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Talk About Your Sticker Shock

The girl at JoAnn last night almost sent me into pre-term labor.

DH and I went to JoAnn after dinner to see about getting the posters for Baby’s nursery framed. I had a coupon for 60% off of two custom framing jobs. I love coupons.

We laid the posters out on the counter and the lady started showing us choices for mats and frames and basically overwhelmed us with the options. Seriously, it was tough. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted and as usual, it’s hard to make the ideas you have in your head come to life. Unless you’re Walt Disney.

Finally, we picked out the options we liked. A white 8-ply mat with a beveled edge and a brushed silver finished frame. Then she showed us the glass choices. It was OBVIOUS which glass was the best (the museum glass, if you must know). Captain Obvious himself would’ve been proud of how obvious that choice was. So the lady priced out one of the posters for us.

“With the museum glass and the 60% off that comes to around $180.” (I’ll pause here to give you time to pick your jaw off the floor.)


Was that enough time?? Yes? Ok.

After seeing the looks on our faces, the lady said “With the level two glass, the price is $130.” Um, ok, that doesn’t really help, but thanks. Then, while trying to be helpful, she says “Without the coupon, the price would’ve been $450.”

DH says “Um, can you point us to the thumbtacks?”

Yes. $450. FOR ONE POSTER! ONE!! We have FOUR to frame for that room. FOUR. NO WAY IN HELL would I spend $2,000 framing POSTERS for a NURSERY (or for any other room in my house for that matter).

She definitely saw the shock on our faces, and totally understood when I said “I’m surprised I didn’t just have this kid right here in the middle of this store.” DH was pretty speechless. He just kept shooting this look at me that said “I am super uncomfortable and need to get out of here immediately or my head might explode from the thought of how much this is going to cost.”

Luckily, people in the custom framing department at JoAnn aren’t paid on commission, so she didn’t try to hard sell us on the pros of having custom framed artwork with museum quality glass that will last for the rest of our child’s life and his children after that and how our kid will end up needing therapy if we don’t just fork over the money to get him the best framed posters any little kid has ever had in his/her life. She was actually sort of laughing along with us. Or laughing at the fact that two n00bs came in expecting to find a deal and had no idea what they were getting themselves into. (And yes, I realize that $180 is WAY better than $450, but NoThankYouPlease to either!)

The lady and I start discussing pre-cut mats and what sizes they are available in and she starts measuring the posters and DH is still trying not to hyperventilate even though it’s been made quite clear that there’s no way we’re going with the custom set up we all just spent 30 minutes coming up with. And then the lady measures the posters and takes off.

DH and I are still looking at each other and kind of laughing at our n00b-ish-ness when it comes to custom framing when she returns with a “Best Value” frame in a brushed silver finish that is actually more along the lines of what I had in mind in the first place. And then she suggests (because apparently, pre-cut mats don’t come in the sizes we need) that we buy only a custom mat for the posters so that we can still have a “custom” look without the “custom” price. So that’s what we did.

Instead of $450, or even $180, for ONE POSTER, we got two posters framed and matted for under $100. Or we will have them framed and matted on Friday when the mats arrive.

JoAnn lady saves the nursery.

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Sunday 11th of January 2009

holy crap isn't it UNBELIEVABLE how much framing costs?!!?!

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