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HI fellow nailtechs, I need some advice about working commision.l worked commission before and the salon supplied everything but my implements, im looking for a salon to work in now because I had to takeep a leave of absense for a while, a salon owner wants to offer me commision 50/50 she does not have a pedicure chair, stool, or polish she says she has shellac only. I will have to provide alot and im not sure 50/50 is a good deal. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

At 50/50 i would say the owner needs to step up and supply your product. All you should be responsible for is your tools (brushes, efiles, nippers, etc,) as well as the actual nail service.

The purpose of commission is to receive money from service rendered. If you were a vacuum sales person, would you work for a company that made you buy the vacuums, put them together, sale them and then give you half of the money you sold them for?

Granted, your owner may argue that they are supplying space, electricity, etc, but I dont think thats a viable argument. If the owner still wants you to supply your own product, suggest a dif commission structure as well as the ability to secure your products when you are out of the salon. We all know how others can help themselves to your polishes and files because they are there. Hope this helps
Thank u foxy diva, that was great advice. I was wondering if I was the only one felt that way and you are exactly right about securing my products, I've been down that road and have worked to hard to accumulate the supplies that I have.I will suggest a different commission split or just keep looking because she didn't seem willing to negociate when I asked her about it. Thank u again!
I can tell you that as a salon owner there is no way I would pay out 50% comm AND provide all the products, overhead, insurance, etc to any nail tech. At 50% comm a nail tech would be providing his/her own product. I've worked the industry for nearly 24 years now and have worked all sides - booth renter, commissioned tech and salon owner - and I can tell you that from having worked all sides I completely understand just how expensive it is for a salon owner. A tech can say "well I do all the work" but as a salon owner my response is this "And I pay all the bills...wanna trade? this is my business, my decision, take it or leave it". Of course not in those words but for the sake of simplicity here that's basically it. Bottom line is that a salon owner knows what they have to get in order to stay in business. It does noone any good - including the commissioned tech - if the salon owner cannot stay open due to paying out more than what is coming in and necessary to cover overhead expenses.

I know that my opinion is not the most popular one but it is one that has been formed from many years of experience from all sides of the industry and the truth of the matter is that each salon owner has the right to run their business the way they have chosen. They've earned that right by taking all the risk that a commissioned or booth renter is not willing to or cannot take for whatever reason.
Just make sure that your arrangement is legal; most commission salons would not pass an IRS audit.
Just keep looking, there are many salon owners that have their business running smoothly with great rewards. This would be the salon that you would want to work at. They should supply all your products. You the implements. My dad owned a salon for 20 years and was always able to provide and keep his employees happy.
Thank you again for all the great advice, I will keep looking because when I worked commision in the past it worked out well and the owner supplied most of the basics which are required, if I have to provide the majority of the basics such as Polish, files, pedi station etc., I may as well Booth rent.


I have worked in the industry for 19 years. As commission, hourly, and renter. I also worked as a tech in a family owned salon. ( my sister in law and her mother owned it) They paid commission and never ever ever ever made the employee buy their own product. Ever! So maybe some salon owners make you pay out of your half, for product and tools, and then MAKE you share them as salon items, but that's not how most of them work. I assure you, you will see that here. Make sure the deal is one your comfortable with. And if you decide that you will take the job, there is absolutely nothing wrong with locking up your product and tools. Since you buy them, they are yours, they are not community property. Us techs have to be selfish that way, people tend to use and take and not care. I am a renter, I wasn't locking my cabinet with my bulk items, and then I find out people are using them on themselves or letting clients use my bulk while they wait around. I bought a chain, and a lock, and they have zero access to my stuff now.
If the owner is asking you to buy your own product and your own tools, for a commission, are they also making sure to pay you the minimum wage requirement when your commission doesn't meet the law of minimum pay?
Your right about one thing, if you have to pay for everything, you might as well booth rent. Smile
Sobeit, that is a good question, I didn't think to ask about that. Im going to keep looking for the right opportunity, I don't think that is the right one for me.