A quality custom picture framer will offer you the following: years of design experience encompassing color theory, understanding of texture and visual weight, and a sense of balance and proportion. These attributes though teachable in theory are really mastered afters years or decades in the profession.
Your leading big box frame store lets new employees typically earning minimum wage and less than 32 hours a week design your frame. They are learning on the job on your framing. Hope you like the end result. If price is your only qualification then you will be happy with the end result. If quality of product and design are important to you then you will be unhappy with the end result.
Custom picture framing is not a commodity like a ready made frame from China. custom framing is a labor intensive procedure with American labor. How can it be offered at 50%-70% off? Does your carpenter, dentist, doctor, lawyer have sales? NO! If you offer custom picture framing with these discounts then one has to ask, “What is their retail price”? With their discounts many clients have told me that we were cheaper than them.
Google search Michaels Stores vs New York Attorney General. NY made Michaels Stores stop running discount coupons on the premise that if your custom framing is 50-70% off perpetually then that is your retail price.
Your choice. A seasoned vetern or a part time minimum wage employee.