How to Increase your Treatment Prices without Losing Customers

How to Increase you Treatment Prices - Without losing Customers

In Season 2 Episode 2 of the Pinkfishes Podcast we discussed how to increase your treatment prices without loosing customers. Below is a transcript of the conversation we had with our thoughts and ideas on this topic. Most lash techs will come across this problem during their career so let us know your thoughts. 
So we are back for season two, episode two of the Pinkfishes podcast.
And today it's myself Emma and Zara.
And we are going to be discussing a few new topics this time around.
So I'm going to go straight in, I think, with topic number one.
So we have this question.
How do you up your prices without loosing clients?
So the reason we've got this question is from this post.
So I'll read the post that we found on a Lash forum.
"I need some reassurance. I feel sick having to do this, but I'm planning on putting my prices up, taking into consideration cost of products, insurance, rent, time. And now with more experience, I think it's time for me to increase my prices. I'm normally always fully booked and even have a cancellation list. So the demand is there. My concern is if I raise my prices, I will end up losing all my clients."
Well, it just depends on the world we're living in at the moment.
I just think you need to be able to do what you want to do.
But again, people aren't going to have the money.
I think a lot of people can relate with obviously the cost of living crisis.
Most Lashtechs will experience either their rent going up or the cost of their products going up, so you need to be able to cover all of those things and make money, like enough to live on comfortably for yourself.
I'm guessing that if them clients do really, really like you, then they'll stay with you, I think.
So let's have a look at what some people in the comments have to say.
So the first one I've got here is that lashes are a luxury. So if people want them, especially from an experienced Lashtech, they should pay the additional charges.
You could take that in two ways.
I think, I think, yes, lashes are a luxury if you can afford them or if just depending on what your financial living is at the moment, or on the other hand, yeah, they are expensive to buy and keep.
So I think obviously price will be a varying factor for many of your clients.
Not everyone though.
I don't think everyone will care about the price.
Some people will just care if they love their lashes and they won't care what the price is.
So I think upping your prices, you do have the possibility to lose some clients,
but I don't think everyone, because they are a luxury.
Like they're not a necessity.
I mean, for some people, and I completely understand that from a maybe mental health aspect, some people like the confidence that they get from lashes.
And so for some people it will be more important to get their lashes done than
others, but I think overall you obviously could get by without your lashes or you
could stretch out your infills or there's alternatives.
Like there's other alternatives than having lash extensions.
But I don't think it necessarily, the price will affect everybody, but it will affect some.
It's not a necessity to have your eyelashes done.
It's like having your nails done or your lashes done or your hair done.
Which one is it to go first?
What could you live about?
Lashes, your nails or getting your hair done?
See, nails is always the first one for me to go.
Like I am not, as you can see now, I, nails is not my priority.
Hair, I tend to stretch out for as long as I can, but lashes for me, it's different because mine are free.
Me and my sister do each other's lashes.
So I feel like I'm not the best to comment, but I think out of the three, like lashes would be the one I go for.
But then that's another thing, like it depends what your clients' priorities are.
If you've got clients that love lashes, can't live without their lashes, then the likelihood of you increasing your prices and them leaving is low.
But you know, if they just get, like I had some clients that they didn't get lashes
regularly. They'd only get them for occasions.
So then maybe those ones would be the first to leave because they're not, like lashes is not a priority.
It's not me, I don't get my lashes done unless I needed it in here to be a model or I'm going to an event.
So I'd say nails for me.
I can't stand having naked nails.
I can't stand it.
Whereas there are so many alternatives now to lashes.
So you could have, like we were saying earlier, like the strip lashes, the seven day
lashes, lash lifts.
Yeah, like you could go for one of those instead.
And so then we've got some other comments.
So by targeting more, even if you do lose some clients, the extra income from the
increase will make up for the clients that you could lose and just take on new clients.
Especially as you mentioned, you have a waiting list, which I think is a very good
If you're, let's say you put your prices up by 10 pound per treatment and you lose,
I don't know, three or four out of your 30, 40 clients, then the extra 10 pounds
you're getting from the other remaining ones, it's going to be way more than what
you would have got from those that have left.
And also then you've got space for people, like if you've got a waiting list,
you've got space for people to join that are willing to pay your prices.
Or you could take it the other way though.
