Customers walking out

Littleframer

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Has anyone else encountered this recently? I had a lady bring in a print (very large) yesterday. I worked with her to come up with a design. My husband who works with me also helped. She wanted to keep her price point low, as I could tell. I put alpha rags on the piece, she said "no" could I use something less expensive. Anyway, I used one alphamat (prato) and a 3 inch wide omega moulding. It came to $225. This piece was about 30 by 14 when finished. She said "no way", I am going to 2 more frame shops to get quotes. This is not the first time this has happened. She said our framing was just too expensive. She said she had already been to 2 other shops to get prices. That makes a total of 5 shops she is visiting to get a price. Unbelievable!

Thoughts?
 

Mike Labbe

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It sounds like she's just a very frugal individual, or doesn't appreciate the value or work involved.

You should put her on a discount program to report her findings back to you
j/k

We had a walk-out yesterday too. Did you send her to RI? We were working with a couple customers at the design counter when she walked in. After she looked around for a minute or so I gave her a warm greeting and assured her that we'd be with her in just a few minutes. She looked at me but didnt answer. As Andy was finalizing the last customer's payment, I went over again and greeted her to let her know that they were just finishing up now. Again, she ignored me. She went through all the print bins, then she went through all my software CDs that were sitting on a worktable. (I converted the Art Explorer laptop from Win98 to WinXP yesterday and was installing s/w) Then she just walked out without saying a word, with the art still in her hand. I watched and her car was parked 2 lots away. She was there only 3-5 minutes and we were friendly/nor pushy. I don't know if she was upset that we didn't push the other customer out to wait on her immediately, or if maybe she didnt speak English. Sometimes we don't have answers.

Mike
 

HannaFate

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Little Framer, what you had was a "sport shopper".
They usually drive very nice cars, and will spend $20 in gas to save $10 on a purchase. Their game is scored by the recipt, not by the actual expense.

I will often warn someone who says they are just getting quotes: "Well, watch out that they don't try to push off some cheap stuff on you, that will fade and turn yellow in a couple of weeks. That will wind up costing you twice as much, because you will have to replace it!"

Some people haven't figured out yet that "custom" isn't the same as off the rack.
 
G

Gumbogirl

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What Hanna said.
And, I agree with Mike about we just don't get the answer sometimes.

There are just so many people that don't "get" custom framing. Some can be converted to loyal followers, many will always go to off the rack, and slap grandma's pic over a pc. of preframed art.

I know it is difficult to to watch a customer walk out the door, considering the measures we take to get them in!!

I am more curious and frustrated by the kind of customer that Mike had, and you never really get a sense of what they need.
shrug.gif

We can't fix what we don't know about, and we aren't going to be everything to everyone. Just chalk it up to it wasn't their time to frame, and go on to the next one.

It seems that for every "walkout", I have at least two very pleasant, loyal customers to work with. Not all in the same day, of course!
 

JFeig

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We had one yesterday as well. The husband and wife had been on a photo safari in Africa and brought in animal photos of the trip (10-15).

The husband, I presume a retired doctor, had printed them with his computers printer (image 11" x 19"). He was looking for ready made frames in his size. Nadda......! The 16x20 oak Fascia from Nielson Bainbridge were fine ($27.50 plus mat and mount), but a mat with 1/2" sides and 2 1/2" top and bottom did not look good. I then priced my OPP wood frames with a single mat, mount and glass. No Go! And to boot, the he wanted a different mat for every image and she wanted them to all be the same for their "gallery wall". About one hour later they finally left.

I even made the suggestion of using the 16x20 frames and reducing the window opening and or reprint the images smaller. No to this too.

As he left with his wife in tow, I could still see an expression on his mind that "WHY DON'T THEY MAKE CHEAP READY MADES IN THE SIZE I WANT"
 

gemsmom

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Some people just like to shop. They don't care how much time they kill, even it if it your time they are killing, as long as they are certain they are getting the best price. It might not be the best work, but it has to be the best price. No sense beating yourself up about it, it happens in this business.

