Whoppers from other frame shops

Bob Carter

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With all the discussion and arguing over semantics dealing with Preservation, it's obvious that we have some very different opinions when we seem to be really saying the same things.

But, I think way,way too many of our brethren say things that either get garbled, misunderstood or just flat out get wrong when trying to explain what we do.

We often get people that come in to our stores after getting either a quote or information from another framer (you wonder why they didn't get the work done at the other shop)that you have to wonder what the heck was really said.

A couple of the good ones we have heard recently:

A customer getting a jersey framed asked if our framing was "air-tight" as was the first place he went.

A client queried if we offered "Museum Mounting". When we replied of course we did, she asked how thick the backing was. The other shop was referring to shrink-wrap over 1/2" foamcore

And these aren't limited to BB stores with pimply-faced teenagers; some of it comes from shops that have been around a long time.

What are some of the incredible facts/descriptions/claims you have been faced with?
 
D

Dermot

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One that never ceases to amaze me is…….. “Do you make your own frames” ……and what they mean by that is do I cut and join my own frames…….I’m either missing something or the people I come across have no concept what a Custom Picture Framer does.
 

JRB

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My favorite all time " whopper " is, " I had a quote at another shop, their price was less than half what your asking."

Another favorite is, " I have to ask my husband/ wife, about doing this "

Can't think of any flat out lies from other frame shops other than " We have the best prices and quality in town."

These keep coming to me as I write, heres another one.

A customer brought in a framed picture and wanted us to re-fit it, it was full of dirt and specks between the mat and glass. They had just picked it up from another custom framing shop, not a big box. When they pointed out all the dirt, and it was very bad, the other shop said, and I swear this is true, " The framing was approved by our inspection department, therefor, we will not re-do the job." That shop, by the way, is now out of business.

OK, that's enough,

John
 

Jerry Ervin

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North Carolina ... The Picture Frame Capital of th
Originally posted by Bob Carter:

(you wonder why they didn't get the work done at the other shop)
Most probably sticker shock. They are still looking for that magic $50 custom job. I swear 90% of my customers think I can frame anything in any frame for fifty bucks or less.
 

Bob Carter

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Hey Jerry-The latest consumer survey reports that, on theri last custom framing project, 46% spent less than $100, with about half of that spending under $50.

Sticker Shock might easily be a self-inflicted wound.

But, what I was hoping to get was more responses where another frame shop said something to the client that they repeated to you as if it were the gospel. Unfortunately, when we attempt to correct the impression, we often come off looking like we are the one's that don't know what we are talking about.

Talk about an "up-hill" battle
 

Kit

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Rochester, MN
The only frequently occuring instance of this that I can think of is the old glass-on-needle-art debate.

I try to put glass on all of it but meet resistance from customers whose previous framer/hairdresser/auto mechanic told them to leave their work exposed.

I explain the benefits of glassing the piece but if they still don't want it, I include a note on the work order (and often enclosed within the framing package) "No glass at customer's request".

Kit
 

Rogatory

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Lubbock, Texas
Alright, how about this one:
A customer comes in to frame tatting. Her previous framer "strategically glued all of her previous needlework down and he said it's ok because he uses acid free glue"!!!!!!


-David-
 

wpfay

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Then there is that total look of disbelief when we say that "no, we won't match that price" or do it that way or offer antigravity clips.

What really amazes me is when they do the comparative shopping, & find out that you are higher. You suggest that they go back to the shop where they got the good pricing and they say"...but I want you to do it". They know you offer beter quality, but aren't prepared to spend the money for it.

Still you can never be sure when one of these comes in. Is this what thet really heard, or what they thought the other framer was saying?
I deal with a number of clients that have hearing loss and short term memory issues. I remember calling up one real nice octagenarian.
"Hi, Mr X, this is Wally from Sunshine Frames"...
lengthy pause
.
.
.
.
"Wh..where in Spain?"

Lack on consistancy between shops, infrequent exposure to the general population, constantly changing terminology. We've got it all going for us.
 

Jerry Ervin

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North Carolina ... The Picture Frame Capital of th
I have had a good many of my customers in Lexington that believe RC glass offers UV protection. It was really hard to convince them otherwise until the new TruVue counter displays came out. In contrast, no one in the Concord store has said anything like that.
 

