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  • prices are a problem

    I start mobile in february and when i start another groomer advice me to charge 55 and over but doing that i got 3 dogs in a week, since im charging 45 im getting 25 dogs a week avg. but im afraid that im doing something wrong, why mobile grooming is so expensive? am i missing something?

  • #2
    the reason mobiles charge more than the shops is because we can not do the number of dogs in a given day, that you could do in a shop. in order to make a living wage, you need to charge more. just as house calls by other service people are more expensive compared to in shop. you need to sit down and figure what it costs to run your business including your tax obligations, add what you need to live on. most mobile groomers are booked solidly by their 6th month. probably the number one regret mobile groomers have is charging too low upon start up.
    Certified Master Pet Tech Pet CPR, First Aid and Care Instructor
    "Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation." Henry Ward Beecher US Congregational Minister 1813-1887

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    • #3
      1.van payments 2.fuel 3.insurance 3.supplies 4.up keep on van & generator 5.taxes 6.general wear and tear on your unit 7.tax accountant and I know I'm forgetting something all this adds up so you have to charge more than salon to come out a head in the long run.

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      • #4
        I agree that you should find what your own overhead is, but even if it is low, I would try to at least stay in the range of other mobile groomers. This is a specialized service and is worth more. I would keep your fees premium and spend your time focusing on doing quality work, use the best products and don't burn yourself out. Make good impressions on your clients, give your best customer service and make them long-time clients that will tell everyone how great you are!

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        • #5
          I am not being smart but I could never figure out why mobiles are so much more than shops (except for gas of course, and that just keeps climbing). You still have expenses with shops. Loans (which mine is as much as a mobile van), insurance, rent, utilites, property taxes, property care, etc. It would seem to me to be the same but maybe I am wrong. I just always figured it was more because it was so much more easier for the customer going to them instead of them having to drive to your shop and also you have more one on one service than in most shops.

          What does it cost you guys in gas a week?

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          • #6
            Charging less then other mobiles in your area, you are going to get the price shoppers, and clients wanting something for cheap! We have mobile groomers here that are starting as low as $35,,,yes you saw that right...but they are going to be burned out and down the road in short order.

            My prices start higher than your suggested price...yes I do have some dogs that are below that, but...they are done every 2 weeks! So in a 4 week stime fram, I'm making way more than I would if I saw them every 4 weeks...and yes,,,I run the clippers over them each time, that way they take me less then 30 minutes a dog. Yes, I still make my minimum, though. gotta put fuel in the buggy.

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            • #7
              gas-far too much. it depends it you are diesel or gas. how large an area. i spend about $125 a week. most mobile will do 6/7 dogs a day, whereas in a shop could do 10/12. so even if expenses worked out the same. in order for me to make as much as you, i need to charge more.
              Certified Master Pet Tech Pet CPR, First Aid and Care Instructor
              "Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation." Henry Ward Beecher US Congregational Minister 1813-1887

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              • #8
                It costs me alot in gas a week, probably more than most, because I'm still driving more miles than most. I'm in CT and it costs me about $120 a week for gas, $100 every 4 weeks to have my generator's oil changed and spark plugs replaced. I do it religiously. It cost me $79 recently to have the van oil changed and the tires rotated. My insurance is about $2800 a year and my van payment just above $1000 per month. I have additional water payment because of filling up the van, and my electric bill, during the winter skyrockets because of having to plug in (its amazing how much those little heaters use).

                I was at my previous job (corp) today and was talking with a groomer friend of mine. Last week I groomed a cocker spaniel who I hadn't groomed since I worked there. We talk about who I groomed and who they groom. When she asked what they did wrong I said "nothing, he just said that the last few times he was here his dog was kept for 6 hours and he wasn't happy. She said "well, gee, doesn't he understand that we can't work just on his dogs, that we have others that we need to work on inbetween." to which I replied. "exacty, that is why people pay more for me.

                One reason Mobile is more expensive because of the convenience factor. When I do a dog, I am in the person's driveway, concentrating on that dog only...no phone calls, no people interupting, and I have my hands on the dog almost all the time and am never more than an arms length away. When I am in that driveway their dog is the most important dog there is, there's no dividing attention. Its more convenient because people don't have to take their time to drive back and forth to the groomer twice, which can, depending on where they're living, be a big chunk out of their day. This alone is worth more.

