Do you deliver?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Apr 8, 2004
Hi All,

Does anyone deliver and if so do you restrict it to oversized?

I have a rather picky, cheap, nasty, demanding client with an oversized piece.

After she beat me up a little on price on an oversized sewdown of a tacky jeweled Indian thing,(I built in a huge price to come down from so I didn't have to discount as much) she said she wants me to hang it and deliver it. I told her I may be able to deliver it but refused to hang it. I've delt with people like this before and I know it is never going to be just a delivery, she will push and push me to hang it as well.

She cried the blues about money at the design table and then gives me her address to a million dollar home.

I know how to handle her and all but was curious if anyone has general guidlines on what their delivery policy is. I stress to some customers in-home and personal appointments as well as delivery because it is still something that no big box monster does yet. It keeps them and me happy.

Thanks Grumblers.
Delivery for nice customers: n/c
Delivery for this kind: get paid up front!

Install is a totally different story. Based on time/materials/difficulty. Get paid up front at least your minimum!
I agree with Roz.
Let her know upfront your delivery and hanging fee if you have one.

Make one up if you don't!
Also, make sure you are properly covered for delivering and hanging. Murphy's law applies to this type of "service" - - - you do it for nothing (being a nice guy) and cause damage to her wall while hanging it, now you're an incompetent idiot and she sues you for damages!
I used to hang, pretty frequently too. After a few experiences with challenging customers like yours I found a nice bonded professional installer and refer my clients to him. He loves me - sends me Christmas cookies. I think he's really strange in a masochist kind of way.

If they are intent on being probematic you'll see a few recurring problems...

1. They expect you to hang it in exactly the right place and HIT A STUD. You'll occasionally have to pretend to hammer harder because you're "pounding into the stud."

2. They will be critical of how far the top of the picture leans away from the wall. Some may want it flush with the wall. Hey, you know how to do this - you're the professional!

3. Whatever you do don't scratch the wall with the frame corners or screw eyes.

4. In some cases they have expressed displeasure that I use normal goodwill hangers. One very strange lady went running around the house screaming "ANYONE CAN USE THOSE! I DON'T WANT THOSE!" We apologized that we did not feel comfortable staying and left.

5. Take windex and a paper towel to clean the glass when you're done. I've also had customers complain about drywall dust on the carpet.

6. You may very well arrive to find they want 2, 3, 4, or a whole house full of additional pictures hung. You may find that they would like your input on where to hang the original piece. Since that one is replacing something else on the wall they want you to rehang that one someplace else.. and so on.

7. They LIE. Their walls magically stretch to 16 feet tall and drywall turns to brick.

When you get there and see that they want it hung 15 feet up over an entertainment unit all they know is that you promised to do it. I may lose business because I won't hang most things anymore and I really don't care. I will hang for customers I have a good relationship with.

If they are Indian (india) wear good socks because you probably won't be allowed to wear shoes in their house. I think it's religious, but I admit I'm ignorant. It's definitely cultural. The last time I had to leave my shoes outside while I ended up hanging 8 pieces of art they froze.

Currently, I'm not getting paid for a $2000 invoice because I will not hang the artwork. They were simple metal frames and single mats. On the quote I wrote "hanging materials included" meaning the security hangers, wire on the pics and stuff. It is their position that "hanging materials included" means I am going to install 20 pictures with security hangers in cinderblock. We are at an impasse.
I have to sue them in a special court 2 hours away because they are the government, but it beats hanging those buggers for free.

I used to hang a LOT of pictures. The majority were good experiences. The bad ones were enough to make me get out of it. If you're starting out bad I don't have much hope for you on this one.

oh, and 8. Pray they never knock it off the wall or take it down and accidentally break it. It will have fallen off by itself and you'll be expected to make good on it.

Anyway, I deliver oversized pieces for free.
Johnny... :D :D :D !!!

I do deliver, but I am trying to come up with a policy about what, when, and how much. Oversize, old folks, illness, large dollar amount all get delivered for free. I usually refuse to hang stuff (see above) but lately it seems like I'm doing it the 6' x 4' map for the 8-month pregnant lady...

Good luck!
I do lots of deliveries. In fact, a major portion of our work is on site consultation with free pick up and delivery.

I don't do hanging though. Although I did an office installiation once - nevermore...

Our company has been delivering and installing for 20 years . With care and knowledge this can be very profitable . We charge 65.00 per hour with a 2 hour minimum and I have been amazed how many time I have delivered and hung 1 frame for 130.00 + tax, and the customer was thanking me profusely so she did not have to wait for her Husband to get around to it. I also us it to get new business just offering hanging service for existing art, always bring back new framing orders.I have a few customers I have re-hung the same existing art 4-5 time because of moving or remodeling . Always be on time and take off shoes or wear shoe covers , always over engineer for weight almost always hang with new hardware and a 2 hooks. times over the years (moving and or remodeling).
this is for a one person crew, we have been on installing jobs where We have had a crew of 4
the Charges for this are 100.00 per hour for 2 man crew and 45.00 per hour for each additional crew
oops looks like I messed up on the cut and paste after spell check, apologies
(times over the years (moving and or remodeling))
funny it did not read that way on the preview ? :confused:
Here is a suggestion.....your customers really only are interested in three things:

What is it going to look like?
How much is it going to cost?
When am I going to get it?

How come the oversized pices are always brought in rolled in a tube by a customer driving a Miata?

In my company, ANYTHING that is oversized/and or heavy has a "built in" charge that includes delivery and/or delivery and installation. (30 x 40 or larger) When selling a design for a large piece, we conclude the transaction by saying the price includes delivery and/or delivery and installation.

