"It takes away from the print" type customers...

ahohen

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Raceland, Louisiana
I hate it when a customer uses a phrase like "I don't like that color mat... it takes away from the print" or "I don't like that frame because it takes away from the print". How about the customer that says "it distracts from the print"?

Yesterday afternoon, a customer came in to get an 18 x 24 wedding photo with beautiful outdoor scenary framed (far back in the backgroud you could see part of an old plantation home). They did not want a mat which they said it "takes away from the photo". I agreed it would not have to be WITH a mat... When it came to a frame, the best frame was a 2 1/2" frame with a "pewter" finish (slightly silver/greenish color) and only slightly ornate in design. She hated it... she said the frame stands out more than the photo. I tried to explain to her how it "enhanced" the photo but she didn't agree. After she tried over 100 frames she finally picked one she thought would not "distract" from the photo. I couldn't belive what she picked!... a narrow BLACK, yes, BLACK metal frame! I did it while she waited (no glass, no mats). When i was finished i handed it to her. She paid for it and then hung it on the wall so she could see how it looked from a distance... she loved it. She then was looking through a catalog of prints i had on display and another customer walks in to pick up their order. They see the lady's 18 x 24 wedding photo and say "I know YOU didn't pick out THAT frame!... it looks like it belongs at a funeral!" Well, the lady heard what the other lady said, jerked the photo off the wall and marched out really teed off. What a day...

What is the phrase customers use that you hate?
 

Framerguy

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How many would you like??

1. "I'm just looking."

2. "Can you discount that price?"

3. "I spent so much money on this portrait, I don't want to spend alot on the frame."

4. "Yes, that frame is very nice but do you have it in pink? (fill in appropriate finish that you DON'T have)

5. "My friend had this same poster done at "--" for $14.95."

6. "I'm giving it for a wedding gift and don't want to spend a whole lot on it."

7. "I only asked for mats and a frame, what are all these other charges for??"

8. (After 2 hours of designing at the customer counter) - "I'll have to bring in my (insert other half) and get their OK on your design."

9. "Just cut the mats and glass, I'll put it together at home!"

10. "I don't want to buy anything, ......... do you have a restroom??"

Anyone who has been in business more than 10 years can surely add at least 20 more to that list!!

Framerguy
 

JFeig

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" You are the first frame shop that I have visited for a price ... I have 3 others to get prices from"
smileyshot22.gif
 

Val

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Carson City, Nevada
That one!
and these make my teeth hurt too::
"...but I don't want to spend a lot of money"(You don't?? Why not??)

"Do you do framing here?" (No, those are fancy boomerangs on the wall)
nuts.gif


"Does your husband do the framing here?"
"YOU DO IT???"
icon45.gif


"HOW MUCH?? But I only paid $5 for it!"
shutup.gif


"Do you think it's worth framing?"
shrug.gif


"It's been under the bed for 15 years... I need it tomorrow." :confused:

"I don't need UV glass, it won't have sun on it." :cool:

"Oh good, it's finished...finally...How does it look?" (like I'm gonna say "It's really ugly, how good could I make that POC look?")

"I want a red mat to make my red dress POP!"


"Does it really need a frame?" (Helloo! I'm a framer! It's a frame shop!)
shrug.gif
 

Bob Doyle

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South Berwick, Maine
I had a "customer" come in and we spent 2 hours debating mats, frames and the various properties of glass, (non/UV/reg.) Didn't want smaller a it would affect the print. Not the look she wanted.

She balked at the $600 (for 2 28 by 38) price. She called back 2 days later and found a frame she liked at a discount stores (Marden's for you Mainers). Wanted me to cut the mats for her. The frame was 24 by 30. With 2" mats I had to cut better than 6 inches off the images!

Guess when it comes to price the "detracting from the print" argument loses every time!
 

Steph

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NY
I'm sorry to say I don't get hit hard with that...not like the old days when I managed a frame shop in a mall. Its either that or I have blocked most of them out.

