Mates Rates, Full Price or Don't Bother?!?!


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Well-Known Member
Feb 14, 2004
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Hi Geeks!

I'm in need of your advise again!

When doing treatments for friends how do you work it when it comes to charging?

Do you have specific mates rates, charge them full price or try and steer clear of doing mates all together?!

I had a situation yesterday that made me feel that in some cases its easier not to do them at all.....

btw - i'm not talking about really close freinds!

the daughter of a friend wanted her nails done at the last minute yesterday evening (she is going on holiday), she text me to see if i would do them for her and her friend....i would have had no problem doing this last minute even though i had made plans...the problem came when they assumed i'd be doing the daughter for free and her friend at a heavily discounted price. i decided it was easier to say i couldn't do them than face the awkwardness when they came round!

what would you do?

it doesn't happen all that often but when it does it leaves me feeling a bit down about why people would expect me to spend all that time doing their nails for peanuts!!!!
Full price. Everyone knows where they stand then. True friends would rather pay the going rate.
mates rates for me cos they have all spent hours being my practice hands!!!
also i did a couple of freebies for daughters friends as birthday pressies and from that i have made 5 new customers who have had nails and summer toes - so for me has worked out fab.
i have told all my customers that as i'm a newbie and have introductory rates i will review my prices every 3 months.
They (friends) would be having treatments done elsewhere if you werent available? And if they couldnt "afford" to go and pay full price perhaps they shouldnt be having anything done then IMO.
Imagine when you get busy one day..your could be knocking back full price clients for these family and friends..and you would be paying the price.
Different story if you need the occasional model for the short term, in those circumstances you would need to make it very clear that the price is only temporary.
And lastly imagine if clients found through the grape vine they were paying more than others?
At the end of the day you are losing out on money..and we all know how expensive our products and training are..and how precious our time is.
You dont want your phone ringing constantly with friends of friends etc expecting "just a quick nail repair" which believe me they would probably be expecting it free of charge,too.
Clients tend to look after thier nails and respect you more as a professional if you charge what you should.
Mates rates for me, but it is only a very small discount! And also only a couple of mates so its not the big a deal!

Nobody would expect me to do it for free, at the end of the day you are not a charity and are in this game to make money, not lose it!!

Dont feel bad hun xxx
I charge full price apart from one friend, I discount her by a couple of euros, but that's it!

You didn't spend money on education and products to be giving it away free or half price.

I think they had a nerve to expect you to do that!
I've been doing nails for just over 7 years so you'd think i would have conquered this by now!

The trouble is my friends only have their nails done for special occassions so this doesn't come up very often but when it does it really bothers me that i obviously don't deal with it correctly.
I charge full price apart from one friend, I discount her by a couple of euros, but that's it!

You didn't spend money on education and products to be giving it away free or half price.

I think they had a nerve to expect you to do that!

My thoughts exactly Sandi....i'd never dream of doing it to my friends if it were the other way round!

This is an awful thing for a mate to ask you. I had a similar thing where a good friend asked me if i could fit in a friend of hers on the quick. I did, then when it came to payment, she was shocked when i asked full price.

I said to her, i was doing her a favor fitting her in quickly. She said i discount my mate, but i said the only reason i do this is because she does my spray tan for me cheap.

She has never asked me again and i'm glad she doesn't. Mind you, when i told my friend what had happened, she was quite shocked that she would expect cheap rates. I'd rather lose a client if they expect this, then i can fit in full paying clients.
btw - i'm not talking about really close freinds!

I'm interested in this comment you made Jenny. IMO I think you should be charging full price whether they are just friends or really close friends. Do you not charge close friends or do you give them a huge disccount? I don't think this is fair to you.

VillageNails also mentioned that she discount to mates because they have spent hours bring her practise hands. Just my opinion, but I would still charge full price as they have obviously already had their nails done for free and can't expect to go on having them done at discounted rates forever.

I have had a couple of friends help me out as guinea pigs and at school fayers with my nail stand. As a 'thankyou' I offer one free manicure/pedi or infil, then it's back to full price.
If they are MY friends then mates rates.
If they are people i know full price
If they are friends of a friend - full price - they could be anyone!
Salon collegues - mate rates - even though i get my hair done for free. Boss's orders!
I have a group of friends that get mates rates. My husband and I go round for a meal about every 4 weeks, and I do eyebrows, top lips and little things like that. There are usually four or five of them, and I don't mind doing it for them because I've known them ever since I moved to Southampton and they've been REALLY good to me.

