It took me two different Wal-Mart’s and 3 Targets, a Michaels craft store and a Joann Fabrics to find two 24x36 Poster Frames and 3 11x17 frames (also for small movie posters, Highlander, Escape From New York, Blade Runner if curious). Besides the crap shoot of finding them, Why the hell are they so expensive? They are plastic frames, and those with a clear vinyl cover cost more than the glass ones. Is there some mystery as to how they are made? The amount of plastic on it seemingly shouldn’t cost much at all. Is it to cover the shipping costs of them? I’m puzzled, I even bought extra frames so I don’t have to go through that ordeal again.
I could have probably made my own frames for the same price. $20 is the cheapest for a 24x36! and online was no better.
I see one under $10 at Target online.
But I agree with your general point: it used to be you could find them cheaper, even metal ones.
Non GQ anecdote: I used to be in the framing business; everyone I know has gone out of business, with the exception of one company that caters to higher-end projects. I’m not too surprised that mass market retailers have raised their prices, because there is virtually no competition now.
That’s why they were expensive - they’re uncommon - which implies minimal demand for them, which in turn implies:
As Mangetout said, 24x36 poster frames are uncommon and expensive. If, on the other hand, you checked the price on 36x24 poster frames, you would have found them available more cheaply. They’re much more common.
Nowadays anything that comes in umpteen sizes has a price premium attached to it. If they were all 8x10 they’d be cheap. It’s the necessity to stock 6 sizes times 4 colors times 3 quality levels that ramps the retail price.
Modern retail stock management practices work to identify which of those 72 possibilities they sell least of. Then quit stocking them completely. So the stores collectively are trying to drive all the oddball sizes out of their stores leaving just the heart of the envelope 8x10s or whatever.
We’re stuck in the middle of this tug-o-war.
A store that specializes in framing supplies, like Aaron Brothers, will have a much better selection than Walmart, even if they’re not much cheaper.
It also seems to me the art market for “cheap posters” has dried up and gone upscale. Maybe it’s just me getting old - but I remember that you could buy a huge selection of different topic posters. There were scenery, fantasy art, classic paintings, etc. The more prominent - I still have a number of the smaller Frazetta posters, Roger Dean, plus some Moebius and that I bought online; plus a second-release Star Wars theatre poster I bought off the theatre owner - much better art than the first release. I even have for example, DK Eyewitness poster for medieval armour. Of course - movie posters? That would presume there still are theatres showing first run movies still.
Nowadays, many fewer places sell posters and they seem to be all media tie-ins of questionable art value. So if fewer people are buying the more artistic posters, even fewer are buying frames. Boy-band posters, from my view of my nieces’ rooms, are just taped or stapled (yikes!) to the wall.
Is it distraction by other media? Or is the market fragmented since there are so many options? Is it because you can buy a vivid 65-inch flat screen TV, that a poster is not as serious eye candy as in the days when blurry 26-inch was the limit of audio-visual resolution? Is it because the key market is baby boomers and they have more money than when they were teenagers? Real art seems to have gone upscale. So, the frame business probably has gone upscale too.
I’m telling you! I didn’t do it! I’m being set up!
I found that one on target’s website too, the one i seen in the store was damaged as someone else pointed out, so I was stuck getting the next higher up. Who would have thought this would happen to the poster and frame market, I just turned 29 and now I feel old, ten years ago I could get five or six 24x36 posters at around $25 from a local poster shop, now they cost about that much each. Anyone have any tips of where to find frames relatively cheap? Just for future reference.
Md2000 STAPLES? I’m going to have a panic attack lol. My ex used to use little nails for posters or electrical tape (doesn’t even stick well!!), it drove me insane. At least those 3M poster strips might not ruin the wall.