Rush charge?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Aug 7, 2005
Nanticoke, PA
WOLFrames Picture Framing
Just wondering if anyone else out there charges a rush charge when a customer wants a picture or pictures done for the next day? If you do, do you use a flat fee or a percentage of the sale?

I have a corporate client that much of the time want things done right away and I have to drop everything else and get behind on everything else to do their job.
It may be too late for that client. Policy needs to be in place before a business relationship is established. If you retrofit a rush charge onto an account you may well lose their business.
Not that an across the board policy change is bad in itself, just risky for those who are used to a certain level of service at no extra charge.

One of the advantages the smaller independent businesses have over their larger competition is flexibility. You are able to offer one day turn around, which sets you apart from many who rely on chops or centralized production. If you make this service less attractive to your client, they may change the way they do business (plan better) and then have the option to take their business to a shop that offers better pricing.

Unless it is totally disruptive of your work flow, I would "Make hay while the sun shines". If you have ever been through slow times, you'll appreciate the extra effort you have to put in now.

Oh, my "policy" is that I can either do the job, or not. No rush charges, no discounts.
We don't do rush charges - we either can do the work or not, depending on our workload, and we tend to agree with Wally vis a vis the importance of Hay. The one thing we do, however, is demand (nicely) full payment for the job in advance. It helps the cash flow, for one. Also, even if it turns out to be not so much of a rush, and the customer does not return right away (happens), we have been paid good cold cash upfront.

I generally wouldn't charge a ruch charge either unless there are direct pass through costs associated with getting the order out on time...such as next day delivery charges or overtime costs of extra employees to get the job out within the clients time table.

Good clients are clients who are appreciative of your time and abilities and don't regularly expect you to shove others work aside to accommodate their lack of planning. Any client who expects preferential treatment on a regular basis, in my opinion, is not a "good client" no matter how much business they may bring you.

Dave Makielski
I don't add any rush charges, either. I am always happy to get the thing done as fast as possible. I have lots of moulding in stock, so it is almost always possible to meet any deadline with what I have on hand.

Like with Dave, it HAS happened that someone fussy wanted Just This Moulding from out of state and I have charged the exact amount of the UPS blue or red label.

edie the thefasterthebetter goddess
I have charged rush charges for this client before. Because they're a coporate client, I give them a discount on pictures that aren't a rush(which is probably another question to post--does anyone give a discount to corporate clients?) . So, basically the rush charge just removes the discount so the picture is at regular price.
corporate client that much of the time want things done right away and I have to drop everything else and get behind on everything else to do their job.
Sounds like it's time to ease them up to full retail, and surcharge if they need to disrupt your shop.

Also, it's time to evaluate whether they make up more than 20% of your business...but that's another thread for Bob to open...
We have a small sign that states there is a 15% rush charge. We have very rarely used it. As said before in this thread I only charge extra if I incur an extra charge like next day shipping charges or something like that.
I just called the client to tell them the pictures are done and they told me that they're going to be sending me 20-25 dealer awards that they want framed. I asked "before Christmas?", they said "yes, we should be a pretty good customer aren't we?" I thought to myself, it's not just if you're a good customer, I have a bunch of stuff for retail customers promised for Christmas, what do I do about that? I guess I'm going to fit it in somehow.

Like Charlie Brown would sometimes say: "AAAUUUUGGGHHHH!!!"
Marky: be real thankful you're busy. Some on this forum aren't. Just work Sundays and late nites--but keep the doors and lights on 'cause you may get some extra business.

This is no time of year to turn down anything. Just be sure you're paid for the work, and paid well
The "For what it's worth Department"-WE get every single sale possible and then some. Everyone on our staff understands how important this time of year is and they all pitch in to get it done. If your staff doesn't also, perhaps it's time to revisit your hiring/training practices.

We find this time of year aperfect time to clear out some of those "barking spiders" that have been laying around. Rush charge? No. But, if it comes down to "I do have something that will work for you and best of all, it's in stock", then a full price non-turning item is better than any rush charge and has a much better feel for the client
But, what the heck-What do we know?
We used to do rush charges. But now we're tons more competitive, as in more competition for the buck. So no, altho we still have the "rush" button ready to go in Lifesavr, but it's now more of a PIA button for those folks who are PIAs. Still, haven't used it in a year or so.

s Bob sez, get 'em whle you can and great time to unload those spideys, barking or just snarlin'
Bob, don't be misleading. You certainly do charge a rush fee if the act of rushing costs you money. Which to me is the reason for a rush charge. If you lose money on other projects or your costs increase because of rushing, then charge. If not, then you are doing just exactly what you're paid to do. That’s to build frames.

I've told this story before but I was blown away when I was visiting one of the most awesome shops I have ever been in. It was absolutely busting at the seams with activity. I asked one of the employees what their "turn around" was. She honestly had no clue what I was talking about. So I rephrased my question, "When somebody orders a frame when do you tell them to pick it up?" She answered "Ohh we ask them if they want it today? If they say "no" then we usually have it ready for them tomorrow."

If you ask me, this is the signature of a well-run shop. I'm not there yet but dangit I'm trying. It seems to me that as a business owner your goal should be to complete the job as absolutely quick as humanly possible. Then you get your money quicker.

I asked Warren why he had such a quick turnaround. He said he don't see any sense in waiting two or three weeks to get your money.

I agree.

If you have the stuff and can frame it, what’s the justification in a rush charge? If it because framing at that time is an inconvenience, perhaps you should sale cars instead.

But I'm just guessing.

Carry on.
What Jay Hartman said, and I would add - an extremely impressed customer is high reward.

A story - yesterday, lady brings in a quite large needlework montage (for want of a better word). Nice job, upmarket moulding, double mount, spaced apart with a slip and a concealed spacer, UV glass, everything in stock.

'Is a week today OK?' I asked

'Oh' she said 'I've friends coming Saturday, 'could it be done for then?'

'No problem' I said

'What time?'

'First thing, in fact it will be done Friday for Saturday'

'Oh, in that case could I come in on Friday?'

'Er, yes, OK'

'What time?'

'Well, I'll have it done Thursday, for Friday'

'So, er, does that mean I could come in on Thursday?'

I could see where this was going so I said, 'Yes, and if I do it sooner I'll ring you'

I did it today, it was collected within 30 mins of my call.

I may as well just have said 'Is tomorrow OK?' to start with.