Things We "Forget" To Charge For . . .

Ron Eggers

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. . . either because we didn't think about about it at all when we were writing the quote or we didn't think it was a big deal.

An example of the former is removing stickers from the back of prints or posters prior to mounting. A couple of large, tenacious stickers can take 20 minutes to fully remove - even with Unseal - and, if you don't, they'll emboss themselves through the surface when you vacuum mount the print. I hardly EVER think to look for stickers on the back of a print until I'm ready to mount it.

An example of the latter is attaching artist info, bios, certificates of authenticity, etc to the back. It seems like the Mylar sleeves I use to do this (instead of the ATG I used to use) are getting more elaborate and time-consuming. Ever charge someone for doing this?

I know we can't account for every minute spent framing a particular project but it would seem like we'd want to get close.

What other things do we forget to charge for?
 

JFeig

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Design time for those who can't make up their minds
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Explaining to artists how to frame their own work properly without masking tape or duck tape.
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An extra trip to the distibutor for a rush job.

A minimum charge for a 8x10 special order mat that you know you will never sell again in 100 years.
 

Bill Henry-

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Offset clips or turn buttons when I miscalculate the thickness of the frame package in relationship to the rabbet depth.

Rowlbazzle!
 

Littleframer

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I had a customer last week that had a kincaid print framed. We triple matted, and placed in a gorgeous frame. When she came to pick it up, she was astounded at how beautiful it was. To make a long story short. She brought the piece back 2 days later. She said she did not like the frame. It did not match the paint on the walls. She picked out the same exact frame in a different color. I think she expected me to not charge her. Of course I charged her for the full amount of the frame and a fitting fee. It is amazing what people have come to expect.
 

Sherry Lee

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Which brings up a good question.....

When a regular customer brings in one or TWO pictures that you've framed (in the past year) because "Little Dennis" broke the glass while horse-playing, do you charge takedown, glazing cost and refit?

Or the customer that, while carrying a piece home (mod./lge.) drops it and breaks the glass.....??
 

Frame Lady

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WITHIN REASON I have found that if I give the customer what he wants, or surprise him with a no charge redo, I have a customer for life plus word of mouth advertising for life. When people travel 75 miles or 1 mile to see me, I know I am doing the right thing. I believe in the "payback" method; when a customr wants to pay and I refuse I ask them to do something nice for someone else. Seems to be working!
Lynn
 

Littleframer

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So you would not have charged this customer who did not like the way it matched her walls? This, even though she was thrilled when she initially saw the piece. This is also a very expensive moulding which I had to order. Now, it is possible it could come back again (though this time I had her take home 2 different mouldings to see which best matched the walls).
 

Littleframer

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Also, if this customer had accidentally broken the glass on the way home, I would NOT have charged to fix. Somehow I just could not see myself giving away $100.00 (my cost) of moulding. What would everyone else do?
 

MatFramer

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If they have approved the final product, I cannot see letting them push us for a free frame. How many times can that go on and on? I have redone mats a few times, but I won't redo a third time. I did have a customer come back saying that I put the wrong frame on her art. She had a difficult time trying to decide between two mouldings and finally took the more daring one. To this day, I know that she chose the one that I put on her art. However, there was no way to prove either of us right and I had to correct my "error". (It was a big frame, too.)

I don't think we charge enough for sew mounts (jersey's etc.).

I don't thing most framers charge for cutting down mat board for the do-it-yourself framers. (They are asking for our services and the use of our equipment because they don't want to do it.)

How about that second or third opening in a double or triple mat. 3 openings in a triple mat would bring an extra charge times 9 in my shop. I now include all three openings because of the extra design time it takes to cut those 9 openings.

I will let others add. I do believe that we are not charging enough for all the specialty services that we do.
 

Baer Charlton

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Sometimes we think we are in the "picture framing" business.....

What we are is problem solvers. The little things to us are HUGE to our customers or potential customers. What we can fix in a few minutes takes less of our time than the little chit chatty that goes on all day.

We mark our ready-mades 2.5-3x, which covers our "slipping the picture in while you wait". Most notice that we "forgot" to charge for the labor. Some don't. When they come back for some "real" framing, a few have mentioned that little nicety.

