Pricing glazing by the lite


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Founding Member
Jan 1, 1997
Lincoln, NE USA
I have noticed a couple of comments on pricing glazing just recently. Bob Carter's comment about the problems of using united inches has me wondering if any of the current POS software programs allow framers to price glazing by the size of the lite needed - or do all of the current software companies use only united or Square inches? An example of what I am thinking about would be; a picture 8 x 34 would require a 32 x 40 lite and a 20 x 22 picture would only need a 22 x 28 lite. Is it not important to charge for acutal lite used?
When pricing via lite sizes I set up several long and narrow sizes to the glass size tables to prevent not being too out of wack retail wise. An example size would be 12 x 24 and 12 x 36
An example of what I am thinking about would be; a picture 8 x 34 would require a 32 x 40 lite and a 20 x 22 picture would only need a 22 x 28 lite. Is it not important to charge for acutal lite used?
I’ve never thought so. When you use a 32 x 40 sheet to extract a 8 x 34, you are left with a 24 x 40 piece of “scrap” which is quite reusable.

I am of the opinion that since we buy our glass by the square inch, we should sell it by the square inch regardless of the initial size of the sheet that we need.

I use a spreadsheet for pricing, not a commercial POS. We convert UI into square inches by using the equation, (UI/2)<sup>2</sup>. That gives us a pretty good approximation of the number of square inches we need. And, when the equation is way out of whack, it almost always works in our favor.
I sell glass by the lite. There are rare exceptions like an 8x34 piece that I might sell by UI if I know I have pieces like that on hand. But, for the most part once the glass is cut the rest is scrap. Especially when you are dealing with UV and Museum glass, handling those products just invites scratching and I consider it useless after I cut my initial piece. Although I will reuse the scraps if they are big enough.

If I priced by the UI I would feel obligated to keep every scrap which I do not have room for or in the case of the easily scratched stuff it is a pain to wrap and store out of harms way. If the piece is paid for I have no qualms throwing the leftovers away.
Oh yeah, forgot to answer your question......I only know about my software which is FrameReady. I had to enter in each available size and price point, when I take an order I select which size it is going to come out of. So, I'm sure you can make it work no matter which software you have.
I use FrameReady also. I have been asking for this feature for the last 5 years.

Talking with Bert during the Vegas show, he informed me that it will be coming in a future release.
Try this example

Punch in these three sizes:


Compare selling prices for each size in both UVCLR and Museum

Then compare what you pay for each lite

We use LifeSaver and those prices are adjusted to reflect those cost differentials
Originally posted by Bob Carter:
Try this example

Punch in these three sizes:


Compare selling prices for each size in both UVCLR and Museum

Then compare what you pay for each lite

We use LifeSaver and those prices are adjusted to reflect those cost differentials

I use LS too, but the price difference between 13 x 40 and 13 x 41 is really high.

Any idea why??
I would think because a 13x40 would come from 30x40 and a 13x41 would have to come from a 36x48
Punch in these three sizes:
When using Bob’s numbers, clearly the most profit will eventually come from cutting the 13 x 41. Using the (UI/2)<sup>2</sup> conversion, I am charging my customers for 729 square inches of glass when I am only delivering 533 sq. in. I can live with that.

But, since I started out with a sheet of 36 x 48 to get this 13 x 41, I’m left with, effectively, two sheets of 20 x 24, which I can certainly sell later.

What system is this screen shot from?

I use the AppleWorks spreadsheet for most of my internal stuff only ‘cause it has a lot of keyboard shortcuts that Excel lacks. If I have to publish spreadsheets, I convert them to Excel since only me and three other guys in the world have Macs. :(
I guess I'm the third guy with a Mac!!
Judy Nansel has one too and loves it. (but she runs the shop on pc's)
[/qb][/QUOTE]Duh! Thanks Steph, makes sense now. [/QB][/QUOTE]

You're welcome Paul

Mike can I adopt you for a week? I'll make sure you're well fed ;)

Bill-I am not suggesting that your prices are too low without this caveat: Assuming that you will have close to 100% usage is wishful thinking

I would be surprised if most framers weren't at least double your retail prices

We need to be careful about those assumptions as I am sure we all have mountains of shorts that just never get used. Museum glass is especially prone to scratches and non-use.

