Gift for a good client


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Aug 30, 2005
Fremont, California
I've got a reletively new client that has spent over $20,000 dollars in my shop since they first walked in my doors last October. Not that they need something from us (I mean they spent 20k on framing) but I would like to do something nice for them in return. Any thoughts as to what might be appropriate for a client such as this? This is a residential client with 3 kids and one on the way.

Almost forgot to mention that they are the nicest people I've ever met. They pay promptly and trust my designs. Who could ask for more?
If you have enough scrap moulding from any of their projects make a 5 x 7 or 8 x 10 photo frame.

For a 20 grand customer you could make the photo frame even if you don't have the scrap.

Wish my good client had spent 20k but alas not there yet. But he does come in and spent $4-500.00 at a time and he is a succesful business man himself and can afford anything he wants. The other week he had ordered a small print to fit in an atique oval frame of his. Print was $10-12. plus a pc of scrap CC and fitting. When he came in to pick it up he asked how much he owed me. I told him it was No Charge, just a perk of being such a good customer, Well you would have thought I had given him the world. Said he has 3-4 other item to bring in to get framed. Those other 3-4 items will bring me $12 -$1,500 in framing.

So do something nice for your customer. Doesn't have to be much, they will appreciate your thought. Do you have a CMC? Maybe some photomats with their kids names cut out. How about one that says BABY for the nursery and the new arrival. How about one for the Family. Mom & Dad in the middle surrounded by 4 openings for the kids.
3 kids with 1 on the way? If this was my customer, I'd line up a gift certificate for two to a nice restaurant and spring for a babysitter of their choice for the evening!
I like Betty's idea ... but in any event pick something other than framing ... it'll have a much bigger and better impact.
Tickets to a local concert, play or musical have worked like a charm in the past. It's probably nothing they are looking for, but just a simple way to say thanks! I also had one customer who was a finacial advisor and told him to round up his best customers and have a night in our Gallery (we closed early on a Thursday night). We had an artist come in and work on a piece and talk a bit about their work. Not only did we sell many of his works, we made some great relationships with some new folks who have never been financial advisor received rave reviews for pulling his clients together and showing them a good time..was a great night.
I like Betty's idea. Very family oriented and thoughtful (that's what I'd expect of Betty anyway.... ;) But make sure it is a really nice restaurant.

But also: If they like wine, a case of very good California Cabernet. Or a case of very good champagne.
Thanks Paul.

She's pregnant - no wine for a while anyway...

Check Whynot's profile (the sunglass thingie).
I'd go with Betty's idea - Gift Certificate for dinner. Tickets assume they will like your choice and have that specific date available. Dinner gives them the flexibility to use it to fit their schedule.

PS. Paul likes the idea becasue it involves food & wine.
Originally posted by Tim Hayes.:

PS. Paul likes the idea because it involves food & wine.
Who doesn't?..... ;)

Actually, it is a safe assumption. And if they don't like it, they could always give it to a friend who, I am sure, would most likely appreciate it too.
Couple of years ago, I joined the Bangor Symphony to support the classical arts up here. That gave me pairs of tickets to 6 of their shows.

I decided to give them out to my best customers whom I knew loved classical music as a thank you for their business. Best thing I could have ever done.
re: tickets

some music and arts venues offer gift certificates.

Get friendly with a local florist. If your customer already uses the same one send an arrangement of the customers' favorite flowers. If not, let the florist know that these folks spend dough on luxury decor items and they might send an arrangement that looks like $75 for $50.

For a $20k customer I'd do something like Harry and David's fruit of the month.
I had a customer last summer that spent over $20,000 on frames. One project was almost $4,000 to frame a 28' long antique panorama of the Thames left and right banks. It came accordion folded in a nice box with the title and description. I broke it up into 6 <5' by 10" frames. Without telling the customer in advance, I did a complementary matching frame for the box cover. It was very well received - gestures like this are very important for good customers. He would have paid for the extra frame without batting an eye - money is no object for him - but the gesture was priceless.

Pat :D
Ralph, I wanna be your customer!

