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  • family & friend discount

    so thinking about becoming a mobile groomer and as I share this idea I have lots of friends and family saying they think its cool and that they would use my services....

    I just would feel wrong charging my friends & family... should I just discount the rate? should it be free ? I mean my dads dog I would do for free I think , but like my cousins step mom.. I would want to give her a break but I can't groom for free and make a living... what are some of your family-friend discount boundaries?


    Thanks

    Jenn

  • #2
    uggg

    I felt obligated to do so and it can be a pain. My family takes advantage of it, but almost all my friends actually pay more than what I tell them! Go figure. The ONLY dog I would do for free is my dad's. I even charge my brother. I don't give him a set price though. I just tell him whatever he can afford that month. He usually is pretty considerate. I guess most of my family and friends are about 10-20 cheaper than an actual groom price.
    You have to remember that if it wasnt for you they would be going somewhere else and paying the full price, so don't let them milk you for nothing. You still have a business to run and expenses to pay.

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    • #3
      I'm kinda struggling with this one too. I do house call grooming. My brothers fiancee e mailed me and asked if I could do her mothers Golden Retriever and how much I would charge her (expecting a big break in the price). My grooming prices are low to begin with. (probably a few bucks less then grooming shops in my area) She like 14 years old and full of aches and pains, but super sweet. First of all, she's almost and hour from me. I always charge a travel fee if the clients house is more then 10 miles from me. Second, I don't usually do dogs over 40 pounds because it's just too much "dog" to do in someones house. Especially when the hv blows hair everywhere. (I clean up my mess completely when I finish any groom). So, I've been really trying to decide if I should charge her the travel fee? Give her a break on grooming? She's almost family and a really nice lady. But it's so far away and this dog WILL be time consuming. I feel like I'll have to devote a whole day to her and only walk away with a few bucks after gas expenses, shampoo expenses, etc. It's a tough call.
      I always do my brothers dog for free, but he's like my own dog. I do my dads springer (a total nut case to groom) for free (but he always insists that I take money from him. I only take it from him because I know my stepwitch..er I mean step mother is actually paying for it).
      Any way, when I offer to do a friend or family's dog for free, they always insist that I take some money from them anyway. It may only be half of what I usually would charge, but I know these people are telling all of their friends and family about me, so it's good "word of mouth" advertsing, and we all know that's the best kind of advertising there is.

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      • #4
        STOPPPPPPP!!!!!!!
        Please dont make that mistake. My wife and i run 2 mobile units and have 1 employee. When we first started we did relatives and neighbors at discounted rates. The rates are half of what we charge now. They all seem to be non tippers and some expect you to just run over when they call. Having an employee now she cant do their dogs since i would have to make up the difference for her to be able to make a living. We also just charge large or small prices for them which is next to nothing . Our prices are normally breed specific. When your unit breaks whos gonna pay? Whos gonna clean and disinf the van. One neighbor wants one dog done one week and the other done the following week for the same price. THATS 2 CLEANINGS and my wife just goes with it. She doesnt want to piss anyone off! Please think this out relatives maybe a little off. Dont let fear of not being able to make the payments and just get the customers stand in your way. Now we are full and those discounted neighbor dogs are taking up the slot for a paying customer. ITS YOUR BUSINESS. One neighbor opened a womens accesories store and my wife went feeling she had too and she got no discount!!! The only plus is that neighbors are required to bring the dogs to us so we can plug in and not run the genny. Hope this Helps out.
        Non P aying
        R elatives
        O r
        F riends
        I ntroduces
        T rouble

        Thanks for letting me vent
        Collieguy

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        • #5
          family no biggie, i would just do it for free for immediate family. friends however and clse neighbors, it gets sticky. I hate doing grooms for friends i almost wish they would just go somewhere else imo. I give a discount but I try not to do it dirt cheap---that'll end up just biting me in the *ss in the end. When you become an owner in ANY profession, friends can put you in the poorhouse if you are not careful!

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          • #6
            I have one friend that has a SNZ, and I do him for free. But I'm not mobile, she brings him to me. I've been lucky with everyone else in my family, they all pay me what they'd have to pay if they didn't know me. Both sets of grand parents, aunts and uncles... They all pay me.
            I do my parent's dogs for free, of course, besides, I owe them my life, and like, a thousand dollars, so why would I charge them.... Not to mention, all their dogs are MY dogs from when I lived at home :P

            Well, maybe discount 5-10 bucks off the price, but I can't see doing it for free, unless they're parents, etc..

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            • #7
              I can understand about being torn on the idea on how much to charge friends and family. I am not a mobile groomer, so I don't have to worry about fuel prices in my decisions. But you would have to worrry about that. I have kind of narrowed it down to a couple of things in pricing. I usually (not always) will take $5 off a friends groom. It has to be a close friend of mine and not someone who is a friend of a friend. For family I usually take $10 off a groom. It all depends on what the groom would have been charged to begin with. But if the dog is matted or has behavior issues I still charge accordingly. I have done better discounts in my past 17 years of grooming, but I have found this to work the best. I get most of my money, they are happy and tell friends. And they get a cheaper rate which makes them happy. Hope this helps.

