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Hi Nail friends ~
I know we are from all over however- I have a pricing question.
The salon I am in charges $25 for gel polish application, $45 hard gel full set, $35 hard gel overlay, $28 hard gel fill-- if we use gel polish on top its an extra $10.....They have never done hard gels until I got there in September- its slow & have had a few clients for hard gel & a few say we are too expensive- comparing to a NSS pricing..... I want to be competitive & the owner doesn't want to compete with NSS pricing.
Are these prices realistic? I've had a client compare hard gel cost to gel polish & question me.....and say coming in every two weeks for a $38 fill is too expensive @ $78 a month.... I'm in NJ & we have a LOT of NSS salons - acrylic fills for $15-$19 dollars - gel polish for $19-$ they are in & out in 40 minutes....
I have 4 NSS within 2 miles of my shop and I don't consider them competition. We appeal to a certain demographic and they appeal to different one. If you stick to your guns, and have the service, quality, and amenities to back it up, you can charge a premium and still fill your book.

PS - Your pricing is actually closer to the NSS prices in my area. The ones that do it cheaper don't stay open for long because you can't sustain a business when you are giving away your product!

I understand that - however I'm not busy- AT all.. Saturday I was working 10-4 & did 1 gel fill & my co worker did 1 manicure!
Its not unusual for us to do no one or maybe 1 person a day- it seems once in a blue moon we get what we consider "busy" 4-5 clients in 1 day - but its been even slower with Christmas- Christmas eve we literally had 2 finger nail fixes & 1 was my coworkers Mom :-(
This is a FULL service salon with a separate nail salon attached that has 4 pedicure chairs, 4 manicure chairs, a 4 seater UV nail drying station- and the nail side has been open over a year- the hair side 20+ years- - walk in only- no appointments either....I think the owner doesn't advertise enough & thinks all we need to do is mingle with the hair clients to get business....She barely updates her FB page, she has a large billboard on the hwy, & ran a coupon ad for us twice since September. She previously only did "natural" nails, I brought in the hard gel service. Since September I have gained only 5 "regular" hard gel service clients- some have said they can't understand how we charge $25 for gel polish & $28 for hard gel when I leave most of the gel on & only apply a little more hard gel & then an additional $10 to apply 2 coats of gel polish... they are very happy with me just not with the $76 + tip cost per month- when they think they can do gel polish for $50 per month...
Or go get acrylic- we don't do acrylic....
In NJ we have a lot of "NSS" around & some are just simply "foreign" & really good but cheap-- I actually called every salon in a 20 mile radius getting their prices- and I thought we where sort of in the middle??
Those prices are slightly more than the NSS shops where I live. I just don't understand how these places manage to stay in business for so long!
They are busy busy busy - I go by them & sometimes watch- plus they are buying products way way cheaper then I can I heard one place I interviewed at say she buys IBD just Gel in Philadelphia some place for $5 a bottle.... who knows what their gel brand is or their acrylic...... there are some good places - its volume - they get people in.....
They get volume and they don't pay well. Don't forget that many of these workers are possibly trafficked at times. It's not only sex trafficking that happens. I've heard of the techs at the NSS making a daily rate + tips. I've also heard of techs working off family loans living in an apt. with many other techs. Then the thing of buying low low priced items is a biggie. I shop on a chinese site (not for nail stuff, but they have EVERYTHING!) where you can get bootleg OPI, Essie, and others for CHEAP. I'm talking full collection including the gels. Another item is that usually the owner(s) work in the shop too. That means more money for their pockets.
But your very right about being busy. If you count that I've gone in and seen 10x $17 pedicures get done in 2 hours vs. I've seen 4x $30 pedicures get done in the same time. You do the math. It is very hard to compete.
I charge the same for gel polish manicure as my base price for a (single color) acrylic or hard gel fill ($35) If they want gel polish on top of acrylic or hard gel fill, it's $10 more. I've never had anyone complain about it, but I would explain that the $10 more per visit is the cost to maintain the overlay so they can grow the longer nails they want.
I do offer a package price for 20% off if they prepay their services 3 at a time. I don't know how much flexibility you have with your pricing. But that has worked really well for me.
Tashawana- I've heard of what you are talking about-- and on a flip side I used to go to a foreign shop that where "Americans" supposedly & were very nice- married couple, brother worked there, sister in law, etc....even one day their daughter was there & she goes to school with my son-- HOWEVER there was 6-7 "techs" working, my fill usually was $35 with fancy airbrushing, took 45-55 minutes, always people in there, the owner once mentioned she went to school in PA yet we are in NJ- and that daughter one time applied my sealant because they were so busy Mom had to take next client & @ 14 I'm sure wasn't her first time!
My gel lasted a month so I went back.....
I had tried an American full SVC shop & it wasn't as good- took 2 hours too & went from place to place trying to find a good "American" (I hate to sound racial) tech.... after being let go from an office job- I went to Manicuring school... here I am-- I know there's clients out there looking for "US" I'm just trying to stay competitive with all salons brown-purple-white-red- licenced or not !

** I like the discounted per SVC idea!! Our salon currently (to my knowledge) would have to figure out a tracking system-- I personally took the time to get a book to write down client name & what service/ product/ Color I used. I know the hair side has an Ancient- and I mean ancient computer in the back for charts for clients color formula etc .... she has not offered for us to use that... but that's OK because we arenot busy & iI can write it