It's all part of "solving problems for our neighbors". We are blessed to live and work in a neighborhood that makes Wonder Years look sterile. It's one of the little ways we have learned to give back.....

Now about that custom frame job that is coming back this weekend for the fourth time.....

baer
 

B. Newman

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(I bet Bob will address this ;) )

We can't "forget" to charge for things. When we create a pricing structure we have to include all the "extras." Then, when a job goes well, or quickly and without incident, we have made more. (Unless of course, you want to give some of it back.) It can't be that we have made less on problem issues.

Betty
 

Kit

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Unlike Betty, I sometimes make mistakes. Sometimes, I forget things. Sometimes I forget them on purpose. It makes me feel good to throw in an upgrade that the customer can't afford when the art (or the customer) merits it.

I almost never remember to check for stickers on the backs of posters. And I have replaced, at no charge, the badly cut paper mat on a drawing that a student was framing for Grandma's birthday.

Just bumbling along, being human.

Kit
 

B. Newman

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Gee Kit, I certainly hope I haven't implied that I never make mistakes! I just meant that we need to have a pricing structure that takes into account all the little things. Then you can afford to throw in upgrades, because all the other stuff has been covered in the past.

I'm certainly sorry if I even implied that I've got it all together. As I've said before, I'm not near the framer that most of you all are, and I don't even pretend to be. I know better than to try to answer technical questions. So if it sounded like I know it all, I'm sorry.

Betty
 

Bob Shirk MCPF

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I forget some things. Whenever possible I make a note on the customers copy that they get when they pick up the piece that I have included whatever at no charge. In that way I do not alter the quoted price but I do let the customer know that they have received something for nothing. This makes the customer feel good and gives me a little plus from my oversight. Also if I charge for it in the future the added cost is not a shock.

One of the things that I forget...
spacers.
 

Dave

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I seldom give a price to a customer when they leave work with me unless it is quite simple work. I prefer and my customers seem to have little problem with calling them with the price after I have fully assessed the time and materials involved. Usually a regular has been satisfied with the value in the past and I don't need to call with a quote. If the job ends up being extraordinarily high I often call the customer anyway so that they aren't surprised.

I quite often forget to charge for almost everything people are listing when I have to quote on the spot. If a customer wants an exact quote for a complex job while they wait, they may have to do just that...wait.

Often for a regular customer I'll throw in an unordered enhancement such as museum glass at no charge. Often it's a long scrap that would be pitched or end up broken anyway. There is a method to my madness...

"Taste is expensive!"

We should constantly encourage our customers to upgrade to better designs and materials, but never be pushy or condescending.


Dave Makielski

P.S. I cover myself to some degree with forgetting to charge for the little things by adding a few dollars here and there as I tabulate
an order. Sounds pretty wishy washy and non-business like, but I've found it covers my behind. Usually it'll add about 5-10% to the order total and doesn't sound like much, but take your gross framing sales and add 5-10% of that figure to the bottom line...now it becomes impressive.
 

Dave

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Forgot to mention...

Price often depends on customer attitude.

DM
 

Puppyraiser

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When we do those little things that seem too little to charge for, such as just shooting some points into a customer frame without having to clean glass, or just putting on a wire... when asked what the charge is, we reply "whatever you care to donate to the animal shelter." That way it ain't free, the animals benefit (once with a $20 bill!) and we look like good community citizens.
 

johnny

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This seems somehow appropriate to the topic...
A quote from a customer last night: "But I don't want to pay for a double mat. Yaknow that bevel that comes out white? Just color it maroon and then you only have to charge me for the one mat." Then he went into a story about how it's for a friend who's in the hospital and I gave him the second mat. Probably shouldn't have.

Which leads me to the other thing... this was a RUSH. Do you have rush charges? He picked one of the newer crescent mats that I haven't stocked yet, so as soon as the delivery came from Larson I stopped what I was doing, cut his mat and called him. "Oh, okay, I'll pick it up tomorrow." Bah.

Generally, I only charge rush fees when it's an inexpensive piece and I have to make a run to the distributor to pick up product. At the most we take 7 days to frame projects. A rush is considered anything under 3. Rush fees usually come into play for things framed the same day. If I tried to charge them on everything that's framed within a day or two my life would be a living ****, especially with artists. (whom I love but are the most demanding customers I have)

Ellen, thank you for the donation idea. We never charge for repapering, wire, handing out hangers and such. Some customers actually end up feeling weird and forcing a dollar into your hand. This will make everyone happy - THANK YOU!
 

