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I asked a HUMAN salon owner...

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  • I asked a HUMAN salon owner...

    Interesting info...

    One of my clients owns two upscale human hair salons in my town. I told her that I had a client with a yorkie puppy that was considering growing and maintaining a full coat, which would require weekly grooming and was looking for advice on pricing.

    I asked her if she had a client that wanted to come in once a week vs. once every 6 weeks to have her hair shampooed, trimmed and styled, would she offer it at a discounted rate. I asked her to consider that the amount of time it took to do the weekly client vs. the 6 week client and how the difference would be minimal (to which she agreed). I asked her to consider that if she were to discount this weekly client, that could be replaced with 5 other 6 week clients besides the one, the amount of income that would be lost per appointment due to that discounted rate.

    Her answer was that she would never discount her services, but she would offer every 10th appointment for free.

    What are your thoughts on this everyone?

    IMO, I think it makes more sense financially to offer free upgrades rather than mess with your bottom line. However, my one and only weekly client who I DO give a good discount to, doesn't keep her appointment every week. I like the client and the little dog well, and whether we wait 1 week or 3, he doesn't take me any more or less time. I would not take on another weekly client even at full price just because of the headache of last minute cancellations, etc., but I thought it would be fun to ask a similar industry their thoughts...

  • #2
    I've always felt that giving a discount for people that want to come in every week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks or whatever didn't make sense financially. IMO I could book an appointment in their slot and do a full priced dog that takes basically the same amount of time. I like the idea that every 10th haircut is free. But I agree, discounting your services isn't always the answer.


    • #3
      I give $5 off for dogs that come in every 2 weeks or less. My reasoning is that the coat will be in much better shape and therefore quicker and easier to groom. But the best thing is that the behavior of the dog is so much better than those that only come in occasionally which saves me a lot of time and effort.


      • #4
        I agree that it doesn't make sense to groom a dog at a discount when one could be grooming another dog at full price. However, if the full priced dog only comes in during the busy months and the discounted dog comes in every month, well there could be something to that discount. I’m not sure.

        I‘m thinking about raising my prices so the discounted dog is paying the price I want and the random dog is paying a premium. I will have a coupon (and I’m usually against this) for first time clients since the regular price is rather steep. The coupon will be part of an ad I will be running anyway because I am new and need more clients. If I don’t see the dog again until next Christmas, they will be paying a lot for the groom but if they come back regularly, they will be paying the price I want. Once I have sufficient clients, I will drop the coupons. My concern is whether there are enough people in my area who get their dog groomed regularly. Those who just want to come in OAY will probably go someplace cheaper.


        • #5
          Not much to discount

          I agree that clients coming in every 1 or 2 weeks take pretty well as much time as a monthly one, so since the time is not reduced, why would the price be a lot less?? An exception is a weekly or bi-weekly "bath and tidy" versus a full haircut, I suppose. The tidy can be less because it takes less time. But a full coat will likely require conditioner (extra time and product) and extra time and care drying; as a puppy, the time will be one thing, but will increase as the coat grows.

          That being said, I have bought a business where some drastic price reductions were given for such clients, and I am now dealing with that and sorting through which ones must go up. Initially I lost quite a few of those regulars, anyway, which was not totally a bad thing, since the prices were so low.

          Basically, the price for our time should be figured, and if someone wants to pay for it weekly, that is their choice. It is not up to us to subsidize them. Just my 2 cents.


          • #6
            Sometimes I forget to add that I am MOBILE. So, I suppose for those working in salons, it may be not so bad to discount, but, I am driving to the clients home and booking enough time for a one on one appt, so the time savings is very little for a mobile groomer in the whole scheme of things.


            • #7
              I have a customer/client that wanted a discounted price for a weekly bath and brush. The agreement was that she had to book the appointments in advance for 4 weeks, if she didn't or if she didn't call me each week to book in , then she would have to pay normal price.
              I left the decision with her. First two months she booked up 4 weeks at a time, got her discounted price. After that, she didn't book and she didn't come in each week, so, she paid normal price plus dematting fee. Her choice.
              (she has a long haired shih tzu)


              • #8
                If every 10th appointment was free, then it's 10% off total for all 10 grooms. It's still a discount. The only thing you got out of the deal was a person who was guaranteed to let you come to them 10 times. That's it.

                I feel with mobile, price discounts just aren't supposed to be part of the business model. Same with house call. You're losing time, gas money, and vehicle upkeep going to that person's house at a now 90% revenue margin, which is not part of the equation with a stationary business.

                The only other option is to RAISE your prices 10%, then offer rebook discounts of 10% for new customers so that your customers feel like they're getting a good deal.

                I could understand maybe a free teeth brushing or a special shampoo for a regular client on occasion, but otherwise, no discounts. That's just me.


                • #9
                  I am happy to give a small discount for every 4 week clients. The appointments must be paid for at the beginning of the year. Funny how when the appointment is already paid for the customer suddenly starts respecting my schedule better.
                  "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                  People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nancyk1029 View Post
                    I give $5 off for dogs that come in every 2 weeks or less. My reasoning is that the coat will be in much better shape and therefore quicker and easier to groom. But the best thing is that the behavior of the dog is so much better than those that only come in occasionally which saves me a lot of time and effort.
                    really... I find the more they come the WORSE they are... and of course the ones who don't come often enough are Worse too...seems the 4 and 6 week dogs are the best. 8 weekers usually aren't too bad... the 2 or more weekers usually jump into my arms, but then snarl and snap at me throughout the groom... I figure it must have something to do with the type of person who wants their dog groomed that often, and how their personality and energy reflects in the dog...