I would recommend a little more "meat on the bone"

The real purpose of the drill was to point out that each size would come from a different lite (with different costs) yet the retails would be similar by using UI
If we were in extremely high volume situations, we might get better yields than typical. We need to ensure that the initial product sale covers a much larger percentage of anticipated Gross Profit.

If you are lucky enough to get better yields, consider that to be a "profit enhancer". In our shops, anyway, it seems we have far more "profit reducers" (like mis-measures, etc)

Another point I might make is to develop more "logical" price points. I am certain that te consumer will be as willing to pay $120 as $117, or my favorite mistake most framers make, instead of $120.90 why not $125. We see items priced at $17.63 all the time when $18.00 just makes more sense.

Another reason for not using UI pricing. Round up to the nearest dollar is so simple and non-threatening use of price points.

Imagine if every workorder was rounded up to the nearest dollar on each UI component. This stuff adds up to real money over a year's time
Bob - My two cents.

Museum Glass is a wonderful profit center at reasonable mark-ups. I have found it sells, almost exclusively, as an upgrade on a sale that has already been made. With Tru-Vue's price reduction and my aggressive pricing I am getting a good percentage of yeses to the the upgrade.

I use UI pricing from a table that is higher per UI for smaller pieces. My design and pricing software always rounds up and has override percentages when larger lights are triggered. I use 32x40 and 36x48 boxes (40x60 only when required). For Museum Glass the prices taper down to 2x for a full light. Because the wholesale is so high, it is worth saving almost every scrap - carefully - which I do. I have a dedicated section of wall for vertically stacked boxes of Museum Glass. I keep track of all scrap interleaved with paper in the boxes by noting contents on the upper flap. I look to use scrap before ever cutting into a new light. For example a 4x48 scrap yielded over $200 at a discount for seven 3.5"x6.75" frames the other day. My typical return on a box of Museum Glass is about 2.5, often more when the scraps finally go.

With aggressive pricing, Museum Glass adds up to "real money" over a years time. The oversize software triggers and variable price per UI make up for almost all of the glitches inherent in using UI's.

Pat :D
Pat-If it works for you, then it works.

Too often, we "sell down" our margins on "premium" products. My guess is that we are controlled by two symbiotic influences. The first is our own fear (Geez, if it's $250 for glass, no one will buy it) and the second is constant drum beat from vendors and mfgrs.

Now, the first one is quite real. We really can "price" ourselves out of the market. But, this stuff is a premium product and the sky should be the limit.

The second is the forces exerted by mfgrs (The old "if you lower the prices (margins) then you will sell more. And, then you will increase your Gross Profit dollars"). Except, if it's so wise for me to do it, how come they don't follow their own advice?

My concern is, that even as careful as you are, with maximum efficiency, you are generating about 40% CoG (and that ain't bad). But, what happens when you break one lite?

I don't want this to become one of those philosophical issues, but just want people to understand the potential headaches when you let some POS system calculate your prices

There are 2 tests that I have applied to my Museum Glass strategy. The first is that Museum Glass is generally an add on to a sale already made - not generating new business - therefore 40% COG adds to my bottom line a lot more than 25% on CC glass. The next test is the number of acceptances vs. turn-downs. That ratio has improved dramatically since my prices went down with TV's new wholesale. I still get enough turn-downs to understand that I am pushing my customers limits. The net result is thousands of dollars of additional gross profit for this small shop. Isn't that what it is all about - at least with high end upgrades. I consider Museum Glass upgrades as a form of "Super-Sizing".

And, of course I still appreciate your advice to Grumblers on increasing the volume of customers and the related buying and pricing strategies.

BTW since I am a one man shop, losses due to breakage have been nil, and with my scrap use strategy, losses due to scratches and the rare mistake have been mostly recoverable.

Pat :D
Mitch began this post by asking whether it is logical to charge by the light or by the UI (or square inch).

I do not wish to argue whether I should raise my prices to round off to the nearest $5 or whether my prices are in line with other framers.

