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bob carnie
12-Aug-2016, 06:01
Is there any one purchasing glass - Anti Reflection - I am looking for sources where I can buy direct in volume- any suggestions.

Ted R
12-Aug-2016, 06:12
Edmunds Optics have some standard sizes and will make to order http://www.edmundoptics.com/ look for windows, visual

Michael R
12-Aug-2016, 06:37
Bob, do you mean AR framing/glazing glass or coated optical glass? What is the specific application? How big? How thick?

If it's the former, framing shops can often help you get stuff from some of the glazing companies (Tru-Vue, Gro-Glass, Pilkington). If you do enough volume you can probably buy direct. These companies make several types of AR and/or anti-glare glass.

If it's higher end/optical glass you're looking for, there are lots of companies (Edmund, Howard Glass, PGO, Thorlabs etc. etc.) or if it's a big enough order you might be able to order direct from a few of the manufacturers. My own experience is in dealing with Schneider Optics in the U.S.

Greg Davis
12-Aug-2016, 07:01
Tru Vue should have a distributor directory on their site. We lost our wholesale vendor here a couple years ago, now I go through Cincinnati.

Drew Wiley
12-Aug-2016, 08:45
Same here, even in this substantial urban market, we've lost all our picture framing wholesalers. The reason is simple - warehouses are being either leveled or divided up in order to build obscenely overpriced condos or equally expensive techie office space. So I'll have to set up a new account with someone inland, where it seems to still be convenient to drive farmers off their land and pave things over. But yeah, Tru Vue will list their current distributors.

bob carnie
12-Aug-2016, 08:51
To Clarify- I am trying to avoid local distributors as I have selections to choose from, they put a huge premium on AR glass due to its fragile nature, I am looking for a more direct route to glass manufacturers.

These days Distributors are taking a just in time, or order on demand position, we see this with the photo industry , and I see it with my framing business. If I am being asked to wait 6 weeks
for a shipment from a Distributor, and this is very common these days, I think this concept is dead and would like to purchase direct and avoid all the handling charges .

If there was good stock available at all times I would feel different . I have so called wholesale accounts with my distributors, but I see them selling direct to anyone with a valid visa card. I think the whole distribution system is in a financial mess.

For example - I can buy from B&H product in two days product, what would take 6 weeks by the Canadian distributor go figure and when all said and done with shipping and customs its the same price within dollars.

Peter De Smidt
12-Aug-2016, 09:11
Perhaps contact TruVue and see if you can become a distributor? They have a link for such requests on their site.

Bob Salomon
12-Aug-2016, 10:08
To Clarify- I am trying to avoid local distributors as I have selections to choose from, they put a huge premium on AR glass due to its fragile nature, I am looking for a more direct route to glass manufacturers.

These days Distributors are taking a just in time, or order on demand position, we see this with the photo industry , and I see it with my framing business. If I am being asked to wait 6 weeks
for a shipment from a Distributor, and this is very common these days, I think this concept is dead and would like to purchase direct and avoid all the handling charges .

If there was good stock available at all times I would feel different . I have so called wholesale accounts with my distributors, but I see them selling direct to anyone with a valid visa card. I think the whole distribution system is in a financial mess.

For example - I can buy from B&H product in two days product, what would take 6 weeks by the Canadian distributor go figure and when all said and done with shipping and customs its the same price within dollars.

Usually being a distributor comes with contractural agreements with the manufacturer. Things like minimum order quantities, possibly by size and type, distribution areas, monthly or quarterly reports, stock level reports, sales reports, advertising in your market, attending shows in the industry, sales and customer service employees or Reps, maintaining desired price points, etc. is this what you are willing to do? Or are you looking for a lower retail price for goods for your own use? You may find that a supplier might be willing to sell in limited quantities for goods for your own use at a reduced price at a certain quantity level but don't be surprised by added packaging and minimum price points and shipping charges. Glass is heavy to shop and requires special packaging and handling to prevent breakage.