The oversized pieces are usually expensive to begin with. If the price was going to be $1200 PLUS $75 delivery/installation, the client could say something like, "I am spending all this money on framing the piece, couldn't you deliver it too?" It sounds much better and is easier for the customer to accept if you say the price is $1275 and we will deliver and install it for you. You have overcome their objection to "How am I going to get it home and how am I going to hang it (it is so hard to find the studs.....), plus if they are comparison shopping, the BIG BOXES don't offer delivery/installation. If they say, "My husband has a van and can hang it, can you give me a "discount", you can "deduct" the delivery/installation charge and still make the same amount of money you needed to at the start, but ONLY IF IT WAS CALCULATED INTO THE INITIAL PRICE!

I always deliver.....but not going to get caught in the game of hanging....I can already see the problems plus a few more that you guys pointed out. I don't charge for shop is too far out in the sticks to ask people to come out
I like Robs method the best........charge all and deduct of they DIY (and they think its a bargin)......thats real marketing.

Good idea Markoff.
My biggest fear with hanging is that no matter what REALLY happened to the picture, it will always be your fault that it’s broke.

Has anybody here seen Nanny 911? Lets say little Johnny picks up his tricycle and slam-dunks it into mom’s precious $4,000 TK. The picture comes crashing to the floor and thankfully the Frame God (Northcarolineous) pushes the picture away from that little bundle of love.

Mom brings in ruined picture with busted class and thrashed print. There is still a little blue and yellow tassel from the handle grip hanging out of the round hole in the glass. Mom comes in with the look of…..well a mad mom and says, “You hung this picture 4 years ago and it fell yesterday. It almost hit my little wudgy wudgy wudgy wittle angel. Lucky for you it missed him but I will be needing $23,000 from you today to repair my wood floor, priceless TK (now worth $7,000), and for pain and suffering.”

Just the thought of this is giving me a migraine. I’m sure there is insurance and forms and stuff (maybe Ron the insurance guy can help) that would protect you. Sounds like more trouble than it is worth.

My friend is manager of Home Depot. They deliver stuff everyday. I asked him about this. He said that they specifically advertise “Curbside Delivery” and that the delivery guys have strict orders to never take an item into a house, EVER. Now HD has enough money to buy all the TK’s in O’town but still chooses to not risk damaging one of the priceless pieces of….. ”art” .

Anyway I think delivery is awesome. I’ve been looking for a van for a while to do just that. I already deliver in my personal van often. But before I ever hung a single item, I would check with an insurance guy, attorney, a carpenter, pastor, and a counselor first.

Carry on!
Seems like I’m the only one who doesn’t deliver.

1) Once the pieces are out the door, I want to absolve my liability and,

b) I drive a ‘91 Toyota Tercel – I can barely get a catcher’s mitt in the trunk.

Sometimes I hold the door open when the customers are leaving, though.
We offer delivery but have cut WAAY back on installs. They're kind of a pain with our current schedule and most folks don't really need it - but delivery is a nice non-big-box service that costs us nothing. When asked, installation is usually something we wouldn't do anyway - like a 48" round mirror 6 (really 10) feet high in a stairwell. For requests like these the price is based, as you guys mentioned, on a difficulty/time/do-I-really-want-to sliding scale.
The former owner of oour Gallery owns a handyman service and handles most of our installation work.
Thanks everyone, you basically cemented my position.
Delivery is okie doke for good customers and no-hang no-foul for the pain in the @$$ customers.

Thanks again.
We pick up, delivery, and do in-home consultations (after the customer visits the shop and we know we have the job). We do not charge for this separately but figure it into the total charge of the package. This service is limited to what we can comfortably handle both physically and financially. Right now we have a ground breaking shovel in a huge shadowbox that must be picked up by the customer. It has been finished since October!

Talk to your insurance agent before buying a delivery van. I was delivering in a personal vehicle and purchased a nice white chevy delivery van. I wish I kept using my own vehicle. Even though I'm the only person that drives both vehicles they say I have to have 2 policies, one personal and one corporate. If I am actively delivering the company policy is in effect, if I'm driving for personal reasons the personal policy is in effect. They said it's an Ohio law thing so it may be different in Kentucky, but my car insurance premiums totalled $3400 per year and I don't even have a single ticket. I think it's outrageous and I won't pay it, so my car sits in the parking lot without insurance and I drive the company van. I just learned that I'm in fact breaking the law by driving the van home at night without a personal policy and am officially without insurance even though I'm paying over $1500 per year insurance on the thing. Now my agent isn't returning my calls, but I did get a nice large invoice in the mail from him this week.

Anyway, look into it first. Don't do what I did. Don't be a Johnny.
Put a posterframe in the back. Then no matter what, your always making a delivery.
Originally posted by johnny:
...They said it's an Ohio law thing so it may be different in Kentucky, but my car insurance premiums totalled $3400 per year...I just learned that I'm in fact breaking the law by driving the van home at night without a personal policy and am officially without insurance even though I'm paying over $1500 per year insurance on the thing...
Do we live in the same Ohio?

Allstate has insured all my vehicles for the past 20 years; cars, motorcycles, and company vans. The company van has a separate business policy, and the insurance company asks me to declare personal-use mileage at evey policy renewal. My personal vehicles may be used occasionally for business, too. My total annual cost for vehicle insurance is waaay under what you're paying.

I suggest you shop around.
I live in Kafka County.

I started trying to talk to my agent in January, now I've let it go until it's too late again. My policy expires on Tuesday. Yes, I do have to shop around, but I've been using these guys for insurance since I've been 16, and my parents for years and years before me. Never used to have problems like this and I hate to cut old ties.

Anyway, if any of you are considering a delivery van check with your insurance agent.