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Debate: why are nails so underpriced?

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noreenoconnor

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Ok following on from a recent thread that i don't want to hijack. I'd love to hear people opinions on why they feel they have to conform to the prices around them if they are offering a much better service.

I wholeheartedly believe that nail techs train so hard, and spend a fortune on product and training to only go out and struggle to earn minimum wage. Its crazy! Being a true nail professional is the hardest of all beauty aspects to learn in my opinion yet is viewed by most professionals and the public as an inexpensive treat. Why is it that a professional hair colour, which costs about the same in product and takes approximately the same amount of time is on average 3 times the price of a shellac manicure?

Do you honestly believe that what you charge is what your worth?

Everyone is welcome to discuss, the more the merrier I want to hear from newbies just starting out to seasoned professionals. I will add my own thoughts later but would love to hear some of your opinions first.

PLUS this beats another "what colour will i get" thread, I miss the educational threads salon geek used to have going so i'm starting my own!! :p
 

Paulamaula

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Ok following on from a recent thread that i don't want to hijack. I'd love to hear people opinions on why they feel they have to conform to the prices around them if they are offering a much better service.

I wholeheartedly believe that nail techs train so hard, and spend a fortune on product and training to only go out and struggle to earn minimum wage. Its crazy! Being a true nail professional is the hardest of all beauty aspects to learn in my opinion yet is viewed by most professionals and the public as an inexpensive treat. Why is it that a professional hair colour, which costs about the same in product and takes approximately the same amount of time is on average 3 times the price of a shellac manicure?

Do you honestly believe that what you charge is what your worth?

Everyone is welcome to discuss, the more the merrier I want to hear from newbies just starting out to seasoned professionals. I will add my own thoughts later but would love to hear some of your opinions first.

PLUS this beats another "what colour will i get" thread, I miss the educational threads salon geek used to have going so i'm starting my own!! :p
Hi Noreen. Great post. I still feel like a newbie, started up from home last Oct. I had to look at what was being charged around me, that's what I base my price on really. I only offer CND Shellac and Gelish. Business is slow. I offer a very professional service at any hour that suits anyone, I feel I must to build up my business. The average gel polish in Waterford is 25 in a salon. I do it for 20, but I'm competing with ladies who do bluesky for 10 and 15. Im trying to stay in between. I'm proud of what I offer and do believe I give great value for money.

For me its all about building a clientele, this week I have nobody, last week i had a nice few, then I question is it my price or possibly the time of year. So many questions :)
 

surf girl

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Hair colour costs way more than nail stuff sorry & it takes way longer, that's why we charge what we do in hair.
 

noreenoconnor

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Hi Noreen. Great post. I still feel like a newbie, started up from home last Oct. I had to look at what was being charged around me, that's what I base my price on really. I only offer CND Shellac and Gelish. Business is slow. I offer a very professional service at any hour that suits anyone, I feel I must to build up my business. The average gel polish in Waterford is 25 in a salon. I do it for 20, but I'm competing with ladies who do bluesky for 10 and 15. Im trying to stay in between. I'm proud of what I offer and do believe I give great value for money.

For me its all about building a clientele, this week I have nobody, last week i had a nice few, then I question is it my price or possibly the time of year. So many questions :)
Ok so Paula, just to get the ball rolling I'm going to use you as an example :) When you checked the price of your local salons did you investigate to see what they actually included in the shellac service or did you just assume that they did things by the book? Do you know how long they spend on a shellac manicure?

Did you work out how much a shellac manicure actually cost you to do?

