This month we asked nail techs: What are the best-selling retail items at your salon? What has a hard time selling?
The best-selling items in my salon are cuticle oil and non-porous foot scrubbers. People like to be able to do their own pedicure maintenance between visits. My slowest selling products are my little hand lotion bottles. People buy lotions and potions all the time at retail stores, so it’s not on their radar when they come to have their nails done. They love the smell but would rather spend the money on more nail art than a lotion.
Rachael Waggoner, Dazzlin Digits 3D Nails, Lakewood, Colo.
My nail business is mobile and since I’m always on the move I need to offer retail products to clients that are worth carrying around with me. My number-one best-selling item is cuticle oil (CND Solar Oil to be exact). I educate all of my clients about the benefits of cuticle oil and use it in all of my services (I even give out mini bottles as holiday gifts). Once they start seeing the benefits of using it regularly, most want to make it part of their daily routine. For my male clients, two-way high-shine buffers (Flowery D-File 5 Second Buffers) are the top seller. I tried something new last holiday season and offered two mini nail polish gift sets. I had a dozen of each in stock and didn’t sell even one. I ended up giving them out as birthday gifts after the holidays.
Teresa King, Nailing It, New York
The best-selling item in my store is our handmade chocolate body scrub. We use it in most of our manicures, pedicures, and nail enhancement services. The two main keys to moving retail are: 1) Give customers an opportunity to try the product; products used in the service or to maintain/enhance a service are great. 2) Ask for the sale! Every person should be offered the key products — product-of-the-month or maintenance products. We have a hard time selling nail polish. I’ve had customers say to me that they don’t need nail polish, that’s why they come to me. Financially, I am not willing to invest in polish lines when I am not confident that they are going to move, so I have to admit that I don’t always have the “hot” colors in stock, but I am always willing to order based upon request.
Onisha Claire, Koco Nail Salon, Philadelphia
I find that cuticle oil is the best retailing item by far. I’m constantly informing my clients about the importance of it and not to neglect their cuticles. I suggest using cuticle oil after showering and before bed. If faithful to this regimen, one can expect a drastic change in the appearance of nails and hands! On average, most women purchase about three bottles a year because they misplace them so often (by changing purses, etc.). The hardest product to sell, hands-down for me, is nail polish. I use a lot of OPI and China Glaze, and my clients love the variety of colors, shimmers, creams, etc. that each line offers. I thought retailing them would be a good idea. Wrong! I believe it is because the professional brands are so readily available to the general consumer. Local beauty supply stores and chain stores such as Walmart and Target are now selling professional brand nail polish.
Loretta Edwards, Polish Me Nail Studio, Middletown, Del.
My best seller by far is the Hempz Lotion Citrus Blossom and Vanilla Plum. Every type of hand service receives a massage so it is pretty easy to sell the lotion. I rarely sell polish topcoats or specialty nail treatments. This is because 50% of my clients receive CND Shellac and the other 50% receive Brisa Gel Enhancements.
Melissa Steppler, Impressions of Brilliance Esthetics Services, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
My best selling products are my CND lotions, especially the vanilla with shimmer. My least popular products are my pedicure stones or my nail polishes. I’m actually very happy about this because I know my clients will come back for services and not polish their own nails at home.
Hope Szymanski, Nailtique, Whitewater, Wis.
I sell a ton of small bottle lotions and cuticle oil to my clients. I explain to all my clients that they are investing in their nail enhancements: if they want them to last, it is important to use cuticle oil to keep the acrylic from getting brittle. Cuticle oil also conditions cuticles and promotes nail growth. What I've learned is that smaller bottles always sell better, and many times clients will always buy more than one or two when I suggest they keep one in their purse and the other on their night stand or the office. These always fly off the shelf during the holidays, as they make excellent stocking stuffer. Another way of spreading the word of what your salon is selling is to take pics and post them on your social media pages. A few other great retail suggestions are fun impulse items like glittery lip glosses and top coats, blingy jewelry, sweet smelling candles, heel therapies, and body scrubs. You will be surprised that just a few clients purchasing a few retail items here and there throughout the week will really contribute to your monthly revenue.
Sheera Gersh, Addicted to Nails, Tempe, Ariz.
The hot seller in my salon is OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil to Go. This item is promoted heavily and available at checkout at a hard-to-resist price point of $8! OPI Nail Lacquer is a top seller as well. The new collections keep clients excited about nail color trends to complement the latest fashions. Ladies love to collect polish, just like lipstick! Even my clients who wear GelColor by OPI love to buy OPI Nail Lacquer.They make great gifts too. Pedicure support items are the hardest sell. Many clients don't want to put effort into maintaining their feet at home — even though it makes such a difference! I find I can sell more when I place a focus on these items and create displays around the products.
Rachel Jones, Ravisante, San Mateo, Calif.
We sell Footlogix which is specialty foot care line of products. One of our salon’s specialties is pedicures and we are North American School of Podology-Certified so we can recognize, recommend, and refer clients to products that can help foot problems. We have managed to keep many of our clients from having to see the podiatrist with these products. Selling the products has been extremely profitable and we see such great results, which makes it easy to sell. I think any product that is difficult to sell is because the technician does not have knowledge as to why the product works and does not have the verbiage to explain its features and benefits.
Vicki Peters, Polish Salon, Brea, Calif.
Next Question: How do you feel about clients using their cell phones while you’re doing their manicure? What do you do if it messes up your work? [Answers will be printed in the February 2015 issue.] Share your opinion on the topic by e-mailing your response by November 15 to [email protected] Please include your name, salon, city and state, and a high-resolution headshot with your response.
You may Also Like: Crowdsourcing: Do you use an e-file?