I just want to scream!!

elsa

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From
Maple Valley, Wa
Yep it was one of "those" days in the Frame Shop!
The framing fairies were being little monsters.
And then to top it off...well I just have to share with you.....
A man came into the store tonight with the back board from an IKEA frame--(don't you just love um?) Needed a piece of glass, ya just regular glass!! ok measured it out, cut, wrapped then I just HAD to chit chat a little!! MY BAD!! Seems he had been into our shop got an estimate to frame several limited edition black and white Harley Davidson prints. Didn't want to spend that money--so went to IKEA, frames cheep, mat in the frame right size and everything..(I know Dam well that mat ain't AF!) He had a big smile on his face...wanted to hit him. At that point I strongly urged him to change his glass option!! Oh but it's going in a hallway with very little light!! (where have I heard that before?)
Then I asked how he planned to mount them. Well I told him the proper way and sold him the supplies he needed. At least I saved them from Ducttape!!
oh and by the way he had painted his wall in that hallway a lovely Harley Davidson Orange and then promptly used the same paint to color his mat!
Just another lovely day in the neighborhood!

Elsa
shrug.gif
 

Ron Eggers

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Didn't he get glass with his IKEA frame, or did he break it on the way home?

This guy represents around 90-95% of the buying public which is why - while we spend half of our waking hours agonizing over what the Big Boxes do and talking about what we do better - they aren't losing any sleep at all over us.

BTW, that mat almost certainly IS acid-free. It's probably buffered and won't stay that way, but he doesn't care.
 

FrameMakers

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Yeah, the bevel will turn brown to match the Harley orange if it hasn't been painted over and you know it has been.
 

Angie Pearson CPF

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Poplar Bluff, MO
Originally posted by elsa:
Oh but it's going in a hallway with very little light!! (where have I heard that before?)
Elsa
shrug.gif
I used to hate it when they did that!!

I used to work at a shop where there were options for the type of glass but at the shop I work at now we just automatically put Conservation Clear on everything. It makes it really nice... they don't have the option of regular glass. Conservation Clear is what we have in stock along with some CRC and Museum. But if they really want regular glass.. which they never ask for, then we will order it for them.
 

B. Newman

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What amazes me is not what he did, but the fact that he told you all about it. But, I've seen framers do the same thing. Recently I was at our local supplier and a framer came in and in the course of the converstion, proceeded to tell the folks there how he rigged up a sander since the hand crank ones that they carry are so expensive... :rolleyes:

I'm sure we all have some "make-do" equipment, and have all "made-do" with less than optimal materials in other areas of our lives (there are even entire threads on the grumble devoted to "making-do" in this area of our lives) we just don't have to tell the seller of that item all about it. That doesn't show ingenuity, it shows lack of consideration. IM(NSH)O

Betty
 

Jay H

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Amen Jer!

I do believe that a shops reputation has some value but reputation alone doesn't pay the bills.

I can't speak for you but when somebody leaves my shop becuase I couldn't.....I mean wouldn't hit their price point, I see that as a failure on MY part.

Honestly its a rare treat that we get a customer back that is so honest. Your lucky.

BTW I store my ducktape right next to the nori paste!
 

Cliff Wilson

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I've had people come back like that. I usually congratulate them on their success give them as many pointers as I can and say something like, "when you get something that has value come on in and I'll take care of it right."

I think a couple have come in with other things later, and one actually brought the piece in and had me redo it because she kept "worrying about it."

I've found if I give someone enough information and enough options and techniques they become overwhelmed and sometimes will say something like, "oh just do it." (This technique should ONLY be applied when the customer is NOT going to leave items! :D ;) )
 

puttyboy

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minnesota
I used to manage a store that catred to those same types of customers ( I would be remiss to call them clients!).
We dealt with it in numerous ways, but my all-time favorite was the used car salesman who had an old concave photo of himself as a boy. He didn't want to pay for concave glass and insisted to one of the P.T.'ers to flatten it for him so he could fit it in a oval frame he bought at goodwill.
The poor employee didn't know how to handle the situation besides agreeing to give it a try.
Needless to say, when he opened the press he found the photo had literally shattered into about a dozen pcs.
We ended up having a copy made at no charge for him, fit it, and he still turned around and tried to sue us afterwards!
 

Warren Tucker

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Good attitude, Angie and Elsa; I sure wish I were surrounded with more competition like your shops. Unfortunately, my competition is a bit more realistic.