Have you an idea of what you would like to earn per hour, does your shellac manicure price - costs equal this?
 

noreenoconnor

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Hair colour costs way more than nail stuff sorry & it takes way longer, that's why we charge what we do in hair.
I'm talking about a basic all over colour, which is what i get done in Ireland. Its anywhere from 60-80 euro for a good quality hairdresser. I'm with the hairdresser for 2 lots of 30mins (with 30mins in-between spare, but they are with another customer during this time). The hairdresser is my best friend and when asked how much it costs her to do an all over colour, it was very close to what it costs me to do a genuine shellac manicure. I'm include CND wraps, CND nourishing remover.. all the bells and whistles , yet the average price is only €25.
 

surf girl

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I'm talking about a basic all over colour, which is what i get done in Ireland. Its anywhere from 60-80 euro for a good quality hairdresser. I'm with the hairdresser for 2 lots of 30mins (with 30mins in-between spare, but they are with another customer during this time). The hairdresser is my best friend and when asked how much it costs her to do an all over colour, it was very close to what it costs me to do a genuine shellac manicure. I'm include CND wraps, CND nourishing remover.. all the bells and whistles , yet the average price is only €25.
Your actual service is around 2.5 hours tho for a colour, (just a straightforward all over colour with cut & finish) with me that would cost you £40 (only because I don't add a cut & finish on top it include it) the cost of that service is around 25% of the bill, if you took 2.5 hours to complete your service you'd be charging 40-50 rather than 25 would your cost be around 25%? I think it would be less tbh
 

noreenoconnor

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I have never been in hairdressers for longer than an hour and half for an all over colour, but understand that everywhere is different. I don't normally get a cut just a blow-dry (i'm a demon like that :p) but the price i've quote reflects that. It would be more expensive if i got a cut, usually about 30 extra and would take an extra 20mins normally. I'm obviously comparing Irish prices and perhaps prices in your area are much different?

Anyway, were getting side tracked :) This wasn't a bashing on hairdressers, It was trying to motivate Salon Geek's Fabulous nail techs to charge what they are worth!

Out of curiosity, would you PM you cost for an all over colour and i'll compare it to my cost for a shellac manicure :) Xx
 

Gee_geeee

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I do think a lot of salons, mobile nail techs etc are underpriced especially outside of the cities but I know in Ireland anyway, people(clients) are only just beginning to spend proper money again on such luxuries.

I started up on my own last June (converted my garage) , I thought I priced my treatments fairly well as I wasnt willing to underprice myself to beat competitors prices and now I think I don't charge enough for some things.
 

Mrs hardy

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Ok following on from a recent thread that i don't want to hijack. I'd love to hear people opinions on why they feel they have to conform to the prices around them if they are offering a much better service.

I wholeheartedly believe that nail techs train so hard, and spend a fortune on product and training to only go out and struggle to earn minimum wage. Its crazy! Being a true nail professional is the hardest of all beauty aspects to learn in my opinion yet is viewed by most professionals and the public as an inexpensive treat. Why is it that a professional hair colour, which costs about the same in product and takes approximately the same amount of time is on average 3 times the price of a shellac manicure?

Do you honestly believe that what you charge is what your worth?

Everyone is welcome to discuss, the more the merrier I want to hear from newbies just starting out to seasoned professionals. I will add my own thoughts later but would love to hear some of your opinions first.

PLUS this beats another "what colour will i get" thread, I miss the educational threads salon geek used to have going so i'm starting my own!! :p
I can remember before being qualified paying at least £14 for a french manicure 11 yrs ago yet somehow, it's expected that a gel polish should cost the same which can last twice, thrice as long as polish. I blame the rise of nss
 

noreenoconnor

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I do think a lot of salons, mobile nail techs etc are underpriced especially outside of the cities but I know in Ireland anyway, people(clients) are only just beginning to spend proper money again on such luxuries.

I started up on my own last June (converted my garage) , I thought I priced my treatments fairly well as I wasnt willing to underprice myself to beat competitors prices and now I think I don't charge enough for some things.
I completely agree, it's not till you've been working at nails for a while that you realise all the little things add up, and when profit margins are tight it makes a big difference. I too wonder how some nail techs make any money at al :)
 

noreenoconnor

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I can remember before being qualified paying at least £14 for a french manicure 11 yrs ago yet somehow, it's expected that a gel polish should cost the same which can last twice, thrice as long as polish. I blame the rise of nss
TBH there really isn't much of a problem with NSS salons in Ireland like there seems to be in the UK.

I personally don't think they are to blame because I believe that there is a market for everyone. What I think is the main problem is that Nail Techs themselves don't believe their services are worth more! We lump ourselves in with these salons by charging about the same as them because we believe people will think we are ripping them off otherwise.