If then people then think, oh, actually waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting for you
to let them in, but then you've increased your prices or they found someone else
who's cheaper by then.
But like you said though, I do think if they do love your work, they're going to
stick with you and they're going to add that extra money.
So a few more comments.
You'll only lose the cheapskates who are looking for the cheapest lashes.
So are probably not loyal customers anyway.
I do think there is some truth in that.
I wouldn't put it as harshly because like I said, people might love lashes and
they might want to get their lashes done, but they might be on a budget.
They might only be able to afford to pay X amount for lashes.
So it might not even be that they want to leave you, but if you are putting your
prices up, they just don't have the resources for it.
But then on the side that I do agree with is that these customers are not
necessarily loyal customers anyway, but not in like a horribly negative way,
but just the price is such a big factor for them that they won't stay with you.
And they are more likely to go to people that are offering discounts or that are
running promotions and they might be one of those types of clients that, you know,
comes to you, but then also goes to someone else.
Like if they can't get booked in with you or if you up your prices, they might
Some other things on here that are good to note is that you do find that the UK
lash prices are already much lower than prices abroad, such as America,
Canada and Dubai.
And like we've experienced this, like we went over to Canada for Lash Fest last
year and I couldn't believe the amount that they charge over there in comparison to here for lash extensions.
Because I was going to get my lashes done in Canada and then I was like, oh, I'm
not paying that much money.
Do you remember how much it was?
I think it was one girl down the road.
I think it was about $120, I think, just for a Russian.
A full set of Russians?
Full set of Russians, $120.
I went ohh.
Where as here it is much lower, which is like, it could be a bad thing for
obviously lash techs in the UK because a lot of the time you're undervaluing the
work that you're doing and you're charging less.
But it is hard when there is a larger market, I think, here.
Like there's a lot of competition and you are competing to sometimes stay competitive in your prices. And sometimes you're competing though against the wrong people.
Like, for example, even in my area, there might be, I probably know of at least
like seven or eight different lash techs.
And although you're all competing, you're not really because you're all at different stages.
Just because someone else is charging £30 for a full set, they could have just started.
You don't know where they are in their lash journey.
They could be doing this part time.
So they only do a couple of clients.
Like you don't know.
So I think it is really hard because you're competing with lots of different people here in the UK and we're competing with much lower base prices.
So it's hard.
But then equally, I understand why as a lash tech, especially as a beginner one,
you don't want to go in full steam ahead charging £100 full set because you want
to build up that confidence.
So I think here in the UK, it's just that there are more lash techs.
So because there's more people competing, that's why the prices are lower.
So really, probably we should all up our prices, but it takes you time.
It's really like lashing the process of it, buying the products and getting your
clients to come in the social media aspect of it.
Why shouldn't you up your prices?
But at the same time, I do understand £100 and whatever pound it was is steep
for something that's going to last for two, three weeks.
Yeah, see, I don't know.
I think like even in the UK, you can charge that, but because it's not the norm, that's why people don't.
I think you could, and I definitely think the service and the time and your skills is worth that.
I think even more, you could charge more than that.
But there's so many other factors like all the competition in your area, the availability to lashes is much higher here.
So it is hard.
It's hard to increase your prices as quickly as maybe in other countries.
One of the comments we have here is you could try increasing in small increments,
i.e. like £5 increase each year.
I could see where that's coming from because then it's not a shock to everyone
straight away.
So if you are going to rise it then, but at the same time, what's the chance of
that one person staying with you?
I guess it's quite high because if you're going to be loyal to your lash tech,
that £5 is not going to be massive, is it?
It's a hard one because I think small increments, like you say, people wouldn't really even notice it as much.
So you could even do less, like £2 or £3.
But then I think you've got to be careful not to...
Is that going to affect you enough?
£5 a year extra.
It's quite a long time.
Yeah, it's quite a long time.
If you think of things like inflation, etc.
You are technically going to be then earning less than what you did before.
You know, even with putting your prices up.
And we've also got here, lash techs are allowed to make as much money as they want.
They aim to make money, not just do this for fun.
Any other business doesn't have a limit on how much you can make.
So why should the lashes?
You go girl.
I like that comment.
I think this is true.
I think it's almost like people have this stigma that you should only charge enough to sort of cover all your costs and then make a bit of a living for yourself.