BTW, I have a 4500sq ft house with all the walls covered with framed art and not one of the pieces has CC glass, only regular ss float and I can get CC wholesale. Frankly, I think CC is close to a scam. There are very few instances where I recommend it. A greater danger to art on paper is probably environmental pollution, surfce ozone to be exact.
 

Sammy

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I think some people on this topic should read the post about competing with the BB's. I don't like it when I have a customer come into my shop with a Ikea frame and want a mat cut, but then again I'm still making money from these people and the most part I just charged them 3X what they just paid for their Ikea frame. If you are honest and give good customer service and not try selling them something that they don't need or want (only selling Conservation glass on everything because you make a larger mark up)then they will use you the next time when they want to invest more money into that meaningful piece they need framed.
 

B. Newman

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Even the most discriminating customer has needs at times for less expensive options. And even the most (ahem) value-minded customer occasionally has a need for something done extra nice. I just want to make sure they come to me for all their needs!

Betty
 

FrameMakers

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Just had a guy in wanting a 17x22 framed for $30 or less. I showed him a 18x24 ready made and a mat for $42 and he still walked. I guess there are people you can't please no matter what.
 

Bob Carter

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This is a great thread that should be titled "Am I meeting the needs of my clientele"?

Forget that this type of customer comes in rarely. And, forget that you can not be all things to all people. But, a force much larger than you dictates what type of customer walks in your door. Your best efforts might slightly change that mix, but forces way beyond your efforts dive this force.

So, what to do?

Make sure you identify who really walks into your store and sell them what they want-not what you want.

That doesn't mean that you shouldn't offer a wide range; you should.

But,it does mean to not offer what consumers repeatedly ask for is bad business. It is easier to adapt to a market than to try and have a market adapt to you.

When we refuse to offer, or act like it is way beneath our standards, items like regular glass or regular mats on anything, it might be a short sighted action.

Believe that these products do have a place in the marketplace; not on everything, not of a lot of things, but on some things. We are professionals and do know the difference.

Believe these products are ill-suited for any framing just as soon as the manufactures quit making them and distributors quit selling them.

The 2005 PPFA Survey is about to be released and I will tell you two interesting points: The percent of consumers that used a custom framer (in this survey year of 2003) was 7.2%, down from last survey (2001) of 10.2%.

The other telling point was, again, over 50 % of those that actually had something custom framed spent less than $100, with an average of $115.

For those that are PPFA members, this information will be forthcoming.

For those that are not members, join. This is just one more great reason why you should join your trade association.
 

Bob Doyle

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Sounds like Name that Tune I can frame that print for $10 or less!

Oh, yeah, I can frame that print for $8!

Frankly for me the low ball customers can go elsewhere. The customers that I would bend over backward for and sell to cheaply now go elsewhere for real framing!

I guess my only valid addition to this thread is if you must then try to undersell your competitors, but don't undersell yourself!
 

Angie Pearson CPF

MGF, Master Grumble Framer

In Memorium

Rest In Peace



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If you are honest and give good customer service and not try selling them something that they don't need or want (only selling Conservation glass on everything because you make a larger mark up)then they will use you the next time when they want to invest more money into that meaningful piece they need framed.
I'm sorry I must be sounding really rude when I post and don't even realize it... We do offer more than conservation glass to need to pay the lower price, the CC glass is what we have in stock at all times. I care about the customers and I care about what they bring in that's why we use CC glass.

Frankly, I think CC is close to a scam. There are very few instances where I recommend it. A greater danger to art on paper is probably environmental pollution, surfce ozone to be exact
I don't think that CC is a scam, I've actually tested it out before to see if it is protecting artwork from fading or not. Just take a piece of regular glass and a piece of conservation glass in the same frame and you will see a difference. Environmental pollution though is scary... i've taken apart pieces that had no dust cover or were in smoky environments and there was obviously some damage...

Sorry, I've got to go.... I'll talk more later...
Angie
 

Bob Carter

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Hi Bob-If you do see more and more of these customers coming your way, then you ought to think of ways to satisfy,profitably,as many as you can.

Again, it may not be what you want to see walk in the door, but as my favorite football coach once said "You gotta dance with whom brought you to the dance"

You may not want to change, but if the market does, then you might want to learn a new dance
 

Sammy

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If we keep giving away the cheeper unwanted jobs to the BB's stores then we are giving away our market shares to the BB's. So in the long run we (independent owned store) are destroying our own industry, and we can't shed blame onto the BB's because they are only cleaning up what we don't want, and it time (now) they will start taking the jobs we want to do.
 