Rick Granick

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Dave- It's nice that your customers are so trusting, but the vagueness of your approach ignores the notion of price integrity. If a friend of theirs came in the next month with the same print and had it framed the same way, you may charge that person 10 to 15% less because they were nicer, you were in a better mood that day, or you forgot some element of the job. When they discuss it with their friend, customer #1 will wonder why they were "overcharged". Sure there has to be some room for flexibility for truly custom work. However, faith in the integrity of a pricing structure is part of the client's perception of professionalism, whether it's for a framer, an auto mechanic, or a plumber.
 

FrameMakers

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I am reading this thread with my jaw on the keyboard. On a earlier thread Bob Carter askes "Do we need to be poor?" Aparently you folks have choosen to be.


when a customer wants to pay and I refuse
You just proved to your customer that your time and expertise have no real value.
I'll throw in an unordered enhancement such as museum glass at no charge
But what if the client didn't want that type of glass? Every order should be done as agreed upon. This way no suprises for anybody.
We never charge for repapering, wire, handing out hangers and such. Some customers actually end up feeling weird and forcing a dollar into your hand.
Do you go to the hardware for 1 or 2 screws and expect them to be free? We have enough trouble getting people through the door, now your making them feel "weird" and then paying you an amount that dosen't even cover the time to walk the job back to the work table.
Price often depends on customer attitude.
SAY WHAT!

If your going to be in business than act like it. The only thing that should be free is the candy on the counter.
 

Jay H

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Ummm Dave my little candy bowl is attached to one of those plexi boxes for coins. Anybody that takes candy without putting in change gets the evil stare.
 

CharlesL

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Hey!
Don't mess with Jerry! He's a North Carolina framer, and they outnumber everybody else!
 

rosetl

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Gotta promote having a POS to help handle some of the above problems. It's helped me as I have been able to devise more and more categories with slightly different rates - fitting, fit with spacers, fit with turnbuttons, for example. Also, adding in other items that are also informative -- like Use Customer's Glazing and Certificate (a big 50cents to cover cost of sleeve & atg) are quite helpful. I have decided that if I have to type in an instruction, it probably should have some sort of fee connected to it---I said should have....

Too often dismissed -- unfitting, cropping, small repairs or touch ups--like removing fingerprints or erasing pencil marks & smudges. You know how it goes -- what's the minimum to frame this picture -- $50 -Great, order is printed and paid for -- oh, by the way, can you just.....easel back, give me some extra bubble wrap & cardboard you have lying around, can you make it so I can get it in and out easily, look it up on the net and see how much it is worth, have it ready tomorrow, use that nicer non glare glass--would it be cheaper if you used this piece of glass I took out of your trashcan that has paint all over it and is too small? Okay, I'm exagerating, uh, a little...I don't have old glass accessable to customers!

On the "I don't like it, now" Many have touted "the customer is always right" and do whatever you can to please the customer...regardless of cost. I have not found that right for me. If I have to incur materials expenses because of design change I prefer to charge 1/2 of normal fees.

I usually replace glass, especially on pieces we have framed, at glass cost only. That is one PR line and "nice extra" that I've been happy with and most are appreciative....though I must admit that it is amazing to me how someone buys a picture mailorder, comes in with the shattered box--with shards falling all across the floor and counter---and after 20-30 minutes of recovering the art and frame ponders over the $21 glass fee and asks me how much for just the glass. My -- "It's the same." somehow works for me. And, for the business expense minded people -- I actually think there is less labor to fit the piece than prepare a lite of glass, sand the edges, securely wrap it in sheets of cardboard, storing the frame & more cardboard & materials & time wrapping the art for safety...and locating it all for pick up.
 

shopmonkey cpf

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Originally posted by rosetl:
And, for the business expense minded people -- I actually think there is less labor to fit the piece than prepare a lite of glass, sand the edges, securely wrap it in sheets of cardboard, storing the frame & more cardboard & materials & time wrapping the art for safety...and locating it all for pick up.
hear. hear!!! ;)
 

Frame Lady

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Dave, let me make myself perfectly clear about when I refuse to accept payment for service or product.