Frank Larson

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Bothell, WA
The one I used to always hear (not so much anymore) was how nonglare glass causes the art to fade. That one went around the industry for years. The other good one was using surgical tape for hinging because it was acid free. I think they thought acid free and sterile were the same thing. It was so popular that Larson-Juhl used to actually stock it! I just looked....they still do!!!
 

gemsmom

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It's not so much what other framers say, as what they do. There isn't a shop anywhere that doesn't claim "quality work", yet in all these years, I've only opened up three pieces where the work was what I would call close to "quality".

I have seen an expensive etching floated on pulp mat board (the gallery called this "acid free") with linen tape (not just hinged at the top either-the tape was all over the back); cardboard from glass boxes used as filler; had some cardboard from a Maytag washer once, too; antique etchings hinged with linen tape;dry mounted watercolors and limited editions; mattress foam used as padding for needlework. I swear one shop used no less than 15 v-nails per corner to join a frame. I was the lucky framer who had to fix that mess when the corners came un-done. And I do not think float glass (SSB) belongs in custom framed items, and I see it used alot. No doubt because it is cheap to buy. I also don't think brown kraft paper has a quality look to it, but it is also cheap.

I know you are looking for verbal whoppers, Bob, but the end products I've seen speak for themselves.
 

Lance E

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I once had another shop in town claim to do all of our work and that we were simply their agents. That would have been kwite an accomplishment considering that at the time they made the claim I had ten staff (and barely coping) and they have two people for their entire shop! There never had been any such association between us, I still have a copy of the apology somewhere, amazing how a lawyers letter changes attitudes...
Maybe I should frame it??? Maybe I'll wait until I can get 100% UV filtering glass and the cheapest matboard really are as good as the "high priced" stuff.
Another favourite was the customer who opened the package to inspect it, took it to another framer for "fixing". The result? An LE (ltd to an edition of 10) print spray glued to the rag board. (BTW the customer was told in much detail and explanation as to why it was hinged, but she knew a "professional" (via her dogs uncles brothers wife) with six months experience.)
 

Cliff Wilson

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Worcester, MA
My customers haven't said too much, but there is one framer in the city that's been around "for decades" that tells everyone that dry mounting is "the best preservation framing." I assumed they were mis-hearing what he said until I sent a comparison shopper to different shops with a very old map so I could check relative pricing in the area. She was told that "no one else in the city actully understood how to frame and she better let them dry mount the map if she valued it at all!"

The problem of course is that I am a "new guy" and he's been around a "long time." Passing the CPF exam has given me some credibility, but it's interesting how just being open a long time matters to some people.
 

HannaFate

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Corrales, New Mexico
I do have an answer for the "but so-and-so said that putting glass on needlework will rot the fabric!"

I tell them that in damp climates like New Orleans, that would be true, and you would have to add a dehumidifier to the package. But, here in the desert, sand particles can get into the fabric and cut it to shreds. So, you have to put glass on it to preserve it.

No antidote for bullsugar like more of it.

(No, really, I tell them that glass will preserve it longer, but I understand if they want to have the texture exposed. Just so they know that it won't "keep" as long that way)
 

Terry Scidmore CPF

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The one comment that I have been hearing pretty consistently for 3 or 4 years is from customers saying that they want "that preservation/conservation framing" or "that preservation/conservation glazing" that preserves the item they want framed "forever". They just can't understand it when I explain that these products aren't designed to "preserve an item forever". Many times even the item isn't produced to last "forever".

Don't think that it is specifically other shops who are claiming that if the customer uses such and such, their art will last "forever". I think the scrap booking craze is the culprit - where everyone is convinced that they are preserving their memories for generations to come.

Scrap booking makes it a lot easier to talk to a customer about reasons to use better quality framing materials, but scrap booking product claims also mislead the customer into thinking that just using the products solves everything.

Some days I wish that someone would start a movement for the destruction of artwork as an environmentally sound alternative. Framers would be doing a good deed by "helping" the healthy disintegration of select items with acidic boards, bright lighting, heat, glues and solvents . . . . . sort of like composting!
 

JRB

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San Diego, CA
I love this concept of preserving forever. How long are these people going to live? I'm having a huge amount of dental reconstruction on my mouth, many implants, etc. I was having dinner with an old friend ( Len Aaron ) and he said, "John, your going to have the best looking teeth in the graveyard."