Mike, maybe the woman was deaf or hard of hearing. I had an similar experience trying to help someone who ignored me. I out she was deaf after she knocked something over and started to apologize. I guess she was clumsy, too. If she came in with art, I can only speculate there was something she didn't like-the art on the walls, the selection, who knows? I've walked out of stores I fully intended to shop in for reasons like the clerk was chewing gum, I was ignored, they were too pushy, or I was overwhelmed by perfume. Could be anything.

The other day I had a young man who wanted "something really nice. I know it will be expensive". Oh, good! I thought, I get to actually design something today. Came up with a really nice design, painted v-groove & bevel, fabric mat, conservation materials for his collector's poster & concert tickets, wide frame-$800+ ticket. His high-end budget turned out to be in the $300. range. I just couldn't get it down below $400.00. All could do was suggest asking for gift certificates for Christmas.
 

Janet L

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Sometimes I think if a customer comes in and has to wait while I finish up w/the customer at the design counter, they look at what that customer is getting framed and determine what they think the framing price "should" be. They listen for the price and if it seems high to them, they may walk before you can establish any conversation with them. I believe this might happen more often w/the first-time custom framing customer that is slightly intimidated walking into a custom biz to begin with. The customer that walks doesn't know what you and the first customer have already discussed (type of mats, glass, mounting techniques, etc.) All they hear is the price.

I normally will excuse myself from the customer I'm working with for just a few seconds and speak to customer number 2 and actually ask them what I'll be helping them frame. If they tell me that it's "just something that I need framed really cheap", I tell them to hold on a few minutes more and I'm sure I can help them find a way to frame it inexpensively but make it look "dynamite".

This is a good time to show them to our small sofa and hand them the photo album that shows completed framed jobs with comments from the customers written beneath the photos of their work.
 

Littleframer

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Thanks everyone for your replies. You are right. You cannot be everything to everyone. And come on we have to make a profit
I have bought some of the Arquati expressp/.99 cents per foot for these low end customers, but she just did not like it. I also have basic black that is in the same range. Gotta say it does get on your nerves though! We are having our Christmas open house today from 2-4 pm so we will see what that brings in. By the way, I would love to post my name on this site. I know many of you, but like someone said, I do not want google to find my name and anything I said. I was a rep for many years and worked the Atlanta show for many of them! Also most of you used the products that I used to rep. Think matboard that starts with a "B"'

Little Framer
 

Jay H

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Thats what I love about small town. The average Joe can't even find two other frame shops here. Shhhhh lets keep this our little secret!
 

osgood

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I don't want every job that comes through the door, because some people are cheap and I don't cater for them.
If someone says they want a quote, I will often ask them if they are looking for the cheapest price they can get. They always answer in the negative but I ignore that and say that I can't help them if they are looking for cheap, because I use high quality materials and workmanship.
I would rather not waste time designing something if the person is thinking that his framing will be less expensive than his $10 print.
 

Framerguy

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Destin, Florida
Saturday must have been National Walk-in Day!

I had a lady walk in looking for a 20 opening mat for an assortment of photos. She had already hit "M" and complained that they only had a 15 opening mat and she had to "buy the frame also to get the mat!". I asked the price and she blurted, "That mat and frame was $49.95! I didn't think the mat was worth THAT much!"

That pretty well told me where I stood with this "customer". She told me they would cut her a mat for $7.50 per opening and I told her my charge was $5.00 per opening and she lifted her pencilled on eyebrows as high as she could get them (I love that "charcoal eyebrow look), and headed for the door.

I was devastated.
kaffeetrinker_2.gif


Framerguy
 

nona powers

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There are so many kinds of customers but the ones who are price shopping are usually so out of touch with reality that the sale is almost not worth even trying for, although they can surprise you. Janet has a great attitude, "help them find a way to frame it inexpensively but make it look "dynamite". The designers enthusiasm and then showing them a design they might not know they even want will many times make the sale and make them spend much more than they thought they wanted to spend. Framing design is visual. Show them and they will buy!