I think it for the industry to change it has to start with us believing in ourselves!! If we produce a far superior service to an NSS salon then we should absolutely charge much more! AND not feel guilty about it!!!
 

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Where I am we are over run with nail salons....and to be honest, they are banged out day and night!!
I however, cannot get a nail tech to work in my hair salon for love or money!:(
I would love to have a nail tech, doing a quality job, using great products, and charging a fair price for their service, but I know the nail bars locally will 'turn out' a gel job in 20 mins for around £10.00 - £15.00......and it will look great, and last 3 weeks!:confused:
Today's client, is looking for that affordable quick fix.
When they see that busy bar, with it's neon flashing, they are sucked in, regardless of what we try to tell them about the fake this that and the other.:oops:
 

MeenaTech

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So I'm in Canada, close to Toronto and nails here are cheap where as people like nuni (from ig) charges like a beast.
There are way too many nss and people are cheap. Period. Everyone wants to find the cheapest, and are willing to compromise...
Fo myself, I am charging what I want to make and that's it. I dot want the type of clients who are only deal chasing anyways.




(Edited by moderator to removal cultural reference)
 
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Emily S

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To my knowledge, I'm the most expensive in my area and have been for quite a long time but because of this, I've not had a price increase for years. I actually don't think it's needed, nothing else has inflated in the years I've been working for myself so to me it would just be greed.

I don't really care for what other people charge though tbh I'm busy enough in my own diary to not worry about others, perhaps if I was losing clients/not gaining any I'd be worried but that's not the case. I did have a period about 4 years ago when this was the case and I introduced 20% off between 9-3 on Thursday's, this worked really well and brought new and old clients to me.

As for hair costing more, I'm not sure about anyone else but my hair apps are 4-6 weeks therefore the actual result lasts much longer, if routine nail apps were that length of time I'd perhaps have a rethink of pricing...
 

squidgernetball

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I think it's partly not believing in your own worth but I also think a lot of beauty students have no concept of business.

I want to learn to do nails as cheaply as possible, ideally online so I don't have to leave the house and then I'm going to set up on my own.

We read it all the time. Those that invest in their training often have a better idea, as they perceive themselves to be worth more, but there is still the "what should I do? The girl down the road does shellac fingers and toes for £10. How can I compete?" and often the way they compete is ridiculous prices.

If you're only offering nails I think it's a lot harder. There is an awful lot of competition and to succeed really well at just nails I think you need to be exceptional or lucky.

Sadly one day courses in nails followed by one day courses in virtually everything else means that there are a lot of people working from home/mobile/in salons desperate for clients in a saturated market - so they drop the price.

I've always said there's room for Waitrose and Aldi and I'd much prefer to be associated with the first than the second.

The attitude of running a business is often to do it as cheaply as possible. Many salons and home workers don't have card machines. They don't think they're worth it. If people ran their businesses as businesses rather than a hobby that brings in a bit of money, they will be perceived as a business not as someone who does it as a hobby.

I hope I haven't offended anyone but my advice to anyone starting out doing any treatments is to decide where you want to be in the market - Waitrose, Tescos or Aldi - then go and make it happen, but offering £10 nails won't work at any level.

Vic x
 

blossom

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I think it's partly not believing in your own worth but I also think a lot of beauty students have no concept of business.

I want to learn to do nails as cheaply as possible, ideally online so I don't have to leave the house and then I'm going to set up on my own.

We read it all the time. Those that invest in their training often have a better idea, as they perceive themselves to be worth more, but there is still the "what should I do? The girl down the road does shellac fingers and toes for £10. How can I compete?" and often the way they compete is ridiculous prices.

If you're only offering nails I think it's a lot harder. There is an awful lot of competition and to succeed really well at just nails I think you need to be exceptional or lucky.

Sadly one day courses in nails followed by one day courses in virtually everything else means that there are a lot of people working from home/mobile/in salons desperate for clients in a saturated market - so they drop the price.

I've always said there's room for Waitrose and Aldi and I'd much prefer to be associated with the first than the second.