Drew Wiley
12-Aug-2016, 10:19
Not likely, Peter. Distributors differ from frame shops. You're talking about a significant commitment in space, inventory of full cases, product range, and delivery trucks capable of taking care of the needs of frame shops within a hundred mile radius within a day. This means a multimillion-dollar infrastructure of staff and warehousing. And one tiny scratch on a piece of this stuff and its worthless. I am myself a serious supplier of machinery and accessories to the biggest picture framing operations around - themselves considered wholesalers - and they're not about to get behind the eight ball of a fortune in glass, even though they routinely use it. Different business models entirely. You'd also have to carry a massive selection of frame moulding, matboard, etc to get into this kind of gig. Here that's all going inland, not only for cheap land and warehouses, but for cheap labor and, ironically, for the fact that it is often faster to get delivery trucks to urban Bay Area locations from somewhat outside the area than from inside, fighting traffic EVERY direction, basically trapped.

Peter De Smidt
12-Aug-2016, 10:25
It's worth asking, though. Recently someone here became a distributor for Screen Holdings just to stock up some Cezanne bulbs. I wouldn't have thought that would be possible, but it's a good thing he pursued it!

Drew Wiley
12-Aug-2016, 10:26
But this is directed more to Bob, personally. .. I assume you'd want to buy AN glass or acrylic in full cases, and then cut it yourself? That's the only way to get
it intact at reasonable expense. I'd estimate the cost here to be around 1/4 of what any glass shop or frame shop, or even web specialty dealer, would ask for
individual pieces. Optically coated acrylic can be obscenely expensive, AR glass not so bad, consistently flatter, but fragile and much more prone to condensation.
Ordinary nonglare is cheap and abundant, but inherently hazy.

Drew Wiley
12-Aug-2016, 10:28
Peter - becoming a Cezanne bulb distributor versus a glass distributor is like the difference between having an ant farm and an African game ranch with lions, leopard, water buffalo, and elephants all on hand.

Peter De Smidt
12-Aug-2016, 10:30
Well, it certainly won't happen if Bob doesn't ask. So what if it's a long shot?

bob carnie
12-Aug-2016, 10:37
I am in the process of starting a somewhat different approach to my client base- I need to have services, items, that I directly do not have to produce myself. Unfortunately / Fortunately I have a client base that wants
my printing, but for my long term security I need other avenues of income or I will never leave the building.

In my area I think I could set up a ( light impressions circa 1980 model) how many remember going to Rochester- three main reasons- Kodak visit- Eastman House Visit- or a visit to Light Impressions.
so I do think I could become somewhat of a distributer- just not as big as some.
If my supplier now cannot deliver the product next day as they are not willing to inventory then I think the door is open for me to do it.

Re Trade Shows - the world has flattened- the internet is the new showroom.

Drew Wiley
12-Aug-2016, 10:55
Peter - there's more to my analogy than you might think. A big case or even single piece of glass can kill you a lot faster than any lion or rhino. People need specialized handling equipment, training, and relevant liability insurance. And most cities will have distinct disposal rules over significant glass waste. We're not
just selling machinery here, but are also the biggest Marvin window dealer in the western US, with a whole fleet of service and delivery trucks. Try replacing a
sixty foot long window facing a beach cliff! I also interact with museum staff who use their materials in their own display workrooms. And I've done plenty of
framing myself, though I wouldn't even want to frame any print bigger than approx 20x24 (plus mat margins) in single-ply AR glass. Too thin. Coated acrylic is
a lot safer for those bigger pieces. Either way, it amounts to a significant upcharge to the overall frame expense. But this kind of treatment can add that extra
bit of wow factor that makes prints sell.