But I had a guy the other day who was cheaper than h*ll. Brings me all this poorly framed crap from the 70's. Wants "plastic" to replace all the glass. Also wants to change a couple of frames to match the ready made he just bought. He called it wood, it was black shiny plastic (yummy)
faintthud.gif
.
Anyway long story short I gave him very reasonable prices and he said gee I only paid $5 for this one. Very sweetly said...well its plastic. 'Oh do you have plastic? NO Surprisingly he agreed to the job.
Then he wants me to ask a local photographer who I am featuring in my gallery this month , if they could lower the price of his photo by 1/3. He actually said he didn't want to offend them. Dumba**, no I'm sure they wouldn't be offended you cheap ***hole :f
I would have tolerated it better if he didn't have the worst hairpiece in the world on. His swooped over bangs and eyebrows were one. There was no forehead

Do you know how hard it is to be stunned , angry , and horrified all while you are trying not to stare and break out in laughter.
I must have pulled it off ...because he came back the next day with more
 

Paul N

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The humanoid who brings a $20000 piece of art he just bought and wants conservation material (UV, A/F, the works). It had CARDBOARD attached with what looked like Band-Aid, by the way, for backing!

Then the humanoid says: $98?? Can you do better??

No, but I could really do much worse...
fire.gif
 

JohnR

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Ohio
Narrow black metal with no glass or mats.
faintthud.gif
It don't "take away" from the photo, it takes away from her pocket book.
 

JPete

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I hate it, when I "undersell" a frame because of what I think I might hear.

I must be mellowing with age.
 

johnny

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Ohio
Question on another board I frequent:

Hi there,

I have a set of 4 pieces of a Forgotten Realms map, total area 42x62. They came from 4 issues of a magazine. I'd like to get them all mounted and framed in one large frame.

Is there a cost effective way to do this, or should I plan on spending 100+ dollars?

I went to the local art store, and they wanted over 100 for the custom frame only.

I worry that if I don't get them professionally mounted/matted/framed that eventually the edges will curl up, or the matting will bow.

Any suggestions?
And a reply...

If it's a standard size, you may be able to a precut matt, glass and frame at a store like Target or Kmart or the dreaded Walmart.

I just got four maps that are about 24x33 custom framed (with double mats and painted wood frames)and I paid 400, so yeah, if you're going to get them custom framed, I'd expect that about 100 is par.
I post it here because I thought it's a good insight into the thoughts of both a potential first time customer and one with a purchase under their belt.
 

Handy

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"Well, it's only a gift so I don't want to spend THAT much"

I would like to respond with "oh! well, in that case - you get it at half price!! I'll just pull the supplies out of my "it's only a gift box" and it won't cost me as much in supplies!!!"

argh! I know there are more - but I gotta get to work! LOL!!
 

ahohen

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Or.... like I did a couple of years ago when a customer wanted ABSOLUTELY the cheapest way possable to display a print on a wall ...i handed them an "almost emply" black Marks-A-Lot for the "boarder" and 4 wall tacks.... they laughed, then picked out an "average" cost frame....lol
 

RoboFramer

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All my customers are beautiful people who listen attentively and appreciate my years of experience that helps them make an informed decision.

Then we untie them and they can go.
 

Bandsaw

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Getting back to the start of this discussion:

Ahohen,

Do you have some framed examples of wedding picture on display? Perhaps in good, better, and best framing.

As framers we know how to make a picture look good but since only about 10% of the population has ever used the services of a custom framer it takes education. A framer must be able to show what is being offered and be very clear about prices.

If not the customer will choose crap becaues they simply don't know what they can get and are afraid of prices which are unknown to them.
 

BUDDY

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AJ:
A framer like me wouldn't have stood a chance with that customer. I was forever trying to add some little extras to their matting ( and at little or no expense) like hand carved accents .And this person feels the "MAT takes away from the image".

I have spent a lot of time explaining how if I did my job well the accents and matting should draw attention to the image.And this was no sales pitch. I truly feel that beautifully executed work ( no matter how involved can and does ) draw focus to the image, and I spent a lot of time designing a frame package that did just that.

This type of consummer would probaly even cringe at what Brian Wolf could suggest and achieve.
I truly think it is all in what some beome accustomed to .They get locked in to a concept and everything else is just unnecessary fulf that drives up the cost.