BUT if they came to see me at work for a treatment, it's full price, and they know that. If it was at the salon, it would be for a bigger treatment,so I can't afford to change tuppence for it, I need to pay my expenses there. They know and understand the situation, and don't expect something for nothing (or very little).
Mate's rates for me too.

Ju x
I do mates rates or for free if they are doing something for me but it really annoys me when a friends family or other friends want something then ask how much it will be AFTER ive given a price list (in other words whats the discount!!)

I have learnt that by giving discounts you do get some people that take advantage. One of my friends booked her friend in for a full price treatment and said she definetly wants to pay you full price, doesn't want a dicount etc. even though she would probably get one !!!

People just seem to assume now they will get discounts and its always the friends that have a discount that are late :irked:
Things is who do you decide is a mate and who isnt....and then after a client being a client for a long time and getting to know them, some of them almost feel like mates....its just easier to charge everyone the same.

There are mums at the school who i have know for years...we chat...been on a few nights out....i like to think of them as friendly...but are they actually mates !!

Then there is Robs mates wifes...we have socialised in the up sometimes at the pub....should these also be done for cheep...??

Then there are clients whom i have got to know very well after nearly 3 years of doing there nails....been invited to weddings...BBQ's...etc....are these now mates...?

see how do you decide when and who benefits from freebies/mates rates and who doesn't ???

so i just charge everyone the same ... this is my business...its what pays my bills....just like there jobs are and i would never ask any of them to work for free/less.

The only people i would do for free are my immediate family.
Gee what kind of person am I then?.......:rolleyes:

I give discounts of I'm running a special ......but ......

This is my lively hood .... I paid good money to learn this job and still continue to pay for education.....I don't give any one "mates rates"......

My products are expensive and cost me money ......

I charge everyone.... there all equal weather they are family or friends......
They still have hands and feet....and basically use the same amount of product....why would I discount? just because I know them? ....

The only discount I have given was when I did a manicure and the person only had one hand.....:eek: then I did give a five finger discount and only charged him half price .......

but the Your my friend I think I'll rip myself off because I like you way!! If there my friend/ family they know how hard I work and are willing to pay me for it ......the only thing I DON'T expect out of them is a tip......

When I lived in the States and was doing my mom ....(as much as I love her ) I still charged her full price and she paid.....she knew I had bills to pay too.....

So no.....I don't do any freebies......

But I have been willing and still do trade you do my hair.....I'll do your nails.....

But to just give a discount because we know one another or your a friend of a friend ......nope!
I do with the exception do my mums treatments for free, and offer the odd couple of pound off for about 2 best friends. But otherwise its Full price for family, friends etc. Everyone knows where they stand then. You are working and need to make a living at the end of the day.

Its like saying to someone with any other job for example, would they go into work for a couple of hours, give their time .. and not get paid, do it for free? or get paid half of your normal wage for what would normally be full wage.
I dont know what everyones response to that would be, but i dont think everybody would take kindly to it.
I have one or two friends who I give a small reduction to but they never expect it and usually end up bringing a bottle or some gift anyway :hug:

I have a reciprocal arrangement with two or three other therapists I know where we discount each others treatments and also pass business each others way so we all benefit from our relationship. :hug:

I would not charge say, my mum, or my sister in law. I won't make a profit out of my family.
I think there's a huge difference between returning a favour for someone who has done something for you (or vice versa) and giving your services away free of charge with nothing in return. We have to draw the line somewhere, don't we? :wink2:
I think there's a huge difference between returning a favour for someone who has done something for you (or vice versa) and giving your services away free of charge with nothing in return. We have to draw the line somewhere, don't we? :wink2:

I agree with this. I have a couple of mates where I have just ongoingly been a good friend and done favours. Even lack of acknowledgment years later just makes me feel that they just can't be arsed.

This really is a tough one, but I am always reminded of, business is business, friends are friends, and the two should be separate. Just my thoughts. xx

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