Drew Wiley
12-Aug-2016, 11:21
Back to Bob - I'm just about done with distribution - less than five months left, and much of that vacation time! I know what it involves, far better than most. If you want a modest-scale hypothetical business model to follow, it would have been Studio Supply in SF. It closed a few years back due to single-owner retirement, but was haunted by we photographers for several decades. He had another big room right next door for specialty film and darkroom stuff with its own distinct niche. Studio Supply per se sold lighting, backdrops, and filters much like the bigger photo houses downtown; but what routinely brought people like me in there was the selection of volume packaged museum board, archival sleeves and albums, lightboxes, etc. Some of this he specially negotiated with Light Impressions. Of course, he charged a bit more; but you didn't have to wait or pay shipping. And it wasn't all fingerprinted, dog-eared, and overpriced like retail art stores. And with the big wholesale framing houses, you strictly buy full sheets, not convenient pre-cut sizes of board. So that saved some of the labor expense and headache of sizing down board. But it's damn difficult for any small distributor or retailer to compete with true plastics suppliers when it comes to acrylic or quality board like Gator. You could have someone on staff size this down for a modest fee, or invest in an automated matcutting machine or semi-automated one, if you don't already have that kind of gear. Yeah, "do-it-yourself" framing chains do this too, but rarely with archival materials. Plus a competent drymounting service for other people's prints and not just your own, as a nice add-on to workshops. I'd stop short of a full frame shop unless you've got a lot of extra space and not much local competition. That's a tough field unless you have a specialty niche and a lot of youthful energy left. Just ideas. I'll be busy enough for awhile just trying to catch up with a backlog of my own drymounting, as the last drops of my own youthful energy continue to evaporate.

jp
12-Aug-2016, 11:42
I see what Bob has seen in my own business (computers/networking). Many of the suppliers have nothing in stock or if they do, it's on the wrong coast. I used to be able to order nearly anything I wanted and have it next day with ground shipping. Not so anymore. I often have to order off more common Internet retailers and wait in line with normal retail customers to get parts. Suppliers are keeping less in inventory.

Fortunately I have an empty garage next door, so we stock up on parts we know we'll use quickly and that have stable prices. Keeping a big stock of parts to be our own distributor is expensive in terms of cash flow as it's no longer just in time ordering for what we stockpile. Extra care has to be taken so that we do not stockpile items we're not apt to use quickly. There is some reward from the risk as well; some things, we never used to stock because we thought they were obscure, now sell quickly because we have them handy. We do save a little in shipping too, but probably lose that back in terms of storage space costs. If you build a very focused inventory for your own distributorship, and can managed to stay focused on keeping it simple, and not being all things to all people when it comes to what you stock, it could work.

bob carnie
12-Aug-2016, 11:56
I see what Bob has seen in my own business (computers/networking). Many of the suppliers have nothing in stock or if they do, it's on the wrong coast. I used to be able to order nearly anything I wanted and have it next day with ground shipping. Not so anymore. I often have to order off more common Internet retailers and wait in line with normal retail customers to get parts. Suppliers are keeping less in inventory.

Fortunately I have an empty garage next door, so we stock up on parts we know we'll use quickly and that have stable prices. Keeping a big stock of parts to be our own distributor is expensive in terms of cash flow as it's no longer just in time ordering for what we stockpile. Extra care has to be taken so that we do not stockpile items we're not apt to use quickly. There is some reward from the risk as well; some things, we never used to stock because we thought they were obscure, now sell quickly because we have them handy. We do save a little in shipping too, but probably lose that back in terms of storage space costs. If you build a very focused inventory for your own distributorship, and can managed to stay focused on keeping it simple, and not being all things to all people when it comes to what you stock, it could work.

Thanks for this as I see you get my idea or problem. Distribution is no longer here folks.

Problem that I see is keeping a tight lid on the product. I am only going to stock the items that my full service facility offers. I do use all the materials and I do not offer things like coloured matts or cheap glass.
I never stray with options on glass , mattboard or mouldings, so I can see that if I stock it I must make sure that I don't piss it away with my staff or myself using it for self projects.