I personally am after the ones who want custom work and realize that custom work is expensive. Just look around your community at the new homes and what they sell for and every part of them is expensive if it is custom or special. Remember that some purses sell for over $1,000 and most shoes sell for around $100 and much more.

A customer called me three times yesterday to talk about subsequent jobs and to tell me how much she loved the piece I just delivered and hung. It is a Custom job, totally unique to her and it can't be done by many framers. Hand carved double mat, around 32 X 40 for around $1,300.She wanted me to reframe another piece she has and make it as different as this one and she wanted to make sure a triple oval mat and frame we are doing is not going to be a boring rectangle. She wants her stuff very different.

I visited another framer the other day and he had just finished a hand carved and leafed gold frame that he was selling for over $4,000. It was gorgeous and needless to say cannot be done by many framers.

Another framer in town does a very good job of keeping his shop looking like it does custom work. It looks nothing like a big box store, it's small but gorgeous and he frames themes that he changes often. It's always an adventure to go into his shop and see what he's done last. How often do you reframe your samples, and change the look of your shop?

Sorry this got long, just wanted to share a different view, so much to learn in this business, so little time.
 

Janet L

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Nona, if someone came into my shop and plunked down $4000 for a single framing job, I'd be posting from the hospital's emergency room due to a heart attack! I think the most expensive single job I've ever framed was around $2300. (I still don't think the customer knew I was practically hyperventillating by the close of the sale. LOL).
 

nona powers

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Everyone has to find their comfort level, but the more money you can charge per job, the less you have to work to make a living. A frind of mine and I were doing about the same amount of sales every year, but because my ticket price was higher, I did half the amount of work.

The main point of my post was that there are so many customers out there, are you giving them what they want and will pay for? Michael's , Hobby Lobby and others are doing millions and millions of dollars in framing, but can you compete with them? What can you offer that they cannot; custom services, unique designs, individual attention.
 

JudyN

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Thankyou Nona.
I agree with you and I am with you all the way.
I remember attending one of your first workshops in Montana. I think it was in the Flathead area. You said "I don't see too many Mercedes in the parking lot!". You told us what your "average" ticket was. I don't remember how much it was at that time, but I was amazed and thrilled.
I resolved right then and there to not be a discount shop anymore and we would "concentrate" on the high customer. It does take a lot of effort. It took awhile but we are now there and are proud of it!
We get some very high end jobs in the $1500. range and yes over $5000. We have 7 jobs in that range this month alone. We also do jobs in the $100. - $400. range and love evryone of those also.

They come here because they know we will have what they want ( or know we will search the world for it if we don't). They want us to drop everything and be there for them. What they "want" is a one of a kind look just for them. Something they don't see "everywhere".

This may not suit everyones market. I am sure some have some great businesses without his approach, but I am sure glad I heard Nona "speak" those.... some 15 or 20 years ago!
 

AWG

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It's that time of year, guys. First-time framing buyers and BBs holiday delivery cut off mean OPPORTUNITY if you can take advantage of it. Yes, people may walk - they're busy and "there's no way it can cost THAT much", we're busy and "they don't understand".

Remember that this might be only the first exposure to us and our businesses - if it can be positive then maybe there are some long term customers in the last minute rush.

BTW when are YOU cutting off Christmas completions?


...and happy holidays TO YOU, TOO!

Tony
 

Baer Charlton

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Every time I have "fought" to get the job. I have lost money, hair color, sleep, money and or all of the above.

If you find yourself forcing the sale, let it sail.
 

Jana

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I visited another framer the other day and he had just finished a hand carved and leafed gold frame that he was selling for over $4,000.
I'm glad you posted that Nona, because something has been bugging me for a few days.

We have a very good, return customer who ordered a 48" x 24" LJ liner and frame. The liner is x1551 and the frame is 461912. The price is $171.88 for the liner and $639.87 for the frame. I was wondering how that compared to other frame shops. I would like to know if we're in line or too high.