                    • #11
                      I have one client that is on a weekly schedule. He is a maltipoo. He gets a haircut once a month and a bath and brush all the other weeks of the month. I give a nice discount (approx. 1/2 price of full groom) to him for the b&b because he is in such good shape (I charge full price for full groom, btw). He takes me 20-30 minutes from beginning to end and his haircut takes me about and hour and 10 min. Now the deal is, if for whatever reason, he misses his b&b appt. he still pays. The fee is for a dog that is being maintained weekly. If he misses a week I am doing 2 weeks work of work the next time he comes in. The client is fine with that and pays me the first wed of every month upfront.
                      I think it is a good deal. I work on him less than 3 hours a month and get paid good for it. You just need to take into account the amount of shampoo, water, electric and any other products you use on him. And of course you wouldn't discount your travel if you are mobile.
                      Mandy, Birdie, Evie, Willie and The Woo
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                      • #12
                        I disagree SO much with this. I have 10 or so weekly clients at half the full price. They are here EVERY SINGLE WEEK. SO lets say its $2 a week (it isn't, but lets just say), that is $104 a year. If its a once a month client at $4 a month, then its $48 a year.....YOU do the math. My bathing staff does the dogs most of the time. I never have to touch them UNLESS they need trimming. They do nails when needed, pads, sanitaries and I do face and feet. They take MUCH less time, MUCH less energy, dry faster, use less shampoo (I mean they are NEVER dirty) are better behaved, at least mine are, and because they are usually a bath, they do NOT take away from my grooming ability for the day. I can still take sogs for full price except on days that these guys need grooming.

                        My Biweekly dogs are a little more like 3/4 the price, and I have LOT of them as well. My maintenence plan clients pay my rent every single month. I never have to worry about the rent money coming in regardless.

                        BTW my hairdresser DOES (well DID before he left for health reasons) discount for weekly services, because, like me, he did wash, dry, style, two weeks or three weeks then trimmed.

                        NOW that being said, if they want a FULL GROOM every week they pay. I do not have any of those. I DO have every 3 week dogs that want full grooms every 3 weeks....they pay full price.

                        I do not see mobile being able to do this. BUT in a shop with a bathing staff it is perfectly acceptable and easy to do. It works really well for me and I would NOT be able to justify charging full price to my people who take me so little time. Lucy and Rickie are full coated shih mixes. They take 15 minutes to dry (roughly) and they go home just brushed out most of the time. They get FFTT once a month. They get bathed, conditioned, dried and sent home in less than a half hour each. I make a LOT of money off this family and the dogs are wonderfully maintained. I simply do not understand HOW you can say they take just as long as monthly dogs. They do NOT. Macy was in yesterday., Full caoted Shih with as much hair as Lucy. SHE took a half hour to dry becuase she has not been maintained well at home. If she came in every week it would be a lot b etter, but she doesn't and will never. She gets charged more than double what Lucy's mom pays. She takes more time, therefore she pays more......
                        <a href="" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain


                        • #13
                          I think it also depends on you business model. Do you have bather/brushers or you work by yorself? If you have somebody else bathing drying dogs and you could take in an extra easy dog it makes sense to give them adiscount to keep them coming in. Like if you have a bather that you pay x/hour and your discounted groom pays for three hours of bathers vaiges and takes half an hour to complete becase it comes in so often, it is beneficial for you to bring that client in as often as possible even at discounted rate.
                          If you work by yourself you have to watch you bottomline and make sure that every client who takes up a slot pays as much as any other client who could have taken its slot.
                          Does it make sense?
                          "Discounting" in itself is not a bad strategy. It is how you apply, amkes or brackes the business.
                          I am an "IC" in boarding facility located in area what has a grooming school and an overpopulation of groomers. We have at least 12 grooming shops in five mile radius. We are not in rural area but we are no where as densely populated as NYC.
                          This business been here for four years and we are building our clientale slowly but steadily.
                          Our prices are comparable to those of Petsomethign in town and as an average $5-15 higher than most shops around, even after discount.
                          We offer 10% to clients who PRESCHEDULE their appointments in advance and keep it. We have to make sure that we explain it right and offer them to reschedule at drop of and remind at pick up. It works for us.
                          I don't feel like I am "discounting" my cervices at all. We are not at the point where we turn clients away or booked weeks out. And with amount of low charging groomers we have around every client that coems in on regular basis is needed. By motivating the client by discount we make them come here at least every 6 weeks and spend XX every time here, which over the ear time comes up to xxx in my pocket instead of my competition. By discounting I can keep my books full in advance.
                          I know how much money I have to make from each pet discounted or not to make a living.
                          When client comes in for the first time usually their pet had not been groomed for a while and out shape. I charge them according to the time I spend on tdog and make sure that their discounted price would not be less than it it would be worth for me to groom their dog for. I know for sure that overgrown dogs take me longer to bring back into shape than ones that come in on regular basis. So if client chooses to get on our program they pay the "base" price and if they chose to bring the dog when ewer they want they pay more. I also charge for matting and bad behaviour.