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was this an unhelpful attitude or am I being precious?

(42 Posts)
bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 18-Jun-14 12:35:36

I have been sent a beautiful oil painting on canvas - stretched and ready to frame. smile

I went to a framers in nearby town yesterday - I walked to town so didn't have the painting with me but I wanted to ask about costing and get a ballpark figure for framing before I brought it in. I also wanted to have a look at the frames available get an idea of how long it would take - reasonable information for before I bring the painting in I thought.

So when I spoke to the man at the shop I was dismayed by the lack of information he would give me on costs - I asked twice 'I need a idea of costs' and I gave him an idea of size and nature of painting and the frames I would like - but he was very vague and dismissive - 'It is all bespoke, depends on the frame you need' - he seemed to think I had no idea what I wanted and it was impossible to give even a vague ballpark figure. You know just so I can decide whether to do it this month or wait a month... so I left irritated and unlikely to go back.

I think he thought he was in a branch of 'I saw you coming' while I was under the impression I was a sensible person with a reasonable request. tchoch!

BrianButterfield Wed 18-Jun-14 12:38:18

I hate this. I will not commit to anything unless I know the cost so I also hate websites that don't even say e.g. "here is one we made earlier, this was £50" (or whatever). You need to know if it's £10, £100 or £1000! Surely he could have said "well, this one cost x" just so you had an idea.

dsteinway Wed 18-Jun-14 12:41:15

I will not use a service/business if they won't tell me how much x will cost. That's ridiculous, yes it does depend on frame but could give you a ballpark. Find somewhere else who wants your business!

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 18-Jun-14 12:42:06

Well exactly Brian - it is dismissive and just makes me think he overcharges - my brother is a painter, I have framed his work before - I know how much that cost and I can ask bro for an idea of what he would expect to pay so I am going to find another framer - more open to discussion. smile

londonrach Wed 18-Jun-14 12:43:00

Strange. We had a painting framed. Went into picture framer without picture she took us to what was waiting to be picked and told us approx cost of them which gave us an idea. She did a fab job and from memory it cost £40 in the Cotswold area and it was large!

ChelsyHandy Wed 18-Jun-14 12:45:52

I would be suspicious they wanted to overcharge you and would find somewhere else.

I do wonder how some small local shops continue to exist. I went into a small carpet fitters recently, it was raining, and was tutted and moaned at for dripping on their floor. I turned round and walked out again.

ZenGardener Wed 18-Jun-14 12:46:09

I can see it both ways. Perhaps he's been burnt in the past by saying it should be about x amount and then people trying to hold him to that figure when it turns out to be much more.

I think you do just have to take the picture in and discuss it with him. If you tell him the amount you want to pay then he can show you something in that ball park. You don't have to buy it but it is probably very difficult for him to quote a price without seeing the actual picture. perhaps not all frames would be suitable.

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 18-Jun-14 12:46:51

Shame I am not closer to the Cotswolds, but yes i did not expect the figure to be scary so his evasive attitude is odd - I am tempted to send my belligerent dh in on Friday to see if he elicits a more helpful attitude - just for research purposes...

Whatisaweekend Wed 18-Jun-14 12:50:07

What a stupid framer!! Surely he should have said "well at that sort of size, you are looking at about X with this sort of frame or X with that sort of frame"?? It really shouldn't be that hard, should it?!

I wanted to get some warn down wheels on a mclaren replaced so called up to get an estimate/vague idea of price before deciding if it was worth the time and expense of getting it there or if I should just buy a second hand one. Stupid bastard refused to give me an idea (i mean will it be £25? £50? £100???) so guess what? I went elsewhere!!

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 18-Jun-14 12:50:44

I do see that Zen but I was simply looking for ballpark here not a written quote - you know '£50 to £300' that would not hold him to anyything and I would come back - or if under quoting issues in the past was the reason he was evading the question of pricew - he could have tackled it head on and I would have felt satisfied he was communicating honestly and not being patronising or dismissive. Its it not just what he did but how.

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 18-Jun-14 12:53:44

I don't want to cart the painting about too much as it is by my brother, a 40th birthday present and very precious to me - I am clumsy, the painting is vulnerable, till it is safely framed and hanging on the wall - so I am going to take it out only when I have to ... that is precious of me but I really do love it very much.

deakymom Wed 18-Jun-14 12:58:33

i would find somewhere else to get it framed tbh some people are just unhelpful

i once refused to buy a pushchair from an independent trader because he insisted i needed a double hmm i had one baby (three children but one baby iyswim) and as DH had gone through a vasectomy i was sticking to it!

amy83firsttimer Wed 18-Jun-14 13:00:27

Take measurements and a photo to next place?

