Do you charge as much for.....


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jan 7, 2005
Do you charge just as much for framed prints, art, you do for a 'custom' job for a customer. I have lots of samples on the wall that I am working on pricing & just wondered about this.
I sell them at a reduced price. Usually at 25-30% lower than a custom job for the same thing. I do this for a few reasons.

One, they get what I picked not what they picked.

Two, I want the price to be attractive and somewhat competitive in my market.

Three, I usually use leftover materials or special purchase materials and can afford to discount them and still make my margine.

Hope that helps.
I was kind of thinking along those same lines. I was only afraid they might see the price & try to compare oranges to apples. Thanks.
The artwork is priced at issue or at it's appreciated value if it's gone higher and framing is priced as though it was a custom job, though I am willing to negotiate if a customer asks. During the discussion, I can usually reduce the requested discount in a very accepting way to the customer by offering free delivery and installation and/or 6 to 10 months same as cash. The artwork I will reduce back to issue, but not below. The framing I will go up to around 30% on if pressed. I will, however, change mat colors or a frame at no additional charge, assuming the replacement isn't of a higher value and then I charge the difference.
Originally posted by Grumbler F.K.A. Harry:
I sell them at a reduced price. Usually at 25-30% lower than a custom job for the same thing.....One, they get what I picked not what they picked...

That's when I might be inclined to charge more rather than less. :D

...Two, I want the price to be attractive and somewhat competitive in my market...
And your custom framing prices are not competitive? Remember that the customers are still looking at purchasing a custom framed item on your gallery walls and not an OEM, mass produced product with cardboard protective corners stacked up in rows!

...Three, I usually use leftover materials or special purchase materials and can afford to discount them and still make my margine...
This logic might hold water, but it really depends upon what it looks like. If the leftover moulding still looks like a "million bucks", why dicount it? To suggest a page out of Bob Carter's book, examine it's value and what you think the market will bare...what does it look like it's worth?

Typically moving pre-framed product around within your shop, changing it from time to time, and mixing it with other gift and home decor merchandise will have a bigger impact on it selling, than reducing the price.


As to your first point; Why would you charge more?

Second; My custom framing prices are extremely competitive for CUSTOM FRAMING. In-fact, they are perhaps the best in town. Even when my neighbors flash their big coupons I am still ususally VERY competitive. As for the world of pre-framed art I can not be competitive if I charge my custom prices. Now, I understand that my pre-framed stuff is different and superior to most of the schlock that my neighbors sell, but I have found over the years that most people don't seem to care. They are buying it to be disposable. Use it for a couple of years and then get rid of it.

And third, I try not to through good money after bad and just use materials because I have them.. If what I have doesn't work I don't use it. I will regularly ROUND UP (Wink wink. Nod nod.) prices on somethings that look like that are worth more than they actually should be. I also rotate the art in my store about every six weeks which is more than often enough for my customer flow.

I am not looking to give the preframed stuff away, and I don't, but I am looking to sell it at a fair and attractive price. Unless I have a real dog peice that I just want out of my life, I will make the minimum margine I need to make or it won't leave my store.
We tend to move things around too, but also make good use of "oops" frames or special buys.

We mark them about 25-40% off a custome job, just so our customers can pick-up a "deal" on a picture that they may otherwise not have considered....

And when I sell something, I have to design something to replace it....yippie skippy!

And it's not like we sold it for COG. But usually about twice COG.
We mark our framed art with both the custom price (as a reference point) and our "discounted" price. The majority of our framed art comes from our poster collection and in-house supplies. We discount our framed art to compete with Pier 1 Imports, etc.

We make a little money on these items, but mostly we do it for the giggles of selling something we designed.
I charge the same amount for a custom job as the Framed Print on my walls. Just remember that the customer rarely has the same print to be framed exactly the same way. If they do then they often will not pick up the print for the same price as you display.

We also have our prints with a print only price and a framed price
I would not sell it for less. Chances are the stuff you hang on your wall for sale will remain there a lot longer than a the usual turn around time for a custom job.

That ties up your money since you cannot cover the cost of your materials quickly.
Interesting discussion with valid points being made by everyone.

Me thinks there is no set answer as each store/market/traffic/etc. will vary.

If a framed art piece isn't moving, first move it around (and of, dust it off and wash the glass), then start marking it down..and down...and down...until it does move. Even if it is a beautiful example of your best's getting stale and moldy and taking up valuable selling space.

The only two exceptions I can think of would be (1) if you have fallen in love with the piece...take it home! ...and (2) if you are able to sell tickets and tout yourself as a museum...which not too many of us are (however, it often seems we are a "not-for-profit").

The old 80/20 rule applies here...80% of your sales of framed art will come from newly framed fresh work on the wall and only 20% will be from the old "collection".

Dave Makielski
Thanks for all the replies. I was thinking of pricing the same as for a custom job. Only marking up the moulding twice instead of three times.

I have many framed pieces on the walls and all are very useful framing samples. I often refer to a framed piece as a reference for pricing, so the pricing HAS to be consistent with custom work.
I make a point of having the bulk of my in-stock mouldings shown as part of a gorgeous finished piece on the display wall. I also 'showcase' favored moulding suppliers this way- as finished pieces. Do you folks hear "I want mine to look like that one" as often as I do?

I consider the framed pieces on my gallery walls as very important and potent custom framing selling tools. I am a fanatic about having knock-your-socks-off frames and art on the wall. I also stay away from the same old stuff you see everywhere else- I like to look unique. (plus it makes it hard for bargain hunters to haggle)

That said, once a year I will have an inventory clearance sale that I advertise via artsy postcard to my mailing list. I have found "two for one" sales to be the most appealing and that way I get to clear out two pieces. Framed samples that have grown tired or have discontinued moulding, nicks and dents are included in this sale. Really good pieces are given another chance with refreshed matting. People ALWAYS notice the newly rematted pieces and think it is new.

There, Mecianne, a long answer to your short question.

edie the pricingforfunandprofit goddess
Our POS software (Frame Ready) lets us see the turnaround time. So, when a new work goes on the wall I charge the art and full framing price. We review the list about every three months and start to drop prices on individual pieces that have been here a long time.

Once a year (July and early August) we discount all framed and unframed art by 30%. We usually sell 4 - 5 pieces a month. During the sale it goes up to 8 - 9.