He thought it was high because he had purchased a huge (perhaps 30" x 40") hand-carved, gold-leaf frame from a maker in Kentucky(?). He was balking at our price for the Chateau because his hand-made frame cost $1200. I don't know how much these frames cost, but I told him I thought he got a very good deal on it. It's hard to compare to the one you mentioned, but it still seems like $1200 was a good deal.
help.gif


Sorry if this Frankenthreading, but it seemed to fit when I read Nona's post. Maybe I should have started a new thread.
 

Rozmataz

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Even though this has happened to me on several occasions - I happened to be on the "long end" of the stick the other evening.

Customer came in looking to have 2 pictures (the same) and I priced her out and showed her different mouldings. She finally confessed she had been "shopping" and the first place was "J" and the 2nd place a new shop around the corner. J was $123 each and the new shop was $66. I was $75.

She bought from me. Why? Not that I was lowest. Attitude. I treat everyone as if they are spending $1,000's of dollars - and yes, some have walked, even with my economy line pricing. But I look at it as an exercise in how to treat people. And I have been a shopper in the past myself - and it's not always the price that is the deal maker/breaker!

Let's hope for more of the big spenders with deep pockets - it makes our job alot more fun and profitable!

Roz
 

keiki

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Left FL for IL...
Walkers are inevitable but I'm trying to keep some of them in-store with a tin of cookies and mini cups of coffee. It's been helpful. (The only problem is that I got cookies that I like.) :eek:


Going back to the comment about the customer listening to another customer getting their price quote.

I have my design table setup so that I work with one customer at one end and can put another customer at the other end at a stool, right next to the basket of candy. They are still close enough to see the process but not the numbers.

When the price quote is ready, I can just show the customer what it is and not say it so that the new customer can overhear it.(This sometimes makes the customer feel like this is her special price)

This also works for husbands who are not interested in the process but would get upset with the price. The dog and candy keep him busy while the wife spends the money. btw the dog is better than a box of toys for most kids, too.

Works most of the time.
thumbsup.gif
 

Bob Doyle

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Originally posted by Baer Charlton:
Every time I have "fought" to get the job. I have lost money, hair color, sleep, money and or all of the above.

If you find yourself forcing the sale, let it sail.
Amen.

Customers who talk you down in price will keep talking you down. Its a hassle I can ill afford. My aunt does this, and she tells her friends what stores she can talk down, and how she does it!

I don't haggle. I don't inflate my prices so I can afford to haggle. If a customer wants to haggle then I tell them just that, I don't use inflated prices, I use a pricing method that is fair to them and to me. Then I tell them that if they want to haggle to let me know in advance next time and I will gladly inflate my prices just for them! I smile and can get away with it 95% of the time! One customer I asked her, on a return visit, "if we'd be haggling today or if she wanted teh honest price", she smiled, was glad she was remembered (and respected) and declined the offer!
 

johnny

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We get these folks almost daily. Sometimes they come back and sometimes they don't. The only time it really annoys me is when they are the types that drain your soul with their very presence, being so crazy or scatterbrained that they leave you fatigued and headed for the Advil(tm) when they leave, or when they spend 45 minutes picking your professional brain for a good design only to pick up their art and head for the store with a coupon now knowing what they want. Sometimes it's your fault for not being able to close the sale, sometimes you never had a chance to begin with - those are the bad ones IMO.

Since Michaels opened last year we've also had people who say "If this price doesn't get better I'm going to Michaels" to which I reply "Bye"
 

Jim Miller

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Originally posted by johnny:
...Since Michaels opened last year we've also had people who say "If this price doesn't get better I'm going to Michaels" to which I reply "Bye"
You're fortunate to have so much business that you don't need those customers.

As you suggest, lowering your price probably isn't the right answer. But if anyone said that to me, I'd try to reply something that makes them want to stay, not go.
 

