Thank You Larson


Founder of the G
Forum Donor
Founding Member
Jul 30, 1997
For the steam coming out of my ears. I love it when you follow my instructions so closely.

No, MaryAnn, Yes, Sue, I'm calming down.

I took the day off and was enjoying a nice day shopping about 45 minutes from my store. I got a call from Lisa my assistant and she said, "The UPS man was there and needed a 500+ dollar check for a COD. The package was left and the UPS man was coming back in an hour to pick up the money or the package. OH! by the way the box is already beat up." Loverly I say, I had to drive back to the store to write the check and inspect the package.

So what's my real bitch with Larson, they were instructed to charge this to a credit card if there was any problem to get back to me. (Told to my sales rep.) If I had been aware this was being sent COD a check would have been left for it. Also If they called and said they wanted to send it COD I would had cancelled the order as I refuse to do business COD as a rule. I get few days off and this was pure crap from some lazy employee of theirs.

I'd asked to have it delivered as it was a fair size order and they refused as I was not a scheduled stop. They would have to put me on and then take me off their delivery list, or some BS list. It will be a blue moon before I place an order with them again.

Sorry for the bitch but they rubbed me the wrong way today.


[ 01-08-2004, 12:15 AM: Message edited by: framer tg: ]
I like Larson

You always know where you stand

Service is great

No compliants

Even Less makes mistakes

[ 01-08-2004, 07:51 AM: Message edited by: lessafinger ]
In my mind, L-J is the Microsoft of framing vendors. There are a lot of things they do really well and, when they screw up, they do it in a very big way.

In some ways, they were simpler to deal with when they were a tiny little operation up in Ashland, WI. Of course, they had about 33 mouldings (all ash) and, when a rep asked me what additions I'd like to see to the line, I said, "Something gold would be nice."

I've tried to visualize business without L-J and I just don't see it for me. I know it's possible. Lots of you do it, either by necessity or by choice.

Some of you manage without any Microsoft products, too.
Two Points I want to make.

1. They deliver in my area why not deliver it. It's called service. Set a high min for delivery so when you want 500' of something it can be delivered without getting beat to H***.

2. They failed to keep me happy.

That's really surprising to me, framer. I get weekly deliveries all the way from Louisiana and, when I first moved here, I was automatically put on their delivery route. I didn't need any special qualifications.

And, for that matter, if they had to drive "out of their way" completely across the state of Rhode Island to deliver to you, it would only take a few miles to do it!! :D

None of my business, Framer, but are you an "occasional" L-J customer?

They don't seem very interested in "occasional" customers, even if that occasional order is a big one.

There are vendors I order from about every other year, and they practically throw me a party with every order. I don't think L-J is like that. They seem to like that I order from them 3-4 times each month.

[ 01-08-2004, 10:11 AM: Message edited by: Ron Eggers ]
I have been a Larson Juhl customer for many years. They have good products and service. I don't know of ANY vendor or for that matter ANYBODY that is perfect all the time. If Larson has made a mistake with me they have been good about working honestly to correct the situation. I am sure that I will continue to enjoy a good relationship with them for years to come.

So often these days we are quick to complain but when things are going well we sometimes take things for granted. It's nice to compliment people and companies during those good times, too.

[ 01-08-2004, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: Tim Hayes ]
Geez, Tim, are you always this nice and . . . well, REASONABLE?

It must be maddening to the people around you. :D

I figure Dogzilla should be allowed to bark at the dog park* and Framer should be allowed to grumble in The Grumble.

I'm sure Framer will appreciate the analogy.

* It's pretty much the only place he barks.

[ 01-08-2004, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: Ron Eggers ]
Originally posted by Ron Eggers:

I've tried to visualize business without L-J and I just don't see it for me.
I have never carried any of their product. I started out as a part time framer and they didn't want my business. Now that I have 2 full time locations, I don't need them! There is nothing that they have that can't be bought from someone else.

