That is a good idea. Pick the person in your club that is the most knowledgeable about framing to represent you with the custom framer and make sure you talk to the owner of the frame shop. If you can combine your orders together and get the same type of frame and mat that will help also. Two things that hurt custom framer margins are:
Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac
1. Scrap. If you buy a mat with outside size of 16x20 they have to purchase 32x40 and 75% of the mat is scrap. They have to charge enough that they make money on the sheet.
2. Time. Working with a customer can take 45 minutes to over an hour. People do not like to be charged for customer service so many companies (expect layers and consultants) build the customer service labor cost into the product cost.
If you can group your orders together and spend some time once with the framer to figure out what works for your group and then keep ordering the same thing over and over again then you be able to save them some labor that allows them to give you a lower price.