Re: pricing a product with high cost of materials

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Posted by Luann Udell on September 29, 2000 at 07:00:49:

In Reply to: Re: pricing a product with high cost of materials posted by Luann Udell on July 10, 2000 at 21:11:30:

: : My question to you is: are you paying a premium to have this pretigious framing company do this work that you really aren't getting any sales benefit from? In other words, a decent framing job done cheaply will not detract from what you are trying to sell, whereas you really aren't selling premium framing here, and your customers probably don't care where you had it done as long as it looks good with your work.

: Thanks for your input, John. I agree, I'd rather start at a price I can make a profit at! Re: the prestige factor, yes on two counts. Someone already noticed the gallery's sticker on the back of one piece & commented on it (it is a neat gallery, with an excellent reputation), and the framing they came up with is slightly unusual and suits my work beautifully. Also, they offer a decent artist discount, which helps a bit. And they've already suggested that I could learn how to do the framing myself, and save money that way (although, of course, there's a trade-off with time.) The problem I've had is that the frame moulding they've used is almost impossible to track down on my own--I've talked to dozens of manufacturers, and this must be a specialty thing. However, all this is moot--I'll check out the FAQ and see what precious metal jewelers do for pricing, as you suggested, and see if I can get some pointers. Thank you for your insight!

As a follow-up to your suggestions, John, thought I'd let you know how I proceeded from here. I talked to the prestigious gallery and they were wonderfully generous with their feedback and suggestions. I finally found an inexpensive ready made frame that I can order wholesale, and took it in to them for their opinion. They said it was adequate for my production pieces, showed me how they had framed my other pieces (they had devised a rather unusual "shadow box" effect that set off my work beautifully). They offered to order the appropriate tools for me. And I can buy the unusual matboard through them (so I won't have to pay a minimum order for wholesaling just yet, plus some framing supply companies are now cutting out artists and small in-home businesses from their customer base), and they talked me out of buying expensive framing materials, because I won't need it for this kind of framing. In return, I will keep using their services for those special, "one-off" pieces--the unusual sizes, the competition pieces, the custom orders, etc. I thought this was extremely generous of them. (Another framing shop wanted $600 for a 3-day framing course.) So now I have a limited production version of these items, that I can do myself and keep the prices reasonable, and the specialty pieces that I can have the gallery do, with all the "prestige" and quality work it needs. Win/win, I think!

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