But why can't you make hundreds and thousands?
Like in any other profession, it would be fine.
Like if you were like working in like a financial institute
and you made hundreds of thousands in commission,
you wouldn't be seen as like ripping off your clients.
So why is it that in lashes, it feels that way?
You could charge hundreds for your lashes if you are good enough and you've got the clientele.
Technically, I think you could make as much as you wanted.
If you marketed it right, if you developed your skills enough, like any profession, if you became like the top of the game, I think your earning potential is unlimited.
Maybe you just need to look at the clientele that you want.
For example, why not make yourself a celebrity eyelash stylist?
Or maybe you become a mobile one.
So like you could go do weddings abroad and stuff and be specific, get paid the more money for the harder jobs almost, or the ones where like it's very specific.
Like you go to this place for that person.
Because I'm sure people would pay like a lot of money to have you like fly out to Spain for their wedding day or something and do their lashes.
But it depends what you want from it.
Or you could just have a client base that come to you even.
But it's the clientele that you're looking for and that you're going for.
And I think the way you can achieve to get that clientele is by like obviously the more marketing you do, like the social presence you have, the pictures of your work. If you're going and doing lash courses and you're coming to all the lash events and things, you're going to get a better reputation, more well-known. And then you can become almost like one of the well-known people in this industry.
Yeah, definitely.
There's some more comments on this particular topic.
So increasing your prices could even gain you clients as you can show confidence and some people don't go for the cheapest lashes as they don't trust them.
That is very true.
I didn't think about that actually.
Because yeah, if someone's charging, I don't know, 30
and someone's charging 60 in that area, the same area,
then that makes you think what are they doing differently?
Although they could be the same level,
which one are you going to go to?
Yeah, I think sometimes putting up your prices
can show that, you know, I've been doing it a bit longer now,
I'm more confident, my sets are great.
And like you say, for any sort of aspect of beauty,
not everyone just goes for the cheapest in the hair industry.
Normally when you go into a salon, they'll have different amounts you pay for the different level of stylists.
So if you'll have a junior stylist, you're paying like the cheapest amount.
But if you're having the senior head honcho like stylist, you're paying double, triple, because you know that they're going to have more experience
and you know slash hope that you're going to have a better set of hair after it.
So I think the same should be true for lashes.
Like just because you up your prices doesn't mean that people will leave.
It could actually be a reason for people to come to you.
Yeah, it's like a steak, if you think about it.
Say if like you're going to go into a butcher's,
like a really nice bit of expensive bit of steak,
or you've got your Audi, sometimes it tastes exactly the same,
who knows which one you're going to go for, the more expensive one or the cheaper looking meat.
A lot of people are going to treat themselves
and then some people are going to be looking for like the cheap alternative.
But personally, I would probably want to land somewhere in the middle.
I wouldn't want to go maybe for necessarily the most expensive person,
but I'm also not looking for the cheapest.
So if someone puts their prices up from 20 to 30 pound a set
to like 50, 60, I don't think that's necessarily going to put people off.
It might put the current people off.
Like their current clients, but then you're looking for new ones.
You're looking for the ones that want to pay a bit more
and not all of them will go.
I don't think all of them will go.
But like always, there are a few people against putting up your prices for different reasons, or not neccessarily putting them up but like how quickly, et cetera.
So this first comment is, don't get greedy.
If constantly upping your prices, it's hard for customers to remember what you charge
and it's just blindly making more and more money.
I do see that a little bit because I think if you're just putting your prices up every month
or every two or three months, your customers are going to forget what they're paying you for their treatments.
And second, it could just look like you're wanting to make more money
because sometimes although you shouldn't have to reason to your clients why your prices are going up, you shouldn't have to be like,
oh, because I want to earn more of a living
or because I want this.
But equally, I think once you might let it go twice,
but if it's like the third or fourth time in a year that your treatment's gone up,
you might go, oh, why all the rises?
And it would annoy me personally if it was constantly going up.
I'd rather there'd be like one big jump or one big change.
Then it almost feels worse having all these small bits.
Like let's say you put your prices up by 15 pound.
I would rather that than going up three times by five pounds.
Although it's the exact same, it just gets on my nerves
because I'd go and have an appointment and then they'd say like, oh, this time it's 30 pound.