Light Impressions was a very unique visit for me then a young printer/photographer and it was a delight to visit. I think that in my City there is enough people to make something like this. Studio Supply like Drew mentions is kind of what I want to do but in my case I will only sell what I personally use in my fine art operation.

Bob Salomon
12-Aug-2016, 12:10
I am in the process of starting a somewhat different approach to my client base- I need to have services, items, that I directly do not have to produce myself. Unfortunately / Fortunately I have a client base that wants
my printing, but for my long term security I need other avenues of income or I will never leave the building.

In my area I think I could set up a ( light impressions circa 1980 model) how many remember going to Rochester- three main reasons- Kodak visit- Eastman House Visit- or a visit to Light Impressions.
so I do think I could become somewhat of a distributer- just not as big as some.
If my supplier now cannot deliver the product next day as they are not willing to inventory then I think the door is open for me to do it.

Re Trade Shows - the world has flattened- the internet is the new showroom.

Bob,
In the Photo industry Light Impressions was a dealer. They also bought, either here or off shore, items that they would private label under their own name and sell as a dealer. Any really large customers of theirs could source the same items, unless they may have been designed specifically for Light Impressions, and buy in the same quantities. Today you can see other photo dealers also buying name brand products as well as private label off shore products that will be sold under their own label. B&H is very successful at doing this! And many dealers that do due this probably also still have industrial and Government sales divisions. Most every camera store went after bids from those areas of business. Even mom/pop dealers.

And yes, the world has flattened. But how are you going to handle, feel, try new product to make an informed decision? Have a sale person visit you on a regular basis for each line? Go to shows quarterly, semi annually or annually? Visit each factory periodically?
The Internet may have flattened the world and you can read opinions of people you may or may not know and have some or no idea of how their comments apply to you. Are the left or right handed? Are they a weight lifter or weak? Are they male or female? Are their needs identical to yours? Do they have your experience? Do they have full use of their limbs? Is their eyesight the same as yours? What does the product feel like in your hand? How does it fit? What adjustments might you have to make or does the company have to? Ever cut tempered glass? What does it smell like? You are right. It is a flattened world today. But that doesn't necessarily help you make an informed buying decision. And, oh yes, a dealer or a distributor may allow returns. But a manufacturer usually will only allow them for defective products from a distributor within a specified time. The goal of the manufacturer is to move as much inventory as possible out the door, not have it come back. In fact many manufacturers may just instruct the distributor to destroy the item and reorder a replacement with their next order.

bob carnie
12-Aug-2016, 12:45
Thanks Bob

I feel that there is a complete void in my neck of the world and cannot speak to other locations world wide. I feel that the products I use are very common to the other photographers in my area.
I see Freestyle and B&H really kicking ass these days as they seem to be able to fill any need. But I am talking about more niche products than they would ever think of selling.

I have dealer status in Framing and Photo Lab related services.
Light Impressions that I remember was a end destination for people within a days drive from Rochester. A days drive to my location includes millions of people as Toronto is a major hub.
I am from a small group of lab people that serviced photographers with film development , portfolio printing and custom framing, this was a community .

The advent of digital basically killed all the hangout labs that I cut my teeth in, Today my shop includes a gallery , frame shop and printing- I see the next viable option as being a vehicle to sell products to all
the art photographers using the same products I do . I think by having a destination I can create a hangout like the old days, just I will be the old fart sitting in the corner as time goes on.

I do not need to go to trade shows for this, and I think that cutting out the middle man in this case is valid.. Who is the middle man these days anyway when they do not stock and have to make the same phone calls that I could easily make to get product? , and the manufactures are competing directly- see Ilford direct labs. This was unheard of years ago but the flattening of the world has had a huge impact. I cannot blame my distributers to have little stock , but I also am not going to let this corner me to submission.

