Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Framing on Sale at Michaels

Git yer pitchers ready, y'all! Michaels is having a framing sale! From now until Saturday, all custom framing orders are 60% off. I'm finally going to get my enormous Ray Hartl photograph done up.
And just look how happy that Michaels employee is to help out with decisions on matting and wood grain selection. I hope he works at the one in Skokie.

19 comments:

Jamie Meares said...

michael's framing sales are the most misleading thing ever.

the sale price is the EXACT same price you get when you go NOT DURING A SALE.

my mom and i tested this, when we suspected it was crap, and it is.

once they quote you a price, ask what it would be BEFORE the discount -- they won't tell you, b/c there's no real discount.

cardboard said...

Whaaa? That sounds crazy! Thanks for that info. I will have to test their practices when...and if I go.

Forever Chic said...

Aw, darn. I was going to take advantage of this.

Would Aaron Brothers be a better choice for custom framing? I hear they have 50% off sales sometimes as well.

Bree said...

I went to this the other day, and you're totally right - the sales prices are CRAP. Just as expensive as a frame shop.

As an added bonus, they apparently "can't cut any signed artwork" due to company policy. When I heard this, I was like, "Wait - what? That's the craziest, stupidest thing I've heard - I OWN this, I am giving you permission," promptly threw a hissy fit, asked to see the manager and eventually got them to cut all three of my pictures (they were 12 x 12 printed on standard 12 x 18 photo paper).

The chick behind the counter was amenable as they too think the policy is ridiculous - so much so that after she cut them, she took further pity on me and my frothing rage-mouth and went and found me three pretty decent pre-made frames for 50% off. Total cost: $45. Estimated cost of post-sale custom framing: $400. Challah!

KreativeMix said...

yeah, i got my pics framed here for my condo.........and the sale price was $400. but they did turn out fabulous. it was a good investment, but definitely NOT a sale.

Anonymous said...

Michaels owns aaron brothers, they jack the price up at michaels as to promote aaron brothers' sales in custom framing. The best deal you are going to get is the 25% off sale at aaron brothers. Custom framing prices are absolutley through the roof anywhere you go. Be prepared for 200-400$ easily. The word custom never comes cheap.

Anonymous said...

I had a print custom framed at Michael's two years ago. I just decided to sell it. When I took it out of the custom framing, I found that Michael's took the liberty of cutting 2 of the deckled edges off!!!!
NEVER WOULD I GET ANYTHING FRAMED AT MICHAEL'S AGAIN!!!

Anonymous said...

These comments are hilarious. I am a custom framer at Michaels. The discounts aren't crap, they're just not GOOD discounts Custom framing is expensive in the first place. On the weeks with no discounts (which are few and far between) and we are "supposed" to charge full price, we get griped at hardcore and rightly so. So most people just as a courtesy to the customer give 50% off anyway. Because most likely it will be on sale the next week anyway. That being said, the thing about cutting an original piece or something that has been signed... imgagine if you RUINED something like that. It's technically irreplaceable, right? No matter if you give permission or not. There are way to mount every piece of artwork without having to trim but when customers think they know best is when we run into problems. Since we have that rule we don't really even have the proper supplies TO trim. Exacto knives or scissors. No paper cutters, nothing. So the risk is pretty high. I HATE when customers as me to trim. We are not supposed to alter artwork whatsoever and really really could get fired if someone from corperate knew about it. We have had to fire someone because a customer ASKED him to use white out on her signed print and he ended up ruining it. She of course denied it even though 3 of us heard her and tried to talk her out of it. So frothiness may get you what you want but do you really just believe that someone would be doing it just to piss you off?? There are usually good reasons behind why large corperations can't do things. Liability. 2 sides to every story. And just an extra tidbit, I do not like my job because of rude customers. But Michaels custom framing really is excellent quality. The best materials are used. Much better quality than Hobby Lobby or the mom and pop shops. That's another reason for our high prices.

Anonymous said...

To the Michaels "custom framer." Custom framing includes cutting and joining frames and mats and Michaels does neither. As far as Michaels "sales," I own and operate a REAL custom frame shop and we always beat Michaels prices. We will never again hire anyone who purports to be a "framer" from a big box store.

Anonymous said...

I am too, a custom framer and I just started working for Michaels and I agree that the prices are pretty high but that's how it is with custom anything. I totally agree about not trimming a signed print and we do not want to be held responsible for any alteration. But I have to disagree about the overall quality on frames there. Framers do an excellent job, but I do not care for the company who cuts/joins our frames and mats. Very careless. I've been framing for 14 years and I actually started my career at Michaels (used to be Leewards). Yes, the small mom and pop shops are better in price because they can always lower their pricing or cut corners on certain things. Also, Michaels framers are all certified and professional. They don't just hire anyone.

Anonymous said...

I own a custom frame shop and get all the customers who went to Michaels and were not so happy because the framer was not very helpful or nice and the price was high with the sale. My regular prices are about the same or slightly higher than Michaels. What I am giving the customer is much more in attention and quality. I also get the pieces that have been framed in Michaels and now needs a new mat or glass replacement, and I am shocked when I take these pieces apart. There is some real bad amature framing inside. My customers always say, "I am so glad I came here instead of Michaels". Yes, custom framing is high but Micheal's sale prices are highly inflated prices then taken down to normal price.

Anonymous said...