Rick Granick

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According to the Wall Street Journal, there is a new business model being adopted by some companies, such as Best Buy, which separates customers into "Angels" (good, serious customers) and "Devils" (people who price shop, wait for discounts, or perpetually return merchandise and then try to buy it as open box specials). You can guess which ones they are trying to court.
Don't know that we can go this route, but it sounded interesting.
kaffeetrinker_2.gif
Rick

P.S.: I use the same approach as Bob Doyle does. I explain that I hate to raise prices and that pricing fairly and straightforwardly helps keep prices fair for everyone all the time. I tell them that I find the discounting game insulting for all concerned and that I won't stoop to playing it. Another shop opened up the street recently and their approach is the same game as M's uses. As it happens, they copied our logo, hoping that people searching for us would find them instead. Well, sometimes it works the other way around. When it does, people bring in their coupons, and I have to (get to) give them my speech. When they realize that we treat people with intelligence and respect, they often stay and let us do the work.
 

B. Newman

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This new book I have ("Knock Out Marketing" published by Entrepreneur magazine) speaks of the "value triangle". We're all familiar with the concept of "choose any two - price, quality, or speed" but the "value triangle" states that it's not that cut and dried. That it can be varying amounts of each of the three.

I thought I understood the concept. This opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at it.

Perhaps this frankenthreads a little, but it follows Jim's post on "value."

Betty

PS. Seldom do my customers walk out, because seldom do they "walk in" to start with! But that's a whole 'nother thread...
 

Doug Gemmell

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Originally posted by Jana:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> I visited another framer the other day and he had just finished a hand carved and leafed gold frame that he was selling for over $4,000.
I'm glad you posted that Nona, because something has been bugging me for a few days.

We have a very good, return customer who ordered a 48" x 24" LJ liner and frame. The liner is x1551 and the frame is 461912. The price is $171.88 for the liner and $639.87 for the frame. I was wondering how that compared to other frame shops. I would like to know if we're in line or too high.

He thought it was high because he had purchased a huge (perhaps 30" x 40") hand-carved, gold-leaf frame from a maker in Kentucky(?). He was balking at our price for the Chateau because his hand-made frame cost $1200. I don't know how much these frames cost, but I told him I thought he got a very good deal on it. It's hard to compare to the one you mentioned, but it still seems like $1200 was a good deal.
help.gif


Sorry if this Frankenthreading, but it seemed to fit when I read Nona's post. Maybe I should have started a new thread.
</font>[/QUOTE]
 

Doug Gemmell

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Jana,
Feeback on the frame using LJ Chateau: Our price for that frame is $552. I didn't figure the liner price.
Doug
 

David Knox

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When a "shopper" comes to me, I treat them as I do all other customers... confidently assuming they will choose my services. I show them choices and explain the process as much as possible. My conversion rate is pretty high and it's not because my prices are less; sometimes I think it boils down to giving them the attention they crave. I never just use the pos to give them a price; I always show them mat and frame samples. My employee on the other hand just quotes a generic price and is not a "closer". That's why I always assist the customers when I'm in the shop (which is almost always).
 

Littleframer

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Sherry, yesterday, I had a teacher who came in to frame a newspaper article for her boss the principal of her school. She said the piece will be split between 5 other teachers. I showed her some beautiful choices, but was also mindful that she may be looking at budget constraints. After I showed her the choices, she asked "what about a metal frame?". That told me she was trying to take the lower price route. However, metal (nielsen) has risen in price with the increase of metal on the world market. So that really did not bring the price down. I do not carry plastic. She looked shocked at the price even of the metal. She said she would take the info back to the other teachers. I consider this another walk out because I just have a feeling she will go to walmart or something. Oh, and I donated many pieces of art for their silent auction, which sold at top price (not that that matters, but she was aware of our quality and that is why she came to us in the first place.

Thanks for listening!

Little framer
 

Littleframer

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Betty, sounds like I need to get that book you mention! I have a marketing degree and have been in fortune 500 marketing all my life, as well as a rep for a moulding company. Today's market has changed, though, from what I can tell. From a positive side, I had a customer that walked out earlier in the week, she said her husband would "flip out" at the price. She came back and even upped the order (added another matboard, went with a more expensive moulding) Her husband told her she would have to look at it the rest of her life so she had better get what she wanted!


