Is cheap always poor quality?

Rinn

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There are so many threads started by newly qualified or in-training nail technicians asking for help because they are having problems with nails lifting/popping off etc.

A lot of times they are using what I would consider lower end products , which are going to be problematic because of their poor quality.
It is difficult enough to master nail enhancements both gel and L&P when you use good quality products but anyway it got me thinking .

What do you think is the right way to approach this subject , do you think you should pussy foot around the fact that the product is not the best or do you think there is a better way , without dissing a product.

And what gives us the right to make these claims , what made you choose your product and why?

Does cheap always translate into poor quality?

Discuss.
 

persianista

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There are so many threads started by newly qualified or in-training nail technicians asking for help because they are having problems with nails lifting/popping off etc.

A lot of times they are using what I would consider lower end products , which are going to be problematic because of their poor quality.
It is difficult enough to master nail enhancements both gel and L&P when you use good quality products but anyway it got me thinking .

What do you think is the right way to approach this subject , do you think you should pussy foot around the fact that the product is not the best or do you think there is a better way , without dissing a product.

And what gives us the right to make these claims , what made you choose your product and why?

Does cheap always translate into poor quality?

Discuss.
In terms of hairdressing, yes, cheaper products are poorer quality. You may find the occasional gem, but in general you get what you pay for
 

shedunlop

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I have found with nail products the really cheap stuff is not good, you then have a level though that you find the good products at and the most expensive are not always as good as the mid range. We then have to find what we work better with as everyone works differently too.

I think for newbies to practice there is a fine line between it just being too expensive for them to buy the best and actually being able to get the product to work for them. Glad I'm not a newbie any more!:wink2:
 

squidgernetball

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I set out to use what I considered to be the best. I didn't buy anything until I could buy the range I wanted to carry - particularly skincare. I really did my research - now carry 2 completely different ranges to when I started, but I think that's the other thing - things change, and what we think is great and top of the range can often get usurped by something even better. For many years I just worked. Didn't go to shows etc and plodded along. A friend asked why I didn't do Shellac and I had no idea what it was, so looked into Shellac and Minx, which have been great additions. Obviously money is a big factor, so I'm really concious that I spend most where my return will be greatest. I use Salon Geek a lot, and am often interested to see what's happening in the big wide world and what good additions to our treatment menu would be, and find it a good place to get info, and compare treatments, machines etc, but can honestly say I don't carry anything that could be considered cheap - not because cheap things aren't good, I just haven't really found them, and haven't got time to look!
 

gems-gem's

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As a newbie I would rather know! Having said that for practise I want products that aren't top of the range and that I can access. Ie until I get my vctc cert later in the year I cannot buy direct from say s2 so would rule out say retention+ for liquid and powder to start, but I can sign up with beauty suppliers generally so still have a good choice. Have been to beauty uk today sampling- lots of cheap alternatives to be seen- but even I am not blind ;-) ;-)
 

clairemuiruk

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As a newbie to the Nail World, it is hard to choose which product to start out with and where to ask for help or for a second or third opinion even. I myself don't want to practise with the cheapest products but that is probably just me!.... Only using products I would happily use on myself and have had used on me. Guess I will waste money along the way trying various things on advice given or not taken!.. :D

I'm not new to the world of business but for some reason feel uneasy being new and learning in this industry, and for sometimes wanting to ask things, not that this will put me off infact make me more determined I'm sure!... Everyone was New sometime or other!... :D
 

gems-gem's

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Hard to know what to practise with thou to start isn't it lol?! We got the edge in our college kit- which I am led to believe wouldn't be fantastic for paying clients but as someone who hasn't regularly had enhancements its a mine field. This forum is great as you can soak up the knowledge without working our way through every system going. X
 

clairemuiruk

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It is hard indeed, I'm sure we will get the hang of it eventually, this site is great with all the guru's here, nothing they haven't heard or experienced themselves I'm sure.. :D

I'm using Orly gel fx, I should say I'm practising with it, going on a training session with them soon. Can't wait!.. :D
 

MummyCat

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I think for newbies that have no idea about quality products in the nail industry would find it hard to work out if they don't have access to more help and information other than that they're given within their education (obviously depending on where they've had their training!)

