Inflation is affecting businesses and consumers across the country, causing prices to rise on goods and services. The nail business is no different, but you can still stay profitable.


We asked Tamara Di Lullo @tamaradilullo, CND Education Ambassador and owner of @candynailbar for best practices and tips on staying ahead of inflation. 


Q. How can a nail technician save money on supplies, right now?

A. There are several ways that nail technicians can save money on supplies!

  1. Do your research and stay informed: Inflation, supply-chain shortage, rising fuel costs, and the constant changing of PPE requirements means we must stay on top of current events and be informed consumers. Research your online suppliers’ prices at least twice a year because the prices can vary quite a bit from one supplier to another and may vary at the same supplier. Always be sure to check the prices and don’t just re-order or you may get a surprise. I personally use a spreadsheet where I list different competitor prices so  I can clearly see where I'm getting the best deals for my salon and that can make up to 5 percent difference in the cost of my supplies in the last six months alone. 
  2. Inventory control: Avoid over-ordering, duplicate purchases and rising shipping and transport fees due to lack of inventory control. Setting up a simple inventory protocol (no matter how small the salon or even as an independent nail pro) can save you lots of money and time.
  3. Order in bulk when the price is right: Depending on the volume of products you are using, it’s very important to stay on top of which products are running low in advance so you can order larger quantities less frequently which will not only save you money on your shipping but will also save you time and as we all know, time is money. 


Q: How can a nail technician avoid impulse purchases? 

A: It's very hard to avoid the temptation of purchasing new products and color collections as soon as they come out, but we often get so excited that we forget to check our existing stock to see if we may already have color or shades that are practically the same. A technique I personally use to avoid impulse purchasing is to have a color reference sheet or picture of your palettes, so when you go to a supplier in person, you make sure not to buy that same purple shade again and again (guilty). If you're purchasing online, it's much easier to do so because you can easily check what you already have as your order. Another tip is to keep an ongoing list in alphabetical order of all the color names sorted by brand for easy reference on your phone. 

I always suggest researching, waiting for reviews, or joining a training before committing to purchasing a whole new product line. So many factors will influence if the product can actually be used in a salon environment, cost, ease of use, client feedback and longevity. We often get so excited to try new things that we end up over purchasing, and that can deeply affect the bottom line before testing in a methodical way.


Q: How can a nail technician make their dollar go further?

A: Get those dollars working together! If you're working with colleagues or a team, your purchasing power can double or triple. Working alone makes it much harder to buy a volume of supplies that can get you valuable supplier and shipping rebates and can allow you to have more variety of products to use. I've been seeing many technicians who opted to work independently because of the pandemic having more difficulty offering the variety of supplies and colors that their guests would like. 

Invest in QUALITY products. In many cases quality products may cost more per service but save you endless amounts of time and money, which helps maintain clientele! There is much to be said for quality over quantity. I give the example of CND Offly Fast™ Moisturizing Remover, which may cost more than regular acetone, but soaks off CND Shellac up to 20 percent faster. My nail pros save time and clients love their healthier, natural nails because of the macadamia and vitamin E oils.

Subscribe to receive promos: Make sure you subscribe to your favorite suppliers’ promotional emails to take advantage of seasonal promotions. They often have demos and promos on some of our favorite products. CND hosts CND Demo Days with select suppliers where we share new products and techniques, and there are exclusive promos. 

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