Little framer
 

ahohen

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Raceland, Louisiana
Yesterday, a new customer came in with a framed print her mother-in-law came in with a few weeks ago. She came in to get it re-matted because the mat colors i helped her mother-in-law choose "clashes" with her decor". She asked me if i could change the mats. I said sure, no problem. After her deciding on her own what mat colors she liked (colors had absolutely nothing to do with the print) i printed her an invoice and said it will be ready for pickup tomorrow. She said. "I asked you if you could change the mats. You said yes. Now you want to charge me for them?" The End... she walked out. All the years i have been in business this is the first time this has ever happened. I am sure 99.9999% of customers have common sense... they know i can "change the mat(s)" BUT also know it will cost them" for the new mat(s). What is this world coming to....

(I immediately called her mother in law, a long-time very good customer and explained the situation. She was absolutely shocked at her daughter-in-law's attitude and stupidity and appologized to me over and over...)
 

johnny

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You're fortunate to have so much business that you don't need those customers.

As you suggest, lowering your price probably isn't the right answer. But if anyone said that to me, I'd try to reply something that makes them want to stay, not go.
I've really tried. My stores and Michaels simply look different, and you can guess which one looks more expensive especially when a customer is armed with a 50% off coupon. If I respond that my prices are already comparable to Michaels for an equal product I get a lot of incredulous looks and guffaws that make me feel like a used car salesman on crack which makes me wonder why they came in my door in the first place. I think it's partly to get some advice on design and partly for convenience. I'm closer and easier to shop at, but they want that price to move and they think it's going to automatically move someplace else. So maybe it's best for them to go find out. Many of them eventually come back, maybe for that project and maybe not. But if they come back they don't haggle as much, which is better than training them to expect an extra discount if they mention the big box.
 

B. Newman

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Little Framer, I continue to be amazed at this book. I'm making notes in the margin, underlining stuff, re-reading pages, and even making notes on other paper. It's the best marketing book I've ever read! (and I'm a read-a-holic!)

Betty
 

Jacob

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Betty, thanks for the tip off to the book. I just ordered one as well.

For the first time in a long time I had a customer walk out of the store on Saturday. Was it my sparkling personality? My charming wit? Body odor? No. It was the Saturday 2 weeks before Christmas and my assistant called in sick, so at varying times during the day I had between 5 and 6 customers standing in line to be waited on. Aahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

On the other note, why do customers come to a small shop when they can go to Michael's and save 5000% on a job. One, when they come in through my door, I have to subtly educate them as to the marketing scam that M pulls over on the public. Also, I try to be the "bartender" of framers. I talk to them personally, listen to their stories and life histories, and share of myself. This was not a conscious plan on my part, it has always been this way. All my life people have wanted to share their life stories and most intimate secrets with me. I have no idea why. But I have people tell me about their children, their sexual dysfunctions, their tax lies, their drinking problems and who they are sleeping with. Man, don't psychologists get about $100 an hour?

Well, on the bright side, some day I'll write a book about all of the "characters" I've met and end up on the "Today Show" talking with Katie Couric about it. Or if it's a really hot seller, maybe they'll invite Jane Pauley back just for me. :D
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Dec 8, 2003
Posts
9,908
From
KY
I read on here all the time about how framers know what their customers like (pricing & materials) and make a conscience effort to offer the opposite. Then spend valuable time convincing them why to save the sale. That makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Carry on!
 

Jacob

True Grumbler
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Posts
50
From
NY
Originally posted by Jay H:
I read on here all the time about how framers know what their customers like (pricing & materials) and make a conscience effort to offer the opposite. Then spend valuable time convincing them why to save the sale. That makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Carry on!
Jay, A bad frame choice for the sake of a quicky sale is like a one-night-stand. It means nothing (except instant gratification) and leads to nothing down the road. If you don't offer your honest opinion they will not respect you in the morning. It will not lead to a relationship of trust that is important to establish for a "long term" customer.

I don't make an effort to offer the opposite, but often will offer the better visual solutions to their "masterpiece". I am mindful of their budget restraints however.

