Boost your average sale on digital prints and turn framing into a new Profit Center.
My new radio commercial starts out "Why on earth would you hang a stranger’s art on your walls? Aren’t you getting sick of the popular artists with their "limited editions" of 30,000 or 50,000 prints all the same?"
You know the artists I mean - people like Thomas Kinkade and Bev Doolittle, whose art is cranked out by the boxcar.
Your customers would probably enjoy having their own favorite photos hanging on the walls, if only they'd think of it. So they take the print you just made, give you $8.99, and go to the custom frame shop and spend $100 to make it really look good. Wouldn’t you rather put that $100 in your cash register than that of the frame shop?
Recently I contacted a volume framer and had him make me up a batch of 11x14, 16x20 and 18x24 frames in three different molding styles. I dusted off the Carrithers mat cutter I owned from a previous life and made the samples you see here. Then I posted a page on our own web site and recorded a commercial for our local radio station.
I'm not trying to put the custom framers in the area out of business, but there's a definite market for something in-between the stock frames we sell and a true custom. Much of the difference can be made up by cutting a custom mat and putting your customer's image into a stock frame.
Mat cutting is not difficult and it can be a lot of fun. You can get started with the Alto EZ-mat, or Logan, for $50-100. Really good mat cutters
This framed 12"x18" print sells for $97.99 with a double mat. That's $80 more than the selling price of the naked print. The frame cost me $18. The mat material and back material for the frame was less than $3, so I added $59 in margin to the order with about 30 minutes work.
Mat board is cheap – 32" x 40" sheets are about $3. You can add a custom mat to your stock frame and make customers happy while you improve your bottom line. And when things are slow in the shop, set your staff to cutting stock mat sizes from all the cut-outs.
Here's an exhibit in my front window:
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