If I had a customer like this, I would definitely give them at least one of Cornel's (American Choice) photo frames, though, hands down, for several reasons. First, I like the idea of a framing related gift. Second, with a new baby on the way, a photo frame might be just the perfect unique yet useful gift. Third, this is a gift your customer is unlikley to find on their own. Sounds like they could buy a dinner anywhere they wanted to, but they rely on your good taste and expertise to find good frames for them. And lastly, Cornel's frames come with a hand (paper)wrapped easel back that matches their beautiful gift box. They're the ideal gift for a class act.

edie the ownerofseveralamericanchoiceframes goddess
OK, I've been fence sitting too long on Cornel's frames. This was just enough.
Now where is that rascal when you want to order something?
Take them out to dinner come sunday. Get to know them on a one on one personal basis. I don't know if I would present it as a payback or even as a customer appreciation gift. More as a " I would like to know you guys" type of sentiment. Even if in the back of your mind you are really wanting to "pay-back" This is just a personal preference type of thing here. Nothing wrong with either way..!
The other option I would go for is to buy a baby gift! My only drawback would be it's a very personal issue and nothing yet says your on that tyype of freindship level. I am Probably reading way to much into all of this. Heck in the end your just wanting to say " Thank you ". I would not be afraid to spend a couple of hundred on them either. Whats 2 hundred or more compared to the $20K they spent.
As soon as one of my clients gets back from the slope we will be going out to lunch.. (Sunday Dinner)Only day I get off from work.
I would do something personal...that means you really appreciate them and are willing to go a bot further to find out more about him. I would possible talk about music or what he likes-art, theather, movies, anything personal. Just do it casually ask him what he has been upto outside of work. Then he said he likes classical music, yousay did you know about such and such coming he saids yes he is thinking of going, you get the tickets. I knw that is a dreamy thing, but I like people to know where I am at and it is straight from the heart. If food is something he digs, then do what really makes him happy.


Whynot could make me happy with a few frames, but i am a framing nerd...
Get then a gift certificate to some place like Ruth's Chris or Morton's if you get if you choose dining. Make it for at least $100

But, I also like the Harry and David idea, too. 12 months of "Thank you" is pretty powerful

In the same vein, we used to get spectacular gifts from vendors at Christmas time. But, the last several years, we have seen the "quality" and "frequency" of these gifts diminish

Anyone else see the same thing?

And, what was the best "gift" you have given to a client and what was the best gift you have received?
Best gift given was 2nd row James Taylor tickets. We had been talking and he said he was going to be out of town when they went on sale...he was real upset. Nabbed him a nice set of tickets. He was blown away.....I would consider him and his wife top 5 customers.

Best received was tickets to a Bob Gibson Charity Auction and Dinner held here in Omaha. Got to attend a private signing with 50-55 Hall of Famers and All-Stars....what a night!
As you are aware the best gifts I give are to charities. If I receive a gift from one of my clients, I usually forward it to one of the charities that I work with. Last year one of these "gifts" evolved into a $3000.00 donation to our favorite cause.
The folk that can spend $20K annually on framing are usually not in need of significant gifts, though they do appreciate the gesture. A heartfelt thank you, and a follow-up with a token gift is probably sufficient. In the instance of this thread, I would think a small, nice set of 4 photo frames would be appropriate.

What I will offer to the big account is service not available at other levels. There are a couple that I will drop what I am doing, close shop and go to them should they need the service. These are people that are used to a certain level of service, and I do my best to provide it. And I don't think it goes unnoticed. Time is the one gift you can give that cannot be returned.

The best gift received: I've had a few nice things given to me, but the best was a letter of thanks.
Without a doubt... the best gift received was (and still is) a box of home made chocolate chip, walnut cookies at Xmas time! Gotta love those chocaholics!!

The other gift I really love is when they bring a friend in and insist that I'm the only place to bring their stuff. The rest of the day, I'm even more full of myself than usual.

Almost as good as the cookies!!
So The project we just finished for this client was 17 individual Edith Head illustrations (1950s movie costume designer). I discovered on the backing to one of these pieces there was a series of sketches along with pricing and timing notes regarding the finished drawing. We are going to frame it up in a matching closed corner frame and silk backing that we did for all the pieces.

I did toy with the thought of diner. I know that they have a "date night" every week. Usualy spend their date night at my shop when they need framing done. And I do know they like wine because they are always picking my brain for wineries to hit(I'm a wine snob by all accounts...but thats a good thing in my book) but as Betty pointed out "one on the way". This gift easily presented it to me so I went with it.

And I know I haven't ordered anything from you at my new shop yet Cornel but for those of you thinking about using American Choice, you definitely should. They make the most unique and finely crafted frames on the market.
Originally posted by brian..k:
I know that they have a "date night" every week.
How wonderful for them!

Now, that's what I call keeping your priorities in order! When our boys were small we took a weekend once a year and went somewhere alone. And we would try to have time at least once a month (I would dare say our budget was a little different than theirs is

But now that the "nest" is empty - or at least "emptying" we've not lost "one another."

Ooops, this had nothing to do with gifts for clients. As Jay (and others) would say - "carry on!"