It's something I want, so I'm doing it, but he is absolutely right, who is going to give a darn when we are all pumping daisies? perhaps our descendents, but will WE care?

John
 

GUMBY GCF

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In Memorium

Rest In Peace



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oHIo
I swear 90% of my customers think I can frame anything in any frame for fifty bucks or less.
Well Jerry if this is not the case. Then I will have to quit referring all those customers to you. So be prepared for a 90% drop in traffic
shrug.gif
Sorry.
 

sharonm

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Pennsylvania
I don't know if this counts as a "whopper", but here goes. I have one woman (who has been in multiple times) who brings in corner samples from other frame shops to see what I think about her choices, and to see how much it would cost in my store. Amazing. Just amazing.
 

Rebecca

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Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Yes, the surgical tape is an odd concept - I've had that question asked by DIY artist.

The other has to do with backing boards and glazings on paintings. A framer told a very distinguished hematologist client of mine that paintings had to breathe. He mentioned this to me when I suggested he glaze a painting hung in a very exposed (to dog) area.

I just said very matter of factly "Well they're wrong. Paintings are dead". He looked at me for a minute, then broke into laughter and that was the end of that.

Rebecca
 

Jill

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Omro WI
You guys are good but I can top you all...When I was with my former employer, a craft store. I Had the "frame shop manager" from a local "Custom frame shop" come up to myself and the client I was working with. She proceeded to try to get the client to go to the other shop. Needless to say I just let her make a fool of herself and when She finally left the client told me she could not believe the audacity of the person and could not be payed to go there. What a hoot, good manners served me well once again.

Jill Hennes CPF
 

BUDDY

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Mandeville,La. USA 130 Blue Heron Dr.
By a strange coincedence ,today I had a customer who had a pastel of their deceised daughter done some years ago ,return with a computerize reporduction of the work done by the artist. It seems the work had developed Mildew and had become completely unsightly.
The artist sent a set of instructions with the work as to how it should be FRAMED.
It read ;"be sure to have the framer PRESERVE this work by using all "ACID FREE" Materials and the work should "LAST FOREVER".
I carefully explained to the customer that there were a few misnomers in this note. First ;I asked if it was truly mildew and not FOXING ,which it was, to which I explained that this was most likely a result of moisture and not matting and they should check where they were hanging the work for things like constant tempertature change ,like maybe from an A/C duct or an opening door. To which they said it probaly was. Next I asked what they knew that "LASTED FOREVER" ,to which they answered "nothing" and I agreed.
Then I explained that Acid free was one of the most over used phrases in the industry and the lack of it was blamed for almost everthing.I also explained that NO TYPE of framing could make anything last forever.
I think this is a prime example of people who want to use FRAMING BUZZ WORDS to impress their clients when just keeping it simple will do a much better job of explaning what is needded. I also think that this ,to some degree is slightly excuseable, since I might do a poor job of explaining what it took to create a nice Pastel. But it is much worse when some of us in the industry do exactly the same thing,since consummers expect what we tell them to be precise and uniform. How often have you been told ,when asking a client what they think,"What do you think ?You are the expert."Regaurdless of what you know they except your word as gospel.Which only points out why we should not try to impress them with Shop talk but KISS,it will work much better anyway.
BUDDY
 

BUDDY

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By the strangest set of circumstances I got another example today. If you remeber the thread I started about the sandpaper used to do a pastel,well I emailed the company for advise.And today I received a phone call from their customer service consultant.
He was very knowledgable about the use of their sandpaper to do pastels and informed me that the paper was Moisture resistant,and Ph neutral. Yes!That's right he knew the right TERMINOLOGY. He didn't say it was moisture/water PROOF ,Nor did he say it was "ACID FREE".
Everything would have been geat until he started telling me how to frame. He informed me that true art didn't use Glazeing ( this included Pastels).I tryed to tell him I appreciated the help with the specs on the paper and was impressed with his wording ,but I thought I knew How to frame and could use Glazeing if I allowed enough spaceing.
He thought for a moment and said well maybe that would allow evaporation inside the frame.I wonder where or who taught him to frame? At any rate he definately thought he knew more than we did. I guess if we educate even vendors in terms they can understand there is hope. I know I am learning.LOL
BUDDY
 
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