Money Matters

Dear Shari Talks About Pricing for Nail Biters

Veteran nail tech Shari Finger—owner of Finger’s Nail Studio in W. Dundee, III—fields reader questions in the areas of salon management and workplace politics.

Veteran nail tech Shari Finger—owner of Finger’s Nail Studio in W. Dundee, III—fields reader questions in the areas of salon management and workplace politics.

Dear Shari,

I have a new client who is a severe nail biter. How much should I charge a biter when I will literally have to rebuild a new nail bed and then perform an enhancement to her specifications? Can I charge extra?

Sincerely,

Wants What’s Fair

Dear Wants: Well, yes, you can charge more. The question is, should you? I agree that nail biters are difficult to service. It definitely takes more time, product, and experience. And after you’re done knocking yourself out doing the perfect full set, chances are in the next week that biter will lose a couple of nails.

Biters lose nails for four reasons:

  1. A biter’s nail bed is short and the surface area is too small to support an enhancement properly.
  2. A biter often has a bump at the tip of the finger that makes it difficult to fit tips and sculpting forms.
  3. Biters who have never had a free edge often find it hard to manage enhancements at first.
  4. Biters often bite and pick at the enhancement because the feeling of enhancements drives them crazy.

So if you charge more for the initial full set and then the customer returns in a couple of days because she has lost a couple of nails, it may get a little pricey for her and you could risk losing your customer to a competitor. My advice is to keep it affordable for your customer. Some of my best customers started out as nail biters and may not have stuck it out if it was a huge financial drain. So instead of making a little extra cash at the first appointment, I have made thousands of dollars with years of appointments.

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