Wouldn't it be a hoot to see these people judgeing a FRAMING competition? Can you say "LESS IS MORE" ? Only in this case it would be the only thing acceptable.LOL

BUDDY
 

ahohen

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Bandsay: I do not have any "on display", but, i do have photos i took with my digital camera starting a few months ago. I showed her all of them (11) on my 20" LCD monitor. ALL but 4 were with at lease two matboards... of the other four 2 were with only one mat and the last two were with no mat or glass. She did not like any of them... she said "It distracts from the photos... I remember the frames in the picture you showed me but i don't remember the photos."! (whoopee!) You also say "A framer must be able to show what is being offered and be very clear about prices." Prices? I use custom made software that displays in detail the price of each item...
 

BILL WARD

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Tampa, FL
9. "Just cut the mats and glass, I'll put it together at home!"
anyoneout there do this(of courese we've all "done" it) and how do you go about charging for this????


Isnt it nice to be reminded, every so often, that You arent the only one with really "strange" customers??????
 

framinzfun

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eastern pa
"What? It's just 4 pieces of wood."
I'm not kidding.

That's like going to the Jaguar dealer and saying, "But I can get a Yugo down the street for $300"

I think some people aren't cut out for custom framing.
 

FramingFool

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New Cumberland, PA
framinzfun's post inspires me to rant, for a moment ...

When are we going to come to grips with the fact that we are NOT slapping on 4-pieces-of-wood-and-a-piece-of-glass ....?

Not to sound elitist, but we ARE (or are trying to) offer a something-other-than-a-McDonald's approach to the preservation and presentation of art.

A fair percentage of the price we charge is for the creative input we offer. They come to us, rather than Frames Are Us (no offense, "Frames Are Us"), because of the creativity, sensibilities, materials, and execution that are Our Shop.

We need to acknowledge that we do what we do, not to crank out shlocky frames, but to provide a bit of ourselves, a cut above what they may have wound up with Over There.

And there is no guilt about that.

We certainly do not benefit by beating the customer's brains out relative to our talents, but somewhere along the way, they need to be informed that our product is unique, is quality, and is not necessarily The Rock Bottom Price.

We need to take pride about what we do .... Quality isn't always cheap.


None of this probably needed to be said ... this is my day off, my wife is ill, I haven't slept well in a week, and I'm kinda pi**ed off.

(Isn't that what The Grumble is all about?
 

ahohen

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What about the customers who always pick out the narrowest frame moulding you have because they say "it's gotta fit in a tight space", BUT, they want a mat 3-4" wide? One regular customer tells me something related to this EVERY time she/he places an order, like "not enough wall space" or "all my walls are getting full" or .... Also the customer who always wants a very, very narrow moulding because she/he has to hang in on sheetrock, BUT they want the regular type glass and NOT the light acrylic? lol
 

Ron Eggers

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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9. "Just cut the mats and glass, I'll put it together at home!"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

anyoneout there do this(of courese we've all "done" it) and how do you go about charging for this????
I charge for the mats and glass.

This is all very amusing and therapeutic and I'd love to contribute a few of my own Clueless Customer Anecdotes, but I am prevented by that 1-in-a-1000 chance that one of them might stumble across this forum and read about what we really think.

Is that the real reason so many of you don't include your name or location? I don't mean to be argumentative and, if that IS the reason, it's a darned good one.

I will sometimes tell a customer that a particular frame or mat they've selected is "distracting" because I think that's more polite than tellng them I think it's butt-ugly.
 

Emibub

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Centennial, CO, USA
I could not agree more Ron. These customer bashing threads just make me cringe. I ain't no Polly Anna, I sometimes have a low tolerance for society in general but ****, these are your customers you all are beating up here. I enjoy my customers, even the dopey ones. I can see privately airing ones gripes but to be so openly hostile in an open forum is actually a little disturbing for people who are business owners. It is biting the hand that feeds you.

I had one of my reps tell me that the G just seems so unpleasant. I didn't think so myself, but, maybe I am seeing his point.
 

gemsmom

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Maybe it's called the GRUMBLE for a reason?

It's nice to have a place to vent frustrations with people who are going (past tense in my case) through the same thing.

I will say, that in my experience, the jerks were few and far between. Which is probably why the jerks stood out whenever I did see one. One idiot can spoil a week's worth of nice people.
 

Steph

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There is nothing wrong with venting. As I had stated before and Pam mentions as well. These instances are rare to have a poopy customer in this industry. But geez if you can't commiserate with your friends and peers then where?
As a rule I love 99% of my customers and what I do. But realize that this is just a way to get it off our chests. No harm is intended. Better to express it here than take it out on our next customer or worse our loved ones at home.

