What would you charge for...


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Jul 20, 2005
Three 8 x 10 postcards, 3 inch double matted with white core basics, clear glass. Frame is $2.00/ft wholesale.

I'll be using the same frame for all three pieces.

I'm charging $225 and I feel it's too much.

Please let me know what you'll charge as i'm new at this and it's my first order.
If you think it's "too much".... the question is, more like "how long do you want to be in business".

You need to make a profit that keeps you in business and that the customer feels is fair.

If you charge to much, soon you're out of customers and therefore out of business.

If you don't charge enough, you can't pay your bills and you're out of business.

as far as I can see, you're right there with the COGs.
Is the frame price $2/ft for length or chop? It it is chop I'd charge around $6-$8/ft (depending on the "look" of the moulding) but if it is length I'd charge more (but I only buy chops).

And by "white core basics" do you mean - paper mats, alphacelulose mats or rag mats? That is three different prices right there!

With all of these unknown variables I would say I'd be charging somewhere between $60 and $80 per 14x16 frame.

Framers get sticker shock too - I still do after 25 years at my own shop!
I would saw that your charges are not too high for a rural area with a low cost-of-doing-business shop.

In my large metro area I charge more where the cost of doing business is higher. The shop is 55 years old this summer. ;)
If you think that your prices are too high you may want to think about a career change.

You won't ever be able to sell a design if you think that the cost is too much.
Wow... Thanks all for the great advice. I think i've just been a bit "walmartized" Someone could by a framed mat for an 8x10 for $10. But yes, it is about design and custom work.
Congratulations on your first order!

I'm in a lower income city and my price is almost exactly the same as yours. Your customers are coming to you for specialized design work and custom fabrication. Don't feel guilty about that. And comparing yourself to Walmart is definitely "apples and oranges".

Keep the faith!!
Without dry mounting, I would be getting around $91.00 for each piece the way you described it.
My price is $75.50 each...total of $226.50. According to my prices, you are right on!
Ok... how many times did you mark up the frame material as well as what did you charge for each step of the piece? As I don't use anything but the good mats I have no idea what white core basics would cost. Let's see your breakdown of the job and then we can compare better. Personally, My price for each piece would be around $120 per.

In the beginning, all of your prices will seem too expensive even if, in reality, it is too low. Forget what YOU would pay to have something framed.

Just remember you can't afford yourself and you will be ok.

What I did when I first started out was to get a ledger book and break out EVERY bit of materials I used on a job. If I messed up a mat cut, I entered an amount for 2 pieces. The total of your materials should try to come in around 20% of the job. If for some reason you have one that comes in at 35%, the breakout will show you where your cost overrun was. After a while you won't have to do the breakout for every job but you should still do it every so often just to make sure you are on track. The lower you can get the COG, the better off you will be.
If you can't get the COG low enough, then you need to raise your prices enough to cover all of your materials, overhead and profit. Don't forget, profit isn't your salary.

Don't "think" too much - figure it out.

There is lots of advice you can search for on TG to establish your correct prices. Use them!
Framar's question is very relavent to the final price. If my math is correct that could make a $3.00 a foot differance .So at about 5-6 feet per frame that could mean $15-$18 per frame X3 or $45-$48 additional dollars.

Also artisti you are in Michigan and I don't know which city or how the economy is there but some of the replies given are from geographical regions that are considerably different than yours. In fact that was one of the major short commings of the Decor Priceing Survey .It was general and didn't account for differances in geographical priceing. But than many don't agree with this theroy and think if the price in Up state NY is one thing it should be the same in every other city. I don't.