                Besides gas there is the wear and tear on the vehicle that needs to be taken into account as well.
                don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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                • #9
                  Well said furrybestjob could not have said it better myself!

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                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=furrybes additional water payment because of filling up the van, and my electric bill, during the winter skyrockets because of having to plug in (its amazing how much those little heaters use).
                    .[/QUOTE]

                    I know what you mean. My electric bill went up $75 last month from 2 little ceramic heaters.
                    If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PetsRus View Post
                      I am not being smart but I could never figure out why mobiles are so much more than shops (except for gas of course, and that just keeps climbing). You still have expenses with shops. Loans (which mine is as much as a mobile van), insurance, rent, utilites, property taxes, property care, etc. It would seem to me to be the same but maybe I am wrong. I just always figured it was more because it was so much more easier for the customer going to them instead of them having to drive to your shop and also you have more one on one service than in most shops.

                      What does it cost you guys in gas a week?

                      I think it was answered by WorkingChihuahua above. She said you can't do as many dogs in a day. I can do about 8 dogs a day at my shop. If I were mobile and had to drive between each dog, versus going to the next holding kennel to get the dog, that makes a huge difference in time. YOu have to consider the time factor in there. THEN there's the "convenience factor"---the mobile groomers are arriving right at their door. Wouldn't it be nice if your groceries were delivered that way? And there are some folks who do that---the ones who can afford it (I'm not one of them, lol). They are saving the dog's owners from having to make TWO trips to the groomers, and their dog is right outside their door, etc.

                      Gee, makes me want to go mobile.

                      DAGROOMER, don't cheat yourself. Do you want to be "a dog groomer" or the ULTIMATE dog groomer? It's your choice. There is nothing wrong with you wanting to charge average prices, but you'll get more price shoppers that way, and when they find a better deal, they'll go elsewhere. And you'll work harder because it'll be those dogs owned by the cheapos that want to spend the least amount of money, meaning their dogs aren't groomed as often, etc...

                      Tammy in Utah
                      Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by furrybestjob View Post
                        When she asked what they did wrong I said "nothing, he just said that the last few times he was here his dog was kept for 6 hours and he wasn't happy.
                        That really surprises me that a dog is left for 6 hours. I'm trying to figure out how they're scheduled so that a dog would be at a shop for 6 hours. Too many dogs? I generally tell people "3 hours, 3.5 max" for small dogs, often it's less. And for big dogs, 4 hours max.

                        Tammy in Utah
                        Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by furrybestjob View Post

                          Besides gas there is the wear and tear on the vehicle that needs to be taken into account as well.
                          Can I ask which van you have, Furry? I did a quick math check and you're paying out nearly $2000/month on average. HOLY SMOKES GIRL! I hope you're sizzlin' the town with grooming! I know those elites are like $75,000 right? Do you have an elite?

                          Tammy in Utah
                          Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                          • #14
                            Yes Tammy I wish I could have everything delivered to my house....... I would spend so much less. I go to the store for a few things and end up with a $200 bill everytime!

                            The reason I asked my original question is because there are only 2 mobiles in my area (and just recently started coming to this area), 1 that is new is hardly working. Both are double my prices. Most of this area I can say are cheap people. They want everything for nothing so I know that makes it hard on her. Some of my older clients I have suggested they try her and they will not pay that price being on a fixed income. I just never really could figure out until I read some of the posts how much more expensive it is. I still think the fact that they are double my prices are a little much.

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                            • #15
                              I can think of some other reasons we should and do charge more.

                              My insurance costs 2X the amount that the previous shop I worked at had for their entire shop and doggie daycare put together. That covered all groomers and employees. Well I am only one person and my policy is twice that amount.

                              Mobiles can only do so many dogs a day, and I promise my clients no cage drying only done by hand.

                              Driving time, after work I have to return phone calls, wash towels, clean my van, I spend a few hours atleast each month, usually on my weekend washing and detailing the interior and exterior. Hours spent on the internet reviewing product info, ordering supplies. It's definately not a 9 to 5 job.

                              The rate of an oil change for me is higher because I have to take my van to a shop that can accomodate my weight and height of my van. The breaks wear out faster, the maintenance and upkeep is more expensive. The generator upkeep is just crazy, the oil change alone is 95$, plus I have to drive it to a specialist almost an hour away and wait for the service to be performed.

                              When something goes wrong you spend hours trying to figure it out. I just cant think of anything else off the top of my head, but it will come to me.

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