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 18-Jun-14 13:10:39

Good idea amy I will - we have camera/ phone issues at the mo otherwise I would have whipped my phone out at the shop and showed him but it is worth doing.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Wed 18-Jun-14 13:17:21

The cost of framing does vary enormously though depending on what you have. We had something framed recently and had to chose between glass at £60 £120 or £250 (something like that).

gamerchick Wed 18-Jun-14 13:20:56

It really bugs me when people do that.. you just want to know if it averages 10s, the front, middles, end of the hundreds etc.

I tried with the plasterers, just wanted to know what sort of money so I could sort out a budget in my head. But none would tell me just offered to come and do a quote.

AlpacaPicnic Wed 18-Jun-14 13:21:34

I hate when people won't even give you an idea of a reasonable amount.

When I wanted my house painted I called a few firms. One came out, was super patronising, pointed out lots of things wrong with the house that he could fix for me 'while he was here' then refused to give me even a rough estimate of a price until I called DH down from upstairs where he was working.
The second one came over, poked at the walls for a bit, measured a few things, gave me a brochure of colours and told me how much it would be and how long it would take.
Guess which one I used?

Nomama Wed 18-Jun-14 14:33:19

My local framer is great at guessing games. He seems to find it a nice challenge.

I had a small group of pictures that needed framing and, from my verbal description and general hand waving, he gave me a ball park figure. I took my pictures in, we looked at mount board and frames and he gave me a final figure.

Then he brought out his notebook, smiled and gave himself a pat on the shoulder. The ball park figure he had given me was £5 dearer than the actual cost. He allows himself £10 either way, apparently.

I just thought that was good business. I would definitely steer clear of anyone who refused to give me a vague idea of cost. How could you make an informed decision?


lurkingfromhome Wed 18-Jun-14 14:36:48

Also, unless you have lots of experience in getting pictures framed the price is not something you can have a rough idea about before you go about it, so it's all the more necessary to get some kind of idea from the framer.

I mean, I know roughly how much I'd expect to pay for a new computer or a lipstick or a flight to New York or a teapot but with picture framing I wouldn't have a clue if the ballpark figure was going to be £10 or £500!

HayDayQueen Wed 18-Jun-14 14:37:59

don't want to cart the painting about too much

And that's probably WHY he wouldn't get more specific. If you went in with the painting you are far less likely to say 'sod off, that's too expensive' and take the painting off to the next shop.

Nomama Wed 18-Jun-14 14:54:41

... which she did anyway!

FragileBrittleStar Wed 18-Jun-14 14:59:50

It depends how vague you were being- if you had no idea as to size and style of frame etc then he was right - what he should have done is given you some examples- maybe work he had in the shop or ideas as to the difference of the frame- from memory it varies a lot to do with the setting or whatever its called as well as the frame etc

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 18-Jun-14 15:08:18

Annoyingly this one place seems to have a monopoly as I am struggling to find another picture framers anywhere near - literally there is a framing exclusion zone round my house for miles (except Mr I saw you coming) - gah!

DenzelWashington Wed 18-Jun-14 15:25:51

Well, I can see he might have been thinking 'How the hell should I know?', but if he were interested in your custom, he could have asked some questions and made some suggestions, and given a general cost idea based on that. E.g. 'Well, here's one I framed earlier, that was £x'; or asking whether you wanted it glazed or open, box frame, showing you kinds of frame he uses and giving an idea of the cost of those per cm of frame.

If he just didn't want to know, then neither should you.

kickassangel Wed 18-Jun-14 15:45:25

If you had the size and could point to a couple of frames then he should have been able to give you an idea. BUT frames vary massively in price.

We had a small picture of dd's to frame. She picked up a frame she liked the look of (the corner display piece) and had apparently chosen a very expensive one. It would have cost over $200! The shop assistant pointed out a ready made fame that only cost $20.

The shop near us won't give estimates unless you pick out a specific frame, but they will tell you the cost per foot of a frame you're interested in, so you can always get a good idea.

However - I would say TAKE THE PICTURE IN. It's amazing how often something that 'should' fit suddenly looks hideous by the picture, or something you really didn't expect turns out to be the exact color/style. The only way to work on that is to take the picture with you.

They should allow you to spend quite some time playing around with different mounts and frames, and be willing to cost out a few different options for you. If not, then you walk.

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