"Dumbing Down" the Moulding Quality

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Resource Provider
Jun 30, 1999
Cincinnati, OH
It really singes my eyebrows when I receive a chop only to find out that the vendor has switched sources for the moulding and that the new one is inferior to the old. Usually the embossed pattern is less detailed and the finish is gaudy or missing some subtle patina. Sometimes the profile is different, with less elegant proportions. If they are going to do this, the least they can do is send out new samples, so that what we show the customer is what they can expect to get.
Oddly, the price never seems to go down in proportion to the reduction in quality. If I wanted this trade-off, I would find a new, inferior vendor. (Hint: I DON'T.)
I guess with the weakness of the US dollar, we can expect a lot more of this, with vendors trying to "cheap out" and get more for their weak dollar.

It's my opinion that you don't have to settle for something that isn't the quality that you expected to get. And it isn't just the smaller moulding distributors that are guilty of this "bait and switch to cheaper bait" technique. If they aren't willing to supply you with what they represent with their samples and don't want to complain to their manufacturers about the quality control, then I suggest that you get on the phone and chew some butt!

I have done this with the big guys and also a few little guys and sometimes it gets some action. What gets the real response is pulling those offensive samples off the wall coupled with, and this is important, handing them back to the rep with a complete narrative of why you are pulling down those samples. If they don't know why they probably won't notice that the samples are down or won't take any action on reporting the deficiencies in the quality of what you are receiving.

I would save a piece of the inferior moulding and show it to the rep along with the quality represented by the sample and simply tell him/her to call when things are rectified. Until then, the sample stays off the display.

There are too many companies out there that provide a good product to put up with stuff that isn't what the customer was shown.

"Junk happens!"

In my opinion they should lower the prijce accordingly.

It is a problem that is creating the bad feeling that somebody is trying to put something over on us, indeed what other explaination could there be? They are putting something over on us.

It makes me feel really guilty when a customer comes in to pick up and sees a cheap Asian or South American knock off when they think they are getting what I promoted as "hand finished" (thus the price) Italian.
What a timely thread......

Just a few weeks ago we ended up sending back 3 orders (one length, 2 chops) b/c the moulding didn't match the sample. Seems LJ has moved production of this moulding, the sample DOESN'T match the moulding, and the customer didn't want the "new, imnproved" stuff. The original length went back (seemed like a bad batch to us), and re-ordered as chop (time was short). First chop went back, replaced with the same thing (of course, since it's the "real" thing now.) The problem is that the $8/ft "real" LJ moulding more closely resembles what I think the $1.75 knock-off would look like. We ended up choosing a whole different moulding and the sample went in the trash.

TODAY we rec'd two sticks of LJ Windemere - looked fine except for the fuzz embedded in the finish and the dents along the rabbet. No "1 foot allowance" stickers anywhere. They'll go back Friday.

We also recently went through 40' of LJ shadowbox moulding that looked as if it had been milled by beavers - beaten, rough, lacquered barnwood best describes it.

Yes, maybe I'm beating on LJ a bit - but we've seen a decline in their usually great quality over the last 6 months or so. So far, our driver/rep has been able to take care of the problems and arrange quick replacements. This will be a point of discussion on the next visit from our rep as we plan next year's business.
Anyone else had this problem lately???

BTW we have NOT seen quality decline from our other vendors (Roma and Nurre, primarily).