I trained originally years ago with CND, but decided a few years ago to do an NVQ in Nail Services at a regular college. The products that were in our kit were a known brand, but not what I would call a 'quality product'. However we had to train with it and once our kits had ran out it was up to us to replenish this.

We were given no help on suppliers etc to get our products from and some of the girls were bringing in really cheap (bordering unsafe) products...and the tutor wouldn't tell them otherwise and so they thought that their products were really good and couldn't see anything wrong with them. TBH I thought this was really inconsiderate and a huge part of the training that wasn't covered.

You can really tell the difference between a cheap product and a quality product, the application and wear are totally incomparable.

Good products really do help with producing good nails.
 

411

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Totally agree with Mummy cat, good products do product good nails.

I trained with quite a few different products from different companies, bought so much as well. Which is all going to waste now, as I have finally found the brand that is perfect for me CND. Products are easy to use, and results are amazing, not forgetting the excellent customer service you get.

WishI had started with CND, I wasted a lot of money trying cheaper
Products. What you pay is what you get, and I've found CND. Yes CND are slightly more expensive then other brands but you can feel when your working with it, that's its a quality products.

CND has my life so much easier!
 

Chickafish

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Through the years I've tried many brands and I've found the cheaper it is, the harder it is to work with, and the less support you get from its maker. And it troubles me that training schools charge up the wazoo only to have their students work with crapola (mine did). If it weren't for distributor samples, nail magazines, and trade shows, I would've just thought everything was much for muchness and that I was crap at nails and gave up a long time ago. The only good thing about having experienced lesser quality products is I can say I can turn out a good set of nails with anything... It would just take me twice as long with the difficult stuff- and that's hardly anything to be proud of. :lol:
 

NancySyd

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There are a number of things that go into making a good product and most of them cost money; I think this is true with services as well. So, in general, there is a connection between price and quality, but not always. While I would always be wary of a product whose price is ridiculously out of whack with others, there are a lot of products/services out there that are less expensive than top shelf brands that are very, very good. And there are lots of expensive brands that are rubbish. Sometimes what makes for an expensive product doesn't necessarily show in the product per se. Customer service, training, and packaging for example. They are important qualities and contribute to a higher price, but do they make what's in the bottle/jar a better product? There are also times when you don't need the very highest quality.

Discerning the difference is where the problem lies and where I think newbies get caught up. An experienced, skilled tech can do a great job using lesser products, but a newbie often needs the best product to do good work.
 

bridgetlee

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In my personal opinion, and speaking from experience, I do think when it comes to nail systems (I mean liquids, powders, gels, glues, tips, primers etc) - cheaper is usually poor quality and a lot harder to work with. Of course it's easier to access and your start-up costs would be less if you were buying cheaper products, but it begins to cost you more in the long run due to having to use more product to fix errors / because of the difficulty in application and fixing up broken / lifted / damaged nails.

Good nails aren't cheap and cheap nails aren't good!:smack:

I like to direct my cost-cutting away from the important stuff by being innovative and cruising eBay for cheaper alternatives when it comes to certain aspects of nail art (foils, 3D moulds and what not), and buying my good quality systems in bulk when I can.
 

gems-gem's

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Hopefully suppliers will recognise trial packs should be available to students one day then :)
 

nailzoo

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Many will always try and save money by buying cheaper, usually it works out more expensive .... because it usually turns out to be crap, then your buy again and again until you reach a RESPECTABLE product.

Would you buy cheap crap to use on yourself ? Probably not, so why buy crap to use on customers ?
We are in this business to make money and keep clients coming back for more quality service, if you use cheap, you will fail and lose clients.