Besides, when everyone else in town carries them, and one guy carries them exclusively, why would I want it? Maybe my business is doing well because I don't have the same moulding at the same price as everyone else.

Dare to be different!
The other thing I've noticed is that a lot of the people who don't buy from L-J talk about them the same way I talk about AT&T. (We'll save that story for another time.) Good for you, Jerry. I mean that.

You gotta love a company that would have John Richards on board! (You crack me up, John. Do they know you're on The Grumble?)

I may be in the Twin Cities early on Monday, January 26. I love a good party, but I have to be home and in bed by 10:15.
We're at the other end of the state and probably on a different delivery route, but they've always been more than fair with us. We're happy with Larson and gave them a lot of holiday business. We had to wait more than a year to get on the delivery route until someone went out of business, because the route was completely full, but they have come faithfully every Thursday since. Sal is the delivery person for the Providence area.

If it was a big length order and trucks were coming through the area anyways, I'd think they would have delivered it personally - but this may have required a special call from the rep to the warehouse.

I would have steam coming out of my ears, too, if my mini vacation was interrupted. Hopefully yours was an isolated incident.

Does Rob service your area as the rep? He has been fantastic.

There is a framer a couple of towns away from here that is not on the LJ route. He buys some stuff UPS, but every now and then he get's a big length order. Since I am on regular delivery with LJ, he has the order dropped off here and picks it up later. I don't mind and it's cheaper for him and easy for LJ.

It's the same warehouse out of Methuen, so something similar with a neighbor could be done I'm sure.

Ron: Thanks (I think) for the compliment. Yeah they know I'm on the G but they don't know what I write! Ha! I've marked down the 26th on my calendar. I may be going to Vegas so touch base if you want to stop by.

Back on topic, there have been many good/great and interesting insights here. I know our shipping guys once in a while hit a wrong key and something is sent out wrong (COD, wrong delivery, ect) and unfortunately it's fairly easy to do. Hopefully LJ will make it up to Framer somehow and everyone can live happily ever after.

[ 01-08-2004, 01:30 PM: Message edited by: John Richards ]
We have been LJ customers for a long while now and Finally after allot of complaining from my Dad and Framerguy, they put us on a route. "Once a month."

Now, after years of loyalty to them (All Mats, Glass and most Moulding), They are not going to deliver to us. Our business must not mean too much to them if they are willing to just drop us off there route.

This makes it more difficult for a one person shop, but I'll survive.

Now, I am in the process of trying to find a vendor that will either deliver here or that is closer then the LJ warehouse that is on the other side of St. Louis.

The real kicker is, we just moved into a new location and the business has picked up.

What a way to start the new year!

[ 01-08-2004, 02:05 PM: Message edited by: MarkG1 ]
OK, I realize LJ will not do business with non-storefront framers. But I did not realize that they will not even deliver to some storefront framers until reading this thread. Does that mean if you need to order from them that these shops can only get delivery via UPS? Since LJ is such a big distributor with points all over the place, why then can't certain shops get delivery? Is it because they are in the boonies?
Perhaps I'm dense, but I don't understand.

Larson is making sound business decisions based on the economics of the situation just like we all do every day. Look at cell phone service - not all areas are served yet the providers are huge national companies. Pizza delivery -again not all areas are served yet Domino's, Papa Johns Pizza Hut, etc are big national companies.
Is it because they are in the boonies?
You could say that. But the excuse that I was given, was that there were only three shops on our route now and it didn't justify the expense of the delivery.

Come on, It's only once a month!

My once a month order alone is well over $1000 and that's the only time I buy bulk items that I can't and don't want to get UPS.(Glass, Acrylic,Foamboard and oversized.) That's not including all the moulding that I have UPS deliver all month long!

The last time I had any of these items trucked in by freight carrier, My glass was broken and my oversized sheets had been damaged.

Matboard shipping charges alone will force me to raise my prices.