Angie Pearson CPF

MGF, Master Grumble Framer

In Memorium

Rest In Peace



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I just thought of something to add
icon21.gif
... we are all in very different locations, with very different customers so we have to cater to the different needs. I currently work for a small shop in a small town and do not have to deal with the same things that you all seem to be dealing with. We don't have as much competition as most of you seem to. Our shop is right next to a military base (Fort Leonard Wood, MO) and our customers are so different. (We compete against the craft shop on post, another small framer across town, and a few home based framers in the area but we're actually pretty lucky because the customers who come to us usually want quality) Anyway It's like a whole other world over there. We frame mostly limited edition Stivers prints, anything military (like signed/unsigned company guidons with coins, engravings, and photos),L/E civil war prints, and a lot of old family heirlooms. That's another reason why we have the CC in stock all the time because it is needed more often than not. We also don't have the space to keep everything in stock. Many framers on here probably order the things they don't use on a regular basis because there just isn't the space to keep it, and will (like us) sell what we have but also order the other items on request. It's sad because the few customers who want the things that aren't in stock have a few more days added to their turn around time but you have to do what you have to do.
~Angie
 

Bob Doyle

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Every town has a garage that specializes in expensive repairs and high quality vehicles.

Every town has a garage that is known for working on junkers and squeezing every last ounce of life out of a car, usually using duct tape and wire.

Different specialities, different clients, filling different niches.

I've brought my cars to both. I go to the cob-jobber when I drive my beast, and I bring my wife's car to the other guy! I know what I'm getting, I know what to expect from both. Both have their purpose, and I want to be known as the SAAB garage for framing, not the late model Ford guy! Around here both garages are way too busy to keep up with their clients (and ala CarTalk both garage owners own boats!).
 

ArkansasJen

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Rogers, Arkansas
Originally posted by Ron Eggers:

BTW, that mat almost certainly IS acid-free. It's probably buffered and won't stay that way, but he doesn't care.
Im sorry... But Just because its buffered, doesnt mean it is acid-free. Acid-free to me, means having no acidic qualities whatsoever.. not just a buffered backing paper. Paper mats with buffered backing papers still off gas and turn the image yellow, although what is under your buffer paper is going to look the same. To me, Acid-free is something that i can trust not to damage my artwork or to yellow itself over time. Maybe im wrong though...?
 

Ron Eggers

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No, it wasn't.

It's hard to find a new mat that isn't acid-free, which is why the term is meaningless.

Purified wood pulp and rag are alpha-cellulose and stay acid free.
 

elsa

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
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Maple Valley, Wa
Well I sure opened a can of worms!
What I am seeing though through this discussion is an attitude I am not sure I like. I think that as professionals we need to set a standard not if you can't beat um join um! ok but I don't own the store! so....my perspective may be idealistic. The way we handle the paper mat issue is that we ONLY sell it in full size sheets. You want it cut? can do for a price and you get all the scraps!
We sell a wide range of ready made frames-I get a lot of custom work from this because people always bring in stuff that just ain't gonna fit! so I either get a full custom piece or at the least a custom mat/fit job, oh and by the way can we upgrade that cheap glass for you?
There are always those people who do know the value of good framing, and are willing to pay for it and arn't those the ones we love and work hard for anyway.
It just always pisses me off when you get the idiots that just don't think past their tiny little minds and it's the art that suffers.

Happy framing

Elsa
 

Emibub

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Centennial, CO, USA
Oops, sorry Ron, I didn't read your whole post......

It isn't about not beating them so join them. It is about having the most offerings to please all types of needs. Not everything needs to be framed to the nth degree. I want to appeal to as many people as possible. I think it is possible to do that without selling your soul to the devil.
 

Sammy

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I wish I could find this message posted earlier today, someone who is with the PPFA had some interesting stats on sales and they mentioned that only 7.5% (about)of the population only uses custom frame shops, but that is down from last year that was 10.5% (about). I don't think that these people are no longer framing but are now using BB's like Ikea to full fill their framing needs. If more frameshop had the good attitude like Kathy (I want to appeal to as many people as possible. I think it is possible to do that without selling your soul to the devil) Then the BB's would have a harder time of stealing away our market shares.
 

puttyboy

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minnesota
I respectfully disagree Sammy.
BB's are not interested in taking our small market share. They are interested in the other 90% of buyers that are out there, untapped.

We know that Michaels and Joanns increased store sales by an average of 10% (same store sales increased by an average of 7%)last year. It would be interesting to know how they did dept. by dept., but given that growth, they are generating an average of 25-30 million per year.

Just think what they'll accomplish if they can appeal to an extra 2-5% of the population that may just need to start framing for the first time!
And if they happen to pull some of our market share into their stores.... thats where we lose.
 