.... YOU DON'T GET A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION ...
 

squidgernetball

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I'm told OPI and China Glaze are great for nail polishes. Do they stay on the nail longer and go on more smoothly?
I've used OPI for a long time, and find they last really well on the nails, but this can depend on how people look after them! One client just had her opi removed, and it had been on her natural nail for nearly 3 weeks, and still looked pretty good!
 

souz

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Cheap isnt ALWAYS poor quality as there are always going to be EXCEPTIONS to the rule but in general yes you get what you pay for. Now whether you are paying for a good product in ok packaging or a rubbish product in fancy packaging you are still getting what you pay for. I for one want the product that works and not the packaging!! Having said that alot of us have been buying nail products from a well known company but havent been satisfied with their customer service and gradually have started to look elsewhere for the similar products.

What really matters is that we believe in the products we use and have great results because of them whatever the price! I want to know hand on heart that when i have produced a set of nails i have had the right training and believe in the products i use.

Great thread Rinn xx
 

TIPTOP

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I'm an old school nail geek and Imo its Poor education that cheapens the product, new students want to run before they can walk within this industry, some do not understand the science behind the products, let alone the structure of the nail, nowadays it's all about making money and banging out shoddy workmanship by slapping on products and making them look pretty with nail art and come unstuck if they are faced with problems as they've not got the knowledge or know how to fix it.
 

louiser

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I will see if I can explain whats in my head to make any sense iykwim ?!

There are many different brands of 'cheap' products, some are better than others. I guess I group these in to products where you do not need to go to the manufacturer for a conversion course. For a newly qualified person they are able to choose any one of these brands, its what this person does with this choice which can affect the kind of nail technician and business owner this person becomes.

You could choose the cheapest available thinking it would maximise your profit opportunity or go for a brand slightly 'less cheap' but better quality to assist you in your training and help you on the way to becoming a good technician and save money for additional product training in the future.
 

BobSweden

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Simple answer - why would anyone sell cheap if they can sell expensive?

The reasons companies sell cheap is because they can't justify a higher price. That could be for several reasons:

  • the ingredients are lower quality
  • lack of experienced and talented people to develop the products
  • don't offer education or it's of a low level
  • hire low cost employees and/or manufacture in a low cost country
  • take short-cuts regarding safety and testing**
  • work out of home or other low-cost premises
  • they have no reputation or uniqueness

** For products sold in Europe, the manufacturers are responsible for stating if a cosmetic product is safe or not. There are no independent laboratory tests done by any government agency.

In 2011-2012, the Swedish Medical Products Agency did an investigation of professional nail products sold in Sweden. Of the 32 companies whose products they tested, they found 10 companies (30% !!) selling Chinese and low-cost German gel, acrylic or fibreglass nail products that contained ingredients banned in Europe. They removed those products from the market.

So what this all comes down to, is that when buying products there is no guarantee of product safety. The only thing that you can do is to buy from a manufacturer or distributor that you can trust.

In business there a legal phrase for this - it's called "due diligence". Due diligence means you are responsible for doing the research and making sure than the claims made are honest and accurate.

How can you do due diligence when looking for a nail products supplier? Some ideas:
  • How many years has the company been in business (remember 9 out of 10 companies fail in the first year!)
  • Who are the owners? Does their website even say clearly who the owners are and their experience? Are they respected in the industry or just someone who got tired of working in a salon and tries to make money selling products?
  • What education do they provide? Companies that offer advanced education can be seen as more serious and professional
  • Has the company won any nail competitions?
  • Do they advertise in professional magazines? (it's expensive, so only those companies with good finances can afford to do this on a regular basis)
  • Do they have a network of experienced educators / resellers?
  • Does their website only show a PO Box address?
  • Do they have a fax number? (many low cost start-up's never think about buying a fax number)

Today it is very easy to find some products to flog, put up a cheap website and work from home. But don't be fooled. Look deeper and you won't be fooled.
 

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