I think, at this point, my feelings are hurt, since I buy most of what I use from this company.

I feel like I've been kicked to the curb.

I guess I'm just not a big enough buyer to deserve a delivery.
Once again, when I hear of how hard it is to get deliveries I thank my lucky stars I get daily delivery from two suppliers, one of them being LJ. Heck, I was annoyed when LJ dropped down to three days a week for deliveries. They reversed their decision and once again we get daily delivery. I'm not rubbing it in, I just have so few things to brag about here.
Mark: It looks like you are less than 12 miles from two major highways. It seems strange that Larson out of St. Louis doesn't have to cover that area more.

Deliveries have been discussed before and could be another topic. Once a month for a $1,000.00 order would be a good thing! However, we have to continually evaluate our routes and any changes always bring about "ill" feelings from customers.

We have tried minimums but they often cannot be met.

Hobbes::::In this area, Larson Juhl now sells to larger home and basement framers. I know this because when they originally cut these people off over the last 4 years we picked up some business. However, since the Berkshire Hathaway purchase of LJ, the sales reps are now back to calling on the major home accounts.

Kathy: Just curious, is everyday delivery really important? What is your turnaround time to your customers on a custom frame job?

Everyday delivery isn't that crucial. My turn around time is 10-14 days. I usually only order once or twice a week. Where it was messing up with LJ is they only did M-W-F and the orders had to be called in by 1pm. So any rushes I took automatically got ordered from ABC, another local distributor. Anytime I needed a rush I would automatically steer the customer towards ABC frames and ABC mats. Especially weekend rush sales, I couldn't get anything in from LJ til Wednesday if I took a rush over the weekend. Where as ABC has same day delivery and any orders I take from Friday on can be placed by Monday morning and I get them Monday afternoon.

I don't always have rushes but when I do I need it NOW. Obviously I am spoiled having that quick of turn around. But I know LJ made the right decision changing back to daily delivery. The little business I was diverting away from them wasn't much but imagine how much sales they lost if all the shops diverted business just because they couldn't get it NOW. I wonder if they were forced to go back to everyday delivery because we do have two other major suppliers here in Denver who deliver daily. Either way I am happy because now I can choose what a customer wants and not what I can get in a hurry. About 80% of my wall is from local suppliers.
Interesting....thanks for the input John.

LJ has confirmed to me that I will not be a customer in the future. Not all small customers are treated equal. I have just found out that I was paying premium prices when a small shop down the road was getting some discounts without the commitment that I was asked to give them. I will not put all my eggs in one basket and that was what they were asking to me do. Sorry, LJ, it is not good business to do that.

I also have a framing acquintance in Indiana that watches the LJ truck go buy her shop every week and they won't give her delivery from that truck. I had a hard time believing it until reading this thread.

framer, you are in IL. Have you tried Gemeni. They are out of Palatine and have delivery routes. I have also been a TCMoulding customer for a long time and they do have good service.
To clarify a couple of things. I'm not in the boonies. They deliver to Middletown and Newport that 10 minutes away. It's about LJ wanting me to give them $15,000 in mouldings business (not mats and glass) to get on the delivery route. I just wanted to see I could get a single order $500 - 600 delivered on a occasional basis. I called the sales rep, he informed me they could not deliver the order. I mentioned didn't want to ship UPS because I wanted it uncut and not beat up. He assured it would be wrapped right and it would be perfect. I accepted a special price to take care of the shipping. Well it came in with 4 foot of box missing. I also told the rep to put on my charge card which I thought was on file with them. I also informed him to get back to me if there was any problem with the payment method or any problems.

As I see it, they don't want an occasional order from me.

I will look else where for the few numbers that I would have liked to stock from them.

We would probably do more business w/ L/J if we received free delivery. The closest they come to us is around 45 miles away (State College) and yes we are in the boonies!
Originally posted by MarkG1:
We have been LJ customers for a long while now and Finally after allot of complaining from my Dad and Framerguy, they put us on a route. "Once a month."