Then next time I come home, this time it's 35,
and this time it's 40, and this time it's 45.
It's not giving you that choice, is it really?
You could just say they put it up 15 pounds,
then and there you've got the choice.
If you want to pay that more, or you can leave.
But every time you go back into the salon,
it's going up and it's going up and it's going up.
It's not giving you that chance to be like,
oh, hold on a second.
I'm actually paying a lot more than I used to and I could be going somewhere else
and not jumpy all the time.
And sometimes you might want to pay in cash and then you've not bought the right amount.
I find it embarrassing enough.
I always, before I go and get treatment done,
I look up what I'm paying.
So whether it's in a salon, whether it's at a home,
whether it's someone coming to me, I will find out the price of that treatment
before I book it and I will have the money ready,
whether it's bank transfer, cash, whatever it is.
So I would hate the feeling of not knowing what it's going to be next time I go.
And even if they did update me, I think it'd be annoying to get updates.
So also next time you come in, it's actually going to be more.
And then the same thing next time and the same thing again.
Other factors you should consider before just upping your prices,
i.e. your local competition and the market.
Your location will have a big impact on what you can charge
and your current clientele, what are they like?
I think this is true.
I think depending on where you are in the country can affect what you can charge.
Again, I still think you can break that barrier
if you're really good, you're really confident.
If you've got the demand, I don't think you're limited,
but I do think these things can have an effect.
If you're in a major city like London,
you've probably got a larger population of people,
maybe more demand, easier to get new clients,
people charge more because rent's more, etc.
People just expect to pay more.
Whereas if you're in a local village, prices might be lower.
Yeah, because I've been in a local village
and I've got few people I reckon who do lashes,
maybe one, two, three, maybe including myself.
So obviously there is more demand for lash techs
and obviously they don't want to be going further out and traveling.
However, so that's where you could put your price up
if there's not many people around you.
But then also I don't like to put my prices up
because yeah, we are a small community
and we haven't got much around there.
So there's not a lot of money in it really.
I feel like you do it more for the community
or more like the love about it really.
So another comment here is make sure you are confident
and happy with the prices you are charging
by looking at the quality of your work.
Sometimes you see beginners charging £50
for the first lot of full sets that they do,
which could look unreasonable as they're still practicing.
When charging less, you are less likely to have complaints or refunds.Et cetera.
Whereas if you are charging more, people will expect more from you.
I have seen this before.
I have seen people like train and then straight away
are charging £50, £60 for full sets.
Now I'm not saying you can't do that.
I'm just saying like sometimes I've seen the quality of the work
and I don't think it matches up to the price
because I think £50, £60.
I don't think that's a lot for lashes,
but I think it's a lot for if they're not right yet.
Like if you're still applying slightly wrong
or you're not getting full coverage
or you're taking a longer time to do the treatment.
I think as soon as you've passed, you think,
okay, I'm a lash tech now.
Well, you're a lash tech, but they think,
I'm the best at what I do.
I'm a lash tech.
But then they forget that they still need a few more people,
a few more dummy runs, a few more bit of practicing.
It's just, it's hard though, isn't it?
Because you want that money straight away
because lashing is a good job to have, I think.
But I think they just want it then and now
and don't think, oh, I can wait a little bit
and build my clients up first.
That's the main part.
You need to be building that.
You don't want to be charging that £50, £60 straight away.
You need to be able to get a few customers,
say you're new and say, I'm going to be charging this
and then they will be going up.
That's what I did.
I said, I'm going to be charging this to start off with
and then I'll put my price up and then put a post out.
Yeah, I would have no problem.
I think if someone said, right,
I'm going to be charging £50, £60 for full sets,
but I'm doing an introductory offer for the first 10 clients,
it's going to be £25, £30, at half price or whatever,
then I think that's more reasonable
because you're then going to get some pictures of your work
so that you can show others.
You're going to be able to practice a few,
hopefully different styles and practice doing work
on a few different eyes
because people have different shaped eyes.
You're going to be able to have a bit more experience.
You might come across a few more issues
because you don't necessarily come across everything
in that one training day.
Then you can, it's almost like you're not up in your prices.
It's just that introductory offer's gone
and that's almost like an easier way of increasing your prices without technically increasing them
because technically you're not, you're just, the offer's done.