For me its a decisive decision to make sure I have a secure product to do my own work , and if I can financially swing it I see no reason not to become a destination location for products a small group of us use.
I spend a considerable time sourcing material for projects that come my way, lately (last 5 years) our distributers have fallen short with stock. I am considering a large walk in freezer for material I use and have available
for others, not to mention a complete U Frame it kind of solution for people who like me in the 70's wanted to drive to a location that actually had stock I was interested in.

I cannot speak for where Light Impressions went with their business model but at one point it was a wonderful operation.

Remember the couple who made Pd pre coated paper, boy I wish they were still around , only about 30 years ahead of their time.

Drew Wiley
12-Aug-2016, 12:51
I don't think Bob C. wants to compete with B&H or get involved in private labeling. I've seen this routine tried many times by startups, nearly all ending with utter exhaustion. This is also the era of thousand pound monsters lurking on the web with too good to be true pricing, willing to gamble on unsustainably low profit margins. He could do exactly what even the big art stores do - buy relevant things by the case and sell them by the sheet, or buy a few hundred sheets at a time for volume pricing, and sell by the package at a better rate than the art stores. I have a personal resale license (in addition to my day job) and have done this myself with volume order of matboard or mounting board, combining quantity for my own ongoing use as well as friends who do volume mounting and framing.

bob carnie
12-Aug-2016, 13:04
I don't think Bob C. wants to compete with B&H or get involved in private labeling. I've seen this routine tried many times by startups, nearly all ending with utter exhaustion. This is also the era of thousand pound monsters lurking on the web with too good to be true pricing, willing to gamble on unsustainably low profit margins. He could do exactly what even the big art stores do - buy relevant things by the case and sell them by the sheet, or buy a few hundred sheets at a time for volume pricing, and sell by the package at a better rate than the art stores. I have a personal resale license (in addition to my day job) and have done this myself with volume order of matboard or mounting board, combining quantity for my own ongoing use as well as friends who do volume mounting and framing.

Yes - Unique items that are hard to source- Stuff I use myself- and a willingness to purchase and resell. I would not be buying products, but rather consumables. For example portfolio boxes are really difficult to source, print files are really difficult to source, basic chemical components are difficult. Custom cut matts , sleeves for matts.

This kind of source stuff that comes from 40 different locations, I would concentrate on them. B& H must have a couple of thousand items - I am not thinking this game whatsoever.

Drew Wiley
12-Aug-2016, 13:38
It sure can be frustrating! Yeah, I can get very common sizes of cheap gray or tan portfolio boxes down the street or places like B&H, but nice museum cases now seemingly have to come from Archival Methods in NYC, since Light Impressions for all practical purposes bit the dirt, though I'm damn tempted to make my own, really deluxe. Gotta see if I get a second wind once I'm retired and don't have to deal with the daily freeway rat race anymore. I already have enough to do, house remodeling and making use of all my lab equipment printing, not to mention quite a bucket list of places still to go and photograph. If things take off, the only new toy I need to add would be a Speedmat, versus my ole linear one. I tend to buy matboard around a thousand bucks a pop, or equivalent full wholesale packages. Keep on hand both buffered and non-buffered museum ragboard, certain flavors of Aphamat, quite a bit of mounting board of significantly higher quality than one can buy at the Art stores. Need to restock my glazing supplies, but won't do that until I'm back in higher gear. I can cut my own AR glass
as well as AR plastic just as good as any official source.

Bob Salomon
12-Aug-2016, 14:21
Thanks Bob

I feel that there is a complete void in my neck of the world and cannot speak to other locations world wide. I feel that the products I use are very common to the other photographers in my area.
I see Freestyle and B&H really kicking ass these days as they seem to be able to fill any need. But I am talking about more niche products than they would ever think of selling.

I have dealer status in Framing and Photo Lab related services.
Light Impressions that I remember was a end destination for people within a days drive from Rochester. A days drive to my location includes millions of people as Toronto is a major hub.
I am from a small group of lab people that serviced photographers with film development , portfolio printing and custom framing, this was a community .