1. That piece of glass that was 2 x 3 that I took out of the garbage and the little old lady is now so happy she is in tears because NO ONE else would fix it for her.

2. 35 cents for hardware when I have a showroom full of people with multiple items to frame and I am in a hurry. It would take longer to ring it up than to say, have a nice day and do a favor for someone else.

3. When I make a quote I stand by it, REGARDLESS, of how much I am going to lose. I stand by my word. Do I hate myself, you bet I do. Do I tell the customer honestly what happened, yes and 99% of the time the customer will pay. Why because they are honest too.

That's enough for now, time for me to get some framing done!

Lynn
 

frmallday

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What a good thread!
I can't tell you how many times I've been tempted to raise the price on a difficult customer. I've never done it though.
Sometimes there are so many components in a frame job especially when you're designing multiple pieces, it can be easy to forget something. Customers talking while I'm figuring prices doesn't help either.
Although I have forgotten to charge for fillets from time to time!
faintthud.gif
It really pisses me off.
I don't charge to take something apart someone wants re-framed. And I "tell" them I'm not charging. Most times it takes 2 minutes to do so. If it looks involved, I charge.
If it's something strange and off the price sheet, I make it up right there and later write it down into my pricing. We do the best we can and it still backfires on us!
 

Baer Charlton

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Are you saying that I'm wrong to charge for the candy?

"Giving" things away, can get out of hand. But there is the occational thing that is small in the scope of life and the tax year, that a little magnaminaty goes a long way.

I miss read a ticket a couple of weeks ago. I should have known better. This doctor ALWAYS uses ConClear. AND I screwed up and stuck a piece of Museum on his piece. He can in Saturday Morning with 9 frame jobs we had done over the last 3-4 years. "I don't know what that glass is that you put on my hospital towel (shadowbox), and I don't really care if it's expensive, but I want it on everything. It's really cool, I must have tapped that towel 5 or 6 times thinking that there wasn't any glass. I love it."

I did a quick calculation of the pieces of 32x40 I would need and the Un-fit and re-fit charges and told him that he was looking at about $1,600 - $1,800. "Can I have them by next Saturday? Then I'll bring the rest."

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

But Dave, I think you're right. I'm going to stop doing stupidly nice things for free.

baer
 

Dave

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I agree that some of my pricing isn't exactly set in concrete and that this appears to be somewhat unbusinesslike. However, other than simple jobs working with non-troublesome materials, everything we do is truly custom. Some mouldings are more difficult to work with than others...some art/documents are more fragile and take greater care in handling...some customers change their minds midstream on a regular basis and others approach a framer respecting them as talented individuals trusting them to design and produce the best product for their valuables.

Each job is different. Each customer is different. Custom framing is truly an artform that involves utilizing specialized tools, a multitude of elements for design, an eye for proportion and color and a healthy dose of good taste. Just like fine artists, some framers use poor materials and are unimaginative and some realize and have the ability to bring all these elements together masterfully. The ability to put it all together and also design a physical package to properly preserve the work is not a task one learns overnight.

I learn something everyday and am honored when people trust their valuables to me. Your reputation as a framer is a very valuable asset. If you have any doubt of this, tick one customer off and watch the trickle effect.

I substituted a piece of museum glass (with the customers knowledge) on a 7"X20" gouache painting for a good customer at no extra charge. He immediately upgraded the 37.5"X59" limited edition print we were working on to museum glass. Another good customer lives two doors down from him...she saw the piece and hopefully will also upgrade with her next order. A good product sells itself if the customer can afford it and is made aware of it.

Dave Makielski
 

Dave

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Can't disagree more... items I often give away for free:

1.) A smile.

2.) A good (or so I think) joke.

3.) An education in proper framing.

4.) Quotes on a job.

5.) New hangers or dust cover for a good customer.

6.) Delivery...when I feel like it or it's not way off my beaten path. Also allows me to know my customer better.

7.) Talks to any group that will listen to me.

8.) Rush service.

9.) Prints I've had in stock forever if they frame them with me.


And the #10 most often given away for free item...