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              • #8
                I say No No and NO your dad your mom you can discount or do for free everyone else full price. I charge my sis full price..my aunt everyone. I started out giving discounts but became so busy with good paying clients and family would expect me to drop everything and groom their dog. So the price went up and they have to make app. I only lost my aunts dog and she goes to someone cheaper.

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                • #9
                  I have a friends boxer that I do for free once in awhile at my house (our dogs play together and they all get each other so slobbery and dirty). If she wants me to come to her, I told her just tip me for my gas, she gives me $40, which is less than what I would ask for from a client, but more than enough to cover my gas. I have neighbors that I groom their dogs at a discount as well, but I groom them in my own driveway and on a day off that is convenient for me, so their discount is not cutting into my regular business days. The way I see it now, I will do discounted dogs that are small in my home on occasion. If someone needs the true 'mobile' service, they must pay for the service. I don't do a lot in my home, however.

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                  • #10
                    Well, I'm a big pushover, so a lot of times, I'll give discounts, but you shouldn't!!! Mom, dad, I'd say yes. Otherwise, charge full price. If they give you a hard time, and ask why you're not giving them a discount when they're such good friends, you say, since you're such a good friend you wouldn't want someone to take advantage of me, and you know I need to make a living. As your friend they can find peace in knowing that they're getting quality service and can trust leaving their pets in your care. JMO.
                    Erin
                    No Fur, No Paws, No Service.

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                    • #11
                      I just went thrugh this with my Brother in Law, kind of long sorry He has a little puppy about 5 months old, i went and cut the nails for free, no biggie. I am mobile but went to his house in my car. He wanted to get the dog on a schedule to bathe him. Short hair, easy. I set up appointment, and when I got home, I said to my hubby, his brother, how much do you think I should charge? You know what he said? "He wants you to charge him?"!!! I said, "I dont know what he wants, but I am not in business to make nothing." Well, it would have been $35 off my starting price, so really cheap. He told him and he went ballistic. They got into a fight about it. Let me tell you, he has a bar and we ge a disount on food and drink, it is not free. Imagine that! My hubby even said we can just do trade, he would'nt have it. He was saying stuff like, I help you when you need it with the van, (ok one oil change and take out and put in a new battery charger) My husband told him, that is cuz we are family, this is a business. Needless to say, I am not doing the dog. I can have full paying customers and not worry about this. On the other hand, I do a friends dog free, she helps, he is a large white shepherd. I do it free because we eat over at their house all the time, hang with them all the time and they refer people to me all the time. She helps with my dogs when we are away, etc...Then they slip me money that I don't even want. My family would never expect me to groom for free. Sorry about my rant... just venting. Everyone else that I feel I am close with gets a $5.00 discount. Any more than that, I feel I am cheating myself.
                      What does a dog do on it's day off?

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                      • #12
                        This is might sound terrible to you. But my Mom owns 2 Standard Poodles which are very time consuming. My Mother in law also has two dogs a Maltese and a Shitzu. I do charge them my groom price. I have a trip charge that is charged to all my customers. I don't charge my family members the trip charge. I feel if you do one thing for one family member and something different for another it could cause problems so I do the same for both. They realize that I have to pay for my vehicle so they don't mind paying for the groom. They also like the fact that they don't have to take their dogs anywhere else.
                        ***Darlynn***
                        ***DON"T HATE ME BECAUSE IM POODLEFUL!!***

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                        • #13
                          I SO AGREE WITH zoomgroom

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                          • #14
                            I don't have to deal with this anymore, as I moved away from all my family and I dont have any friends. When I used to live back home, I would groom immediate family and one aunt for free. My family is very close and I wasn't doing anything for them that they wouldn't do for me. My brother, who is now a sheriff's deputy, used to do electrical work and mechanical work and all kinds of work... so if I had any of those problems I could give him a call and he would take care of it for me. The same goes with my dental assistant sister and her carpenter husband. My family is not the kind that keeps tabs. Right now, I would do anything to groom their dogs again.

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                            • #15
                              I started a thread about this exact situation a few months back.....I have a large immediate family and quite a few friends and I was doing everyone of there dogs for FREE.....I know...STUPID, STUPID, STUPID! It was while I was still "learning" and they were my practice dogs.....I have to say that most of them are MORE than generous and pay me more than I would actually charge BUT I have a SIL that takes HUGE advantage of me and I have had to put my foot down on the FREE grooming thing with her.....I have started charging her full price. She always brought her dog to me matted (did I say he was a Bichon) and infested with fleas. SHe has NEVER paid a dime to me! For that matter she has never even said thank you (did I say that he is handicapped and he stands with his back legs crossed and she wants him in a 1" scissor trim). Anyways, my suggestion would be don't do what I did......charge something!
                              Mandy, Birdie, Evie, Willie and The Woo
                              Check out my Blog at doggydivasdish.com

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