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Thinking of raising fees on new clients only for 2010.

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  • Thinking of raising fees on new clients only for 2010.

    Has anyone done it this way? Just raising prices on new clients and not existing clients(Next year I might raise them). I'm happy with the current dogs I have and the pricing but it seems like the big franchise groomer around here has raised prices again from what I have been hearing from callers. With gas prices going up, it and shampoo's inching up a little it seems like the right time to raise them for me too. People seem to be surprised at how affordable my pricing is compared to them. Even the big box stores seem to charge close to what i charge when before it seems like they were $10-20 cheaper. I personally haven't checked since I don't feel the need to waste their time with price shopping. But boy I am curious! Even standard poodle and doodle owners don't mind my pricing and think its a great deal compared to the other places. I'm not cheap either! I guess I just need someone to tell me to go for it!

  • #2
    I started giving out my 2010 prices to new clients last September but waited till Jan 1 to start telling existing clients about the new price. So far I have only had 1 client complain, but she is kind of ornery to start with, so I take her with a smile and a grain of salt. I dont think she is going anywhere over a 5.00 increase especially when I had not raised her price in over 3 years...and sweetly reminded her of that when she griped. Most everyone else is totally cool with the price increase and I think kind of expected it because they had started asking me before writing the check "Is it still the same price?"

    Go ahead and raise your prices to everyone if you have not done an increase in a while. Everything is going up and we gotta keep our bills paid too....


    • #3
      Yea, i know what u mean

      I need to raise mine too. I did talk to one of the girls that does the "big franchise" mobile when i was at a dog event and i was shocked to hear how much she was charging for a golden retriever bath. She is not the owner and she didn't agree with it, but she said her owner really went nuts raising prices and she said alot of people are not asking her back (not rebooking) b/c of the price or they end up not making an appt. For a golden bath, she was charging what i charge to do an allover haircut/shave. I have been quoting a little higher to new customers. I still have price shoppers that are shocked when they hear what i charge. I think they forget they are calling mobile. oh yea, downtown dogs , will you pm me with your business name and phone # again and what area you do. I got petpixies info but need yours too. I do get quite a few calls from n. raleigh and i'm not goin that far! Are u n. raleigh?


      • #4
        I find if they are writing a check they shrug it off but if they are paying with cash they get defensive


        • #5
          Raised Prices Here

          I did that and find that my regulars are not complaining. The only ones I didn't raise were the ones that take me less time and the parents leave me a great tip. I have a family with 3 big dogs and they always tip me 20.00 per dog. I also have two sweet yorkies that get a bath every two weeks and they're both in full coat. Together they take me less than an hour. The only problem I have is remembering to tell them the new price when each client is writing a check. I told regulars (except the ones mentioned above) my prices were going up 5.00 after their last appt for 2009. Every one of these clients is reminding me.


          • #6
            We made adjustments to our fees, mostly raising prices on the larger dogs and keeping the prices on the smaller dogs the same. We also took Chuck Simon's advice and started a preferred customer program. People like it, and we are beginning to actually see a profit instead of breaking even or worse, losing money.

            Since my husband is retired military, I don't have to sweat so much about the business keeping my body and soul together, as his retirement check pays our personal bills. Thank God for that. But I do the grooming, I love my work, I love making money doing it even more.

            People understand that even though we supposedly had no increase in our cost of living, they can see fuel prices are going up, taxes are going up, and our business isn't the only one raising prices. So long as you're not greedy about it you shouldn't lose the customers you value.

            "With God's help, all things are possible!"
            Laura Lee Ray
            I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on


            • #7

              Go for it!


              • #8
                Thinking of raising fees on new clients only for 2010.

                Absolutely! I decided any dog that takes me more than one hour is going up $5.00 and the couple of standard poodles that I groom are going up $10.00. I know in many cases I am not charging enough, so i am slowly but surely trying to get my prices where they should be.


                • #9
                  We charge by the hour so you are never shorted and all of our clients get it. We upped our price back when gas prices went through the roof. Haven't done it again. May do it in a year or so and give it to my stylist.


