another price strategy thread

Jody

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Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Posts
56
From
Northern Baltimore County - horse country
Background.... I have two very young children but have a passion for framing (read: not a ton of time). I am self taught but have a woodworker for a father - I have routed my own mouldings that get rave reviews(read: I know my way around a woodworking shop). In the past I have only done framing for myself and have done so for 5 years. Neighbor is an artist - and a very good one. Over the years I have done more and more framing for her (oddly, she hates it). She recently had a show and I ended up cutting 84 mats for her (all different sizes). She supplies the mats. A few more artists are interested - they are demanding, creative, scattered and always last minute. It is my hope to continue to grow this business ... one day after all that due diligence and a class or two, set up a 'real' shop. Feel free to call it a hobby at this point. It is a great diversion from diapers....

SO, the question is in how I will start to price this with my goal to use this as a base down the road. The current thought is
$.15 per united inch with a $1 per 'piece' (i.e. a double mat would be one piece, as would a single or triple mat - covers the cutting of foamcore). $.15 would be starting point with the assumption that repeat customer would get some sort of special pricing ~ $.10
If I begin to order/buy and pick up add $3 per order plus cost of mats. hummm????
Rush charge (humm... not sure how to tackle that one but know it will be nec once a have more than one artist who is creative, scattered and always last minute)
Does the above approach make sense to you? Is there another way to look at it that I am not? Could I use this approach for a one time customer who is having something framed -- does it translate appropriately to the type of business you as a shop do? I was a banker for 15 years -- I have a cost accounting bug/thing.
Finally, I am all about adding value to the artist. They are finding a piece hanging on the wall that has a well cut mat catches the buyer's eye - they are moving away from 'I do not want the frame to take away from the art' to 'wow, that helps'. Any suggestions on adding value that I 'should' consider? Anyone have a good reference on how to wrap mats?

Thank you so much for your thoughts and time on this... I visit the grumble every day to get my framing 'fix'!!
 

Mecianne

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
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Jan 7, 2005
Posts
2,229
From
Alabama
I am sure you will get lots better advice than this....but, raise your price! 15 cents is way low. For instance, if you do a mat that is 13X15, you only make $4.20 plus your $1.00 per piece. I pay about $7.84 for a piece of 32X40. C'mon...you're worth more than that. The United Inch method is great, but up your price a bit.

Anyhoo, I am a newbie & as I said, you will get much better advice from the old guys around here. ;) (just kidding, Grumblers....about the 'old' part, not the good advice part)
 

Steven6095

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Feb 14, 2004
Posts
1,352
From
Nicholasville, KY
download the free version on EZ Framer and just play around with markups, etc
Never hurts to see "what if" scenarios.
 

Jody

True Grumbler
Thread starter
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Apr 5, 2005
Posts
56
From
Northern Baltimore County - horse country
Thank you so much for the encouragement. Good to know that I am on the right road, at least! I will check out that software....

Just to clarify:
'my' main artist buys her own mats (she will ONLY use rag and alpha!). So, an 'order' consists of a wrapped pile of mats and foamcore with instructions.
The charge is only for the actual cutting of the mats.

Anyone else want to chime in?
Thanks
 

Rick Granick

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Jun 30, 1999
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20,551
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Cincinnati, OH
Since you are making zero profit on materials, all you are really selling is your time and skill, plus some wear and tear on your equipment, plus the cost of blades. Make sure you get paid enough for your time to make a profit. Do ACCURATE time studies, and don't forget to charge for the time it takes you to handle the administration of the job, wrapping, etc.
:cool: Rick
 

Dancinbaer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 26, 2002
Posts
1,268
From
De Pere, WI
I agree with Rick. Time is money. Do a search for "hourly rates". I know this discussion has come up before. There may even be a survey or two listing what others charge per hour. Off the top of my head I recall the rates ranging from $20 to $60/ hour depending on the difficulty of the piece. Some charge per cut.

Good Luck,

PS here is the link to the poll results I refered to: Hourly Rates Pole

[ 06-09-2005, 05:27 PM: Message edited by: Dancinbaer ]
 

Bob Doyle

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Joined
Jul 14, 2002
Posts
19,504
From
South Berwick, Maine
Suggestions for how you should do business in your area, Nope can't do that.

How do I do it here in my area, well different story.

I have an artist customer who brings teh moulding to me, I cut and join it for her. She pays $8 per frame no matter the size or quantity. I used to charge her $5, but she insisted that wasn't enough, as she said time is money, and if I am doing her a favor I am not working on a paying customer's job.

Calculate in your time, then calculate "lost revenue" for "real jobs" put on the back burner!
 

Donna at MetroAF

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
May 6, 2005
Posts
355
From
Roseville, MN
We run special deals for our artists, 50% off our retail prcing. However, our frames are 2.5 x wholesale cost, mats are about 2x.
At first I thought that it was outrageous, but now I pay the bills. It is totally worth it.
We are still very competitive in the market. A sheet of glass is usually the cost of a whole case. Added together, plus a "hardware" fee (usually like $3 for a $100 job), we average out about $200-$300 as our average retail price. I haven't had any complaints from the artists we work for.
We make our money back, and profit. Plus, we can pay the employees their commission after that. Everyone is happy.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Nov 2, 2001
Posts
9,246
From
Centennial, CO, USA
Originally posted by Bob Doyle:
She pays $8 per frame no matter the size or quantity. I used to charge her $5, but she insisted that wasn't enough, as she said time is money, and if I am doing her a favor I am not working on a paying customer's job.
Yikes, Bob, I just had a similar scenario. I chop and join frames for an artist who brings in her finds that need to be resized. She just recently told me she didn't think I was charging enough but she was paying $20 and we upped it to $25......I cut down metals for $10 a frame since there is no joining involved.

My theory when determining the charge was based on $60 an hour labor. I figure 20 minutes to cut and join most frames is average.

Jody, since your customer is bringing in her own board make sure you establish who pays for replacement if you damage the board. If it were me I would make sure the artist assumes that responsibility.
 
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