Bob Carter

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If I may add something, I would refrain from reading "tea leaves" about the data i shared. You need to get the full report,read it and understand it.

Consumer Surveys include the general market. When we talk about 7% of the marketplace, that includes everyone that had custom framing done anywhere. The report does reflect the percentages for independent stores, BB's, national franchises, home based-inesence every one.

I will tell you, putty boy, that the market share enjoyed by independent stores is still greater than that of the BB's.

But, if you want to know more, join PPFA. It will be released soon.

But,we do need to be careful about some of the assumptions. Although, I do agree entirely with your last paragraph
 

DTWDSM

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Puttyboy,

I agree with you that the BB wants part of the other 90% but you are wrong about them not caring about the market share that the independants have.

I am not going to look in the archives for this since there are soooo many topics on Micheals but in the past year or two there was a topic which discussed the plans of Micheals and they specifically say that they want to put the small independant picture framer out of business. Now do they actually say they want to put XYZ Shop in Iowa out of business, No but, every time a small shop closes, there is a client bas ethat now has to shop elsewhere. This is why we as independants need to worry less about going head to head with the big guys and worry more about how you compete against the other local small shops. If they go out of business you have an opportunity to get new clients.
 

Snappy

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Since I am a newbie I should probably just listen and learn, however in a former life I sold Snap-On tools. I had to continually provide great service and sell quality. When my customers needed a less expensive tool (which they do for various reason) they came to me. This is all part of customer sservice. If they believe in you then you get all the money on the table, not just the high end projects. From the comments I've read I see a lot of the same converatation we had in the tool business.
 

puttyboy

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minnesota
Tim, I'm going to look for that archive when time permits today. I don't remember that discussion, but I was only a "part-time lurker" thinking I had better things to do than sit at the computer.

I'm much more informed these days thanks to all the grumblers!
 

puttyboy

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Bob, I actually got my welcome packet in the mail last night and I look forward to obtaining the study you're citing.
 

Rogatory

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Snappy,
Welcome to the Grumble!

What other similarities from tool sales to framing do you see?
 

Ron's dog's flea's brain on acid

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canine skin
Michael's says it right there in black and white in their annual report:

Their framing departments average $741,000/store and their competition is "Small, local specialty retailers - 'Mom & Pop' stores - that have established a loyal customer base within a given community and compete based on relationships and customer service, but have limited resources for advertising, purchasing and distribution."
 

Cliff Wilson

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Pat Murphey

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Lafayette, NJ
Max,

That little sentence sums up, in the most concise way, what hundreds of longer posts on BB's have tried to express.

Pat :D
 

Angie Pearson CPF

MGF, Master Grumble Framer

In Memorium

Rest In Peace



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Posts
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Poplar Bluff, MO
Michael's says it right there in black and white in their annual report:

Their framing departments average $741,000/store and their competition is "Small, local specialty retailers - 'Mom & Pop' stores - that have established a loyal customer base within a given community and compete based on relationships and customer service, but have limited resources for advertising, purchasing and distribution."
YIKES!!!! :eek: I guess being new to this site I have never really seen most of this stuff about the BB. That little paragraph contains some very scary words. Since I've been on here I've learned about bad news for framers but also valuable knowledge of techniques. Thank you grumblers for sharing such important info. I'm so glad I joined!
 

Jerry Ervin

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North Carolina ... The Picture Frame Capital of th
Originally posted by Angie Pearson, CPF:
Thank you grumblers for sharing such important info. I'm so glad I joined!
This place is well worth the price of admission!

There is no other place I have found that you get all this. Every angle can be covered because the population here is so diverse.

Jump in and hang on!
thumbsup.gif
 

Bob Carter

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Heck, guys, that statement doesn't sound evil or threatening at all.

However, if in your annual statement you accurately mentioned that "Our major competition are large, well funded retailers-mostly BB's and some regional major operations-that are dominating market share with saturated marketing within a given community and compete based on price and convenience with extensive advertising, purchasing and distribution"

Which one is scarier to you?

They both accurately depict the true statement of the market place, don't they?

If you had nothing to do with this trade, but were an investor, and you could buy stock in "Ma and Pa, Inc" or "BB's Inc", where would you put your bucks?
 

Rick Granick

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Q: If you had nothing to do with this trade, but were an investor, and you could buy stock in "Ma and Pa, Inc" or "BB's Inc", where would you put your bucks?
A: If I were Warren Buffett I'd buy LJ....Oops, been there, done that.
 
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