Yeah, and you've got then them 10 clients
who most likely are going to book in.
And then maybe even if you wanted to,
to keep them as loyal customers,
you could offer them a few things along the way.
Like you could say, oh, your infill price will be X for the moment,
but then on your third treatment,
like after you've had your full set, then your infill,
then it will go up to the full prices.
Or you can chuck an aftercare kit in, something like that.
Anything just to keep them incentive, just to keep them there.
So what I would suggest is,
I think this is a really good thing,
is a lot of people put their work on these lash forums.
So you just take a picture of your work
and you can put it on these groups.
And then you can say to all these other lash techs in these groups,
because some of these groups have like tens of thousands of lash techs in,
you can say, look, this is my work.
This is how long I've been doing lashes.
This is how much I charge.
I'm thinking of putting my prices up to this.
What do you think?
And then I think if you're getting loads of positive responses,
like, yes, these are amazing.
Definitely put them up.
Like, wow, incredible.
Then I think one that will give you the confidence,
a little bit to, in your own work, to go, right, okay, yeah, I'll put it up.
If the response isn't, yes, do it definitely.
And it's more like, oh, you could improve on this.
Because it is always quite friendly.
I don't think I've ever seen a comment where someone's gone,
oh my God, no, don't do that.
You're awful.
Like, it's normally more, you know, constructive feedback.
Maybe practice this a little bit more, maybe isolation.
Or I would try doing this.
So I think that's a really helpful tip.
And then you're going to be getting advice from actual Lashtehcs.
Not just like your mum or a friend who obviously loves your work.
I think then the next step is, if you do want to increase your prices,
is give all of your clients an advanced warning.
And I mean in multiple ways.
Tell them all in person at their appointment,
my prices will be increasing and have a particular date.
Say, from this date.
Any appointments that you've already got booked in,
I would honour at the original price.
But still tell that lot of people, next time you come in, it will be these prices.
And I think text everyone.
If you've got a mailing list, send that out.
If you can, call them.
Put it up on your socials, your website, wherever you can.
And I would say give at least a month.
Because I think then if you've given people notice,
then they've got that choice to either continue to book in with you,
make another appointment, make another infill, or they can leave.
And then most people I honestly think would stay,
but they just won't feel blindsided by it.
I think explaining in person is also quite nice.
I'm not saying you should necessarily have to say like,
oh, I'm increasing my prices because of this.
I think if you do have a reason like that, then I would definitely share it.
All my products have increased and that is the reason you are getting
more prices than you are wanting to increase your prices.
And just say that.
Just genuinely say that.
Or the cost of living crisis.
Everything's gone up, inflation's gone up.
I need to do this.
Yeah, and if you don't want to discuss why,
you could just say none of your business.
Yeah, I think it's hard because I think some clients will want to know.
But then sometimes you don't always have a reason.
No, and I think you put yourself first.
And if you want to put your prices up, you put your prices up.
And then you can discuss this or negotiate with someone
because it's your business at the end of the day.
Do what you need to do.
Don't let someone else tell you, oh, this is what you should be doing this.
I also think the strategy I would use is bigger, not big,
but a bigger increase, but less often.
So I think increasing perhaps once a year is better than increasing multiple times.
And I would increase, for example, by like maybe 10% across the board,
all treatments, but once a year.
Otherwise, if you're doing it so frequently,
it's going to look like erratic pricing.
It's going to confuse everyone.
It's going to confuse yourself because you don't know who's paying what,
who you'd already booked in, when and why.
But you just need to do it across all boards.
Everyone's paying the same prices.
Otherwise, you're just going to get confused
and you're going to start charging different people different things.
And then they're going to get upset thinking,
oh, why did you charge me this for this week and then charge me that that week?
And that's when you're going to start losing people and start upsetting people.
Whereas I think if my prices got increased once a year,
or maybe even twice a year, then you're not going to notice it that much.
You'd get used to the pricing and you'd think,
oh, it's been ages since she put her prices up.
So you're okay with it.
Whereas I think if you're doing it every couple months,
it's just going to get confusing.
And like we said earlier, I think if you want to soften the blow
with your current customers, maybe next time, give them an aftercare kit,
give them like a free goodie or give them something so that they feel like,
oh, they're still getting something off, but they are paying the increased prices.