Quick ? on Pricing


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Feb 14, 2004
Nicholasville, KY
HI. Trying to set up my new EZFramer and I admit my pricing structure was not always the best....

Could some of you all run this through your systems and let me know your price? Just seeing ballpark and if I am "still on the bench" or "way out in left."

For example
11 x 14 image
Top Mat: 2.5 in (top sides and bottom)
Crescent C7112

Bottom Mat: 1/4 showing
Crescent C1115

Frame: Gemini G2442

Conservation Clear glass
Artcare foam core / mylar corners

I would appreciate it

Thanks so much!
Or give us the Length and chop prices (and freight charges, if they apply). Then we can be on an even playing field.
Sorry guys
I buy chop

Lets say a frame at $4.22 chop (our price)

mat prices and glass, etc. I am fine on. Just having some issues making my frame pricing work properly - as in markup to be "reasonable" etc.
but, again I really have no basis. No one really around here that runs a respectable business.

I have never lost money on frames but never truly made money either :( Just trying to do things right for once and to make a little more profit.
Here is what I have:
I have no overhead really. Literally a big basement framer. Doing 4-5 projects a week. Just is a hobby and brings in some extra money. Supplier for mats and glass is about 10 miles away. Other frame shop in town has very bad reputation. My co workers in education make up most of my customer base. I order in chops. Sometimes joins if the frames are those gold fragile things that I can not stand to work with ;) I have been told by some other framers that I do good technical work. I try to do everything correctly and with proper methods. People seem to like my designs.

WIth my Ez Framer I ran the above and got the following:
Top Mat: $34.54
Middle Mat: $17.72
Frame: $46.11
Conservation Clear: $17.00
Backing board / corners: $12.00

Just needing some opinions. Is something way too low? Somethign way too high?
My customer's basically get to choose between me and Michaels and a FastFrame franchise that is running on about a 6x markup. (based on a Neilsen frame and single artcare mat I picked out the other day ;) )
I would like to see itemized prices (costs) for each element of the entire package.
I see a thundercloud gathering over head here, and its initials are B.C.

Sorry. I wouldn't touch this one with a ten-foot pole (or even a poll.)

Okay, maybe I'll touch it just a little. Asking framers in Maine, North Carolina and maybe Scotland to give you some pricing guidance for your particular situation in Nicholsville, KY is like throwing darts at a price chart.

I don't mean to be unkind, but any information you gather here (including mine) is not likely to be useful.

You'd probably be ahead by looking at what your local Fastframe and Michaels are doing. It sounds like you might have done that already.
Your moulding portion of your frame price is too low! That is unless your a Micheal's or Joanne's!

I tend to triple my chop price. Gotta pay for shipping somehow. At $30 for the moulding and $10 to get it shipped to you you're giving away the frame. When you do decide to retire from teaching and get into framing your "customers" will be upset when your prices go up.

Good luck and keep having fun framing.

BTW 3X chop is only a guideline I use, please don't hang me in efigy Mr Carter
Ron! When I read the thread topic I had the same thought. Then I thought better of it and decided to throw caution to the wind! Hadn't heard from Mr C in a long time and thought this might get him out of hiding!
thanks for the advice. I realize the statement about local area vs you all, but all I had asked for was comments, etc.

Michaels and Fast Frame - research has been done.

I will sit down this week end and put a lot of thought into this.

I guess someone could delete the topic or close the post.
That's not how we do things, Steven. Someone might disagree with me and they should have that chance.

If they do, THEN I'll delete the thread.

(Just kidding.)

Really, I think it's interesting to compare pricing with framers from all over, as long as we don't make too many decisions based on what we see here. Your prices are probably not too low if you're paying the bills and have money left over and they're probably not too high if you still have customers.

I'm doing 4-5 orders/week as well and pricing the way I did when I had the storefront. I enjoy the work, but not so much that I don't need to make money on it. And, while I don't have the same kind of overhead I did previously, I have other kinds (like lots of gasoline.)

I'll probably post my own prices a little later.
Here is what I am trying to get at:
A big pofit has never really been the ultimate goal: Now hear my out first:
All I frame for are "friends" of mine. I always make a little bit and I also collect some artists's prints and frame some things for myself. The profit i do make, alot of times goes into my own projects, etc.

