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What corner samples have you recently dumpsterized?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Dec 16, 2000
North-East US
Let's see what manufacturers are not quite in touch with frame market's needs for one reason or another? So, what corner samples had not worked for you and gone to the dumpster?
Don't be shy of naming those lines for you can't hurt manufacturers more than they already did themselves and such a statistic may be largely useful to framers and manufacturers alike.
I just got rid of ALL my frame samples.

But then, I just closed my store.

BUT, when we were open, we would keep all the "Barking Spiders" under our counter, because as one salesman once said, "You need to have merchandice for people with bad taste."

Just because it was out of style, or just plain ugly, I would keep them. Worked out pretty well for us. I couldn't imagine how many of those uglies that I needed to get in to. Some people just don't want to update their whole house, just because Rustick is not "in" anymore.

The only samples that would find their way in the trash (and quickly I might add) were ones that started having problems with their finish. If they came in different than the sample, or if the look of the frame changed after you bought it (fading, or peeling) it would come off the wall.

Good question Cornel. I'm interested in what others say.
Like Susan, I've tossed the ones that peel, delaminate, scratch too easily, bubble (especially the "pearly-finshed Framemica's, my rep told me they have a shelf life of about 2 years!)and some that look nearly identical to others but cost twice as much!
I recently opened 20 boxes of samples that the previous owner had stacked in a corner, never opened, and put many out, and a several sold immediately, one the very next customer! Some I thought were yuck, but they're selling! So much for my taste!But my taste isn't what's important, obviously. A "browing artist" recently asked me how do I frame art I don't like and with mouldings I don't like? I said if I declined stuff I personally didn't care for over the years, I'd be out of business in a week! I have to leave my ego and my taste out of it. The art tells me what to frame it with. I listen to that. And to the customer who has definate ideas of their own. Questionable ones(really wide ones, etc) again like Susan, stay in a box and come out now and then.
We put up some Styrene samples to see if you could troll any interest.

The first day we had a good customer of many years come in.... she pointed to the top one without touching it. Very nice 4".

"I love that one for this picture. Do you have it in REAL wood?"

They all hit the can about 20 seconds after she had left. She had identified every single "Poly".

The last of Arquati. Found a couple of Bay still hanging, as well as Bendix.

Cornell, I'm even looking at firing a certain Closed Corner MFG. who moved four months ago and still hasn't sent us a notice...

And we see their rep all the time.
All Nurre Caxton samples. That was a problem with the rep though.
Have you ever asked the vendor if they want them back? If you paid for them, ask for a credit or replacements at no charge. If they were given at no charge, maybe the vendor could re-use them with a different client. Seems like a waste to throw them away. Make a business card holder with from scoop profiles!?

Just a Thought

I haven't eliminated any entire companies over service issues. I've been very fortunate in that regard. In my recent rearranging I took down
L-J's LeCirque because I hate handling them. Stray spot of glue and your sunk, and often when the colors worked the client would say "Color's great but it's too bulky."

Richard, I have asked reps if they want the samples back. The answer has always been "No" so I stopped asking. I have returned sets that showd up automatically that I didn't request.
Whynot, I'm guessing you're looking for trends? I'll give you two from my corner of the world ...

More smaller profiles. Thinner. It doesn't appear to be a price issue. I am selling small gold leaf profiles at roughly the same price as wider ones, but the customers want thin. I have order the new minis from Nurre, and Presto, as well as moving some of my thinner Studios to more prominent places on the wall.

Also, I have pulled some of the smoother (shiny/varnish/"polished") woods in favor of Nurre's new waxed finish woods and getting very good results from that. A more "furniture" look is the comment I usually get.

Of course, my bread and butter is still federalist frames in various widths and colors. It's still New England after all.
Just dumped a number of frames over the weekend. The wall looks so much better... made room for some newer samples that I think I will be able to sell from. Still keep some of the old standbys and a few uggers!!

As soon as I move a sample to the back room wall - isn't that the first one someone is looking for... I basically dumped ones that had NO action in a few years. If there is a need - I'll go to the catalog and order that sample in for a customer...


Actually I wasn't looking for designing trends, but I thank you for your tips anyway. In turn I was curious to learn whether same manufacturers are big time losers (their samples are constantly rejected by most grumblers, and why), or situation is more fluid than that and in some cases grumblers would find that biggies' samples (LJ, Roma for instance) won't sell for them and their samples were, are or may be in danger to be dumpsterized as well. Perhaps some remote, tough place in the Rockies may fit that profile?
Would somebody dumpsterize LJ samples if they don't sell for him or that's considered an impiety and double standard are being used in cleaning up walls?
Oh I see, I tend to replace "like with like." That is LJ with LJ, Nurre with Nurre, etc.