The attitude of running a business is often to do it as cheaply as possible. Many salons and home workers don't have card machines. They don't think they're worth it. If people ran their businesses as businesses rather than a hobby that brings in a bit of money, they will be perceived as a business not as someone who does it as a hobby.

I hope I haven't offended anyone but my advice to anyone starting out doing any treatments is to decide where you want to be in the market - Waitrose, Tescos or Aldi - then go and make it happen, but offering £10 nails won't work at any level.

Vic x
The thing which is really good about doing just nails is that every time you work, you do nails. In that, instead of doing a number of different treatment in a day ie waxing, facial, lashes, pedi etc, you will just do nails every time. So in that sense, maybe it's easier to become polished and proficient more quickly if you specialise in one thing? Just my thoughts.
 

KrisKross

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I don't offer nails, purely because for me, it's financially not worth it. There are salons in my area charging £10 for genuine CND Shellac and I just can't work out how they're making money, I'm assuming they do nails at a loss or just break even but are able to up-sell and add on other treatments.

I think the 'no concept of business' is probably correct.

I'm frequently amazed on a Facebook group I'm on when people who are apparently running a business are asking "can anyone tell me the treatment cost for this"... They've been doing it a year or more, how can they not know their treatment cost? How did they decide their prices without knowing their treatment cost?

Another one is "look, my client got 5 weeks out of their shellac, no chips, etc". I get what they're trying to say. But if I did nails, then having someone spend £10 every 5 weeks is not something I'd be encouraging or promoting.

When I set my prices, then yes of course I looked at what everyone else was charging. But my starting point was "for the hours I'll be working, what do I want to earn per hour". So my hourly rate is my clear profit. THEN I worked out how long each treatment would take, added on treatment cost, overheads, some for the tax man, a bit towards training costs, and a little bit more for anything I hadn't thought of.

As it turns out I'm cheaper than the most expensive salon in my area, but dearer than the rest.

For what it's worth, I pay my nail tech £22 for my shellac and I'm happy with that. I wouldn't go near a £10 nail treatment. But plenty of people do and will and clearly lots of them get a quality treatment for that price. Great for the client - terrible for the industry.
 

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nails followed by one day courses in virtually everything else means that there are a lot of people working from home/mobile/in salons desperate so they drop the price
This is the thing that annoys me the most is that our own industry devalues us and what we do by offering rediculously cheap, low quality courses that churn out new nail tech as though it's something easily attainable with minimal effort. Like wise the companies which sell knock off products to any Tom, Dick or Harry on eBay and Amazon because of course it's easy and you don't need a brain to do it!

Now I know what we do isn't rocket science but if our own industry doesn't value us and stop selling to our clients then how are new techs going to value what we do?

Thank fully there are some companies that still have morals and insist on selling only to the trained professional but that seems to be something that's becoming less and less common sadly.
 

Helward87

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I'm pretty new to this industry, and I'll be perfectly honest, In the beginning I plucked a price out of thin air... A price that sounded reasonable, fairly inline with my area and that would stand to make me a profit - I didn't calculate that profit m, because at that point ANY profit seemed enough!

Now 7months later I have upped my prices (only by £2) but I did that when i actually worked out my cost per service against my 'hourly' rate and i realised I Was selling myself short and also that, even though I am still fairly new, I like to think I am pretty good and that should stand for something!

I had a new client this week who used to get her shellac done at a local salon to her job in Liverpool Street. She paid £30 for the treatment and said she was in and out in 20 minutes. No prep, no cuticle care - just whacked the shellac straight on the nail.... And she wondered why she never got more than a few days from it! She also tried A local salon who she said charged her £20 for blue sky with no prep - I don't know HOW these people think this is acceptable!!

I have just passed my master painter (yesterday [emoji13]) and use the full CND system and charge £22 for standard shellac - when I compare this to above, I know I could charge more but I also don't want to raise my prices again so am standing firm at £22 hands and £25 feet for the time being :) xx
 

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I don't know how anyone can bear the regrowth of 5 weeks.

At £10 for CND shellac they are NOT making any money
 

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