Now I am wanting to get really serious about it.
The first school district I was in, I learned how to frame and got a customer base. I have changed jobs and I am in a different district and can basically "start over" with pricing and start over correctly. My little pricing scheme always made me happy and my customers / friends happy. Now I want to make a little more profit than what I was making to cover my pet projects.

Maybe not even asking for specifics: Rules of thumb (as cut up by mat blades as they may be ;) ) would be fine too!!
All I have to base prices on are Michaels, Fast Frame and the other local place which beleives duct tape is the proper way to mount a print.

Just throw me some pricing theory!!
Originally posted by Steven6095:
Just throw me some pricing theory!!
Here ya go!

Never let you COGS exceed 30%. If you do, it will be hard to stay in business. Oh wait, you are advanced hobby stage. When I was in the hobby stage I never let my COGS go over 50%.

But then again, you could make it with a 90% COGS if you are turning several million units per year. But that is a different discussion.

The real answer is: there is no real answer.
Eeeeehhhaa, while the Carter is away, the mice they run all over the field.

I think I'm gonna have to go with Ron on this one... I can hear Bob blowing a veiner on this one . . .

Get a copy of LJs catalog (or just the section on suggested pricing guild lines) and as you read it, and keep nodding your head, remember this it written as a guildline for you to sell more stuff that you have to order from them....

Their goal is to sell the most to you.. not to keep you in business..
Basement framer or not I think you should charge as much (really even more) than everybody else around you. There are a lot of reasons I think this but I’ll not bore you.

So to me a rule of thumb would be to find out what everybody else charges and start from there. Everything else is subjective, worthy of consideration, but subjective.

I have made really good friends with a guy here who frames out of his garage. He is considering opening a storefront when he retires. I help him in anything I can under one condition. He has to charge a fair price. The very second he starts marking up his goods 1.5 times and giving away labor he can expect nothing but grief from me. As a matter of fact I will consider that an act of war.

Sense we’re practically neighbors I’ll share what my price would be.

(my pos rounds everything off to the nearest $1)

Frame : 92
Mats : 59
Glass : 17
The rest : 12
Total $180

Without adding it looks like your total was in the $130 range. It would seem that your frame is way way off. I’ll assume you have a very low markup on that and it looks low. I’d look at that. Sense you have priced Michael’s and Fast Frame, what was their price?

Something fun that I have done was to take estimates from other local framers and include a quick key with their mat, glass, mounting, and fitting prices. That way I can quickly compare prices. Or not even blink an eye when a client says “Well Hobby Lobby’s price was $xx.xx (insert number that’s 40% less than your price).
Now thats more like it!!!

I like the COGS of 50% idea. Jerry thanks!

Jay, that was also what I was looking for!! Someone to say to me what was way off and what was in the "mainstream" of prices. Yes I persoanlly think I should charge more than the other places because I do a better job!!! It is just hard to get past the basement framer stigma. Also it is "reassuring" when someone with a simular customer base / area (I assume) has simular prices.

See!! I LEARNED SOMETHING! I need to raise my frame prices ;) ..and yep... sometimes you have to be thick skinned to hang around here
or at least until some others get some coffee in them

As for the comment about advanced hobby stange:
I like that analogy. I could do more if I had more time, but it is a side thing. A hobby that I take very seriously. Been doing it for about 10-12 years now, self taught and with books. I have about 500 samples on the wall right now not counting metal. Crescent and Bainbridge's complete mat lines.
48in Fletcher 2100. 38 in shrink wrap machine, and of course all the other goodies
I'm a basement framer located close to Steven. My pricing is typically between 2.5 and 3 times the COGS. This may go up significantly if they want cheap materials or if there is substancially more labor involved such as with shadow boxes or mounting textiles. I'm selective of what I take in, though it is hard to turn away a neighbor or a friend. Everything comes in by word of mouth and I could get enough work to take up all my free time. I'm frequently told that I'm charging way too little and some have tried to pay me more. My response is that framing saves me the cost of a shrink. Those in direct retail need to charge more to cover overhead. Others that deal with some of the customers that I used to deal with when I worked in an open stop should consider adding an additional mental health surcharge.
It almost looks to me that EZFramer doesn't have the markup for your frame in the system. It looks like a wholesale amount and the % of markup needs to be entered.
Another thing about EZFramer....the metals are priced very low. Be sure to check them out and get your system up to where you want to be.