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Rian Fabrication Services  www.rianfabrication.com

Posting per foot prices on samples?


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Aug 28, 2002
I have been working in a new shop (new to me) for a few months now. This shop puts the per foot prices of all of the mouldings on the backs of all the samples. Since we don't use a computer system for pricing, it makes it easier for me to figure costs for the customer, but I am starting to notice that once the customer sees the price on the back, they spend more time looking at the backs of the frames than at the front. This bothers me. In the last store I worked in, we had the FullCalc program and the customer picked what they liked and we worked from there as far as price. My question is, is it really a good idea to put prices on the frame? It seems like a customer will ignore a frame if the price is higher, and not even look at the frame itself. Ugh. :confused:

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Jul 6, 2001
You've already discovered one good reason not to put prices on the samples.

Another is that fact that most vendors raise their prices annually, or sometimes twice annually. The prospect of changing prices on a large number of samples might tempt some framers to put it off and lose money on every sale.

Using a price code, like letters of the alphabet that refer to actual prices on a chart, might help with the second problem, but not with the first. What customer is going to choose a 'Z' moulding when everyone knows an 'A' is going to be MUCH cheaper?

I don't have an answer for you short of a full-blown POS package or at least a computer database with moulding names and prices that can be adjusted as needed.

Frame Lady

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Oct 7, 2003
All of my samples have the per foot price on the back of the sample. It works for me. I am not computerized. Luckily for me this issue has not been a problem. When I quote a final price and the customer balks this is an area where I can find a less expensive frame rather quickly and save the sale. We have 14 frame vendors. I know that all of my tactics would make everyone else shake their heads in wonder, but it works for me. We are having a fantastic Christmas.


PFG, Picture Framing God
Aug 12, 2000
We have coded prices on most of our samples. We have a chart that deciphers the code. Unfortunately, the chart will only handle up to $30.00 per foot. Samples above that price are marked per foot. I have been using this same chart for years. I can adjust the chart overall, but re-coding all my samples would be a nightmare.

Your right, customers do seem to prefer to select the best frame for their pictures through the design by price method. Fortunately, most of our samples fit on the chart, so I can intervene and get them on the right track. I have been giving a P.O.S. system a lot of thought and may be switching over to one soon.



CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Apr 24, 2002
We too have the prices on the back of our corner samples and it is extremely rare that a customer will flip over the sample to look at the price. While designing I do not look at the price of the frame. It's only when the customer wanted to spend $250 instead of $300 that we start to flip samples to find a $7/' frame instead of $12/'.
Presto Frame & Moudling 800-431-1622


Angry Badger
Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Sep 1, 2000
I only have pricing on the frames that are not covered by the POS. An option of the POS I have is to generate UPC code stickers for samples. Then it is simply a matter of scanning to get a current price. I quit putting the prices on samples years ago and used to look up the prices for each order before I got the POS.


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Mar 2, 2003
I have priced the back of the samples since I opened in 1981 Until this year. Now I request from my supplier wholesale prices in delimited text format or Excel format. Then I can easily mark it up and print it out (takes about 10 minutes)

I insert the printed retail prices in a 3 ring binder. This way my price is up to date without having to price each and every sample (about two or more days work!!)

It is a little bit slower to lookup the prices in the book, but it is definitely worth it.

We only price the back of in house mouldings.


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
May 27, 2003
I price the samples and never see a customer looking at the back of the corner. I used to simply reverse the numbers. 3.98 per foot was written down as 893. I also have used length and chop. Example: 121/245. It looks more like a stock number and I don't think customers give it enough thought to really figure it out. I had more of a problem when one of my vendors which is only a hundred miles away, came up to our local art shows and handed out catalogs to all the local artists. One of my best customers called one day and suggested (WE) buy a case of UV glass as she had just gotten a flyer in the mail from said vendor letting her know that glass was on sale. Even tho she had no intention of framing her own work, it is hard when your customers know all your prices. Needless to say, I do very little business with that vendor anymore.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Apr 11, 2001
Another solution is to have a 10 letter word……… Example….DERMOTARNS (make your own up or use a ten letter word)……then convert D(1) E(2) R(3) M(4) O(5) T(6) A(7) R(8) N(9) S(0)…….7.95 becomes A.NO……or ANO

I learned that one many years ago in my first job……takes a bit of getting used to….but once you get the hang of it it’s quite simple……and it becomes your own unique private and confidential pricing code.

Though if you can a chart using a letter for price as JBR and others described is the most user friendly



Bill Henry-

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Aug 17, 2002
We list the price/ft on the back of our corners. They are generated from the same spreadsheet program that displays our price list at the POS counter. We just use the moulding number and the price/ft to print out 1/2” x 1-3/4” labels for each of those moulding whose prices have changed.

Even when L-J bumps their prices up, it only takes us about 45 minutes to update the labels (we carry about 120 L-J samples). Just peal the existing label off and replace the new one. Bingo.

Very few customers look first at the back for prices. Sometimes when they have weeded all of their possibilities down to two or three they may sneak a peek at the back, but it’s not too common.

We think having to convert a coded system to prices (e.g. AA = $4.78) just adds another layer of confusion both to us and the consumer.
LifeSaver Software...

Jason Maranto

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Sep 18, 2002
I tried both the no-price method and the code method and ultimately priced all my samples on the back... I find that most customers don't ask about price until you do -- the few that do make sure they get out their expectations up front.

I start every sale with the simple phrase "what did you have in mind?"... this gives the customer a chance to explain to you what is important to them.

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