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
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
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:
|11" x 14" custom print,
single mat, with 16" x 20" black wooden wall frame $69.99
add $8 for double mat
11" x 14" custom print, single mat, with
16" x 20" gold wooden wall frame $89.99
add $8 for double mat
12" x 18" custom print, single mat, with
18" x 24" gold wooden wall frame $109.99. add
$10 for double mat
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