However, in the last 9 months I have cut back some on my LJ wall percentage and did not put up the last two complete lines (Sevilla and I don't remember) they came out with. I don't think they're in any danger though. ;) I have been using a fair # of their new Ferrosa profiles and colors.

I have increased my Nurre wall coverage and usage lately. The newer stuff they've been coming out with seems to get the "ohh that's nice" reaction more than some others.
Danimal, question for ya, why didn't you just talk to the reps manager, or ask for a new rep? I could see throwing them out if they didn't sell, or you didn't like them, but the designs are great and could be a good addition to your current selection.
Some Romas that look quite different than the lengths received. "Hand Finished" may be a nice selling point but tough to explain to the customer when it doesn't come close to what she thought she was getting based on the sample.
Aside from La Marche and other vendors with crappy service?

I throw away the ones that are a PIA to frame, I don't care who the vendor is.

Some don't cut cleanly / don't join well or have VERY narrow frames, have very shallow rabbet that they truly become beyond PIA.

Also, I dumpstersize the ones that I deem are not frequent sellers.

The ones that will always stay are the "wall-candy": 22 ct / silver / high quality CC. assuming they pass my critical eye test.
Space is a bit of a problem for us .... we've been kind of max-ed out at about 3000 samples .... but we keep seeing more that we like, so we've taken to a process that we call "Voodoo-ing" ... that is, if the series of samples has, say, 4 colors in two or three sizes, we'll keep all of the most popular size, then trash all but one of the larger size ... indicating to the customer, "This larger version comes in these colors" ... seems to have worked pretty well so far, and lots more room has resulted.

As to the total number of frames we have, some might say 3000+ is too many... like the girls I used to date, "Can't get too much" .

(I expect a few negatives about THIS one)
I am always in quandry over corner samples.
Which to get? Which to keep and what to dump.
Difficult profiles and finishes usually always go.
I've seen some nice frames that I like but would they sell in "my" particular market?
I am rarely asked for anything really rustic or woody so I don't carry but little of it. Except that Tuscan look. Isn't that rustic? Go Figure! In addition to Bamboo. That sells here.
Larson's Antica line does very well for me.
I love Larson's Metro line but only sold it once.
Don't sell gold either but plenty of silver/champage colors.
Ironically I have had success showing a corner out a box from the workroom. "Hold on, I think I have just the right frame!" Some like getting what no one else has seen. I have way too many corners in boxes.
And definitely make room for some bigger samples. People seems to like that look but you can't sale them if you don't show them.
I'm sort of like Paul. I spend the year weeding my garden of problem children.

By the time last October hits, I want NO SURPRISES!

Iffy finish: S-Can
In-out-in-out-in stock: S-Can
Chops bad or joins bad: S-Can
change in the wood used: S-Can
German leaf changes to China leaf: you guessed it.
Originally posted by Doug Gemmell:
"Hand Finished" may be a nice selling point but tough to explain to the customer when it doesn't come close to what she thought she was getting based on the sample.

You're not talking about Closed Corners, are you??

Those will, sometimes, have very slight variations.

But many times I send the sample to the vendor and have them make an exact copy (assuming they have a habit of delivering a different finish!).
No Paul, not talking about closed corners. We've received several different mouldings in length that only match the samples in size and shape. The finish barely resembles the sample shown the customer.

When selling this manufacturer's samples to the customer we tell them, as is written on the sample, "Because this is an authentic hand finished moulding, the color may vary."

A little color variation is acceptable but some of these, as I said, barely resemble the sample. Aside from being "different" the samples had a much better finish than the length received.

It's a real pia to have to try to match the finish ourselves after we get it. We could put a label on it that says "Hand finished TWICE."

Our rep looked in to some of the problems that we've experienced, going so far as asking the warehouse to find some closer to our sample but without any success. He's also given us credit (price reduction) on some of them that were way out there.

So.....we toss the samples.

Yep, thats really bad. Happened to me recently. I ordered 4 sticks from a supplier, who shall remain nameless. One of the sticks was a totally different finish, and, they're out of stock on any replacements for "a few weeks"!.

You can imagine what happened to that sample.