                  • #10
                    Hey, Downtown.

                    I was thinking of doing the exact same thing! I need to make myself sit down & do it. How have you been?

                    Geddy, I got a call from someone today that was referred by you & booked her. Thanks!



                    • #11
                      I try and look at it from the viewpoint of the customer - I would be royally corked off if I discovered I was being charged five bucks more for my dog than someone else was being charged for theirs, everything else being equal.


                      • #12
                        "Everything else being equal"

                        Originally posted by Doubledogdare View Post
                        I try and look at it from the viewpoint of the customer - I would be royally corked off if I discovered I was being charged five bucks more for my dog than someone else was being charged for theirs, everything else being equal.
                        Dear Downtowndogs and all who want to raise their prices,

                        Good for you! HooRay!!! I have been telling groomers to check their Big Box Stores forever and on a regular basis because they raise their prices on an ongoing basis. They price correctly for their areas and you should be 10%-20% more then them. Cut out the dead weight and difficult clients and bring on the easy good paying and good tipping ones!

                        The heck with just being an "old customer" if they are not Preferred Clients (Clients who book in advance and stay a schedule) then they pay top dollar whether they were old customers or not!

                        Hell if you are going to go for it then "Go For It" Seriously your customers come and go, ebb and flow, some move away, some die, some book once or twice a year whether their dog needs it or not but what stays the same is your good loyal rebooking, regular clients who tip and bring you gifts you actually like and let's call them your "Preferred Clientele, everyone else pays top dollar. This isn't let's make a deal.

                        Take you existing clients on a client by client basis. Definitely raise your prices at least by 10% then give anyone a 10% discount for booking in advance. What this does is raise everyones prices including your existing clients but they now are actually paying the same if they rebook, effectively turning a 3-4 time a year client into a 6-8 time client.

                        If they do not book and get the increase most don't complain because they had the ability to stay the same price by being regular and rebooking. Your new clients will all pay the increase.

                        If you want to accelerate your increase you can raise your existing clients 10% and your new clients by 20%, giving your new clients 10% off for rebooking. This keeps your old loyal clients at the same price for rebooking and your new clients increased if they are one time clients by 20%.

                        It is your business and you can ask whatever you want for your services. Who says you must charge ever customer the same price? They don't have to use your services. Just like you can acquire, train and pay employees at different rates so can you acquire, train and charge a clientele at different rates. Who ever says they charge everyone the same is full of it because we constantly are giving people breaks. Doesn’t that count as charging people differently?

                        The title of my new book and seminar series is "The Land of Making Money". Not, "Will my clients be upset that I am raising my prices". They are my clients and I can charge whatever I want to. If they do not like it then they can "Find Another Groomer". When it comes to my business and my livelihood "It's my way or the highway."

                        When I talk to groomers at the 20-25 Grooming Shows I exhibit at each year I ask what they charge for a hand scissored clip on a mini poodle or bischon. I am flabbergasted at when groomers tell me they charge $25-$35. I tell them what we charge at the Pet Salon they say, "Well where do you live?" and I reply, "I live in [b]"The Land of Making Money."[/b] where do you live in the land of giving it away?

                        There are good grooming clients who will pay for expert services in all locations. This is why retailers give people choices you may buy the same product for half at a Wal-Mart then at a Macys in the same location. Better doctors, lawyers also charge differently. Actually no one is exactly the same because the service they give you isn't the same.

                        Seriously how many of us did a market survey to see what our market would bare? How many of us did a business analysis of what our costs were, what we needed to make personally and charged accordingly. Most just established their prices and went with it. No increases one price fits all and away they went forever.

                        Everyone has their own formula how to price themselves and most are hit and miss. Some charge because they want to compete in their area with the other shops that are already low balling themselves and end up with low figures.

                        I think that the GP has a poor image of Pet Groomers (other then our customers) and I also think Pet Groomers think of themselves the same way (some of them). They are not worthy of what a plumber, electrician or other trades person makes but still call themselves professionals.

                        $25 for a full hand-scissored groom is ludicrous. The Pet Salon charged $25 in 1985 that is 25 years ago. At a dollar increase each year that should have me making $50 per groom. Well in those years we had a few 10% raises.