My take on anything the customer wants to discuss.


I disagree that being in business is all about making money. The main reason I frame pictures is because I like to frame pictures and enjoy being around work that is creative and inspiring. I also enjoy my customers and appreciate their trust in me and my abilities.

That said, if I didn't make money doing what I'm doing I could no longer enjoy the real reasons I do what I do. You must approach business with a clear head and be fair and equitable to both the customer and yourself. However, a customer that is a pleasure to work with often will find that they are rewarded with a price benefit.

Can you honestly say that you will charge the same price to a customer that spends hours on a decision with two or three trips to the frame counter over several days or weeks then changes his/her mind midstream and you start the process all over again??? I tend to factor in something that will send them to my "competition". Sometimes the best way to fire a customer is to charge them accordingly.

Dave Makielski
 

froptop

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When a customer brings in a framed piece to be redone, we always charge a double fit.

In most cases, it doesn't take long to take it apart but, you never know what you'll find in there. Unfitting pieces can really be a pain in the *** so if for no other reason, you have to put a price on liability.
 

Paul N

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Do you go to the hardware for 1 or 2 screws and expect them to be free? We have enough trouble getting people through the door, now your making them feel "weird" and then paying you an amount that doesn't even cover the time to walk the job back to the work table.

If your going to be in business than act like it. The only thing that should be free is the candy on the counter.
I agree with you, not everything should be a freebie. But there are exceptions: Example #1:

A guy walk in asks to buy 3 feet of wire for his daughter's mirror. I give it to him free of charge. He is so delighted, he comes back the next day and gives me a $650 job!

# 2: A lovely woman....asks where the hardware store was (obviously she's new in town) as she wants to buy a few hangers. I give her 10 of them, no charge and welcome her to our town. She is beyond ecstatic, shakes my hand for 10 minutes and promises to bring her artwork for the rest of her life (and the fact that she was very attractive didn't hurt he cause either...


Some things that cost a few pennies, will result in goodwill that translates in business. And, I always give free hangers with new frame jobs anyway.

OK, now, what I really charge for: Broken glass, no matter how good the customer is. Glass broken on the way home? My deepest sympathy, but there is a "slightly" reduced charge to lessen their sorrow and embarrassment.

And I charge a lot when somebody brings a really old frame and want to re-use it for something else. I ALWAYS tell them there is an XYZ $$ charge (depending on frame size) because those old frames will need cleaning and will shed tons of old and new wood dust, particles, etc, on whatever we put underneath.

Those old ones are a real pain, you have no idea how many times we had to re open the darn thing and re clean the mats / art because of the old frame.

My POS doesn't remind me that I forgot to charge for glass (they should!!). Once I forgot, but included it for free. Since the job was worth over $1400, I didn't to ask for another $30 for one of the frames.

And yes, I always have free chocolate on the counter for everybody. But one of the main chocolate-gobblers is a next door designer who brings in $500-$1500 in business per month. The second chocolate-gobbler is a very good customer who brings at least 6 frame jobs every few weeks.
Total chocolate cost per month form me: $20.

Sorry for the long post, but I am recovering from eye surgery and have more time on my hands than usual... :cool:
 

Paul N

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I agree with you Dave. But you wouldn't charge for rush service even if you had to pay for rush / overnight delivery??

I don't think I read in this thread if anybody charges for hanging finished jobs in customers' houses.

I have been asked to do this a couple of times. And it really depends. If somebody bought a $5000 piece of art, then hanging (and free delivery - in state of course) is free.
 

Dave

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Any pass through costs like overnight delivery I'd charge for, unless it was do to my error.

Hanging?... It may depend...if I offer to hang the picture for a good customer who has also become a friend and they have a cocktail and boat ride as a post plan... I may even bring a bottle of wine! ;)

Dave Makielski
 

J Phipps TN

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I'm with Dave,

I know I give too much away just being nice.

Since I have a computer now, I haven't hardly missed any extra charges and sometimes it remembers things that I don't. Such as a reverse bevel, or Ovals.

I don't charge for putting certificates on the back though. That just seems like over kill.

I would highly recomend every framer get a computer system. I love my "lifesaver" and that's just what it is a lifesaver!