Do you want me to send Omar up there?? That's how your dad and I got LJ to deliver in the first place!!

(I guess after I moved they thought they were safe. Well, Omar is watching them closely.)

Too bad that Mark N. quit as our rep. I think he could have kept that delivery going.


True, We sat between I-64 and I-70, 2 of the only feeder interstates out of St. Louis to the East but they also figure deliveries out by region and we didn't have enough overall business out there to warrant a regular delivery up until Mark's dad and I made some serious threats about pulling out of the LJ line and going with other framing suppliers. If we had to UPS all of our mouldings in anyway we figured we could make some deals with some of the hungrier distributors and still have a better variety of samples on our walls than what we had with LJ.

Here in FWB I get once a week delivery all the way from Louisiana! We had trouble getting that once a month schedule set up from St. Louis and that was only a 70 mile run.

I never did understand the discrimination involved in different parts of the country with the same company's service.

Mark, it might be time to "Wheel and Deal" with the framer down the street who does get weekly delivery. If you can't convince LJ to deliver directly, perhaps they can drop your order at the next closest place. I do this for a shop in my area that is unable to get delivery.

By the way, have you noticed all the experienced sales reps out of St. Louis have left in the last year. Hmmm... I like our new rep, but he just doesn't know the business yet. This might be a good time to negotiate for your business. God knows, Warren Buffett needs your money.

It sounds like "you" might be one of the closest framers "down the street" that I might need to talk to.

I was told that they were doing away with my whole route, so I'm not the only one in this postition.

I finally got a call from my rep. and he is supposed to call me tommorow with any new info.

I like Larson's quality, and have stayed loyal for the delivery, but is it enough to justify paying double the price, when I know I can get a knockoff out of NY?

If nothing else, this is making me weigh out all my options.

Mabe this is one of those things that happened for a reason.

Run from Larson - Juhl. I was with them for 12 years and they suddenly dropped me because I didn't have a storefront. I was doing $7500 a year with them and the bill always paid. I'm the only shop in town - so I wasn't cutting in on someone with a storefront. I have found other companies that are easy to work with and appreciate my business - I'm sure you can too.......
1 in town,

That, in its self, would not be enough to make me run from LJ or any other framing supplier nor do I think that it would be a singular basis for Mark to run either. You need to note some additional information about your background with LJ before I would take your suggestion seriously.

I have had many bones to pick with LJ over the 13 or so years that I have been one of their customers but in general they have treated me well and have looked after my concerns with speed and accuracy. If you read the very first paragraph in their General Information page of their catalog, it clearly states that you must have a full time business with regular hours in a retail storefront. They also require a reseller's tax # and a business license to open an account. On a local level, if they deviate from that stated policy, that is another subject to explore.

I am not condoning nor condemning this policy and I don't know if the policy has changed since you first started dealing with them. But, to make a blanket statement, based on your homebased situation with no other facts to support your claim, is a weak argument at best and implies that you have some alterior motives for making such a statement.

We have hashed over the pros and the cons of dealing with most of the larger moulding suppliers in the past here on the Grumble and I think that the consensus of opinion is that, for a qualifying retail frame shop, LJ has been fairly dependable and has treated most with professional courtesy and dealt with their concerns as they have mine.

I may complain about their La Cirque line tomorrow and I have complained about the poor delivery service in the past where I was located but I still have a respect for their business ethic and dependability as a supplier.

Mark is a smart man and a good friend of mine and I'll lay odds that he will work out a solution with LJ to get his moulding to him in the future. I don't think that he is going to "Run from Larson Juhl" until after he cools down and gives this some rational thought. He is having to cope with far more than simple delivery cancellations from LJ and it is such that many framers would throw in the towel and quit altogether.

I don't see my friend as a quitter ................ or a "runner".