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They charge What!!!

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  • They charge What!!!

    A lot of Groomers in my area charge the same as the local shops, I only know of 2 mobile groomers and 1 shop that I used to work at that charge $20 more the the rest of the mobile groomers.

    Ive been getting a lot of price shopers and they never call back after I tell them my prices, Is it just me or is the whole point of going mobile is to work less and make more $$

    No wonder they are booked for weeks in advanced the owner is getting a sweet deal paying the same prices as the shops plus they waste the groomers gas and receive all the convenience and benefit of mobile grooming for the same exact price.

    Its make it a hard for a newbe to build up clients.

    Any advice should I price match for the 1st time??? it gets frustrating
    Ive been open for 4 months and still slow

  • #2
    I use to have a similar problem. I used to work at a vet clinic and I was the only groomer in the town, the next closest groomer was about 15 min away. Anyway the first year went well, business was great, and the clients were pleased. Then about half way through my second year working there a mobile groomer started coming out and grooming in town. I didn't think too much of it, because I figured her prices were a good 15-25% higher than mine. Well slowly I noticed that business was getting slower and slower, and then I would have clients who use to be regulars only come in when the mobile groomer couldn't get them in. It finally got to the point where I called the mobile groomer pretending to be a potential client to check her prices...low and behold she was about 5-10% cheaper than me. I couldn't believe it. I was shocked because I already thought my prices were way too low, but it was a small town so I didn't want to raise them too much when I first started. The owner of the vet clinic came to me asking me why the grooming business was slowing down and I told her that I couldn't compete with the mobile groomer. She doesn't require vaccs (the vet clinic required rabies, dhpp, and a bordetella), she comes to their house, she is cheaper...I just couldn't compete with that. I finally had to quit because the mobile groomer had taken so much of the business.

    I feel for you. It's very hard to compete with the people who under charge. Maybe when people call, you should make sure to tell them all the extras that you do along with the regular grooming. You have to make them feel like you are worth the extra money. I would maybe also give your current clients some business cards and tell them to refer their friends to you if they are happy with your business. Nothing is better than a referral. Most of the time people don't care about prices if they were referred. That has just been my observation.

    Good Luck!


    • #3
      If there are two mobile and a shop charging the higher prices and doing well, you know there is a market for it. The beginning is tough. It takes a while to prove yourself and get your name out there. When I started it seemed all the first calls I got were price shoppers and no one booked. Then all of a sudden I got people calling just to schedule who didn't even ask about the price. If these cheaper mobiles are booked really far out, there are going to be people who don't want to wait who really want the convenience of a mobile. It can be scary and frustrating. In the beginning most of my clients came from my website, where I have my prices listed, so they weren't in shock when I gave them an estimate. Once I got a few dozen clients under my belt and they started referring me to their friends everything just took off, but it was hard. There were weeks when I would have 1-2 dogs and that was it in the beginning. This month I will have been opened two years and I have dogs booked every day, usually booked two weeks out. I work evenings and Sundays. I hired a groomer during the day and she is already getting busy, faster than I did I think because my name has been out there for a bit now and I have a good reputation, and she is also excellent at what she does.
      I think you need to give yourself some time. If you choose to give a discount I would offer maybe a coupon, so people know it's a one time thing. Otherwise you might get stuck with people who expect the discount every time.
      What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.


      • #4
        Market research??

        Some of this should have turned up in your market research, but maybe it happened after you started.

        Whichever way it occurred, you now have to make a decision - quit or fight?

        One way you could "fight" is to add something that others don't - free toy/treat with every groom, free photo of the owners dog, etc. And/or you could offer days that others don't, maybe like Sundays or whatever. Just a few ideas...

        Or you could move to a more lucrative area where the prices are higher. That could be far more useful than fighting the "how low can we all go in our prices" war.


        • #5
          I agreed with Mylady. I started at around the same time that another mobiler started, I think they may be cheaper than me but I never really check. I don't see they advertise anywhere, just see their trailer around town sometime. I think they already had their clients from their old shop. I think you are always going face price shopper and people who want cheap service. Four months may not be enough time for the business to fully take off. May be you can offer a discount for first timer or multiple pets family. I no longer offer the first timer discount but still keep the multiple pets and referral discount. I think a lot of us kind of get the idea that if you have a mobile business, you are going to make a lot of money right away but I think it takes time and you have to have the right personality for it as well. Knowing a lot of people helps as well. I know your pain, I would hate to have that kind of competition.


          • #6
            Some people can just jump in & get booked up quickly, others like me takes me quite a while to get busier. My first 4months weren't very good, I grossed $1400 (started in Sept 07'). My 6th month was Feb & it was a little better with 12 dogs in the month lol. It picked up from there. Each yr I have doubled what I made the yr before. I am on my 3rd yr & am doing way better then the yrs before. My January 2010 I doubled the amount of dogs I had done in the Jan's before put together. I am at the point now I feel I can raise some of the dogs too this yr, I even let go of my first client. It was a super hard Shih that would change what he didn't like each time I did him, he was so unpredictable, hated scissors etc. I just had enough of the stress he was putting me though so I fired them. Both Jan & Feb I gained 11 new dog clients each month. I already did 3 new dogs this month. I'm still not totally filling my days but I do have one day in Apr all ready full with 5 dogs 2 houses.

            Last yr in 09' my highest number of dogs per month was 27 dogs. My Jan this yr was 38, Feb 27 dogs. My March already has 20 dogs on it. I do want to get to 48 or more dogs, this might be the yr for it. I still put ads on craigslist but the spam emails are bad this yr. I am getting alot less of the price shoppers this yr.

