck's work, I did five giclees last week. Most of it was for a hospital. My favorites are Big Fish and Olive You.
     
  13. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    Ruth, that's cool. Did you take some pictures? Come on, show off your work! ;)
     
  14. Rockymountian

    Rockymountian Grumbler

    I sure agree with the fact the younger generation will be who feeds our shopd for the next 10-20 years so educating them now will make our industry strong in the future,but If they are expecting a porshe for the price of a KIA I think it's time to either eductate them on pricing or if you are even thinking about discounting to meet there price expectations, then educating yourself on cost of doing business.
     
  15. imaluma

    imaluma SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Regardless of age, I try to find the right product for the customer for the price they want. It is hard to not make the assumption that since they are young they can't afford it. But it is equally difficult not to assume a little old lady with a funky chipboard mounted is on a fixed income, either.
    I'd heed these brilliant grumblers' advice and not make that same mistake again.

    And ditto on Paul's 1,2,3.
     
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