Somewhere in the process of manufacturing custom picture frames, I believe there have to be differential prices. Nearly every framer I know charges more for a 24 x 30 mat than for a 16 x 20 mat. But why? Discounting the labor involved, both come out of a standard sheet of 32 x 40. If I cut a 16 x 20, I’m left with a whole lot of “scrap”. Am I less likely to use these leftovers just because they are prone to scuffing when I put them back in storage? Nope.

If my next order requires, say, a 16 x 18 mat, I do not tear what’s left of my hair and lament that I’m wasting a two inch strip of mat board. That’s part of the manufacturing process. There is waste. It is accounted for in my pricing structure. And, I suspect, it is accounted for by others as well in their mark up.

My initial thesis was that I charge glass (and mats and backing materials) by the square inch – converting it from United Inches. If I were to cut a 4 x 32 mat, I would charge the same retail price as I would a 16 x 20 even though I am supplying my customer with 128 square inches rather than 320. But what I <u>don’t</u> do is charge them for the whole 1280 in<sup>2</sup> contained in a full sheet of the stuff. Just like glass.
I guess I'm the third guy with a Mac!!
I'm the FOURTH! I love the AppleWorks spreadsheet, database, and WP modules. However, for quick, intuitive and accurate creation of various graphics, such as business forms, text boxes for use in mats, pricing signage, etc., I use (don't laugh) Aldus Superpaint 3.5. I must be the only person in the country who still uses this ancient but excellent program.
:cool: Rick
Hi All,

Thanks for the comments. To be honest I really feel that we should charge by the lite. I was wondering how the software companies figured the prices for glazing. If they don't allow you to set your prices by the lite, my next question would be why not? I would want that choice because I really want my pricing to be fair to myself first and then to my customer.

When I first started framing I had a little time between customers so, I started figuring what would be the most possible waste I could be stuck with for a sheet of 32 x 40 mat bd. I figured that it would be possible to have about 63% waste. I figured that if a customer would require a mat 25 x 33 there would be 7 inches of waste in both directions. I used the 7 inches of waste because it has been my experience that very few customers were requesting a mat less than seven inches one direction. So that would be 7 x 40 = 280 sq. inches and 7 x 25 = 175. I then figured what the fall out would be for a 3 inch mat from the 25 X 33 mat 19 x 27 and then I supposed that the next request for that color would involve waste of 7 inches both directions leaving a mat 12 x 20. Again 7 x 19 = 133 sq. inches and 7 x 20 = 140 inches waste. The fall out for the 12 by 20 would be 84 sq, inches of waste. The grand total of waste could be 812 sq, inches.

After that anal exercise I started noticing all of the 6 by and 7 by strips of glass by the glass cutter. You know the ones that are being saved in hopes of a surge of mini framing jobs.

The more glass sizes we carry the smaller the waste to the customer. Unfortunately the premium glazing only comes in larger sizes and we will have more of those 6 and 7-inch strips. I prefer to charge for them.

Mitch, I'll take a stab at this.

I think all software should price considering a few specific factors. That is Cost, Markup, Waist, and Add-on.

I think Bob is right when he suggests that anytime we try to narrow our margins down too close, we will usually short change ourselves.

Consider those four factors above. You take your Cost and apply a Markup. That sounds great but leaves a problem, waist. So lets say you add 20% to your Cost x Markup. Now you have your asking price with plenty to cover typical waist.

Now you have another problem. What about that 32x40 lite of Museum glass you had to buy just to cut an 11x14? Your Cost x Markup x 20% still doesn't even cover your cost. In other words you just sold a premium product and lost money.

The only way to fix this final problem is to have an Add-on. Every product has an Add-on of exactly my cost. In the case of museum glass my Add-on is $95. So if you buy a 2"x2" square of glass its going to cost you a minimum of about $98.

Look at your pricing. Do you make money if you have to order a lite of museum glass for a 2"x2" square?

This post so far has dealt with one glass size specifically. Lets consider a product like CC with all the standard sizes.

From the size 32x40 to 22x28 there is less than $6 difference between lites. If you’re talking about $30+ pieces of glass, will the customer walk over $6?

Admittedly glass is a bit more confusing because of the size choices we have. However with an Add-on you are sure to cover your cost exactly on every product. I don't see how you can accurately price without those four categories regardless of the glass size you buy or how much of a board you use.

I’m no pricing expert but this is the only method that makes sense to me.