Do you open ValPak/Money Mailer or other coupon mailings?

If you do open them, would you go to a new (or new to you) business because there is a coupon offered?

I own a small retail custom framing business and the ease of this sort of distribution appeals to me. I use coupons, but I’m not my target customer. The business is new and I need more than anything to increase awareness that we’re here. The owner of the business that was in this spot passed on over 2 years ago and people still come in, look around and blink a few times before asking for him.

Is there a dollar amount that would motivate you to chose one shop over another. It doesn’t make sense for me to offer a percent off. Would $25 off an order be enough to get you to come in? $30?

While I’m asking questions, have you had custom framing done previously? Industry statistics indicate that only a very small percentage of people do. I’m just looking for ways to focus my marketing efforts.

Thanks in advance.

I’ve had custom framing done several times and once earlier this year.

My ValPaks/Money Mailers go straight to the shredder un-opened.

I do use grocery store coupons though. I think $25 dollars is a good incentive, or better yet, 25% off.

Good Luck!

I usually look through the ValPack coupons once and set aside the ones that interest me, and throw out the rest. If you do not want to advertise a “percent off” type of deal, you could do some specials - for example, say an 8x11 wood framing for $whatever. I have not had any framing done yet (though I need to get on it) because I have no idea where it would even begin in price, so I don’t know what’s in my price range.

I give them a quick flip through, just to see if there’s anything from any companies we buy from regularly, but often the whole pack gets thrown in the recycling bin. No new (or new to me) companies have ever caught my eye that way, since I flip specifically looking for names/logos I recognise and use often.

As for custom framing, I’ve never had it done, and my family has never had it done. What is it, exactly? Is it used for pictures, or paintings, or something else? (Pardon my ignorance, but this is, after all, the place to learn :wink: )

The ValPak things always went in the trash. Also the Potpourri. We have a neighborhood specific monthly mailer that I always look through, though.

I have had custom framing done at the neighborhood framing shop – 4 large Matisse posters.

When I used to get them, I’d occasionally look through them, but I’d usually just find the one for the local pizza place and throw the rest away.

I’ve gotten custom framing done once, but I don’t see it as the kind of impulse buy that a coupon would really spur me to make. I bought a painting, and it needed a frame, so I went by the local framing shop and had them make a frame for it. Maybe there are people out there who are sitting on stacks of pieces of art that need frames and who are unwilling to pay full price, but I don’t see it.

I toss coupon packets without opening them.

I have used a frame shop twice. Both were very positive experiences, although sticker shock was a problem the first time. Spending close to the cost of a lithograph for framing seemed a bit much, but I did go all out (museum quality glass/etc) and I get compliments all the time.

BTW…I have a signed Stevie Ray album that I want t get framed. Any advice? /hijack

I get custom framing, but only of my needlework and only at a lady who specializes in it and does a fabulous job. The local needlework shop sends a lot of business her way; if you can be good at it and offer competitive pricing, that might be the way to focus your efforts.

I look through them, usually for the 2 for 1 restaurant deals.

I usually look through them, not only for places I already go but for new places to try. Gwendee, you might want to check out any local art schools or community centers and leave flyers or notices there.


I have a custom framing business too and have tried the val-pak in the past with not much of a result at all.

There’s a message forum for picture framers that you may find of interest.

I don’t really look at Valpak or Money Mailer, but I do flip through Advo Shopwise and occasionally through my local newspaper’s TMC product (in my case, it’s Chicago Tribune’s Local Values). If possible, you might want to try looking into a print and deliver TMC product, especially if it’s the type that has editorial of some kind. You might even be able to get some ROP or wrap advertising instead of a stand-alone insert.

I open the packets and, as I have about a dozen things I want to have framed, I always save out the framing coupons. However, I have no extra money, so I never use the coupons I save.

Nope, never even open them.

I’ve never had anything custom framed either, so there ya go.

I don’t open the Valu-Paks – they go straight into the recycling bag.

I’ve paid full price many times in the past. The last time I got something done (a poster – the framing cost, literally, 10 times as much as the poster) I think I looked in the yellow pages and picked a place with a convenient location (about halfway between work and home). This was a year or two ago.

I’m an aging luddite – I don’t know how many others still use the yellow pages.

I must be one too, because I still use them. In fact, once I also used them to find a nearby frame shop.

I had a picture than needed a custom framing job, and the place I found through the Yellow Pages was close by. I paid full price for the job, which was done well, and I am very pleased with it.

But I so rarely need such a service that filing away a coupon to save money on it at some unspecified time in the future doesn’t seem to me to be worth the effort. Assuming, of course, I can even find the coupon when it came time to get the framing done. But this is just me; such a coupon might indeed prod others into finally getting something framed.

But how do I feel about Valu-Paks? I don’t even open them; they go straight into the recycling bin.

I open the Valpak about 50% of the time - depends on how stacked up the mail is and if I have time to look through it or not. But 99 times out of 100 I’m just looking for places I already frequent who might have a coupon I’d use. I rarely look at new businesses.

I open them, but the only ones I’ve ever used are the restaurant buy one get one free entree deals for restaurants I go to, or think I might like to. I’ve never had any use for any of the other services offered.

I open the val-pack, and I use the coupons on occasion. I have had several things custom framed before, and I need some framing done now.

Geez, I am your ideal customer!

I must admit, though, that I usually opt for Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Framing is expensive, and I assume (although I may be wrong) that small shops are going to be even more expensive than the big box type places. I splurged on my diplomas and got them framed at a small shop. I went all out–beautiful mats, gold filet (I think that was what it was called). They were big suckers, too. I think they were $400 apiece, but that might be wrong. At the time, I was in a “money is no object” mode.

I collect original comic book art, so I currently have a big portfolio of art that I’d love to get custom-framed. I’ve had a few pieces done in the past, but it’s so expensive I usually wait for sales or coupons. I open the Val-Pak, mostly to look for coupons for local restaurants or oil changes (which I need to get monthly), but I’d probably use a good coupon for a custom framing place if I found one. I’ve gone to Michael’s in the past, but I’d always rather support a small local business if they could offer a competitive price.