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Thanks, Michaels (A quandry)


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jun 12, 2003
North Carolina - Picture Framing Capital of the Wo
True Story:
A longtime customer (Bill) picked up a piece Saturday morning. Simple Nielsen moulding, quick and basic job.

About 2 hours later another (brand new, never been in before) customer came in. Since we have a referral program, we asked how she heard about our store. Turns out she and Bill met in the stairwell of their building. "My friend (Bill) said I should come here for my framing. Had a hard time finding your shop, so I asked the folks over at MICHAELS and they sent me over."

Simple poster print, nice mat, fillet and frame -couple hundred bucks.

The quandry: Bill gets the referral GC. But should we send one over to Michaels, too? :D

I suspect you're joking, Tony, but let's pretend you're not.

What if your new customer was one of those directionally impaired individuals we talked about recently on Warped? He had to get directions from ten different people on the way to your shop.

Would EACH of them get a gift certificate?

That's a good program, BTW. I get a significant number of referrals from the shop two doors down. They don't do shadowboxes, textiles of any sort, collages, etc and will often walk the customer over to my shop and introduce us.

I haven't sent them a gift certificate yet, but I try to do little favors when I can.

What does this competitor of yours DO for framing? The stuff they don't do is like your bread and butter work isn't it? I don't think I could go a week without picking up at least one needle work and we do at least one shadowbox a month.

Can't see turning any of that work away!


How much of a GC do you give to the referrer? Is it a percentage of the job or a set dollar figure off? can they combine them? Have they ever tried to abuse your generosity!?
Bob, they do flat stuff on paper or canvas.

The projects they refer to me are consistently some of the best orders I get.

A while back, they were wondering if a particular mat is available with a black core. It isn't, so I started to explain how to color the bevel (and it's not rocket science.) They stopped me and said, "Oh, no, we're not going to mess around with all that."

They advertise the lowest (but they say "best") custom framing prices in the area, and they probably have them. They are welcome to them.

It's a nice, symbiotic relationship.
Yes, I'm joking about the GC to Michaels (but it would be fun. Maybe they'd give it to a customer :D )

The referrer gets a $25 GC in their thank you note, regardless of the amount of the order. Yes, they can save them up, and no, we haven't had any abuses yet. (But now that you've asked...)