Q&A

How Do You Deal With Friends and Family Who Want Freebies?

Q.

How Do You Deal With Friends and Family Who Want Freebies?

A.

If a family member or friend brings up die subject of freebies, I’ll explain to her that in order for the salon to be successful and to pay for the utilities, rent, supplies, advertisements, and salaries, I have to charge the same price for everyone. There is no special treatment. Then I’ll tell them about some of the special offers we have throughout the year, such as “December Daze,” which entitles each client to a free hand massage with all nail services, and if she purchases a bottle of polish, she’ll receive a second one at half price.--Angela Boykin, Quality Nails (Portsmouth, Va.)

Even when I was a newly trained nail technician 11 years ago, I felt my work was good enough not to be given away for free. In the interest of “polishing my skills” and covering my expenses, I offered my family members half price on all nail services. I got more experience and they got a price break — we both won. I no longer offer discount services, but I’ll give family and friends a gift certificate for a nail service, which entices them to come in and purchase another service.--René Gliatto, Golden Shears Hair, Nails & More (Runnemede, N.J.)

Actually, the opposite is true for me. My husband’s two aunts have been very generous to us over the years. When they asked me to do their nails (one gets an occasional manicure, the other an occasional fill), my husband and I decided I wouldn’t charge them. They threw such a stink about not wanting to freeload that they hid money in my drawer. After about three visits, I finally decided to charge them a greatly discounted fee. Then they over-tipped me to compensate. I cease to argue with them now and charge them the regular price.--Debbie Doerrlamm, Wicked Wich Nails (Ronkonkoma, N. Y.)

I opened a nail salon in my home three months ago, and now everyone wants their nails done for free. I explain to them that I have to make a living and I have to pay for my supplies. I normally offer my clients a free manicure for their birthday. The only person I do for free is my mother.--Linda Calton Schuman, Nails 4 U(Hanover, Md.)

When I first graduated from beauty school, working on friends was easier than family members who tend to get picky and rush me. Now I only service family members for special occasions because when they’re going somewhere, they want to look their best. Consequently, they’re less concerned with rushing me.--Isabel Alvarez ( N. Bergen, N.J.)

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