Price Chart


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Apr 24, 2002
Pittsfield, MA - The Berkshires
For those of us who are not so computerized, when writing up your customers order what type of system or chart do you use. I need to look at my pricing and possibly redesign the chart we work from. Who uses a chart similar to the LJ chart? Currently, my glass is by size (8x10, etc.) and I believe everything else is by UI.

Tommy P

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Nov 16, 2003
Mid North Indiana
I have driven myself crazy trying to figure out my own pricing/charts!!! I have really never had anything to go on for comparison! Other than visiting a few other shops out of town to get some sort of idea for mark-up, etc.
When I found LJ and their charts/system I just decided to go with their "suggested" pricing structure. Don't know if thats right or wrong but it's what we do!! I too would like others comments on this........

Howard J

It seems most of us use the LJ chart to price-but-I tweek it a bit as each job is different and I am in a high cost of living area. Also as the year progresses I add a buck or two to each area BEFORE the new chart comes out. Because my insurance, light & heat bills, taxes, advertising and many other items have allready gone up!!! Got to pay your self first.

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Jun 16, 2000
I appreciate, as Jill suggests, you have to start somewhere when you develop a pricing strategy.

But, may I suggest that a more "business-like" model would be to understand your market, understand your costs, understand your needs and then charge as much as the market will bear?

I will virtually guarantee that every other business does it this way, yet we continue to look for the easy way out. Find a chart and "Oh, well Close enough" doesn't make much sense.

The same amount of legwork required (we call it due diligence)to pick a location or to pick a vendor or establish policy should go into devloping a pricing strategy.

It pains me to see people offer such simplistic methods (I know the are well-meaning) because too many people buy into the method as "acceptable".

The most important things you can do is develop a reasoned site selection process and a market-representative pricing model that will generate the necessary profits needed to continue operations while being balanced with a high level of consumer acceptance (In plain English "Are you making any money and are you not pricing yourself out of the market").

Ignore those two key elements, or do a half-way job on those, and you can predict the results.

We put more effort into what kind of mat cutter we choose than the first two elements.

With all due respect, you simply can not create a meaningful startegy off a published chart. Does anyone really think that anyone should charge the same prices in Manhattan as someone else in Clovis, N.M.?

In this increasingly competitive retail environment, we have to raise the bar on how we do things so essential to survival. Taking the easy way out will not create the advantage you need to survive.

As an aside, however you develop a pricing strategy, not using some type of software is just not smart. The prices are simply too affordable to not use something. While I have not personally reviewed every single system, I have never seen any that aren't vastly superior to any manual sysytem. Hands down.

In fact, I'm pretty sure there are some free systems out there. Whatever the limited expense, it is as essential as a glass cutter or a mounting press or a cash register. I just don't know how you can be in business without the right tools.

Mike Labbe

Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Jun 25, 2002
Lincoln, RI
Get The Picture
Bob is right on the money, IMO.

If interested, I compiled a list that has 27 known software packages. It's AT THIS LINK

The software packages range from ~$60 to ~$2500. Some have monthly rental programs. Any price in this range is a bargain, considering how quickly it will pay for itself. You'll gain speed, accuracy, accounting, materials ordering lists, tax records, "what if i change this one element?" flexibility, resource/time/load scheduling, workorders and receipts, electronic mailing list, inventory, customer history records, ease of training new employees, etc. Most programs download weekly vendor pricing updates and automatically process them (as well as lists of discontinued and new items) based on your pre-defined pricing and markup matrix. Clients will have confidence in your ability to determine a price and will be less likely to haggle.

A Windows based computer will run from $400-$2000, depending what you want to spend. ( often has some very inexpensive DELL deals). You'll want a laser printer as well (about $80-$400) (internet connection, virus scanner are great ideas too)

Some Grumblers use a system that is halfway between the pricing charts and POS by putting their own formulas in a spreadsheet (Excel, Lotus, etc).

There are some pretty useful threads in the computer forum about pricing and computerization. Jump in, it's great!


[ 04-11-2004, 04:20 PM: Message edited by: Mike-L@GTP ]