                        I will not touch a dog or cat whether it is a Chihuahua or pug for less then $60 because that is what I have to charge to pay my rent, overhead, employees, and make a decent living for myself and my family. Are there others in my area who charge less you better believe it? Could I get more customers by being less expensive, absolutely? Will I lower my prices NO WAY! For I get twice as much and work half as hard in [b]"The Land of Making Money"[/b]

                        I have as many have built a business for a select segment of our pet owning customers. They have stayed with our business since 1983 and we are now working on third generation dogs. You build and cater to your "Preferred Clientele" and everyone else pays top dollar. No one is going to promote me because I am hungry. I have set my standards and I live by them.

                        Am I losing business? Sure but I don't want that kind of business I leave that for the Corp stores and the other groomers who work for virtually nothing or even worse go into debt.

                        So, where is the [b]"Land of Making Money"?[/b] It is in your head. It is an "attitude" that you are the best, you are worth it and you will not lower yourself to work for less for any reason and you will charge the way that makes you thrive and successful.

                        Football players, basketball players, baseball players would play for free for the love of the game. They do not negotiate their contracts. They get an agent to ask for $20,000,000 and guess what, they get it.

                        We are our own worst enemies when we price ourselves as we ask ourselves what we would pay if we were looking for a dog groomer. Or what does everyone else charge. Or what do we think is a fair price. None of these questions have anything to do with what you really need to charge to make a living, pay your business bills and grow a successful business?

                        This post is for the groomers who are not happy with what they earn or new groomers looking to start a new business. Please do not use my views to justify how you price yourselves currently. My views are that the majority of groomers are under priced which affects all of us as an industry.

                        Can groomers make more money? Absolutely! When? When they start believing in themselves and develop and implement a plan to do so. I think that Ma and Pa shops, mobiles, in-home groomers who are worth their salt should be at least 10% higher then the Big Box Stores yet most charge half of what they charge. You should at least be the same. Use them as today’s standard pricing not the groomer down the street who has charged the same for the last 25 years and are low-balling themselves.

                        There are many more tips and ways to make money at your business. My first seminar is at the Atlanta Pet Fair in March. I fly to Crufts in Birmingham, England for my next show. Then we will be doing another seminar at Intergroom, The Colorado Groomfest and Canada Grooms and most of the shows we will attend this year.

                        [b]Groomers Helper wants to help all groomers be the best that they can be and make the most that they can make.[/b] We are dedicated to the Industry that has adopted us. I can be reached toll free at 1-866-987-2426 anytime I am not doing a show.

                        Don't wait. Make a new year's resolution that this year 2010 "The Year of The Pet Groomer" the year you will break out of the Land of Giving it Away to enter [b]"The Land of Making Money".[/b]

                        Good Luck and Godspeed,

                        Last edited by Chuck; 01-13-10, 05:09 AM.


                        • #13
                          Amen, Chuck!

                          I live a in a teensy, mostly welfare town and I do venture into the next two towns that are within 25 miles of me, but most of mywork is done in my town. There are about 3 or 4 (or 5) mobile groomers within this area and I think I'm the highest priced. Not becasue I'm the best groomer, but because I found out what I'm worth. I even factor in the price of cleaning up my trailer after I'm done. I always arrive on time, ready to work, with a big smile for my clients and strive hard to put out quality work. My client list growing every week and it's mostly by word of mouth.


                          • #14

                            Thanks, Chuck! I needed to figure out how to implement it! :/ I think I need to have you record this so I can listen to it over and over...maybe then I'll get it burned into my memory and hear it automatically when I start to waiver! Here's to a profitable 2010!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PetPixie View Post
                              Hey, Downtown.

                              I was thinking of doing the exact same thing! I need to make myself sit down & do it. How have you been?

                              Geddy, I got a call from someone today that was referred by you & booked her. Thanks!

                              Hey Petpixie! That seems to be my trouble now is actually sitting down and doing it. I've been good but the cold is starting to get to me. Are you raising it on existing and future clients or just new?