Is Business That Good?

FramerDave

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Jan 1, 2001
Posts
5,403
From
Houston, Texas
Is business so good that we can turn customers away? Here's a true story that happened to me today.

A friend and I were killing some time in a pretty upscale mall here in town. I wanted to stop by a gallery/framing business there because I had always admired their framing and artwork. They sell nothing but original antique prints, engravings, maps, that sort of thing. Almost everything on their walls had hand-wrapped mats and closed-corner frames. Very high-end stuff.

So we start to go in and notice that the lady working there had just locked the door and put a "Back in 5 minutes" sign on the door. They had just opened half an hour before. She let us in and I told her I just wanted to look around a few minutes. She informed that it's "Not really the place to browse" and that most of their art was in drawers. Sorry to be bothering you, lady.

But here's the kicker. While I was there a man came in with two large pieces to be framed. He had purchased something there recently and wanted them to be framed in a similar manner. First she told him that she wasn't sure that they could frame them since they usually only frame their own artwork or things purchased there. "We only sell the best quality art." And she actually told him that it would be an insult to send their framers anything less than the best.

They then went on to have a conversation about the price. She couldn't even give him a price, or didn't want to. Here's a part of their conversation, as best I can recall:

Salesperson: I recall that you weren't willing to spend much on it when you were in before, and we had to really come down on the price. I don't know if we can do that again.

Customer: I don't recall arguing about the price.

Salesperson: Yes, I remember that we had to come down. I can't even give you a price now. We can't match that price again.

Customer: Well I'm not trying to get the same price, I realize it may be different.

Salesperson: You argued over the price the last time. This is not the place to haggle.

Customer: I wasn't trying to haggle, I just had a price range in mind I was trying to work with.

Salesperson: Well we have to sell these for what they're worth, not what you're willing to spend.

I was dying to hang around and see what happened, but I had to leave before I just had to say something. I mean, here was a customer who had spent money with them before, and probably a pretty penny. He had with him two good-sized pieces that looked like good stuff and was wanting to spend more money. And she's telling him that his stuff probably isn't even good enough to waste her time? Would any of you turn away a customer who wanted closed-corner frames, had the money to buy them and was willing to spend their money at your place just because he didn't purchase the art from you?

Sadly, I wasn't surprised to see this. I had been in there a couple different times just looking around and the people there acted like I wasn't worth even grunting at.
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Aug 12, 2000
Posts
7,106
From
San Diego, CA
This is what I call a " Sob Shop" However, you started out by stating that she was posting a back in five minutes sign one half hour after opening. I think you caught the woman at an embarrassingly bad time. Back in five minutes usually indicates a restroom break. Like that TV commercial says, " She HAS to go." I think the poor woman was desperately trying to get rid of everybody before she had an accident.

Had you not mentioned the five minute sign I would have agreed with you, in this case though, I just think it was a timing problem for everyone. Some people do not think to clearly when they are about to lose it in their pants, which would explain her abrupt behavior.

John
 

Whynot

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Dec 16, 2000
Posts
1,277
From
North-East US
FramerDave,

May I ask you for the name of that gallery/framing place? If you don't want to spell it in here, please send it to me by email. Thank you.
 

HannaFate

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
Posts
10,688
From
Corrales, New Mexico
Y'know, if I gotta go, I will tell the customer something like, "Just let me take care of something in the back right quick, and then I can concentrate on your order."

Or, I'll just tell them that I have to go, and ask them if they can keep an eye on things for a bit. Most people are pleased that you trust them, and don't mind a bit if you deal an annoying physical distraction.

So, the saleslady had no excuse. If the fellow was a known customer, he wasn't a shoplifer, and would have been fine to leave alone in the front for a minute or two. (I'm sure he would have kept an eye on you, too, Dave)

I have been in stores like that before, though. They think that "exclusive" is the way to go, and that snobbiness makes them more exclusive.
 

Hobbes03

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Posts
1,727
From
Torrington, Connecticut, USA
"And she actually told him that it would be an insult to send their framers anything less than the best."

-That would have been enough for me. If I was that customer, and that was said to me, I would not hang around long enough to talk about pricing. I would have left her with a few choice words, however.

-Mike.
 

Ron Eggers

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 6, 2001
Posts
16,932
From
Wisconsin
I wonder what it would be like to be a framer for that company.

"Oh, COME ON! Just send send me one little Precious Moment cross stitch, or maybe a print of dogs playing poker. It's getting awfully stuffy back here!"
 

Flintstone

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Aug 9, 2003
Posts
255
From
setauket, ny
lose it in their pants
Never heard it described like that before. That's funny! :D

...and if the women was that rude, don't you just want to hang around and torture her until she bursts! ...or is that too mean...
 

stud d

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Jun 17, 2003
Posts
2,382
From
next too you
I would love to go in there with a fat roll of hundred dollar bills and a Kinkade...then tell her this is the best art and she is not educated enough to know the painter of light, then whip out the money...then when she saids that snotty crap tell her off.

these places annoy me, hey i understand some places dont like to do certain things, but to treat the customer like that when they already dropped some loot there, just not right.
d
 
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