            The Soapy Puppy


            • #7
              I too started my business 2 years ago on April 7th. I started out doing 1 to 3 dogs a day, which was good because even though I was pretty good, I was also pretty slow and that was all I could handle. by the end of that year I didn't make that much but the learning was invaluable. By the time January hit-last year I took off, mostly by referals. All last year I was doing 4 to 7 dogs a day, 5 to 6 days a week and by the end of the year began raising prices. I now get 6 to 20 calls a day, and can't keep up usually booked out a couple weeks ahead. My advice is to hang in there and get your van seen. People often tell me they see my van everywhere.


              • #8
                If the mobile groomer is charging shop prices, they won't be in business long

                It costs more to operate a mobile. While you don't have rent, you DO have a van payment, maintenance (and vans break down, putting you temporarily out of business while the van is in the shop) and fuel costs. Mobile grooming vans can be complicated beasts. If the mobile groomer is not putting aside funds for maintenance and repairs, vehicle taxes and registration, or is not properly insured eventually those costs will arise and bite them in the shorts.

                I can't see how a person could operate mobile and charge LESS than a shop. They're cutting corners or not paying themselves a living wage. Eventually things will catch up and they will either have to raise their prices or fold.

                But to compete, stress your advantages. The mobile groomer doesn't require proof of vaccinations? Stress that you do for the safety of the pets you groom. Give a small token gift with every groom. We have a local gourmet pet bakery make cookie packs with our logo on them. Give superior service and special attention to your customer's needs.
                "With God's help, all things are possible!"
                Laura Lee Ray
                I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on


                • #9
                  look at this from craiglist,what is the matter with these people?

                  Groom/Bath SPECIALS!! This Sat ONLY!! (Jacksonville)
                  Date: 2010-03-05, 9:01AM EST
                  Reply to: [email protected] [Errors when replying to ads?]

                  Pawdaddy's Pet Parlor is running groom/bath specials this Sat, Mar 6th, ONLY!!

                  Hurry to book your appt now!! Feel free to call until 11 pm tonight! 904-619-5335

                  Bath Specials are as follows:

                  $5-dogs under 10 lbs

                  $10-dogs 11-45 lbs

                  $15-dogs over 46 lbs

                  Groom Specials are as follows:

                  $20-ANY dog under 45 lbs

                  $40-ANY dog 46-90 lbs $60-ANY dog over 91 lbs

                  ALL Full Service Grooms include:

                  Bath with premium shampoo
                  Deep coat conditioner
                  Blowdry and brushout
                  Nails trimmed
                  Teeth brushed
                  Anals expressed
                  Ears cleaned/plucked
                  Breath spray

                  ALL baths include all of the above, except the haircut!
                  Appts available from 6am until 7pm!!
                  Professionally trained and certified groomer and bather on staff. References gladly given upon request.


                  * Location: Jacksonville
                  * it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests


                  • #10
                    Pawdaddy's looks pretty desperate. I would find another way to make a living if I had advertise on a free website for 5.00 baths. I wonder how long this "promotion" will last when every Newfie in Jacksonville hits the door on Sat.

                    Personally, if I wasn't a groomer, I wouldn't bring my pets to a shop with these prices. They are so low you know the shop is sacrificing something. Not for me.


                    • #11
                      I think

                      more the whole point of mobile grooming is to have a gentle one on one experience for the dogs. I would not look at the making more money, but a mobile simply has to charge more. They do one on one and can't have the volume that most shops have. They drive to and from. Hand dry all the way. Simply mathamatically they must charge more and most do less dogs. So I agree the others either will go out of business or do terrible jobs.

                      I'm not one into discounts but in your case I could see doing a good discount, say 15 percent or such off, the first time. Then show your stuff. Groom well, best shampoo as we mobiles do, and chat/smooze with the owners. Explain your pluses, whatever they are, such as years grooming, history of dog handling, good equipment, safety precautions (you know, lever leaving a dog on the table or such). Get them to believe you are the best and Fluffy is so worth the best.

                      Good luck.

                      I have a mobile franchise around here that certifies after 6 weeks and advertises a low price. Doesn't even concern me, luckily.
                      Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


                      • #12
                        If what they want to do is dancce

                        then I will kick butt!!!

                        I have decided to redo my website and make it clear and better so that customers can see what makes me different, offer some 1st cust discounts, and reward loyal customers, and referals.

                        I will also practice my phone speech I get so nervouse and sometimes I sound so unsure, I have gotten better but with a little more practice It will get better.

                        I like the treat Idea I will have to look in to that!

                        Thanks for all the advice you guys sure know how to pump people up)


                        • #13
                          You could also throw in a Spa Blueberry Vanilla facial scrub as a freebie! This shampoo is very reasonable priced and lasts a long time.

                          Customer service is number one!!!!


                          • #14
                            I know, Is it that way in all of Florida?

                            why would some groomer charge these prices?,just crazy when I came across this ad.

                            Originally posted by A1Mobile View Post
                            Pawdaddy's looks pretty desperate. I would find another way to make a living if I had advertise on a free website for 5.00 baths. I wonder how long this "promotion" will last when every Newfie in Jacksonville hits the door on Sat.

                            Personally, if I wasn't a groomer, I wouldn't bring my pets to a shop with these prices. They are so low you know the shop is sacrificing something. Not for me.


                            • #15
                              The only thing I can think about with the pawdaddys things is that they are trying to get thier name out and attract new clients. Its looks like a 1 day thing. They will have the new info and be able to make follow up calls and possibly more repeat bookings from that. Its pretty smart if your client shopping.