As Pam said ...hello its called the Grumble.
 

D_Derbonne

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I guess I've always thought that if you want to bash customers then it should be on Warped or in private.

I think of the main forum as being meant for more serious discussions.
The thing that really bothers me is that these customer bashing sessions seems to be happening more and more frequently.

Hello, it's the Grumble, so I'm grumbling about some of the grumbling.
That's okay too...isn't it?
 

Steph

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Yes Deb that is ok too? I wouldn't want to see it happen too much. Ironically two of my friends/framers were thrilled to death that I had a customer to complain about. They are my biggest supporters of wanting to see my new business succeed. To them it meant I must be getting busier ...because in the first 8 months I've been opened this guy was the first one I had 'grumbled' to them about. They took it as a sign of success
 

Jim Miller

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Originally posted by ahohen:
What about the customers who always pick out the narrowest frame moulding you have because they say "it's gotta fit in a tight space", BUT, they want a mat 3-4" wide?...
When a customer says that, it is often because they believe the thinner moulding is cheaper. It might have nothing to do with wall space in reality, but they think it sounds better than "I want it cheap".

My response is something to the effect that "we will be pleased to use any size moulding you like, but I suggest a profile more suitable to the size -- not only for balanced appearance, but we would have to charge extra for the necessary reinforcement and added labor to assemble the fragile, too-small frame. (And that is true.)

Also, we stock 1" to 1-1/2" wide profiles in most finishes, which sometimes are priced lower than chops of a smaller profile. Then the conversation goes something like, "OK, but wouldn't you rather have a wider, more size-appropriate frame like this one, for about the same price?" A few quick clicks in the POS gives easy price comparisons.

They get the idea that smaller isn't necessarily cheaper.
 

Jim Miller

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Originally posted by D_Derbonne:
...if you want to bash customers then it should be on Warped or in private.

I think of the main forum as being meant for more serious discussions...
Yes Deb, I agree that customer-bashing is not productive here. But frame design is interpersonal, so maybe we can benefit from serious discussion about how to deal with those customers some want to bash.
 

RoboFramer

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When customers ask for that half inch black cushion for their 3'x4' poster we tell them it is simply not up to it 'BUT' we say.......... then show them the aluminium profiles, some go that route, others, when we show them what the same price will get them in wood, go for that.

As for customer bashing, well some deserve it, and 99.9% of any customer reading TG would agree, some 'bashes' are just funny stories about human nature, lurking customers would join in the laughter. Maybe it should be a separate topic on Warped, but it could still be read by anyone.

I was hanging a large picture once, the centrepiece of a window display all on the same artist, it was the last piece to be hung.

I turned around and there is a guy outside pointing and sticking his thumb up.

"Thank You" I mouthed, sticking my thumb up. He shook his head and pullled out his wallet and pointed at the picture, he wanted to buy it.

He absolutely RUINED my display! Some people
shrug.gif
 

Ken Brown

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Yarram, Victoria, Australia.
"I don't like that color mat... it takes away from the print" or "I don't like that frame because it takes away from the print".

Sounds like a very good candidate for a block mount on mdf, shouldn't detract from the print too much!!
Regards,
Ken
 

RoboFramer

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Once upon a time, when customers placed their choice of mat & moulding (e.g. bright purple mat and half inch black lacquer, around a delicate etching) and said "What do YOU think"...

I'd say, "Well, if that is what YOU like then that is fine, BUT, personally I would not compete with the subtlety of the line and wash and ................." (etc etc, customer nodding)

These days the customer looks up and my hand is over my mouth as I fake puking!
 

Paul N

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Actually, I am quite diplomatic even when the customers' choice is atrocious.

But once as I cast my weary eyes upon one bad mat combination after another, I blurted: "This is a bit more bearable...."!