Jennifer :D
 

Paul N

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Originally posted by J Phipps TN:
I'm with Dave,

I know I give too much away just being nice.

Since I have a computer now, I haven't hardly missed any extra charges and sometimes it remembers things that I don't. Such as a reverse bevel, or Ovals.

I don't charge for putting certificates on the back though. That just seems like over kill.

I would highly recommend every framer get a computer system. I love my "lifesaver" and that's just what it is a lifesaver!

Jennifer :D
Absolutely Jennifer. A POS will pay for itself in no time at all.

My only (major) wish for LifeSaver is a little reminder like: "Are you sure you're not charging for Glass / Mounting, etc, ???" if those field were left empty.

It happens in the heat of battle...LOL, and I hate to go back to a customer and admit I forgot to charge for them.
 

Paul N

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Originally posted by Dave:
Any pass through costs like overnight delivery I'd charge for, unless it was do to my error.

Hanging?... It may depend...if I offer to hang the picture for a good customer who has also become a friend and they have a cocktail and boat ride as a post plan... I may even bring a bottle of wine! ;)

Dave Makielski
Quite right, I might add. I sold a reasonably expensive original art 2 weeks ago, and the customer's car was too small, so I offered to deliver (it turns out they lived 5 minutes from me anyway). We became good friends and they might buy more stuff.

PS: I always wondered how a small (but extremely well to do) town like Naples, Florida can afford over 100 art galleries. Well, it turned out, they have tons of mansions and huge boats, and each time a hurricane comes by, (like this weekend), lots of art needs to be fixed, or replaced!
 

Ron Eggers

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From
Wisconsin
Paul, I have my POS set up to include my default (Conservation Clear) if I don't specifically choose another glass, customer's glass or no glass. It does this any time I include a fit charge.

Now, how do we remember the fitting charge . . . ?
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Joined
May 19, 2000
Posts
19,082
From
Suburban Central Ohio
In my shop we give away everything except fitting points. They are required in all framing designs, in the quantity of our choice, and we charge $25 each for them.
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Not. :rolleyes:

I agree with Dave.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Joined
May 19, 2000
Posts
19,082
From
Suburban Central Ohio
Check out the article on page 79 of this month's Decor Magazine, "Will Frame For Free". I believe in a strong warranty policy, but the concept of giving away valuable labor and materials to repair others' accidents or abuse is pure lunacy.

Perceptive consumers realize that the cost must be made up in pricing something else. If I were a consumer with broken glass in a frame, I would go there for free replacements every time, but I would think twice about paying their must-be-inflated price for anything else.

Giving away anything de-values it -- in this case, glass. So, when a customer comes in to buy complete framing, it would be reasonable for them to expect the glass to be free.
 

Dave

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Posts
13,355
From
Edwardsburg, MI
If I drive away in a new car from a car dealer and have an accident on the way home, will the car dealer fix my car for free?

If I buy a prime rib at the butchers and fall asleep while it's in the oven, will my butcher replace it for free?

How many car repair shops work on a car, replace numerous parts and then don't charge for certain parts because it took something else to fix the original problem?

If you are accused of a crime, hire an attorney and are still found guilty, does the attorney return his fee?

If your aunt becomes ill and you take her to the doctor,l she's diagnosed with a terminal illness and dies...does the doctor return his fee?

If you hire an architect to design a building, but never build that building...does the architect return his fee?

...

Dave Makielski
 

Paul N

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jun 10, 2005
Posts
17,354
From
CT, not far from the LI Sound
Originally posted by Ron Eggers:
Paul, I have my POS set up to include my default (Conservation Clear) if I don't specifically choose another glass, customer's glass or no glass. It does this any time I include a fit charge.

Now, how do we remember the fitting charge . . . ?
Good idea, Thanks Ron! How come I never thought of this before!

Do you use LifeSaver by chance?? I am sure it has a setting for that somewhere.
 

Janet L

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 9, 2001
Posts
2,458
From
Clayton, NC, USA
I need POS. Spacers are the thing I sometimes forget to write on the workorder. After convincing the customer the picture needs them, I could kick myself when I forget to charge for them. So, I point out to Mr/Mrs Customer that I didn't charge them anything for the spacers. (And I try to point it out w/a smile on my face!) :rolleyes:
 
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