The advent of digital basically killed all the hangout labs that I cut my teeth in, Today my shop includes a gallery , frame shop and printing- I see the next viable option as being a vehicle to sell products to all
the art photographers using the same products I do . I think by having a destination I can create a hangout like the old days, just I will be the old fart sitting in the corner as time goes on.

I do not need to go to trade shows for this, and I think that cutting out the middle man in this case is valid.. Who is the middle man these days anyway when they do not stock and have to make the same phone calls that I could easily make to get product? , and the manufactures are competing directly- see Ilford direct labs. This was unheard of years ago but the flattening of the world has had a huge impact. I cannot blame my distributers to have little stock , but I also am not going to let this corner me to submission.

For me its a decisive decision to make sure I have a secure product to do my own work , and if I can financially swing it I see no reason not to become a destination location for products a small group of us use.
I spend a considerable time sourcing material for projects that come my way, lately (last 5 years) our distributers have fallen short with stock. I am considering a large walk in freezer for material I use and have available
for others, not to mention a complete U Frame it kind of solution for people who like me in the 70's wanted to drive to a location that actually had stock I was interested in.

I cannot speak for where Light Impressions went with their business model but at one point it was a wonderful operation.

Remember the couple who made Pd pre coated paper, boy I wish they were still around , only about 30 years ahead of their time.

Could there really not be a glass distributor in the largest city in ON?

Drew Wiley
12-Aug-2016, 15:25
There are not only channels of distribution, but channels of awareness. For example, within a hour or so, several different directions, there are massive plastics
distributors that stock volume fomeboard of quality, variety, and pricing options that no artist or photographer would even imagine. They don't even know how to instantly search for these options on the web because they automatically assume something else, and likewise grub around for mal-formed opinions when official tech sheets can be instantaneously obtained. A career model maker, set designer, or trade show specialist would respond completely differentl. Analogously, I routinely notice how darkroom enthusiasts go nearly insane looking for esoteric pieces of equipment that are downright abundant on the used graphics arts or prepress market. They just don't realize that particular market even exists. So yeah, there are general glass distributors who offer museum glass too, but artists
and photographers might not be comfortable dealing with an industrial supplier, or visa versa. Hobby woodworkers might think the same thing about me. I don't
inherently dislike them, but there are other venues catering to them, and I frankly can turn more money in five minutes with a pro than in a week haggling with
a tire kicker. There are huge coffee and restaurant suppliers around here too, but nobody hangs out there to chat with their friends over a cup of Java. So I can
see how a venue combining lab services, workshops, display opportunities, and convenient supplies can create a niche (hopefully with a pot of good coffee too!).
There are numerous successful niche photography or art-related businesses like that in this very neighborhood. But they are also all shy of the kind of remaining niche I can envision, at the higher end, qualitatively.

Sal Santamaura
12-Aug-2016, 16:06
...the manufactures are competing directly- see Ilford direct labs...I don't know the situation in Europe, but, for North America, "Ilford Direct" is a marketing ploy. I'm not sure whether HARMAN actually gets a cut of the net or if it's just doing this to promote sale of film, paper and chemicals. Either way, Swan Photo Labs in San Clemente, California, two miles from where I live, is the actual entity performing all "Ilford Direct" work.


...I cannot speak for where Light Impressions went with their business model but at one point it was a wonderful operation...It was indeed a wonderful operation. From my own experience and other indications, it's business model seems to have transitioned into some form of Ponzi scheme. :D

Drew Wiley
15-Aug-2016, 08:42
So here's how you get rich on a gallery: your rent it out on weekends to wild parties. I had no idea that was going on around here, but apparently it has been going
on awhile in gallery row, downtown Oakland. Done on the sly, without proper zoning permits. People complained, nothing happened. Now that three people got shot
in one of those drug-crazed raves, with two dead, looks like the situation will finally get mopped up. But their lawyers are claiming these were all artists who simply had a dispute. Interesting, cause you can't exactly pack 300 artists at a time into some little wine and cheese venue.