To anyone who is thinking about going to Michael's to get something framed my advice is to shop around. Chances are that you are only going to be framing this item once in your life time and if you want it to last, it will be an investment, do it right the first time. In my experience, Michael's is a gamble because you never know who is doing the work. The person who helps you with design is probably not the one who is going to be fitting your piece and frankly, the employee have nothing really to lose if you are not happy. There are a couple of people in this world who still take pride in their work (above M's framers who commented) but the chances that you are going to find one of them in a big box store is pretty slim. Any good framer will take the time to explain everything to you... what kind of mats they use (you want conservation), glass they are recommending, backing and mounting options and why certain design choices work for the piece. They will engage you in the selection and ask your opinion and you will be able to tell that they actually care about you and your piece. They might even offer a framing guarantee. This is the type of framer that you want, one who will not cut corners and who will give you the best product that they can offer and ensure that you are 100% satisfied.

I always compare framers to barbers or hairstylists- everyone who picks up a pair of scissors thinks that they can cut hair- anyone who has ever has a bad haircut will disagree. The art of making a person, or a piece of artwork, look the best they/it can look takes skill, technique and experience. Most people don't just trust anyone with their hair, why would they treat artwork the same?

As for pricing, it is an expensive business but trust me, most shop owners are not ripping you off or jacking up their prices. Take a look around at shops you go to- most have other items that they sell in them, if they were making huge profits on the work that they offer, they wouldn't need things like these to supplement their shops. Framers do this because they love it, not to make a lot of money because that is a feat that is close to impossible. You never hear about the huge expensive homes framers own or the fancy cars they drive because most of the time, they do not have them.

Anonymous said...

Check out the lawsuit won by the state of NY against micheal's scam framing ... Micheal's will certify a person in custom framing in a week ????? I've spent 20 years of my life learning a trade to have Betty learn it in a week???? They don't join frames... Cut mats..nothing... but there a certified framer??the coupons... The framers...it's the biggest joke... They have ruined the CUSTOM PICTURE FRAME INDUSTRY!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am a custom framer at michaels and just so everyone knows...i do cut lots of mats there and join lots of frames myself. so do not ever tell me that I am not a framer.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting at michaels next week. I have no framing experience whatsoever, yet that's where they put me. My title is certified framer. So yes, they DO just hire anyone.

Anonymous said...

I also am A Michael's framer. It's just like any other business. You can't expect every frame shop to do the same quality of work and have the same level of experience. I worked at 2 separate locations. The first location was in a higher income area and had a much heavier flow of traffic. I would say most of the customers that came to us were repeat customers, because they trusted no one else with their framing. I felt very confident in the knowledge of the co-workers I worked with. They had between 27-5 years experience. The 2nd location on the other hand was run much less with an emphasis on sales and quality and more on speed of production. The manager seemed to leave it up to the other less experienced framers to do just about everything. The quality of work was not something I was nearly as proud of. As far as sales go... us lowly framers really have no say in the process. We do not receive a commission and most of us are only part time employees. We understand when people don't agree with our prices, but we are always trying to get people the best deals. We know the prices may seem high. unfortunately we don't make the prices, and a lot of technology goes into our products that you may not realize. Always ask lots of questions! A good framing employee should be able to answer them. If you want something trimmed even though we would much rather preserve it unaltered, you may just need to provide written permission and/or manager approval. It's all policies and procedures. I would say don't lose faith in all Micheal's frame shops because you had one bad experience. There are very excellent ones out there. If you are unhappy with the work you received at a shop. step 1 would be to go back and see if there is anything they can do to fix it. If you are uncomfortable still and live near multiple locations you can always go to step 2 and go to a different location. You won't be charged for re-dos for things you are not happy with or mistakes that have been made on our part. Happy Framing!

Anonymous said...

I too am a Michael's custom framer and I cut lots of mats a and join frames. Also we will always give you the price before and the saving you are saving. also all the certified framers I work with have more than a week training. No one touches the art unless they are fully trained to do so. If the customer is unhappy we will do everything to make it right. So yes do not lose faith.

Anonymous said...

I am the Framing Manager at one of the Michaels stores. I agree that our prices are high, and tell customers honestly that they are high because of the companies sales that are promoted which is why it's broken into different collections that rotate on sale.
Most of the frames and mats come in from our chop shop because with so many stores its the most efficient way to produce them, but each store has dozens of colors and styles in store to cut for quick orders for ready made frames to give a custom look faster and cheaper and we have just as many of those orders where we have to cut everything in store each week.
The knowledge and experience required to ensure that the work is done right takes longer then 1 week of training. I have had many new associates and they have all of there work supervised and checked as part of on the job learning for around the first 6 weeks, and after that are instructed that if they are unsure about something to put it aside until they can get clarification.

I agree that there are some stores better then other, but this is true for anything. Make sure you ask questions and feel comfortable with what you're getting in return. Everything we do though is with archival materials, UV glass, and completely reversible which is why we will not cut, trim, or alter anything. If it comes down to it I will turn a customer away and tell them that they have to cut it themselves but we will not do it for them.

Magnolia said...

I have ordered framing from Michaels a great many times.
At the location I use, the frames come into the store pre-joined and the mats are pre-cut.

I have never seen anyone joining a frame or cutting a mat there.

On the plus side, if it is not correct - they will redo it without any issue.

Their prices are absurd - and only reasonable at 70% off.

Does anyone know if they offer trade (decorator-designer) discounts?

Or if it is possible to order lengths of moulding.