But %95 of the time I select the mats and they like them. I surprise myself!
 

imaluma

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I left my heart in san francisco/ st louis
Isn't it the job of the moderators to decide if the thread would be more appropriate somewhere else and wouldn't they have moved it by now? And if we're worried about our customers reading it wouldn't they be just as likely to happen upon this thread if it were in warped? And if someone doesn't like what they read, can't they just say, "now that was silly!" and just move on? Didn't some one say, "You can't please all the people all the time"? Why does everyone get so worked up over the tiniest things like it's some great tragedy if someone gets a little offended? Guess what? SOMEONE WILL ALWAYS GET OFFENDED. With so many people on this site it's unlikely that they wouldn't. As long as it isn't personal or cruel, who cares?

And don't forget that little thing we call freedom of speech.
smileyshot22.gif


Oh yeah, back on the original subject, I like when they say that the mat is distracting when it's WHITE. lol

and speaking of warped, does vertical storage of mouldings really cause warping and if so, why do our distributors store it that way? Don't mean to frankenthread it too much but i've been thinking a lot lately about the pros and cons of vertical and horizontal storage and would like to gather as much information as I can. Maybe we could start a newe thread?
 

ahohen

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Sneaky strategy: When a customers chooses, for example, a 3/4" wide or narrower wooden moulding for an 18 x 24 frame, the magic word is "acrylic"... Why is "acrylic" the magic word? Because it costs a fair amount more than regular glass, and scratches easily (I do stock it, but rarely use it and almost never suggest it...). I can't use this strategy if they choose a 1" wide moulding instead of 1/2"... lol
 

belinda

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My main gripe isn't necessarily what customers say, but what some customers say to each other. We have several customers that are professional artists or designers with (in my opinion and the opinion of other framers in the shop) questionable taste. Many times these people will 'take over' another employees customer while they are being helped. It starts with 'Wow! That's a great piece of art, do you know what _I_ would do with it?"

I've had one customer tell another customer not to get any colored mats because it never looks good and we are only trying to get their money.

I had another customer try to convice a customer that her chunky, loose pastel piece didn't need glazing. She claimed she was a professional artist.

It's a pretty delicate situation at that point, because if the other customer pays any attention, you could end up with a mess on your hands. It's also very hard to make a counterpoint when it gets to that situation so I always try to have documents handy to show differences.

Ahohen- I do this too. Once it gets up past a certain size and they start going for the thin frames, I try to talk them into acrylic or z-gel if they are framing a cheap poster or something. I also talk customers into the acrylic if it's going in a fun room or a kids room.
 

Ron Eggers

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Yes, it's the moderators job to decide if a thread would be better suited to another forum and if any moderator felt strongly enough about this one, it would have been moved.

The idea is not to hide it from non-framers, but too keep things somewhat organized on The Grumble.

Nobody's all that worked up about this thread. You just read some opinions that you disagree with. "Freedom of speech" works both ways though, for the record, it doesn't apply to a privately owned bulletin board.

I think the reason suppliers store mouldings vertically is because it make a more efficient use of available space. Short lengths are easier to locate. They aren't risking scratching the moulding by sliding it out of a horizontal rack. They expect a quick-enough turnover, so warped shouldn't be a big concern.

For those of use that don't turn over our entire moulding inventory every few months, warpage could be a big concern. Also, many of us don't have those 12' ceilings.
 

Framerguy

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Ron

Remember my old moulding racks in my shop in Salem, the ones that I built out of leftover 2X4's, 1X4's, and wood closet rod pieces??

I had enough cross bracing for support that I guess warping wasn't an issue because some of that moulding sat there for almost a year before I was able to move it!

I miss those old racks and high ceilings.

Framerguy
 

D_Derbonne

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Originally posted by framinzfun:
"What? It's just 4 pieces of wood."
I'm not kidding.

Ah, but it isn't just 4 pieces of wood.
There's the chance to explain what makes those four pieces special and what goes into framing whatever that person has brought through the doors.
It's a matter of educating them about what they are actually paying for.

Some people still won't care, but some really just don't know and once they do many have a greater respect for our product and the price.
 

Bob Roy

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Ottawa, Ontario
As a newbie framer, I think threads like this are quite valuable.

On the surface it may look like customer bashing but in the end there are a half dozen or more scenarios described in this thread that most of us will have to deal with at one time or another. In addition to the entertainment value of the flippant reactions to these scenarios there is also the educational value of the well thought out, diplomatic ways of dealing with these situations that are also described here.

So in the end I can laugh and learn. Aren't these among the two best things to do each day?
 
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