One reason for me to offer a customer what I think looks best rather than what they do, is that that is what they are paying me for. My opinion and expertise. A chimp can assemble a frame and there are plenty of "fast food" type places around to do just that.

Another reason is that it's my name on the back of the frame, and when one of their friends (and potential customers of mine) asks them who did that "god awful" framing, I don't think they are going to blame themselves for the horrid aesthetic choices. To me I would rather stay true to my own aesthetic values, than to make one quick sale. Over the long haul, it's that visual stamp that gives me my reputation, not doing whatever my colorblind customers want. Plus, it's easier to justify a visual choice down the road when it is your own.

I have told customers in the past that there are certain things that I simply will not do. Things that compromise the value of their piece; things that compromise the structural soundness of their original artwork; and things that compromise my visual standards. I have never lost a sale for being an "art snit" either. But I would do it gladly. It's my shop and my reputation. That's much more important than a $200 frame sale.

That's not to say I won't work with their decorating style. I'm not going to put a Victorian frame on a piece that's going into an ultra modern home.
 

Puppyraiser

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 10, 1999
Posts
6,569
From
Maryland
Business
Howards retired
I design to the piece, but then when the customer says that they want some other frame or mat or mat width or whatever, but what do I think? I tell them what pleases me, but it isn't going to hang in my house, so they can have it as they want. I had one customer tell me yesterday that every time he comes in, he knows what he wants. Then I show him what looks better. He tries to convince himself that the lesser design is fine, but he likes mine better. He says every time he comes in, he has 'open wallet surgery' hehehehehe
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Dec 8, 2003
Posts
9,908
From
KY
I was referring to pricing and materials only. I made no reference to quality or style. Quality and style come standard and I don't charge extra for that. Do you?

"A chimp can assemble a frame and there are plenty of "fast food" type places around to do just that."

The first month I was open, one of the richest people in town came in and beat me to the ground on framing a 5x7. This was a copy of an old photo and all she wanted was the cheapest piece of crap I could jam around this picture. This ticked me off. I sold her a photo frame and some matting from a fallout (It wasn't my best design but it worked). Total = $25.00. Then she had the nerve to pull out a 15% off coupon.

She has spent almost $1500 with me this month alone. Guess who wouldn't be doing it if I sent her to some other monkey because I refused to offer her what she wanted. Ohh yea and she has not once designed with price as a major concern again but that day she did. This was a very valuable lesson for me.

That reminds me I need to order another box of moulding and paper mats encase the next 'big fish' comes in this week. Just how many $3 matboards and .65/ft mouldings is out there anyway? Gotta run.

Carry on!
 

Jacob

True Grumbler
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Posts
50
From
NY
Jay, sorry. I wasn't trying to infer that you were one of the chimps. :D I was just trying to give my philosophy.

I have to say I agree that sometimes you just can't tell a book by its cover. I've had people in for the first time who looked like just this side of a street person, and yet have spent a LOT of money. Others you know are just dripping money and are as tight as a vise. I do always try to stay within their budget, but... sometimes I will lay out the better frame just so they see the difference. :D

It boggles the mind that someone will "trade down" to an obviously inferior presentation for the sake of $20-$40 dollars even. Something they won't think twice about spending on booze on a Saturday night out, but something they will have in their house forever... Well, that's another topic. And it's off to work for me.
 

HannaFate

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
Posts
10,688
From
Corrales, New Mexico
That's what I will do to help customers get over the initial cost. Compare it to other things they do for fun. (Let's face it, framing is entertainment, not an essential) How much do you spend for about two hours of visual entertainment at the movies? We are making something that you can enjoy for years. At an hourly rate, and remembering that you are sharing it with everyone who comes into your home... that's not a bad price.

I don't mind doing inexpensive for people, I just worry that, if their choice is based entirely on price, they won't get good value for their money. They won't enjoy the cheaper frame.

Sometimes, they still go without placing an order.

I often suspect that they don't really like the piece they are framing. In which case, it's just as well. They might not ever come back for the piece.
 
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